Disclaimer and Acknowledgment
I firmly believe in an individual's, corporation's or other legal entity's right to the fruits of their labor, including the right to their intellectual property. The individuals who own the intellectual rights this story is based on are Clamp (creators of Card Captor Sakura) and any they have legally shared their rights with. I hold no rights to the characters or the story that this story is based on. I can only hope that those who do will allow me indulgence for my humble work and will not take offense at any liberties I have taken with their characters. I can assure you, no insult was intended!
Author's notes -
For those who already know Card Captor Sakura---It's light, it's silly, it's fun. There are no deep thoughts here, it's just an idea of what might have been.
For those who don't---Clow Reed was a magician who made a deck of magic cards. The cards can be used to release magic spells. Many of the cards look like beautiful, slightly remote women when the magic is invoked.
Sakura is a ten-year-old girl who lives in Japan. Her task is to capture the scattered cards and prevent them from wreaking chaos. (Card Captor Sakura---makes sense now, I hope!) Cerebus (also know as Kerberos) helps her. When Sakura first meets him he looks for all the world like a small stuffed toy. After she gains enough magic, he is able to assume his true form, which is rather like a full-sized winged lion.
Kero's name - He's most commonly known as "Kero-chan", Sakura's nickname for him. From the information I've been able to find, "Kerberos" is the Japanese pronunciation of his actual name, "Cerebus". Since this is an origin story and the voice of the Clow Reed in my mind is British, I opted to stay with "Cerebus" as his name in this story.
Hands reach toward me and pick me up. They are soft, but I can feel the supple strength in the fingers. There is also a slight tingle in them. It tickles and I laugh.
"What a way to come into this world...with a laugh!" a voice says with a laugh of its own.
The voice is much like the touch; soft and strong, sunny light and velvet shadow, gentle and powerful all at the same time.
I see something before me, round like a moon with two starry bright lights. After a minute, I see it for what it truly is...a face. My Master's face...and the two star-like lights are his eyes. They twinkle at me.
"Welcome to the world, Cerebus!" sunlight dances in the laughter in his voice, "You and I will get along just fine!" he puts me down on the table again.
I'm surrounded by glass bottles filled with all kinds of colorful things. I want to explore and to discover what each bright substance is, but I suppress the urge. The man looming before me commands all of my attention...for now.
"Get along? Sure! But, why am I here?" I ask. I didn't know I could speak, but I can!
"Ah, so quick! Your way will always be lit with clarity!" he answers, "I am Clow Reed. I am a magician. I made you from magic to be the Guardian Beast of my Cards."
I sit up at that. That sounds cool! Guardian Beast?! Kinda ominous and frightening, but I can tell that I'll never frighten those who are closest to me. Something catches my eye.
It's a puff of beige fur that whips in and out of my field of view. I wait for it to come into range again...it does...I pounce on it! I pull on the puff and feel a tug myself...after a moment I realize I'm pulling my own tail! My tail is a puffball?!
Well, perhaps it's a fierce puffball. I let it go for now. My paws...have no claws?! They look kinda silly too!
I examine myself. I have cute little wings. I have four useless looking paws. I have the ridiculous puffball for a tail. There are no sharp claws. There are no fiercesome scales, tentacles, fangs, barbs or quills. I can't breathe fire or smoke. My fur is even a bright, happy yellow!
Clow takes a card out of his sleeve, smiles a little, secret smile and extends two fingers. The card flashes. The air before me solidifies and I see myself. I look completely silly. I dart toward his face with a growl as the mirror disappears.
"What do you mean, making me a stuffed animal?! I'm no Guardian Beast!" I shout at him in my fury.
"Calm down, Cerebus!" Clow laughs as he plucks me from the air. I hadn't realized I'd been flying!
"I just wanted to have a little fun! I'm not powerful enough to make a full-fledged Guardian Beast without help," he explains as he places me in the center of a huge circular symbol drawn on the floor.
"Two of my most powerful Cards," he tells me as he pulls cards from his sleeve again. He is very serious and somewhat frightening now.
"My key," he produces a ridiculously long wand from his other sleeve, "It is required to release the full extent of the Cards' magic," he tells me.
"Give power to Cerebus, the Guardian Beast of my Cards...he, whose aspect is Sun, Day, Light. Give him power to reveal his true form, rooted in Earth, but alight with Fire! Release, Earthy, Firey! Release!"
Clow taps the two cards with his wand and ribbons of magic flow forth until he is holding nothing. The magic swirls as it races toward me. I have impressions of two forms in that swirl of power, but they never become solid enough for me to see clearly. The magic touches me and I fall down. It's not painful, but I can't seem to stand up anymore. I am filled with power.
