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A Brother's Woes

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Touya walked over to the kitchen sink and stared out the tiny window in front of him. He sighed as he rested both hands on the counter and put his head down. He thought Sakura was done with this. But no, it was late and raining and he could no longer sense her presence In the house.

The night was cold and damp. The weather forecast had said clear and sunny skies, but anyone looking out their windows could tell you that was far from the truth. Touya sighed. Magic always had a way of making things better or worse, and usually worse. Much, much worse. It certainly wasn't an easy night for adventure. From this view, Touya could make out the dark street and winding narrow path that Sakura would need to take on her eventual way home. That was if she didn't take another way home. Touya paused on this thought as his eyes narrowed.

Craving something to calm his nerves, Touya grabbed the tea kettle and filled it with water. He set the kettle on the stove and if one swift motion exited the kitchen towards the stairs.

Touya stopped as he reached Sakura's room, wondering if it was worth it to knock. He knew Sakura wasn't home - that he was sure of, but he wasn't sure if that weird toy plushy had joined her. Touya put his ear to the door and unable to make out the sounds of snoring or video games, figured the coast was clear. He turned the knob and entered. As he suspected, the room was completely empty.

Sakura's bed was still made. Touya frowned realizing that this must've meant she had been out longer than he expected. He sighed as he walked around her room. He remembered the days when Sakura used to put stuffed animals under the covers to give the illusion that she was in there sleeping, and not outside caught up in someone's else's magical warfare. Those might not have been simpler times exactly, but at least there were easier foes then. Now, whatever Sakura had caught herself up in, had a sense of danger all around it. A danger so strong, he could sense it from inside the house.

Touya walked to her bedroom window and made sure it hadn't locked. He opened it slightly to make it easier for Sakura if she chose to come in through here tonight instead of the front door. If she was out late enough, he knew she chose to come in through her window as to not disturb or worry anyone that she had been out so late. Sakura always worried more about other people than she did herself. That's precisely why Touya knew he couldn't tell her that he was aware of her magic. She couldn't know that their Dad was starting to catch on as well, either. With this new danger looming, Sakura couldn't afford any additional worries taking up space in her mind. She had to stay focused to beat this thing – whatever it was.

He took another deep breath in as the felt the air from outside slowly creep in. Touya closed his eyes and clenched his fists. It had been a while since he worried about his little sister like this. Ever since magical energy began returning to him, he grew increasingly more in tune to the forces around him. That meant he could sense Sakura and it also meant, he could sense this looming danger. Sakura was now more powerful than she had ever been, making her energy a lot easier to pick up on. Touya opened his eyes as a rush of anger surged through him. He knew if he could sense it, so could other magical beings. The more power you had, the more trouble you invited.

Suddenly, the tea kettle whistled alerting the house that it was ready. Touya sighed as he slowly walked out of Sakura's room, turning off the light and gently closing the door behind him. As he descended the stairs he thought of calling Yukito. He knew that damn toy plushy had gone out with Sakura, but maybe he didn't. Maybe he stayed behind.

Upon entering the kitchen, Touya turned off the stove. He reached into the cabinets and pulled out one teacup, placing it in front of him. All of a sudden a cool breeze carrying a light floral scent came and tossed the hair out of Touya's face. Knowing there were no open windows downstairs, Touya smiled as he shook his head. He knew he was no longer alone.

"It's been a while, Mom."

Turning around, Touya came face to face with a white and grey silhouette of his late mother, Nadeisko. Her long hair seemed to be the breeze itself, moving steadily as if it was unable to stand still. The grey spirals that seemed to make out her dress had prints of white and translucent flowers. Most of her was so translucent and fragile that seemingly a single touch would cause the whole scene to disappear.

Touya poured the cup of tea and took a sip as he watched the figurine transcend.

"You used to appear all the time when I was worried or scared," he began. "I should've known I'd see you once my power came back."

"Touya..." The figure spoke in a faint whisper that was carried by the breeze. The sound was like a light song that echoed in his ears, "Even without your power, I never left you."

Touya gave his mother a slight smile as he took another sip of tea. The warm liquid soothed his throat, but the picture in front of him soothed his mind.

"You're worried about Sakura," the figure spoke again.

Touya nodded. He always worried about Sakura but usually struggled to voice these concerns. The only people that ever picked up on that were Yukito and his father.

"I sense that she's in trouble, Mom."

"She is..." Nadeisko's voice grew fainter by the syllable, "but she doesn't know it yet."

Touya's eyes widened as his frown deepened. He had already sensed the danger, but this confirmed how bad it really was. "Will she be ok?" he asked.

"I hope she will be," the voice answered.

Touya put down the cup of tea, rather aggressively on the counter. That wasn't the response he was hoping for. "Is there anything we can do?" He stammered.

"When the time comes, you will know how to help her. But for now..." Nadeisko's faint voice continued, "for now we must trust in her abilities."

"It's not fair," Touya said as he looked out the kitchen window, "she's just a kid. She shouldn't have to go through this alone."

"She's not alone, Touya."

Another breeze blew past Touya's hair. He knew he was being difficult, but he couldn't help it. It's not that he didn't trust his sister, he did. He just didn't like the circumstance that she was born into. Having magical powers thrust on you at an early age and not having any choice in the matter wasn't the normal childhood a kid should have. Not being able to talk to her about this was hard. Not being able to help her was even harder. Even with the extra jobs he had taken to keep busy and preoccupy his mind, his worries never ceased - they only lessened, temporarily.

"Yue, and that damn plushy," Touya sighed.

He wasn't certain, but he thought he could make out the faint sounds of laughter coming from his mother's winded figure.

"The guardians, yes," the voice echoed, "...but she also has her friends... and you, Touya. She is very lucky to have you."

Touya nodded in agreement. He had heard this phrase quite a few times now. He knew when the time came, he would do what he had to do. Just like last time, he would be there for Sakura when she needed him. He only hoped he would know when that would be. He knew he should also be thankful for Sakura'a friends. Even if he didn't like all of them - well, one of them in particular, he knew they made Sakura happy. Her friends were the only thing, after all, keeping her life semi-normal.

"I will help in any way I can, Mom."

"I know you will, son," Nadeisko's voice was growing fainter. It was now becoming harder for Touya to hear, "Your power has grown exceptionally."

"I suppose you can't tell me why that is?" He asked as he took a step forward.

The winded figurine of Nadeisko said nothing, but Touya figured he already knew the answer. No power ever came without a purpose. He knew he would find his when the time came, but it'd be nice to have some insight for once. Ignoring his own question, he took a deep breath in and looked at the slowly diminishing figure of his mother. "When the time comes, I'll be ready."

Again the figurine said nothing, but it moved in a way that Touya felt acknowledged.

"Your friend is on his way," the wind whispered.

Touya took another sip of tea as he raised an eyebrow. Soon, he could feel it in his heart that his mother's words were true. Yukito was nearing their house.

"Lean on him when you can, Touya. Remember, you're not alone either." And with that, the breeze dispersed and the voice was gone.

Touya watched the silhouette of his mother slowly fade away. Her message had been delivered and it worked. The anger and anxiety he had previously felt had subsided. Touya shook his head as he finished his tea. It was nice to know that even after all this time, his mother was still there to comfort him.

"Goodbye, Mom, and thank you," he said to the last bit of passing breeze. He breathed in the faint scent of flowers once more, hoping the pleasant calming feeling would hold him over until he needed it again.

Feeling the growing presence in his heart, and remembering his mother's words, Touya turned around and grabbed another cup from the cupboard. He filled it with tea and placed in on the table in anticipation for Yukito's arrival. Touya looked out the kitchen window once more. Upon seeing the familiar whiteish blonde hair shine in the moonlight, he smiled for the first time that evening. His second dose of comfort had arrived. Right on cue.

Chapter Text

Touya walked back over to the stove and re-filled his cup with tea. He looked out the window once more. Any minute now, Yukito would be approaching the house. Deciding he couldn't wait any longer, Touya walked to the door and preemptively opened it before Yukito even had a chance to knock. Yukito looked stunned and a bit flushed, which caused Touya to crack a smile.

"Yuki."

"T-Touya," Yukito laughed. "Saw me coming, did you?"

Touya nodded as he surveyed his best friend. He could tell that Yukito had on one of his classic thick turtle-neck sweaters underneath his long raincoat. Touya briefly wondered if there were any pictures on it. Yuki's array of dorky sweaters always made him laugh.

"Sorry for coming by so late. Is it ok if I come in?"

Touya rolled his eyes at the unnecessary politeness and took a step back, opening the door wider. "Get in here already, Yuki."

"Thanks," Yukito smiled as he stepped inside and proceeded to take off his shoes and raincoat. He then spotted the tiny cup in Touya's left hand. "Ah, made some tea?"

Touya brought the cup up to his lips and took a sip. The tea was no longer as warm as it had been earlier. He hoped Yukito wouldn't mind. Wait - what was he thinking? Yukito never minded.

"I poured you a cup," Touya said, moving it away from his lips. He looked at Yukito's white sweater, which was now in plain view. He had seen this one before. There were a few light green stripes on it and a small bear in the corner. "It's in the kitchen."

"W-What?" Yukito blinked a few times as he looked at Touya sideways, "did you know I was coming over?"

Touya shrugged as he turned around and proceeded to walk into the kitchen. He wasn't sure if he should tell Yukito about the conversation with his mother, well – mother figure. They had talked about it before, but that had been pre-Yue. And well, ever since Yukito became aware of his other identity, Touya thought it best to keep the magical talk to a minimum. It had been so hard on him. He remembered Yukito questioning his existence and whether or not any of his life had been real. All Touya wanted to do was make Yukito feel as normal as possible. The only problem with that, Touya sighed, was that their lives were far from normal.

Suddenly, the sounds of Yukito chuckling behind him snapped Touya out of his thoughts. Touya turned around. They were standing in the middle of the kitchen now. Yukito had picked up the second cup of tea that Touya poured earlier and was sipping it carefully.

"You've gotten very perceptive, Touya."

Touya smirked as he watched Yukito eye him underneath the teacup, "I didn't think you noticed."

"I did…" Yukito paused as he brought the cup down, "…he has too. The other me, I mean."

"Oh," Touya stared for a few moments. Maybe they would have this conversation after all. "I thought you couldn't feel him… Yue, that is."

Yukito lowered his gaze to the floor as his smile slowly faded. "I can't… usually," he paused, "but, I'm beginning to pick up on a few things here and there."

Touya took another sip of his tea. He tried his best to hide the puzzled expression on his face. Truthfully, he had wondered how much Yue knew of his conversations with Yukito. He had suspected that Yue was always listening quietly in the background waiting for tidbits of information that could be important. But, Touya wasn't positive. At least now if Yukito was picking up on Yue’s thoughts then maybe he could start to level the playing field. If Yukito could gain more insight into Yue’s mind then perhaps the two sides could live in harmony. Perhaps Yukito would be happier.

"Yuki…" Touya waited until his friend lifted his warm grey eyes from the floor and looked back at him. "I'm glad you're here."

Yukito smiled into Touya's eyes and he felt it. Touya suddenly had the urge to reach out and grab Yukito and pull him close into his arms. But, Touya resisted. That time would come… but for now, he needed to know why Yukito was really here. He was sure, by the look on Yukito's face, that it was serious… and, probably not just a random visit considering who Touya had spoken to earlier. There were no coincidences in a magical world after all.

"Thanks, Touya. That means a lot,"

Touya watched Yukito take another sip of tea. Once the cup was back down, Touya decided to ask the question he was sure he already knew the answer to. In preparation, he took a deep breath in and let it out as Yukito looked on in anticipation.

"Does he…" Touya paused, "want to talk to me?"

