Author's Note: (January 19, 2005) I'm revamping ACOH chapter by chapter, just touching up typos and clarifying things here and there, fixing the overall flow of the story, and getting it back on the track I want it to be on. Considering I haven't updated in months, it's difficult for me to recall just exactly where I was going—I've been rooting through old notebooks to find the summary page I scrawled down before I burned out—but I hope it all turns out well anyway.
As I said in the first posting, this story is inspired by a line in CCS the movie 2: The Sealed Card, in which Tomoyo mentions that she wants to film the capture of the CHANGE Card. It got me wondering what would happen if the re-enactment went wrong, somehow, and considering I'm an avid fan of the Touya/YueYukito pairing (notYue/Yukito/Touya, mind you. Yuki and Yue are the same person, for Gaea's sake.) it was only natural that this story would endorse that pairing. Well, here's the slightly-touched up version, complete with a change in chapter title. Ooh…how original.
I hope you returning readers note the subtle differences, and all you new readers enjoy it!
-------------------------Ichi-ban: Tsuki no Negaigoto
Taking a deep breath, the auburn-haired girl held out her Key Staff with steady hands, the golden star that topped it shining in the waning autumn sunlight. Her eyes were closed and she breathed in and out, in and out, concentrating. Turquoise eyes snapped open, focusing immediately on the figure kneeling before her.
The boy smiled, his soft brown eyes filled with faith in this girl's power. His fingers were wrapped tightly around the crosspiece of his sword, the blade of which was plunged into the earth. He closed his eyes, took on a serious expression and looked up at the yellow, plush-looking creature hovering beside him. "Are you willing to do this again?" he asked. The plush made a high, noncommittal grunt and turned away.
"Now, you're sure about this?" the girl asked, lowering her gaze slightly.
His serious expression broke, revealing a bright smile. "I'm sure, Sakura," he replied, giving the yellow hovering thing to his left a vaguely reluctant glance. "After all, Daidoji asked and you already agreed. Also, it's taken you both so long to get this worked out properly, I couldn't bear to ruin all your careful screenwriting."
She smiled. "Arigatou, Shaoran…"
"This is pretty good in itself!" Tomoyo giggled, peering through the eyepiece of her camcorder. "Don't you think so?" she turned to the two young men leaning on a tree behind her.
The darker of the two grunted, looked out at the two children, and ground his teeth almost audibly. Touya, his dark eyes even darker with frustration, made a strange growling sound, folded his arms and turned away from the scene.
"To-ya, stop it," the paler young man said. His ever-present smile was no different than usual, but his voice held a note of playful admonition. "This makes Sakura-chan very happy, isn't that enough?"
"No," Touya replied simply.
Yukito sighed, rolling his hazel eyes. "You and your sister complex…"
"I do not have a sister complex!" Touya refuted, cheeks flushing an intense shade of pink. Yukito held an icy-pale hand to his mouth to hide his chuckle, which likely would have evolved into an all-out laugh if the sable- haired girl before them had not cut them both off.
"Shh!" she hissed. "She's going to summon the card—I missed this last time so I'd appreciate if you two stayed quite enough for the mic to pick up all three of them." She looked over her shoulder. "Tsukishiro-san, you'd better switch."
The silver-haired youth's brow furrowed. "Right, of course." He sighed. "You'd better let me see it on tape when it's done, though."
"Of course!" the little girl giggled, looking through the eyepiece again to capture the footage of Sakura, Cerberus and Shaoran, her smile broadening.
Yukito looked vaguely put-out, but took a step forward and closed his eyes nonetheless. Immediately an intense light enveloped him, slowly taking the form of snowy-feathered wings. Touya watched with no little awe as the wings parted, revealing the moon-pale form of Yue. He had seen the transformation numerous times, spoken with the inhumanly lovely Guardian on many a time as well, but the intense beauty of the Judge never seemed to dim.
Of course Yue was going to be here—he was a Guardian, after all, he had to make sure Sakura was up to the task, that nothing went wrong. He had been at all of Tomoyo's reenactments, but this was the first time Touya had joined him for the entire film.
The dark-haired older brother of Yue's master had never stayed long enough to see Yue appear, always claiming he had something to do, some part-time job to attend…even when he didn't. Yue's beauty filled him with wonder on every occasion, making his heart brim with a feeling he had previously felt only for Yukito. It was a distant beauty, however; cold and far-off as the moon Yue drew his strength from. The mortal boy, Yue's polar opposite in so many ways, could reach for it at any time, only to find it shy away from his fingers. Fade and flicker away like moonlight.
Touya sighed and turned away as Yue leaned back against the tree beside him, great white wings almost blocking him from sight…then shying to one side to allow Touya to see him. Why had he done that? It made no sense for Yue to care if Touya could see him or not. Unless he was simply being polite, which seemed to most logical possibility.
