Author's Notes: This was an absolute beast of a chapter. Yue and Yukito are slowly becoming one person, and getting their/his thinking straight really makes you want to tear your hair out.
The main problem with Yue is that his memory of Clow is a major obstacle to anything he may feel for Touya. He has a hard time accepting his feelings because he can’t forget his dead master. The best way to get around this in a story would have been to make Clow tell Yue not to be such a dolt but since I’m following canon story-line, I can’t do that. I can, however, make Yue forget Clow. Not completely forget, but rather, distance him from his memories, and let Yue come to terms with Clow’s departure, giving him room to move on *nudges Touya*. So when Eriol says, ‘I’ll make you forget’, I’ve interpreted it not just as Yue forgetting he saw Clow, but also, forget Clow himself in a way. ‘Forgetting’ is a major theme in Card Captor Sakura. The outcome of a failed Judgment was that the Cards would forget everything in order not to hurt, so this is a little spin on that. The problem with using first person Yue POV and Yukito-centric third person POV is that it is difficult to show what Eriol is doing, but I hope you can understand the ‘forget’ part.
Yes, I am aware that you can read something deeper into the Clow-brushing-Yue’s-hair memory. It’s done on purpose; nothing of the sort happened at all, but there is that hint of sensuality in it that Yue remembers most.
Orpheus was a musician of Greek mythology, who descended into the land of the dead, to ask Hades, god of the Underworld, to let his dead wife, Eurydice, return to him. Hades granted his wish on the condition that Orpheus did not look back at her as he ascended back to the mortal world. Orpheus obeyed until the very last moment, when he turned to see if Eurydice was following. Having looked at her before she returned to the sun, Hades claimed her back and Orpheus had to go home broken-hearted and alone. Having that one chance dangled in front of you, giving you a chance to taste that ‘what could be’ then going no further would make you hurt more afterwards having been so close and yet so far. Poor Yue.
What’s going on with Yue now? Go read Yukito’s little scene with Sakura at the end of manga 12.
Shadows of the Moon
Nothing makes sense to me any more. I sleep each night not knowing what to expect next day when I wake – if I will wake at all. It is perfectly possible that I will close my eyes one night and never open them again.
I look forward to it. I can sleep, forever, never again feeling the pain and loneliness that I have known ever since Clow died.
But in this sleep, I will never again dream.
Someone calling him.
“Oi, Tsukishiro! You awake in there?”
Yukito looked up, startled, blinking away hazy images of moonlit water. A vaguely familiar face was looking concernedly into his. What was this student’s name again . . . “Oh, hello Asaba-kun,” he said tiredly. “What’s the matter?”
The other boy seemed harried. “One of our archery team members just dropped out with a sprained wrist,” Asaba explained. “We’ve got a competition after school today, and we really need you to help us out. You free this afternoon?”
Yukito’s first instinct was to say yes. He always enjoyed helping others. Being needed, being useful . . . yes, that felt good. But a part of him had been sulking recently, since last night when Sakura had gone out in fact. That part of him found some minor delight in the power to say yes or no to his fellow student asking for help.
And really, I’m too tired.
“Gomen ne, Asaba-kun,” said Yukito with his best attempt at a rueful smile. “I don’t think I’ll be able to make it.”
He watched Asaba blink in surprise, then say, “Oh ok . . . I understand, but can I ask why? You’ve always been good for help before.”
. . . just go away and let me sleep.
Yukito groped for words. “I . . .”
“What Tsukishiro-kun is trying to say is that he really can’t be bothered,” a voice behind him said airily.
Asaba looked up. “Oh, hi Akizuki-san,” he greeted her.
This person. Again. What does Akizuki want with me this time?
How does she plan to hurt me?
Slowly, Yukito turned around. Sure enough, Akizuki stood behind him, long strawberry-blond hair swept back in two clips. There was a smile on the girl’s face Yukito wasn’t sure if he was comfortable with.
The girl looked at him. “You don’t want to help out, do you, Tsukishiro-kun,” said Akizuki sweetly.