Yukito sighed and nodded in a resigned fashion. "Yes," he answered softly, "I believe he does."

"Interesting," Touya thought out loud, "he wants to talk to me, but you were at my door instead."

Yukito let out a small laugh, "Yeah well… you're my friend."

Touya just stared at him. Was Yukito jealous? No… Touya shook his head. Clearly, Yue couldn't just show up at his doorstep without raising suspicions. It had to be Yukito. Touya looked at him closer and raised an eyebrow at Yukito's smile… No, Touya stopped himself. He couldn't think about this now. These were thoughts for another time.

"Alright," Touya said, "Let's get this over with. And then…" he looked at Yukito, "we can hang out and do whatever you want."

Yukito smiled, looking significantly happier. Touya caught himself smiling back. And then, right before his eyes, Yukito fell slightly back and was enveloped in a bright ball of light.

The sight that now stood before him was brighter and taller. Yukito's whiteish hair was now longer and down his back. His warm grey eyes were now icy and blue and his dorky sweater was now a long white robe with purple accents. And those wings. Yue had wings that almost took up the entire kitchen. Touya stood in awe. No matter how many times he had seen the sight in front of him, he would forever be amazed at the power of magic… and the sheer beauty of it.

Touya blushed slightly as he realized he had been staring. Quickly, he shook his head to regain his normal composure.

"What is it, Yue?" Touya asked, a bit more forceful than intended.

Yue stood still. His icy blue eyes staring straight into Touya. When he spoke, he spoke calmly, "I wish to speak to you about this increased perception."

Should’ve known, Touya thought. He nodded slowly and sternly.

"I know that your power is slowly returning to you," Yue continued. "What I don't know… is where it's coming from."

Touya looked confused. "What do you mean?"

"My master…" Yue paused as he took his eyes off of Touya and looked towards the stairs. "There are times when I cannot sense her."

Touya brought the cup to his mouth and took another sip. He still felt confused. Yue's words were soft and calming like his mother's. But, also like his mother, the message was unclear. "What does this have to do with me?"

"I believe…" Yue paused as if he was unsure he wanted to continue, "that part of her magic… may be displaced."

Touya frowned, "And you want to know if I took it?"

"It would need to be someone close to her. Someone who also possesses magic."

Touya looked incredulous. There was no way Yue could be serious right now. "My magic is different than Sakura's."

"Well, I wouldn't know," Yue's expression hardened. "You haven't told me what kind of magic it is that you possess."

Ah, there it was. Yue was frustrated. Touya took another sip. "I'm still figuring things out," he looked directly into those icy blue eyes, "You'll know… when you need to."

Yue sighed, looking rather displeased. "If that's what you wish."

Touya nodded, still keeping his eyes on him. "I suppose this displacement couldn't happen by accident?"

Yue shook his head, "It would be intentional."

Touya thought on this for a moment. If Sakura's magic was really being displaced, then why could he sense her… and so strongly? Who were the magical beings close to Sakura that could even do something like that if not Yue or that damn plushy? Touya paused as an idea came to him. He suddenly felt angry. He slammed the teacup down on the table.

"The kid."

Yue looked taken back as he surveyed Touya. "Li Syaoran?"

Touya clenched his fists.

Yue sighed and simply shook his head once more, "he cares for her."

Touya's eyes widened. "What does that matter?"

"I don't believe he would hurt her. If it was him… he must have a reason."

The anger was rising within Touya. "A reason he wouldn’t tell you?"

"I suppose…" Yue paused, "he'd have a reason for that too."

Touya wanted to say something else, but couldn't find the words. It had to be that little brat. Always hanging around Sakura and going on these late-night adventures with her… it just made too much sense. Unless… Touya paused as he remembered that weird transfer student who used to go to school with them. The kid who was like a small Clow Reed. Could he have come back or… could someone else have?

"And Touya…"

"What?" Touya answered annoyed.

"You should know… that she cares for him too."

Touya just looked at him. He was increasingly missing Yukito. "What does that have to do with anything?"

Yue took a step towards him and stared back with a certain intensity that made Touya’s heart beat a bit faster. "Everything, Touya."

Touya unclenched his fists and looked towards the floor. He knew Sakura liked that little brat. That was precisely why he was worried.

"I'd like to see Yukito now."

"As you wish Touya, but please… trust our master."

Touya shook his head as he recalled his mom saying the same thing to him earlier. "Do you trust her?"

Yue nodded. "With everything I have. I gave you my word once and nothing's changed."

Touya looked up and their eyes met again. He didn't forget. He could never forget.

"…I will always protect her."

With that, Yue closed his eyes and his great big wings circled around him. In a flashing burst of light, he was gone leaving Yukito standing before him.

Yukito looked around slightly confused. "Touya?" he asked. "Is everything ok?"

"Yeah," Touya answered, trying to offer him a slight smile, "Yue just gets on my nerves."

Yukito smiled and picked up his now cold tea. "He must've been talking about Sakura then."

Touya raised an eyebrow at him, "Well… look who's perceptive now."

Yukito laughed and Touya felt himself beginning to relax again.

"That's the only thing I notice that really gets under your skin. Doesn't take much to figure that out." Yukito laughed and drank his tea either unaware or uncaring that it was cold. Probably the later, Touya reasoned.

Touya recalled the conversation with Yue and thought of asking Yukito one more question before changing the subject for good and going about their night... hopefully as normal as possible.

"What do you think of that kid who always hangs around her?"

Yukito looked a bit puzzled, "You aren't talking about Syaoran are you?"

Touya nodded and picked up his teacup.

"Oh Touya," Yukito laughed, "I like him… and I think Sakura does too."

Touya could feel his face contorting. "That's what Yue said…"

Yukito laughed again and took another sip of his cold beverage.

"What's funny?" Touya asked.

"Nothing," Yukito smiled, "I just think it's cute when you get all protective."

Touya rolled his eyes and turned around to look out the kitchen window. He liked the compliment, but… with Sakura still out there, it was hard to think of anything else.

"What if he's stealing her magic, Yuki? What if…" Touya lowered his voice, "what if he hurts her?"

Without missing a beat, Yukito answered. "Sakura is smart, Toya. You can trust her judgment."

Touya sighed as he continued looking out the window.

"Let me guess…" Yukito continued, "Yue said that too, didn't he?"

Touya nodded, though he wasn't sure Yukito could see it with his back turned towards him. By now, both his mom, Yue, and now Yukito had all told him the same thing.

"I guess we really are alike."

"I prefer you," Touya answered.

He turned around to see Yukito smiling at him. Touya took a deep breath in and let it out. He glanced out the window once more. There was still no sign of his little sister, but… there would be… eventually. And until then, the perfect distraction was standing right in front of him.

Touya took a step towards Yukito. He decided he had definitely worried enough for one night. It was about time he enjoyed himself. "Ready to hang out?" he asked, a faint smile making its way across his mouth.

Yukito finished his tea and set the cup down on the counter. Smiling ear to ear he said, "I thought you'd never ask."

Chapter Text

Touya yawned. He was so tired he could barely keep his eyes open. He looked a bit groggily at the TV in front of him. Shoot. He must’ve dozed off. Last he remembered, he and Yukito weren’t this far into the movie.  Wait. Touya looked around his room. Where was Yukito?

Touya looked at the empty space next to him. They had both been sitting on the floor in his room, leaning against Touya’s bed. They had sat side by side. Their arms touching. Yukito’s head against Touya’s shoulder. It was a closeness they both enjoyed but never spoke about.

Reaching his hand out, Touya felt the ground next to him where Yukito had been sitting. It was still warm. Touya yawned as he stretched his arms up over his head and stood up slowly. Quietly, he opened his door and moved out into the hallway.

As Touya moved further into the hall he caught a glimpse of a bright white light coming from his living room, just down the stairs. Touya took another step forward and then stopped as he could make out a familiar sight of large white feathers. Yue.

Touya took one more step forward and then leaned against the wall as to not draw attention to himself. That was definitely Yue in his living room. And from the looks of it, he was holding Yukito’s cell phone in his white angelic hands.

“Yuki bunny!” A high pitch voice called out through the phone.

“What is it Kero?”

“Oh, hi Yue... There was another card.”

“What happened?”

Touya leaned his head a little closer. From where he was standing he could hear perfectly. 

“Same thing as last time. Came out of nowhere. Sakura is still the only one so far who can sense them.”

Yue sighed, “and the Sakura cards?”

 “Still can’t use them.”

 “I see,” Yue answered.

 “I called you a few times, but you didn’t answer.”

 “I missed Yukito’s phone. Are you on your way home?”

 Touya perked up. He had been torn between leaving Yue be and making his presence known. But this was a question he wanted the answer to. This was a question that had been nagging at him ever since he got home and noticed Sakura wasn’t here.

 “Yup! Why? Are you at Sakura’s?”

 Touya exhaled. Thank God. Alright, now he could leave.

 “Yes, Yukito is with Touya.”

 Touya froze upon hearing Yue utter his name. Maybe staying a few more moments couldn’t hurt.

 “Geez, Yue! Are you Sakura’s guardian or his? Kidding – don’t get mad! Did you find out more about his magic?”

 “I’m afraid not. Just confirmation that his power is, in fact, returning to him.”

 “Ugh, what a bother. Did you run your magical displacement theory by him?”

 “Yes…” Yue answered, “He denies it... and I believe him. His magic is different, though he won’t say exactly how.”

 “Hmm… interesting. This can’t be a coincidence though. With all that’s happened, you should continue to keep an eye out on him.”

 Oh, really? That was enough. Touya stepped out of the shadowed hall and moved in plain sight, to the front of the stairs.

 “That shouldn’t be a problem. My other half… is very fond of him.”

 “As are you, it appears!”

 “I am…. fond of him as well...”

 Touya smiled. Who would’ve thought?

 “...Don’t forget Kero, his magic sustained me before our master’s power was able to.”

 “I haven’t forgotten, Yue. He’s very important to Sakura too.  I just wish we knew more about his magic and why it’s been hard for you to sense Sakura.”

 “Touya suspects it may have something to do with Li Syaoran.”

 “The kid?! No way. He wouldn’t do anything to hurt Sakura.”

 “I agree, but perhaps we should consider all possibilities.”

 “He would need one heck of a reason, Yue.”

 “Agreed,” Touya answered.

 Yue immediately flew around and noticed Touya standing at the very top of the stairs. His arms were crossed in front of his chest and his eyes locked directly on him.

 Yue sighed into the phone. “I must go, Kero.”

 “Ok, Yu-“

But Yue hung up before Kero could answer and placed Yukito’s phone back on the table.

 “How much did you hear?” Yue asked in a low voice that was hard to make out. 

“Enough,” Touya answered. 

Yue sighed and looked up at Touya with a bit of a defeated expression. Touya figured this must’ve been the first time someone had snuck up on him.

After a few minutes, Yue spoke.  “You’ll be pleased to know Sakura is on her way home.”

Touya nodded but didn’t say anything. He continued staring at Yue, surveying his expressions. Eventually, Touya caved and cracked a smile.

“I’m fond of you too, Yue.”

Yue looked taken back, but then moved the corners of his mouth into what appeared to be a smile. “I thought I got on your nerves.”

Touya laughed and uncrossed his arms. “Eavesdropping, are we?”

Yue seemed to avoid eye contact as he looked at the ground rather than at Touya. “I… was curious.”

Touya shook his head and then remembered parts of the conversation he had just overheard. “Yue… I want Yukito here only if he wants to be and not because you’re trying to keep an eye on me.”

Yue nodded, “understood, Touya.” 

Touya opened his mouth to say something else, but he was too late. Yue’s wings and light had encased him. Soon enough, Yukito was standing in the living room. Yue’s angelic wings and mysterious persona was gone again.

