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00oo-

T h e . . l
- prompt fic for lj user tsukiyo-tea -

-oo00

He jerked upright with a gasp that was drowned out by the pouring rain.

Gravity spun haphazardly, pitching him back onto the flooding ground. There was a burning tightness devouring him from the inside out, phantom stars flickering behind his eyes – a testament to his magic having gone suicidal. It took him a long moment to remember how to blink, and even longer how to breathe, before he chanced the strength of his body once more.

One blue eye found Syaoran, struggling from the aftermath of the battle they'd left worlds behind. The boy was gathering Sakura's limp body into his arms with shaking hands, as Mokona hovered around them. Lightning shattered the oily sky above, the resulting thunder lodging a familiar panic in his chest. It took too many heartbeats to find Kurogane, a few yards away, sprawled on his back and pale enough to rival fresh snow.

A halo of cherry-tinted water formed a backdrop on the ninja's left side.

The mud made him slip and scramble; there's was so much of it, like the whole world was made of it. There was mud on his clothes, in his hair, sliding down his face, down his neck – masking the stains of his consistently-bloodied hands. Mud had to be in his skull, too, because this wasn't how Fai was supposed to react.

"Yuui-san?"

Mm. Right.

Fumbling to turn Kurogane on his good side, he didn't even bother with human formalities. The monster within him had seen his beautiful sacrifice crippled to the point of death too many times to suffer sanity. No; those blue eyes weren't so blue anymore.

Though he didn't know any healing spells, he did know one other way. Chilling warmth smothered his lips and coated his mouth as he pressed his face where Kurogane's arm had once been. That wicked dose of mortality still anchored to his being wailed that this wasn't enough, it wouldn't save him, the ninja was already too far gone to be pulled back.

"I'm still going to TRY!" he snarled, inner demons cowering into a buzzing anxiousness.

No one was near. A miracle in the form of a bustling city or late-night town gathering or any other form of life was not here; he couldn't sense anyone else but the five of them. He desperately lapped at the broken flesh, trembling as he witnessed it repair under his tongue – not complete, but no longer gaping.

Both sides of the half-vampire, half-man coin that he had been forged as halted, fire exploding in the air. Reality was a mere mirage as he resumed his sentence in the oblivion of the unconscious. When he again awoke, a cascade of red obstructed the whole half of his face, but he refused to let it blind him. The sudden blow was identified in the splintered remains of a tree he hadn't realized was there, flames licking at the wood and being slowly extinguished by the storm.

And because it could, the lightning strike had ruined his patch job on Kurogane.

Syaoran had been knocked out, Sakura was still comatose, and Mokona was equally shocked into silence. It was a pretty sure thing that the ninja wouldn't be among the animated very soon – if he lived at all. Twin tears to the ones he'd shed at a child, alone and curled atop a pile of bodies at the bottom of an endless tower, washed away his sight.

Abruptly, he let out a hoarse wail. Fragmented images of a guardian draped in ivory, blind-folded and beaten while being carried by the innocent came to clarity in his mind... though it could have just been his traitorous body playing tricks. He was being taunted with freedom; he was being taunted with lies. Universes he could have partaken in were being waved in front of his face like one dog watching another chew on a succulent bone. Dear mercy, did he ever want a taste.

Wasn't he allowed to know what it was like to be okay for once?

Absolutely not, was the whisper of the sand sifting around, undaunted. It was falling all around them – the sky wasn't showering liquid anymore; it was unleashing a desert, burying them all in a thick layer of scorching hopelessness, trapping them and weighing them down until every dimension was drenched with it.

He tilted his head back to meet it, willing himself to be lost faster. Anything was better than this torture; anything was better than a withered heart that couldn't die. Please let this wounded angel plunge into Hell and be done with it, he begged.

"Grant them forgiveness and take me as the price."

But even without any crimson glares of disapproval, Yuui's wish wasn't granted.

Yeeaah, another one from me. Yeeaah, another manga chapter 166 alert. W00t for spamming. -sheepish look- To see the picture this prompt was based off of, search for "The Wounded Angel" on Wikipedia - it should be a painting. Thank you for reading!

-LJW