Li eased open the bedroom window, the clock on Kyo's desk flashed 8:30 pm. He'd just gotten rid of Master, who had insisted on coming in to ask Kyo if he'd be all right. Li got the feeling that the man truly cared for his wayward ward, and wondered how it might be to have the man as a father. But he shrugged the question, and the wondering thoughts, aside, told the man that he'd be fine, and asked him to turn out the lights on his way out. He was cutting it a bit tight, but if he managed a halfway decent drop without breaking anything, he'd be at the corner in twenty-five minutes. Suddenly, as though the wind card had swept him away, he felt his feet lift off the ground.
"Kyo, where are you going?" he was irritated, no doubt about it, but he also seemed so concerned Li felt his face flush. He'd never had the disapproval of a father; he'd grown up with his mother and four sisters, not to mention Meilin. "I don't know what's gotten in to you."
With a heavy sigh he tugged Li to the floor, but kept his grip on the boys collar.
"Master, please, I have to go!" Li pleaded, he glanced at the clock frantically.
"Where to in such a hurry?" Master knelt down to be at Li's eye level and straightened the collar where his grip had wrinkled it.
"I can't tell you." Li looked down at the ground and suddenly felt the weight of a friendly hand on his head. He tried not to wriggle, but it was an unfamiliar weight, it made him feel guilty all over again. "Please don't ask me to explain, but I need to go." He looked up into Kyo's father's eyes, for he realized that's what the man truly was to Kyo, "Believe me, I need to leave now."
The man was struck, suddenly, by the force of the boy's conviction. Obviously Kyo thought the world would end if he didn't leave, but he couldn't shake the feeling that there was something off about his pupil, his son. "Kyo, you've been acting weird all day..."
"Master." Li set Kyo's chin stubbornly.
"You're not fighting?"
"I'm fixing." Li assured.
"You'll be back soon? And you'll tell me what you can?" Master sighed as Li avoided his gaze.
"What?" Li shot his gaze up as Master stood and sat on Kyo's bed.
"Use the front door."
Sakura sat on the fence Kyo had jumped over the previous night. Tomoyo sat next to her, humming happily as she braided Sakura's bangs. The outfit was sleek, black, and very reminiscent of ninja garb. Though Sakura thought the large blue fuzzy boots looked more like a Muppet had cut off its feet for her, than ninja slippers. Her cuffs had the same blue fuzz, as did the hair ribbon.
"Tomoyo?" Sakura bit her lip nervously, "We've got five minutes and nobody's here..."
"Don't worry Sakura." Tomoyo giggled as she wrapped the braid with a fuzzy blue band. "I'm sure they're coming... Look, see, there's Meilin now." And she was right. Sakura sighed in relief as Meilin, in her Chinese garb complete with red shorts and bun wraps, dragged Kyo, dressed in Li's green ceremonial robes, toward them.
"Now we just wait for Syaoran Li and Keroberos." Yue crossed his arms as he looked up at the moon. And the girls giggled when they heard the couple before they appeared.
"Stupid stuffed animal." Li stuck out his tongue in a manner completely undignified before he realized he was being watched.
"Syaoran!" Sakura laughed and was just about to give him a hug when Yue pulled her back.
"Remember?" he asked gently.
"Oh! Right, sorry Li." Sakura blushed and looked down at her wand. "Sorry Kyo." She looked up at Kyo who was glaring at Li.
"How can you wear this stupid thing?" Kyo waved his sleeved at Li, who glared back.
"Those ceremonial robes have been in my family for generations cat boy." Li took offense as Kyo continued to wave the sleeve around in a manner completely irreverent.
"You didn't mess up my life while I was gone did you?" Kyo continued, further antagonizing the usually unruffled mage.
"How about if I ask you the same question?" Li shot back, "Is it almost time?" He snapped at Sakura, who'd been watching them instead of the clock.
"Oh, Oh! Yes, Kyo, hug Li." Kyo sneered, but opened his arms as he spied the dark shadow hanging in the tree above Meilin's head. In Li's body he could feel it as Eriol began to chant silently. A tingle in his spine told him that Sakura was beginning her own spell, and she wouldn't notice Eriol's if what he told Kyo earlier were true.
"Sakura is rapidly becoming the most powerful wizard in Japan, if not the world. Once she begins to work, her focus will be on her own powers, not on anything that might go wrong because she doesn't have that training yet. I will work a counter curse, one that, unfortunately, can't cure you, but will at least keep the damn thing from spreading." Kyo had asked him what he meant by that, but Eriol was keeping his lips sealed. "If you survive this without any ill effects I might tell you. But for now, keep your whiskers out of it. The only reason this concerns you at all is because you where at the wrong place at the right time."