Asaba hastily waved his hands. “No, no, really, it’s ok if Tsukishiro can’t do it,” he said before Yukito could answer.
“But that’s the point,” Akizuki said. “It’s not that he can’t, it’s that he won’t.”
Yukito stiffened. Asaba looked confused. “Huh?” the student asked.
Akizuki came a step or two closer. “Ask Tsukishiro-kun what he has after school today,” she said to Asaba as if Yukito wasn’t present. “Go on. Ask him. He’s harmless.”
Asaba shook his head. “No, really, it’s none of my business.”
Akizuki smiled, but not pleasantly. “Alright, then I’ll ask.” She turned to Yukito with a sweet smile. “So what do you have after school, Tsukishiro-kun?” he asked.
Yukito had a sudden flash of insight into how a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car must feel.
“. . . . Nothing.”
Asaba looked faintly offended. Akizuki one the other hand, looked triumphant.
I have a witness. I’m not allowed to do anything to Akizuki. Not that I have the strength to do so, but that’s beside the point.
Akizuki shot another smirk at Yukito before turning to Asaba with a completely different expression. “But I’m free this afternoon, Asaba-kun,” she said, eyes wide and open. “And I don’t mind helping out at all.”
Asaba looked at her, turning his back on Yukito. Whether the action was premeditated or not, the silver-haired boy wasn’t sure. “How good are you in archery, Akizuki-san?” asked the student, all business.
Akizuki winked. “As good as Tsukishiro-kun. Actually, better than him.”
Asaba’s eyebrows rose. “That’s quite a boast,” he said. “Ok, you’re in. If you’re half as good as you say you are, Seijou’s should win.”
Yukito might not have even been present for all the attention they were giving him.
But then again, that feeling wasn’t new to him.
So now both my forms, true and false, are ignored. Appropriate, I suppose, for one who is fading away.
Unable to think of anything to do or say, Yukito stood off to one side as the other two students discussed arrangements for that afternoon. Knowing his presence was superfluous, Yukito quietly turned to walk away.
Yukito stopped. Unease settling into his gut, he turned back towards the pair, despite his every instinct telling him not to. After all, it would be impolite to ignore Akizuki’s call, and Yukito was a very polite person.
The girl was smirking at him again.
“It seems that I replace you in more ways than one,” she said cryptically. “So,” she continued as if discussing the weather. “How’s my Touya-kun?”
Yukito stiffened. The use of the possessive caused his eyes to shift to a slightly purple hue.
I clench my fists. Since when has To-ya been hers?
Before I know it, I walk deliberately over towards Akizuki. She doesn’t flinch; rather, she folds her arms and smiles, as if daring me to do something. Perhaps sensing the tension, or maybe because Yukito’s completely out-of-character behavior is making his eyes go wide, Asaba backs away.
“Uh, I think I’ll go check what time we have to meet after school, ok, Akizuki-san?” the student says nervously. As soon as he reaches a safe distance, he turns and runs. I pay no attention to his leaving. Neither does Akizuki for that matter.
“What are you going to do?” she asks me softly. “What can you do?”
I want to do something. I should do something. But I hold myself back. I don’t do this. I don’t lose control. So I stand, staring into Akizuki’s eyes, amethyst-tinge to mahogany, hands trembling at my sides.
Akizuki is the one to break the tension.
“I thought so,” she says with the satisfaction of one who has had their hypothesis confirmed. “You can’t do anything.”
And with that, she turns and leaves.
I stare after her. I know that gradually, pieces of Yukito are fitting with pieces of me because of this hurt I – we, feel.
I don’t want to hurt.
It is tiring to pull myself back. But I do it anyway.
Exhaustion roiled through Yukito as Akizuki disappeared out of sight, and he wavered where he stood. His hand fumbled for support and found it. Wood, hard and unresponsive. He leaned against the tree heavily, wondering why he felt so hollow.
Had he been expecting someone to appear like magic to hold him?
It didn’t matter if he had or not – because there was no one there.
