This story contains non-graphic depictions of sexual activity between two
males. This story also contains a somewhat more graphic depiction of sexual
activity between a male and a female. You should not read this story if you
object in any way to such things in text form, or if, in your area, you are too
young to legally read stories of a sexual nature.

The characters in this story belong to CLAMP. They are taken without
permission from the manga series Card Captor Sakura. I promise to return them
when I am done.

This is a lemony side story based on situations from 'Ad Finem,' a previous
work of fiction which is archived on my personal page at
http://www.akane.org/michelle It's not really necessary to read that story in
order to understand this one, but it couldn't hurt any.

--------------------------------------------

Her Wings
A work of Card Captor Sakura fanfiction
by Michelle Thatcher

--------------------------------------------


A master is someone that you serve. Someone that you
labor for and obey and adore. Someone to whom you owe your
loyalty, your love, and your very existence. A master is
someone who makes your life possible.

Clow was my master. He created me. He molded my body
and my character and my mind, infused my life force with his
power, and named me.

Yue.

His angel of the white moon.

Clow meant for me to adore him. He meant for me to love
and trust and worship him. That was how he created me. I
belonged to him utterly. I belonged to him in ways that I
even now don't fully understand, but that was the way he
wanted it.

I don't pretend to know why.

It wasn't that he wanted *me*. Not in the way that I
wanted him. Not in the way that he *made* me to want him.
Today I can admit it to myself. The love I had for Clow was
not a sexual love, but it might have been. I wanted him to
love me as much as I loved him. I wanted him to look at me
with more than just the deep tenderness and ... I can name it
now ... I can admit that I know what it was ... regret ...
that I always saw in his eyes.

Hindsight improves as the centuries wear on.

He created me to be a sensual being. He did the best he
could for all of his creations, but Keroberus and I in
particular he molded with care. He tried to make us as human
as he was capable of, and in the end he succeeded in a way.
We both have human speech; human thought; human emotion. A
full share each. What he could not do was give us both normal
human desires.

We are both abnormally driven by our desires, Keroberus
and I. We are both slaves to the comforts of the flesh.
Keroberus, though, has not the desire to be loved that I have.
Food and sleep are his passions and the only passions our
esteemed creator saw fit to give him. He and Clow had a
friendly relationship which hinged largely on whether or not
he felt he had been well fed for the day.

To me he gave a different burden.

I often tell myself that Keroberus is the lucky one.
Every day he is fed by our beloved master Sakura. Every day
his every desire is met. I am envious.

And then I think of To-ya and I am ashamed.

Keroberus will never know what it is to be in love.
He'll never know the binding of two souls together by choice
and attraction and feelings that defy description. He'll
never know the raw and admittedly primitive joy that comes
from touching and being touched and fulfilling every appetite
of the one you adore with hands and lips and surrender until
you are sure that you have ceased to be two autonomous
individuals for one brief moment that fills you with happiness
and pain and exhausted affection. He'll never understand all
that love *can* be when it's real. And mutual.

I loved Clow. I did. But back then I was too innocent
to know what it was that I truly wanted from him. I was as he
had created me to be. I needed so badly for that to be enough
that I didn't try to understand why it was not. Instead I
fretted about my own ingratitude and shied away from any line
of questioning that I sensed made my master feel tense or
unhappy or ... guilty.

Hindsight again, I suppose. Clow felt guilty for denying
me that which he created me to want above all else. His
touch. His passion. He felt guilty for giving me a hole
inside that would, for centuries, never be filled because he
was unwilling to love me as I wanted.

And then he went away. He left me forever, and for ages
and ages I wondered if it was my own fault. If he'd left me
because of the unclean desires that I sensed but could never
define or understand.

Long ago many things happened. Things that helped me to
understand some parts of what Clow did for me ... to me.

The first was that I found a new master. Perhaps,
really, I was given a new master. Clow picked her, and I
didn't have any choice in the matter, but I couldn't hold that
against Sakura. At least not for long. I grew to love
Sakura, but Clow had selfishly betrayed me and I think that's
why ...

Why I ...

I think that is part of why I fell in love with To-ya.

In all fairness, he fell in love with me first. I think.
Or perhaps it was Yukito who fell in love first, but in
matters of love, where Yukito goes, I can never be far behind.
I didn't want to give my heart to anyone now that Clow was
gone, but Clow had been cruel to me in many ways and it had
left me with a chink in my armor, I suppose. He'd thought
only of himself. He'd used me in his little game, and given
no thought to my pain, and To-ya ...

To-ya never thought of himself. For the first time in my
long and painful existence, someone was unselfishly kind to
me. He gave up so much to help me ... and he loved me. I
could feel it from the moment his power began to sustain me.
A magician gave up great power. For me. For love.

How could I help but love him in return?

Yukito knew more of human ways than I did. I was afraid
that our To-ya would not understand, but when Yukito tried to
explain it to him, he told Yukito that it wasn't necessary.
That he knew I needed him too. That neither of us could be
happy if the other was jealous and alone.

And so it was decided. I was afraid, but Yukito trusted
To-ya completely. I didn't mind. I only wanted To-ya to be
happy. That's why Yukito touched To-ya and kissed To-ya and
asked him to come to our home so that we could love him and
touch him and lie with him in the way of lovers. In the end,
he was the bold one. The one who knew that the time had come.

To-ya was as nervous as I was, but Yukito is gentle and
Yukito is persuasive and giving and we both needed to show To-
ya how we felt. He came. He made love to Yukito and it was
sweet and wonderful for all of us. Afterwards they lay
quietly. The tenderness and the tangled limbs, the clumsiness
and exhausted caresses even more than the moments of steepest
pleasure all did their part to show me what Clow had done to
me. What he had meant me to suffer for. I couldn't feel
resentment then. It was far too late for me to feel any
desire for Clow, and this new happiness was pushing away any
negative feelings I might have fostered. I loved To-ya and he
loved me and that made this into something totally new.
Something that bore little resemblance to any feeling I'd ever
had in the lost and starved past.

I had little time to think about these things because
Yukito was kissing To-ya and telling him goodbye for a time.
I wasn't ready. I didn't need to do this so soon. I was
satisfied with letting Yukito's happiness fill me, but Yukito
had other ideas and before I knew what was happening, I was
facing my beloved.

He'd been nervous at the start of this venture, but now
... the glow of his first sexual experience lingered. He was
happy and content and sure and he laughed at my blush and my
uncertainty. I was captivated by his laughter, and by his
sweat, and by his damp hair. When he took me in his arms, I
reached up to touch those wild black locks and to brush them
gently from his eyes. To-ya took it as permission. Maybe it
was.

I didn't resist him. I submitted to him as I would have
submitted to Clow had he wanted me. I let him push me to the
bed and press his lips softly to mine and I let him slowly
push his tongue into my mouth as I moaned and put my arms
around him. I liked being kissed by To-ya. I liked the way
his hands framed my face and the way his lips managed to be
soft and demanding at the same time. I liked the taste of his
tongue and his sweat and his hunger. Liked it and wanted him
to do more.

He didn't. He stopped and pulled away from me and I was
gripped with a sudden fear. Didn't he want me? Didn't he
love me at all? Was I wrong to think that I knew his heart
and his emotions? Desire was there in his eyes and in the
connection his power gave me, but ... there was frustration
there too, and I knew that I was the cause of it.

"I'm sorry!" I babbled pathetically. "Touya, I'm sorry!
Give me another chance. Let me try to please you!"

"Yue, you ..."

I was confused and somehow hurt and I looked at To-ya
trying to find any clue to his behavior. Why wasn't I good
enough? "How have I displeased you, master?"

We both froze immediately. Had I really said that? To
To-ya?

A master is the one whose power sustains you. His power
was what was now allowing me to live and to easily take my own
form, but he was not my master.

That more than my supposed sexual inadequacy made me feel
ashamed. I turned away from my beloved and begged Yukito to
come back. I only wanted to hide and think about what had
happened for a century or two.

Yukito didn't come back and I trembled with
embarrassment, but To-ya embraced me from behind and let me
shake and rest against him. "You don't understand," he
whispered. "All of this is new to me too, but we have to do
this together. I'm not going to take you or ravish you. I
don't expect you to let me have my way with you. I want to be
your boyfriend and your lover. I don't want to be your
master. I don't want you to submit to me."

But wasn't that all I knew? Wasn't it the purpose of my
existence? "It's my nature."

"No." His grip tightened. He leaned closer and brushed
his lips over my right ear. "You are a guardian. A warrior.
There's fire in you, I've seen it."

"You ... want me to fight you?"

"No, I ... well, maybe later. I want you to love me."

"I love you, Touya! I want you!"

"Prove it."

"Pardon?"

He let go and backed away from me. My poor heart set up
a cry of regret and self loathing, but I told it to be still.
To-ya would explain. Yukito trusted To-ya and I trusted To-
ya. "Yue, you're going to have to start this. I want you to
seduce me."

Ah, well. To-ya always did have a gift for subtlety.
The idea was completely alien to me. There was his desire,
though, shining in his eyes, sparking through our connection.
He sat there on Yukito's bed his naked chest still glistening
with sweat only partly his own, the sheets crumpled but fallen
to cover everything below his beautiful muscled stomach.