"Is he the one?" I hear a soft voice say.
"Will he be the Appointor or the Judge?" another voice asks.
I turn my head. Two women stand outside the circle across from Clow over me.
"Cerebus is the Guardian Beast. He is the Appointor," Clow tells them. They nod.
"Return to your power confined!" Clow tells them, tapping the air in front of him with his wand. Two cards of magic form before him. The women nod again, becoming ribbons of power that enter the cards. Clow tucks them back into his sleeve.
He turns his attention to where I lie in the magic circle. Clow is impossibly tall as he looms above me. I'm so tiny, he could simply squash me! I saw what he did with the women...he forced them to become Cards! Is that what he wants with me too?! He made me from magic, he could un-make me the same way! Something pounds painfully in me. I realize that it is fear.
"Now, my Guardian Beast..." he begins.
"I'm no Guardian Beast!" I shout out. I may not be able to stand, but I can still speak, "Don't mock me!"
"I'm not mocking you! How could you think that of me?!" Clow seems hurt. Even though I don't understand what's going on, or what is going to happen to me, suddenly I'm not frightened of him anymore.
"I told you I'm not powerful enough. Earthy and Firey share your aspect, the Sun. You should have enough power, Little Cerebus, to reveal your true form to me now. Release the magic!" Clow's voice becomes a powerful shout.
Somehow I know what his command means. The power that Earthy and Firey gave me, along with the magic that Clow made me from, shoots a pleasurable thrill through me. I don't know what happens to me in the next few moments. I'm caught up in the rapture of releasing the magic.
"Well, well!" Clow paces around the circle looking at me. His eyes twinkle with admiration. He's not as imposing as he was before.
I stand up. A sudden urge to stretch comes over me. I just happen to be looking down as massive paws extend brutally sharp claws.
"Huh?!" I look up at Clow. He has that secretive smile on his face as he pulls out a Card. His arcane gesture releases the mirror again and I look at my reflection.
I'm huge! I'm ferocious looking! I have claws, fangs, wings you can take seriously, a massive chest clad in cool-looking armor...I look like...a Guardian Beast!
I swivel my head a little to look at my Master.
"Why?" I ask simply, knowing he'll understand that I'm asking about my silly "other" form.
"I have to get my fun somewhere!" he replies.
I laugh. I can see the humor.
"You and I will get along just fine, Cerebus!" he smiles.
The first day of my life is a full day. Clow begins to tell me about his Cards, his magic and a little of the future too. He can see it sometimes. He tells me what my duties as his "Guardian Beast" will be, once I'm trained and ready for those duties.
I pace about his chambers as he prepares for sleep. He's a complex man. He's very powerful...but kinda lonely too. I'm not exactly frightened of him anymore, but I do respect the magic he wields. He's kind to me, even if his sense of humor is...well, it's not exactly cruel, just strange. I can tell he is a man of many secrets.
Finally he turns out the light. Unlike the Cards, I don't dispel when my magic isn't being used. Clow made me that way. I guess I'm sort of an "always on" magic creature. I curl up on the floor at the base of his bed. I didn't know I could sleep, but I can. I do.
A sob wakes me. Somehow, during the night, without my even knowing it, I'd reverted back to my silly form. I growl in my mind as I listen to the dark room again. There's another muffled sob. It's Clow!
He might get mad at me, but I fly up to where his head is on his pillow anyway.
"Master?" I ask as I hover in front of him.
"Oh, Little Cerebus! I'm sorry I woke you," he says, brushing a single tear from his eye.
"Why do you cry?" I ask.
"The future. I can see it. Sometimes...I dream about it. Sometimes...it frightens me," he admits in a quiet voice.
I think about that. Knowing the future hurts Clow. I growl in my thoughts again.
"I hate the future!" I shout.
"No, Cerebus, don't hate the future! There are wonderful things there, for you, for me too...I just wish I didn't know it all...that it would leave me alone sometimes...this foreknowledge I have...that I could sleep and not dream of it..." Clow's voice is very sad.
"Master..." I offer, "Let me guard your dreams so you can sleep!"
Clow smiles gently at me.
"Cerebus...you have more light in you than my magic could ever give!" he rasps.
I hover before him for a long moment before he takes me from the air.
"I like your Guardian Beast aspect, but I think your stuffed animal form is better suited for guarding my dreams!"
I won't admit it to just anybody, but Clow hugged me tight that night (as well as quite a few nights since then!) and fell asleep. I watched him for a while. He seemed to sleep peacefully and finally, I did too.
Reviews, comments and constructive criticisms are always welcome! Please feel free to email me also if you see something awkward that needs to be clarified or fixed. I need all the help I can get!