"Hey," he said weakly.
The white-haired angel turned, his expression veiled and distant as ever, his amethyst eyes flickering with an unreadable emotion. What was it? So deep and intense it made Touya feel he was drowning…
"Hello, To-ya," he said softly using Yukito's nickname for the aloof young man. "You have been well." It was not a question: Yue knew everything Yukito knew, and knew that Touya had been doing well, at least on the surface.
Touya nodded anyway. "And you?"
Yue seemed oddly startled by the tall boy's concern, and turned away swiftly, looking out at his master, though not seeing her. "I have been…bored…of late." He lowered his eyes, taking a soft breath. "I am permitted outside so rarely now, and there is little to do but sleep." His eyebrows drew together, his eyes taking on a hint of worry. "And my dreams—"
He cut off as Sakura's high voice rang out. "Tomoyo, do you really need to get this capture on tape? Couldn't Kero just explain it to you?"
"It's history, Sakura, history! We can't just have Kero's half of the story—we need to see how everyone dealt with it!" the girl replied. "I need it on tape!"
Sakura let out another sigh, slumping slightly, and held out her key once more. "Okay, Shaoran—Kero. Both of you in place?" They nodded.
"It's kind of weird," Touya said, wishing he had the courage to inquire about the moon angel's sleeping visions. "I mean, doing a capture all over again just so Tomoyo can film it."
Yue did not look away from his master, and spoke in even tones. "Miss Daidoji is eccentric, even I will admit that," Yue agreed—or at least Touya felt he was agreeing—quietly. "Nevertheless, she has a kind heart, and I approve of her." He gave Touya a sideways glance. "As do you, if I recall correctly."
Touya flushed. "To an extent…yeah."
"For you, it is a rare occasion for someone to meet your approval."
"CHANGE!" Sakura cried, making the conversation between boy and Guardian die immediately. A bolt of blue light shot from her staff, rushing toward Kero and Shaoran, just as it had in her first attempt at capturing it.
Yue went stiff as the blue light hit something—the boy's blade, perhaps? Was it reflective enough to divert the magic?—and ricocheted in another direction. Toward Tomoyo, who was still filming studiously; cluelessly.
He ground his teeth, leaping forward in time with Touya, who seemed to have realized what was happening. They each took hold of one of the girl's shoulders and shoved her down into the bushes just as the beam reached them.
Touya felt a searing heat flow through his and gasped in pain, falling to his knees just as Yue toppled backward. He hit the ground after what could have been an eternity of heated agony, his eyes closed, and everything began to grow dim. He could hear, somewhere in the distance, Sakura calling out his name, then Yue's…
Then everything went black.
"He'll be okay, right?" Sakura said hopefully, looking from Kero—Cerberus, really, considering he was in his true form—to Shaoran and back again. The Li boy wore a blank expression, uncertain, but Cerberus gave a faint smile.
The immense winged lion nodded. "CHANGE won't work on a Guardian's true form, Sakura," he assured her. "Don't worry, the attempted transfer probably addled them a bit, but they'll be fine by the time they wake up."
The girl nodded slowly, hoping the Sun Guardian was right. If it had worked, Touya being forced into Yue's body and Yue into his, what would have happened to Yukito? Would they all have been shuffled, soul to body to soul to body, until nothing made any sense? She pushed back the horrid thoughts and silently gave a prayer of thanks to Clow Reed for his foresight. Making his Guardians variably immune to the Cards' power was probably the smartest thing he had ever done…she thought of mentioning it in her next letter to Eriol.
"Well," she said with a smile, "if they're both all right we'd better get them inside before they catch a cold." She wondered detachedly if Yue was capable of catching a cold. Or any illness, for that matter. Had Yukito ever been sick? She couldn't recall…
"Sakura," Tomoyo, making the girl start. "Are you okay?"
She nodded. "Just a bit tired—I've already used so many Cards today…"
"I hate to say this, but you're going to have to use another if you want to get them both back to your house," Shaoran said softly. "I don't think I could lift either of them without some help." He grinned sheepishly, flushing a little. "And Cerberus would attract a bit of attention walking down the street with an angel on his back."
The girl's eyes widened. "Oh! I'll cast SLEEP, I guess…"
Touya awoke with a faint groan, his head pounding. "Kuso…" he whispered.
"You're awake!" a familiar voice rang out. "Sakura-chan, To-ya's awake!" The dark boy rolled over, rolling off the couch, and looked up at Yukito, who was smiling brightly. "Hi To-ya! Are you feeling all right?"
So he'd woken up after Yue. The young man felt slightly disappointed, for some reason he couldn't name, but sat up and attempted to look amiable for his best friend's sake. "One hell of a headache, but that's about it."