I wanted him. I wanted what Yukito had already taken
from him in his own timid and insistent way. To-ya had not
hesitated like this with Yukito.

But I was not Yukito with his easy grace and the explicit
invitation in his bold eyes. I was not Yukito with his
absolute trust. I was Yue with his memories of ... of ...
abandonment.

Once again, the memory of Clow was creeping up between
us. Between me and the love that I hadn't even known I'd been
dreaming of all this time. But I wanted To-ya at this moment
as I had never wanted anything. Even from Clow.

And I was somehow failing To-ya.

"That's not really fair of you." I was trying to be
logical and to sound as reasonable as I had always thought
myself to be, but looking at To-ya and trying to tell him how
much I wanted to be touched and held by him made my voice
crack strangely. If it were possible for one such as I, I
would say that I sounded ... childish. "If you ask me, I'll
tell you what I want and how I feel, but what you ask of me is
not in my nature. For that you would deny me what we both
want? You didn't wait for Yukito to start."

Master Clow had once censured me for appealing to him
like that. In my heart I think I still expected To-ya to
behave the same way; to scold me for my selfishness and deny
me for the sake of a lesson. I wanted to look away, but To-
ya's sensually relaxed pose would not be ignored. If I never
saw him like this again, I'd be saddened but resigned.
Looking away from him was an impossibility at this moment,
though, and I enjoyed it with guilt.

He did not react for a moment, then his expression
softened noticeable. "Perhaps you're right."

With a self possession that made my throat close in
immediate sexual need, he leaned forward and took my hand in
his. He pulled gently and I went obediently to him. I wanted
to touch him, but conditioning re-asserted itself and I had to
fight for every motion. I reached up defiantly and ran one
hand down his smooth chest, across his perfect shoulder, then
over his cheek and chin. He moved to accept each caress, his
eyes closing, his breathing heavy, but still my courage failed
me after these gestures and I waited for him to act or speak
with my hands folded in my lap.

Moments passed and finally he sighed, then he took hold
of my shoulders and again gently pushed me down onto the bed.
He looked deeply into my eyes and I shook with both my own
desperate need and the rapidly increasing arousal that I
sensed from him. He wanted me. I could deny it no longer. I
was empathically connected to him almost as strongly as I had
been to Clow and much more strongly than I yet was to my
current master. His excitement excited me.

"A compromise, then," he said in a quiet and husky voice.
"We try again." Once more, he pressed his lips to mine in a
soft and gentle kiss and I was lost. My arms went around him
and I lay still, loving the way his kiss made me feel and
hoping that soon he would proceed to all of the other
wonderful things that he and Yukito had done earlier in the
afternoon.

His emotions began to confuse me. He wanted me, but
frustration was slowly returning. Again I was failing to
please him and it made me afraid. I did my best to clear my
mind of the fear and focus on To-ya's feelings. The
frustration was mounting and the arousal was waning and I
struggled to gain some impression of what it was he wanted
from me. I suddenly knew that he was moments away from pulling
back again. I was no longer afraid that he would hate me or
punish me, but his compassionate understanding was as much to
be dreaded as any fate my abandonment issues might cause me to
speculate on. I knew To-ya loved me. I couldn't disappoint
him, and yet ... His whole body stiffened.

Desperation is a powerful motivator. In an act that
willfully defied gravity I rose from the bed and pushed him
down next to where he'd held me moments before. He was
startled, but my weight against his bare skin rekindled the
passion that had almost slipped away and after our eyes met
for one tense moment, I pressed my lips to his in a new kiss
which, I must confess, was neither slow, nor gentle. I had to
show him. I *had* to.

Finally I had succeeded. He was responding. His need
was rising again to match mine. His hands on my back were
driving me mad and his tongue was as active as mine. I pulled
away so that we could both think about what this meant. I
*could* please him. I wouldn't disappoint him again. I
pressed my face into his chest and nearly sobbed. "Please
don't leave me, Touya! Please love me! Please!"

"Yue ..." He put one hand on my shoulder as the other
began to play with my hair in a strangely detached way. "Do
you really think that I'd ever leave you?"

"No! I don't ... I don't know." And I didn't. Clow had
left me for wanting this. I could be forgiven for the fear
that To-ya would leave me once it had been irrevocably
performed. Once I had shown him the true extent of my
abnormal drive to be loved.

"Stupid."

"Forgive me. I only want to please you."

"Look at me, Yue."

Slowly, I slid up his body until I was looking into his
eyes. They told me nothing that I didn't already know. He
adored me. He wanted me to feel safe and wanted and loved.
"Yue, I'm not going anywhere. You and Yuki are more important
to me than anything and I *love* you. But I'm just a kid.
Just a teen-age boy. I've got my own insecurities. You have
to believe that I love you and you have to tell me what you
need because I can't read your mind. I'm pretty sure that me
just taking charge now isn't going to be good for us. I need
you to be an active part of our ..." Wise and mature as To-ya
was, it was hard for him to talk so frankly. We both sensed
how important this was, however, and he forged ahead. "Of our
... lovemaking. I need you to respond when I touch you. I
don't mind if you overpower me and hold me down. I think it's
pretty sexy, but all you really need to do is kiss me back.
All you have to do is show me that you like it when I ... You
like it, don't you?"

"Yes!" I almost shouted. "Very very much! Please touch
me! Please, To-ya!"

He blinked at me in surprise. I realized that I had
never before called him by Yukito's pet name. I was ashamed
for another moment, but then he laughed and his affection
surged through me. I would not apologize. Not when he seemed
so willing to accept all these new intimacies. "And I can't
shorten your name. Yue is just Yue. Maybe I'll call you Yue-
chan."

He was teasing me. It wasn't hard to tell. Somehow,
though, it still felt wonderful to be addressed so. By him.
Not anyone else. My dear little Yue. My precious Yue.
Ludicrous as it was, I felt warm inside thinking of it and I'm
sure that I blushed. "Don't ... be silly," I said, mainly to
keep him from laughing at me again.

"You don't like that? Well, don't worry. We'll come up
with something," he promised solemnly, and then he kissed me
again and I learned that if I paid very close attention to his
reactions, I could make him feel all sorts of wonderful
things. Over the years I learned to tell whether he wanted
heat and passion or soft strokes and slow kisses and I learned
that he was just as happy to give me what he thought I wanted
as he was to let me respond to him. He didn't seem to mind
that I needed him so often and so desperately. It didn't
overwhelm him to be the object of every human desire I was
capable of feeling. I loved him and he loved me and we were
very happy together.

We still are, really.

In his selflessness, though, To-ya has never wavered.
Now, once again he has stepped in and taken action. He has
forced my hand; given me no choice but to re-evaluate my
relationship with my master.

He's been dead for over a century and a half and he
thinks that's long enough for me to be celibate. He told me
in no uncertain terms that it was time for me to move on and
be happy again. I didn't want to, but he was rather
persistent about it and he has a way of getting what he wants.

I suppose I was just a little unnerved by how easy it was
for me to fall in love with Sakura. I look back over my
history and wonder. Clow made me. He felt guilty for many
things, but most of all, he felt guilty for how much I loved
him. Why did he make me that way? Why did he sow the seeds
of his own guilt?

Could it be that I loved him because his power sustained
me? That strange half Clow child once told me that I was
always meant to love Sakura. Sakura whose power sustains me.

Once, though, it was To-ya who sustained me. Was this
Clow's way of ensuring my loyalty to my new master, or was it
something more? He had known that Sakura would love me.
Could it be that Clow really believed that his actions were to
bring me happiness? If so it would show a concern for me
greater than I ever truly sensed in him.

But then, his feelings for me always were my blind spot.
He knew he would leave me. Sometimes late at night, I imagine
that I felt in him a great love for me. Love that he held
tightly in check because he believed it would be kinder to me.

Perhaps this is just my imagination.

It has been three days since I was re-united with my
beloved Sakura-sama. Three days since my connection with her
told me of the love she could no longer hide. Her magic is
strong. Stronger than Clow Reed's. Every day I thank every
teacher of magic she has ever had for hiding the truth from
her if they knew it. That half Clow must have known, and
probably that wife of his, but to my great relief they never
felt compelled to reveal to her the fact that Keroberus and I
know and will always know everything that she feels. The
stronger her powers become, the more attuned we will be. She
has no idea and would not be pleased to learn it.

Especially now.

I can almost feel To-ya smirking evilly within me. He
knows how difficult this will be and is perversely amused by
it. I know, too, that he is jealous, but if I back out now,
he'll be angry. Love is confusing.

He told me to love her. I do. I always have. Now,
though, she ...

It's worse than when she was ten. Or maybe it's better.
I don't know. All I know is that somehow -- through
carelessness or inattention or just too many years since I've
lain in the arms of my beloved -- I have let my own master
become the object of my passion once again. I know that she
is not like Clow. She loves me without guilt or reservation.
She adores me in her bright and innocent way. She will not
deny me her affection or her time or even the comfort of her
body should I ask it.

I wouldn't ask. I would never presume to do so.

But if I do not act soon, *she* will ask. I will not be
able to deny her. I will never deny her anything again.