Yukito looked around the living room before looking up at Touya. “When did I come down here?” After a few seconds… “Oh,” and lowering his head, “…I changed again.” 

Touya frowned. How often did this happen to Yukito? How often did he stand confused in some place that he had no recollection of walking to? Well... at least he was starting to catch on and recognize it. Maybe one day Yukito could listen in when Yue was in the driver’s seat.

As Touya surveyed the faint smile on his friend’s face, he couldn’t help but feel a pang in his heart. Yukito wasn’t just his best friend. As evident by their closeness upstairs and always. There was a lot more going on, that neither one of them ever brought up. Touya has always assumed it was because their lives were already so complicated they didn’t want to further add to it. But maybe this, right here, was the reason - that one day one of them would wake up and the other wouldn’t be there. 

“Don’t worry about it, Yuki,” Touya faked a smile, “get back up here. You’re missing the movie.” 

Yukito smiled as he left the living room and proceeded to join Touya on the stairs. “You’re one to talk, Touya. I caught you falling asleep.”

Touya smiled, genuinely this time. He reached out his hand and lightly touched Yukito’s cheek. Yukito blushed slightly and his eyes softened. He raised his hand and placed it on top of Touya’s, looking fondly, almost lovingly back at him.

“Did I worry you?” He asked softly. 

Touya lowered his hand and Yukito did the same. “No,” Touya answered to the floor, “I just... didn’t know where you went.”

“Well, I’m back now,” Yukito replied. “I won’t run off again... if I can help it.” He added a smile for good measure.

Touya nodded and then turned around to walk back into his bedroom. Without thinking, he walked past where they were seated earlier and sat down on his bed. Yukito followed, moving to sit next to him.

Looking at the TV, Touya noticed the movie was now over. He yawned again, his tiredness finally catching up to him. “What...” he yawned, “...should we do now?”

Yukito chuckled beside him, “how about you lay down?”

Touya shook his head. “Sakura still isn’t home and...” he paused to meet Yukito’s gaze, “I don’t want you to leave.”

“I won’t,” Yukito whispered. “I can lay... with you. If you want.”

Touya noticed Yukito rubbing the back of his neck nervously as his cheeks flushed again. This was new, Touya thought. Usually, they didn’t ask or speak it... it always just happened. 

“Close the door,” Touya said in a low raspy voice. 

Yukito obliged. Soon enough the door was closed and he was back beside him.

Touya could feel his heart beat a bit faster as he slowly laid down. Yukito followed, eventually resting his head on Touya’s chest. 

Touya moved his arms in around Yukito and breathed in the scent of his hair. He remembered the first time that they had laid like this. It had been back when Yukito was disappearing. Touya pulled Yukito closer to him. Those were bittersweet memories. After he had given Yue his powers, Yukito had stayed with him while he recovered. He had laid his head on Touya’s arm and eventually the two of them moved to this very same position... just holding one another. Touya knew that it was more than an expression of gratitude. It was an expression of love.

As Touya felt Yukito’s warm body on him, he realized that neither one of them had ever pushed for more. Laying together... was nice. It always had been. But... how long could they do this for? How long could they pretend that this was enough for them? Touya wanted to kiss him. He wanted to really feel him. But... would everything change? If Yukito wanted more... would Yue allow it?

Touya thought about this. Truthfully, he didn’t care about what Yue thought. He cared about Yukito. And the two of them... they hadn’t crossed that line for a reason. But feeling Yukito’s body in his arms, Touya couldn’t for the life of him remember that reason. Touya took a deep breath in and let it out. He opened his mouth to speak.

“Yuki,” he began.... but then stopped.

 Yukito moved his head a little and placed his hand on Touya’s chest. “What is it, Touya?”

Touya exhaled. He felt nervous. He could do this but maybe not...now. “Will you uh.... wake me if I fall asleep?”

Yukito nuzzled into his side a bit more. “Not if I fall asleep first.”

Touya smiled. That was fair. He moved his arms around Yukito’s back and trying his best to ignore his innermost desires,  leaned into their embrace. Feeling completely at peace, he closed his eyes.

 


  

A loud noise awoke Touya from his slumber. Reluctantly, he opened his eyes and sat up. Puzzled, he looked down at his bed. Somehow, there was a large blanket over him. Touya smiled as he raised an eyebrow at Yukito curled up in a ball sleeping soundly next to him. This was clearly his doing.

The loud noise repeated itself causing Touya to forgo his current thoughts. Gently, as to not disturb Yukito, Toya slipped out of bed and headed for his door. Quietly turning the knob, Touya then made his way out the door and into the hallway. There was a light coming from underneath Sakura’s door.

Touya tiptoed towards it and slowly pressed his ear against the door.

“I’m serious, Sakura! We need more snacks up here!”

“Shhhh! Kero, keep your voice down!”

Touya smiled as he withdrew his ear. Good. She was home. He didn’t need to hear anything else. He could finally go to sleep. Touya yawned and made his way slowly back to his room. 

“T-Touya?” Yukito asked as he slowly opened his eyes.

Shoot. Touya had woke him. Slowly, Touya closed the door behind him and made his way over to the bed.

“Everything ok?” Yukito asked.

Touya nodded as he got back into bed and laid his head down on the pillow. This time they were side by side facing each other.

“She’s finally home, isn’t she?” Yukito whispered, a smile forming across his face.

“Goodnight, Yuki,” Touya answered, ignoring him.

“Goodnight, Touya,” Yukito let out a soft laugh, “sweet dreams.”

Chapter Text

Running water over a dirty pan, Touya found himself yet again looking out the kitchen window. The weather was actually nice today - clear skies, sun shining. Whatever magic seemed to be raining down on their town yesterday seemed to have been put to rest… at least for now.

Touya grabbed the dish soap and began scrubbing. He had just made breakfast for everyone, but Yukito had left early and he knew Sakura was still sleeping. With the time she finally got home last night, he'd be surprised if she woke up before noon. He briefly thought about talking to his father about setting a curfew. Touya then stopped to think. Would magic abide by a curfew? Sakura had that damn force that could make everyone go to sleep. For all he knew, maybe she had one that could stop time too.

The sounds of his father's growing footsteps snapped Touya out of his thoughts. He turned off the water and dried his hands.

"Smells great, Touya," Fujitaka Kinomoto called out as he reached the kitchen.

"Thanks, Dad," Touya answered, "I already set the table. Help yourself."

Fujitaka nodded, but then turned to the whiteboard hanging on the wall and began writing on it. Touya looked up.

"Working another Saturday?" Touya asked.

"Mhmm," Fujitaka finished writing and then moved to the table to sit down. "There's a big research project we're working on. I may need to work tomorrow too."

Touya took a seat opposite his father. They said a quick prayer and then both started eating.

"Is it going well, at least?" Touya asked in between bites.

"It is, actually," Fujitaka answered. "Very interesting stuff."

Touya nodded along as he continued eating. He briefly considered asking more about what it was exactly that his father was researching, but he wasn't sure just how much time his father had before he needed to leave.

"The board doesn't list any jobs for you today, Touya. Taking a day off?" Fujitaka smiled.

Touya took a big bite and then swallowed. The temp agency he was listed with always found different jobs for him to do. Today though, they hadn't found anything for him and truth be told, he wasn't used to having free time. He wasn't quite sure what to make of it or what he was going to do today.

"I might fill in for someone at the coffee shop..." Touya paused as he tried to remember. "Not sure yet."

"You know," Fujitaka began, "It might be great for you to have a day to yourself to just relax."

"Hmm," Touya responded with one eyebrow raised, "look who's talking."

Fujitaka let out a soft laugh as he resumed eating. "Oh hey, Touya… before I forget. I gave Sakura the free tickets I got from the aquarium. I figured she'd enjoy them more than you would."

Touya nodded. "Good assumption, Dad."

"Do you still work there sometimes?"

Hmm. Touya pulled his phone out of his pocket to check his calendar. The temp agency had placed him there last year for a few days a week. After becoming friends with the aquarium manager, Touya had helped out a couple weekends since then. However, it had been some time since he was last there. "It's been a while..." Touya said as he scrolled through his contacts and located the manager's number, "When is Sakura going?"

"I think she said tomorrow," Fujitaka paused, a small smile forming across his face. Touya looked up from his phone. "You know… she might be taking a date there."

Without missing a beat, Touya brought his phone up to his ear as his eyes narrowed in on his father.

Fujitaka seemed puzzled. "Are you… calling someone?"

"Yes," Touya answered matter of factly. "The aquarium, to see if they need help."

"Oh Touya," Fujitaka laughed as he took his last bite and finished his plate. "She'll be fine… it's part of being a kid and growing up. She should enjoy herself."

Touya continued staring blankly at his father. They both knew Sakura wasn't just a normal kid, so what was he getting at? A look of clear disappointment showed on his face. "This was your idea?"

"Mhmm," Fujitaka nodded as he stood up and brought his plate to the kitchen sink. He paused as he passed the picture of Nadeisko. "Sakura should have some fun, and plus… she's not a little kid anymore. I thought she could use this as an opportunity to come into her own a bit."

Touya shook his head. He couldn't believe this. Sakura was far too young to be dating. And plus, she had a whole world to protect didn't she? How could she...? Touya paused when it finally hit him. If Sakura was going on a date then it had to be with that little brat who liked her. The one who…. Touya stood up. The one who might be displacing her magic.

"This isn't a good idea, Dad."

Fujitaka chuckled in response. "Don't be so protective, Touya."

Touya crossed his arms over his chest. "I never went on aquarium dates."

Fujitaka continued smiling as he washed his plate. "Hmm, I'll have to tell Yukito to take you then."

Touya rolled his eyes. "Very funny, Dad."

Fujitaka turned the water off and grabbed a towel to dry his hands. He turned around and stopped to look at his son. "Did… he stay over again last night?"

Touya froze. "Is… that…ok?" he asked a bit nervously. He surveyed his father's face. Touya knew that Fujitaka was perceptive enough to already know the answer to this question. It wasn't like Touya had ever set up the couch for Yukito so where else would he have slept when he stayed over? Oh, God... Touya looked down as a thought popped into his mind. Did his father think him and Yukito were...

"It's always ok, Touya. Yukito is practically family at this point." Fujitaka smiled at him as he put down the towel.

Touya breathed a sigh of relief as he sat back down. That was way easier than he expected.

"You know…" Fujitaka continued, "if he officially wanted to be family…"

Ok, here it was. Touya shook his head as he opened his mouth to cut his father off. "Dad… it's not like that."

"Ok, well I'm just saying…" Fujitaka moved closer to the table where Touya was seated. "I can tell he really cares about you and Sakura seems to really enjoy his company. If it was like that… we'd all be really happy for you. I just wanted you to know that."

Wow. Touya just looked at his father. He always knew that he and Sakura had won the dad lottery but still... being so ok with your son potentially being gay that you don't even question his 'friend' always staying over was a new kind of supportive.

They proceed to stare at each other for a good few seconds until Touya spoke.

"Thanks, Dad. I appreciate it, but…" Touya sighed. He didn't know what to tell him. Instead, he got up and walked to the refrigerator. He opened the door and grabbed his father's lunch. "Here," he said as he handed it to him, "you're going to be late."

"Oh, it's a Saturday," Fujitaka chuckled. "We get a little leeway."

Touya watched as his Dad gathered his belongings and headed to the front door. "Tell your sister I'll be home later!" Fujitaka called out. With that, he waved to his son and moved outside, closing the door behind him.

Touya stared at the door for a few moments before walking back to the table. He hadn't finished his food. Sitting back down, he pulled out his phone again. He wasn't going to spy on Sakura, but if the aquarium just happened to need help tomorrow then that was a sign no one could deny, right? Touya quickly pressed on the aquarium manager's number and sent him a text.