No one. Why do I keep hoping? Nobody knows I exist, except for Sakura and her closest friends. And even she does not know the extent of my condition. And I won’t let her know. Neither will Kerberos. Because even if she does know, there is nothing she can do. She will just hurt. I don’t want that. If she is sad, all her friends will be sad. Yukito will be sad. And that would also make To-ya sad.
. . . I don’t want that.
I close my eyes. This question again. To-ya, Master, and my own confused self.
At least when I disappear I won’t have to answer it.
“You boys on clean-up duty. Now.”
Hiding another yawn behind his hand, Yukito slowly rose from his desk and made his way over to where the rubbish bags were kept. Someone handed him one; he took it and mechanically began to make his way to the door. Touya was waiting for him there.
“Where were you at break?” the taller boy asked as they all made their way to the schoolyard.
Yukito rubbed his eyes tiredly. “By the trees. Where were you?”
“I told you, I had a meeting.” Touya looked at his friend. “Don’t you remember?”
“Oh yeah . . .” One by one, the group of boys shrank as students wandered off to various areas of the school to clean up. Yukito tried to smile. “I forgot.”
Touya’s lips tightened, but he didn’t say anything.
I’ve been forgetting a lot of things lately. It’s more evidence of me fading.
This is what I’ve wanted, ever since Clow died.
And yet, and yet . . .
Touya was told to go check the basketball courts for rubbish, while Yukito had to go patrol the Seijou/Tomoeda school fence-line. The two friends obeyed with great reluctance; Yukito in particular, was loath for some reason to see Touya’s departing back .
. . . so little time left . . .
He yawned again as Touya disappeared from view and made his way over to the fence, dragging the rubbish bag behind him with one hand and rubbing his eyes with the other.
“Even walking only this far makes me tired . . .” The sun seemed really to bright today. It washed out Yukito’s already-pale skin, making him look almost ghostly. “Wonder if I’m waking up too early . . .” he murmured to himself.
It was then that he saw the boy.
There was nothing really extraordinary about him. He was wearing a Tomoeda sports uniform, and the boy looked to be about ten, though perhaps a little tall for his age. He had very dark hair that gave off indigo highlights in the sun, and friendly eyes of nearly the same colour. His face looked very kind.
Sensing Yukito’s presence, the boy turned. He smiled at him from behind a pair of simple glasses.
I change before I’m even aware that I am doing so. Exhaustion strikes immediately – I am wasting energy doing this, when I should be trying to save myself, but I don’t care. It is him, he has come back – I shake wings and hair loose, hovering in the autumn air like a falling leaf above him, this face, this person I love –
– in the body of a child –
“. . . Clow?!”
He looks up at me, perhaps only a little surprised. I can’t think, my heart races. I know it is him, I know this is my beloved master but –
“Why are you here in this form?” I demand. My voice is breaking. Clow – was he alive all this time? All this time that I have been mourning and hurting and believing that – “Clow is dead!”
He smiles at me. The same smile. My Clow has returned! I’ve dreamt of this for so long, not daring to believe, but this is not how I imagined our reunion to be! Why does he smile at me like that?! That smile, that secret, enigmatic smile that told me that I could not touch him, that told me that his mind was on the greater plan, not the individual.
One second, one realization, that’s all it takes for your world to break sometimes.
Why didn’t he tell me he was alive?!
Instinctively I reach out with one trembling hand to touch my beloved Master’s face – but then Clow raises his hand before me. He makes the tiniest of gestures; I stare, unable to move, feeling the rushing torrent of power, that power I love and need so desperately, sweeping over me, and then, and then . . .
“I’m sorry for disturbing you.”
The man looked up, a little surprised, then yawned. “No, it’s perfectly all right, Yue,” he said. He stretched his arms, sleeves of his robes slipping down. “It’s about time I stopped tonight anyway.”
Hesitantly he moved closer. His wings were too big for the door – with a slight moment of concentration, they disappeared, changing him from heavenly angel to a pale, beautiful youth. “Are you sure, Master? Because I can wait -”
He stopped as the magician rose and came to him, placing a hand under his chin and making him look up into those kind eyes.
