Well, here we go, the end, the last chapter... *sniffles* *does touchdown dance* :-D No matter how much you like a story it's always wonderful to finally finish it. My efforts are happily redirected to my original works. I'm all geeked from finishing this and hopefully I will finally finish the fantasy work I've been working on for the last 6 years. *shakes head* Course before I can go back to that I have to finish the world building I'm doing on the role playing site I run, . I designed the Lorn enviroment there; we're gonna put a large update to that very shortly if anyone is curious. I have a less spiffy version on my own web page . There's something else on that site for this fic (but only if you're over 18). My parents raised me so I really don't get how parents now expect me to raise their kids. I think its their job but maybe thats just me. The last thing I want is to get bitched at by your parents because I'm not doing their job for them.
Stay tuned after this fic for my conclusion notes (since ff.net won't let me post it in its own section anymore).
And a final thanks to my reviewers, Ciu Sune, Maze-chan, Elihice, Konnie-chan, Violintide, as ever Tam Chronin, and Silent seraphim (who reviewed twice but who am I to complain).
Author's note: Unless you haven't guessed this story contains Shounen Ai (two guys in love). If you find that icky or otherwise have problems with that, that's between you and your sexual identity issues. Don't bother me with it, you've been aptly warned.
Oh and of course I own none of these characters. If I did, I wouldn't be posting here now would I?
Touya had feared, especially in his youth, becoming one of those confused ghosts who didn't understand who, where, or even when they were. He'd seen some truly sad stories: women wandering the streets calling for a child that had long since grown up and moved away, children sobbing on street corners for mothers that could no longer hear them, fathers walking the streets never able to find their way home; becoming that was his worst fear. Lately though, he was thinking that was only because he didn't know how bad things could go on this side.
He wasn't confused at least, he knew he was dead, he remembered seeing the truck perfectly; he just wasn't sure where he was. The way things looked on tv when people died, the fade to black or tunnel of light hadn't happened. Instead, the world had just faded away into a gray haze that swallowed all of his remaining senses, a gray that hadn't left yet. It was similar to what it had been like at the play.
The gray swallowed everything, including time. It was impossible to guess how long he'd been in this gray void. Nothingness was all-expansive, a wasteland surrounded him, devoid of senses nearly entirely. If he held his hand directly in front of his eyes, he could make out the outline of it and if he yelled at the top of his lungs he could detect some sort of sound. Even the feel of touch was numbed beyond notice. Touya wasn't prone to giving up, but he was nearing that line quickly.
Hope of being rescued by his mother had been swallowed by the gray long ago. A few times he'd heard her slightly, felt someone grasp him, but that was eons ago and he had no fantasies of being found by her again. Wherever he was, it was apparently out of her reach… and very permanent. His memories and regrets were his only companions in this place, though it seemed the gray was seeping into those too.
He clung to his memories of Yuki, Sakura, his father, and mother, but slowly he was loosing bits and pieces of those memories… He couldn't remember his mother's eye color anymore, or what Sakura had gotten for him last Christmas…, or what Yuki smelled like. He was loosing everything, inch by inch, and he couldn't stop it.
He sat in that gray, curled over himself, reciting his memories over and over again, fearful of loosing even a fragment, but knowing he'd loose it all eventually. Whispering without sound, he felt something odd. Anything at that point was odd, but this wasn't a pull like his mother had found him again, instead it was from inside.
Whether this pull lead to safety or to something worse, he didn't know but it was a risk he was willing to take. Reaching inside himself, he grasped the force pulling him and held on as tightly as his numbed hands could. It was now, and only now that he saw the flash of light that everyone talked about, but of course it was followed by a disappointing blackness.
