3 - Swallow Me Down, I am Your Alcohol

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A/N: This is still a rough draft, more or less. I'm planning to add on to it. So, if there's something you'd like to see in this chapter or even this story, comment and let me know, 'kay?  Or if you just like it.


The room was filled with flickering blue light, but the house was otherwise dark. Exaggerated voices and an occasional ridiculing snort of laughter were the only sounds. Kurogane leaned back on the couch, one arm slung over the back, the other supporting the can of beer than rested on his knee.

He was watching some game show, though it had nothing to do with any interest in the show. His cousin, Tomoyo, had left the TV on earlier when she visited, and he'd been too lazy to change the channel. As he watched a colorful wheel spin across the screen, his thoughts drifted.

He was trying to herd them away from speculations about the half-lit house next door when there was a knock on his door. He stood quickly, hoping-though he'd never admit it-that it might be the kids, and that they might have something to distract him from his own empty house.

Instead, slumped shoulders and messy blond hair met his eyes when he opened the door. Dim blue eyes were hidden from him by the silky hair falling into the pale face, but Kurogane could feel the seemingly lifeless gaze focused somewhere around his knees.

It had been almost a week since he'd last seen the idiot. Since his sudden fever on Monday, his seat had been empty. Kurogane had assumed he needed rest and hadn't checked up on him.

Now, his heart pounded painfully as conflicting emotions flooded him. Fear gripped him, because he knew that something was seriously wrong if Fai was coming to him without those annoying fake smile. At the same time, his attraction to the blond came back full force. Gods, he was beautiful...Next came anger, both at Fai for not having come to him sooner and at whoever had left the blond in this broken state. Most of all, he wished he had kept an eye on this idiot so things like this wouldn't happen.

"Can I...come in?" Fai asked softly, his hesitant voice breaking Kurogane's daze and twisting his heart painfully.

"Yeah," he replied quickly, his own voice soft but gruff with emotion. He stepped aside, but Fai didn't move. Kurogane side and reached out to take his arm, drawing him into the warmth of the house.

Fai stopped when Kurogane released his arm. Those blue eyes flickered around the darkened room like a skittish animal, uncomfortable and hyper-aware of his surroundings. Kurogane ran a hand through his dark hair, wondering how he could get the other boy to relax. His eyes fell on the can sitting on the corner of the coffee table.

"Uh, do you want a beer or something?" he offered, feeling a bit out-of-place himself.

The blond nodded absently; Kurogane wasn't sure his offer had really been processed and understood. Nevertheless, he left the room to retrieve ther beverage.

When he came back, Fai was standing exactly as he had left him. Biting back a sigh, Kurogane decided it was his job to manipulate his newfound drinking buddy into a more comfortable setting. He approached the blond, his ruby eyes watching intently for the slightest sign of an adverse reaction, and pressed the cold can into the long-fingered hand before steering the boy to the couch.

The movement seemed to rouse Fai. He blinked at the can he found himself holding and raised his hand slowly to open it. Satisfied, Kurogane let himself settle back into his previously occupied corner of the couch and return to his own drinking.

The swirling colors of the game wheel recaptured his attention for a moment, but a bright flash in his peripheral drew his gaze back to his companion.