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18 September 2006 @ 05:04 pm
[Fic] Shovelling Snow  
For Hayama4, who requested Kurogane, Fai and snow with no Mokona interrupting. I apologise profusely for the extraordinary lateness. *Is suitably ashamed*

Thanks to cienna for the emergency!beta. Remaining mistakes still mine. Fai and Kurogane not mine.

Title: Shovelling Snow
Author: takadainmate
Words: 1,761
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Fai and Kurogane get metaphorical whilst trying not to blink.

Shovelling Snow

Many years ago, the village headman had told them, there lived a man who refused to shovel snow all winter.

The other villagers had watched as day after day after day thick, heavy snow fell on the man’s house. The roof creaked and moaned and still the man refused to shovel, even when his door was blocked and the buried windows bowed with the weight against them.

Then, one night, the roof gave way and the man was crushed to death.

So, they were told, it was against the law to refuse to shovel snow.

And if it wasn’t for that, and the fact that Kurogane really did prefer to leave the house via a door rather than an upstairs window, then he would never have agreed to spend several hours of every morning digging through dense white snow. With the mage. Who seemed to spend a large portion of the time trilling about how expensive heating was and wouldn’t it be better if maybe Kurogane slept in his bed so they could keep each other warm? To save money, of course. And no he didn’t have any ulterior motives and how could Kuro-chi even think something like that?

Kurogane, however, didn’t think it. He knew it. Fai’s hands always on him, or around him, or hovering somewhere in the vicinity, and the idiot’s face always with the look that there was something he wanted to say but just never did.

Plunging his shovel deep into more snow, Kurogane frowned and thought that if he had something he wanted to say he’d just come out and say it and not prance around the subject. But that was him and this was Fai.

And now it was starting to snow again. Just a few light flakes, but they froze his skin where they touched and melted, wet and uncomfortable, and Kurogane knew that the flakes would bring a shower, and then a fall, and then a storm and a blizzard. Then they would huddle inside the house, and Syaoran would build up the fire whilst Sakura poured tea and Fai talked. He’d talk until they could go outside again, when he’d talk some more about being able to go outside, or until night came and the children went to bed. Alone, inside, with darkness and heavy, smoky air around them, Fai would sit almost silently, watching the flames of the fire. And never turning towards the windows, where snow would inevitably be falling.

Kurogane swore under his breath, warm air visible against the cold, and threw a spade-full of snow to one side. He was sick of shovelling, sick of cold and snow and Fai and Kurogane wondered how Fai had ever been able to stand a lifetime of this. Perhaps, Kurogane wondered, that was why Fai was so mad. And perhaps Kurogane understood something of why Fai always looked away from the snow.

Stopping to brush flakes from his hair, Kurogane would have complained, but it was then that he noticed the quiet. There was what seemed like acres of snow left to shovel surrounding them and the idiot was just standing there. Doing nothing. All pale and annoying in the early morning light. Kurogane watched as Fai said nothing. It was not night. There was no fire to mask the silent fall of snow. Usually Fai would bounce and sing and try to grab him or hug him or something equally as irritating. But he just stood there with a vague smile on his lips.

“Oi,” Kurogane called, and thought for a moment that Fai hadn’t heard him, but then his head tilted backwards, hood slipping down, and he smiled at Kurogane.

“Did you say something, Kuro-pi?”

Kurogane glared and pointed at the patch of snow in front of the house Fai had failed to clear.

“We’ll be here all day if you don’t hurry up,” he grumbled, eyes shifting upwards. “And it’s going to start snowing hard again soon.”

Fai nodded, but made no move to start working again.

“Do you like this weather, Kuro-mi?” he asked instead, turning fully towards Kurogane and leaning on the handle of his spade.

“Of course not, idiot. Who would?” Kurogane spat in reply, went to shovel another load of snow but stopped and frowned thoughtfully. “Unless you do?”

“I don’t like shovelling snow,” Fai said, chuckling quietly and his eyes fixed on Kurogane.

“That’s not what I asked,” Kurogane snapped, meeting Fai’s gaze. The mage didn’t even blink.