The black opened up to feeling first, beautiful, savored, though odd feeling. The softness around him was eventually recognized as a bed. He tentatively shifted, stretching to feel the cool cloth against his skin, but his body complained and just felt wrong, though he couldn't tell why. The next thing that filtered through was the sounds of the world: birds, cars driving past, someone moving around down stairs. Reflexively he reached out to see who it was, like someone flexing a leg that had been amputated, but surprisingly he could feel quite clearly that it was his father. With that the switch was thrown and he was bombarded by information, sensing everything around him stretching out for blocks. He moaned under the strain and tried to rein it in to something manageable when he heard a voice. "To-ya? Are you awake?" Yuki… he knew that voice, it was Yuki's. "Are you awake?" His voice sounded small as he came closer; Touya could feel him touch his arm.
"Yu… ki…?" he asked slowly, trying to open his eyes but failing miserably.
"Yes! Yes it's me. Are you okay? How do you feel?"
A slight smile crossed his features, the best he could make. "Like I was hit by a truck." Somehow he actually got a light chuckle out.
Yuki's silence told Touya that he found it less than funny. "… yeah, I guess so…. Do you… need anything?"
"Maybe for you to laugh at my bad jokes in poor taste." That earned him a giggle, though not as intense as he wanted to hear.
"Alright, deal. Do you want something to eat, or a drink?"
"No, no. I'm good, though I feel a bit odd." He stretched again but though the complaints were less, the weirdness was still very present. His eyes also still refused to open, but he was getting his other sense under control so he could 'see' Yuki fine. "So… What happened? I was sure I was dead; I remember the truck, but now I'm here… Did I miss something?" Again he shifted, thinking about getting up sometime in the next fifteen years, but something felt extremely wrong and he couldn't place it. It was starting to bother him a lot, but he was patient and waited to hear why exactly he was back home in his own bed, when he'd been really sure he was very dead.
"You were dead…" he started quietly. "The truck…" his warm voice began to crack and he grasped Touya's hand, laying his cheek against it. "You were really gone." Touya squeezed his hand as tightly as he could, and waited for Yuki to be able to continue. Lifting his head Yuki began to brush Touya's hair back. "Sakura, she found a way to bring you back. It was hard, and dangerous, but it worked." He dipped his head down and kissed Touya lightly on the cheek.
"So, I got hit by a truck, died, and then got resurrected… and all I get is a peck on the cheek?" His eyes might not be cooperating but he got a smirk on his face just fine. Yuki laughed, wiping away the tears that were forming.
"My deepest apologies." He bent down and caught Touya's lips in his own and it was enough incentive to him to will up the strength to not only lean up into it, but to reach up with a hand to grasp him. He would have used the other arm but for some reason he was on his side even though he hated sleeping on his side and something was in his way to roll over and get comfortable.
Touya deepened the kiss regardless of how uncomfortable the position was, this was worth a sore neck. Re-memorizing the taste of his lover, he ran his fingers up through his baby fine hair, barely short of crying himself. Eventually they parted for air and Touya began to inch his eyes open, needing to see Yuki with his eyes. "Ungh…" he moaned at the blinding light around him.
"To-ya?!" Yuki leaned over him. "Are you alright?" Slowly the world lowed its intensity to something manageable and he was greeted to the gorgeous sight of Yuki's great amber eyes and pale, delicate skin. He reached up to brush his lips, washed with the same faint blush of pink.
"Very alright," he said with a smile that softened away the worry creasing Yuki's face. Again he felt Yuki's soft lips and as they parted he ran a hand along the side of Yuki's face. "I love you so much. I thought I'd never see you again."
"I love you, too." He wiped away his tears again and stood up from his seat on the bed. "Here," he turned and headed to his desk. "I've got a glass of water and I'm sure you're thirsty." As he darted over to it, Touya managed to sit up. Feeling very off balance he almost gave up on the idea and fell back onto the bed, when he saw his reflection on his door mirror.
The face that met him was his and at the same time wasn't. The features were basically the same, though his skin was a bit darker, like it was in the summer, though it was late fall (make that winter, he thought seeing the snowy outside in the reflection as well). Also different was his hair; it was now a very dark green and his eyes had streaks of green in them. But the oddest addition was the apparent source of the "weird feeling" and his lack of balance; behind his shoulders sat a pair of large, dark green, feathered… wings? Experimentally he stretched one, learning how to move it clumsily. "How did Sakura bring me back'?"
