Author's Notes: With these fainting scenes, it is Yue and therefore Yukito who gets knocked out because of Sakura’s lack of power. Since they are both unconscious, it’s a good opportunity to make them meet each other. The idea of both of them standing on a lake with their other self’s reflections in the water is something I came up with when I had just started this story. Yes, it’s very heavy on the double meanings and symbolism, but hey, this is CLAMP we’re talking about. Everything is very ambiguous and even I don’t quite have a handle on what’s going on. Basically one of them is the ‘heart’ and emotions, the other is the mind. It’s simply takes the whole ‘my heart wants this but my mind says this’ to a whole new level.
Shadows of the Moon
It’s strange, knowing that soon I will die. Whether it will be tomorrow, or next week, or even next month, I do not know. It will depend on how many more Clow Cards Sakura will change, and when.
I can’t even decide my own fate.
Only since the Judgement and my awakening I have known what it is like to feel truly helpless. Watching, like magic-less Tomoyo with her camera as Sakura fights, unable to help, unable to even protect myself. Standing by, not knowing what to do, as Akizuki hurts me and insinuates herself between Yukito and Touya. Becoming more and more of a burden to my friends as I fade slowly by degrees.
Sitting helplessly, watching my beloved master die.
I don’t like being helpless. I used to rely solely on myself for support.
The only one whose help I accepted was Master Clow. And he cannot help me any longer.
Clow . . . Master . . .
I’m so scared.
It was White Day – Yukito had remembered this time. It was a good thing he did remember, because White Day was when boys were supposed to return the favor girls had graced them with on Valentine’s Day, and it would have been most terrible if Yukito had forgotten to give a present to Sakura-chan. So, even though now it was too tiring to even walk around and browse the shops, Yukito had doggedly gone out to find Sakura something.
Something to remember him by.
Maybe someday, someday soon, I will tell you how sorry I am Sakura. Sorry that I can’t be your guardian anymore, sorry that I failed in my duty to you as my master, sorry that I couldn’t be more of a ‘friend’ to you.
Sorry that I hurt you as well. Because I was too scared to tell you what ‘Yukito’ really feels for you.
And your brother . . .
He had found a watch in the end, a pretty watch with a red band and a winged heart on the face. Such a very ‘Sakura’ thing, it would suit her perfectly. The heart with wings was especially cute.
Wings . . .
Huge white wings . . . and long white hair . . .
Yukito stifled a yawn as he sat wearily on the steps to his house putting on his shoes. There was something about wings that sounded vaguely familiar, but the thought skittered away before he could really think about it. Probably another product of his imagination, or another hallucination.
He had been hallucinating a lot lately.
Feet firmly in his shoes, Yukito took hold of the beribboned box he had wrapped Sakura’s present in and stood up, holding onto a roof-support for assistance. It wasn’t a very sunny day today, but the light hurt Yukito’s eyes. He squinted, holding up a hand to block the sun’s rays. It didn’t work – it was almost as if the sunlight passed straight through his skin.
He wanted so badly to crawl back to his bed and sleep. But no, he had to give Sakura-chan a present, and that was what he was determined to do.
With that goal in mind, Yukito began to walk down the garden path.
Immediately the firm ground lurched beneath his feet. Yukito stumbled, staggering off the path onto the grass clutching his head –
is it now?
– the world swam giddily before his eyes –
am I going to die?
– the last thing he remembered before everything went black was the grass rushing up to meet his face.
* * * * * * *
Water . . . a liquid mirror.
Where am I?
A moon, shining bright above . . .
Am I dead?
. . . and below . . .
It’s lonely here.
A figure . . . so familiar . . .
"Yu . . ."
You are . . .
The alarmed shout penetrated the dark fog around Yukito’s brain. What had happened?
water . . . the moon . . .
The one who called him . . .
". . . To-ya."
Yes, that’s who it was. Groggily, Yukito lifted his head. He realised he was sprawled on his side next to the garden path, Sakura’s present near his hand. Touya was kneeling beside him, an extremely worried look on his handsome face. Slowly, Yukito drew himself into a sitting position – the action eased the worry on his friend’s face somewhat, but not very much.
"Don’t scare me like that!" said Touya as Yukito adjusted his glasses, eyes half-lidded. He still wasn’t seeing or thinking clearly. The image of Touya seemed to waver between Touya and someone else –
"I’ve been so tired lately," murmured Yukito. "It’s weird, cause I slept heaps yesterday . . ."