"CHANGE card!" Sakura shouted as the magic swirled around them, fluttering their hair and making Kyo want to sneeze desperately, "Transfer these two back to their original bodies!" Once again Kyo felt slightly dizzy, disoriented, as it seemed his entire self was being pulled through a cloth and thoroughly rung out like the mornings wash. And apparently he wasn't the only one who felt that way. Tomoyo screamed in alarm as Yue's eyes rolled back in his head and he fainted to the street.
"Yue!" Sakura shouted, unable to go to his side as her magic began to fluctuate wildly. The itchy feeling of being able to sense magic started to fade, but as Kyo opened his eyes and looked into the eyes he'd inhabited the last twenty- four hours he cried out in pain. He crumbled to his knees and clutched the beads around his wrist.
"No!" he panted as Li stumbled back, once again in his own body. The boy at his feet screamed, and he felt the curse stretch between them like a physical thing. Instinct had him pulling the sword from its sheath.
"Kyo!" he arched back as the connection between them shuddered. Something was manipulating the curse, a magic apart from Sakura's, but somehow...
"Li?" Sakura screamed as the boy dropped to one knee.
"Seal the card Sakura!" he shouted out, "It will stop the drain!" He could feel his magical energy being sucked into the curse. The Cat was feeding on it as Kyo struggled instinctively against the Cats claim on his body.
"CHANGE card!" Sakura shouted obediently, not noticing the shadow in the trees as the punch of conviction and power added to her own, "Return to your power confined!" Kyo collapsed to the pavement with a weak groan; he could kill that Eriol kid for not warning him... Eriol... he blinked... who was Eriol? He looked up; Li was on his knees, supported by his sword as he struggled to get to his feet. Sakura hovered anxiously over Yue as he glowed and the wings surrounded his prostrate body. Tomoyo sat on the ground next to the cat boy as he looked over at her. Yuki sat up, rubbing his head as he grinned at Sakura, apologizing for Yue not being able to help.
Meilin shuddered suddenly, looked up at the tree and, seeing nothing, went to check on Li.
"So, are you all right?" Tomoyo helped Kyo to sit up and handed him a thermos of water.
"It felt like the cat was trying to suck Li dry." He admitted.
"It was." Li nodded, "We didn't think. I didn't think." Li hung his head, "I'm sorry, but I should have remembered that curses, specially those as old as your family's, tend to mess magic up." Kyo looked up at the tree again, wondered what he thought was up there as he grinned weakly at Li.
"No sweat." He got to his feet only because Meilin hauled him up.
"I think maybe you should let one of us help you home." Li rubbed his neck as he closed his eyes. The world seemed to spin in front of his eyes for a minute.
"I'll do it Li," Yuki volunteered, then, trying to stand he found himself back on the ground. "Wow... vertigo." He blinked much in the same way Li was.
"I'll take him home." Tomoyo flipped open her cell phone to call her body guards, "And I think I'll give all of you a lift home... you all look like you need it." She looked over at Meilin, "Help me get these guys into the limo will you?" The sleek black limousine that could withstand a nuclear holocaust, pulled up to the curb, and the two girls hauled their friends inside.
"So, nothing to explain away huh?" Li asked Kyo as he struggled to keep his eyes open.
"I think I might have been too nice... you don't smile?" he asked as he slumped against the window.
"I do too!" Li protested weakly as the girls giggled.
"So what about me? You pull it off?" Kyo almost groaned as they pulled up to the gates. He'd have to make the rest of the way himself, he couldn't let the others inside the compound or Akito would find out.
"I think you might have a little explaining to do to Master." Li admitted, "He caught me sneaking out, so I told him I'd tell him what I could when I got back if he'd let me go."
"Damn it Li." Kyo grumbled as he stepped out of the limo. He looked up at the large gate and realized he'd probably have to climb up the tree at the side of it.
"Don't worry, I told him it had nothing to do with a fight." He watched as the boy swung himself up on a branch and settled before attempting to stand on it. "Be careful."
"Yeah, yeah, telling a cat how to climb..." Kyo muttered as he grabbed the next one, and carefully pulled himself up.
"Just... keep in touch will you?" Li found himself asking as the boy gripped the side of the wall. Kyo looked down, blinked, and smiled so quickly that Li might have missed it if he'd blinked.
"I'll try." He admitted, for the first time giving a promise to a boy his own age, and meaning it.