I'm the one who kissed *her*. My decision. My momentary
weakness. And now, every day since, I have longed for her a
little more and a little more. To-ya tells me to stop
delaying the inevitable. He reminds me of the promise that I
made to myself and to him. A promise that can only be kept on
this one night. Another cycle and I will lose my nerve. Or
my mind. Tonight is the full moon, and that is why I have
brought her here. I needed to be alone with her. I needed to
surround her with beauty and mystery that she and I might have
a moment to be solemn and to decide.

What is left to decide, really?

It doesn't matter any more *why* I love her. Clow's
faults are not her faults; his schemes and hidden motives are
foreign to her. She knows nothing of them nor would she ever
use the methods he resorted to for her own ends.

She doesn't think of me as a child or a tool. To her I
am a friend and an equal.

A man.

The man she loves.

I had many objections in the beginning. I *am* her
servant. Her slave. No matter how *she* thinks of me, that
is my nature. However, to submit to her in this would please
her no more than it pleased her brother, and I would not put
her through that now that I am no longer a naive virgin who
knows no better. My acts of subjugation have always made her
feel sad.

I wonder too if she understands what it is that she is
now destined for. I do not eat, I do not sleep, I only long
to be loved. By loving me, she opens a whole new floodgate of
need and desire beyond anything in human experience. She will
become my new obsession. My reason for living. The demands I
won't mean to place on her may be more than she is ready to
accept. Perhaps I should warn her. I can't bear the thought
of scaring her away, though, and in this I am a coward. I
want to be loved. I want to be loved by Sakura.

Kneeling in the snow, I pledge my heart to her. I invoke
my attribute and hers as the foci for my oath. That moon.
Those stars. I swear eternal devotion and promise to love her
to the end of my days which may be a very long time indeed.
She is happy. She wants to make the same promises to me, but
she is worried about Yukito. Doesn't she know that where my
heart goes, his will follow? Yukito already loves her. In
another decade or two he'll be over his grieving. He'll reach
out to her and probably make these same promises to her. That
will be a happy day for all of us. Right now, though, he
doesn't want to be in the way. I speak comfort. I tell her
that he won't be hurt.

My heart soars as she tells me that she has always loved
me. I wait for the promise and barely hold in my reaction as
it comes. I feel unworthy of her purity and conviction for a
brief moment, but denying her this would cause her pain and
then my guilt would be absolute.

"So be it," I say, turning my back for all time on
perhaps the safer path. It is a bond of spirit between two
beings of a highly magical nature and therefore both my power
and hers rise to seal and strengthen it. Sakura anchors it
with her own verbal affirmation.

It is done, then.

Immediately, my sense of her emotional state surges up in
me. Has this act of will made it even stronger? It must be
so. I have resisted her emotions often in the past. Now my
own choice has made that impossible. My empathy seems
tingling and raw and the level of her joy is almost painful.
Oh, my heart, how will I ever endure such joy? How will I
separate it from my own?

I take a few moments to recover and reorient myself.
Sakura is holding me close and laughing. Innocent mirth that
makes me smile. I've never known anything so beautiful as her
emotions. They alone may be enough to satisfy all my desires
for as long as she lives.

But then her laughter fades and her hold becomes
something more intimate. As the last echoes die away, I hold
her and she snuggles in to me, her knees touching mine, her
hands seeking mine. She sighs. She is sobering, the
seriousness of the event beginning to replace the initial joy.
There is no regret in her. She has weighed the decision as
carefully as I over the course of the last few days. She
feels warm and content and relieved inside, and for this I am
grateful.

For Sakura -- as for me -- the taking of a lover is not a
casual thing. We talked about it once. Long ago. Many men
have sought her, but though she loves easily and fully, she
told me that it has never felt right. She could never even
accept another's kisses after her husband's death. None of
the men she's known have ever met ... I don't know what the
criteria are. Only that I am but the second to fill them. Or
perhaps I was the first. She said so once, but at the time I
judged her too young to make such a decision.

I can not regret the way our histories have played out.
We are together now. She doesn't give her body casually and
she doesn't change her mind. Only death will end our affair.
Nothing will end our love.

She is ready and eager to begin the physical phase. When
we return to the house, it will be to her bed.

My first impulse is to appeal to To-ya for advice, but
I'm sure his answer would be nothing more helpful than 'Kiss
her, stupid,' and even I am sensitive to the fact that asking
your new bride's brother about sex is just a bit strange.

There are parts of me that are terrified; that believe
that everything is moving much too quickly. I don't really
have a choice in the matter. Not with my heart so strongly
tuned to the eagerness in her. She is hoping and I will not
deny her. I will never deny her for as long as she lives.
When she asks, I will do all that I can to give her pleasure
and fulfillment.

Sakura-sama raises her head and looks into my eyes. I
smile at her more tenderly than I remember doing for many long
years. She is beautiful tonight. Happiness makes her
beautiful. She wants me to kiss her again. I do so. I like
her kisses more and more each time. My lips and hers softly
release and grip one another, her breath tickles my face. She
pulls away first and suddenly I have a sense of finality.
That kiss was significant. It was wonderful, but somehow
chaste and simple. A kiss to show tenderness and affection.
It has reassured us both of the spiritual nature of our love.
It is not loneliness or lust that has brought us together. It
is not desperation or convenience. We love one another
deeply. This is the matter she needs me to understand fully,
and now that she sees that understanding in my eyes, she leans
close for a different kind of kiss.

I know her perfectly. Another man might have been
shocked by the intensity of her passion. I know it took her
late husband well off guard so very long ago. Not I. I know
everything about her. When Sakura gives her heart, she
doesn't do so with flowers and ribbons. She does so with fire
and iron will and reckless abandon. Her kiss is hard and
commanding, her hands are restless and distracting. I whimper
not from surprise, but from pleasure almost too strong to be
contained. I hadn't realized how much I'd been anticipating
this. It is Sakura's fingers that pull my face that much
closer. It is Sakura's tongue that lashes out to explore my
lips and my teeth and my tongue. For a split second my
instincts say to submit. I want to wait and see what she will
do next, but my first lover's patient conditioning saves me
and before she notices the pause, my hands are pressing into
the small of her back, my lips are playing at hers, my tongue
reaches out to taste and to caress hers.

The pleasure I am giving her echoes back to me. It is as
I expected. She wants me to meet or exceed her attentions.
She wants me to do more than merely react to her. I hope that
I will not disappoint her.

After a small eternity, she pulls back quickly and looks
away. It only takes me a moment to realize why. My innocent
master is already imagining me straining above her. Her bold
thoughts have surprised even her and she has the grace to be
embarrassed. I struggle not to react; not to give away my
empathy to her, but the unchecked lust surging from her causes
me to shudder violently as my groin begins to stir for the
first time in well over a century. She breathes deeply to
calm herself. I watch her chest rise and fall and am
captivated by that motion and its promise of future knowledge.
Dangerous thoughts, but they can not be avoided forever.

"Master." I am surprised by the deep and shaky quality
of my own voice. Am I so enraptured so soon? I am surprised,
too, by her reaction.

"Mou! Yue!"

She is frustrated.

Sakura's frustration tastes different from To-ya's.
Sakura's is more fiery; less tolerant. I have made her a
little bit angry, but I am not afraid. Two centuries'
experience reading her emotions tell me that this will pass
quickly. She will give me a chance to make this right. I
will fix whatever has upset her. She is my master, and now
more than ever I live to fulfill her ever wish. My question
is not as panicked as it might once have been. "How ... have
I displeased you, master?"

She looks at me with reproach in her eyes and struggles
to calm herself. The frustration does not manifest itself in
her speech. Instead I hear a sort of wounded despair. "Yue,
you can't keep calling me master. Not now. Not when ..."

I am speechless. We have talked a little in past years
about how I address her, I know she has never liked my forms
of address, but they are so deep a part of me... I *must*
reverence her. I must give her all the respect I am capable
of feeling. But I also have to obey her completely. In this
case I am torn. I can't do both. I can't do one and not the
other.

"But master-"

"Yue, please ..."

I close my eyes. Her pleading only makes my dilemma more
painful.

To-ya taught me, though, that I can learn. That I don't
have to give in to Clow's posthumous will in everything. I
can struggle against what he made me ... what he did to me. I
can try.

I don't need to ask her what she would have me call her.
I form the sounds in my mind. I take her hand and look again
into her eyes. It is harder than I could have imagined, but
disappointing her is something that must not be.

"Sa-ku-ra." I can't help the shame that I feel, but it
is instantly washed away by her intense relief and the
pleasure my familiarity gives her. It's too hard. Too
difficult to say. I know that it will be a long time before
I'll be able to consistently call her by her given name alone
without thought and effort. I also know that if I slip, her
feelings may be hurt.

In my mind, though, I realize that I have begun to think
of her as something other than Sakura *or* master. In my
heart she has already become my ... "Beloved."