"Umm…" he stepped back over and sat back down on the bed. "She Recalled you, using a variation of the spell that… created you the first time." At Touya's confusion, Yuki continued, obviously worried about his reaction. "You were born, but… Clow discovered the problem about my energy running out, so he made you with a spell that was supposed to put you in a human body… It was complex; the spell stayed dormant all that time, waiting till the right circumstances happened, so you'd be born when you were supposed to be. Eriol sent us Clow's old notebook, it was the only way we found out. Clow supplied you with plenty of power to save me, but I looked at the spell and she's right, Sakura's right, he made you for that reason, but it was still your choice. He was very careful to make sure you still had the choice.
"When she Recalled you, she had to change the spell to give you a form like us; she didn't plan the wings, they were an aftereffect, I guess. We're all pretty sure that you have a false form that you can switch to that hopefully will look like your original body. She tried to bring you back as close as you were before, but…" Touya stretched out the wings a bit and broke into Yuki's ramblings.
"So,… I was made for you… literally?" he asked with a smile. Yuki blushed and nodded as Touya drew him into a kiss, wrapping his arms around his small frame. As odd as this all was, the bottom line sounded as natural as they came. "That's perfect. I suppose he planned us being together, too?"
Yuki shook his head, sending strands of short, white hair into his face. "No, not at all, though… he did at least think we'd be friends."
"Ah, well, I guess I still owe the guy a 'thank you', wouldn't you say?" He nuzzled his nose into Yuki's hair and earned a few of Yuki's giggles.
"I guess so." Anything else he would have said was lost as Touya drew him up again, this time canopying him with his new wings as Yuki made soft sighing noises as they kissed.
Over two months he'd been dead, he discovered. As fortune turned out, he'd gotten back just a week before Yuki's birthday, though the best he could get out of Yuki was "You're all the present I need". Not only was that tiring after a while, but it was completely unhelpful. Other than that, Yuki was simply acting odd and Touya didn't have the slightest guess as to why. At first he'd pawned it off on Yuki just adjusting to having him back after loosing him for so long, but he didn't think that was it. That was more him crying whenever he entered a room that Touya was in. No, the oddity was better described as nervousness. He was constantly straightening his glasses, stumbling over words, and backpedaling when he said something he thought he shouldn't. Touya loved Yuki desperately but he was beginning to wonder.
A number possibilities came to mind, none were very good. Best reason he could think of was maybe Yuki had let him go already and moved on with his life, so he felt guilty… The other side of the coin was so bad only now after days and days of being back was he able to follow the thought through: Yuki had cheated on him.
Well, no, that wasn't fair and he knew it. If Yuki had been with someone there was no way he could call it cheating; he'd been dead. They'd had a service, for gods' sake and scattered his ashes (he was told it had been very nice and lots of people had cried and that was kind of nice to hear); if Yuki shared a night with someone else, he had no right to be hurt. Though… what if it hadn't just been for one night? What then? For his whole short life he'd never had anyone but Touya, so what selection had he had in choosing who he loved? None, really. He'd said he loved him, but that after Touya had wasted years with him being indecisive only to die and abandon him. His being dead may have forced Yuki to talk to someone else, find someone else, someone who didn't take years to finally kiss him. Someone who would take the chance and make him happy… Of course now Touya was back, and Yuki probably didn't know what to do. He no doubt felt too guilty to tell him that he had someone else.
He didn't want to believe that that was it, but the worst of Yuki's nervousness seemed to come to a head at night.
Desperate was the word for it, the way he kissed him at night, as if he absolutely had to or… Or, was what Touya couldn't get, but he'd seen tears in Yuki's eyes enough times, especially at night to know they weren't the happy ones he shed nearly as often. They only slept together now; when he was like this Touya wouldn't go any further. The two times they'd made love since his return, Touya had felt like Yuki was… trying to make Touya happy… trying to get some affection before it was over? He didn't know. All he knew was that he didn't like being with Yuki like that, it seemed like he was taking advantage of him. Yuki was hurt by this, he knew it, but Touya also asked constantly what was wrong and got replied with "nothing". He was at the end of his rope on this and he was about to outright confront him about it. Tonight.