“But it’s how I answered.”

The snow was falling harder now. Just like Kurogane had said. Soft drifts obscuring the image of Fai a few feet away. And now Kurogane wasn’t blinking either.

“You do that just to piss me off don’t you?” It wasn’t really a question, because Kurogane knew damn well that causing him irritation was Fai’s foremost aim in life. He asked it anyway, because there was a conversation in here somewhere and Kurogane was damn well going to find it.

The smile widened.

“Of course, Kuro-pu. Otherwise life would be so boring,” Fai laughed softly and still hadn’t blinked. Kurogane’s eyes were going dry, but he wasn’t about to lose this competition. He wasn’t going to think about just how pointless and childish that was either.

“There are better ways than being an idiot,” he said, knowing the insult would go nowhere but feeling that if Fai heard it enough times then maybe he’d start to believe it. Maybe he’d start to wonder if there was a better way too.

Fai raised an eyebrow, and Kurogane wondered if he’d done it because his eyes were dry too. Or if mages had self-watering eyes.

“Is that so?” Fai asked, mischievousness in his now decidedly husky voice. Kurogane would have narrowed his eyes even further, but thought that Fai might mistake that for victory. He wished the snow melting on his hair would drip down into his eyes. Or that Fai would just lose.

“Yes,” Kurogane said. “Like shovelling now so we don’t have to shovel it later.”

Fai tilted his head curiously and Kurogane was pleased that even through the snow he could see Fai’s face begin to scrunch up in what looked like discomfort.

“What difference does it make if we shovel it now or later though?” he asked, more seriously than Kurogane would have expected. And his eyes were really starting to hurt now, so he lifted his face to the sky only to hear Fai squawk indignantly, straighten up and point an accusing finger at him.

“That’s cheating!” he declared. Fai was blinking furiously, and Kurogane couldn’t help but grin.

“I didn’t realise there were any rules,” he sniggered, and was relieved to finally close his eyes. “And you’re changing the subject.”

“Your breaking the universally known rules was more important than talking about shovelling snow,” Fai said, shrugging. “And we should go inside or we’ll get buried.” Fai turned towards the house, away from the snow and away from him. So Kurogane made a decision then, out in the cold and the snow that was like Fai, and without really even considering that maybe he didn’t know what he was saying.

“Oh no you don’t,” he called, and sprinted the few steps to grab Fai’s arm. “We were talking.” He paused. “And I don’t cheat.”

He thought Fai might have laughed then, but it sounded dry.

“And what is it you have to say now, Kuro-tan?” Fai asked, but neither turned around to face him nor pulled away.

Then Kurogane remembered how not long ago he had thought that Fai had something to say to him. Not the other way around. And he remembered then that he was a ninja and did not play word games with idiots. Or anyone else.

“What does it matter? You won’t listen anyway. You won’t answer anything or say anything that means anything.” Kurogane’s voice was venomous even to his own ears, but he really couldn’t imagine how he could be expected to stand any more. Mistrust, apathy, fallacy. That’s all he ever got. All any of them ever got. And if the cold and the snow made Fai uncomfortable, then all the better.

“I listen,” Fai almost whispered, then his face turned to Kurogane’s and there was an odd sort of half-smile there. Kurogane thought it might be better than nothing. In these moments when there was honesty in Fai’s eyes, and they were this close, Kurogane could almost believe he didn’t mind Fai so much.

He shook his head, wondering if they would ever get past this hiding and competition. And somewhere along the way, somehow, without Kurogane even noticing it, he had been coerced into an odd agreement with Fai to never be anything more than passing acquaintances. They didn’t know anything about each other. They never offered, and no matter how much Kurogane tried, nothing ever changed.