She looks at me, surprised and anxious to believe what
she has heard. I rejoice at how easily the word passes my
lips. Perhaps it won't be so difficult after all. My
reverence and respect are plain in the way I speak, but it
gives her joy. She laughs and embraces me again. I hold her
close and think of a bright future. It is pleasant to hold
her like this. I look up at the stars and I think of all the
ways they remind me of her. I plan all the things I will do
to show her the extent of my love. As my thoughts begin to
stretch into minutes and I start to consider moving to a more
comfortable position, I realize that she has grown restless
and impatient. I don't completely understand why. She is
gathering words and I wait calmly for them.

"Yue ... can't we ... aren't we going to ..."

She has become suddenly anxious. In my defense, that may
be the reason it takes me longer than it should to realize
what she wants. She is a product of her time and can not say
the words on this, our first night of declared love, but once
I understand that she wants me to make love to her, I am again
confused.

Now? She wants to leave this place of peace and
contemplation so soon? Her eagerness sends pleasant shivers
through me, but I am not so anxious to return to the house.
"Please, beloved, just a few more minutes. I don't want to go
back yet."

My words surprise her. "Go back, Yue ..." After a
moment, she laughs and rises to her feet. I blink up at her
as she smiles. Her cloak fastens at the throat. Her hands
have grown graceful over the years. I can not look away as
they unfix its button and gently coax it from her shoulders.
It would not have surprised me if it had folded itself neatly
as it fell to the ground. She has changed a great deal since
I first knew her. She was always good at sports and sure of
her motions, but now her world suits itself to her whims and
her movements are each unconsciously beautiful. She was
always lovable, but now she exudes a desirability that I don't
know *how* I resisted this long.

White wings bloom softly from her shoulder blades. Her
wings are not like mine. I have to concentrate to send mine
away when they are not convenient; my beloved must concentrate
to summon hers. My wings are corporeal; creations of feather
and bone, hers only mimic these things with the thin half
substance of her thoughts, but her wings are no less beautiful
than mine. They sparkle softly, an unconscious testament to
her love for flight. With another laugh, she launches herself
into the air as I watch dumbly from my place on the ground.
Her actions make no sense to me. If she leaves, I will
follow, but it would be unlike her to disregard my wishes so
blithely. She is not heading towards home. She is gently
drifting over the lake.

What is she contemplating, this happy child in the body
of the ultimate sorceress? What compels her to stop ten
meters off the shoreline and gaze upward in delight? Her mind
is active, but I do not know what thoughts occupy it. Still
this overwhelming joy masks any clues our connection might
give me. She pauses, and looks at me half mischief and half
seduction. I am rethinking my desire to stay. For what she
wants, however, it is too cold to remain here.

Isn't it?

My master looks down at the snow beneath her. I feel her
gathering her magic. The breeze picks up. It smells of her
power and for a moment I want to close my eyes and enjoy the
way it blows across the skin of my face and my feet and hands,
but I must know what it is that she is doing.

Again she looks at me and smiles as her spell begins in
earnest; a whirlwind of bright air circles her body again and
again, then sweeps the snow from the frozen surface of the
lake below her up into a spiraling frenzy around and above
her. She catches a flake in her hand. She has a minor
revelation then. An idea that delights her.

Sakura descends softly upon the lake. Her feet barely
touch the surface for a moment. It is her wings that she uses
to lower herself until she can touch the smooth ice with her
bare hand. The feel of her magic within me turns chill, and I
know that she is thickening the ice beneath her. Ensuring
that it will not break? Could it be that it is here that she
wishes to have our tryst? Here in the elements? A more
beautiful setting is certainly not to be found, but I must
think also of her comfort.

The snow she has stirred is falling now. Falling in a
pattern that she controls tightly. It settles gently; a white
circle within a larger white circle. I feel her altering it
somehow. Changing its properties. I rise to my feet
spellbound as surely as that snow by her happiness, her
actions, and her silent expectations. I pray again that I
will not disappoint her. She would never judge me harshly.
This I know, but I also know that I know very little about
human females, or how to please them.

I want to please her.

By the edge of her creation, she beckons me. I begin to
move toward her without conscious thought, my feet half a
meter above the snow. I move slowly though I couldn't say
why. I am as eager as she. She is the planet around which my
orbit has corrupted over the centuries. I am caught in her
slow and inevitable pull, drifting softly towards destiny.

Perhaps this really was meant to be from the beginning.
The day I was created -- the day he first imagined the idea of
me -- he knew that she would love me. This does not bother me
as it once did. A synthetic destiny is better than no
destiny, and Clow *did* want me to be happy. I have already
proven that all his wishes do not need to be obeyed by me any
more. Sakura and To-ya both did their parts to set me free of
the memory of Clow. In this, though, I am now glad to comply.

I take her in my arms. Again we hold one another in
content silence. She is no longer in a hurry, but neither is
she the least bit shy now. We are alone, she and I and the
stars and the moon. Her lips call to mine, her hands pull
softly at the fabric of my jacket. Innocent. She has always
had a pure and innocent heart, but now her happiness makes her
giggle like a child. Tighter and tighter her emotions are
binding us together. For now and forever more. I can't help
but smile. I touch her cheek softly. Our eyes meet first,
and then our lips. A second passionate kiss. One that sets
other things in motion within her. The feedback loop of her
emotions and mine is distracting in the utmost. It is
wonderful and frightening and I wonder how it will effect my
responses to her. She must not find out. It would be
disastrous.

I pull away first. She releases me and without landing,
drifts a short distance, bends one knee, unbuckles one shoe,
then the other; her actions still graceful and captivating.
They slip from her feet but make no sound falling into the
snow on the edge of her circle.

She means to have her way. She means to do this ...
"Here, beloved?"

"It's perfect!"

"But ..." I hate stating the obvious, but she is
serious. "Won't you be cold?"

The question surprises her, and for a moment she looks at
me. I realize too late my mistake. She does not flaunt her
power. In all these years it has not touched her heart or
changed the way that she behaves or the way that she thinks of
herself. I think that is why I have missed the obvious. Few
things come more naturally to her than elemental magic, and
the most basic skill of elemental magic is the ability to
control the temperature of one's own body. Of course she
won't be cold. With strength like hers, not even thought is
needed to keep warm in a mild chill like this. I wait for her
to laugh at me, or correct me. Instead she returns and takes
my hand, mischief in her eyes. "Yue loves me. I shall never
be cold again."

It is a ridiculous answer, yet I find I am smiling
foolishly, my throat closed off with feelings I once thought I
would never experience again. I hold her closer than ever
before resigned now at last to meet the measure of my
creation.

It is not my place to begin this. I look at her calmly
hoping that she understands this. One never assumes with
Sakura-sama. Some things she knows with uncanny insight.
Other things ...

Her feelings are excited happiness, affection, and
eagerness. Her hands grip my jacket.

Not shy. Not shy at all.

Her feet do not touch the ground. It is easy for her to
meet my eyes like this. I used my natural state of levitation
just this way to reach my To-ya's lips many many times. For
me it was play. For her it seems much the same. She smiles
at the ease of it all and moves her hands to my shoulders.
Using them for leverage she kisses me once more.

She senses how nervous I am. More than anything else,
this seems to amuse her.

So much like her brother, though both of them would deny
it.

And then her hands begin to move. My own remain at her
waist as she begins to feel the outline of my chest through
the thick fabrics I wear. For a moment I instinctively fight
not to react. I have been so unsure of my emotions these past
few decades ... I have worked hard at concealing them. This
training will not serve me in this case. I do not want to
hide my pleasure. I do not want to deprive her so. She
presses harder and I sigh. My eyes close. My hands move up
and down her sides. I feel the contours of her ribs; her
hips; her waist in soft, light motions.

For a moment I wonder if she made a conscious decision
one day to keep the body and the face of a girl barely out of
her teens forever. I suspect instead that it never occurred
to her to that she had a choice at all. Perhaps on some level
she knows it is something she could control. Perhaps this is
the most natural expression of her inner self. Young, a bit
naive, full of energy and determination, but very very sexy.

Almost without thinking, I draw her closer. These kisses
have been sweet and electric, but we have a future full of
kisses. I hold her to me with one hand while the other tips
her head to the side. Her skin has captured all my attention.
I press my lips to the space between her jaw and her neck. I
run my fingers down the other side of her throat. Her body
goes momentarily weak against me, her pleasure drives me on.

Oh, I remember this. I remember. There is another
tender spot on the throat, isn't there? My attention turns to
her collarbone which is half exposed in the moonlight. There
at the juncture I kiss her neck, harder than the last time.
Her pleasure washes through me. Harder still. I stop, dazed
by my own boldness. Had I not believed that as she was my
master I would need to take a somewhat submissive path at
least this first time? I planned to participate, but only as
a mirror to the boldness I sensed in her.

But I have pleased her. I am relieved without knowing
that I had been concerned. I gently rest my hand on her
chest.

It is a funny thing, the difference between men and
women. I had thought myself too bold kissing her there so
forcefully and so soon, but placing my hand directly upon her
breast I had thought nothing of. I have long classified the
motion as a very casual form of physical intimacy. She
herself had touched me there only moments before. I had
forgotten that to a woman ...

Sakura gasps in surprise as sensations stronger than she
anticipated fill her. I pull my hand away as swiftly as I am
able. "I'm sorry! Forgive me! I didn't..."

She shudders, but the echoes of my touch have turned to
an intense pleasure. "It's alright," she whispers. "Yue ...
it's alright."

