Disclaimer: Card Captor Sakura is copyright CLAMP and all related enterprises. While I do not hold any legal rights over the series and characters, the situations that I portrayed the characters in, however, belong solely to me. This piece was created for entertainment purposes only; no copyright infringement was intended.
Warnings: Shoujo-ai, just nice and bittersweet.
Notes: Officially having been through hell and back, this fic marks the milestone of my (hopefully) drastic improvement. Change is good. At least, in this circumstance it is. Because, all in all, I really like this piece. I didn't dwindle on it for about a year's worth of time for nothing. Also, this fic is very, very philosophical. The method I used to give the reader this insight on Tomoyo requires some fast-paced stuff, so please do try and keep up. Give it a chance.
Dedications: For Aeres-chan. Because I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that Tomoyo-chan is ever so deserving of our fangurlish love, and should receive it by the bundles and hugs. I hope you like this piece.
Without further ado, enjoy.
Kimi no Onushi
Feeling of You
a Card Captor Sakura piece by rara avis
And she looked into her eyes, and for a moment --- no matter how short it was --- she hammered the image into her heart, her brain, her very being while dying in the sharp cuts and facets of their emerald gaze. A sharpness that wasn't really sharpness at all, because it was too sharp to be sharp, and too sharp to be smooth.
Much like life is.
Thus, she lives while she dies, and dies while she lives.
Until she's dying so much, it hurts. It hurts to die because the sharp facets of Sakura's gaze cut into her. Until she's living so much, it hurts. It hurts to live because the sharpness of Sakura's gaze is too true to be real, yet too true not to be.
It hurts because she does not know what she would do if Sakura's gaze held a certain sharpness that bore through her soul and was capable of examining every one secret of hers. That one sharpness that was finite in its existence, because even if it did exist at all, it remained hidden beneath the brilliant and radiant smile of Sakura's that spoke of warmth and obliviousness, not knowledge. Never knowledge. And that is a loss she does not know how to mourn, and so she does not.
What stops her then? What stops her then, from telling Sakura the confessions of love burning on the tip of her tongue…? Sakura would certainly understand by then that she did (did?) love her when they were children, she reasons. Sakura would understand the true meaning in those words, and not mistake it for something less intense. Wouldn't she?
And did Sakura understand those words of love then? She does not know. She does not know whether Sakura understood those words or not. That remains to be seen.
Perhaps that is what is holding her back.
This fact of her not knowing the depth of Sakura's knowledge about those confessions of love unheeded ages ago speaks volumes of what she knows about Sakura now. She believes that she knows a lot about her beloved Sakura. She does.
Remembering Sakura's expressions, pose, smell, speech… Remembering everything to play repeatedly in her mind, so much so that she lives on that very knowledge, and the source of that very knowledge.
Sometimes she has her handy V8 to help her.
Of filling Sakura's image in her mind 'till it can hold no more, and filling her very being with every ounce of Sakura, until the line between obsession and love is blurred. Crossed?
But she is careful to never know more of Sakura than Sakura knows of herself. That would be unnerving. She is tempted at times to find out, she has admitted, in effort to be able to complete all of the information she has of Sakura, but she does not wish to invade Sakura's privacy more than she already has.
As if that could be done.
Other times it cannot be helped. She knows something of Sakura that the latter has yet to discover in herself, and given the nature of those little facts (or not-so-little facts) such as Sakura's love for Syaoran, most of them are bent on disrupting her any real chance of happiness she had with Sakura. In the end, she was always left cursing her perceptibility.
So she is content with what she has, though somehow managing to be open-armed when receiving more of Sakura, like a gift. At the prospect of not finding anything of substance more than her own friendship and love to return as a gift, she has deemed herself rather selfish.
Because she knows that besides love and friendship, there is nothing more she can offer to Sakura. And even the love she is required to give does not have to exceed that of friendship itself.
Then why, Syaoran asked her once, did she still take time for Sakura? Why not just allow your heart to break, then mend, so you can move on, knowing that Sakura will never return to you the feelings you harbor for her? Please, allow yourself to find the greatest form of happiness.
Because her heart had already been broken, and then mended, but she still kept dying and living in those facets and cuts in those emerald eyes. It was like second nature to her; trying to stop breathing. She lived off Sakura, and clung to Sakura's very existence. Because the feeling that Sakura gave her would suffice, so that if she had to go an eternity without Sakura, she would still be happy with what she had. There is nothing else.
Because loving was painful, she had learned. It truly was.
(This was something that only she could not understand it for what it truly was: a notation. A piece of knowledge, raw and true, that displayed her masochistic ways of yearning and not obtaining. The true essence of her soul, and what it all came down to.
She brushes her hair, mechanically: the long, luminous folds of midnight sky sweeping down her shoulders and trailing her waist, while looking through the looking glass.
Midnight sky that could be cut up and torn into smaller pieces --- so small, ever so small --- until the only thing left is something very close to nothing.
