CCS Fanfictions: Rite of Passage () A:hover {color #ff0000; pont-family: Tempus Sans ITC; pont-size: 18pt; pont-weight: bold; vertical-align: 1}

Card Captor Sakura Fanfiction


September 24, 2001
Disclaimer: Card Captor Sakura and all its characters are owned by CLAMP, Kodansha, Mixx. No money made, all for fun. Reminder: though this fic borrows aspects from both the anime and manga versions, it will primarily follow the manga plotline. The Li Family characterizations and non-canonical characters are figments of my imagination. Please do not archive this fic without the author's permission.

Rite of Passage
Chapter Nine: Light Conquers Darkness

By Ina-chan

["Once upon at a time, long long ago, there lived a princess who fell under an evil spell..."]

...or so that's how the story starts. I don't care for fairytales. They all follow the same boring formula. Beautiful Princess in distress, Prince in a white horse comes along to save her, they kiss, they live happily ever after. Growing up with four sisters, however, didn't really give me a choice in ignoring the matter.

["That is so typical of a boy..."

"You are so unromantic, Xiao-lang."

"You're too young to understand anyway."

"If you keep thinking like that, you'll end up a very single and very bitter old man like Uncle Chung."]

Those were the typical words in their melodic voices as they teased me whenever I gag or make a face when we all sat together to hear Old Grandmother tell us a story that they picked when we were younger. But now... I'm older. I know better. AND I know that saying "no" is an option. There was no way my sisters or any girl or ANYONE can force me to do anything stupid like sitting through to listen or watch a girly prince/princess story or movie or show that I don't want to see.

"Princess Aurora," The king onstage called out the cue

"Ha-hai!" I called out as I ungracefully hiked that camera girl's costume's stupid frilly skirts and tried not stumble on stage.

My sisters must be laughing their heads off just right about now...

...and that single mental image made me ask myself again for the hundredth time... was the death of what's left of my dignity really worth all of this? Becoming a human doll for that weird camera girl? Stumbling across the stage for the amusement of strangers? Wasting a week of after-school rehearsals for a few stupid sappy lines that not even a real girl in her right mind would utter? All for what? FOR WHAT?

From the corner of my eye, despite the dimmed lights and the sea of faces, one person stood out. That person. He met my gaze and automatically gave me a discreet wave with a big smile that outshone any spotlight that ever lit this stage. I couldn't hear his whisper, but his voice reached me none the less...

"Do your best!"

My chest tightened even more painfully underneath this already uncomfortable stupid dress. How can girls stand wearing this? Its so DAMN hot... and ITCHY! The familiar heat rushing to my face was making me feel light headed. Even so... I felt as if I can do anything. I CAN do anything! I pushed the mental image of my laughing sisters to the furthest corner of my mind, hiked my skirts and gave it everything I got!

"...and the princess wandered into a deserted room, and there she found the forgotten spinning wheel. Out of curiosity, the princess came closer and pricked her finger. With the curse's fulfillment, the princess and the entire kingdom fell into a deep sleep. In the darkness, the princess slept and patiently waited for the arrival of her prince... her true love..."

It was really very stupid. I really can't imagine why my sisters... or any girl for that matter... would want to be a princess. Lying down helplessly, eyes closed, waiting for a prince to solve her problem.

"I promise with my courage and this sword, I shall break the Princess' curse"

How annoying. Even if it was just pretend. It feels so annoying to be helpless and have to depend on someone else. Its not that prefer to be a prince, its just as equally stupid. Risking your life and instantly falling in love with a beautiful helpless princess. But still... its better than waiting. At least the prince has something to do. Its better than fighting hard to lie still and not give in to the urge to scratch. Stupid dress.

"The Princess can be awakened with the kiss of true love..."

Finally, this stupid play was almost over and I can finally get on with my life and put this whole embarrassing incident behind me.

"AH! What a beautiful Princess!"

Though my eyes were closed, I somehow knew exactly where you are. In my mind's eye I could see you five steps away. How strange. For me to suddenly sense your presence so clearly, that is. Four steps... three... two... one... now you're standing over me. You're so close, I could feel you breathing. Somehow, it feels harder to breathe. Damn stupid dress! I could hear your heartbeat beating loudly in my ears. Or was it mine? A strong metallic taste stung my quickly drying mouth. Why did it feel hotter all the sudden?