Her hands move to my elbows. They grip the fabric there.
"It's ... good. Just ..." She clings to me as if afraid she
will fall.

"Beloved, I ... I really don't know anything about women.
You ... must teach me. I didn't realize ..." I embrace her
in a chaste way that I hope is reassuring. "I suppose
academically I know that a woman's body is different from a
man's. I'm still operating on an old set of habits, though.
I'll try not to make the same mistakes twice at least."

Her eyes are half closed. Her breathing is still heavy.
I want her to look up. When she does so at last, she smiles.
"Your first time?"

"Yes, beloved. Is this where I'm supposed to tell you to
be gentle?"

She giggles. "Yue! That was a *joke*! I can't
*remember* the last time you made a joke!"

I remember. I had believed such things beneath my
dignity once, but To-ya's laugh had been precious and rare. I
have hoarded each one up in my memory. Privately, I used to
go to great lengths to make him laugh.

Since then ...

I smile, but I suspect that it is a bit too wistful. It
sobers her a little. That was not my intention. I take her
in my arms and brush my lips across the skin of her throat
once more. There have been too many interruptions already.
All this tension between us; all this nervousness can only be
released in one way. The first time will be nerve wracking
and exciting and tense. With luck, after that things will be
easier. More intimate and relaxed and natural.

Is it a good trade?

Desirable or not, it is inevitable. I resolve to enjoy
the uncertainty and the excitement while I can. The comfort
of familiarity will come soon enough. Right now her touch,
her feelings, the smell and the taste of her are all new and
intoxicating and I am falling under the spell.

Curious and playful, she begins to tug at my jacket. She
lifts some of the trim and feels the seams. Now she is
becoming impatient, but her good humor remains. "All these
years. It never occurred to me to wonder where the buttons
were."

I can't help smiling.

"Here," I whisper as I guide her hand to the tiny hook on
my left breast. When To-ya was my lover, I often wondered if
putting it there had been Clow's idea of a joke. Yukito does
the things that normal people do. He bathes and sleeps and
changes his clothing as the occasion requires. I do not. My
clothes are a part of me, and if I remove them, it is because
I have chosen to give myself in love to another. My master
smiles as she sees how cleverly the clasps are hidden there,
over my heart. The hook reveals the buttons under all the
foolish trim. When she sees them, she becomes shy once more,
the immediate reality of her hand on the bindings
intimidating; fascinating. Those elegant fingers brush over
the carved ivory, her eyes gone soft and entranced. She
breathes out slowly, a fine mist visible in the cold air. She
grasps the first button gently between thumb and finger, then
her eyes drift up to pin mine.

It is permission she seeks.

Oh, this will take a long time. We are both so very
submissive, my master and I. If only Yukito could take the
lead once more ... As this is impossible, I must be patient.
I must give her whatever encouragement she requires.

And so I smile.

And she smiles back.

And her graceful hand slips the first button from the
loop that holds it.

So very slowly she moves. Gravity and desire carry her
fingers to the next button, and the next, and the next.

At last the final ivory fastener gives way to her will
and her gentle touch.

Now the chill air blows softly over the bare skin of my
chest. I am not cold, but I shiver just the same. The
sensation is unfamiliar. It is pleasant.

"So beautiful."

Her whisper brings my thoughts back to the present. She
stares at the opening she has created. I am momentarily shy.
Why my creator gave me skin so very pale I do not understand.
I had worried that she would think it strange. I can not deny
the aesthetic pleasure she feels. I can not doubt that to her
I am indeed attractive. Perhaps this too Clow understood.
Her tastes seem to have been clearly perceived and planned for
by him.

Much to Yukito's distress in the beginning.

I do not know how long we stand unmoving. There are so
many levels here. So many things going on in my soul. I am
happy that she thinks me beautiful. I am happy that her
desire is rising steeply. Each intimate action takes it to a
higher plane. Now, though, she has used up all of her
boldness. She waits.

This push and pull will drive me mad. Do I touch her?
Do I unclothe her or myself?

I decide that I must do something. Perhaps there is no
wrong decision. If I fail to please her, I will know it at
once. I have nothing to fear. My love loves me and there is
nothing to fear.

She looks. She is hypnotized by what she sees as
beautiful.

Very well, then.

I pull the edges of my jacket downward. Her eyes widen a
little as it slips easily from my shoulders. My wings do not
hinder me when I wear this strange cloth of woven moonlight.
They do not hinder me as it fall to my waist.

For a moment my arms are half bound by the tightness of
sleeves stretched too far. I tug gently on one cuff, then the
other. I fold the jacket over one arm when it slides free.
My wings spread to their full span and slowly sweep inward
once, then twice in their new freedom. As they return to a
neutral position, I look up at her once more.

Mentally, she is a bit numb. Have I gone too quickly,
then?

She takes a step toward me and holds up a hand as if to
prove to herself that all of this is real. As if to touch me.

She does not.

A proper Japanese female. I suppose I would not wish her
otherwise.

If only she would look in my eyes once more ...

Perhaps if ...

My fingers brush her chin. She jumps every so
delicately. I point her nose toward mine. Still it is a
moment before she will look at me. I can almost hear her
heart pounding within her. For a moment we are both afraid.

I can take these contradictions no longer.

I love her innocence, but I don't believe that it can not
exist at the same time as her passion. "Beloved." I am
surprised by how raw my voice has become, but so is my master.
For days her need has been fueling mine. Now the desire in my
voice dissolves her timidity and feeds her lust. "Please,
Beloved!"

Her hands burn their way down my skin in painful contrast
to the winter's night. I can't keep myself from gasping any
more than I can keep myself from taking her into a tighter
hold. The strange spiral of my reactions, her desire, my
sensitivity, my reactions climbs higher each time her fingers
brush down or across my chest. The patterns she traces grow
quicker, the pressure of her fingers increases. She wraps one
arm around me for leverage, then presses hard against me with
the heel of her palm.

It is very good.

There is tenderness in each of her actions. There is
great love and affection in her heart, and each time I react
to her touch with a sigh or a change in the way I hold her she
feels pleasure and a heartbreaking happiness.

But then, I've always known that she thinks more of
others than she does of herself. I am alarmed to learn that
she is quite content to put my pleasure before her own.

I love this too about her, but it can not be. Not this
time. Not because she is my master, but because I must do all
I can to show her how much *she* means to *me*.

Both of her arms have wrapped around my shoulders, and
now she is hanging from my neck, hands clasped behind me. She
weighs nothing at all. She exhales and sinks a few inches
until her lips rest at the base of my throat. They softly
tickle my flesh as she sinks a little lower and a little
lower.

It is so very good ... I want so much for her to
continue. And indeed, she seems content to press her lips to
my nearly hairless skin.

But I want things to progress. I want to loose myself in
*her* pleasure. I want to feel it echoing back at me and know
that I am its cause, and if I am not active now, it will
establish an unfortunate precedent. One of which To-ya would
certainly not approve.

I nearly forget not to call her master. Dizzy and glassy
eyed, I concentrate on the syllables of her name. Slow and
deliberate, I force them from my mouth as if drugged. "Sa-ku-
ra."

She slows; hesitates. My jacket falls from my arm. I
had forgotten it was there. I grasp her firmly by the waist
and pull her body upward and look into her eyes.

Again I remind myself that a more appropriate time will
not come. The fire is building within me. She is waiting for
me to act, and I must. Her eyes pull me forward.

I can wish all I want that hers was a bolder nature, but
it will not help to bring tonight's exercise to a satisfying
conclusion. I must act quickly. I can not look at her any
more. It is an unbelievable distraction. For the moment I
smile gently, then close my eyes. This surprises her, but my
hands on her waist are reassuring, and I know the limits of my
own courage. Now I am ready to begin.

Sakura's wardrobe is something to behold. It was
important once. She herself has simple tastes, but she had an
important friend once who taught her that beautiful and
flattering clothes can change the way you feel and give you
confidence when you most need it. She has known what would
come tonight, I think. She has dressed for the occasion.

It doesn't matter if my eyes are open or closed. I have
memorized the exact shade, texture, and shape of the dress she
wears. I know where every seam, every tuck, and every button
lie. With unfailing instinct, I touch her cheek as softly as
I am able, and focus all of my attention on our connection. I
will lose my nerve completely if her feelings change. As long
as my actions cause her no alarm, I will be able to proceed.

She is happy now. Puzzled, but content. She trusts me.
She waits.

As I hoped, her pleasure increases as my fingers trail to
her chin, and down her throat, and at last to the collar of
her dress. I focus harder, my left hand caressing her hip
lightly. Still she is not alarmed or afraid. Her hands move
across my skin slowly, and my own hand follows the cloth of
her collar around and down and my finger and thumb close
softly on the first plastic button.

There is a tiny spike in her anxiety and I stop. Her
breathing has quickened, and her arms go around me and pull me
closer. For a moment she makes an effort to relax, but it is
too late. I can not move.

In my mind, I know that nothing is more natural than to
be anxious and a little afraid the first time you are
undressed by a new lover. It really would have been more
surprising if she had not felt that stab of fear. I fight
hard against my instincts to submit, but this time they are
too strong. She is my master, and I have caused her alarm. I
resist the urge to apologize, but I am frozen by conflicting
signals and by confusion and by a new surge of anger at Clow.

