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03 September 2011 @ 04:21 am
/slinks in  
Story: Black cat, white mage - Part 12
Pairings: Kurogane/Fai, Sakura/Syaoran, Yukito/Touya, the usual suspects.
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: A bit of expositiony shit, a kind of creepy cameo, shortness.
Summary: A lost princess. A mage running away from his past. A crippled warrior doing his best to forget the man he used to be. And a young man carrying a terrible curse. All of them are inevitably drawn into an adventure where love might save them... or doom them.
Note: I do apologize muchly for how extremely late this is. But now that my life seems to be trying to sort itself out I hope that I will be able to update more frequently. Also, I love you all beautiful people, and hopefully this will mean that I'll manage to READ some fic too ^-^; Cut quote is from "To Winter" by William Blake.

***


Talk to me!”

There was something truly frightening about how those always so direct eyes now avoided his, how the other man bowed his head so that his pearly grey hair fell over them, obscuring them from view. He’d never seen Yukito act like this, but ever since his collapse two days earlier they had been doing this dance of frustration and avoidance over and over, until it felt like they were repeating slightly different versions of the exact same conversation.

“Please, your highness-”

“Don’t you dare ‘highness’ me right now, Yukito. Don’t you dare.”

Yukito sighed, hiding his face behind his hands. “Touya... please.” He looked so very tired, slumped forward like that, his voice grating with lack of sleep, and for a moment it was hard being angry, hard to remember that he has reason to be.

“You can’t keep avoiding me,” he said nonetheless, but the edge was gone from his words. The frustration seeped slowly away and left only hurt, deep and open and festering more and more the longer Yukito kept acting like this.

“But there is nothing more I can tell you.” Even though his voice was slightly muffled by his hands, Touya could hear that it was on the verge of breaking.

“So,” Touya growled, crossing his arms, “you stand up in the middle of a meeting, in front of everyone, you go as white as a sheet, call out my sister’s name and keel over in a dead faint, and you have nothing to say about it? Nothing at all? Don’t give me that damn bullshit, Yukito, because I’m not buying it. You can fool the others, but that you think for even a second that you can do the same to me...”

Yukito flinched visibly even though he still didn’t look up, his fingers curling slightly. “Why would I lie to you?” he mumbled wretchedly, and there was something strange about the way he said it, as if he was really asking, not just posing a rhetorical question. But Touya was too agitated to try and make sense of it at this point, and only looked away.

“I don’t want to accuse you of lying, Yuki. But at this point... the way you act... what am I supposed to think? Something about what happened back there upsets you, frightens you even, I can see that. You can’t sleep – did you think I wasn’t going to notice that?”

Yukito sighed again. “Your highness-” he began, but Touya grabbed him by the wrist, hard, digging his nails in and forcing the priest to look up, his eyes pleading. “Touya,” he amended, and the prince let go. “I know that this must upset you. Your sister-”

“This isn’t just about my sister,” Touya interrupted impatiently, and as Yukito’s eyes widened slightly in shock, he shook his head in disgust. “This is about us too, can’t you see that? I’m just as upset about... about you acting all strange and closed-up, as I am about the only lead on my little sister in years apparently being impossible for you to talk about. Just as damn upset, do you get it? Do you see now?”

He knew it was a low blow, but he hadn’t realized just how low. Yukito blinked and looked away, swallowing hard, and Touya realized to his horror that just for a fraction of a section, there had been tears in his eyes. Yukito had always been the calmer of the two of them, the more composed – the tear-filled tantrums had always been his when they were children, while Yuki stayed quiet and peaceful, comforting him. He’d cried over some things, bigger things, but often in complete silence, and never for very long. And after he’d come back from the wars to resume his studies, Touya hadn’t even seen him close to tears once. In fact, the last time...

...the last time he remembered Yukito crying was when Sakura went missing. Yuki had been fourteen then, he just about to turn thirteen, and he remembered the look on his best friend’s face that morning. It was as if everything within him had shattered, as if nothing could put the world right again, and he’d stumbled and almost fallen right into Touya’s arms, sobbing apologies because after all it wasn’t his sister, he was selfish to act like this, he was just being a bother and he was so sorry, so sorry... And Touya had numbly held him, his own tears for once coming quiet, and he’d murmured that no, it was fine, he understood. And he did. As far as he was concerned, Sakura was Yuki’s sister too, and he had just as much right as anyone to be crushed and helpless. More right than most people, in fact.