He had steeled himself to corner Yuki and demand to know what was going on tonight. His father and sister was going to a play of her's later (him being dead, he couldn't exactly be seen in public), so they'd be alone to figure things out. Worrying and hesitating wasn't coming into play this time, he'd spent too much time doing that. Touya was mulling over this as he came down the stairs, stretching his arms and enjoying having his body back (he'd taken three days to learn how to switch), when he heard the sounds of his father and Yuki in the kitchen. He barely stopped himself from rounding the corner when he heard them. "You can't keep this up, Yukito. You have to tell him. This is tearing you both apart, I can feel the tension between you two."
There was a pause before Yuki replied. "I know… I just… I just can't say it. What will he say? What will he do...?"
"You're being ridiculous about this, he isn't going to care, just tell him."
"No, no, no… he will care, I know he will." Touya could hear Yuki begin to pace. "He didn't fall in love with Yue, he fell in love with Yuki. He won't want me." Touya leaned closer as he heard this.
"Yukito… He adores you. He would never just throw you away. Take off those glasses and tell him the truth. He loves you, he'll be happy you're finally whole… really."
He could hear Yuki start to sniffle in the other room and he just shook his head. "I can't loose him, I just can't."
"You won't, I promise." Yuki was crying again as his father tried to comfort him. "I promise."
"Have fun!" Yuki called to his father as he left for the play and shut the door. Touya watched from the stairs, working hard to keep the smile from his face. He'd merged with Yue while he'd been gone, that was the big secret. It was laughable that Yuki had ever dreamed that he'd leave him because of this. Certainly he wouldn't be exactly as he was, maybe mannerisms would shift a bit, and he now had all of Yue's memories, not to mention that he didn't need any glasses anymore. It was an adjustment, but he'd never give him up over that.
He'd felt giddy with relief ever since hearing them talking, knowing that Yuki wasn't thinking of leaving him or had even slept with someone else while he'd been gone. It had taken real effort not to run in and tackle him right then and there, but someone how he'd restrained himself and had been waiting impatiently for his dad to leave.
"So… looks like we're on our own for the evening," he stated off handedly, stepping down to the floor.
"Yeah…" Yuki said uneasily, as skittish as his namesake. "Why don't I get us something to snack on?" he asked, heading past him into the kitchen, but Touya suddenly grabbed him and pinned him against the wall.
"Why don't you… not…?" he countered, leaning in close to his ear. "I like you right… here…" He ran his lips forward along Yuki's jaw line till he reached the front of his face and drew back to look at him; the glazed expression on Yuki's face was enough to make his pulse race. "But… Why don't we get rid of these props?" He pulled Yuki's glasses off and tossed them across the room onto the sofa, as Yuki fruitlessly tried to catch them. "I was never a fan of that cosplay crap." He grinned at Yuki's confusion and kissed him deeply, totally enjoying a kiss for the first time since that first day back.
"To-ya…?" he asked as they released, but Touya continued over him.
"So… Can I still call you Yuki, or do I have to switch to Yue?" Yuki's only response was only to stare open mouthed at his lover and Touya leaned in again to whisper into his ear. "I told you I loved you; why would you ever think that would change? I don't care what you look like or what name you have, or even what memories you have, I fell in love with you, not the packaging." As he leaned back again, he was met with Yuki's tear filled eyes. "I love you," he brushed the tears aside. "Never doubt that." He kissed him again tenderly at first and then deeper.
His kiss was matched with a furious passion that caught him off guard at first but he was fast to meet. Still locked in their kiss, their hands wandered; opening shirts and rediscovering flesh they had already gone over quite well, before. Running his kiss down Yuki's neck, he released and picked Yuki up, carrying him upstairs.