Midnight sky that she imagines: light, free, weightless, and perhaps graspable. It leaves her itching for more of it than just a foolish dream --- or less of what she already has. The thought if it exhilarates her, albeit it is subdued due to the fact that she knows that such a thought should be impossible to dream, and even more impossible to churn into reality. Still, she embraces it and imagines herself with shorter hair; hair that, perhaps, will make her look like her and not Nadeshiko.
Fingers itching for a pair of scissors, she lets out a choked sob as she realizes she does not know how she would look without the hair that Nadeshiko had, with any other hair for that matter, or with just shorter hair to begin with.
Besides a replica of Nadeshiko, what would she look like? Who would she be? she wonders.
She is lost, and she does not know the answers.
All she knows is that like her, her mother's relationship with Nadeshiko has long since been blurred in regarding the line between love and obsession, and somewhere along the line, heartbreak took place for her mother.
And now her mother is left longing for more of Nadeshiko than anyone can ever give her: a glimpse, a smile, a twinkling pair of eyes, different facets of her love, and even more. More, then more, and then some. And yet another line is blurred: the line between lust and ache.
She wonders about her mother's relationship with Fujitaka at times, and likes to think that her mother really has forgiven Fujitaka in her heart, regardless of what she says, but does not wish to confirm it to him so that he won't be able to have the satisfaction of winning another round in their fight --- and to herself, for she will not allow herself to come to terms with her heart's acceptance of Fujitaka --- , and in the process, managing to lie completely vulnerable to such an enemy. She believes her mother has mellowed somewhat over the years, and rather unconsciously accepted the fact that Nadeshiko loved Fujitaka and not her, but the only thing she has still not yet come to terms with is her lover's death.
The only proof she has of such a suggestion is of that day when Sakura was capturing The Flower card. Behind the shrubs, she has seen how her mother treated Fujitaka: an angry, but almost playful way that hinted not-so-subtle hints that the rough exterior protected a soft, vulnerable one inside. At the mention of Nadeshiko's death, however, the rough exterior slipped away instantly and was replaced by a melancholic person who still wasn't over the heartbreak.
And still, her mother cannot cope with Nadeshiko's death, and for the former, the latter still lives.
Only in her daughter's appearance.
The thought infuriates her almost immediately, partly because she does not know who she would look like without a replica of Nadeshiko's hair, and partly because her own beloved cracks whenever she looks at her and is reminded of her deceased mother.
She does not wish for Sakura to be sad. She reaches down and pulls out a pair of long blades she uses when cutting velvet. Fold after fold, she remembers and imagines herself cutting away in the night.
Perhaps she should cut her hair. She is beyond tempted. Light, free, weightless, and perhaps graspable midnight sky that Sakura wouldn't find too painfully similar to her mother's.
She fears her own mother's wrath.
Send her mother grieving or her beloved grieving?
Her hands slid across the ivory keys when the sunshine streamed in through the windows. It splayed its warmth across the piano, and across her hands. Hands that were so pale, it was as if they blended in with the white radiance of the sunlight itself.
The sunlight, however, was pure --- a kind of warmth that, although remained felt and was heeded, lacked substance.
And her hands? Were they substantial?
The answer to her questions came to her then, as the faded sunlight fell into her hands, the piano instantly forgotten, and she moved to catch the rays as they bled across her to splay warmth.
She caught the sunlight. How fitting.
How fitting that she, one of the least stable - emotionally, physically too perhaps? --- should catch those that should fall. When they fall. If they fall. People and things like Sakura and sunlight.
And this was raw and beautiful in the sense that all things were beautiful, in some aspect or another: If Sakura fell, she would be there to catch her.
And who would catch her if she were to fall? For this reason, she does not.
She has no one. No one? No one…
She supposes that she cannot prevent herself from falling, but can only delay it.
Until she finds someone who will be willing to catch her.
Then the only thing she will fall in will be a world of happiness.
The smile stays in place, lest she falls in a world of dark depression and sadness without anyone to save her.
And how is she to know if she has already fallen? Surely, she has spread herself too thin already. Fallen into the dark void of despair and the abyss of depression, perhaps? She has, after all, already given up in attempting having her love for Sakura reciprocated, or even properly acknowledged for that matter.
She supposes that the day that she looks into the mirror and thinks nothing of the reflection, that the day she thinks her sewing worthless instead of works of art, that the day she forgets how in the world you operate a V8 --- that is when she has fallen.
And so all she does is wait for fate to take its course, because she is too tired to live her life --- if it is hers to live at all.
They were the color of pink strawberries.
It wasn't the most noteworthy part of his face. His eyes were, and those, too, were striking. But what caught her attention were the lips: soft, flushed, delicate. They were most intricately designed.
She is reminded of the flowers in her garden when she looks at his lips. They, too, were of the same color. They were shocking, and they lightened up the whole damn place. Too bad they didn't light up her heart, she thought wryly. Those lips only served to deceive.
