Monday, January 3rd, 2011 05:22 am
uakari: (Rikuou)
[personal profile] uakari
Title: Lovers, Fools, and Madmen 
Rating: PG-13 for a bit of language
Warnings: Gratuitous hoof-shots and innuendo galore.
Summary: AU; loosely based on A Midsummer Night's Dream.  When Lord Touya seeks the Queen's counsel to forbid his sister to wed her childhood love, he isn't prepared for the interference wrought by two disgraced fairies to thwart his plans. Which is probably just as well; it’s not as if they have a clue in heaven or hell how to deal with these foolish mortals…
Notes: A sizeable chunk  of this chapter is neither original nor creative...but it turned out sooo much funnier this way (at least in my head)...please forgive me.  Hopefully CCS fans will get a kick out of it...

Previous Chapters: 1   2   3

Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand,
And the youth, mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover’s fee.
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!

-A Midsummer Night’s Dream III;ii

Kurogane yawned, stretched, and dragged his fingers through his leg hair in his familiar morning ritual. The sun was beating in through the curtains, impatiently reminding him that day had broken and there was something he really ought to get out of bed and take care of…

Ah! Ahahaha! It was morning! The curse should be broken and he could go about his life and everything was going to be so much better from here on out that he almost couldn’t believe it and-

“Oi – Manjuu,” he grunted, picking a nit out from behind his knee and scowling. Why did he still have fur? And where the hell were his wings? His beautiful, sparkling, long-missing wings? “Isn’t the curse supposed to be lifted?”

Mokona stirred from her make-shift bed on the side table and rubbed her eyes. “The curse breaks once the brother gives his okay,” she mumbled sleepily.

“So if we still look like this…”

“Then nothing’s changed.”

Kurogane stifled a growl and rolled to glare at the bed next to his. Fay was still asleep, tangled in his blankets and snoring loudly. Kurogane quickly sat up and tossed his pillow at the matted mess of blond hair. Something had gone wrong with this “fail-proof” plan – just as Kurogane had said it would – and now the two of them were likely cursed for all eternity and-

Ow, Kuro-rin,” Fay groaned, “What did I do to deserve that this morning?”

“Take a look at yourself,” Kurogane snapped, “Look at me. We’re still trapped in these god-awful bodies!”

“Hmm…” Fay examined his hooves as he slid out bed and moved to the window. “Well,” he said slowly as he lifted the curtains, “It’s still early. Maybe they haven’t woken up yet.”

“Mokona agrees. Let’s all go back to sleep…”

“Or maybe you screwed it up – like you always do!” Kurogane shouted, exasperated, “I told you; you should have woken them up right away! God only knows what’s happened now.” He huffed and stomped toward the door, “I’m going to find them and sort out this mess.”

Fay caught his arm before he was able to march through the frame. “Calm down, Kuro-tan,” he soothed, “Like I said; it’s early – the sun is barely up! Let’s wait a bit just to be sure – you know how lazy humans can be in the mornings.  You never see them out before noon.”

Kurogane set his jaw. No. He was going now. If Fay wanted to stay here and wait like a moron for a happy ending that more than likely wasn’t going to come, he was more than welcome. But Kurogane wasn’t about to play around with his future. He’d lost too much time as it was, parading around this ridiculous slum in these ridiculous hooves-

“At least let me make you breakfast first,” Fay pleaded, “It’s probably the last one I’ll ever make for you.”

Kurogane paused. Breakfast was not entirely a bad idea, even if he was well aware Fay was only offering it as a distraction. He could certainly use the energy at the very least. He narrowed his eyes. “Fine,” he grunted, “But nothing fancy. Just some toast or something. And,” he added quickly, noting the faraway look in Fay’s eyes, “Don’t go getting all sentimental. It’s just breakfast.”

“Never, Kuro-pan!” Fay sang as he pushed past Kurogane into the hallway, “I’ll just do up some waffles, alright? And maybe some fruit and cream. Or would you prefer sausage? I’d have to run down to the butcher for that, but it shouldn’t take long-”

“Just toast!” Kurogane repeated gruffly, crossing his arms.

“Toasted waffles,” Fay insisted, skipping into the kitchen, “And fruit and cream. Kuro-stomp can’t go galloping through the woods without a well-balanced breakfast!”