Only something drastic, Kurogane decided. Fai was listening, and it had to be drastic. He was still holding Fai, and his fingers were starting to go numb from the snow and the grip. Cold all around them but hot breath between them and in that space Kurogane wanted to tell Fai that he would listen to anything Fai had to tell him, that he wouldn’t let him continue to not-live the way he did. He would tell him he would not let whoever it was that Fai feared so much hurt him. He would tell Fai whatever he wanted to know, and he would tell him everything he didn’t want to hear. Perhaps the ice and the emptiness of this world of ice had slowed his senses. Perhaps those nights before the fire and away from the snow when they sat together in something like comfortable silence and understand that things only ever went wrong when they talked, or even if Fai just talked. So Kurogane said nothing. Just closed the space between them and pressed his lips to Fai’s so he’d know and they could forgo any pointless uncertainty or Fai’s ridiculous and epic stupidity.

Fai pressed back, as Kurogane had expected he would, but he didn’t let this become another game or contest. He let Fai’s tongue find his and didn’t let Fai tease him or play him. He let his free hand take Fai’s back and pressed their bodies together. Like this, no words mattered. Because Fai would know, whether he liked it or not. And warm in each other’s arms and their mouths and noses and cheeks no longer separate they couldn’t even feel the snow anymore.

End

Edit: Now with italics because ahaha I forgot to format. Oops.
 
 
 
kryptydkryptyd on September 18th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
Yay!

I always think Fai would kiss Kurogane first but I liked Kurogane's thinking in this. Very sweet!
tingting: drinking partners by ciennatakadainmate on September 18th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
I think Kurogane would kiss Fai first.. I'm just optimistic XD Glad you enjoyed it.
Hayamahayama4 on September 18th, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC)
^_______^

arigatou gozaimasu!

I loved it! You have a nice writing style. Yay this fic made me happy ^_^
tingting: drinking partners by ciennatakadainmate on September 18th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
My pleasure! I had no idea what you wanted but after some beating I was actually quite happy with how this fic turned out. I'm very glad you liked it.
jasperspiffy_teacup on September 19th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)
Aww, that was sweet. :3 And very poetic.

xDDD And I love what Fay-chan said about the universally known rules. It's ridiculously true.

VERY FABULOUS STORY SO WRITE MORE PLZKTHX~~
tingting: drinking partners by ciennatakadainmate on September 19th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
Why thank you! I don't think my fic has ever been called poetic before.

And Kurogane was clearly FLAUNTING THEM.

I am indeed unstoppable in the KuroFai writing...
Noirla_vie_noire on September 19th, 2006 01:21 am (UTC)
I love you, I really do. Amazing.
tingting: KuroFai by evercooltakadainmate on September 19th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
Heh. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.
ユウイ: Kurogane/Faisnowaltz on September 19th, 2006 07:42 am (UTC)
From where the manga is going, I think Kurogane will kiss Fai first, that is, if there's a kissing scene in Tsubasa, hehe.

Lovely fic!
sexy collarbones: *glomp*rain_of_mind on September 19th, 2006 08:31 am (UTC)
Wonderful and touching fic. And Kurogane would kiss Fai first, because he would mean it. If Fai kissed first, it could be waved off as just one of his pranks and silly antics, but if Kurogane does it, it's for real.

♥~* you!
ontogenesis: papermoon_icons: wistfulontogenesis on September 19th, 2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
Quite nice, it's interesting how you used something as seemingly simple as shoveling snow to highlight the philosophical differences between the two. I find it very funny how quickly Kurogane decided that Fai was having a staring contest with him and of course refused to back down. ^^ They're both quite stubborn.

And somewhere along the way, somehow, without Kurogane even noticing it, he had been coerced into an odd agreement with Fai to never be anything more than passing acquaintances. They didn’t know anything about each other. They never offered, and no matter how much Kurogane tried, nothing ever changed.

Ah, this is a sad but insightful passage: that would explain why Fai is so surprised in recent chapters when Kurogane broke this unspoken agreement.

JoJo: Assassinshoratia on September 19th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
Very cute and well written. Makes the impending cold weather seem not so bad :)
Wrenfengtianshi on September 20th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
Sweet snowy fic! <3 I just love so much when they talk ad end up like this!^^
Pistachio: Hidekitto_kun on March 23rd, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
Thumbs up.
All these comments are from last year, and here I am, posting one in 2007.

I liked this story very much, very sweet. Gave me something to do during my Computer Application's class.