"Good." Li leaned back as Tomoyo closed the door. He shut his eyes as Kyo jumped over the fence, and was asleep before Kyo landed, gracefully, on four limbs.
"Kyo?" Haru shined the light in the cats eyes.
"Shut that damned thing off." He snapped.
"It is you!" Haru smiled, relieved.
"Yeah," he sighed, "Its me..." he sat on the ground, leaned against the wall, and looked up at the moon. Haru settled next to his cousin and nudged him with his shoulder.
"Welcome home." He chuckled, not without a sense of irony.
"I hate this place." Kyo replied bitterly. "I hate my school, I hate Akito, I hate everything about this place."
"Don't say that." Haru said quietly as he turned off the flashlight.
"Why not?" Kyo growled.
"Because, I'm here." He got to his feet and held out his hand. "I'm at this place."
"Haru..." Kyo groaned and let the boy help him to his feet. "You know I didn't mean..."
"I know." Haru assured him, "But I'm here, and so is Master... and we both really care about you."
"I know." Kyo looked up as he realized the porch light was on, and Master was sitting on the steps, obviously waiting for him. "That's it, Magic boy dies next time I see him."
"He's just worried Kyo, and Li had to get back to switch, so don't blame him too much."
"I'll blame whoever I want to!" Kyo growled.
"Fine!" Haru was done being nice, "Just crawl home then!" and with that he dumped his cousin from his shoulder and stalked off, "Don't know why I try!" he screamed as he felt his black personality creep up. Ruthlessly he slammed it back down, and stalked away.
Toya met Sakura and Yuki at the doorway, he chuckled a bit as he opened the door to see them leaning against each other, completely spent of any energy they might have had from the huge meal they'd eaten earlier. He propped Yuki against the door, swung a sleepy Sakura into his arms and carried her to her bed. He pulled Kero from her pocket, still chuckling over the fact that he felt the need to go stiff and pretend to be a doll around him still. So he set the magical creature on the shelf above Sakuras bed before settling her against a pillow. Tomoyo had promised him that the ninja outfit she wore would be as comfortable as pjs, so he didn't bother changing her after pulling off those ridiculous boots. Tomoyo had told him, also, that the boots were experimental, and would make Sakura feel like her feet were resting in a pillow. He had to chuckle at that girl, even though sometimes she scared him. He waved the limo on as he pulled Yuki's arm over his shoulder and shut the door behind them.
"You are definitley sleeping over tonight boy." He muttered as he hauled Yuki up the stairs.
"Tired." Yuki muttered.
"Yeah, I'm getting that." Toya grinned. He dumped the boy into his own bed and yanked off his shoes. He settled them neatly next to the door, and plucked Yuki's glasses from his nose. He always looked more vulnerable without them on, so he pressed his lips to Yuki's cheek before settling them on his nightstand. He pulled the comforter over Yuki's shoulders before turning off the lamp and getting into bed himself.
"Stay?" Yuki asked before turning over and settling his arm around Toya's waist.
"Always Yuki." Toya promised before yawning himself, "Always."
Meilin chuckled as Li grumbled about her helping him to their flat. Though he did remember his manners in time to thank her before she pushed him into his room to deal with himself. She skipped down the stairs to wave Tomoyo on, promised to talk with her about Sakura and Li the next day before school, and watched as the limo rolled away. She was a practical girl, who was aware, who knew almost from the start that Li wouldn't be hers. She'd allowed herself to dream before they knew Sakura, but was too practical to continue once she met her rival. She paused at Li's door, knocked on it, and waited for his sleepy, "What?" before peeking her head inside.
Li was in his bed, his robes hung precisely in their cupboard, his sword sheathed and waiting on its rack. No matter how tired he was, Li always placed those relics, his inheritance, into their proper places.
"Are you all right Syaoran?" she asked, smoothing the comforter over him as he turned to look at her.
"His life is full of conflict Meilin." He said as she knelt next to the bed. "But he has people who love him... I hope he knows that." His eyes closed as Meilin pushed his bangs from his face.
"I'm sure he does Li, don't worry about it, get some sleep." She shut the door behind her, and went to the window to watch as clouds covered the moon. "It'll rain tomorrow."
I was debating leaving it at that, because that just seems like the natural ending to it all... everyone is exhausted, and pulling any more from this particular story line just seems like trying to wring blood from a stone... it just wouldn't work and I'd be left with dribble and you guys reviewing that my work sucks... so I'm hitting on the idea of continuing their relationships, but further down the road... so look for my next CC and FB crossover... I hope you liked this one... and please don't forget to review!!!!