“I’m glad you came.”
Yue gazed at Clow wordlessly, and felt himself relax at his master’s smile.
. . . forget . . .
“That Kerberos - !” Anger, the kind children feel when a sibling has just won a round. He glared at an inoffensive lark on the window-sill. “I swear next time he does this I’ll -”
“Hush now.” Hands, strong and gentle, running through his hair. “He was only teasing.”
He felt his eyes closing despite himself, the rhythmic motions of the brush calming him. “He may have been teasing, but my hair is not a cat toy.”
A small chuckle, more felt than heard, warming him with its sound. “Just sit still, my Moon Angel, and I’ll get these tangles out.”
Hands, now on the nape of his neck . . . Yue sighed, giving himself up completely to Clow’s touch.
. . . forget . . .
He watched, spell-bound, as the Cards hovered in the air around him like a shining necklace. Outside the circle, a darkly glowing figure raised an immense wand as if it weighed nothing, murmuring a command that thrummed in the air itself.
“This is Yue, Guardian with the power of the Moon. I make him your Judge, alongside the Seal Beast Kerberos of the Sun. Whosoever Yue chooses, you will obey. You will obey Yue’s choice as you would obey me.”
The Clow Cards seemed to sing, their sourceless voices soaring with the magical wind that tossed his hair and wings, harmonies that whispered his name over and over again.
Yue . . . Judge of our next master . . . Moon Guardian Yue . . .
Power, heartbreakingly familiar, enfolding him, enveloping him in a tight embrace . . . Yue lifted his head, trying to see his master’s face as Clow’s power flowed into him.
. . . forget . . .
The word hung in the air for a moment, then was lost. It seemed almost sacrilegious to speak above a whisper in the midnight silence. So they had watched the full moon rise over the lake without speaking, enjoying the still, cool night and each other’s company, until one had felt the need to say something, perhaps to avoid being absorbed in the quiescent night forever.
“Yes,” Yue breathed in reply. He was sitting on a rock jutting over the water’s edge, his master standing just behind him. Luminous white wings curved gracefully from his back as above them and below them, the moon glowed in all its pale majesty. “Yes, it is very beautiful.”
A hand rested itself on his head, stroking his long, silky hair. “You are beautiful, Yue.” A pleasant shiver ran through his being at the words, spoken by that man he loved so dearly, but didn’t dare touch. “And I’m selfish.”
“Selfish?” He twisted slightly to look up at the magician. “No, Master Clow could never be selfish.”
A smile hovered on Clow’s lips. “But I am,” he said, still softly. “When I first saw this sight, I wanted to keep it with me always. But since not even I can catch the moon . . .” the hand moved to his cheek, caressingly gentle, “I decided to create something even more beautiful so that the moon would look down and be envious.”
He couldn’t move, no matter how fast his heart was beating, he couldn’t breathe, no matter how much he needed to, all he could do was stare mutely up at his master, hoping that his eyes would say everything his tongue could not, and that Clow would see and understand.
If Clow did see, he chose to ignore it. “Do you think she is envious, my Moon Angel?” he asked, smiling.
In this place, in this moment, there would be no other chance.
“Kiss me,” Yue blurted out.
Clow’s smile disappeared. A shadow fell over his face, shrouding the workings of the mind behind it. Yue held his breath – too forward, too forward, he should not have dared to ask this . . . there were so many stories of how lesser beings made demands of a god and were punished for their impudence . . . yet Orpheus had had his desire fulfilled, hadn’t he, even if it had only lasted for a little while . . . he began to turn his face away in shame, but he couldn’t hide, not with the moon glowing so brightly in the night sky and in the water . . .
“Just one. No more.”
Before Yue could fully realise what had been said, Clow caught his chin between strong fingers and tilted his face upwards, bathing it in moonlight. He froze, too scared to believe what was about to happen, as Clow’s face eclipsed the moon before him . . . and then there was nothing but the dark of night as he closed his eyes, nothing but the feel of Clow’s fingers tangled in his long, long hair, the warmth of his body through his robes, and Clow’s lips upon his own, so tender and sweet . . .