She wondered if lies ever came past those lips. They probably did --- he wasn't so pure as to remain truthful for those twenty years of his life, but what she was looking for weren't just lies. She was looking for scandalous ones. Rumors, perhaps… or maybe swears of hatred to someone --- something just powerful and treacherous all at once. She wonders if he had ever said such things, would he come to regret it?
Because all he ever gives her are words of politeness and calm friendship.
It annoys her.
It annoys her because she knows that he means it, and that truly, he is a very sincere person. He always has been, and he always will be. Especially to her. Because even though they have known one another for so long, they maintain such an air of strangers and quiet indifference, that they are no more but strangers, and strangers they will remain.
They are perfectly fine with that. The only person who she has ever been close to is Sakura, and the same can be said for him. Should she try to be close to another? Should she try?
And so, to maintain their quiet air of indifference, they speak in the language most strangers speak: politeness. This is done not because they do not like each other, but because they do. Should he try to speak of forbidden topics amongst them, he shall have nothing to face. Perhaps only an empty shell.
(He has tried once:
Daidouji? Are you alright with my taking Sakura from you?
Have you heard me, Daidouji?
I am most apologetic. I am sorry; I have not. May I ask for a repeat?
Perhaps such a reaction was only due to his sheer bluntness, but this remains to be seen.)
She wonders if their politeness will someday annoy her to the point where she will snap at him, or maybe be a little hostile in a daring attempt to push the envelope. She wonders if he will snap back. She has seen it before. Just a subtle flirting with Sakura, and off goes Syaoran in a jealous rage, bringing turmoil, animosity, and violence with him. She has seen the fights, the bloody noses, and the broken bones. It amazes her at how passionate a person could be --- how alive a person could be all for their most important person, bringing with them heat and anger.
Why is it that she has never been angry before? Why is it that she has never felt so alive before? Why is it that the only thing she can mourn is what was never there?
And now, in a fit of worry and anguish and insecurity, she questions her very love for Sakura. After all, she is not driven to do the crimes and sins that Syaoran has done for Sakura, and she has not fully expressed her love. Never mind those endless tapes of Sakura, those frilly and cute costumes, those drops of blood that spilled when she first learned to sew for her beloved --- should she go to greater lengths to express what cannot be seen by the person she loves? Should she take that extra chance? Should her love for Sakura regress?
What would be the point? Alive or not, she is there, and through all this turmoil and amidst this endless barrage of questions, she has known only that she is there, and that she is her own person, defined by their love for another.
Their cup of tea arrives, and she, on somewhat impulsive action, raises it to a toast. To the future, she said. The curious autumn eyes across from her do little to hold in their interest. He, too, raises his cup in a toast.
Oh, and by the way, Li-kun, she says as she sucks the tea from the cup so her smile is well-hidden in all areas but her eyes, If you ever hurt Sakura-chan, I won't kill you. I'll just make you wish you died.
And this time, his lips curve in a full-fledged and mesmerizing smile.
And yet, those are somehow not the lips she wants to see. But she knows that somehow, everything will surely be alright, and somewhere along the line, she will find what she is looking for. Or perhaps it will find her.
- owari -
This fic was only supposed to be a writing exercise focusing on transitions, rather than a full blown entity of its own. In essence, it is mostly blending questions and answers of Tomoyo's psyche to the point where they became one; a blurred stream of conversation between consciousness and sub-consciousness. It was meant to be a little distraction from other ficcing, and it did serve its purpose exceptionally well. But then I remembered that I owed a little something to Aeres-chan, so… here it is now.
In the first part, I introduce to you Angsty!Tomoyo; in the second, Insecure!Tomoyo; in the third, SlightlyPessimistic!Tomoyo; and in the fourth, Annoyed!Tomoyo. This all re-establishes the fact that no, Tomoyo is not meant to be perfect, and she isn't perfect, and so part of defining herself is to live up to her own expectations rather than the expectations of others (namely us fangurls, by the way). I do hope that by now, I have efficiently portrayed what I think is canon Tomoyo, and not fanon Tomoyo, which I have noticed differs greatly.
The relationship involving Tomoyo and Syaoran is an interesting one indeed… Although I think Tomoyo is more of an older sister figure for Syaoran, there are some S+T supporters out there, I do realize, one of them being Aeres-chan. Truthfully, I just felt like transitioning from lips here, and it truly holds no significance, but I'll leave you to think what you want. It is also somewhat ambiguous, and is only there if you will look for it. In actuality, I included this because Tomoyo knows why Syaoran would love Sakura, and can relate, but what I wanted to portray here was Tomoyo understanding why Sakura would want Syaoran. In this case, for her, understanding why people love is a step closer to living a happy life with someone to love her back. Aeres-chan, just consider this icing on the cake.
The best try at making a happy ending so far. I do admit, I was planning my usual bittersweet ones, but it just kind of turn out like this… Is this something to be proud of, I wonder? I like writing bittersweet angst better, though. Hmm…
I do realize that this piece really has no beginning and no end, but ah, well. I have had enough of this anyway.
Comments greatly welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.