legality: CLAMP owns it. go down on thy knees, peons, and hail them.

Varon, AND Linda, AND Chelle: Again. To satisfy thy cravings. Here. Be glad I'm on a roll and I'm writing THIS fast.

*glomps Varon* Me love you. Me love you much and here, again, for you. ^_^

Could've Been
by Ekai Ungson

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And this is where it all begins, a tale of love and sorrow, in Old China, of a sorcerer, and a water mage.

III: Elithia

I remember, clearly, the day I met her.

When I first moved to a small town in China, I had heard many stories-- rumors-- of a great fortune-teller whose power was like none other.

But when I settled myself in, the people found my predictuons more accurate than her water magic, and one day she came into my house with all the fury of a woman scorned.

Those eyes. A pity I cannot remember the color of those eyes, that even though they called down all hell on my head, were still very beautiful.

------

"Are you the man they call Clow Reed?"

"I am."

------

Clow Reed's face is charmingly deceiving. His eyes forever dance in amusement, and a smile is always painted on his pale face. He shows no stress, no pain nor sadness. This man was SICK. That, or he wasn't human.

The woman approaches, cautiously but surely, driven by rage more than any other. "They tell me you are a sorcerer. How is this true?"

He only smiled. "They call me whatever they want, I do not much care."

She backed up a step, surprised. "Do you know that by being here, simply being here, you are wrecking me?"

"I do nothing to you. I do not know you."

She glared at him. "My name is Madoushi. Remember it."

He did. He remembered her name for the rest of his life, and his life after.

------

"How lame of a script is that?" Syaoran scowled. "Clow's lines are so convolutedly Hiiragizawa."

"Clow-san IS Eriol-kun," Sakura said. "Or don't you remember?"

"I keep trying to forget," Syaoran muttered. Then he mumbled something that went like "I can't believe, still CAN'T believe that I came from the genes of that... that creature that calls himself human..."

"What was that, Syaoran-kun?"

"Nothing, nothing..."

Meanwhile, in a corner, Tomoyo began to read the script she had to perform.

------

The wind picks up and dust swirls around just outside the sanctuary of a well.

She sits at the stone's edge, one hand touching the water with the tip of one finger, enough to create ripples on the still surface.

Two birds descend from the skies, fly into the depths within the pillars, perch on her hand. She smiles as they croon softly.

A movement startles her. She looks up to find a man in robes of balck and dark blue staring at her.

------

Tomoyo dropped the script as if it were on fire. How was that? It read real, as if it had happened to her. TOO real.

What was happening to her? Had Hiiragizawa-kun placed a spell on the script?

But if he did, why weren't Sakura-chan and Li-kun picking up on the kehai? She stared at the said pair, reading their own scripts, but they didn't look any startled or worried.

What was this feeling?

Dokashite iru...

Demo, nani desu ka?

She glanced around in confusion.

And found Hiiragizawa Eriol, up at the stage, staring at her.

Immediately, the noise disappeared, the surroundings dissolved. The people around her were gone, and only he and her remained.

Slowly, before her very eyes, he was dressed in the dark robes of Clow, she knew because she had seen him in them before, but NOT this way. She put a hand over her heart and was surprised to see it in red silk. She was in robes of red and gold. A well with four pillars had risen from nowhere behind her. She looked back at Hiiragizawa. What the hell?

/This is not real. This is not real! I'm... seeing things.../

/'This is as real as it gets,'/ a voice from above said, and she looked up to see two birds circling in a crayon-paint sky of blue.

/'You are me,'/ said the voice.

/Who are you?/ Tomoyo asked.

/'And I am you. We are one, half and half of one soul.'/

/Who are you?/ Tomoyo repeated.

She turned to stare back at Clow-- iie, Eriol-- and rage welled up from within her. Rage, and a strong, unkown sort of emotion...

/'I have been waiting all this time...'/

/Who are you?!/

/'... and now... I have found him.'/

Tomoyo shook her head. When she opened her eys, everything was back to normal.

Eriol was still staring at her.

She didn't know if he felt it, too.

------

Eriol watched as Tomoyo picked up her script off the floor and walked out of the auditorium.

What was that kehai? Sakura nor Xiao Lang didn't seem to have picked up on it.

And, more importantly, was that his imagination, or was that Madoushi, within the depths of Tomoyo's eyes?

What in the name of all sacred and holy was going on?

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notes:

- "dokashite iru": supposedly means 'something is wrong'. i got it from my dad's "Japanese for Today" book. .