When he was done, he put his phone on the table and looked back at the front door. No, Touya had never gone on any aquarium dates. But why would he? There were so many better places he could go with Yukito. Wait… Touya paused. What was he doing?

Touya sighed into his plate. He knew he'd be lying if he said he hadn't thought about dating. He was sure Yukito had too. After all, what kind of friendship included cuddling at night? Could it have been possible that Yukito was just waiting for Touya to make the next move? No. Touya shook his head. Dating would just be too complicated… right? Surely, they both knew that with Yue always in the background that they could never have a normal relationship. Would Touya need to ask both of them out? He'd be dating both of them, right? Touya paused as he felt himself blush a little. He would definitely be into that. Yukito was cute, respectful, charming, but Yue was… assertive, confident, and damn attractive.

Ugh. Touya brought both his hands over his head. Yukito was his best friend - that was the real issue here. What if they messed it up? What if something happened to Yue and Yukito started disappearing again? Touya felt uneasy. Yukito was the closest person in his life. He couldn't risk anything ruining that. I mean sure, he could always give Yue more magic. That had worked last time and Touya's powers had come back, stronger even. And sure, Touya would never purposely hurt Yukito, but he could definitely say the wrong thing and ruin their friendship.

Friendship. Touya took a deep breath in and let it out. He and Yukito both knew that what they had was a lot more intimate than just a friendship. So… maybe the next logical step really was dating.

Suddenly, Touya's phone buzzed on the table. He opened his eyes and picked it up. It was the aquarium's manager. Touya's eyes widened. They did need help tomorrow. He re-read the text to be sure. Wasting no time at all, he replied saying he'd be there and could even work late if needed.

He looked over at Nadeisko's picture. He wanted to ask her if there would be danger tomorrow, but he knew better. If there was, he'd be ready.

Before putting his phone away, Touya decided on sending another message. He was in a different mood now. The aquarium text had got his heart rate up. It was time to do this. Touya found Yukito's name in his contacts and pressed on a new message. He took another deep breath in and moved to type, but before he could, his phone rang.

Touya looked confused. He didn't recognize the number and wasn't expecting any calls. He hesitated but answered it anyway.

"Hi, is this Touya?" A woman's voice said through the phone.

"Uh, yeah. Who's this?" Touya answered.

"It's Kari from the coffee shop. I got your number from the call board. I'm sorry it's so last minute, but is there any way you could still cover my shift this afternoon?"

Touya sighed as he turned to look at the time. "Yeah… that's fine, Kari. I'll be there."

Chapter Text

For a Saturday, the coffee shop wasn't as crowded as Touya expected. He had only made 6 lattes before it was time for his break. Touya wiped his hands on his long green apron and proceeded to walk outside and sit on the bench in front of the cafe. His break was only 25 minutes and he decided on spending it with some fresh air.

Feeling a buzz in his pocket, Touya pulled out his phone. His eyes widened as he saw the bold black letters alerting him he had one new text message from... Yukito.

Remembering the text he was about to send him earlier, Touya put his phone down and brought his hands to his face. That was a text he still had to send and it was one in which - if he was being honest, he didn't really know what to say.

As Touya sat on the bench with his head in his hands, he felt a slight breeze brush the hair out of his face. Suddenly, a slight smile crept across his face. Touya looked up and watched the breeze. He watched it ruffle the leaves on the ground. He watched the breeze dance among the tree limbs and carry on blowing past people strolling by. He began to think of his mom, and Sakura, and courage, and life. He picked up his phone.

Yukito's text was simple. It read: Hey, where are you working today?

Touya typed a quick reply: coffee shop

He briefly paused to think and then added: Come by?

With that, he closed his phone and took another deep breath of the crisp air. He continued watching the wind. The familiar, comforting element, that he was becoming increasingly fond of.


"Coffee shop today, huh?" Yukito smiled as he leaned over the counter. Touya had his arms crossed over his chest, watching Yukito look at all the cookies and mini desserts on display. "It always smells so nice in here!"

Touya nodded and leaned over the counter. Yukito was now reading the list of special coffees like Touya didn't already know which one he was going to pick.

"How about… the mocha?"

Touya shook his head. "You don't like that one. Get the vanilla crème."

Yukito's eyes glossed over the description of his go-to latte, the vanilla crème. He looked torn, pained even. Touya laughed. Yuki would always be the most adorable person he knew.

"What's funny?" Yukito asked.

Touya shook his head once more as he turned around to prepare the vanilla crème latte. After a few seconds Yukito spoke, his voice more resigned – a bit defeated. "You're right," he began, "the vanilla's my favorite, I always end up getting it. I just feel bad that I never try anything new."

Steaming the milk for the latte, Touya nodded along. He recalled a time when Yukito had ordered the new healthy mushroom coffee the café was trying out. Truth be told, it tasted like dirt. But Yukito, being annoyingly polite and afraid to offend anyone, had managed to choke it down, contorting his face to try and hide the burning gross taste in his mouth. Touya laughed a bit to himself. He had yet to find a more quintessential Yuki moment than that one.

"Don't feel bad," Touya answered as he placed the finished latte on the counter. "We can't help who we like."

Touya's eyes met Yukito's and they stared at each other for a moment. Yukito's eyes then softened as a large smile spread across his face causing Touya to look at him cautiously.

"Who?"

"Uh…" Touya's face immediately reddened as he took a step back and started scratching his head. "Did I say who?" he laughed nervously. "I meant… what."

Yukito laughed along, but Touya noticed that he was also blushing. It suddenly became obvious to him. They both wanted the same thing. He could do this.

"Actually, Yuki…."

"Yes... Touya?"

Touya gulped as he looked into the warm grey eyes of his best friend. "Go out with me."

Yukito took a step back as he seemed to look at Touya in disbelief. He surveyed him as if making sure he actually said what he thought he did. After what seemed like the world's longest second, he nodded and smiled bigger than Touya had ever seen him smile before.

"Ok," he answered.

"Ok," Touya smiled.

Suddenly, a loud bang on the counter caught his attention. Touya turned to see an angry woman at the counter next to them. Touya looked at her quite confused. Had she always been there?

"Umm…hi! Is anyone going to take my order?!"

"Shit," Touya muttered under his breath.

Yukito laughed as he reached out and grabbed his latte off the corner.

"Are you leaving?" Touya asked, completely ignoring the customer.

Yukito shook his head no. Touya felt relieved, content, happy, and excited. "I'll be over there," Yukito said as he pointed to a table in the corner.

Touya nodded, "ok."

Yukito smiled, "ok."

"Um, EXCUSE me!"

Ugh. Touya walked over to the counter. "What can I get for you?"

"I'll take the organic mushroom roast. Large."

Touya cracked a smile. "Coming right up."


The rest of Touya's shift flew by, which was surprising considering he spent most of it looking over at the corner table to catch glimpses of Yukito. Touya couldn't help it. He felt too excited. He had finally asked out his best friend and he had said yes. Well… he had said 'ok' which was pretty much the same thing. Despite the large risk and all the unknown factors that came to play in their lives, Yukito had agreed.

As Touya finished wiping down his last table, he hung up his green apron on the café wall and joined Yukito at the corner table.

"Sorry that took so long," Touya found himself blushing once the words left his mouth. He had meant the clean-up but supposed those words could be applied to more than that.

"It's ok, I read this magazine."

Touya looked at the paper on the table and then back at Yukito. They both said nothing and just stared at one another. Suddenly, and luckily, Yukito started laughing. Touya smiled. He was glad the silence had been broken.

"So," Yukito started, "What would you like to do?"

"Um," Touya stared blankly at him. He hadn't thought that far ahead. "Honestly?" he answered. "I have no idea."

Yukito raised an eyebrow as he watched on inquisitively.

"I just thought… that you and I…" Touya paused. He wasn't sure where he was going with this. "I thought we should…" Touya stopped. He wasn't making any sense. He ran his hand through his hair as he looked out the window.

"I agree," Yukito spoke, drawing Touya back in.

"Yeah?" he looked in awe at the beautiful man sitting across from him.

"Yeah," Yukito nodded, his eyes were still smiling though his face was now more serious like he wanted Touya to know he meant every word. "It's probably about time."

Touya began rubbing the back of his neck. He could feel his heart beating out of his chest. "I wasn't sure… if you wanted to. If you felt… that way about… me."

"Touya," Yukito pushed his empty cup aside as he leaned across the table and lowered his voice. "I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for you."

"I know," Touya responded matching the softness, "but that doesn't mean…"

"I know," Yukito interjected. "But in my case… it does."

They sat in silence for a few more minutes, soaking in the moment, gathering their thoughts, letting their hearts calm down.

There was still one question on Touya's mind he wanted to ask. He took a deep breath in and let it out as he prepared the words in his head.

"What about… Yue?"

Yukito looked down at the table and his expression hardened. Crap. Touya immediately thought of taking it back, but if they were going to do this… if they were really going to try to be together… then he knew this had to be addressed. Touya sat still as he waited patiently for Yukito to answer.

After a few seconds, Yukito lifted his head. "Let me worry about that."

Touya's eyes widened in surprise. That wasn't the answer he was expecting. He surveyed Yukito's face. It was… stern, confident, but gentle all the same. Touya exhaled. They could talk about it later.

"So," Yukito was back to smiling, "what are you doing tomorrow?"

Touya frowned. He felt an immediate shift in his energy as he recalled what his plans for tomorrow were and why he had them.

"What is it?" Yukito asked, his face concerned. He reached his hand out and placed it on top of Touya's on the table. Touya felt his skin dance at the touch.

"Sakura is going on a date tomorrow."

Yukito withdrew his hand and placed it over his mouth to keep himself from laughing. "Oh, Touya."

Touya turned away from him and looked out the window.

"I'm sorry," Yukito said. "How are you dealing with that?"

Touya let out a sigh, "by working at the aquarium tomorrow."

Yukito placed his hand back on top of Touya's. "Then I guess we better go out tonight."

Touya smiled as he spread apart his fingers to hold Yukito's hand. Truthfully, he had no idea what to expect… tonight or going forward. But for right now, in this moment, he felt happy.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

For reasons Touya hoped weren't too obvious, he decided on taking the long way home from the coffee shop. Yukito didn't seem to mind, or notice, as he said nothing when they passed the street they'd usually take and instead began walking towards the park.

It was late now and not many people were out. Touya and Yukito kept exchanging glances back and forth and then looking away. It was as if their eyes were playing a game of tag. Touya thought it'd be funny to point that out, but he felt too nervous… he figured maybe Yukito did too. They had always been very close, but this was new territory for the both of them. He could feel Yukito walking closer to him than was previously normal. Their shoulders occasionally brushed against each other as they walked and their walk was slower because of it.

When Touya looked down at his feet, he caught the glimpse of Yukito's hand and decided to grab it. Yukito responded by interlocking their fingers and giving his hand a squeeze. Touya felt as if his heart was beating out of his chest. He was sure his palms were probably sweating, but Yukito didn't seem to mind. Yukito never minded. Yukito was someone who as long as Touya had known him, had fully accepted the world and people around him. Even in this dark and quiet park, Touya felt completely safe and comfortable. Being with Yukito had always felt like the most natural thing in the world to him. Officially being with him now, felt like coming home.

They walked a bit further in silence until Yukito seemed to voice exactly what Touya had been thinking. "This is nice," he said.

Touya nodded as he looked at the night sky around them. "I'm sorry if my hands are sweaty."

Yukito chuckled softly. "I don't mind."

Of course, you don't, Touya thought. He smiled, but then a thought popped into his head that made his smile fade. He gently let go of Yukito's hand and stopped walking.

Yukito noticed the shift immediately. "What is it, Touya?"

