DISCLAIMER: I disclaim everything because I do not own CCS or CLAMP.

Belief I: Truth
by Ekai Ungson

Standoff.

He stood, amber eyes flaring, staring at her. Hard.

He was mad. She was mad. They had just taken a break from the shouting match they'd been having for almost an hour now.

He looked into her green eyes, the rage there mirroring his own.

How did it come to this?

Just a few years ago, everything had been fine. His life, their life, it was just as he pictured in his youth. Perfect. And he felt he would want to be with her forever.

But the walls of this house, this one they'd built, he felt suffocated, he wanted to get away.

Never once did he ever think that he would question his love for her.

Now he was very well doubting why he got married at all in the first place.

He heard a sob escape her throat. He looked up to see tears brimming from her eyes before she turned and ran out of the room.

He fell back to the couch in exhaustion, burying his face in his hands.

How did it get this bad?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

She couldn't take it any longer.

She passed the halls, ran past the doors, vision blurred. She ran up the stairs and threw herself at the bed in their bedroom, sobbing.

How did it get this far?

Why was everything she treasured falling apart this way?

Love had kept them together. Would distance tear them apart so easily? It wasn't fair.

Distance had soured an otherwise perfect relationship, an ideal marriage. Distance had created a gap, an invisible wall, that she felt she could no longer reach him, no longer knew him.

Distance had dulled the passion, sharpened the doubt. It led to hard emotions, accusations.

It led to desperation.

Before she could call and he would be there for her.

Now she doubted if he would even listen.

It made things so much harder.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A sliver of light broke the stark darkness as the door opened. She fell silent.

"'kaa-chan?"

She turned. Her children. Five year old Kino and three year old Kasumi. She beckoned for them to come.

"'kaa-chan," Kasumi began in a soft, sleepy voice. "Dou shita no? Why were you and 'tou-chan fighting?"

"It woke us up, 'kaa-chan," Kino added.

She choked back a sob. If this continued she would lose her children. She didn't want to. "Gomen, gomen nasai. Iie, 'tou-chan and I weren't fighting. We were just... talking too loud. Gomen. We won't do it again."

They sat beside her and she wrapped them in her arms.

"'kaa-chan, we want to stay here tonight," Kasumi whispered. "We're scared."

She nodded automatically.

These, these two children were the reason she walked, fought, breathed, lived. These were her treasures. They were her strength, the purpose of her very life.

"Teww us the stowy again, 'kaa-chan," Kasumi requested.

"Which story?" she asked.

"The stowy of the pwince and his cawd capto' pwincess."

She almost burst into tears. "Which one?"

"Fuuin seta kaado."

The Sealed Card.

She placed a kiss on Kasumi's hair and began her story, their favorite story, about the prince from Hong Kong, his princess, and the sealed card that could've finished them both off if not for...

"--and then, the princess said--" she was saying.

"Anata wa suki," Kasumi finished. I love you.

"And---"

"Anata wa ichiban da yo," Kasumi said. You are my most important person.

"Hai," she agreed. "And the card was bathed in light, no longer producing darkness and doom, but light and life. No longer the Void card, but the Hope card. Kedo... the prince still didn't speak, and the princess cried because she thought she'd been too late, until the prince said--"

"The prince said 'me, too', didn't he, 'kaa-chan?" Kino asked.

"Hai," she agreed. "Sou ne."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

He stood outside the bedroom door, listening as she finished her story.

He'd been standing there for the past thirty minutes, frozen, just listening to her and their children as she related the fairytale love story.

"And the prince held the princess in his arms, his memory restored, and they lived happily ever after."

"Good stowy, 'kaa-chan," he heard his daughter say.

"Hai. Go to sleep, both of you," she said gently.

He heard a soft yawn, probably his son's. "'kaa-chan," Kino said softly. "Why isn't 'tou-chan coming up?"

He heard her sigh. "I don't know, Kino-kun."

"'kaa-chan," Kasumi began sleepily. "Pwease kiss 'tou-chan night-night for me."

"Me, too, 'kaa-chan," Kino added.

"Hai," she said. "Oyasumi nasai, Kino-kun, Kasumi-chan."

"'yas'mi nasai, 'kaa-chan."

"Oyasumi nasai, 'kaa-chan."

He counted to twenty and stepped inside.

She looked up. "They're asleep," she stated quietly.

He practically ran to her side and took her hand. "Sakura-- i am so sorry--"

She met his eyes. He winced. They were filled with pain.

"Sorry for what?" she asked.

"For being a jerk, for being stupid, for shouting, for not trusting, for being a class-A baka," he enumerated. "Sakura, I didn't mean a word I said down there. I didn't mean it when I said I didn't know why I loved you. Because I do," he said. "I know EXACTLY why I love you."

She squeezed back on his hand. "You know, I'm sorry, too. We both said some pretty stupid things down there," she replied. "Stupid harsh things that I knew were meaningless the instant Kasumi and Kino walked in here." She smiled. "Sometimes, these two make us realize so much things."

He settled beside them on the bed. "I love them."

"Me, too," she replied.

He had realized and understood exactly why he loved them so much. For her kindness, her gentleness, her beauty, inside and out.

She had closed the gap, scaled the wall. There wasn't any distance anymore.

They had seen truth.

-End-

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Japanese terms:

'kaa-chan: short for okaa-chan. Means "mother"
'tou-chan: short for otou-chan. Means "father"
Dou shita no?: "Why?"
Oyasumi nasai: "good night"

AN: I love this fic. Hope you did, too. :)