Touya inched closer towards him as they sat on the grass as Yukito swayed slightly, but didn’t quite fall. "You said you were coming to my place today, but you didn’t," the darker boy said. "I tried calling, but no one picked up either."
Yukito leaned heavily on his hand for support. "I’m sorry . . . I didn’t hear the phone . . ."
he’s dead, he can’t help me
"Today’s White Day, so I was going to give something to Sakura . . ."
A watch, with a winged heart.
Wings . . .
"Learn to fly, Yue. I want you to live."
But he couldn’t fly anymore.
Yukito’s eyes fluttered closed again. He fell forward –
will you help me?
– but Touya was there to catch him so he didn’t hit the ground.
"I’m sorry . . . " murmured Yukito into Touya’s shoulder. It felt so nice just to lie still not doing anything, knowing his friend was there. "I’m just so tired . . ."
Slowly, he felt Touya’s arms come up around him to hold him close.
Yes . . . it felt nice. Touya was here . . . he could sleep now . . .
The darkness is light.
I open my eyes as I stare up – or it could be down. Past my head is the moon, a shining crescent that makes the infinite night immediately around me a midnight blue that fades into blackness as far as I can see.
A place from memory. Once, during the winter solstice, Clow took me – only me, Kerberos stayed at home – to a lake deep in the woods near our English house at midnight. The moon was full. It shone above in the sky, and below in the water.
The water . . .
I look down – or up, depending on what perception. To me, it feels like both.
I see my reflection in the water.
The crescent moon shines above and below. I stand with the tip of my feet a few silver inches above the mirror-like lake, so tranquil is its surface. The reflection is perfect, so perfect, it could be reality. Then again, can I say which one is my reality? My mind, or my heart? Yue or Yukito? It could be both.
I stare into the eyes of my reflection.
There are similarities – the pale silken skin, the delicate face and the finely textured hair all belong to the same lithe body. But more apparent are the differences between us. The wide hazel eyes I stare into are innocent and guileless behind their wire-rimmed glasses, and the slender frame wears an ordinary pale blue blazer over a simple school uniform. I, however, my face and amethyst eyes unreadable, have long white hair flowing down past the ankles, the tip of it only just above the water. I wear an exotic blue and white costume that matches a pair of huge, snowy white wings.
"Look at what is the same."
I freeze at the sound of the other voice, the voice that is my voice and yet not mine, then slowly look forward, my every movement mimicked in my reflection. My gaze comes to rest on other the figure standing weightless above the water.
He faces me, the exact copy of my image below – or it could be above. And like the image of Yukito in the water, he has an image of Yue at his feet. But it might not be a reflection. For all I know, the Yukito before me could be my reflection, and it is the Yue reflected below – or above him that is really me.
I can’t really say. Because I don’t know.
"You are not me," I say. The lips of my wingless image move with mine.
The other facing me laughs softly. "So you still tell yourself that?" the other Yukito/Yue says. "Even after all that has happened, you still will not see what you know to be true?"
"You are not me," I repeat. "You are merely a creation of my mind." I say this to the Yukito opposite me; the Yukito at my feet speaks to the image of Yue facing him. Who is really speaking?
The other smiles. "It is the same heart."
I shake my head. "How can we be the same? You feel things that I cannot."
"That you will not."
"Yukito doesn’t know loneliness."
"No. Yukito feels Yue’s loneliness. You know this yourself."
"Yukito doesn’t know that Yue exists."
"But he knows he is different. He knows there is another part of himself."
"I don’t feel what Yukito feels."
A laugh hovers at the edges of the other’s smile. "That’s a lie and you know it."
How can I hide anything from myself?
"Don’t you also enjoy those moments when Yukito is with those he loves? The pleasure the attentions Sakura and Li show him? The delight he feels in being with them?"
There is no need for me to answer. I already know.
His voice – my voice – softens. "And what about Touya? Don’t you share Yukito’s love for him?"
I close my eyes. "What does that matter? If To-ya loves, he loves Yukito, not Yue."
"But Yue is Yukito."
The face before me turns sad. "You are mistaken. And until you admit to this you will never know who you are."
I shake my head, more forcefully this time. The end of my long white hair touches the surface of the mirror-like water. Ripples radiate out from that single point, breaking the reflections of myself and my other self. The moon’s crescent reflection wavers.
And I awaken.
There was something not quite right. It wasn’t wrong, but it definitely wasn’t right either. It was similar to the sensation one would feel when a pair of eyes watched them balefully from some hidden place, but it wasn’t exactly that.