His first, and last, kiss.
. . . forget . . .
. . . forget . . .
. . . forget . . .
Yukito groggily opened his eyes and saw sky. “Eh . . . wha-?”
“Are you alright?” a voice asked.
Yukito blinked, and realised that there was someone beside him. Kneeling beside him, actually – he was lying on the grass. He sat up a little, his head feeling oddly light. Not feverish light, but more detached, capable of seeing things in a different light. “Did I just suddenly fall asleep?” he asked, disorientated. What happened?
The person by his side smiled. He was a young boy, probably about Sakura-chan’s age. Maybe even her class. Had Yukito seen him before? “Yes, you just suddenly fell over,” the boy said, not touching Yukito as he stood up, chastened.
“I’m sorry, I must have been very heavy,” Yukito apologised, embarrassed. He sincerely hoped he hadn’t frightened the child by toppling over for no reason. Dusting off his school uniform, he tried to orientate himself to his surroundings again, and realised that he was on Tomoeda grounds. Quickly, hoping there was no teacher to see, Yukito climbed back to his side of the fence, wondering how on earth he had gotten over it without knowing in the first place.
The boy was still watching him. Yukito felt oddly comfortable under those indigo eyes; perhaps it was gratefulness for being there when he had fallen. “Thank you very much!” he said, waving.
The boy gave him one last, enigmatic smile, then turned to go. Yukito watched him for a moment, but soon had his attention taken by the figure that was running in his direction. The broom Touya was holding didn’t hamper him at all as he quickly crossed the distance between them, a worried expression on his face. Yukito watched him come, absently collecting his rubbish bag.
. . . looking out for me, like always . . .
“Hello, To-ya,” he said cheerfully. “Is something wrong?”
Touya came to a stop beside him, not even out of breath. “You didn’t come back, so I came looking for you.” His blue eyes narrowed as he looked searchingly at his friend. “Did you faint again?” he asked pointedly.
Yukito blinked, trying to remember. He couldn’t remember.
“Guess I did,” he said, embarrassed.
Touya bit his lip and looked away. He stared. Noticing the change in his friend’s posture, Yukito turned around. The focus of Touya’s scrutiny was the boy who had helped him just before.
“That kid . . .” Touya said slowly. “He reminds me of my father.”
Yukito followed Touya’s gaze thoughtfully. “Really?” Come to think of it, he could imagine the boy as a father figure. “Well, he wears glasses as well, and has a kind face -”
“That’s not it,” Touya corrected, still staring. His blue eyes had that ‘other’ look in them. “More like . . . something inside.”
Yukito wasn’t sure what to say to as they watched the boy return to whatever class he had. He knew his friend had talents –
power that could help me
– that weren’t exactly those of an average person. It was what set him apart from people and made him so aloof to the other students, so Touya had confided to Yukito once. Being different from other people, someone people couldn’t understand –
isn’t that like me?
Yes, like me.
Not a ‘normal’ person.
“Yuki, you okay?”
Yukito started, and, out of habit, mentally drew himself away from such disturbing thoughts. “It’s nothing, To-ya,” he said lightly. “Uh, shouldn’t we be getting back to class?”
Touya looked as if he was about to say something, but the practicality of the situation won. With a sigh, he swung the broom over his shoulder, then held out a hand. “Pass me your bag, Yuki, I’ll carry it.”
Yukito opened his mouth to say that it was alright, that he didn’t need Touya’s help.
I don’t need his power
Touya gave him a look. Yukito gave in. “Thank you, To-ya.”
Touya lifted both bag and broom effortlessly. “No problem,” he replied as they began to make their way back to class.
Yukito gazed at his friend shyly, an odd warm-cozy feeling settling in him as he did so. He may be fading, he may be dying, but for this moment with Touya, he could almost believe that things would be all right.
It’s been so long since I’ve felt this way. It’s nice. But it also hurts.
I won’t feel this way for long. Only until the time finally comes for me to cease existing. It’s not enough time, I don’t even understand yet!