Kurogane cursed quietly as he pulled up a seat at their kitchen table. Fay flitted about the kitchen much like he did every morning, yet Kurogane couldn’t help but notice that his movements this morning had a certain hesitancy to them; the skip in his step was less…springy, the way he mixed the batter more solemn – even his obnoxious singing seemed forced. He sighed and massaged his temples – he’d always suspected that Fay had no desire to return to his previous life, but he really wasn’t in the mood to deal with that this morning. Not when they were so close…

What was that fool’s problem, anyway? All this false happiness was grating on Kurogane. Fay had been regarded well enough as a court magician before the incident; Kurogane couldn’t figure out for the life of him why Fay was so hesitant to go back. He couldn’t be embarrassed – that seemed well out of the realm of possibilities when it came to a man who had no qualms about breaking into song and stroking his own horns in public – could he? No, Kurogane was sure he was missing something – probably something stupid and annoying; there was nothing too miss about this lifestyle. He huffed and watched as Fay lit up the stove.

He would probably miss breakfast.

But only breakfast.

Yukito was exhausted. Lady Akizuki must have been terribly wounded to tear off at such a pace through the forest and he cursed himself for his inability to catch up with and comfort her, even as he settled down atop a tree stump to catch his breath. Her lead had only increased as he’d pursued; she was well beyond his sight now. His best – and quite possibly only – bet now was to return to the palace to find her. He supposed he was professionally obligated to ensure Lord Touya made it back to the palace as well, but the very thought of the other man made his stomach churn with heart-wrenching anger at the other’s sleight of Lady Akizuki. No, Lord Touya could find his own way back to the palace; Yukito would be announcing his resignation shortly after he arrived.

There was a rustling behind him and Syaoran and Sakura emerged from the brush, red faced and breathing heavily. Yukito smiled warmly at them; in his rush to find his lady love, he’d nearly forgotten the reason he’d set out in the woods to begin with. Now, at least, they could all return to the palace together and live happily ever after with their beloveds…

Except for Lord Touya. But that probably served him right.

Sakura flushed several shades deeper at the sight of Yukito and let out a small “Eep!” 

Syaoran froze in his tracks, then turned on his heel and bolted.

“Sakura?” Yukito said slowly, puzzled by the boy’s behavior, “Is Syaoran alright?”

“…Who?” Sakura giggled. She sat daintily at Yukito’s feet and gazed up at him.

“Are you feeling alright, Sakura?”

Sakura grinned and sighed. “I’m so happy to be here with you, Yukito! I feel…so…so…hanyan!”

Yukito frowned. These two were acting very strangely this morning.

“Oi – Brat!”

Syaoran looked up from the apples he was busily collecting – plucking the ripest ones from the low-hanging branches and stashing them in the upturned hem of his shirt – and froze. He backed away slowly, eyes narrowing as he turned to face his nemesis. He said nothing, only glared with a ferocity that rivaled the most desperate of trapped carnivores.

This was a well rehearsed scene. Both actors had played their respective roles for years; both knew their marks, their lines, and their timing was impeccable. Touya would glare; Syaoran would scowl. Sparks would inevitably flare where their gazes met; during especially tense encounters, Syaoran might see fit to set part of Touya’s clothing on fire. The moment would pass and the two would go on their way, neither one anxious to spend more time than necessary in the other’s presence.

Syaoran completed his ritual scowl and bent to retrieve an apple that had fallen from his shirt. He flinched as he felt a hand connect with his shoulder.

It stayed there.

Syaoran swallowed thickly. The hand…seemed to be moving. Squeezing. Gently. He looked up, wide-eyed, and backed away in fear.

The look in Touya’s eyes was not entirely unfamiliar to Syaoran (he was certain he’d wasted something similar on Sakura many times during their unduly long courtship), but was unaccountably disturbing to witness plastered across Lord Touya's face as it currently was. Syaoran shuddered and moved to bolt, only to have his back crash forcefully into an oak trunk.


Touya’s hand landed on the tree just above his head. Syaoran gulped; he was fairly sure his would-be brother-in-law was leaning ever-closer, warm breath playing against his unguarded cheeks and tickling his ears; each exhale promising far greater doom than the last.

“Syao…” Touya breathed.

“Syaoran,” Syaoran corrected, tilting his head as far away as he could manage. What the hell was going on? He braced himself, waiting for the hand balancing just above to come crashing down into his skull, and bit his lip.

“Syao…” Touya grinned, “You know…”


“About you…I…” Touya trailed off, a far away look in his eyes.

Syaoran winced. “Yes?” he managed to squeak.