Now she is waiting for me to continue, but I can not. To
my shame, my vocal chords close strangely over my exhale. The
sound I make is pathetic and frightened. It kindles a
protective instinct in her.

"Yue?"

I can not answer her. I can not move or open my eyes.

"Yue, it's alright. Please, Yue."

I gasp for air. No matter how briefly, I have caused her
alarm. Mild as it was, it has reawakened all my fears. How
did I presume? How did I allow myself to disrespect my master
in such a shameful way? The next exhale is almost a sob.

She hugs me tightly, her head resting on my chest. "Yue
..."

I have worried and alarmed her. My new surge of guilt
would be funny if it weren't so real. A game I can't win.
Feeling guilty for feeling guilty. She holds me tightly and
wonders what has gone wrong. And how am I to explain it to
her? Yet her increasing concern means that I must try.

"Master ..."

She wants to protest the title. She opens her mouth to
do so, but never gets past my name.

"Don't, master! Please don't! Not now. It's too hard."

She is silent. Annoyance does not surface through her
concern and affection. For this I am grateful. I sigh.

"Like it or not ... Like it or not, you are my master.
There is nothing I can do about that. I ... wouldn't want to.
You have been a very good master. The best I could have hoped
for. If I could set that aside, loving you would be the
easiest thing in the world. I can't. I can't just ignore my
nature or the reverence I owe you." My eyes are still tightly
closed. I do not need to see her to know that my words make
her sad. "Master ... I am trying. I will love you. I have
to. But if I can not take the lead, you must understand why.
If I submit, you must be the one to act boldly. I can not be
the instigator. Not this first time. Not until I understand
your reactions better. Master, if I ... if I don't please you
... I'll ..." I am aware of how pathetic I sound. I am
darkly amused by it. Again I play the fool. Clow was a real
bastard sometimes. My eyes open. I tilt my head upward
again. I smile at her ironically. "I'll just die."

I stroke her cheek gently as she considers my words. I
take a moment to silently curse my fate. Why must this be so
difficult? "I'm doing my best, beloved." Her silence hurts a
little. "Please tell me that you understand."

Sakura-sama normally saves her serious expression for
battle or for the concentration she needs for a new or
difficult spell. When the need is not pressing, the serious
look seems out of place on her face. It is adorable.

"Yue ... I'll try to understand, but ... try, okay? You
try not to give in. You ... you said you couldn't ...
couldn't love me before, even though I was your master, you
chose something else. You wanted him. That tells me ...
tells me that you don't always have to treat me like a master.
It tells me that you could fight it ... if you tried. You can
be more than just ..."

Her guardian?

Her servant?

Her slave?

She can not bring herself to say any of these words. Not
here. Not now that the chill air blows across my naked chest
and stomach, and her hands touch me with such gentle desire.
Not after she has promised and I have promised.

"Yue ... it doesn't ... I don't *care* that you're not
like other guys! I don't *care* that you're the Moon Guardian
and I'm your master. That doesn't bother me. Not even a
little bit. Why ..." She squeezes me tightly for a moment to
add weight to her words. "Why does it bother *you* so much?"

Haven't I just explained why? But in the face of her
faith ... In the face of her trust and hope and real naivete
in this matter, I can not correct her. I haven't the heart.

And haven't I already gone over all of these thoughts a
hundred times in my mind in the last few days? Why am I
letting them disturb me again? Worse, disturb her?

But I think that she understands. "Forgive me. I will
try. I just ... I need you to know that ... it may be
difficult. It may take time."

"Yue, what do you need from me?"

Irony. What was it that To-ya asked me for all those
years ago? I take her hand. "Encouragement." I stroke her
fingers gently. "Initiative. Permission. I also wouldn't be
opposed to an instruction or two. It doesn't help that I
really *don't* know anything about girls at all."

She smiles and pulls my hand to her lips. "Permission?"

I nod, spellbound. She is absolutely frightening when
she grins like that.

"Yue. Love. If it's not too much trouble ..."

She pushes aside my hand and rubs her body playfully
against mine. Like a cat. I whimper and my hands of their
own accord return to the small of her back. She holds in her
laughter. For now.

"Would you be so kind ..." Her voice is low and
emotional. "As to help me out of these clothes and make love
to me until the sun comes up?"

I would laugh if I weren't so ... well ... Turned on. I
know that such verbal bluntness isn't easy for her, but
because of my request, she has risen to the challenge. The
very air around her is charged. I am almost afraid of the new
state of her emotions. She is no longer the least bit
nervous. She has a taste now of her power over me, and her
passionate side is rising quickly. I regret for a moment that
we have lost the chance for the slow and shy mutual
exploration that might have been if I had been more of a man,
but this promises its own set of joys. All my proverbial
cards are laid on her proverbial table. She will decide my
fate.

It is a task for which she now seems prepared. She backs
away from me. Her eyes say 'What are you waiting for?'

And I am no longer sure.

The first button is the easiest. It slips through my
fingers before I have time to think.

There is her skin. Just below the point her modesty
normally demands be covered. I stare.

She whines impatiently and grips my forearms, her fingers
tracing the muscles there. They slowly move up to my
shoulders. She sighs appreciating Clow's handiwork again, I
suppose. I once resented the knowledge that he made me for
her. He designed every part of me with her happiness and
pleasure in mind.

For the first time in my existence, I am grateful.

My thoughts have distracted me from the task at hand, and
she is playing at being annoyed. Her lips graze my neck.
Then she licks, then sucks, then nibbles. I go weak all over.
"Sakura."

She laughs. I have never known her to be so happy.
"See, Yue! That wasn't so hard, was it?"

"What?"

My puzzlement amuses her greatly. She laughs and holds
on to me and rocks in the air. "Yue! You don't even know!
You didn't even notice."

"Didn't notice what?"

"My name! You said my name! You didn't think about it!
You didn't call me Sa-ku-ra! It just came out! It was
*wonderful*!"

And she is correct. For only the second time I can
remember, her name has crossed my lips unbidden and uncoaxed
and unadorned by suffix. I don't know whether to laugh or
cry. Perhaps the latter, but Sakura is laughing enough or
both of us.

I know how to distract her.

After all ...

When your master asks you to do something ...

Especially as politely as my master has asked me to do
something ...

I catch her gently. She hiccups from laughter to
surprise as I pull her close. "It's what you asked for." I
remind her. "The laws of operant conditioning say that you
should give me a reward."

Her surprise redoubles. Her smile brightens. "Oh, yes,"
she whispers. "You've been a very good boy."

She rises in the air. I let her go. She looks down as I
look up. Slowly, she tangles her fingers in my hair; runs
them downward; descends.

To say that she kisses me would not be ... adequate. She
pulls at me as she allows gravity once more to pull on her.
Her lips are wild and bitter against mine. Her tongue moves
slowly, but its path is one of fire.

Innocent?

Not she. Not in this.

I pull together what I can of my motor control. I don't
think we can get any closer, but as my left arm does what it
can to prove me wrong, my right hand finds cloth, then plastic
once more.

Even like this, her invitation ... her demands still
ringing in my ears; her desire quickening my pulse, filling my
mind with light and static, it is difficult for me to make
this move to unclothe her. It still feels presumptuous.

For her sake, I struggle against this awful wall. Clow
did not see everything, it seems. She does not want a timid
and retiring lover.

With great effort, I slip the second button free.

She does not stop or pull away from our kiss, but the
sounds she makes are more than encouraging. The feelings that
she unknowingly floods me with go beyond simple acceptance or
leave. Before I even will it so, my hand proceeds. Three
buttons. Four, five, six. My fingers explore the opening I
have made. Skin and satin. She moans into my mouth. If her
pleasure were not threatening to overload my circuits, I would
suspect that she was acting a bit. Encouraging my boldness.
It is not so. I have pleased her.

The feelings. How am I to cope? They will reduce me to
a quivering-gelatinous mass. I will be unable to do anything
once we move beyond this maddening dance of kisses and light
caresses. Her magic is too strong! Our bond is overwhelming.
I don't know what to do.

I could give in. My hands seem quite content to go their
merry way without my mind to guide them. If I let go and
enjoy all that my instinct and her reactions can create, I am
sure that we will reach some sort of conclusion. Perhaps it
will be easier next time. Perhaps I will, one day, learn to
control this tide.

But what about tonight?

What about my promises?

Part of loving a woman means to hold back. I may not
understand everything, but I know this much. A woman's full
pleasure is elusive. It takes time and care to bring her to
that precipice. This much I remember from her marriage. I
would hide from her feelings when it was possible by finding
my To-ya and losing myself in that pleasure. But I remember
how much longer the struggle lasted for her.

To-ya was always easy to please. So simple.

This creature who clings to me now is infinitely more
complex in her desires. She deserves my attention.

There must be a way ...

Is this too something that the great Clow Reed
overlooked? He found ways to torture me even now. But
perhaps he believed that this awkward first time ...

If my Sakura-sama and I had followed his time table, my
ability to resist her advances ...