Touya let out a sigh as he looked around to make sure that they were alone. He didn't want to speak until he was sure that the park was empty. When he felt certain, he took a shaky breath in and let it out.

Yukito seemed confused as he looked on in anticipation. "Is everything ok?"

Yes, Touya wanted to say. This was exactly what he had wanted and for so long and he felt happier than he'd ever been. But he didn't say any of that. Instead, he stood still and looked at the sky around them. He was very happy to be here with Yukito and he could feel in his heart that Yukito felt the same. Yukito didn't mind his nervous shyness or his sweaty hands but… Yukito was only one tenant in the body that stood before him and Touya didn't feel comfortable, he couldn't feel comfortable until he knew for sure that someone else also didn't mind being there with him like this.

Yukito nudged him and moved in closer, "You look like you're in pain," he said in a voice that seemed to be half teasing, half actual concern.

"Yuki… I," Touya looked directly into his eyes, "I want to kiss you."

Yukito looked surprised by this. He let out a soft laugh, but his eyes still held a look of concern like he didn't quite buy it. "Is that all, Touya? If it is… I, well," he scratched the back of his head and looked at one of the trees to his left. "I'd like that."

"Me too," Touya reached out and took both of Yukito's hands in his. He would've liked to have already kissed him by now, but he knew he couldn't. No matter what form Touya preferred, there was someone else's consent he needed. It just wouldn't be right otherwise. "But I… I need to know it's ok."

"Touya," Yukito smiled and squeezed his hands, harder this time. "I told you I'd like to."

"You did, but…" Touya paused, "someone else didn't."

Yukito stared at him funny until comprehension seemed to dawn on him. He dropped Touya's hands and sighed. "You mean, Yue."

Touya lowered his head. "Are... you upset with me?"

Yukito shook his head and crossed his arms over his chest. "You're very sweet, Touya." He said the words with a certain fondness that made Touya's heart race. God, he couldn't wait to kiss him. "I'm not upset," Yukito added, "but this body… it's my own. I can do what I want with it."

Touya felt his face flush. It's not like he didn't know that, he had just… wanted to be sure.

"But," Yukito dropped his arms. "If it'll make you feel better, you can ask. I don't mind."

Touya perked up as he felt a wave of relief wash over him, "You don't?"

Yukito shook his head.

"And you think…" Touya cleared his throat and started rubbing the back of his neck nervously, "he'll be ok with it?"

"It's what I want, Touya. So, I know it will be." Yukito said the words so confidently that Touya no longer felt nervous. He believed him. Touya nodded and Yukito took a step back.

And once again, Touya was blinded by a familiar flash of white light. In mere moments, Yukito had gone and Yue stood before him with his great bright feathered wings and his silky white robe. Touya had seen Yue a few times within the last few days and he was surprised to realize how much he actually enjoyed it. He looked on in awe, as he always did, at the beautiful angel-like being that stood before him.

When he saw Yue's icy blue eyes staring back at him, Touya felt jolted with energy. He snapped himself out of his thoughts, stood up a little straighter and brushed the hair out of his face.

"I assume you know what's been going on," Touya spoke clearly and confidently. Yue's presence once again evoking a strong force within him.

Yue said nothing but nodded.

"I can't do this without…" Touya paused to look directly into those icy blue eyes, "without knowing that you're okay with it."

"You're asking my permission."

Touya stared at him. Yue wasn't one for showing emotion so he didn't know if what he said was a question or a statement. He began to feel a familiar sense of annoyance. "I am," he clarified.

Yue crossed his arms over his chest in a way that seemed rather smug. "If I say no?"

"What?" Touya looked at him puzzled.

"If I say no," Yue spoke slower as if to stress each syllable, "what will you do?"

Touya took a deep breath in and let it out. He brought his hand over his face as he surveyed Yue in front of him. He couldn't be annoyed at this. It was a fair question and one that Touya had already thought through.

"I would respect that, Yue," he lowered his voice and hoped his sincerity would carry through. "It's your body too."

"And our body…" Yue paused, "you'll treat it well?"

Touya nodded. "You know I will."

They stood for a few minutes just watching each other. Yue looked deep in thought and Touya waited, patiently, for him to say whatever else was on his mind.

"I was in love once," Yue said, his voice softer than Touya had ever heard him speak.

Touya's eyes widened in surprise as he heard Yue's words. It dawned on him that in this moment, Yue was choosing to open up to him… to trust him. Touya knew how important that was. He nodded, encouragingly and made a silent promise to himself to hold that trust dear. He also had a good feeling that he knew who Yue was referring to.

"Clow Reed?"

Yue nodded, still looking away from him. "It's a warm feeling, love. It's beautiful."

Touya smiled at him. He agreed with that sentiment… whole-heartedly.

Yue then turned to face him. "I would never deprive anyone of that feeling. My other form included."

Touya understood these words, but it still wasn't a yes. "Yue…" Touya paused to take a step towards him, "if there's ever anything that makes you uncomfortable…"

But Yue shook his head. "If Yukito trusts you, then I do as well. My answer is yes. You have my permission."

Suddenly, Touya felt overcome with emotion. He opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. All he could manage was a smile. He looked deep into those icy blue eyes and hoped Yue could somehow sense his gratitude.

"I told you I was fond of you, Touya… and I meant it."

Touya shook his head in disbelief as he walked the remaining distance over to him. He placed one hand on Yue's cheek and Yue placed his hand on top of his, just as Yukito had done the other day.

"Thank you," Touya said softly.

Yue brought his head to Touya's so that their foreheads were touching. It was the closest Touya had been to him since he transferred his powers to him way back when. This moment felt significantly better than that. Touya, for one, was not having his energy drained. Instead, he could feel the energy surging between them like a magical current. It was electrifying. Being this close to Yue was intoxicating in the best way.

Touya opened his eyes as he felt two large feathered wings encase him. He slowly watched on as the icy blue eyes of Yue transformed back into the warm grey eyes of Yukito. When the light had finished flashing and Yukito was left in front of him, Touya noticed that their hands were still in the same position, cupping Yukito's cheek.

"Satisfied?" Yukito asked, smiling at him.

Touya laughed. That was all he needed. Immediately, he pressed their lips together, kissing him hard. Yukito's lips parted slightly as he kissed him back. The kiss was deep, purposeful, and passionate. As Touya pulled away, he noticed Yukito wrap his arms around his waist and hug him. Touya smiled. He placed his hands on the small of Yukito's back and held him tight. Their bodies fitting together like they were made for this moment.

This, Touya thought. This was pure bliss. He felt Yukito's cheek next to his and slowly moved his head to kiss him again. The kiss was slower this time. It was so agonizingly tender that Touya could feel the hairs on his arm stick up. When their lips parted the second time, he felt out of breath. He looked down to see Yukito giggling in front of him.

"This is going to be fun," Yukito said.

"This…" Touya replied as he pecked his lips again. "This is about damn time."

Yukito smiled as a blush took over his face. He leaned in closer to Touya, his head finding Touya's shoulder, his fingers finding Touya's hand. "Agreed," he whispered.

 

Chapter Text

The aquarium was just as big as Touya remembered it. Large double-plated glass tanks filled the walls with various fish and aquatic life. The tanks ran from the very top of the multi-story building down to the very bottom. It was a very impressive aquarium that had always managed to draw quite the crowd – especially on the weekends. The place, Touya remembered. The fish, on the other hand, Touya was pretty sure were new or he had just never seen before.

At the insistence of the aquarium manager, Touya had arrived early for his shift to go through a run-down of all the upgraded safety measures in the building. Touya didn’t really mind though, he actually enjoyed walking around the familiar halls and looking at all the different sea creatures that called the aquarium their home.

As the manager pointed out all the safety exits and alarms, Touya nodded along. He was listening… kind of. Every few minutes he couldn’t help but check his watch. The aquarium was due to open soon and he had no idea what time Sakura would be coming in. He wanted to make sure he didn’t miss her as it was the whole point of him coming in today.

“You’ll be working in the café,” his manager said, interrupting his thoughts.

Touya’s eyes widened as he tried to hide his disappointment. “Not the ticketing booth?”

The manager shook his head, muttered a few words, and Touya sighed. The ticketing booth was right up front at the entrance of the aquarium. He knew for certain that if he manned that station, then there was no way he’d miss his sister and her date. The café, on the other hand, was all the way in the back of the aquarium.

Knowing his position as a temporary fill-in didn’t lend him much negotiating power, Touya begrudgingly accepted and made his way to the café. He could only hope that Sakura would get hungry at some point in the day and want to check it out. 

At the cafe, Touya was introduced to a girl named Anne who was also filling in for a regular employee. Turns out, Anne had told him there was a conference on marine life that a lot of the staff had attended. Honestly, it sounded boring, but Touya was grateful that it had allowed him an open spot to work today. 

Working with Anne, the day went by rather quickly. She was very organized and assigned Touya a multitude of tasks. Touya was surprised to find that two hours had already passed since he had first arrived at the aquarium. He briefly looked at the area around him but knew it was no use. If Sakura was anywhere in the vicinity, he would feel her before he saw her.

A few kids came up to the counter and ordered some flavored shaved ice. As Touya prepared their order, he thought again of Sakura. He was pretty sure the strawberry milk one was her favorite. If he remembered correctly, the strawberry milk shaved ice was also Yukito’s favorite. Though, Yukito liked anything that tasted like pure sugar.

Touya spaced out a bit at the thought of Yukito. They didn’t have any plans tonight, but hopefully, he could see him tomorrow. Their walk home yesterday had been like a dream. Touya had replayed the events over and over again in his head. He thought of Yue’s wings, of Yukito’s blushing face, the night stars, and the wind that rustled around them.

Suddenly, a sound on the shaved ice machine went off and remembering where he was, Touya’s thoughts quickly went back to Sakura. In addition to thinking of Yukito, Touya had thought long and hard on if he should break the news to his little sister. If he was being honest, that wasn’t a conversation he wanted to have. Yukito came around a lot as it was, and he didn’t really plan on making out with him in front of everyone. Sakura was smart, so…. Maybe she’d figure it out on her own – as his Dad did. Oy. Touya perked up as he thought of his father. He would definitely need to tell him at some point. Great. Telling his dad that he was right. That was sure to be fun.

“Touya – earth to Touya,” Anne waved her hand in front of the shaved ice machine that Touya, unknowingly, had been staring blankly at for the last couple of minutes. “A few people sat down. Can you take their order? I’m still working on table 3’s.”

Touya blinked at her and then looked at the tables outside of the café. Shoot. Had people always been there? He really needed to work on not spacing out so much. He looked at Anne apologetically and realized that she was waiting on him for a confirmation.

“Uh, yeah sure,” he answered quickly. “I’m on it.”

Anne looked unconvinced but proceeded to nod and take off to her table. Touya felt bad and silently promised to start carrying his weight. He turned around and made a move to walk towards the table, but froze before taking a step. Something was off. Touya closed his eyes and took a deep breath in. Clear as day, there was a strong magical energy approaching him.

Touya centered his thoughts to hone in on the incoming force. This wasn’t just Sakura he sensed - there was another strong presence here. This presence was something like the moon, something similar to Yue... But, this wasn’t Yue. No - this magic… this magic belonged to the brat. Touya felt an inexplicable anger rising within him. The brat’s magic… it felt different. Maybe he was imagining it, but Touya could swear it felt scattered, a little off, a little - diluted. He opened his eyes and looked up.

Immediately, Touya’s eyes met Syaoran’s. He was staring at him so intently, he almost missed Sakura standing next to him.

“Brother…” the words came out of her mouth and Touya knew there was a hint of surprise in there. He offered her a slight nod before turning his attention back to the kid. Touya kept his eyes on him as they descended the stairs and made their way to the café.

