Disclaimer: do not own CCS.

Author note: First CCS ficcy. Please be nice.

Summary: (Oneshot) Yue reflects on his old masters, on himself and Kero, and on his and Kero's fate as immortals as he prepares to judge a new candidate.

The Moon Will Mourn

She, like many magic-wielders, lived an unusually long life. But all things come to an end. Water is ever-flowing, as our former Master said, and as our now former Mistress continued to chant after him. Time never stands still, and change will always occur. I still remember what she told us on that day, looking so much like he did when he told us that his time was nearing.

It was one of those rare times when her life-partner was not around her. Now that I see things from a distance in time, she probably asked him to be absent. She needed to speak to us alone.

Keroberos had approached her in his full form, sensing the immense sorrow that radiated from her. That itself was troubling, for she was always smiling, even as the light inside of her dimmed with the consequence of mortality. She had crouched beside him, running her fingers through his fur. I had stood a little distance away, perturbed by her change in behaviour.

"I had a dream," she had told us. She had leaned her head against Keroberos. "I see…I see a time where magic is in immense need." There was a pause, and she murmured into Keroberos' fur, "My time is nearing."

In a rare fit of emotion, I had vehemently denied it. I had done before and will undoubtedly do so again. There wasn't heart in my protests however. In hindsight, I knew there was no use arguing.

Undoubtedly, she was not as articulate as Clow. And even Keroberos had more grace in movement. She had more power, but her life-partner had more will to use his. However, she had a great, kind heart. She smiled even though there was nothing really to smile about. She couldn't see evil in anyone. It was always her partner, or her Guardians, who would ferret out enemy sorcerers. And even then striking was a last resort.

She saw brightness in everyone, including myself. She saw something in me where I only saw a barren wasteland of cold emotion, a being who would never accept change, a being who would never be happy. She even saw something in Keroberos, despite his great affinity for sweets which often took precedence over far more important things.

She loved us when rival magic-wielders saw only tools, when they saw only collectors' items from the great Clow Reed.

And, for his part, Keroberos loved her immensely, and acted almost as a protective, sometimes petulant little brother to her. The Cards danced whenever she entered the room. And I…I like to believe I loved her too, though love is still a strange emotion to grasp. Love, like passion, is something that is more ruled by the Sun than by the Moon. I never told her. None of us did, though we displayed it. I wonder, sometimes, if she wanted us to. She always seemed happy when her life partner said it.

And now I see that…she and Clow Reed were alike in many ways. Both were never really good at expressing their feelings. Both were sentimental beings, both protected their loved ones from sadness. And both, at the end, were immensely serene, assuring us of something else to come, something else that we had to do.

And when the time came to pass, Keroberos and I, as well as all the Cards, mourned. We mourned even as we were sealed once again into the book.

I have to wonder at Clow Reed's wisdom. Here Keroberos, the Cards, and I exist. We exist even after our Masters move on to the next plane of life. And we will always be left behind. Left behind…and for what? To rebuild worlds? To make dreams a reality?

The world changes around us, and we are powerless to do anything about it. We have seen beauty crumble, we have seen forests swept away, we have seen rivers dried and tears shed. We have seen cities fall and homes burned. Nothing is left now of Tomoeda, save for stumps where buildings once stood. There is nothing green left in this place, save for the patch where Wood decided to make her appearance.

Keroberos takes all this in stride. That is to be expected. The Sun is always burning. It burns everything, including the deepest lakes of sorrow, and will come out shining anew. He stands there now, a few yards from my other form, congratulating the newest candidate on the capture of the last card—Earthy, again. I wonder if this will become a habit of hers, to hide until she is the only one remaining. I wonder if we will remain that long that we will find out that answer.

The new candidate is older than Mistress Sakura was when she faced me, and younger than Master Clow Reed was when he called Keroberos, the Cards, and I from the depths of the dream realm. Though she shares their tired smile of triumph, she is more…worn, for lack of a better word, than either of our former Masters. Living in this world must have done that.

Magic really is needed in this world.

I catch myself in that thought. I dread having a new Master or Mistress. Give her a chance, Yue. Yukito's though brushes my mind. But I cannot help it. I dread making my appearance. Part of me wants to crawl back into the depths of Yukito and stay frozen in mourning. Part of me understands the necessity of change. Most of me wants the river to reverse its flow.

Yukito looks upwards towards the moon, and I look with him. The footprints of men who treaded upon its surface in the time of Mistress Sakura are probably still there, unworn by any wind, unwashed by any rain. The Sun is always changing; the Moon seems to yearn to stay the same.

It is time for me to make my appearance. Yukito's body changes and I emerge. Opening my eyes, I see the new candidate, with Keroberos beside her, proudly advocating for her. Her defiant companion, with traces of magic within him as well. Both are a little awed, seeing Yukito transform like that.

I stretch my wings, dreading the event to come. "I am Yue, second judge of the Cards."

The sun will burn everything away, even the deepest lakes of sorrow, and will come out shining anew. But the moon…the moon will always be in mourning.

"We must try not to sink beneath our anguish...but battle on."

-Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series