A whole kingdom wept for the little princess, but the prince and his best friend wept for the clumsy, cheerful toddler who had already been starting to get on their nerves. They wept for Sakura; for everything she’d been and everything she was never going to be. They had wept for her as if she was dead, because back then it had been too painful for them to hope. They had watched the efforts to find her with lethargic indifference, and had felt almost nothing when every attempt turned out to be in vain.

Almost nothing.

And now here was Yukito, looking once more, for the shortest of moments, like he was going to cry. Not even two days after he’d suddenly called out her name in front of a whole congregation of people, eyes fixed on some point far away, before he crumpled to the floor almost without a single sound. Touya had been sitting right next to him, and so he hadn’t quite managed to catch his expression, but he’d heard everything from “anguished” to “elated”. From the way Yukito was behaving, he was given to believe more in the former than the latter.

There was something tense about Yukito’s expression now, and a strange set to his mouth, as if he too was frustrated or angry. But that was impossible, wasn’t it? Yukito just... didn’t get upset like that. Sad, maybe, or nervous. Usually, though, he just got even more determined, displaying a self-discipline that Touya could only wish he possessed. Still he couldn’t help but wonder, as Yukito clenched his fists so hard that the knuckles whitened.

“It felt like her,” he said at length, so quietly that Touya almost couldn’t hear him.

“It... what?”

“There was a feeling about her. About the princess.” Yukito’s words came reluctantly, as if every syllable that was pulled from his lips and from his heart caused him great pain. “Most people couldn’t feel it. It went too deep, that’s what they said. Your mother can feel it. Haven’t you wondered why you haven’t seen her since? She’s locked herself in the innermost room of the cathedral, the holiest place there is, and she is giving thanks and praying. Praying that if it was Sakura that we felt, she will be brought here safely.” His eyes darkened, as if the thought frightened him, and Touya felt the first spark of happiness that Yukito’s words had brought about swiftly dying.

“Why didn’t she tell us?” he asked instead, his voice coming out leaden and flat. Yukito shook his head with a shaky sigh that was almost shy of laughter, although it was of a barren and cheerless nature.

“She didn’t have the heart,” he said. “She didn’t want to burden anyone else with hope. It might still not be her.”

“And why’s that?” He didn’t want to know, not really, but he knew that he had to ask.

“Because the princess’ power, when I felt it last, was nothing but a whisper. It was... the old High Priest said that it felt as if one of the gods had been watching on the day she was born, its shadow falling over her, and it had left her with something of its essence. Like an echo, or a memory. We believed it to be a small disturbance in the world, within which she might be able to change its course. Highly unusual, certainly, but fairly harmless. But if this truly was her that we felt two days ago...” Yukito shuddered, his face ashen. “Then her power has grown beyond compare. Possibly beyond control. And if she’s unaware of it, she’s potentially the most dangerous being alive right now.”

Touya found that he could only shake his head, in silent denial of the unfathomable, impossible things Yukito was saying. But now the other man took his hand, grasping it hard, too hard; holding onto it as if he was suddenly afraid of slipping away. “That feeling, Touya... I... I haven’t felt anything like it since the day I was made High Priest. You remember that, don’t you?”

How could he forget? To be made High Priest you had to take part of the memories of all those which had come before, so that you could be a part of a long, unbroken line of thousand-year experience and wisdom. This was accomplished by letting one of the gods coexist with you for just a moment; any longer and it would destroy you. It differed from priest to priest which god it was that would choose them, and it was said that the influence you would have as High Priest would be dependent on the influence of the god. The stronger the god, the mightier the priest, that’s what they said, although Nadeshiko held that for folly.

