Author's Notes: A note on the English language: blond is from the French and it's one of the few words that have different endings depending on the sex of the... um, owner (I know there's a proper word for it but I don't remember what it is). So - 'blond' - male with yellow coloured hair 'blonde' - female with yellow coloured hair. I was so pleased when I found out the mighty J.K. of Rowling uses this properly Soooooo Fai blond (no matter how deliciously femmy he is he's still a guy ).

Disclaimer: You know they ain't mine.

The Morning After

By sugahcat


I blink awake and it is with no small amount of joy that I find a fair-haired wizard in my arms. I thought it must surely have been a dream, our night together. I've never felt that way before in my life and I don't think it can ever be that way with anyone else. I don't want to be with anyone else but him, ever again.

He is still sleeping, his thin chest rising and falling rhythmically against my side. A pale hand with slim, delicate fingers rests against my chest and several pale-golden locks spill over my shoulder. I feel a sudden urge to see his beautiful blue eyes but I won't wake him. He needs his rest, for he went through a lot yesterday. We both did.

My lips thin as his words come back to me - about his King, Ashura. About how he was treated by him. From what he said, this Ashura thought of him as his weapon and his whore. A plaything or a pet to be used and dropped as he felt like it. And worst of all, he told my Fai that he loved him. I can just see it: he would have worn the fake smile that Fai learned from him on his face as he told him how much he cared about him, and how Fai should show him how much he loved him in return by letting him use his body for his pleasure.

I was amazed, last night, by how many things I did to Fai that he said Ashura never did for him. Things that should be reciprocated in any relationship. For Gods sake, he said the bastard never even held him after fucking him.

A sudden intense protectiveness comes over me and I tighten my grip on him a little. If I ever meet Fai's Ashura I will kill him. I don't care how much it might weaken me, I don't care how strong he is and I don't even care how much he hurts me. As long as he can never, ever hurt Fai again I don't care.

It's strange how I only realised how very much Fai means to me last night. I knew that I felt something toward him - from the very first, I didn't cut him down no matter how many stupid names he called me - I didn't even kill him when he gave me that ridiculous name in Outo Country. It never really occurred to me. When I get home and tell Tomoyo and Souma this I don't think they'll believe me - I've killed people in the past for far less.

I'd known I was attracted to him the minute I saw him. I couldn't help but stare - he was so exotic. Big, pale eyes and lovely hair the colour of sunlight, and he wore such wonderfully intricate clothes. On that first day in the Witch's shop I saw some of his real emotions, before he really hid them away. He looked so upset to give his tattoo away to her but he still did it. Remembering that, I wonder how I ever thought he was a coward. It was obvious from that action that he had no choice. Knowing what I know now, I understand that if Fai had stayed either his life of his sanity would be taken from him. He never had any choice, where Ashura was concerned.

He hasn't told me how he came to be in his King's service, only that the King took him in as an eleven year old boy who couldn't control his Power. It resonates with me, in that my Sensei took me in and taught me how to hone my uncontrollable anger into unparalleled fighting prowess. The difference being that I was being taught something. Ashura forced a tattoo onto a child, a tattoo with magics that would allow him to control the boy as he grew up. He sounds like a truly manipulative bastard. Even then he must have seen that Fai was kind and sensitive, that he'd never become his War Mage of his own volition - for of course that's what he wanted him for. He had been lucky enough to find a boy who he could control that was more powerful than whole troops of war magicians from neighbouring and suddenly very friendly countries. And as the boy grew up into a pretty young man foolish enough to mistake fear for love Ashura made a courtesan out of him as well.

My hand curls into a fist on Fai's back. To know that my too-slim lover has been abused so badly for so long makes me want to lash out at something. To know that I thought him weak and useless makes me feel sick. I wish he'd told me sooner, if for no other reason than that would mean he hadn't kept it all inside for so long. Some of the things I've said to him make me want to curse myself into the ground - but of course I didn't know. And I mean all of them, in certain circumstances. Just not his.