“I…” Touya paused to collect himself, “You…”

Yes?” Syaoran felt he was nearing the brink of a colossal meltdown. Lord Touya was either about to kill him or – god forbid – profess his…oh hell no!  Syaoran didn’t have the constitution to put up with much more of this. It was clear that the young lord had gone completely insane and what was more – Yukito’s backside was all alone with Sakura, probably unguarded and definitely unappreciated for the fine specimen of gluteal perfection it was.


Syaoran slunk, ignoring the stinging bark digging into his back as it scraped across the rough surface. He was probably going to have a forest of splinters embedded between his shoulder blades, but that was a small price to pay to escape the casual molestation he was currently staring down. Touya moved to intercept him, but Syaoran was quicker and maneuvered himself swiftly to the side. 

Touya watched, dumbstruck, as his dearest love ran off before he was able to confess.

Watanuki seethed. It was an activity he seemed to be engaging in quite a lot of this morning – probably more than was strictly healthy, though Yuuko had noted that it was much quieter than his usual flailing and therefore more suited to his indoor duties. He had seethed loudly after that, but to no avail; the Fairy Queen would not relent and the centaur continued to stuff its face with every bit and morsel left unattended.

“Is it really necessary to do this in the kitchen?” Watanuki demanded, for the fifth or sixth time in the past hour (he’d lost count and no one else seemed to be paying him any attention), “Wouldn’t the stables be better?”

The conjurers Yuuko had called in stared at him. The taller of the two let loose an exasperated sigh. “We don’t want to spook the horses,” he said simply.

“Look…what did you say your name was?”


“Look, Rikuou,” Watanuki dragged his palm across his face, “You’re spooking me. Every five minutes there’s another loud bang and a puff of smoke and something even more awful is standing in that thing’s place!”

Rikuou blinked and cocked an eyebrow. “We haven’t actually transformed him into anything else,” he paused and nodded to his partner, “Kazahaya, go ahead.”

“Yes, but the…!” Watanuki cut himself off in midsentence as the other conjurer waved his wand and a swirl of wind and surprisingly girly sparkles enveloped the centaur. He grimaced. He hadn’t been lying – their earlier transformation of Doumeki’s hooves into duck feet had been spooky, and the appearance of antlers on its already gloomy head had really been too disturbing for words.

The smoke cleared momentarily and Watanuki was left coughing and staring.

“What?” Doumeki asked, snatching another apple tart from the platter on the counter next to him.

“Nothing,” Watanuki snipped, turning quickly away, “You look exactly the same.”

Doumeki appraised his body. It was true; nothing seemed to be out of place – no duck feet, no (he quickly felt his head) antlers, no odd additions of any kind. The horse half was still there though, stubbornly attached to his torso and giving no indications of disappearing anytime soon. He looked at the conjurer who had cast the spell.

Kazahaya frowned. He was certain he had performed the spell correctly… If nothing else, whatever magic was keeping the human in his centaur form should have produced an artifact – something the reflected magic would have been focused into rather than lifting the curse…but there was nothing. “That’s odd…” he murmured, taking a step closer.

“What did you do?” Rikuou asked. He also moved closer, checking around Doumeki’s back side for any anomalies that might have appeared out of their line of sight.

“Just a standard erasure,” Kazahaya rubbed his chin thoughtfully, “I thought maybe if we tried that first – before hitting it with a reverse transfiguration – that it might weaken whatever curse is binding him…but…”

“Weird,” Rikuou agreed, “Well, I sup-”

“Oh for…” Watanuki grumbled, spinning to look at them, “Do you really not see it?”

Rikuou cocked an eyebrow. Kazahaya – always the less subtle of the two – cocked his head.

“See what?”

Watanuki flushed several shades of red and turned back around. “Nothing,” he mumbled then, watching Doumeki snatch another tart from the platter, “STOP EATING THOSE! I AM NOT BAKING ANY MORE! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHERE YOU ARE? SHOW SOME DECORUM!”

Doumeki shrugged and continue to munch the tart. It occurred to him that some wine would be more than appropriate to wash down its sweetness with, and he turned back to the counter where he had left his glass.

“Hey! He’s got no nipples!” Kazahaya balked.

“What?” Rikuou gripped Doumeki’s shoulder to turn the centaur back to face him. “Dammit, Kaza…” he sighed, “You did it again.”

“Again?!” Watanuki screeched, “You do this often?”

Kazahaya flushed, just noticeably. “No! It was just supposed to be a routine erasure!”

