Author's Notes: At this point in time, Yue still doesn’t know if he approves of ten-year old genki Sakura being the master of Clow’s Cards, but he will perform his duty to the best of his ability. He thinks duty is all he has left since Clow is gone. I somehow have this idea of Yue being the type who can’t let go of things unless someone gives him a big hit on the head.
Shadows of the Moon
My master may no longer be Clow, for whom I still mourn, but I will perform my duty for this little girl-child to he best of my ability. Not that the Card Captor is not capable or worthy, if she had not she would not have passed the Judgement –
- which had already been decided even before I had been awakened.
If Kaho had not been there with Clow’s bell, would Sakura have passed the Judgement?
Can Sakura handle the burden of the Cards by herself? I look at her, a child in a raincoat with a staff, the Sun Guardian at her side. It seems almost ridiculous.
She doesn’t look much like her brother . . .
Why do I suddenly think of him?
As if feeling my eyes on her, Sakura turns. She stares at me for a few moments. Is it just me or does she seem uncomfortable?
"Um . . ."
I look straight back, ignoring the rain that is soaking through my robes and my hair. It might be a problem to fly though.
"Yukito-san . . ." she says at last. "He doesn’t remember anything when you are Yue, right?"
I thought Kerberos had explained this to her. "Yes."
"So what about when you are you?" she asks. "What about when you change into Yukito-san?"
"I remember everything that happens in my false form," I answer patiently. I wonder if Sakura is old enough to understand. Perhaps I should leave it at that - I myself have enough trouble trying to sort my two selves out, and it will not do any good to confuse the Card Captor any further. She has enough things to worry about apart from me.
"Uh . . . ok . . ."
She doesn’t understand. If anything, she looks nervous. She never looks like that when with Kerberos. I can never seem to relate to others, because no one is able to understand me – not that many people see me anyway. All they see is a smiling face that isn’t really mine.
Only Clow . . .
Power . . .
"Sakura!" Kerberos is more alert than me. I angrily shake myself out of my melancholy. The rain has collected into one large pool in the sky and before I can react, huge streams of water are shooting down from it towards the Card Captor, who clutches her staff and freezes to the ground.
Stupid girl! Immediately I jump into the damp air and spread my wings, Kerberos beside me, ready to defend –
"What the-?!" exclaims the Sun Guardian.
I turn to look at him, and find that I can’t. Something is holding me back.
"I can’t . . . move . . ."
Why? What power is holding us here? I try to break it, summoning all the magic I have. No one traps me, the best of Clow’s creations!
It takes all the strength I have just to move my head at Kerberos’ cry. I look up – the water has turned into a gigantic waterspout and swept Sakura into it. The water roars, overpowering the Sun Guardian’s own roar. Whatever power is controlling it is extremely strong. The Cards don’t have this much power! Only one person in existence had been able to do something like this . . .
The signature of this power . . .
I see Sakura being tossed around like a rag doll. She can’t breath, she will drown – again, I throw my will at the invisible bindings that hold me, to no avail. If anything, they grow tighter, and Kerberos and I fall to our knees. The force that is at work is definitely not a Clow Card – we are the most powerful of the Cards.
"This power . . ."
"I know!" rumbles Kerberos. He is desperate – more desperate than I to break free and go to the Card Captor’s aid. But the power that holds us – I know it, I know it from somewhere else!
What’s happening? I can just barely make out the tiny form that is the Card Captor in the middle of the water. Why can’t I break free and help her? She will drown -
A familiar symbol begins to appear in the air around Sakura, still trapped in the water, her eyes closed in concentration. But . . .
My eyes go wide.
"This magic -!"
"It’s not Clow magic!" yells Kerberos.
Instead of the Sun being in the middle and my symbol off to one side, there is now a magnificent star. The Sun and Moon have moved to flank it at the east and west points. It is Clow’s symbol, and yet it isn’t – what is going on?!
Somehow Sakura manages to whirl the staff and command whatever Card she has chosen.
The fire card, an attack card capable of beating Watery and one of the most powerful. The staff – the star spins and the tiny wings expand. This staff, the new one created during the Judgement with Kaho, with which Sakura defeated me . . .