",,,if you give the Princess the kiss of true love..."

Kiss? Oi! Wait a minute... this is just pretend... you wouldn't really... would you?

"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" I sat up and clutched my chest, trying to control its painful throbbing. From the corner of my eye, I could see you standing there, looking at me oddly at my reaction.

That's when it happened.

"eh?"

An indescribable darkness, enveloping everything and everyone in a cold and murky embrace.

"Eh?"

Damn!

"Eh!?"

How could I have been stupid?

"This aura!"

How could I have let this stupid play distract my senses?

"Clow Card!"

You turned around to face me, visibly frightened as tendrils of the darkness slowly snaked out and reached and wrapped itself around me. "It's the Da...!" I call out desperately to warn you. But my voice is cut off as a the deafeningly still nothingness of silence covers me.

"LI-KUN!!!"

Your horrified expression was the last thing I saw as the dark veil covered my eyes.

This time its for real.

"KA SHIN SHO RAI!" The flames burned brightly, only to be extinguished by the eternal length of this black emptiness. DAMN! "OI!!!" I called out in the dark void, hoping against the impossible that my voice would reach you, "OI! You have call it by name!"

If I can't reach you then that means that stuffed animal of a guardian can't reach you as well. You're all alone. Alone and have no background knowledge about the Clow Cards other than your own experience. Even with all the things I've taught you, there's no way you'll be able to solve this on your own. You're probably blindly and uselessly using random cards then crying your eyes out just about now... IT'S SO ANNOYING!!! Its so frustratingly annoying to be helpless and have to depend on someone else...

[Faith.]

Eh? That voice... it can't be...

[A teacher needs to have faith in the abilities of his student.]

Old Grandmother? I closed my eyes and concentrated on her image shining brightly in my mind's eye. It somehow feels comforting to see her at this moment. Even though she's just a fragment of my memory...

["Once upon a time, there was a little Princess with a very kind heart. She lived happily in her small kingdom with her mother and her father. Then... one day... a catastrophe happened in her land. In that single fateful day, she lost everything. Her mother... her father... her home... everything and everyone she loved. The Princess was sent to live in a safe faraway land. But even though everyone in her new home was kind and loved her whole heartedly... the Princess could not smile... or laugh... or even cry."

"That's so sad," Si-jie sniffled mournfully

"What happened next, Old Grandmother? Did she ever learn to laugh again?" Shan-jie crawled closer to Old Grandmother's lap, curiously

Old Grandmother simply smiled , "In her new home, lived a young man who wanted to be a teacher. He was very smart, handsome, who had the ability to make almost anyone around him happy. He had the natural talent to reach out to people."

"Eh? Is this going to be another kissy love story?" I complained out loud

"Shut up, Xiao-hai! I want to hear the rest of the story!" Ra-jie glared at me threateningly, forcing me to duck for cover in Old Grandmothers protective embrace

"But because of his youth, the young man was still quite arrogant, and believes too much in his abilities. He was quite upset when his family decided that the little Princess was to become his first student. You see, he felt that he was given the job of a babysitter than a real teacher. What he wanted was to follow the path of his older brother, who had become a very good teacher. Nevertheless, he followed his family's wishes and became the Princess' new instructor."

"Ne, ne, did they fall in love, Old Grandmother?" Si-jie asked enthusiastically through her drying tears, "Was it love at first sight?"

"Yuck! That's immoral Fei Mei!" Shan-jie made a face, clearly disgusted

"I think its romantic," Si-jie retorted defiantly

"You're too little to know anything," Da-jie suddenly countered, uncharacteristically getting annoyed herself

"SHUT UP!" Ra-jie growled angrily

Old Grandmother simply made a small chuckle, " No, my little red plum, it wasn't love at first sight. You see, the little Princess was shy and clumsy. And because she would not smile, laugh, or even cry... it annoyed her young teacher. He became rather impatient with her, which was a natural reaction from a young, inexperienced and arrogant teacher. So for the first time in her life, the little Princess began to become angry. Not just plain angry, but very very VERY angry! Ah! The fights that the two of them used to have!"

"Aaaaa... I don't like this story anymore!" Si-jie whined

"But time passed by..." Old Grandmother replied reassuringly, "The little Princess grew up into young woman. She stopped being clumsy, though she was still occasionally shy. The Teacher and the Princess still got angry at each other, but they also started to get along. And more importantly the Teacher taught the Princess how to smile again."