“You mixed up the Magnum Erase and Mammary Erase spells again, didn’t you?” Rikuou sighed. 

“Why does a ‘Mammary Erase” spell even exist?!” Watanuki demanded. This was ridiculous. The conjurers were ridiculous. Everything in the Fairy Kingdom was ridiculous! Why in the world did centaurs even have nipple on their chest? Shouldn’t they be…lower? How did one go about…ahhh! The ridiculousness was clearly affecting him. And if that oaf didn’t stop wolfing down those tarts like he was a starving beast instead of well-fed guest, well, he was going to…going to…bah! He snatched the tray of tarts away from the counter and slammed it down on top of the stove, well out of the centaur’s reach, and smirked.

“Well,” Kazahaya said with a slight air of offence, “It’s so much less messy than cosmetic surgery and-”

Oh never mind!” Watanuki shouted, “I don’t want to know! Just hurry up and get him back to how he was!”

“Still having trouble in here?” Yuuko inquired from the doorway. She was flanked on either side by two older fairies, each carrying several vials of colorful liquid. She grinned, eyeing Doumeki’s still-equine form, and turned back to the conjurers. “I thought that might be the case,” she wafted into the room and circled slowly around Doumeki. “This is an especially strong curse,” she paused and set a hand on his shoulder, shuddering in surprise and chuckling as she did, “Yes, very strong indeed. Why don’t you boys take a break and let the apothecaries have a go? Watanuki – get out some wine,” she glanced toward the mostly-empty platter of tarts, “And bake some more sweets. We mustn’t be inhospitable!”

Rikuou and Kazahaya bowed their heads and stepped to the side; Kazahaya quickly and sheepishly waved his wand one final time to restore Doumeki to his full mammalian state.

Watanuki couldn’t help but note with some satisfaction that the centaur had the decency to look relieved.

Sakura was in heaven. Her fiancé (she was really going to have to do something about that title, but she was much too occupied at the moment to give it much thought) had disappeared back into the woods and her brother had yet to make an appearance, which left her alone with Yukito. Dear, sweet, perfect Yukito. She sighed, admiring the way the rays of light danced off his distractingly radiant silver hair, the way his distractingly radiant hair framed his wonderfully handsome face, the way his wonderfully handsome face rested atop such strapping, magnificently well-muscles shoulders…hanyan!

The only way Yukito could possibly be any more perfect was if he were to begin sparkling in the sun. She wondered vaguely if Tomoyo had any glitter stocked away in her endless piles of creative materials back at the palace. If she did…well! Sakura was just going to have to find them and…

Her train of thought was derailed by a loud rustling, followed by an exhausted Syaoran stumbling through the trees and dropping to his knees at Yukito’s feet. He released the hem of his shirt that he’d been clutching to his chest and let the pile of apples he’d collected fall. He motioned to Yukito and started to say something, but choked on his words as a deep swell of red blossomed across his face. He stared in horrified awe instead.

Yukito smiled and chuckled softly. “Are these for me?”

Syaoran nodded vigorously and pushed the pile forward.

Sakura’s eyes narrowed. Just what did Syaoran think he was doing to her Yukito? It wasn’t bad enough that he was such a little boy in the grand scheme of things, but now he was clearly trying to court Yukito? Her Yukito? She hmphed quietly and scooted closer to her love, glaring daggers at the intruder the entire while.

Syaoran glared back and offered the choicest apple of the bunch to Yukito.

Yukito sighed as he accepted the gift. These two were acting very strangely this morning.

Doumeki stared warily at the vial being thrust toward him. He was growing tired of this exercise; the fairies (well, fairy; the second of the pair didn’t seem to be interested in much beyond reclining in his seat with his feet on the counter and snoring with an unlit cigarette hanging from his lips) mixing potions were proving to be even less effective than the two casting spells earlier. He was ready to thank them for their efforts, apologize profusely to this fairy lady and thank her for her generous hospitality, then set back out on his way. He obviously hadn’t been thinking clearly when he had accept her offer  – surely the palace where he was expected kept mages on staff that knew transfiguration magic and if not, then, well…he supposed he wouldn’t mind remaining in this body too terribly much. It did have the distinct advantages of economic long distance travel and load-hauling, after all.

“Come now, Doumeki,” Yuuko encouraged, “Kakei is the only potion master in the kingdom capable of mixing this, and he’s worked so hard,” she worked her face into a pout and nodded toward the fairy holding the vial inches from his face, “You can chase it with this when you’re done!” She waggled a large bottle of dandelion wine.