"Me, too," Yukito said with a smile. "Well, it's not as bad as Yue says it used to be—he couldn't change back for nearly an entire hour after waking up! Can you believe that?—but it still feels like someone's playing a really big drum in my head."
Sakura walked in, smiling, carrying a tea tray that he set down in front of Touya. "Feeling okay?" she asked.
"Pretty good, for having a crazy little kaijuu shoot her laser at me," Touya replied with a wry grin, accepting the tea.
Sakura seemed about to defend herself, but the anger died quickly as she yawned. "That's good," she said at last, plainly.
The three of them drank their tea in silence for several seconds before Touya spoke. "So why didn't we switch places?" he inquired. "I thought that's what the CHANGE card does."
Yukito explained quickly, relaying the explanation Yue had given him. "If it had been me it would have been a different story—thankfully, it was Yue who had control at the time. Because of that you're both okay." Touya was silent, wondering what it would have been like to wake up in Yue's body. What did it feel like, he wondered, to have that much magic? To be made from it?
Somewhere, miles away, Sakura excused herself and tromped tiredly up the stairs.
What did it feel like to be as light as moonbeams? To be able to fly? What was it like to draw strength not from some earthly source, but the moon in the heavens? What would it be like—
He started, feeling as though he had suddenly been pulled back from a massive abyss. "Huh?"
Yukito's silvery eyebrows drew together. "Are you feeling all right?"
"Fine," Touya smiled. "Why?"
"Because I've been talking to you for the last several minutes and you haven't said anything," he explained, seeming to pout a little.
Touya felt his cheeks grow hot. "Oh…sorry. I guess my mind was wandering too far from home, huh?" He laughed nervously, but Yukito remained silent, looking vaguely concerned. After what was probably several minutes Touya leaned forward to prompt a response from his friend.
"Okay, if you're sure," he said at last, falling silent for several seconds more. "Are you still up to staying at my place tonight?"
Touya smiled again, though now without a hint of nervousness. "Of course!" He leaned over, almost resting his shoulder against Yukito's, and closed his eyes. "Yuki?"
He replied with a bright, "Hm?"
"When you're at home," the larger boy began, then broke off, thinking for an instant. "I guess I'm asking if…if…"
He turned to his friend. "Does Yue ever take control?" Yukito blinked, confused, and Touya held back a sigh. How could he phrase this without concerning Yukito? There was something upsetting the moon angel, he could read it his words earlier that day; he had to find out what it was, find out and fix it. but he couldn't simply ask Yukito to change to his other form, it would doubtlessly upset him… But he needed to see Yue again, somehow.
"You mean," Yukito said softly, "put me to sleep?" Touya turned. "Sometimes at night, when I'm already in bed, he takes over and goes out flying, but it's pretty dangerous here…mostly he just sleeps."
Touya thought for a moment more, then decided to follow his companion's lead. "All right, do you know what he dreams?"
The silver-haired boy's eyes widened slightly, then, to Touya's disappointment, he shook his head. "Only once, and that was a long time ago. I get the basic feeling, but it translates through my own dreams. I'm not sure…"
Touya nodded slowly, giving Yukito a rare smile. "All right, I was just curious. He said something about dreams earlier and I was wondering what." He shrugged. "I guess I'll wait until the next time I see him."
Yukito yawned hugely. "I'm really tired, To-ya," he said. "It's already eleven o'clock…" He looked back at his best friend. "Can we finish the movie tomorrow?"
Touya hesitated, likely thinking it over, and then turned off the television with the push a button. "Okay," he said simply, rising to his feet. He took Yukito's hand and helped him to stand, showing a rare smile. "Come on, let's get to bed."
It was rather easy to convince Touya to go to bed tonight, Yukito realized. Usually he'd sit there until one in the morning with his eyes taped open, Yukito fast asleep as he leaned against his shoulder. But then, Touya had had a rather trying day today—he was probably tired.
Touya made a quick trip to the bathroom, brushing his teeth and putting on his pajamas, then they retired to Yukito's room. Touya stretched out on his sleeping bag while Yukito flopped back on his soft bed, both of them genuinely exhausted. The two of them talked for a while longer, mostly about schoolwork and Tomoyo's adorable strangeness, then a bit about Sakura—though that brought up Shaoran, a subject Yukito carefully avoided in Touya's presence—before Touya finally decided it was time to sleep. Good thing, too, for Yukito was literally falling asleep mid-sentence.
They both rolled over, Yukito's breathing growing deep and even almost instantly. It took Touya considerably longer to fall asleep. He wanted to talk to Yue tonight, but had long ago decided that the Guardian would likely be sleeping while they had their little get-together. Finally, when he couldn't read the clock any more, so tired were his eyes, Touya fell asleep.