Well, Li Shaoran's iron will had given out not long after
her eighteenth birthday. She'd been so very frustrated by his
chaste resistance ... When To-ya found out, I was barely able
to hold him back. He'd never felt any great love for the
young mage, but that day, I almost didn't have the strength to
keep him from leaving our home to tear off all his appendages.
To-ya resented my interference, but her happiness was my
concern, and I knew the boy had tried. I knew the depth of
her desire, her charm, and her determination. I admired him
for trying as hard as he did to take her to the altar before
things progressed too far. He never really had a chance. Not
against her.

And had we followed Clow's agenda ...

I like things better this way. Now if I send To-ya into
a homicidal rage, he has only himself to blame.

The fact remains that Clow believed that Sakura and I
were destined to initiate one another into the ways of love.
He believed that as she fought free of the awkwardness of
adolescence she would know that I was near. She would know
that no matter how strange and changed the world became, or
how jaded on the subject of love, she and the one she adored
would be together.

It would have been a beautiful life. Beautiful for both
of us.

And it would have meant that the first time I made love
to her, her power would still have been small. My connection
to her then would have made her emotions a warm and gentle
guide, and not a flood of heat and wonder that nearly
overwhelms all of my control.

It is fortunate that I am not human. Like any being of
power, my body is an extension of my will. As my strength
depends on her power, the problem may also be a part of the
solution.

I try to hold back the tide, but it is impossible.
Perhaps the answer is neither to resist her feelings, nor to
embrace them. Kissing her feels good. Her hands sliding
through my hair and over my shoulders feel good. I focus as
hard as I can on these things. These are *my* body
sensations. My pleasures. I run my fingers along her throat
and across her collarbone, and the texture of her skin is
smooth and soft. I like the experience of her warmth against
my fingertips. That too is a physical pleasure.

Now I hold my emotions up in contrast to hers. With
effort I *am* able to separate them. I am able to acknowledge
her pleasure without losing myself in it. As she backs away
and gasps for breath, I prepare to take this forward.

She is proud of herself. She smiles at me and I see that
the satin my fingers discovered is pale pink and fine indeed.
Again I look to her for permission, and she nods.

There are two more buttons. They are below the waistband
and I approach them with reverence. The plain satin camisole
ends just above her navel and the matching half slip begins
below the next button. It gives way as does its fellow, and
again I look at her.

The cuffs she unbuttons herself, and as I slide my
fingers across the length of her shoulders, and over two tiny
satin straps, she shrugs, and her dress falls to the ground.

And I avert my eyes. I look up at the stars.

The ones in the sky. Not this emissary sent from their
midst to fill *my* life with light. I know better. They are
a safe distance away. He who looks directly at a star too
near him will be blinded.

"Yue?"

And perhaps all these years in her presence have already
blinded me in all the important ways.

"Yue?"

Perhaps now I can finally imagine the life she is working
so hard to make a reality. A life where my place is at her
side.

"Yue. You're crying."

Well, no one ever accused her of being unobservant. Not
out loud. Recently. I take her in my arms again and I smile
at her. She looks mildly concerned, but really, my tears have
given her hope. Hope for what, I can only guess. "I am *not*
crying," I insist. "I am weeping. The distinction is an
important one."

She touches my face with her fingertips, and looks at the
glistening drops that come away with them. "Yue's tears. I
can't remember the last time Yue cried for me."

Of course, I cry for her more often than she knows. When
Yukito rejected her offer of love, I cried for her. When her
Syaoran died, I cried for her. When she told Keroberus and me
that her father would not live much longer, and then went to
work preparing for his passing even though she wanted to feel
angry and betrayed, I cried for her.

She has always been so very brave ...

And now I weep and I can't remember being so happy.

To-ya and I were happy, but back then it was not a total
happiness. She doesn't think I knew what my love for her
brother cost her. She doesn't believe that I know how much
she hurt.

I know.

I knew even then.

It's different this time.

She shakes herself free of whatever reverie my tears have
caused her. Her feet touch the soft white circle of snow that
she shaped so playfully. Her wings sparkle brightly, and then
disappear. She holds out her hands for mine, and as I take
them, she leans back until I find myself lowering her to the
ground. She lies on her back and smiles up at me.

For a moment, I can do nothing but stare.

The time for contemplation is over. The time for
memories, the time for idle talk, and the time for
uncertainties are likewise over. Her desire pulls me on. I
kneel beside her and discover that this creation of hers has
the cohesion of snow, but the texture and temperature of down.
It is soft, and resilient, and it insulates us from the cold
of the ground.

Her intuitive grasp of magic again. She amazes me.

I lean over her. Slowly, I hold my right hand just above
her stomach and look into her eyes.

Permission. How long will I seek permission for every
act of intimacy?

But she smiles, and my fingers touch the exposed flesh.
The navel, the valley, the jut of one rib, then two. I press
lightly with my palm. I brush sideways for a moment and she
sighs and rises to meet my touch as my hand caresses its way
back down to her navel and a little below. She whispers my
name. I enjoy the warmth of her pleasure. I fuel it with
gentle strokes and whispers of my own. She reaches for me. I
know she wants me to come closer, but I wait knowing that
delay will make the process sweeter for both of us.

But not too much delay.

I lean a bit closer and brush my fingers over her sternum
-- between her breasts. The loose satin camisole is warm
against her skin and she has begun in earnest to make the
sounds of one lost in pleasure.

"Pink satin," I say with a smile. "It suits you."

She giggles. "Yue! Touch me!"

"Impatient child! What have I been doing?"

She grabs my hand and pulls me closer. "Mmm! Yue!
Don't make me beg!"

"Don't tempt me like that."

But of course, I do not want her to beg. Not really. I
belong to her. I reverence her still, and her dignity is my
concern. That she would rather plead than command is one of
the reasons I adore her so.

I kiss her deeply. As I do, she guides my body closer,
and I obey. She is not happy until my whole length rests on
hers. Then her arms go around me, and she murmurs deep
contentment into my mouth.

And it is bliss.

And my anxiety is gone.

And so is hers.

I pull back to look at her. Her fingers trail down my
face.

"Please, Yue."

I breathe deeply for a moment, then move back until her
throat is at eye level. I look down at the gentle rise that
is her modest left breast under satin.

And that is where I place my hand.

Her pleasure increases, but only mildly. It increases a
little more as I apply pressure, and a little more as I begin
to caress, and a great deal when I gently squeeze and massage.
I had, of course, been told that a woman could be greatly
aroused in this way, but I had no idea how much. The satin is
a wonderful texture, but it is in the way. I have pulled back
and taken hold of her undershirt, pulled it over her head,
tossed it aside, and switched my attention to pleasing her at
the other breast before I realize two things. I have done so
without pausing for permission or a sign from her, and she
didn't mind.

Not even a little.

If she noticed at all as she arched her back and raised
her arms to make it possible, it did not surprise or alarm
her.

I pause now and contemplate this. Have I finally reached
the mind state of a lover? She thinks of me as an equal, but
I can not. And yet ...

"Mmm ... Yue ... Your mouth."

To Sakura, my pause seems natural. As if I'm trying to
figure out what to do next, or ... waiting for instruction.

"Beloved?"

Her hands meet behind my head. I obey her silent command
and kiss her where she directs.

There is nothing else this night.

No fear and no awkwardness and no master and no servant.
She has chosen as I have. We do not struggle any more, my
beloved and I. We do not fight one another for dominance.
She gives me pleasure. I give her pleasure. I know what she
wants and how to show her what I want.

It is -- if I may be allowed -- magical. I'm caught up.
Driven. No more able to stop than to hold back the tide or
the cycle of the moon. My tongue and hands move over her
flesh. Her fingers are wild and her desire is sweet.

Things progress along their natural course and when I am
naked and she is naked and I can deny her need no longer, I
... make a mistake.

Well, how was I ...

How could I know that ...

I mean, I haven't ever ...

So ...

She can't help herself from laughing a little. I
understand, but I am embarrassed as well. "I thought ..."
I'm confused and hurt by her reactions. I am not sure why she
wanted me to stop. As I unconsciously prepared the spell to
ease my passage, wasn't I sure that she was ready? More sure
than I've ever been about anything? Wasn't it her emotion
that guided me forward? "Sakura, please. Don't you ...
Didn't you ..."

She pushes aside her amusement. My tone of voice worries
her. "Yue, I'm sorry. I should have realized."

"Have I ..." I am too embarrassed to ask if I have
displeased her. I nearly call her master again, and that
would have been disastrous. She's still highly aroused. She
still *feels* ready, but since this is our first time, I'm
forced to entertain the possibility that I'm not reading her
as well as I believed.

"Yue." She takes my face in her hands and forces my eyes
to meet hers. "It's my fault. I just didn't think about it.
Even after ... you reminded me. It's just that ..."

She gathers her words while I wait. We both begin to
suspect that there just aren't any words.

She smiles again and reaches down between us to the area
in question. I gasp and fall forward on top of her as she
takes hold of me gently. I shudder and try to focus. Her
lips are moving, but I can't decipher the meaning of the
sounds she makes. And then we are both still and her eyes
close.