Hearing Anne in the background, Touya broke eye contact and looked for a moment at the table in front of him that he was supposed to be tending to. It looked like he was too slow and the table had changed their minds and got up to leave. Touya shrugged it off. He didn’t have time to feel bad. Finally, his sister was here and he had some choice words for her date.

When they reached the bottom of the stairs, Touya led them to a good table a bit further out from everyone, where he could keep an eye on them. He could sense that Sakura seemed on edge, but the kid did not. Rather, he seemed… confident? Touya didn’t like that.

“You, uh… work here, brother?” Sakura asked in her usual sweet tone.

Touya wanted to look at her, but he couldn’t. His eyes were glued to the brat and his confident looking face. “Filling in.”

“Is Yukito with you?”

“No, he’s volunteering,” Touya’s eyes narrowed in on Syaoran’s. “Reading picture books to kids.”

“Oh, that’s nice…” Sakura looked back and forth between the two of them, but neither Syaoran or Touya broke eye contact. “Uh… Can we order now? R-ready, Syaoran?”

Touya glared at him.

“Sure,” Syaoran answered. His mouth opened slightly, but other than that his face didn’t move.

Touya took a step forward as their eyes began shooting daggers at one another. Was this kid challenging him? Oh, hell no. This was his sister. His family, his -  

“You want the strawberry milk shaved ice too, right!?” Sakura seemed frantic.

“S…sure,” the kid answered, his tone a bit different. Touya took another step towards him. He would win any challenge this kid threw at him and he needed to know not to mess with his sister.

“Two strawberry milk shaved ices, please!!”

“Coming right up,” Touya paused to look at the two of them. He was definitely not letting them out of his sight. These were about to be the two fastest shaved ices he had put together all day. After another moment of staring, he turned around and headed for the kitchen.

He relaxed his hand as he realized he had been clenching his fingers into a fist. Touya shook his hand as he walked. He could already feel Yukito or his father lecturing him about intruding on his sister’s personal space and ‘being nice’ to her friends. Touya was being nice though. He wanted Sakura happy more than anyone… but this kid. He possessed magic. This kid wasn’t some normal brat at Sakura’s school. He could be dangerous to her – even stealing magic from her.

Touya automatically picked up two cups and began filling them with shaved ice when he reached the kitchen. He briefly looked back at his sister’s table that was still in view. He couldn’t stop thinking about them. I mean, was it too much to ask for his sister to date a normal kid without magic? Sure, Touya had been drawn to Yukito, but he liked him for him. Would Syaoran even be interested in Sakura if she was just a normal girl without powers? Touya wasn’t so sure about that.

As he put the finishing touches on their ices, Touya tried to calm himself down. Being a big brother had been relatively easy up until this point. He hadn’t had to worry… wait. Touya froze. Something didn’t feel right. He put down the ices and looked at Sakura’s table. The tank behind her… it was cracking.

Touya started running. His eyes were transfixed on one thing and one thing only – Sakura. It was a short distance away, but he was too late. The tank had cracked and water was gushing out fast and hard. In a matter of mere moments, Sakura had been pulled under and the entire café was filling up with water.

“Sakura!” Touya screamed out her name, but it was no use. He frantically scanned the water. He heard Anne behind him ushering people to the stairs and higher ground, but he knew Sakura wasn’t one of them. The crack had been right by her table and there was no way that was a coincidence.

Closing his eyes, Touya took a quick breath as he tried to pinpoint his sister’s location. Weirdly, it felt blocked, but he was able to find Syaoran’s. He didn’t like it one bit, but Touya was going to need to trust the kid to save her. Touya opened his eyes and saw the emergency lever at the other end of the room. He had to stop the gushing water. Without another thought, Touya dove in head first and swam like hell. When he reached the lever, he pulled on it hard and felt an immediate sense of relief as the water began draining.

Touya swam up and found his way to the stairs. He looked out into the water and found Syaoran’s head emerge. Touya held his breath until he saw Sakura cradled and coughing in his arms. Touya exhaled. She was safe – thank God.

The café and surrounding area in the aquarium was soaked. Everyone was rushing to exit the building besides the three of them. Touya watched Sakura carefully. She seemed okay… more than okay, actually. She seemed to be freaking out about something. Touya looked at Syaoran… unfortunately, it wasn’t him. No… Sakura was pointing to something floating in the water. 

“Our lunch!” Sakura cried out.

Geez. Touya shook his head. Only Sakura could worry about lunch when… wait. Did Sakura make lunch for the kid?

Touya’s eyes widened as he proceeded to watch Syaoran place a hand on Sakura’s shoulder and then dive into the water to retrieve their ‘lunch.’ Touya rolled his eyes. That was definitely enough for today. He didn’t need to see anymore.

Sakura was fine, and this kid… he had saved her and just dived into the remaining water to fetch some wet lunch. Fine, Touya thought. The brat was ok… for today. But… Touya raised an eyebrow at the aquarium around them. Double-plated glass just doesn’t crack. This was definitely magic. But… there was no way this was Syaoran’s magic. No, Touya looked around. There was something else at work here… and that was the real danger.  

Once Syaoran re-emerged with the wet lunch, Touya decided to walk away. He followed the stairs to the outside area and propped the door open for whenever Sakura and Syaoran were ready. For now, he would let them have their moment. Hopefully, the two of them could figure out what the hell just happened in the aquarium and try and fix it.

Reaching in his pocket, Touya pulled out his phone which was completely drenched. Great. Touya sighed. He would have to wait to tell Yukito about this, or… maybe not. Touya looked up and amongst the crowd of people standing outside, were two large news vans.

As he watched eager reporters and cameramen exit the vans, Touya immediately felt nervous. Yukito was sure to find out about this now, and… so was everyone else. 

 


 

 

As Touya laid in his bed, he took turns tossing a ball up into the air and catching it with his opposite hand. 

He had just finished talking to his dad about what happened at the aquarium and he, like everyone else, had expressed the same concern and gratitude that nobody got hurt. Touya agreed with this sentiment, but he still felt on edge. He was waiting patiently for Sakura to finish her phone call with Yukito so that Touya could talk to him. Touya was particularly curious what Yue had to say about this whole thing.

One good thing that had come out of the fiasco at the aquarium, was that everyone now seemed more alert. Sakura seemed a bit more focused. And the kid, Touya learned, had protective instincts for Sakura. Touya still wasn’t sold on the idea of the two of them dating, but this was a step – albeit a tiny one – in the direction of him maybe one day sort of being okay with it.

As the ball flew up and came back down, Touya couldn’t help but ponder what this meant for everyone going forward. This was the first time in a long that that he had witnessed some real magical danger. Sakura was okay today, but she had help. She didn’t have the plushy or Yue with her, but she had the kid. Syaoran had showed up for her. And Touya, of course he would always be there. But, Touya had just been lucky that he was in the right place at the right time. Or… maybe not. Touya wasn’t sure of a lot of things, but he was definitely sure that there were no coincidences in a magical world.

Touya’s phone buzzed next to him and he knew it was Yukito without even looking. Touya let the ball fall on his bed and he answered the call that he had been looking forward to ever since he got home.

“Hi Touya,” Yukito’s voice was happy, peppy even. Touya could feel himself already becoming more relaxed.

“Yuki,” Touya answered. He breathed in and closed his eyes.  Suddenly, he had forgotten everything he had wanted to say.

“I just spoke to Sakura,” Yukito chuckled like he was still laughing along to a joke he had heard earlier, “she told me what a trying big brother you were today.”

“Ah,” Touya felt himself blush as he rolled over on his bed. “I wasn’t that bad.” 

“Uh huh, sure,” Yukito’s soft voice sang through the phone.

Touya was smiling. Today had been weird and he wanted to talk about it, but… maybe later. Right now, all he wanted to do was listen to Yukito’s voice. “I missed you… today,” he said softly.

“Me too, Touya,” Yukito answered, matching the softness. “I was so worried today when I found out what happened. I’m so glad that you’re alright.”

Touya nodded, though he knew Yukito couldn’t see it. “Can I see you tomorrow?”

Yukito was back to laughing. “Considering we have class tomorrow, yes. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Ah… right.” Touya answered. “Almost forgot.”

“You should get some rest, Touya. I’ll see you bright and early, ok?”

Touya sighed. He really did feel tired. Maybe he should just go to bed and let the day officially end. “Sounds good, Yuki.” 

“And Touya?”

“…Yes?”

“I can’t wait to see you tomorrow.”

Touya smiled fondly into the phone. He felt the familiar rush of love and joy swell inside his chest. He closed his eyes and sank into the feeling, letting it calm his mind and soothe his soul.

“Goodnight, Yuki.”

Chapter Text

Touya tried and tried, but no matter how hard he attempted to focus on other things, he couldn't put the events of last night behind him.

One minute there was peace and strawberry shaved ice and the next, there was an aquarium flooded with water and his little sister being dragged underneath by a magical current.

He gripped the pencil in his hands so hard that it almost broke.

The professor carried on, unnoticed and unbothered and Touya sank further into his seat. College was important, but he knew important was a relative term.

As Touya looked out the window into the school courtyard and vast blue sky, he knew that what was really important could not be found from where he was seated. It was out there in the world and it was coming for his sister. How could anyone expect him to concentrate on school at a time like this? 

The professor grumbled a few more words and Touya knew he needed a distraction. He looked across the room over at Yukito. But to his surprise, rather than see Yukito taking notes and nodding along to the lecture, he seemed just as out of it as Touya.

Yukito had his head rested on one hand as the other hand casually tapped a pencil against what appeared to be a blank page in his notebook.

Touya found himself staring at the blank page and then drifting further off into his thoughts. Was there a plan he could make to tackle this magical threat? Maybe, but... Touya sighed. He didn't even know what the threat was. There was a great lack of information and that left any planning rather useless. The pencil cracked a bit and Touya put it down. 

He looked back at Yukito and willed happier thoughts to come to him. He closed his eyes and thought of the morning, which had been nice. He had walked to class with Yukito like always. They didn't talk about the aquarium, though Touya wanted to. Instead, there was light conversation, a little flirting and a kiss… that should've lasted a lot longer than it did. Touya let out another sigh as he opened his eyes. Yukito was the only distraction he had from all his worrying, but Yukito was also his best friend. He felt consistently torn between talking about magical disasters and trying to relax. He wondered if Yukito felt the same.

Not a moment later, the professor dismissed the class and Touya looked around confused. It was safe to say that he had no idea what they covered today. But, oh well. Hopefully, Yukito could fill him in later.

Throwing his own blank notebook into his bag, Touya packed up and then walked over to Yukito's desk as the class began spilling out of the room. Touya had one more class left for the day, but it wasn't until later… after his shift.

"Interesting class today," Yukito said with his usual smile.

"Oh really?" Touya raised an eyebrow at him. "Didn't look like you were taking too many notes."

Yukito blinked a few times and looked down at his notebook before looking back up at Touya. "Spying on me in class, are you?"

Touya shifted his backpack to his other shoulder as he shrugged nonchalantly. "Maybe."

Yukito shook his head as he packed up his belongings. His face kept the same playful smile that Touya had put there. Touya looked around at the emptying classroom.

"And here I thought it was my job to spy on you," Yukito nudged him. "I need to do a better job."

Touya smiled and lowered his voice. "Yeah... you do."

Yukito laughed and threw his bag over his shoulder. "Where are you working today?"

Touya pushed his hand through his hair as he remembered his free time was fleeting. "Coffee shop again."

"That's a nice place." A slight blush graced Yukito's face as he spoke.

Touya didn't even try to stop the grin from spreading across his own face. The coffee shop was where he had first asked Yukito out, after all. It hadn't even been that long ago, but it felt like the two of them had been dating forever. Time was funny like that. Some moments seemed to fly by, while others seemed to last forever like… waiting for Yukito's response that day, or… when he saw Sakura slip under the water.