Whatever it was, it was disconcerting.
I met myself.
Both Yukito and I were dreaming.
The same dream.
And I am more confused than ever before.
Yukito came back into the world of the waking as if he was climbing a long, dark staircase. Slowly he ascended, and as he did so, more things became clear. There was a heavy warmth draped over him, and he was lying on something soft yet firm. His clothes were loosened, the accustomed pressure of his glasses wasn’t there, and it was dark.
Dark, like night.
Yukito tried to get up, and found he couldn’t. His limbs felt like lead, and he was very hungry. In the end, he settled for slowly rolling his head to the side. It took him several moments to realise that he was lying in his bed, in his bedroom.
There was a shadow beside him. Seeing Yukito move slightly, the shadow spoke.
"Finally . . ." The relieved voice proved the shadow to be Touya. He was sitting on the chair from Yukito’s study desk, a book on his lap. Seeing the insignificant amount of pages between the bookmark and the book’s front cover, Yukito could tell his friend hadn’t been reading all this time.
All this time . . .
"You been asleep for hours," said Touya, as if sensing his friend’s confusion.
Yukito blinked, and held a hand to his head. "What time -" His voice came out as a croak instead of its characteristic gentle alto, so he coughed and tried again. "What time is it?"
"Nearly nine o’clock."
The silver-haired boy tried to take that in. "You’ve been here all this time?" he asked.
His friend nodded, which only served to make Yukito guilty.
"Gomen ne . . . I’m making so much trouble for you." He turned his face away slightly, watching the dark blue shadows on the wall.
"It’s ok, really Yuki," said Touya. "I called my dad and told him I was staying the night at your place."
"You don’t need to do that." Really, he didn’t want Touya to worry about him so much.
"But I want to." There was no room for argument in Touya’s voice. "You need someone to keep an eye on you."
The words hit Yukito in a way they had never had before. Someone to keep an eye on him, that’s what he needed, like he an invalid. Helpless.
"I’m not ill, To-ya, just tired," said Yukito distantly. His mind felt as if it was slowly slipping into pieces – or maybe he was just going mad.
Maybe he was dying.
He rebelled against that thought, even as part of him accepted it. No, no, no, it was impossible, ridiculous. He couldn’t die, not now, not yet.
Everything would be alright.
Because . . .
There was an exasperated sigh from Touya. "You’re not ‘just tired’," he said, impatience ever so slightly tingeing his words. He held out a glass of water that had been sitting on the bedside table. "Here. Drink up."
Yukito reached for the water, but his hands were so weak they couldn’t even clasp the rounded contours of the glass. Seeing his friend failing to accomplish even something so simple as this, Touya bit his lip. A sprinkling of sparkling water droplets fell onto Yukito’s quilt, leaving dark wet spots, and that seemed to decide things for him.
Touya shifted to sit on the edge of the bed, and slid one arm around Yukito’s slim shoulders. Lifting the smaller boy up, he supported his friend as he held the glass to Yukito’s colorless lips. Yukito drank deeply with the desperation of a man in a desert, closing his eyes and letting his entire weight rest on Touya’s arm.
He knew he wouldn’t slip and fall.
All too soon, Yukito drained the glass completely. Touya murmured, "I’ll go get you something to eat," and made as if to leave.
Yukito let his head slide onto Touya’s shoulder.
He felt the other boy freeze. For a moment he feared his friend would pull away, but then Touya settled back to where he was sitting rather awkwardly on Yukito’s bed. Touya’s arm didn’t remain where it was, rather, it curved around to hold him closer, until Yukito was held in the crook of Touya’s elbow, his face pressed nearly against his friend’s neck.
This is the reason why Yukito does not want to die, even if he does not know exactly why himself. He does not want to leave those I – he loves behind.
His determination to live is oh so very strong . . .
I breathe a little. Touya is so close I can smell the clean scent of his clothes.
It would be so easy. If I were to lean forward ever so slightly more, I could change this hairsbreadth of separation to intimate contact.
I could take To-ya’s power and survive.
I will not do that.
I will not hurt him.
But still . . .
There is nothing that says that I cannot enjoy this one, fleeting moment of contentment. With him.
Like it used to be with Clow, so many years ago.
I want those years back.
But for now . . .
"I’m here for you, alright Yuki?" he whispers, breath caressing my hair. "I’m here, and I’ll help you. When you want me to . . ."
He holds me, safe, and for this one moment, everything is alright.
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