"So they DID fall in love!" Si-jie looked at her sisters with a smug smile

"They wouldn't admit it to themselves at first, but it was impossible to deny the will of the unpredictable heart. With their family's blessing, they married and had beautiful children... and the Teacher taught the Princess how to laugh again."

"That was a good story!" Si-jie exclaimed as she clapped her hands enthusiastically. But for some strange reason, Da-jie and Ra-jie were unusually quiet.

"Did they live happily over after, Old Grandmother?" Shan-jie asked, wanting to know

"They did, for a little while..." Old Grandmother made a sad smile, "Then one day, the Teacher had to go to a faraway place from which he can never return from... and the Teacher taught the Princess how to cry again. The Teacher struggled very hard to stay. After all, who else will teach and protect the Princess if he went away. Who will become his children's teacher? He struggled and suffered through great pain... until the Princess reminded him that if he continued to endure what he was doing, he was breaking a teacher's most solemn vow."

The silence was almost painful. Even Si-jie didn't let out a single whimper.

"What was it?" I whispered almost inaudibly, if it weren't for the silence, probably nobody would have heard it.

Old Grandmother set me across on her lap, forcing me to look up directly into her bright amber eyes, "Faith, my little wolf. Faith that he has taught his student well to stand strong on her own legs. A teacher's most solemn vow is to have faith in the abilities of his student."

"Old Grandmother," Ra-jie began quietly, "The Teacher... he died, didn't he."

Old Grandmother closed her eyes and gently set a comforting gnarled hand over the second eldest Li daughter, "Yes, he died. But before he left, the Princess gave him the strength to let her go and move on. And he was reminded of the true meaning of her name... 'Light conquers darkness.' So he knew then, that even though he will no longer be physically around her and their children, everything will turn out all right."

"Did everything really turn out all right?" Da-jie asked quietly

"Yes, everything turned out all right... and it will continue to do so. Because in the deepest, darkest, murkiest of bottomless pits... even the tiniest ray of light will always conquer the darkness." ]

You have a good for nothing greedy stuffed animal for a guardian, you've neither touched a single page of Clow Read's notes nor even heard of the Clow Cards until several months ago, you can barely identify the difference between a ghost's presence from a Clow Card's, you cry when you're trapped in a hole instead of calmly finding a way to get out, and you easily and stubbornly trust certain people despite the danger warnings!

But...

...even so...

... you've also never lost.

A teacher needs to have faith in the abilities of his student... and the tiniest ray of light will always conquer the darkness... Hmph! Despite all the odds stacked against you... deep inside me... I know... somehow... someway...

You could do it.

I finally opened my eyes only to see you staring at the unmistakable form of two new Clow Cards in your hands. The lights of the stage glaring its warm heat as the clearly puzzled audience watched the strange scene before them.

"YOKATTA!!!"

I could only stand there frozen, too surprised even to breathe, as you continued to cling onto me while jumping up and down on the bed. There was a scary angry yell in the near distance that somewhat sounded as a forewarning that I would face a certain and very painful death if I even dared to move a single inch...

Hmph!

Just another reason for me to hate these stupid fairytales...

End of Part 9
To be continued
Return to Part 8: Of Roles and Obligations

Ina-chan's Squawk:

After a long LONG time, I finally managed to finish this! ^_^. It actually turned out different from my original plan. Though, I'm very pleased to how this chapter turned out. Heh-heh... were getting awfully close to the end of the Clow Card Chapter, ne? I'm having a bit of a problem as the story approaches the more romantic side of the S+S story with the Sakura Card Chapter. I don't want this fic to become just another S+S waffy fic. I'm not too good at romantic stories. SIGH! But there's no helping it, this is the direction the original storyline is going...Well... I'll do my best to be unique! ^_^.

As usual, reviews, comments and criticisms will be very much appreciated. If you have a fanfiction.net account, please don't hesitate to review my fics on http://www.fanfiction.net and http://www.mediaminer.org/. The genre is under Anime-CCS-Drama. I would love some constructive criticisms for the improvement of this fic series. ^_^. I'm also open for private mail CCS discussion. You can reach me via ina_chan@yahoo.com!

Ja!
Ina-chan


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