“Don’t give him that!” Watanuki sputtered from across the kitchen, “He’s already had an entire bottle of the apple wine! The last thing we need is a drunk centaur galloping around the kitchen and breaking all of my pots!”

“Watanuki…” Yuuko said patiently, “Surely you realize this is a very trying experience for Doumeki. You’re usually such a kind-hearted boy; what’s got your panties in such a bundle this morning?”

“My panties are not-” Watanuki began, cutting himself off as he realized the implications of his words and scowling at Yuuko, who was now giggling behind her hand. 

“I can help with that,” Kazahaya offered, wand at the ready.

“What?! No!” Watanuki insisted, backing away from the group, “I don’t even want to imagine what kind of help you’d come out with…”

“It’s just a shrinking spell,” Kazahaya muttered, staring crossly at the ground.

“Mmm,” Rikuou nodded and swiped his wand in Kazahaya’s direction. “Like that,” he indicated as the hem of the other’s robes crept ever higher, finally passing his knees and stopping at mid-thigh.

Kazahaya flailed, simultaneously attempting to pull the hem of his robes back down to a more modest length and cross his legs and failing quite badly at both in the end. “What the hell are you doing, Rikuou?!” he shouted angrily, managing to produce a halfway decent-sounding disgruntled sneer from behind the curtain of red threatening to swallow his face.

Rikuou shrugged. “Demonstrating.”

“Why are you demonstrating on my clothes?!”

Rikuou considered this for a moment. “Because you have the nicest legs,” he offered at long last.

“I do-”

“Alright boys,” the fairy reclined at the counter sat up suddenly, “That’s enough flirting for this afternoon. Why don’t you stop interrupting and let him drink?” 

Doumeki shrugged and took the vial from Kakei. Fairies were an entertaining lot – that much was certain – though the act was beginning to get a bit stale. He sniffed the concoction and immediately wished he hadn’t; where the first potion he’d been given had tasted of berries (and had nearly brought him to all four of his knees, wretching in agony only moments later), this smelt of death and decay with a generous helping of mint leaves sprinkled across the surface to mask the repugnant odor. He screwed his face up and looked at Kakei.

Kakei merely smiled and motioned for Doumeki to drink up.

Doumeki held his breath and tilted the vial back. The concoction tasted almost as foul as it had smelled, even without the aid of his nose. He could feel it slide slowly, gelatinously down his throat, as if all the muscles there were actively working to propel it back up and out. He shuddered and was suddenly aware of every hair on his body standing straight on end. He closed his eyes as the remainder of the fetid glop sloshed in his stomach.

“Now there’s something you don’t see every day,” Kakei remarked, a hint of amusement coloring his voice, “Saiga,” the fairy at the counter kicked up his heels and stood for the first time all afternoon, “Take a sample of this – I want to analyze it when we get home.”

Doumeki’s eyes opened once again as he felt a thick strand of hair plucked from his tail. He craned his neck as far as he was able to find both Kakei and Saiga staring in wonderment at the plucked hair.

“I’m pink,” Doumeki said after a long moment had passed with no explanation.

“That you most certainly are,” Kakei agreed, holding the strand of hair up into the light for a better view.

“So he’s pink, so what?” Watanuki demanded, “He’s still a centaur and he’s still cluttering up my kitchen!”

“It’s a very rare color for a centaur,” Kakei explained, “Very valuable. Say, Mr. Doumeki, I don’t suppose you’d be interested in remaining like this for awhile? I think together we could turn a very handsome profit-”

“That’ll be enough, Kakei,” Yuuko said sternly, though without breaking her smile, “Take a few samples, but it’s imperative that he return to human form.”

Kakei grinned, clearly having expected this reaction. “Of course, Your Highness,” he replied lightly, “Though if that’s the case, I don’t see why we’re fussing about like this. There is a perfectly simple way to lift this curse,” he paused, looking curiously over at Watanuki, “And it’s standing right here in the kitchen.”

Doumeki raised an eyebrow. And belched.

Yuuko regarded Watanuki with a smirk as he predictably reacted to the gaseous release with shrieking and flailing. “Yes,” she agreed, nodding slowly, “But he won’t like it.”

Doumeki belched again. His entire stomach seemed to be expanding, ballooning to what he was sure must be three times its normal size. He burped again, quieter this time, but to no less hyperbolic reception.