"Hey, Touya..." Yukito began but paused when he heard a buzzing sound. Touya snapped out of it as they both looked around puzzled. Suddenly, Touya felt his backpack vibrating.

"Hold that thought," Touya said as he opened his bag and took out his phone. His father's name flashed across the tiny screen.

"Dad, what's up?"

"Hey, Touya," Fujitaka's clear voice carried through the phone, "Unfortunately, I'm going to need to stay late again. Will be surprised if I manage to leave the office tonight."

"Is everything ok?" Touya looked up at Yukito.

"Yeah, everything's fine," Fujitaka gave a simple laugh that Touya recognized as probably on purpose to ease his nerves. "Just uncovered some new information that leads to more research that's all."

"Got it. Need me to make dinner?"

"I thought you had a night class?"

Touya brought his hand to his face as Yukito chuckled in front of him. "Right. Sorry. Forgot."

"No worries, son. I was just letting you know. Sakura texted me that she has a friend coming over."

"Wait, what?" Touya's expression suddenly shifted.

"Sakura's gotten pretty good at making dinner. Though, I'm not sure if we have enough groceries. Her friend may be leaving before..."

"Who's coming over?" Touya was now full on staring at Yukito who looked like he was just about to roll his eyes.

"A friend of Sakura's."

"Yeah, I got that. What kind of friend?"

Fujitaka sighed through the phone. Touya bet he had the same expression as Yukito right now. "I think she said it was a new girl from her class."

"A new kid," Touya felt his heart fall into his stomach. "Great."

"Listen I have to run soon, but can you pick up a few things on your way home? I told Sakura to text you if she needs anything."

"Of course, Dad," Touya answered quickly. "Just text me what you need."

"Thanks, son. Talk soon."

Touya hung up the phone and held it in his hands. He looked around the room. The class was now completely empty. All that was left was him and Yukito who was back to giggling.

"What's funny?" Touya asked, confused.

Yukito just shook his head. "You asked what kind of friend Sakura had coming over."

"Yuki, we can't ignore the timing of this. I'm going to call out of work."

"Touya…"

"Or I can skip my night class. That class is so boring as it is."

"We have exams coming up, Touya. Plus, Sakura will be fine."

"A new kid, Yuki. Remember the..."

"Yes." Yukito stopped laughing. His expression was now more stern. "I remember the last new kid in Sakura's' class… if that's what you were about to ask."

Touya paused, feeling a bit stupid. He put his phone in his pocket.

Yukito lowered his voice to speak softer. "I know the timing is suspicious, but not all new kids are signs of alarm, Touya."

Touya didn't believe that one bit. He turned away from Yukito and walked towards the window. He took a deep breath in and let it out slowly. They needed to talk about this new kid just like they needed to talk about the aquarium. He couldn't relax until all of this crap was out in the open. "This isn't a coincidence, Yuki."

Yukito didn't say anything. Touya turned around. They were standing on opposite sides of the classroom.

"I want to talk about what happened at the aquarium."

"Touya…" Yukito looked at him steadily, "maybe we should give it a rest for now. Ok?"

"Yuki…I"

"Come on, Touya. I don't want you to be late for work." Yukito picked up his bag and threw it over his shoulder.

"No."

Yukito stopped in his tracks. "No?"

"I want to talk about it." The stakes were higher this time around. Touya could feel it with every fiber in his being. This time, the threat was different. This time, the power coursing through his veins had a bigger, deeper purpose. He could feel his heart rate rising as he stood his ground.  "I can't keep pretending everything's fine." 

"I'm not pretending, Touya. I just don't think there's any reason to…"

"No reason to worry?" Touya looked incredulous. "Sakura almost drowned yesterday. I was there."

"But she didn't, Touya. Because you and Syaoran were there. You're worrying too much."

This time Touya shook his head. His heart was now beating out of his chest. "You're not worrying enough!"

Yukito paused. He stood silently for a few moments as Touya caught his breath. Yukito dropped his backpack and walked over to where Touya was standing by the windows. Touya couldn't tell what Yukito was thinking, but he was finding it increasingly difficult to look at him.

When Yukito spoke next, it was in a much gentler tone. "I'm sorry you feel that way, Touya. I don't mean to upset you."

Touya looked away from him.

"…I just don't want to see you get yourself all worked up." Yukito reached out his hand and touched Touya's shoulder. That did it. Touya turned his head and looked into Yukito's warm grey eyes. "I don't like seeing you like this."

Touya looked at Yukito's hand on his shoulder and tried to steady his breath. He wasn't mad at him. He was just mad… at this whole situation. It was hard not knowing. But... that's how it always was with these types of things. And, losing his temper wouldn't help a damn thing. He knew every moment counted. He had work pretty soon and then one more class to get to. If he lost his cool now then there was so chance he could make it through the rest of the day. Touya exhaled and looked up. He had been wrong about his earlier observation. There was something important in this classroom and it was standing right in front of him. Touya took a step forward until he was almost nose to nose with Yukito.

"You're my best friend…" Yukito continued softly, "above everything else."

Touya nodded as he moved his head in closer.

"We can talk about anything you want," Yukito whispered. "I'll listen, I promise."

Touya nodded once more. That was all he had wanted. He concentrated on the smile on Yukito's face and the warm grey eyes getting closer and closer. When Yukito leaned in and kissed him, Touya wrapped his arms around his boyfriend's waist and for the first time that day he found himself not worrying, or even thinking... about anything at all.

Chapter Text

Anime/Manga » Card Captor Sakura » A Brother's Woes
Author: magsworld 1. Looming Danger 2. Yue's Concern 3. Yukito 4. Fujitaka 5. Special Lattes 6. Kiss Me In The Moonlight 7. Fiasco at the Aquarium 8. Class, at a time like this? 9. Trust
Rated: T - English - Family/Drama - Reviews: 6 - Published: 08-07-18 - Updated: 12-03-18 id:13028016

The next few days seemed to go by rather quickly. With exams coming up, Touya's schedule was packed with extra classes, extra available shifts, and study sessions that Yukito had mandated for the both of them. 'If I don't force you to study then you won't,' Yukito had said. Touya begrudgingly agreed.

With the hectic schedule that he had set up for himself, Touya had felt like he was running on autopilot. He always did his best work while busy, but he'd be lying to himself if he said he wasn't using the increased business as an escape from his worrying mind.

Touya's father was so busy with his own work as it was that he barely saw him, and Sakura… with her classic oversleeping, Touya had managed to miss her practically every morning this week.

But… that was probably for the best. For whenever he caught a glimpse of his sister, his worrying returned. The other day, for example, Touya had gone to the laundry room and found bits of ice on Sakura's uniform. Bits of ice… in the spring. He had called Yukito right away, but Yukito had annoyingly seemed not worried. To his credit though, ever since their talk after class, Yukito had been better with listening to Touya vent his frustrations. But, each and every time Touya did, Yukito had reminded him of just how little information they had and how he really should focus on studying instead.

It was hard to argue with that logic. Touya let out a long sigh as he grabbed his backpack and made his way out of his room.

Walking out the hall and down the stairs in just a few strides, Touya paused when he reached the bottom. He walked into the kitchen and opened the fridge, but something caught his attention right away. He closed the fridge and turned to look at the picture of his mother. The picture… was facing him.

A slight smile made its way across his face. "Good morning, Mom."

To Touya's surprise, he didn't feel a breeze, but he still felt that she was there with him. Touya opened his mouth to say something else but closed it when he felt his phone vibrating in his pocket. He pulled it out and looked at the name across the screen.

"Hey, Dad, what's up?"

"Hey Touya, you got a sec?" Fujitaka's voice carried through the phone.

Touya was about to look at the clock on the wall but didn't bother. He knew he would make time for whatever it was his father needed. "Yeah, Dad. I'm just headed to Yukito's to study. Did you forget something at home?"

"No, it's…" Fujitaka paused and Touya started to sense something.

"Because I could bring it to you?" he offered.

Fujitaka laughed. "I'm fine son, but thank you. I just… wanted to talk to you."

Touya walked over to the kitchen table and sat down, waiting for his Dad to continue.

"…I know we keep missing each other at the house and I just wanted to check in and see how you were doing."

Touya raised an eyebrow at the picture of his mother across the room. Even though he was the only one physically present, he couldn't help but feel like he was in a family meeting of sorts. The thought warmed Touya's heart.

"Thanks, Dad," Touya hoped his father could hear the sincerity in his voice. "I'm ok, just been really busy lately."

"Yeah, you've seemed… a little stressed."

Touya ran a hand through his hair as he continued looking at his mother's photograph. The more he looked at it the more he saw Sakura in his mother. It was her smile. Sakura definitely had their mother's smile.

"Touya, you there?"

"Yeah, Dad. Sorry," Touya said. "I'm sorry if I've worried you."

"It's alright, Touya. So… just school and work then? I know the other day I mentioned Sakura was going to have a friend over and…"

"I know what you're going to say," Touya interjected. He was still looking at his mother's photo which was smiling back at him. "Yukito thinks I worry too much."

Fujitaka let out a soft laugh. "Do you think you worry too much?"

"I don't know," Touya answered honestly. "But I'm starting to think so…"

"Well at any rate," Fujitaka continued, "I'm glad someone's paying attention."

Touya paused. This was the second time his father had made a weird reference to magic. Did he know something? Could he feel the same threat that Touya did? This was something that the two of them had never spoken about. As he looked steady at his smiling mother he started to think that maybe soon they would.

"…I know I'm away a lot and you've taken on extra responsibility," Fujitaka continued. "I'm afraid that includes some worrying."

"I'm happy to help, Dad. And I've been trying to relax... Yukito's helping." Ah. Touya paused again. He probably could've left out that last part.

"I'm glad you say that Touya, because… well, Sakura has another friend coming over." Fujitaka laughed a bit more prominently this time.

Touya rolled his eyes and brought one hand to his face, "Of course, she does."

Fujitaka was still laughing. "I believe you've met this one though. She moved to China last year. I think she's related to Sakura's other friend, Syaoran Li."

"Yeah, sounds familiar. The girl with the pigtails." Touya felt instant relief. This girl wasn't magical and she wasn't a new transfer student. Thank God.

"She has a big heart, your sister. That leads to a lot of friends."

Touya nodded. He had heard that before. "But you never worry?" Touya asked, "about any of these kids who come around?"

There was another long pause and then Fujitaka answered. "I probably would," he started, "if it wasn't Sakura we were talking about... She can handle herself and others well, your sister. Knowing the person that she is, I don't worry about her. If I did, I think I'd be doing her a disservice."

That got him. Touya had never once thought of it quite like that before. He sighed, louder this time. He had a lot more work to do on trusting the powers of the universe. "When is her friend coming over?"

"Today, but you don't need to be there… unless you want to be."

Touya thought on that. The obvious answer was yes, but the right answer was no. Right as he was about to respond, Touya felt a breeze through his hair. He looked over at his mother and almost started laughing. He got the message – loud and clear. "it's ok, Dad. If you say Sakura will be fine then I believe you. I'll stay at Yukito's."

"She will be Touya. Please tell Yukito I said hello and that he's welcome over any time."

"He knows," Touya answered, smiling. "But I will. And… thanks for checking in."

"Of course, son," Fujitaka answered. "Promise me that you'll remember to take care of you, ok?"

Touya moved his head to the side to make way for the incoming breeze. "I promise."

"Great, talk to you soon. Good luck studying."

"Thanks, Dad."

Touya closed his phone and exhaled. He stood up slowly, grabbed his bag, and made his way to his mother's photograph.