Yukito's sleep instantly grew deeper and darker, quieter than humanly possible; such was Yukito's state whenever Yue woke up, this time was no different.
The angel turned, letting his legs side off the side of the bed as he looked at his mistress's older brother. His paleness seemed to give off a weak light, illuminating Touya's sleeping form only slightly more than the full moon shining through the window.
To-ya; Yukito's special person; the one person alive that Yue wanted to speak to more than anything. The one person he didn't dare to say more than a few words to. Yue could still feel the strong pulse of Touya's magic dancing in his veins, keeping him alive when nothing else could. The thing he had sacrificed to save him…
No, to save Yukito. He did not care for Yue even slightly, he knew. He had given up his power to make sure Yukito lived, not Yue.
"Protect Sakura…and protect yourself."
The words came back with perfect clarity. Hadn't Touya said that? But no, that was so Yukito wouldn't be hurt. Again, he cared only for that piece of him, that half of his soul that was always bright. He did not know this darker, quiet side that Yue lived in. The place where Yukito stored his doubts and pain…Where Yue slept and dreamed while Yukito laughed and lived.
Touya did not know, did not understand, what Yue felt for him. He could never know, Yue would make sure of it. It would repulse him to know that such an alien…thing…had any feelings for him at all.
It wasn't fair.
Yue rose to his feet, then knelt down beside Touya, looking down at him with what would have been melancholy if anyone else had held the expression. As it was, Yue's eyes grew vaguely softer, and the corners of his mouth turned down ever so slightly. He reached out slowly, carefully, and ran his long fingers along the side of Touya's face.
"I wish I could tell him," he whispered, looking at the dark boy with intense longing. Dark hair, dark skin, so much like Clow… He closed his eyes and let his hand trail down Touya's neck, to his shoulder, down his arm until his fingers rested in the boy's dark palm. "But I wish more, most of all, that I could know how he sees me. That I could feel what he feels when he looks at me." He intertwined his fingers with Touya's, feeling every line in his fingerprint, every worn spot in his skin…
Yue laid down beside the boy. "Just for a moment, I'd like to see as he sees…to feel as he feels. To know what he feels for me." He closed his eyes. "Just once would be all right, wouldn't it?"
And then the Guardian was asleep, a great heat forming in his chest. Touya let out a faint gasp of pain as the same searing sensation formed in his own body, spreading through him, running along his veins, burning behind his eyes. Yue let out a cry, then the two growing flames within them seemed to intermingle, just for a moment—
And then it was done.
ACOH contains numerous words in Japanese, words that some reader might not be familiar with. Because of this, I'm placing a glossary of sorts at the end of each chapter. I hope it makes for easier reading.
Ichi-ban: anyone who has watched CCS in Japanese should know this word, which translates to Number One (CCS is notorious for having used this to describe the various characters' special person. Touya's is Yukito, Sakura's is Shaoran, Eriol's is Kaho, etc.)
Tsuki no Negaigoto: The chapter title translates to The Moon's Wish, the same title the old version had. Actually, all the chapters are like this, simply translated into Japanese in one form or another, but I'm going to leave a note of their meanings for anyone who doesn't remember the titles.
Arigatou: This is a term of gratitude, meaning, basically, "Thanks," and is not as formal in nature as the English "Thank you." To be more formal, one would say "Arigatou gozaimasu," or even use the term konshashiteru (my romanization is atrocious, so do not trust this spelling of the word), meaning "grateful."
Diminutives: Yukito calls Touya by the nickname "To-ya" just as Touya calls the smaller boy "Yuki." It's fairly uncommon to remove a syllable in the middle, like the u in Touya, and even more uncommon to remove a base sound (the Japanese equivalent of a vowel) , making this nickname an odd one. It's actually rather difficult to hear the difference between the full name and the diminutive when spoken, but die-hard CCS fans should be able to tell the difference.
Honorifics: You all probably know about chan and san and kun, but I'm noting them anyway. Honorifics are a way of showing respect, or disrespect when used in a derogatory fashion, (e.g: calling someone older than you by kun(m), ko(f) or, Gaea forbid, chan.)
Kuso: the equivalent of 'damn' or 'crap' in English, but lacking a literal translation. This is one of my favorite Japanese words.
Kaijuu: Another word any sub-watching CCS fans should know, meaning monster in its most base form. One of the more advanced words derived from this is youkai (note the kai) which is another type of monster. (Inuyasha fans are hitting their heads and going "Dur!" Some people don't know this stuff, so bear with me.) Touya calls Sakura by this at any chance he gets, treating the insult like an annoying nickname. Sakura should technically take offense to it, but she never gets really upset about it. It's this particular fan's opinion that she would be sad if he stopped calling her that.