Understand what? I’m not sure.
I want more time. But if it means that I will have to cause pain . . . I won’t take it.
The soccer field was always the most populated place in Seijou after school on Tuesdays. The answer why was simple – Tuesday afternoons was soccer afternoons.
Yukito apologised again as he politely pushed his way to the front of the crowd that always gathered wherever the team was playing. It did not escape his notice that the majority of the onlookers were female. No surprise, really, when some of the most popular young men in Seijou High were on the field.
And there was one young man in particular the girls had come to watch.
A murmur rippled through the crowd. The unluckier spectators at the back stood on their tiptoes to see what was going on. The visiting team began to look anguished. Suddenly the Seijou students burst into excited shouts as all became clear – Touya had stolen the ball from an opposing player.
“Yatta~a!!” the girls cheered. Yukito watched as Touya dodged all attempts at tackling and raced towards the Seijou goal.
“Ganbatte~e!!” the girls screamed. Yukito might have been amused if he was listening to them, which he wasn’t. Touya gave the ball a powerful kick. The goalie watched in horror as it came straight at him, perhaps wondering for a split second if stopping the ball was worth his life or not, then threw himself to safety. The ball slammed into the back netting with enough force to knock the entire goal backwards a few inches.
“Kinomoto-kun sugoi~i!!” squealed the girls over the furious applause that followed.
There was a piercing whistle from the umpire. “Half-time!” he called out. “Home team two, visitors nil.”
The Seijou contingent broke into cheers again. The other team sighed and looked resigned. Fragments of conversation floated over to Yukito as he began to make his way past the visiting team towards his friend.
“Damn it . . . we have got to put more defense on Kinomoto!”
“Oi, why didn’t you stop the ball??”
“Do you feel like stopping a missile at a million miles an hour with your face?!”
Yukito stifled a chuckle. A few of the players looked up as he came past, and the subject of conversation turned.
“Hey, look on the bright side, at least Tsukishiro isn’t playing today, otherwise we’d lose pathetically instead of just losing.”
“Tsukishiro? Who’s that?”
“The silver-haired guy walking by us with the glasses, dolt.”
“You’re kidding. He looks way too soft to be anywhere near a soccer field.”
“You’re going to take that back when you see him play. Serious.”
Yukito pretended he hadn’t heard them. The opposing players didn’t have to worry; he didn’t have the stamina to play soccer nowadays, or any other sport for that matter. It was frustrating. Yukito was one of those lucky few who could do well at anything he turned his hand to, and he always enjoyed sports, even if he wasn’t officially part of any team. There was no point in tying himself to one sport only, if he could do all of them.
And now he couldn’t do any.
I’m growing weaker . . . soon I won’t be able to do anything at all.
He was already woozy by the time he had made his way to the other end of the field where the Seijou players were gathered. Rubbing at his eyes, Yukito searched for Touya, seeing in his mind his friend’s smile.
When he found Touya, however, he wasn’t smiling. He stood in the middle of a gaggle of chattering girls, all complimenting him at the tops of their voices. Being a head taller than all of them, it was easy to see the Please Get Me Out Of Here look he had on his face as girl after girl smiled and flirted, trying to catch his attention.
Offside, Yukito watched longingly.
If only I could be as free and easy around him as they are.
Touya began to look more and more desperate by the minute, though it wouldn’t have been obvious to anyone who didn’t know him. It was just subtle things; the way his mouth tightened and his blue eyes kept darting around for an excuse to get away. The excuse was found as Touya saw Yukito. Without saying a word, Touya firmly pushed his way past the press of girls, and made his way to Yukito’s side. More than a few girls pouted at this treatment – Touya either didn’t notice, or didn’t care.
At least that archery competition means Akizuki can’t be here.
“Good play, To-ya,” Yukito complimented his friend.
“Huh. We’d be thrashing them if you were playing too.” Touya gave his slighter friend a searching look and opened his mouth to say something else.
Yukito gave a little sigh. “Yes, To-ya, I’m okay,” he reassured before Touya had said a word.