Yukito was chosen by the Prince of the Moon. And though Touya had tried he was quite sure he’d never be rid of that image, never forget what it was like to see Yukito fading away to leave room for that ice-cold, terrifying being. For a moment eyes that were as blue as the heart of polar ice flickered over Touya, and if there was any feeling there then it was too vast for him to comprehend. All he felt was numbing cold, as an immense silence filled his heart and he couldn’t even breathe for fear of breaking it. Silver wings then unfolded, and he knew he’d never seen anything so beautiful in all his life before.

And then the god left. Silver-white hair darkened to grey, those terrible blue eyes warmed, and for a moment Touya felt a great emptiness, as if he’d just lost something that he would never have again. And then he’d forced that feeling away with disgust and horror, running to Yukito’s aid as he crumpled to the floor, holding him close as he shook and cried out in pain and loss, whispering in between that he didn’t want him to go, that he was all alone now. His eyes had been wide with fear, but dry, and not even then had he cried a single tear. And after a while he had calmed and stilled, and a tired smile had touched his lips. “But they are all with me now,” he had said, and then he’d simply fallen asleep, deep and blessedly dreamless.

“Yes. I remember.”

That was all he had to say. Yukito should know what he was thinking of, and that he now understood his terror better. The power of the god had been so immense, so overpowering, that just that one short moment had left scars too deep to ever heal. And now Yukito said that another mortal being – that his little sister – had powers that rivalled it?

If that really was true, and not as impossible as it sounded... then for the first time he feared what Sakura’s return might bring.


 
 
 
Cloverfieldfieldofclover on September 3rd, 2011 03:59 am (UTC)
Ohmigawd
I. What have I just read. What.

Touya. Yukito. Yue.

Sakura.

Ohmigawd.

/hyperventilates

Take all the time in the world you need for this if you keep writing like that, all that beauty and sadness and power in your words. Wow.

/mind blown/

It's good to see you back and writing again; I know things have been horrible for you lately and real life's been getting you down. I just want you to know that I love you and I hope things get better for you soon
mikkeneko: touya and yukimikkeneko on September 3rd, 2011 06:52 am (UTC)
Whew! Touya/Yukito doesn't normally interest me for itself, but... you really manage to get me hooked. And Yue -- just for a moment! I can understand Touya's feelings of loss, to see something great and then to lose it, even if you know you couldn't keep it for more than an instant without going mad...
maijame: yuuko grinmaijame on September 3rd, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
Beyond cool. You just made a story about a bunch of people and their issues into an epic tale of saving the world and changing destinies.

And you included Yue/Yukito/Touya for which I shall offer my last ice cream...*-*
So Syaoran's got a mighty nasty curse on him, Sakura is a potentially dangerous time bomb, Fai has some really powerful enemies and Kurogane some very interesting connections. This is getting more and more interesting and.. what would one say? The plot thickens? xD I love it! And again you put a lot of content and questions in a very short chapter.. Length doesn't matter, you get into the atmosphere within the first few sentences and I truly hope you can settle down enough to find some inspiration for writing! ^-^
tarmachantarmachan on September 3rd, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
The amount of emotion you managed to stuff into those words was brilliant. I'm a fan of Touya/Yukito, and this was just so sad and arrrghh I feel like crying now. That's a good thing. XD

But yes, really enjoyed this once again- really really liked your contrast between Yue and Yukito. "All he felt was numbing cold, as an immense silence filled his heart and he couldn’t even breathe for fear of breaking it." <- this. Thanks once again for another little look into this universe!
Yoshiko-chan: the Tsubasa family ^.~yoshikochan on October 21st, 2011 03:25 am (UTC)
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I love this AU ♥ The angst, the powers, the secrets ... I love Templar!Kurogane, his Sight is really cool =o.O=. Syaoran's backstory is heartbreaking, making me fall in love with the vulnerability he's shown. Watanuki seems cool, I hope he becomes more useful later. I am super worried about Subaru and Kamui (but super excited that they're in the story), and about Yukito... poor Yuki, I imagined him in the war, breaking his heart over and over again trying to help people. Sakura's power seems cool too, mysterious, and I love how you've characterized her, so trusting and loving. XD It means Fai did a good job raising her!

And of course, I continue to be obsessed with mage!Fai, and I love the eye-color-changing part, and everything with Ashura. So looking forward to more. Please don't keep us waiting! Plleeeaaassee!!!
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