‘Firey’ is brought to life, a raging elemental of fire. It swoops around the waterspout, engulfing it in flames. The bonds constrict, trapping the water, shrinking it – Sakura just manages to jump out and land heavily on the ground as a gigantic ball of steam explodes behind her.
"She did it!"
Does Kerberos have to state the obvious?
Without warning, I am free of whatever was holding me. Kerberos immediately rushes over to Sakura, who is breathing heavily. I follow at a more sedate pace. She is obviously alright. She is perfectly fine. She didn’t even need me.
"Eh?" The Card Captor looks at us as if only just realising we are there. She stands and wobbles. "Kero-chan . . . Yue-san . . . he re . . ."
With a barely repressed sigh, I move to pick her up. She is light, lighter than I would imagine humans to be, and soaking wet. She might catch a cold. Of its own accord, the staff glows and reverts back to its key form, and I loop it around her neck.
"Is she all right?!" demands the Sun Guardian worriedly. "Where’s she hurt?!"
I give him my best look of restrained patience.
Sakura should get home before anyone notices she is gone. Carefully I carry her in my arms and begin walking back to the house. Kerberos hovers worriedly at my side but I ignore him. My attention is not on him, or Sakura, or even Sakura’s brother.
Clow. I am sure that the signature of the power that Sakura fought tonight is Clow’s.
But Clow Reed is dead.
So . . .
I stumble, jolting Sakura as she sleeps in my arms. She’s not the only one feeling tired.
Strange. There wasn’t any stone or obstacle in my path for me to trip on.
We reach the house with no further incident. I stretch out my senses – no, no one is home yet. I have a few more minutes grace. Kerberos nudges the door open for me and I carry Sakura inside into the living room.
Now what do I do?
"Put her to bed," suggests Kerberos. His voice sounds different . . . he has already changed back into his false form. Practical, I suppose, when he wants to move around indoors. Should I change as well?
I’m tired . . . why do I feel tired? Sleep is looking better and better.
"Oi. You going to stand there until her brother comes home?"
I shake myself out of my stupor and look at the little stuffed toy of a Guardian. "Stop it. I’m thinking."
I give him a level glare. He doesn’t take any notice, not that he ever has before.
"She can’t go to sleep in wet clothes," I say at last.
"Change her then."
Another glare. This time he actually looks away. Progress, I suppose.
"You do it. You’re the one that lives with her," I retort.
"You have hands."
We look at each other. Kerberos has a cheeky smile on his face. I think he likes annoying me.
Before I open my mouth, I sense a presence approaching the house. Quickly I lay Sakura down on the couch and will myself to change as Kerberos flies quickly upstairs. I fumble my way through the spell, the usually automatic transformations of shape and mind for some reason don’t come immediately. The fight must have taken more out of me than I realise. Strange, because I didn’t really do any fighting . . .
Finally, the transformation is complete.
Yukito blinked once, then twice. He was standing in the middle of the Kinomoto’s living room. Wasn’t he at the door before, saying goodbye to Touya? No matter – he’d better get back to the kitchen and help Sakura clean up.
There was the sound of soft breathing behind him. Yukito turned, absently realising that it had finally stopped raining. Lolling on the couch was Sakura. She was soaking wet, and asleep.
Yukito rubbed his eyes, and his head. Why was Sakura sleeping in wet clothes? Why was she wet in the first place? Then he looked at his watch. Hadn’t it just been after dinner? For some reason his watch said it was nearly nine o’clock. Maybe it was wrong – he looked at the clock on the mantle piece to check. No, the clock said the same thing, so his watch was right.
Where had the last hour or so gone then?
There was the sound of footsteps in the hallway. Yukito rubbed his eyes and forced his tired legs (why was he tired?) to go to the hall. Something like a headache rolled through him, and he leaned against the wall, holding a hand to his head and closing his eyes.
Yukito looked up. Touya was back from his job. The taller boy hung a dry umbrella in the stand before coming over to his friend.
"You okay? You look a bit out of it."
Yukito smiled reassuringly. "Ne, I think I’m alright."
Touya frowned. "Did you faint again or something?"
