Disclaimer- I don't own CCS.

His little sister was special.

Despite the fact that so many older siblings and parents thought this of the youngest child, he knew that in this case, it rang far truer than for any other.

Anyone could see that from spending five minutes with her, seeing that warm smile and hearing that ever cheerful voice. Watching that delicate frame belie that powerful, fiery spirit that took you in and cradled you till everything cold and dark disappeared.

Touya Kinomoto knew this, oh, he knew it well. From the very first time he looked into those sparkling emerald depths, he knew. Despite the fact that he was far too young to be thinking about such philosophical things, he knew. His strange sixth sense about the supernatural utterly flared around that tiny, red bundle of flesh.

And so, he made a promise that he would protect this special little girl, because she was destined for great things. If she would be the one to change the world, he would be the one to protect her.

When his mother died, she asked him to protect that special little girl, their Sakura. She knew he would, the dying woman simply wanted him to say it in words, to make the promise solid and real.

From then on, his life's duty, his purpose, the meaning of his very existence clear.

Sakura would change the world, do great things, magical things...

And he would be her protector. She would never know, but there would always be that strong presence of her older brother, ever vigilant against anything that might prove harmful to his special girl.

He watched as one day, her destiny began to unfold, as her latent powers began to awaken. Now was the time that this little monster would become something truly special, and come into her own. So his duty became even more important... except duty wasn't the word for it anymore.

Sakura was more than his charge, a thing to be protected. She was his most precious treasure, something sacred and wonderful and beautiful, like the cherry blossoms of her namesake.

And he never wanted to let her go. He had become like a jealous dragon guarding a precious jewel, forever wanting only to keep his precious cherry blossom within his protection.

It was hard to let her find her destiny, but Touya knew that it was inevitable. His sister was special, destined for greatness. The world was slowly taking his most precious treasure away from him.

But she was still his sister, still his monster. No matter how much she was with the world, he could still protect her, still watch over her.

He was still needed.

Until he came. That Chinese brat who scowled and glared, who threatened Sakura, who had the gall, the brazen nerve to touch her! To threaten her! To think that he could try and steal the great destiny that was her's with impunity!

That alone made Touya hate him with a passion. It was a fierce burning, something that had made even he pause in alarm. It was passionate, far beyond anything he had ever experienced, stronger than any other feeling he had ever had. It was a wildfire on his soul, consuming everything in its path.

But there was something else that made the elder Kinomoto hate that brat even more... and fear him as well.

He had a cold heart and a mean disposition, true, but there was some elusive kindness that was buried in those fierce amber eyes. He would never intentionally hurt the girl, and was most likely fiercely protective. This was the sort of person Sakura was most capable of falling for.

Oh yes, he knew that she had feelings for Yukito, but that was a silly childhood crush, or, if Yuki was to be believed, affection for another older brother. She would grow out of loving his best friend...

And start loving the Chinese brat.

The idea, that terrible fantasy that one day his little sister would become a woman, become a mother...

That had never been considered, never even dwelled upon. It crept up on him like a sudden storm in the heat of summer, drowning Touya in a rain of utter despair.

He would lose her.

The fear of such a prospect, such an awful future, was a colder but no less all devouring inferno on his soul. Fear battled hatred and both together created an ever haunting, ever looming future...

To watch as his sister became the brat's lover, wife, and mother of his children.

And this insight screamed at him to interfere, and drove a cold sword of fear into his chest. But Yuki's words staved off a beating.

Just barely, though.

At first, everything seemed fine. The brat glared at the little monster daily, and seemed intent on not being friends- in fact, he wanted to be enemies.

Except his sister was Sakura. She strived to be kind to the brat, despite repeated instances of surliness and Touya's own advice (okay, more like insulting the brat), and at that point, Touya knew it was only a matter of time before the foreigner fell for his little monster.

And then his Sakura would no longer be his.

When he voiced his suspicions to his father, the patriarch merely laughed and in a sad sort of way said, "Our cherry blossom is growing up."

He nearly screamed in protest, almost descended into an argument with his own father. How could he possibly just let go of their Sakura, their treasure? How could his own father, their father, let go of her?

To give her up?

Touya would not accept that. He would not lose his greatest treasure to some Chinese brat. He strived to keep the two apart, to discourage any and all contact. He acted like a living wall, always there, always glaring and always striving to protect what he valued most.

It was all futile.

With each passing day his monster was becoming the brat's monster. Each day she slipped from his fingers like sand. Every passing moment, every new conquest of hers, he was there, not Touya. It was as inevitable as the rising of the sun.

He was being replaced.

No longer was he needed, his promise to protect was meaningless. Sakura had a new protector now. There was no place for an older brother, a guardian in the monster's life anymore.

The very idea of losing his monster, especially to that brat was unacceptable.

But nothing could be done. To separate the two would hurt Sakura, diminish that wonderful warmth...

Which would be a hundredfold worse than losing her to anyone. To damage his monster would be a crime against everything Touya had stood for, everything he had done in his lifetime.

Stuck between the Devil and the deep blue sea, to say the least.

On one hand was the Devil... the brat. Who would take his greatest treasure away. Who would steal away what he loved the most and make it his forever.

And the other was the sea. To drown himself in a sea of sin as he continued to hide his monster, and by doing so, slowly smother that spark of light within his little sister.

To give up what he treasured most... or to destroy it.

The choice was obvious. No matter how much he hated to lose her... to destroy that spark would be as if he had killed his sister with his bare hands. The most unforgivable sin of all would be to destroy that warmth.

But he didn't have to make that choice now.

So that was all he had now... time. Each day, perhaps he only had one more day till that brat took his monster.

But he would take that day and treasure it. Each day would be etched in his heart as just one more day that he still had his sister.

Sakura was calling for him now, down for dinner, same as always, cheerful with that special irritation that she saved for her older brother.

"I'm coming, monster!"


Touya smiled slightly.

Same old Sakura. Same old monster.

His monster. His cherry blossom.

The world, that Chinese brat, might be slowly taking his little sister away from him, but, even if it was just for one more day, she was still his.

AN: This did not turn out the way I was expecting it to (has that tiny flavoring of angst instead of fluff that I was intending), but that's the way life goes.