Characters: Sakura and Fay (and a little of R!Syaoran, Kurogane, and Mokona), C!Syaoran/Sakura and KuroFay
Warnings: Acid Tokyo/Infinity spoilers
Summary: 11½ moments in Infinity.
Disclaimer: Clamp owns; please don't let them attack me.
A/N: For the lovely narrow_my_bed. 1000 words total; each section is 75, except for the first and last, which are each 125. As a side note, I have no idea what they're actually playing. I'm as unenlightened as Sakura when it comes to card games.
She is the one to turn over the first card on the stack in front of them: the ten of hearts.
“You know that hearts are a good sign, Sakura-chan?” he asks, playing with the card idly, smiling.
She shakes her head. Your smile’s so fake.
“Hearts are the best suit of all; spades are supposed to be the worst. Hearts seem like a good suit for you anyway, don’t you think?”
Sakura is getting to that age now. Mens’ eyes follow her; Fay worries. He spends one day on the verge of saying something, which is agonizing because he has no idea what it ought to be.
Just as he is about to go out that night, she appears in the hallway behind him, looking like she never was asleep in the first place. But she is the one who has the words.
“Fay-san? Be careful.”
He never understood religion, not until now. The people in this world believe in their guilt, their frailties, lurid gifts which are God’s only compensation for the fact that He has deemed none of them worthy of grace.
Feeling for the first time in forever like he finally has found the right words for what has always been on the tip of his tongue, Fay wants to run his hands across the murals.
Syaoran is already passed out on the floor when Fay comes home, but Kurogane is still awake. He always is.
“You want a drink?” he asks, gesturing with the sake bottle. He doesn’t add, Come back over here.
“I don’t,” he replies, stopping and then turning back, leaning as far as he can over the arm of the couch until he can whisper in his ear, “I don’t want anything to drink from you, Kurogane.”
At least, thinks Fay, this place is rather stylish. He likes the curlicues in the furniture, the mirror in a huge wrought iron frame.
Sakura hates it, not because she hates the style, but because it reminds her of herself. She feels the seams in the upholstery and wonders if she too were put together like this– not as well, of course.
She feels her heartbeat and then she says to herself, Somebody made this.
Syaoran, she thinks, is probably the best person out of all of them. She can see it when she looks into his eyes.
She is an imitation; Fay is... she couldn’t say quite what he is, but she knows the feeling; Kurogane has probably seen everything there is to see; Mokona is in its own way ineffable. But Syaoran reminds her of a young fairytale prince.
(Doesn’t he know that went out of style ages ago?)
They like the smell of vanilla, flour, vegetable oil– innocence. It’s soothing just to keep stirring the spoon around and around in the bowl, to do something that doesn’t require you to think. The cakes turn out well; there are only five but everyone eats one except for Sakura. For once, Mokona doesn’t eat Kurogane’s.
Later, Fay finds one sitting on a napkin on the windowsill, the window open.
“That one’s for Syaoran-kun,”she explains.
One night, Sakura has the most beautiful dream. She is walking with Yukito and her brother, who is being nice for once and not teasing her. Instead, he is talking with his friend, ignoring her, but she likes the rhythm of their conversation, the way that the high priest makes her feel included even when he isn’t speaking directly to her.
(But she wakes realizing she never knew any of those people, not even herself.)
She pulls the corset strings as tight as she can until in the end he is forced to help her. The black leather shines in the light, pushes up what could barely be called cleavage.
He doesn’t say, Sakura-chan, aren’t you too young for that? But he thinks it.
Later, he realizes he was only looking at it from the wrong angle: dressed all in black, she looks so severe. She does not smile anymore.
Mokona cries too, now. That’s surprising, Sakura supposes, but it didn’t surprise her. (Nothing surprises her anymore; now she understands.) She sits perfectly still, holding it close even though she doubts that she has any comfort left in her to give. They are alike; they are both created lives. Mokona is not fake, not in the way that she and Fay are, but... There is a bond there.
Maybe added together they make one whole.
He is sitting and pretending to read when she storms back into the room. Not really. She doesn’t look upset. But she is.
“I hate him, you know that? I hate looking at him. Why does he have to be so... why does he have to look like Syaoran-kun? Mine.”
Fay understands; he hates too.
“Don’t think about him. We’ll just stay here. By ourselves.”
“Love sucks, doesn’t it?” she says, smiling a little, just for once.
There is only one card left in the stack, so they will leave it and play the ones left in their hands: one apiece. All that Fay ended up with is the two of diamonds; he must know that he’ll lose and Sakura is half hoping that he’ll just forfeit and she won’t have to play her hand. No such luck.
So sets her card down on the table: king of hearts. And then, just as Fay is about to congratulate her for winning, she tosses it aside.
“He doesn’t belong here,” she says, and Fay gives her real smile this time, which is smaller and sadder than the others; he knows what she means.
She turns over the one remaining card.
Queen of spades.