[A/N: XP!! People like Nosferatu! I'm …so…happy!! –sniff, tear- I wasn't sure if he'd be a liked guy or not when I submitted the chappie. ^__^ Glad he got good responses. Anywhoo, I'm sorry – again – about the wait for this chapter. Blegh. u.u C-chan is so bad at the updating mish-mash! -sobble- I dun even have a decent excuse this time! Forgive me, minnasan!]

Disclaimer: Egggl! Hhhtpft! Uuugh! (AKA: The author does not own the show Card Captor Sakura. But she wants to, very bad. Hence she is making various caveman grunts and sobbing at the same time. Do not ask, if you favor your sanity.)

/blah/ + //blah// = Mental conversation between two entities

Title: Love Painted Black
Chapter XI: Borrowed Realities

The adrenaline of the moment had worn off, the poor room's distressed state evident. Snow's violent wind had whipped through the place, ripping the furniture from its designated spot and depositing it elsewhere. Blankets were strewn halfway across the room, torn from the beds, and a thin sheen of frost had settled upon every surface.

Regaining his breath – and, likewise, wits – Syaoran pulled his shoulder and hand from the dashing guardian's grasp.

Nosferatu didn't seem the least bit daunted, as he blatantly ignored Akurei's agitated grumbling, turning from the two boys to sweep a fall of black hair over his shoulder and smiled infuriatingly while surveying the damage done to the room. "Hmm. I do suppose this will hard to fix."

"Well," snapped Akurei, "he you hadn't waited 'till the most dramatic moment to show up, then it wouldn't be this bad!"

"Akurei," Eriol said quietly, admonishing the Master of Hell, "We should at least attempt to avoid waking up any other patrons of this hotel."

The small guardian gave a long-suffering sigh, before he crossed his furry red arms (paws?) and sulked for a few moments. The other guardian threw an elegant obsidian glance around the room before smiling again. "Might I suggest we leave before someone musters up the courage," (Read: stupidity) "to see what is going on here?"

Akurei resumed speech. "And just leave this place a mess?!"

Syaoran didn't seem contrary to Nosferatu's idea. "We're not boy scouts," he commented, glancing at Eriol.

"Mm," the mage hummed in amusement, "I agree. It would be a wise idea."

Akurei sweatdropped, muttering beneath his breath about everyone being against him, before he finally let out a huff of indignation. "Fine!" He grumbled, floating towards the large hole in the wall and pouting.

Eriol smiled knowingly as he let the sun-tipped staff disappear from his fingertips, amiably walking towards the hole also. Syaoran followed silently, releasing a large yawn as he did so.  Nosferatu trailed after them, a perpetual smirk planted on his cunning features.


/He is too young./

//Perhaps, perhaps not. He is strong enough.//

/But he is not ready./

//He has already met with two of his guardians.//

/Even so, there are many things he has left unresolved. He will not survive the three hundred years here, not like he is now./

//He will have to. You cannot survive much longer.//

/I won't allow him to, not alone./

//Do not deceive yourself. It is not your choice, you cannot watch over this place forever.//

/I can try! For him./

//You cannot. You are still only human. Do not let your foolish, fragile emotions weigh you. Fate will not be swayed.//

/I must do something./

//There is nothing to do. Your body will soon deteriorate, and you will be left with nothing. Time will be left unguarded. That cannot happen.//

/I will not simply stand by and let my Son loose his chance at life. Not when it is just beginning./


Tomoyo sat silently, sewing a mellow purple pleat of fabric on top of a soft cherry brown piece, putting some of the finishing touches together. It contrasted nicely, constructing the base colors and pattern of the young seamstress' newest creation. She smiled gently, glancing occasionally at her sketched design, imagining what it would look like on Sakura.

Pale fingers worked delicately, as she sewed all of her love into the fabric, with frills added to the sleek sleeves, and small hearts embroidered into the flared skirt. The outfit was beautiful; a slightly oriental design added into it, with earthy tones, and flame-retardant, ultra light fabric.

Tomoyo always had a way of planning ahead.

The young, violet haired girl slowly stood, carefully carrying the finished costume upstairs to where her best friend and lover waited for her in the kitchen, eating a small bar of the chocolate that matched her velvety brown hair while smiling that sweet, sugary smile.


"We should hurry. The cards keep coming faster and faster…" Syaoran frowned, wrapping his arms tighter around his form as they walked away from the destroyed hotel, in hopes of finding another place to spend the night. "Where will we go?"

Eriol was silent for a moment, the only noise was the echoing of three sets of feet slapping against the unforgiving black pavement, and the almost buzz-like noise of Akurei's wings beating furiously against the air. "Wherever we go, should we not inform your family first? We could drop by for a visit."

The shorter boy frowned slightly. "Can't we just… call them, or something?"