Breathing deeply I force myself to calm down and return to idly stroking his untidy blond locks. Everything about his is so soft, I muse. His hair, his skin, his voice - even his mannerisms. He's so wonderfully pleasant and kind and that makes all that has happened to him so much worse. He deserved none of it. I'm not naive enough to say that no-one deserves to be treated like that - I can think of a few people and at the moment Ashura is at the top of the list. But not someone so gentle as Fai.

All I can do is try to make him see how much I care for him, try to heal him as best I can. It made me feel ill to see how afraid he was of sleeping with me, how he equated sex with pain, emotional as well as physical. I was as gentle as I could be, more giving than I've ever been before. I won't say I didn't enjoy the way his eyes widened in delighted shock at the way I touched him, or his surprised moans of pleasure because I loved them. And being inside him was possibly the most perfect feeling I've ever felt in my life. I've had sex with plenty of other people, men and women, and I've always enjoyed it. But this was something else. It was mind-blowing and earth-moving and it made me realise that there's a name that encompasses all the protectiveness and sweetness and need that I feel for him. I said it almost before I realised what I was feeling:

"I love you, Fai."

And I watched as cobalt eyes widened and I was afraid he was going to cry again, but instead he smiled stunningly and gave a wonderful, tinkly laugh full of delight

"Thank you, Kuro," he whispered and I knew then that Ashura no longer had any grip on him.

Last night was the most wonderful night of my life, even after the sex, when our shaking arms held each other until we slipped into sleep.

I've never been in love before and I had no intention of doing so with a snow-pale wizard who wears a fake smile to hide his pain. It happened anyway and I'm marvelling to find that it isn't weakness after all. I feel stronger now than I ever have when I've been battling to protect Tomoyo.

I pause for a moment, wondering what is going to happen when I finally do get home. Because I'm not in such a hurry to get there anymore. It's not only Fai that I care about, either. I want to protect Princess Sakura and I want to see that Syaoran-san finds strength tempered by love, which I've only just discovered myself. I want to help them in their quest. And, of course, if I do get home... what will I do? What will Fai do? I would be more than happy for him to stay there with me, if only I can convince him to stop running. And if I get home before he's ready to stop running from his past?

I don't know. All I know is, now I've found him I don't want to live without him. If this keeps up much longer I wonder if I'll be able to live without him. Would I follow if he refused to stay with me?

Gods help me, I would.

And knowing Tomoyo if she found out I was in love with him she'd probably just force me to go anyway. She's that kind of Princess - she'll have a happy ending for the people she cares about even if she has to force it on them. With an annoyed smile I touch my forehead where I can still feel a prickling where she laid her curse upon me. I realise I miss her and her wise insanity. I think she'll like Fai very much and I think she could teach him to control his Powers. After all, she had the Power to send me to the Dimension Witch, just as he had the Power to send himself.

There's not much point in worrying about it, I know. There's no way to control where we head off to next. It's just - what did the Witch call it? - hitzusen.

I sigh and feel Fai stir in my arms. He freezes for a moment, unused to waking up with someone holding him and then looks up at me, eyes huge.

"Good morning," I whisper and give him my best wolf grin before kissing his forehead. He wraps his long arms around me in a surprisingly tight embrace. He speaks, head buried in my chest and I can barely make out his words.

"Did you mean what you said?"

While he could mean anything - I said quite a few things last night - I know exactly what he's talking about.

I reach down to gently pull his chin up to look at me. His face is so completely open that his trust touches me. I smile and run a finger up his jaw line. He's so afraid that either I didn't mean it or maybe even that he dreamt it. My smile widens and I put his mind at rest.

"I've never meant anything more in my life, Fai. I love you."

His lips curve and for a change the smile meets his eyes.

"I love you too, Kurogane."

I snigger. "Call me Kuro-pi." He laughs as well and we kiss, treasuring the moment and I vow to do as I told him and live life to the fullest, knowing that a lot of it will involve my magician.


Notes: In character? Or not?? I'm not sure... I mean, sure K would be very protective if he fell in love... but would he be so soppy? Well, it wouldn't have been so sweet if he wouldn't

Damn it, CLAMP, make this 'ship cannon already > Reviews are beyond welcome :)

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