What of Your Own Free Will
"I won't dance," it's the first thing Yuuko says when Clow shows up, sudden enough that he blinks, still in the middle of his compliment about the blue gown she has donned for the evening.
"Pardon me, my dear?"
"I won't dance," Yuuko repeats. Her dress is a dark, midnight blue and the neckline doesn't only border on indecent but it is, the diamonds around her neck trailing down as if they were stars. Yuuko smiles, raising her eyebrows at him. "I'm going because I was invited and the alcohol will be superb, but I am not your date and I won't dance."
That makes Clow chuckle, low and amused, shaking his head even as he bows and offers Yuuko his arm.
"I will keep that in mind," but then he smiles. "But one of these days, dearest, I will make you dance."
"Keep dreaming, you old fool." She says as she laughs.
Sometimes, Yuuko's dreams are only that, dreams. It's not often and sometimes they're not even her own dreams but wishes of future – or past – clients.
In her dreams, there is a boy and there is a girl and there is a beach, with white sand and blue sky and blue-green water that stretches on and on and on.
She supposes it's a boring dream after all.
These days, Clow doesn't dream. He foresees, his power still growing up, almost like a tumor, making it impossible for him to rest.
When it gets to be too much, he lays his head on her lap and Yuuko sighs softly, threads his hair with her fingers and stops herself from wishing, because her wishes are not her own and there is no wish of his that she could grant.
Once, that had been a blessing, knowing that she was no responsible for the wishes he would or would not make.
Oh, to be that young and foolish again.
Prince Zagato smiles as he bows, smiles at her and Yuuko accepts his offered hand, standing up. Clow, who had been reading faux fortunes for princess Emeraude's younger sister and for her friends, looks up at that, a wicked curl to his smile that is meant to be teasing.
"I thought you said you didn't dance, dearest," Clow calls, allowing the girls and boys to search through his pockets for candies and tricks.
"I said I wouldn't dance with you," Yuuko laughs, rolling her eyes as even the prince raises an eyebrow, but knows better than to ask.
This dance, after all, means nothing to the Prince that he wouldn't give anyway.
Sometimes, when it's a lazy day and Clow is in her house playing housewife, Yuuko wonders about what her life would have been without him, what his life would have been without meeting her.
She doesn't indulge in the 'would have' often because it's wasted time that only brings pain. But every now and then, she hums a little, lost in her thoughts, trying to picture the life he had before they finally met that included a wife and a son, or the life she would have had.
Instead of lingering on those thoughts, she asks Clow for more sake, and could he make shrimps for dinner, instead.
"I'm a very good dancer, did you know that?" Clow asks.
The woman wrapped around him nods and giggles, pink hair flying as Clow dips her.
Yuuko, entertained by a pair of twins who belly dance in front of her, rolls her eyes.
"I don't care, I won't dance with you,"
Clow considers this, shrugs, and keeps on dancing with the other girls, laughing and just a bit inebriated.
Yuuko plans to have him a lot inebriated before the night is through. She's planning to laugh a lot, too.
They don't kiss. They never kiss, except when Clow is pretending to be a gentleman and he bows low, touching the back of her hand with his lips.
He untangles her hair, rubs at her shoulders when she asks. Yuuko has laughed at him, has met the people he holds dear, knows about his hopes and dreams. They are as close as possible and Yuuko knows that she loves him, has known that for years. She's also sure that he loves her back.
The closest they have come to kiss and the closest they will eve get, they had both fallen asleep after several bottles of sake, and her head was pillowed on his arm, his chest to her back. And then Clow had moved – he pressed his lips, warm and gentle, to the back of her neck for short of a whisper, and then he fell asleep there, on the crook of her neck.
Neither of them said a thing about it, both pretending she had been asleep and that Clow hadn't done a thing.
They are extremely good at pretending, after all.
"Would you dance with me, my dear Yuuko?" Clow asks, careful, the day before he's supposed to die. He's offering his hand palm up, the wide expanse of it suddenly fragile and mortal.
It's a wish, the first wish he has ever done., and a wish that is met with one of her own. She knows the price of this indulgence very well, and she still could say no. He'd go back to the piano and they'd talk of nothing until the moment he disappeared and she would never see him again.
Before she even thinks about it, Yuuko takes his hand and stands up, her robe and hair trailing down over her back. After a moment of consideration, Clow lets his own outer robes to fall down, staying in the white and gold Chinese tunic alone.
For a long moment, they stay just like that before Clow places his hand on the small of Yuuko's back, pulling her close, her breasts pressing against his chest, and Yuuko leans into that, tilting her head up so that their eyes meet. Her right arm moves and wraps around his shoulders and for a moment, they just breathe.
There is no music, but they start moving at the same time, as if the marcato of the violins were there, as if the piano was breaking into a staccato, the bittersweet curls of the bandoneon, the tango as bittersweet as it never could have been any other way.
They turn, never looking away, Clow bending her low and Yuuko's hands tight over his shoulders; her leg curls tight around his hip once, as they move and Clow half turns with them, his hand tight around her waist, over the stroll, over the stride. There's such an intensity in his eyes, Yuuko realizes, one that she has seen but a handful of times in all the years they have known each other. The clothe of her robe twirls up over her thighs as he turns her once more.
Her back is nude below her robe and she feels the silk slide against her skin every time they turn, every time that Clow presses her close again. A half turn and Clow keeps her hands crossed over her body, taking each of them, her back to his chest so that she can lean her head against his shoulder. They walk two, three steps before Clow lets go of one of her hands and twirls her, then brings her close again. His arm is strong around her waist once more as they bend low and she can see the sweat running down his brow and the side of his face.
They slice through the night – step, step, turn and again; a sudden stop and the long line of her leg extended for a moment before he helps her stand up and her arm wraps once more around his shoulders. His free hand is over her thigh, so that they're completely pressed against each other, breathing hard.
She has never seen his eyes hold so much longing before, not even when talking about a normal, human life.
But then he closes them and smiles and if she could, she would hate him for that.
"You dance wonderfully, my dear," Clow says, bowing his head.
Yuuko huffs as she turns around, thinks not of the way her robe moves, as if it still remembered their dance.
"You should do it more often," Clow says again. As she lays down on her chaise, she sees that he's fixing his clothes. "It would be truly a shame for you not to."
She huffs and reaches for her pipe.
"Why would I waste my time doing that?" She asks instead. She'll tell Moro and Maru to prepare her a bath and sake, and she will think no more about this.
She blows her smoke and she finds Clow watching her, as if thinking of an answer, as if thinking about goodbyes, but Yuuko is done with this goodbye so she closes her eyes as she inhales again, and then there's just the familiarity of his magic before he disappears and then there is nothing left, nothing at all.
She breathes in the sweet scent of her opium alone.