As he did, Yuki continued to pull at Touya's shirt, shoving it off his shoulders and tasting the skin now exposed, showing no notice of the trip into the room. Touya kicked the door shut behind them and playfully dropped the small creature onto the bed before him. He had just began to throw off his shirt, when he saw Yuki shift forms to his true form, giving Touya an eyeful of a half dressed angel looking up lustily at him. Pausing a second to enjoy the sight, he threw the shirt aside and followed suit, shifting into his new form and banishing his wings as he stepped up to the bed, unfastening his pants.
Like the feline he'd gained his eyes from, Yuki climbed across the bed and kneeling before his lover he reached up to draw him into an embrace. Eventually they came up for air and Yuki ran his delicate, ivory fingers down his chest as he dropped back down to sit on his knees. His eyes never left Touya and he licked his lips before the velvety voice answered. "I still love to hear you call me 'Yuki'. I don't want that to change, To-ya. I feel at home when I hear that name…" His voice trailed off as he began to kiss along Touya's chest and down his stomach as he finished undoing the rest of his clothes. The breath in Touya's chest got tight as he felt his lover's cool hands pull away the last bit of clothing.
Swallowing down air like a beached fish, Touya regained enough strength to roll off of him and draw him close, Yuki's arm weakly reaching up to drape across his chest. Touya kissed him tenderly and brushed his hair from his damp forehead. "I love you… You're my whole life."
Yuki smiled up at him, tracing the edge of Touya's face with his finger. "I love you, too. And I'll love you for all the years we have." At his simple words Touya felt a feeling of safety like nothing else and he nuzzled his lover's hair before falling asleep.
The moon with its twin faces but one form, tumbled through space, and though it was bound to the earth, caught eternally by its pull, it was the moon's pull that send the earth's seas rolling and winds spiraling. It was this movement, scientists now say, that allowed life to begin, turning the earth, firm hard stone and molten fire, to vibrant life.
The moon's pale face, in its austere beauty, smiled down upon the hard earth… and it lived.
Hello, and thank you to everyone who actually came back and read the rest of this after I dropped off the map. I hope this thing was in some way worth the aggravation.
Secondly, I wanted to take a few and point out some stuff that may of lost people. I sometimes get obscure on my titles in particular.
The first chapter that I think lost people was 5 – Five. It was a frustrating coinidence that the Chapter I wanted to title "Five" happened to be ther fifth chapter. I didn't chose Five because I couldn't think of anything, I swear. Five is in referance to the five stages of mourning or acceptance of death. Now I know people are gonna get up in arms saying he wasn't dying and be attracted to someone you didn't think you would doesn't equal death, blah, blah, blah. The stages aren't just for physical death but for all sorts of endings, Touya was seeing the death of a lot of areas of his life, marrage, children, a real life, a good chunk of his self identity even.
Next was Cranes. Cranes are important symbol in asian culture and can point to a lot of things. Firstly their attached to snow and all that is Yin (first reason I chose them), secondly there are quite a few stories depictiong them as maidens or goddesses disguised as cranes (one even was about a woman who took the form to avoid the pain of the death of a lover), yet another mask. Cranes also carry wishes, and the dream was definantly a wish. The dream was about a creature wearing a mask to avoid the death of a loved one, tied to the snow, made of the Yin element, who was the deepest wish of someone. Oh and then there's the whole "both are white" thing.
Witching Number. Few people even know what the witching number is. It's 9 or rather thrice, thrice, and thrice again. The first thing Kaho said to Touya was "You see it?", she broke up with him with "Let's break up" and when she saw him again she said "You've grown, Touya". Three words, three times. Also threes occur in other spots in the chapter.
And last but not least, Looking Back. I'm sure people got it, but I was rather pleased the the whole "he's looking back on the entire events" facade when really it was about him looking back to see the truck. Too bad he didn't have his poweres then, he woulda known it was there. :-D
I know the whole truck thing upset a lot of people, a few people even stopped reading apperantly *grumbles*, but if someone breaks a limb and it isn't set it will heal in the wrong way. When this happens the only way to fix the problem is to rebreak the limb so it can be set properly.
All I was doing is breaking a few bones. :)
Thanks for the laughs, everyone its been real.