Yuuko laughed lowly. “Alright, Kakei, give him the antidote. The poor boy is bound to be sick if this keeps up.”

Kakei sighed and clattered through his collection of vials and stoppered bottles. Doumeki continued to belch.

“Oh please hurry up!” Watanuki whined, “It’s bound to start making its way out the other end soon and the kitchen already stinks like horse!”

“So what will you do?”

“Huh?” Kurogane grunted. He was only half paying attention as they plodded through the brush, winding and weaving along the path Fay swore he and Mokona had stumbled across the humans on the night before. It was already afternoon; waiting until after breakfast had done little to relieve them of the hooves and horns – not that he’d clung to the hope that it would – and Kurogane was certain they’d wasted far too much time on this wild goose chase already. If they didn’t find the humans soon…

“Once you’ve got your wings back – after we’ve finished this little mission,” Fay continued, “What will you do?”

Kurogane stared at him skeptically. How many times had they had this conversation? How many evenings had they spent, drowning in cheap alcohol and self-pity, hashing and rehashing this topic? “I’m-”

“Going to back to the palace-”

“Why do you ask if you already know?” Kurogane huffed.

“Just making conversation, Kuro-rin,” Fay assured him, “You never know when something might change…”

“Why would something change?” Kurogane demanded impatiently. He didn’t like the direction this conversation seemed to be heading in.

Fay chuckled. “I don’t know! You’re the one who’s always banging on about how the past means nothing and only new decisions are important. I thought maybe you might, you know, actually make some.”

“I made my decision long ago.”

“Yes, well, I did say new decisions.”

“You’re being willfully obtuse.”

“You’re so boring, Kuro-tan,” Fay chuckled, even as Kurogane rounded on him.

“Yeah! Kuro-puu is boring!” Mokona agreed.

Kurogane glared. “There’s nothing boring about wanting some stability in your life. Not everyone is happy flitting around with no purpose or cares.”

Fay laughed harder. “But you want to go back to being a fairy, of all things! There is no form of life more frivolous or flitting in all of creation!”

“Except for Mokona!”

Kurogane growled, “Which is why you fit in perfectly. And yet, you’re content to wander around just like this for the rest of your life.”

“I never said that.”

“You didn’t have to. You’ve never given a damn about anyone else, you’ve shrugged off the past six years as some sort of joke, even after it was your little party trick that got us into this mess.  You’ve sabotaged every single attempt you’ve made at completing this mission, and even now after you’ve completely screwed things up you’re still here – cracking jokes and treating it like a game!”

Fay was no longer laughing or smiling. “I give a damn. I really didn’t think this would go so wrong…”

“No?” Kurogane huffed, then relented, cringing at Fay’s crestfallen expression. “Oh for… Look, if you say you didn’t think so, I’ll believe you. But it’s just compounding what I’ve already said – you don’t care! If you cared, you’d have paid more attention!” 

“You’re right,” Fay stared at his feet, “I was sloppy. It won’t happen again.”

Kurogane frowned. He didn’t understand why Fay had even agreed to this if he didn’t want to return to being a fairy. He didn’t understand the logic behind putting so much effort into a task that yielded an undesirable (or at least not actively desired) reward. He didn’t understand…well…he didn’t understand Fay. His frowned deepend; that, he supposed, was not entirely true. He understood that, despite his overly friendly nature and penchant for meddling in other’s personal lives, Fay was an intensely private person who deflected any sort of curiosity about his past with foolishness, inquiries about his motivations with idiocy, and questions about his taste in décor with more lace. He could appreciate a desire for privacy (after all, he wasn’t terribly forthcoming about his own past or thoughts); he could accept that the man insisted on presenting himself as a walking contradiction. That didn’t mean he was going to pretend to understand why.

Still, Fay seemed sincere enough – he’d lived with him long enough to pick up on that, at any rate – and Kurogane wasn’t in much of a mood to argue with him at the moment. If Fay said he gave a damn, well, Kurogane would give him the benefit of the doubt. That’s what he’d said all along, hadn’t he?

“Come on,” Kurogane muttered, “Let’s just hurry up and-”


Both fauns spun as a flurry of activity erupted from the surrounding brush. A blur of flailing arms and legs fell to the ground, thrashing, kicking, ripping, smashing…

Kurogane knew in an instant that they’d stumbled on their targets.

And, uh, I was bored...  XD

 Chapter Five

January 2013

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