So, in Tsubasa Caractere Chronicle, Mokona describes Kurogane and Fay as “veeery close friends”… which sounds suspiciously like there’s more to it. Mokona uses the phrase to describe the relationships between other characters, too, but in those cases it’s a simple, direct statement. You can see the term (仲良し nakayoshi) used here as well (toward Sakura), without any hidden meaning:
(Literally the term means “relationship [is] good” and refers to people who get along well.)
It’s also used here, from Watanuki to Mokona. As you can see, neither case contains Mokona’s giggles or an emphasis (“veeery”), let alone hearts.
Speaking of which: If you compare the different relationship charts, you’ll see that, while Mokona often says that someone “really loves” (大好き daisuki) other person, hearts are not always used. Most hearts can be seen in Mokona’s self-analysis, all in relation to the people who love Mokona… But other than that, hearts are used only on two charts: Syaoran’s, toward Sakura… and Kurogane’s, toward Fay. (Kurogane and Fay also appear on only two charts each – toward Mokona and toward each other.)
But even beyond the hearts and the declaration of their close relationship, Tsubasa Caractere Chronicle offers another interesting detail. And like so many moments between Kurogane and Fay in the manga itself, the detail is somewhat subtle but very unambiguous. And, once again, it’s a Tomoyo who provides this insight. (Bless those girls!)
In her assessment of the furisode, Tomoyo mentions that it is “strangely radiating sex appeal”… And the term used there (色気 iroke) really does mean “sex appeal” (“sensuality” or “eroticism” are also possible translations). Given the historical symbolism of a man wearing a furisode (that he’s a warrior’s lover), there’s really no denying that the outfit was deliberately chosen to mean exactly what we always knew it meant. Here’s our proof!
Interestingly, the image of Fay in his furisode and the image of Kurogane in his crescent-moon-design kimono used here are from the exact same panel (found at the end of chapter 180, volume 23). Moreover, Tomoyo mentions that they both look very good in these distinctively Japanese clothes… Is this foreshadowing their future in Nihon together? I certainly hope so <3