The other boy stopped, smile falling from his face. Faint . . . that could explain the gap in his memory.
Touya looked at his friend pointedly. "You did faint, didn’t you."
Yukito absently brushed pale hair out of his eyes. "I think I might have," he said slowly. Suddenly the headache came back and he rubbed his temple.
A hand grabbed his elbow and began insistently pulling him back into the lounge. "You’d better sit down," he distantly heard Touya say. The hand moved to his shoulder and firmly pushed him into the chair. Then it was removed. Yukito opened his eyes. Touya was leaning over Sakura, his hand on her head feeling her temperature. Whatever he registered made him frown, and the frown grew bigger as he realised Sakura was soaking wet. Quickly Touya pulled the saturated rain-coat and outer clothes off, frowning as he looked at the necklace the girl was wearing, then removed his own jumper and draped it over the girl. Then he looked at Yukito questioningly.
"What happened to Sakura?" Touya asked.
Yukito tried to smile weakly, but the expression faded before it had even appeared.
"I . . . I’m not sure," he said lamely.
"What do you mean ‘not sure’?" asked Touya. Yukito began to feel rather uncomfortable. The look on Touya’s face, it was the expression he always showed to Li Syaoran. Yukito had never had it directed at him before. Anything he was planning to say died on his tongue.
Immediately Touya’s expression changed to one of concern. "I’m sorry, Yuki, I’m not mad, it’s just . . ." He trailed off and tried to cover it by tucking his jumper around Sakura. Then he got up and stood awkwardly over Yukito who looked up at him with wide eyes. "If you fainted, it’s not your fault that you don’t know what happened. Um, look, I think you’d better get some sleep – I’ll put Sakura to bed and walk you home. Unless you want to sleep over of course."
Yukito smiled his usual charming smile, and everything was better. "Thanks, but I think I’d better just go home. We do have school tomorrow."
Slowly Touya returned the smile. "Uh yeah, I forgot that," he said sheepishly.
Yukito practically falls asleep the moment Touya leaves him at the door. It takes all the effort we can muster to prepare for bed. The moment he does get under the covers, Yukito is out like a light.
I feel so . . . exhausted. Drained would probably be a better word. I don’t know why.
Wait, I can’t sleep yet. There are too many things for me to worry about.
That aura behind the water spell – I am sure it was that of Clow Reed. But he is dead, so that is impossible. Not even the greatest magician can cheat death. Maybe someone else, some relative of his? Maybe one of the Li clan? But only the boy is here, and he does not have anywhere near the power to control such a spell.
How did Sakura break it anyway? That was not Clow magic that she used. That was not Clow’s Seal. That Seal had the Star as the main focus, and Sakura’s staff has the star on it. She used that staff to command the Cards. But the Cards are that of Clow, and only a practitioner of Clow’s magic should therefore be able to use the Cards.
Unless, someone is powerful enough to override Clow’s command and use the Cards themselves . . .
Which is what Sakura did. It could explain why she is so tired, if she has had to forcefully change one of the most powerful of the Cards.
And it could possible explain why I feel so strange too. I wonder if Kerberos is also having problems.
If Sakura is supporting the Cards with her own power, this will cause problems. I wonder if Sakura will be able to support me. Perhaps I had better increase the amount of food Yukito eats, if I can no longer rely on the Card Captor.
Wonderful. As if my life isn’t complicated enough as it is.
Yukito frowns in his sleep. I feel guilty about being able to nothing to help Sakura, and Yukito feels guilty about not being able to keep a watch over her.
That look Touya gave me – Yukito. He seemed almost angry with his friend. And Yukito felt bad.
I had failed to protect my master. Yes, she had pulled through by herself, but that is beside the point. The point is that I, the Moon Guardian whose duty is to protect the Cards and their Master, failed in my duty.
And because of that failure, Touya had gotten angry. With his best friend.
It hurts. I don’t want him to be angry with me. No, Yukito doesn’t want him to be angry.
I have not felt this way since . . .since those few times I irritated Master Clow. He was always willing to forgive me. It didn’t mean I could forgive myself.
It will not happen again.
Return to Archive | next | previous