Clow Reed's incarnation smiled patiently. "I think we should probably consult them in person, first. Besides, I'm hoping that someone from your clan will be able to tell us about the Blood Cards. I don't have any recollection of them at all…"

Li sighed, still frowning. "How are we going to get there? Hong Kong is very far away."

"Aa," Eriol agreed, "But my magic, I've discovered, is much more powerful when I'm closer to places that house their own Magical auras. And I fear that we will need as much of my magic as we can get."

The youngest of his clan finally gave a grudging nod, lowering his eyes to the ground as he kicked at a few pieces of loose asphalt in vexation.

Nosferatu watched the interaction with a neutral expression, though a glitter of mischief flickered in his endless obsidian eyes. These two were by far the most …interesting people he'd ever been bonded to. And if only he could rid himself of the furry nuisance that was his fellow guardian, it would be perfect.


Two forms stood in the abandoned hotel room, wind and snowflakes swirling around them with violent abandon. They both appeared to be female, though outlandish in the very least. The first was tall and elegant, the designs of her clothes curling around her body like a large violin, the strings running up her torso, and reaching to just beneath her chin. Her hair was long and silken, coming to a slight curl at the very end, which reached down to her thighs. She war an unreadable expression on her fragile looking face.

The second was shorter, and much more wild in appearance. Her hair was long, spiky and untamed. She wore a skintight outfit that had shoulder pads, gloves, and shoes as jagged as her mane. Her expression was indefinable, though as wild as the rest of her. She looked impatient.

//They've taken her.//


//You took too long to get here!//

/Placing the blame on me will get you nowhere./

//Ugh. Do you have a plan to find him, now?//

/Can you not feel him?/

//I can. I can feel him so much... I can feel him so bad…//

/It hurts…/

//I hate him.//

/I love him./

//It hurts…//


Akurei sighed, watching as his two Masters trudged along silently, both devoid of sleep and looking ready to pass out. He glanced up at the winter sky, littered with clouds and only half-visible stars. It would be hours before dawn. They had exited the populated areas a while ago, and were now trudging through the Shopping district of some town far north of Tomoeda. With a slightly mistrusting glance towards Nosferatu, he slowed his hovering ever so slightly so he could speak in the beautiful guardian's ear.

"We gotta let them rest," he commented softly. "We can pull them into our dimension for a couple hours, right?"

At first the obsidian-haired guardian looked as though he would protest, but he resisted after a glance at Syaoran and Eriol. He sighed. "It will drain most of our energy to create a portal in which they can come through. You'll have to convert out of your borrowed form right in front of them…" He looked amused at the prospect.

Akurei looked as though he'd rather jump into a boiling vat of acid. "Can't we just knock them out first??"

Nosferatu smirked. "Oh no, I'm not letting you get out of it that easy."

Akurei glared at him for a long moment, fire nearly crackling in his eyes. "I'm going to have my revenge on you someday," He muttered, before flying towards Eriol and Syaoran and informing them of his idea. The shorter boy was suspicious, though Eriol assured him that even if it were unsafe for them, Nosferatu and Akurei's magical bonds would make it impossible for them to not keep their masters safe.

Syaoran gave in after a short argument… it was clear he was far too tired to really care.

Nosferatu smiled mysteriously, before lifting his hands and placing both palms directly on each of the boy's foreheads. Each felt a small jerk, as though the ground had been ripped from beneath their feet. They floated, and yet stayed still in a place that Syaoran recognized instantly.

"W-what? But this is…"

"This is the 49th dimension, created solely for you, Li-kun," Nosferatu answered, his voice loud yet soft, echoing in the crowded, empty void. "It is a place where Time and stands still, so that you may merge freely with the cards."

Eriol, who had been listening to the conversation with only half an ear suddenly frowned. "Where has Akurei gone?" He questioned, turning towards his descendent and the guardian.

Nosferatu smirked all-too slyly, and he suddenly stepped to the side, revealing the form that had previously been hiding behind his.

Syaoran's jaw dropped, and even Eriol had the good graces to give off a massive sweatdrop.

Akurei stood, looking indignant and embarrassed. Huge obsidian wings spun of glimmering spider silk folded tightly against a slender back. Crimson hair fell in soft waves, all the way down to scantly clad thighs. A single black silk cloth wrapped barely around the chest, leaving the flat torso completely bare, before cross crossing in front again and ending in the back. A staff that appeared to be made completely of flames was held aloft, and a gold band with a demonic aura wrapped around Akurei's forehead.

Syaoran appeared to be choking on his own tongue. Eriol looked as though he was on the verge of letting his own jaw drop.

Li slowly lifted one finger, and managed to find his voice.


[A/N: XD; don't blame me, I couldn't resist? It was such a boring chapter, I figured I had to put something interesting in it. XDD In any case! All of my reviewers, I LUFF J00! I SO owe you all, big time! You're really patient with me, even though I take FOREVER to get out these itty bitty chapters. Gomen ne!]

The Shot:

The Song:

(mentioned) The Snow: