Author's Note: Hi there. *waves* This is an AU where Touya opens the Book of Clow instead of Sakura. There will be cannon pairings in this. Though manga events and the actual location of some of the cards will be different. This will include yaoi (TouyaxYukito and TouyaxYue to be precise) you have been warned. Otherwise, I hope you all enjoy the story.
"Are you sure about this To-ya. Your father really won't mind me borrowing that book?" Yukito asked "I don't want to take something he might need later for work."
"Relax Yuki, I'm sure he won't mind. He hasn't been down here in a while anyway" Touya assured his friend.
"Because of Sakura..."
The dark haired psychic grimaced. His sister Sakura had been ill for quite some time now. She had a severe case of pneumonia and was presently being cared for at a Tokyo hospital. Touya and his father, Fujitaka Kinomoto, had been traveling back and forth to Tokyo Metropolitan Hospital for a week now.
Tomoeda Hospital was well equipped to handle a patient with a conventional lung infection. Sakura, however, was an unusual case. After receiving treatment for illness her condition had worsened and the doctors had recommended an emergency transfer to a larger medical facility.
Touya's nerves hackled at the thought of his little sister ending up like their mother, Nadeshiko. Eight years prior, Nadeshiko Kinomoto had fallen grievously ill at the age of 27 and died shortly thereafter. Touya had been six at the time.
He quickly shook his head to rid himself of such thoughts and began to shuffle through the book shelves. Touya and his best friend Yukito, a silver haired boy with an accepting personality and an uncommonly casual demeanor, were currently in the basement of the Kinomoto house looking through Fujitaka's extensive collection of books from all over the world. His father was a well known college professor and Touya knew without a doubt that he would have what they were looking for.
Yukito sent him an apologetic glance, which Touya waved off. Yuki was practically family after all. it was okay if he asked about Sakura even though it was a tense subject right now.
Touya ran his finger over several books before spying a book he'd never seen before. It had a mysterious looking symbol on its spine and marked above it in elegant type was the word "Clow".
"Did you find something Touya?" Yukito asked curiously as he walked over to stand beside the other boy "Oh, that's a strange title for a book."
Touya gave it a tug and the book slipped leisurely off the shelf. The cover was arrayed with the symbol of a sun inside a star that was surrounded by miniature suns and half moons. His fingers moved to lightly trace the three dimensional ridges of the cover and suddenly the book sparked to life.
Touya startled and dropped the book as he and Yukito both took a jerky step back. Yukito blinked and seemed to have a slightly shocked expression on his face.
"Are you okay Touya?" Yuki asked as he glanced down at his friend's hand, checking for any sign of burn or injury.
Touya mutely shook his head. He couldn't fathom what had just happened. Had the book just sparkled?
The two of them watched as a single card slid out from the book's binding and at a glance the metal clasp had become unhinged. The card rapidly whirled up and stared floating in the air in front of them.
"I am the almighty creature of the seal!" said a voice coming from the card, which had a picture of a large cat with wings on it and the words "The Clow" printed neatly above it. A yellow stuffed animal with cute little white wings and funny rounded ears suddenly leaped out of it, holding it's paw high as it peered out at them.
The stuffed animal blinked.
"Wait, you're not a little girl!" it exclaimed in a seemingly male voice "You were supposed to be a little girl, say this high with brown hair and...you're not her!"
Touya blinked at the creature and then smirked.
"So you made a mistake?" he said smugly. "Funny, you wouldn't think something with fluff for brains would have to worry about anything."
The creature looked decidedly pissed off and got right up in Touya's face, jabbing a paw pointedly at his nose as it spoke.
"Who're you calling fluff for brains you big lug! I could take you on in my true form, you just wait!" it shouted at him.
"I'd like to see you try, short stuff" Touya said teasingly as he patted the creature on the head. "You're a bit on the small side, aren't you?"
Yukito smiled easily and lightly chided Touya "You shouldn't pick on him To-ya, you were the one who took the book out after all and called him. I'm Yukito by the way" he gestured toward his friend "and this is Touya. Can you tell us what you are and how you came to be here?"
The stuffed animal folded its paws across its chest and floated over to Yukito to get a better look at him.
"I'm Kero" it said, "and it was my job to guard this book for a wizard called Clow. He picked a new master for the book and the cards within it, the Clow Cards, but she isn't here. She was supposed to be here."
The two boys looked thoughtful.
"You're talking about my sister Sakura." Touya said, his voice taking on a hard edge. "What do you want with her?"
Kero flicked his ears and shuffled indignantly.
"She was supposed to be the one to summon me, open the book and then collect the cards once they flew out and went to various places in town."
"Why would Sakura have to do that?" Yukito wanted to know "What can these cards do exactly?"
Touya nodded in agreement. The dark haired boy moved to stand beside Yuki and pointed a finger at Kero's floating form.
"That's what I want to know" he added "this wouldn't involve putting her in danger would it?"
The yellow stuffed animal shifted to the left and looked nervously to the side.
"If the Clow Cards aren't caught it will mean the end of the world" Kero answered anxiously.
Yukito's eyes went wide, while Touya made a move to grab Kero by the throat. The creature barely managed to dodge the teen's first attempt, before Touya managed to get a hold of him.
"What do you mean 'the world's going to end' if my sister doesn't 'collect all the cards'?" Touya asked him with a severe expression on his face "Who the hell is this Clow person that he decided a little girl would have to do such a dangerous thing?"
Yukito for his part, looked severely saddened by this revelation. He couldn't understand why someone would want to make sweet little Sakura, his best friend's sister, go on such a dangerous quest. Not only was it a terrible thing to do, but the pressure of possible failure might have been too much for the young girl to handle.
"It wasn't my choice" Kero protested "Clow did this a long time ago when he locked me and the cards in the book of Clow. He told us he was dying and that we needed to find a new master. So he found one somewhere in the future. Someone of great power, your sister Sakura, and he set everything up as a test for her. That's all I know, I swear."
Touya released him.
"He's telling the truth" the dark haired teen said as he turned to look at Yukito "I can feel it."
Yukito nodded. He had long known about Touya's mysterious abilities and no longer batted an eyelash at the fact that his friend seemed to just "know things" at times. These feelings of his had always turned out to be accurate, whether it was a girl falling from a bridge during one of their field trips or the power going out in the building they happened to be in. Touya's sudden premonitions had always turned out to be right.
"It won't work now though" Kero said after catching his breath "now that you've broken the seal you have to be the one to collect the cards. There could be dangerous consequences if you don't let the cards out right now and let them do what they came here for."
Touya glared at him through narrowed russet colored eyes. He didn't like where this discussion was going.
"Why can't we just leave them here locked up nice and sound?" Touya wanted to know "The world isn't going to end if we do that. Right, you flying piñata?"
"Hey! Look here! I didn't come here because I wanted to, Clow made it so that this had to happen" Kero answered rather indignantly "I don't want to world to end either. I sure as hell didn't want you here instead of my real master, but now what's done is done. The magic within the book is going to overload now that it's woken up and if we don't do something it might explode and take the entire town with it."
"What if I asked the witch to take care of it?" Kero stared wide eyed at brown haired teen.
"How do you know about her?" the stuffed toy wanted to know "She isn't here is she?"
"No, but I've seen her here" Touya informed him "she's been to Tomoeda before with a couple of kids. They were looking for ghosts not the book, if that's what you were worried about."
"It's not that" Kero said shivering slightly "she just gives me the creeps sometimes. Yuko isn't someone to be messed with, she drives a hard bargain and Clow told us never to make any kind of deal with her unless we had to. She'll take your most precious possession and give you only a bit of help before sending you out on your way."
Touya snorted. He'd hadn't had any real dealings with the dimensional witch outside of playing guide for her and her two charges, Watanuki, an unfortunate spirit magnet, and Doumeki, a boy who seemed to repel any and all denizens of the spirit world. Lucky guy.
"Ah To-ya" Yukito said trying to catch his attention "that book is doing it again."
It was too. The book of Clow was now radiating power and shaking like a leaf in the wind from its place on the floor.
"Quick, you need to open it now before the magic bursts out" Kero warned "I don't know what'll happen if it does."
Touya rolled his eyes and took a deep breath before edging toward the shuddering book. Yukito slowly walked up beside him. While Kero dove out of sight and hid behind the silver haired teen, hesitantly poking his head out from behind Yuki's right shoulder.
Yukito placed a hand on Touya's shoulder as the dark haired teen picked up the book and slowly opened it to reveal a stacked deck of cards nestled tidily in a small compartment. The first card in the deck was titled "The Windy". Touya recited the name softly.
Then all hell broke loose as the cards fluttered out of the book and separated in a glittering whirl. A pink colored rod with a red shaped beak at the end and a glittering gem at the hilt appeared and Kero yelled for Touya to grab it.
"Someone wishes to make contact with you, a boy, his name is Touya. Key bestow your powers on him!"
Touya blinked as he was surrounded by a swirl of magic. Yukito gripped his shoulder more tightly as if he feared the magic might do something unexpected to the other.
"And presto! A cardcaptor is born...even if you are the wrong one" Kero said grinning as though he'd just won the lottery "I hope you like pink."
Touya eyed him thoughtfully and turned the staff over in his hands. It was worth a shot. Even if it did remind him of one of those silly magical girl mangas the girls always read. Then he spun it agile twist of his hand and said "Key I command you...change form!" Much to Kero's chagrin and Yukito's abject surprise the staff grew instantly taller and darkened to a deep shade of purple. The formerly red triangular beak turned an off-violet tone to match.
Touya grinned in satisfaction. He was getting the hang of this magic thing. Sparing a glance at the floor directly below him, he spotted a lone card lying in wait. It was the same one he'd seen at the top of the deck.
Yukito moved to pick it up and a wave of light exploded from card. From it, a spirit-like creature toned light blue started to swirl around the room, knocking over bookshelves and taunting him with slightly playful expression.
"Repeat after me 'Key that hides the forces of darkness, show me your true form...under the covenant, I, Touya, command you'."
"Then point the staff toward the card and say 'Return to the form you were meant to be, Clow Card!'"
Touya obliged and the card seemed to settle itself once more. In fact it took on a distinctly new appearance. The back of the card now consisted of the same star symbol in a distinct light yellow drowning in a maze of dark purple. The words "The Touya" were printed neatly on the back in light gold lettering.
"Well that was simple" Yukito said seemingly out of nowhere, releasing his death grip on Touya's shoulder "though I doubt it's going to be that easy to catch them all To-ya."
The psychic nodded solemnly. They were going to be playing fifty card pickup for the next few months at least. Maybe longer. The other Clow cards could be hiding anywhere in Tomoeda.
Kero had frozen in place and took a few moments before the other two noticed.
"Is there something wrong?" Yukito asked the stuffed toy in concern "Are you feeling alright?"
"Yeah plushy, you don't look so good" Touya commented.
Kero fixed him with a sardonic expression before resuming his shocked behavior as he stared at card in Touya's hand.
"I didn't know it was supposed to change like that" he stated rather sullenly "no one's ever been able to undo Clow's work like that. Not even the dimensional witch."
"Who is this witch you keep mentioning?" Yukito asked "How do you know her Touya?"
Touya rubbed the back of his head and tried to think of a way to explain what Yuko was.
"I met her once when I was fifteen. She's a inter-dimensional being who doesn't have to follow the normal laws of nature" Touya informed the teen "by all means she's a witch of some sort with great power. She has long dark hair and wears all kinds of weird clothing. As far as I know she can grant peoples wishes."
Kero nodded in concurrence.
"She'll also take something important from you as payment and sometimes you'll wind up with less than you had. Wishes don't always work out the way you want them to" the guardian reiterated "sometimes they turn dark if you don't get real specific about what you want."
"I think I understand" Yukito said after a moment "thank you."
"This means you're of a much higher level of power than your sister is" Kero said absently "the fact that the card changed immediately means your power is probably more mature than hers is."
"This might be easier than we thought To-ya" Yukito mused thoughtfully, his hands in the pockets green coat, "they might be more willing to listen to you."
"No, Windy's just stupid" Kero said "she waited around for you to catch her because she's lazy. That and she probably likes you."
Touya raised an abject eyebrow at this, but said nothing. They wouldn't know anything until he captured a few more cards. He still had to make it to Tokyo and back this weekend to see how Sakura was doing. A few short phone calls weren't enough for him. He needed to see that she was alright, or as much as she could be in her current condition.
This time Tomoyo Daidoji had insisted on coming with him and Yukito was going as well. Tomoyo was Sakura's best friend in the entire world, she was a talkative, enthusiastic girl, with dark hair and incredibly observant eyes of ebony. She liked to dress people, namely Sakura, in odd costumes from time to time and Touya had no doubt he would hear all about her latest scheme on the train ride.