Touya’s open mouth realigned itself into a sheepish smile. “You know me too well.”
Do I really? I don’t even know myself yet.
What does To-ya feel for me – Yukito?
Would that change if and when he finds out that I am not human?
“Hey, you want to come to dinner tonight?”
Yukito looked up at his friend. He didn’t see the way the girls were all looking longingly at them. “Uh . . . I’ll think about it.” Why am I so hesitant? He didn’t know.
Touya looked as if he wanted to speak more, but then the umpire blew the whistle to return back to the game. Instead, he bit his lip and sighed. “Alright. Just . . . please take care of yourself.” The Seijou crowd was waiting for their star; Touya gave Yukito one last look, then ran off.
Yukito watched him go silently. When the game resumed and everyone was too engrossed in it to notice, he turned and walked away.
When will I be ready?
“Why didn’t you go to dinner?”
Water. The waning moon. It’s cold here. “I didn’t want to.”
I sigh and shake my head. “It would have been troublesome.”
“To-ya. Sakura-chan. I don’t know what I would have done.”
“So you won’t do anything?”
“ . . . Yes.”
My other-self looks sad. “Why?” he asks softly. “Why don’t you want to live? Is it because of him?”
There is no need to explain who ‘him’ is. Not between myself and myself. “No,” I reply. “It is not because of Clow.”
I pause for a moment. So hard to articulate what you already know, but sometimes you must in order to truly understand why. “I – you never wanted to disappear, because not being able to see Sakura and To-ya, ever . . .” I trail off. To never see them again – the mere thought of it hurts. What about when it is reality? “But what is the alternative?” I ask myself. “The only way I can survive is by taking To-ya’s power. If living means hurting To-ya, then I would prefer to disappear.”
“It’s not just that, is it.”
I bow my head. Long white hair falls over my face. “No,” I reply. “If I stay, then inevitably, the truth will come out. About me – us.” I draw my wings closer, as if to hide. “I don’t want To-ya to know that I am not human. Look at Sakura,” I say. No need to explain, we already know. “Yukito-san . . . he doesn’t remember anything when you are Yue, right? So what about when you are you? What about when you change into Yukito-san?” “If even my Master cannot be at ease with me . . . I don’t want things to change between To-ya and me – you.”
My other-self smiles slightly. “You’re afraid of To-ya discovering our true nature, aren’t you. You fear that once he knows, he will no longer want to be friends with ‘Yukito’. And that will hurt.”
I glare. “Won’t it hurt you too?”
The smile never changes. “Yes,” my other-self says simply. “But your hurt is my hurt. Does that not imply that my love for To-ya is also yours?”
“When will you accept the fact that you love him?”
I look away. “Does it matter? I – we are dying.”
“So you will simply disappear. It is easier than facing what you fear.”
I don’t reply. Coward. I wonder how deep the water is. I find myself leaning closer to its surface, stretching out a hand to test the water, to dive . . .
A hand grabs my wrist. I look up, startled, into the hazel eyes of myself.
“I will not let this happen.” Determination resonates in my other-self’s clear voice. “We – I will endure.”
Always, that part of me that refuses to give in.
“But for how much longer?” I ask quietly.
We stare at each other. No answer.
The same dream as before. Moon-on-water, moon-in-water. Yet whenever he leaned down to see the face in the water, something flickered and it was gone. All that was left was the cold, and the growing uneasiness that something was very, very wrong.
Despite the effort it takes, I carefully try to make Yukito forget. Forget the fear, the pain and the loneliness. All he will know is the exhaustion. I can’t do anything about that.
And I can’t make myself forget.
Sometimes I wish I could forget everything and everyone I have come to know these last seventeen years. It would make my disappearing infinitely easier. I would have no regrets about dying, about leaving people I – Yukito, cares about.
Yes, I have regrets, too many of them. I regret not fulfilling my duty to Sakura, my child-master.
I regret not having the courage to realise what I feel for To-ya.
And I regret having wasted my time, because I was too scared to live.
So many things that could have been.
And now they never will be.
Return to Archive | next | previous