"Sakura," I groan, praying that it won't be much longer
now. Please, not much longer. She is internally focused,
reaching for the passion that my earlier misstep startled out
of her. I can't move. I can't do anything but shake and
plead with her. "Please, Sakura. Tell me what ..."

She is ready again in a sudden shift. Her eyes snap open
and she smiles. Still happy; still amused by my ignorance,
she looks at me with joy and lust and a playfulness that makes
me shaky on the inside and anxious all over again.

"It's alright," she says, and she is a goddess. The
avatar of everything wanton and divine. "Let me ..." Her
grip tightens, and I whimper a little, entranced by this new
personification of sexual desire. "Let me teach you about
girls."

Her lesson is simple, wordless, and eloquent. Her hand
guides me centimeters up from where conditioning had taken me
moments before. She sighs as do I when we reach her
destination. My mistake, then, had been simple and
anatomical, but significant. She has taken it with grace and
good humor under the circumstances. If I think back, Yukito
learned about this in his classes in high school, but I never
found human females very interesting back then. I admit now
that I should have paid more attention.

But I can't think about any of that at this moment.

Her pleasure at this moment eclipses everything that
we've done so far. I hold myself completely still. I am a
highly magical being. I draw my power from a nearly limitless
source. As such, I fight hard to control myself. When I am
sure that I can proceed slowly, I do so.

And it is ecstasy.

Once I have come as near to her as physics allow, she
signals a stop, and I am eager to comply. I gather my
strength for the endeavor to come.

"I'm very happy," she says, but to me, or the stars, I am
not sure. I have no words, but she doesn't seem to expect
any. And, of course, I don't need to hear that she is happy.
I feel it quite clearly. Even without magical empathy, I
could hardly fail to see it in her. I know it in my heart,
but her voice and her confession warm me.

I kiss her softly. Just one light kiss. The gentlest 'I
love you' I am capable of.

And she looks into my eyes and smiles.

I do not know if it is she who begins or I, but it is
even more difficult to hold on than I'd feared. Her pleasure
arouses me. Her pleasure arouses me far too much. I call on
all my discipline, all my control, and finally every bit of
her power that I can claim mastery of. I will not fail her.
I will not. Not this first time, and not ever.

It is difficult and it is also painful, but her pleasure
is climbing higher and higher, and I am more determined than
ever. For whatever reason, I am able to hold on. In the end
it is her orgasm that finally breaks through my control. I
know now that it always will.

Ah, well. I will never be the best of lovers. It seems,
though, that I will be able to keep from being the worst.

When the heat subsides, I try to pull away, but her legs
and her arms grip me tightly. She grunts, and I am too
exhausted from my struggle to do anything but collapse on top
of her. I can not even seem to levitate.

She holds me and sighs and looks again at the stars and I
listen to all the joy in her and am grateful. It has not been
easy, but it has always been inevitable. We are lovers. We
are forever connected. She runs one hand through my hair.
"Everything is so perfect."

That is my beloved. One big cliche. Her mood is not
serious. She wants to play. "Mmm," I agree. "You know, I
think I *like* girls. I like girls very much."

And it is true. The difference are ... pleasant. One
falls in love where one must, but lovemaking between a man and
a woman is pleasant indeed. That's not to say that I'd ever
let gender be the basis for choosing such things, but ...

"Yue?"

"Yes, beloved?"

"Are you ticklish?"

"No, beloved."

"Not even a little?"

"No, beloved."

"Oh."

"Forgive me. It is how I was made."

"Are you *sure*?"

"Yes, beloved. But don't let that stop you from trying."

She laughs, and I kiss her neck and run my hand through
her hair and am grateful for her and for her open nature and
her gentleness and innocence. And her breasts. Those are
quite nice as well.

"Yue?"

I smile at her antics. She is not a child, nor could one
say that she behaves in a childish way. Not really. She does
have many of the characteristics that one associates with
children, however. A brightness. A need for play.
Especially now.

"Yes, beloved?"

"I wish Dad and Mom could see us. I mean, not *see* us,
but ... I think it would make them happy. And Syaoran and
Tomoyo-chan and Eriol."

She did not mention To-ya. She must know, somehow.

"Yue?"

"Yes, beloved?" The address is the same, and few would
notice the difference in intonation, but this time the
question will be serious. I prepare myself mentally.

"What ... What changed?"

"What do you mean, beloved?"

"Yue ..."

I lift my head. It is heavy. It will not take me long
to recover, but at the moment I am weary and almost drunk with
pleasure and happiness and an inner warmth that make the
elements seem powerless indeed. With effort, I look into her
eyes and wait.

"You ... you didn't love me. I know that. For so long
you didn't love me. And now you do, so ... So what changed?"

I consider her question not sure of my voice or my
ability to explain. I am silent a moment too long for my
master. "Was it me?" she asks. "Did I change?"

"No."

The denial is spoken before I even have a chance to
realize that it is truth. "No, beloved. You are now just as
you have always been." I have always admired her greatly.
She learns and she grows wiser, but fundamentally, she is
unchanged by her centuries and her growing power. Her deep
understanding of the world and the human condition have never
made her bitter or hopeless or ruthless as they made my first
master. My creator.

She is stronger than he was. She is ... better. The
realization would have caused me great shame once. Too happy;
too wrapped in warmth and physical pleasure to allow myself
that emotion now, I think about all the ways that he was
unfair to me. It is a liberating experience. I see many
things I would not consider before.

"I am changing. Because of you. Because of To-ya. I'm
learning many truths about ... about love and loving, and ...
I was a fool not to realize how much I love you. I should
have figured it out a long time ago, but I'm stubborn. I'm
sorry."

She smiles and her hands trail through my feathers and I
must kiss her. We are both tired. My lips on hers are sloppy
and probably heavy. My kiss is slow and deep and graceless,
but I need it. Her lips have become my sustenance. It will
be so for many years to come. The obsession has begun, and
nothing will ever extinguish it.

But perhaps she is strong enough. She is unique and
wonderful in many ways. Perhaps her endless supply of
optimism and cheer will be enough to strengthen her against
the hunger that is my sensual nature. I will love her, and my
love will not frighten or injure her because she is Sakura.
She is the essence of spring, and she will be the agent of my
rebirth.

Clow abandoned me, and I mourned. To-ya sacrificed
himself for me, and I mourned. A beginning guarantees and
ending. I know this even as I begin to feel my desire
recovering and awakening.

To-ya died. I was devastated. But he taught me many
things. I am not now the poor lonely child that he understood
and nurtured. He taught me the truth about duty and
responsibility. He taught me that I can make choices about
whom I will protect and care for and how I will do so. I am
certain that Sakura will teach me new lessons. She
understands joy and embracing life better than anyone I have
ever known. She feels her sorrows deeply, but they do not
rule her. I want to be more like her. It is indeed me that
keeps changing, but with the help of those I love, perhaps I
will be blessed enough to change for the better most of the
time. I am the moon. Change is my essence. I take Sakura's
hand.

She is mine.

I've known it since the moment I returned to her. Known
that for the rest of her mortal life she will think of me
before all others, love me as much as any human has loved
anything at all, and would, if I let her, give me everything I
could ever desire of her until the day she dies. I chose. I
took her in my arms and pledged myself to her.

I know that life yet holds challenges for my master and
I. I know some of what is to come already.

But I am not afraid.

These past days I have wondered. To-ya was my friend.
Yukito adored him, but we never thought of him as anything but
an equal.

Sakura is ...

Well ...

A master ...

A master is someone that you serve.

Someone that you love with all your heart.

A master is someone that you help and obey and live for.
A master gives you health and power and even existence.

And if a guardian is very lucky, that master also makes
life beautiful and worth living, and full of love.



--------------------------------------------

Author's notes:

For those of you who are just tuning in, hello. I hope you enjoyed my first
quasi lemon. I'd really love to hear any comments that you would care to pass
on about it, so don't be shy about sending them to me at [email protected]

For those of you that have been wondering why I haven't posted any new
chapters of 'Wasteland' for a while, this story is the reason. I couldn't
seem to make any progress on it because this story was blocking it. It was
difficult for me to imagine Sakura and Yue in a healthy; established sexual
relationship because of A: Yue's empathic connection, B: Both of their
submissive and unassuming personalities, and C: Yue's view of the proper order
of things between a master and a guardian. I resisted writing this story
because I really think that most things like this are better left to the
imagination.

In the end, my desire to explore Yue's fears and hangups won out. Once it was
written, I resisted posting it believing that it was too angst-ridden, too
repetitive, and much too long and non-explicit for a proper lemon anyway.
Despite all that, here it is. It's unlike anything I've ever written before
for many reasons, so I'd appreciate comments and suggestions about it even
more than usual. More chapters of 'Wasteland' are on the way.

I'm not going to thank Krista for pre-reading this story. If you all want to,
though, you can thank her for pestering me to finish it, pestering me to let
her read it, and threatening to tell the whole world that I'd written it
anyway if I decided not to post it. And ask her when she's going to finish
'Hearts of Ice.' She likes that.

-Michelle Thatcher
[email protected]
http://www.akane.org/michelle Misha's Manga Fanfiction
http://www.utukki.com Utukki, my webcomic collaberation with Krista Perry