"You know…" he said as he lifted the photo, "for two people who don't want me to worry… you sure worry a lot about me." Touya grinned and put the photo down. He closed his eyes and felt the breeze dance around him. It felt a bit chilly. Perhaps his mother didn't like that joke.

Touya made his way to the front door. He paused right before turning the handle to look back at the photograph.

"I'm going out, Mom. So… it's your turn to watch over her now." Touya smiled as he felt the last bit of the remaining breeze. He heard a small noise, like a soft whisper, cross his ears.

"Thank you," Touya nodded "and… I love you too."

With that, he opened the door and walked outside.


Yukito's outside porch was the perfect place for a study break. It was outside, away from all their books and…outside and away from all their books. Touya closed his eyes as he tried to remember the last thing him and Yukito had gone over. Suddenly, the screen door slid open and Yukito walked out with a tray of food.

"Tea is steeping now," Yukito said as he walked outside.

Touya nodded and accepted the tray from him, setting it down between them.

"You seem different today, Touya…"

Touya looked over at Yukito a bit puzzled.

"Maybe, calmer?" he suggested.

"Maybe I am calmer," Touya answered as he picked up a skewer, "or maybe… all this studying that you're making us do has fried my brain."

"That's got to be it," Yukito laughed. "You're doing so well though! So, we can't stop now."

"That's all your doing," Touya said in between bites.

But, Yukito shook his head. "You give me too much credit, Touya."

"No, Yuki," Touya turned to look at him. "I mean it. You're a much better teacher than half of the eggs we're stuck with at the university."

"No way, Touya," Yukito picked up one of the skewers on the plate between them, "they are way more qualified to teach than I am."

"Yeah, but… you have something they don't have."

Yukito looked over at him while he chewed his food, "what's that?"

"My attention."

"Oh, Touya," Yukito blushed a bit as he tried to finish his food.

Touya was watching him chew, trying to smile innocently at him though he knew that probably wasn't coming across well.

"You know…" Yukito continued, "I was a bit surprised at first that you agreed to all this studying."

That caught Touya a bit off guard, "why wouldn't I? It was a good idea."

"I know, it's just…" Yukito was fidgeting. Touya could tell he was nervous. "You once told me that I was… distracting."

"I meant it," Touya laughed and picked up another skewer. If he was being honest, he could think of a hundred things he'd rather do with Yukito and none of them included studying.

Yukito's face was all red and flustered and the sight was adorable. Touya quite enjoyed seeing him like this – all shy and cute. But, it made his restraint that much harder. Each time he had come over to study, they really did just study. Touya had casually brought it up once and Yukito had said something rather seductive… something like waiting until exams were over so they could really relax and enjoy themselves. Though, now that Touya thought about it… that might not have meant what he was hoping it did.

"Touya… there's something I'd like to talk to you about."

Touya snapped out of his thoughts, "Anything, Yuki." But then… Touya's face contorted and his nose crinkled. He felt a weird familiar sensation and then he sneezed loudly into the air.

"Bless you! You ok?"

Touya wiped his mouth, "Someone is talking about me…" he narrowed his eyes, "and it's a monster."

Yukito laughed, but Touya kept a straight face. Why would Sakura be talking about him? Could she need him? Touya looked outward and concentrated on the big tree in front of Yukito's house. The wind was calm, but he knew it would be. He had left his mother on Sakura duty. Touya took a breath and let it out. He closed his eyes and tried to hone in his senses. He couldn't feel any danger.

"How is Sakura?"

Touya sighed as he tried to put on his best-unbothered expression. "She has a friend over."

"A friend?" Yukito looked at him sideways and Touya already knew what was coming. "The one from China, right?"

Touya nodded. Meiling was on the short list of friends that Touya was OK with. But it wasn't just her lack of magic that made her OK in his book. It was also the fact that she had seemed to say whatever she was thinking and, it was easy to trust a person like that. They kept a lot less secrets than everyone else.

"Should you be over there?"

"Dad said it was ok."

Yukito looked at him for a few more moments and Touya bet he was trying to figure out this new perspective. The simple truth was that Touya was just trying to keep the promise that he had made to his Dad… and mom. He was trying his best to trust in Sakura and the mysterious universe that acted as his guide.

The looming danger in the air was like a mental playground. He saw that now. It was a circus of negative emotions ready to carousal Touya around and around. If he let himself think about it, then he wouldn't stop. If he let himself focus on it then he wouldn't be able to focus on anything else and there was zero chance he'd pass any of his exams. He had to trust that he would know when he was needed. He had to trust in the timing of their lives.

"That's nice… the way you all trust each other."

"Getting there," Touya smirked. Wasn't that the truth.

"The other day…" Yukito was back to looking nervous, "you said you had felt a new power inside you?"

Touya froze. Had he said that? Or had Yukito just seen him space out one too many times? Touya looked out at the street, but there was no dancing breeze for him to lean on.

"Still won't tell me?" Yukito offered a small smile.

Touya lowered his gaze. His power had returned, and it was much much different. But, he didn't want Sakura knowing. Which meant, that Yue couldn't know… which meant, by default, Yukito couldn't either. Which sucked, if Touya was being honest. He had never been a fan of secrets.

"You'll know... when you need to," was all he could say.

Yukito moved a little. Touya wanted to reach out his hand and comfort him, but… that felt insincere.

Suddenly, the energy shifted around them and Touya's eyes widened. A bright light illuminated next to him and he felt instantly annoyed. Of course. Touya should've known… that question Yukito had…. Hadn't sounded like it was fully his.

A moment later, Yue stood before Touya in the middle of Yukito's front yard. His large white wings outstretched. His purples eyes transfixed and determined, staring straight into Touya.

"You no longer have the power you gave me to sustain this form."

Ugh. Touya nodded, a bit coldly. He didn't want to have this conversation with Yue. In fact, this was a conversation he did not want to have at all.

"But… a new power is growing within you."

Once again, Touya nodded. Hadn't they been through this? He broke eye contact and looked away.

"When will we know…" Yue's voice was stronger this time.

"When you need to." Touya cut him off and he didn't need to look up to see the frustration painted across Yue's face. What Yue didn't know, though maybe he suspected, was just how hard this was for Touya to keep inside.

"When will that be?" Yue pressed, clearly annoyed.

Ugh. Touya couldn't handle this. "When it's time."

Yue sighed and Touya looked up over at him. Even with Yue's fierce eyes and beautiful demeanor, this was something Touya just wasn't going to budge on. Some things… were just far too important.

"If you won't tell me, I'll change back."

Touya brought both hands to his face and sighed into them. He needed normalcy. He needed to go back to just studying and drinking tea with Yukito.

"Touya…" Yue's voice was gentler this time.

Touya removed his hands and looked directly into Yue's eyes.

"Study hard for these exams," Yue's lips curled slightly into what Touya could only assume was his attempt at a smile. It was a sweet gesture that offered Touya a bit of relief. Maybe Yue wasn't as mad as he thought he was.

As the bright light returned, Touya continued looking at him. Yue was brilliant, but Yue served Sakura. And even if Yue had kept his secrets this far, Touya couldn't take the chance that he'd let something slip.

Soon Yukito stood before him in the front lawn, blinking and turning around. "When did I walk out here? Oh…" he paused and looked down. "I changed again."

Touya rolled his eyes and then stood up. "Ready to study?"

Yukito eyed him carefully and slowly walked up to the porch that Yue had flown down. "Touya…"

"Yes?"

"I wish…" he paused again, "I wish you could tell me what was going on, but… I respect your decision not to."

Touya placed his hand on Yukito's shoulder. "Thanks, Yuki. I promise you'll know everything… when you need to." Yukito nodded and Touya smiled at him.

"I guess I can't complain too much, can I?" Yukito said, grinning wider.

Touya looked confused.

"I'm not exactly normal…" Yukito clarified, "I suppose it's fitting that I have a mysterious boyfriend."

Touya laughed and moved closer towards him. He liked that word. A lot. "I suppose it is… fitting," he said, softer.

Yukito walked inside and Touya turned to follow, pausing once to look again at the open space in the front yard. His eye caught a cherry blossom being carried by the wind. The flower made him think of Sakura.

Sakura had been aware that Touya gave his powers to Yue, but she had never once spoke to him about it and she had never once questioned what his powers were. Knowing Sakura, that must've weighed on her. There was only one explanation he could think of as to why she wouldn't confront him… it was a simple truth that Touya himself was trying to master. Sakura trusted him.

Touya continued watching the flower dance in the wind. Sakura deserved to know at the bare minimum, that Touya would do anything for her and that he never once had regretted his decision to restore Yue. In fact, if given the opportunity one hundred times, he would make the same choice each and every time. If he couldn't tell his sister anything else… he would at least tell her that. Because if it was him, he'd want to know.

"Touya, you coming?" Yukito called from inside.

Turning away from the wind and flower and outside world, Touya moved to take a step inside. But when he put his foot down, he felt a rush of energy to his face. Opening his mouth, he let out a great big sneeze.

Chapter Text

A loud sound jolted Touya out of bed. He had been attempting to nap in the time he had between class and studying with Yukito. As he grabbed the clock next to him, he quickly realized that he had overslept. What was supposed to be a 30-minute nap had quickly turned into a 2 hour one. He groaned as he fell back on his bed. But then the noise sounded again.

More alert, Touya's senses seemed to awaken before he did. His mind sensed Sakura's presence and his nose sensed something cooking in the kitchen. Putting two and two together, Sakura had to be attempting to make something downstairs.

Groggily, Touya got out of bed and headed down to the source of the sound. What he found amused him immediately. His little sister stood in the kitchen surrounded by a few big bowls and baking supplies, and her face was almost completely covered in flour. Touya resisted the urge to laugh. He wondered how long he had been asleep to not even notice Sakura had come home, let alone started this commotion in the kitchen.

"Brother!" Sakura almost dropped the bowl she was stirring in utter surprise.

"That's a good look for you," Touya grinned, motioning to her face.

Sakura tensed up as her face reddened in utter embarrassment. Touya raised an eyebrow at the defensive display.

"I didn't know you were home!" She managed quickly. "Were you sleeping? Oh no, did I wake you?"

Sakura looked heavily concerned so Touya shrugged his shoulders and lied, "Nah, what are you making?"

As Touya answered he did his best to fight back the incoming yawns he could feel. He also did his best not to look at the clock so she wouldn’t think he had to be somewhere. He had been wanting to talk to Sakura for a while. This unexpected meeting seemed like a good enough opportunity. Touya looked over at Sakura and noticed her stirring the bowl with a lot of care. Whatever this she was making had to be pretty important.

"We learned how to make roll cakes at school today," she answered, "but, uh..."

Touya picked up on this hesitation immediately. He narrowed his eyes but Sakura was concentrating on the bowl in front of her and not him.

"There was an issue with um... the oven."

Unbelievable. Touya leaned against the kitchen wall. He could read between the lines. Magic at school? How the hell was that fair? Schools are filled with kids without magical abilities. What did Sakura have to do... put them all to sleep? Wait was that why he felt so tired today? No, Touya snapped himself out of it. He wasn't anywhere near the school and he was tired because he didn't sleep at all last night.

"So, the cakes got ruined," Sakura answered eventually, "and I just wanted to remake mine. That's all."

Touya brought both hands over his face and sighed into them. Pushing off the wall he walked over to the fridge and grabbed a soda. He then turned the sink on and handed Sakura a wet towel. "That sounds frustrating," he said, biting the inside of his cheek. "But why remake it?"

Sakura looked up, clearly surprised by the question. Her face started reddening, deeper this time. Touya felt confused for a moment but then took a step back as he recognized the familiar flushed expression. This was definitely not part of the conversation he wanted to have. He started looking around quickly for something else he could comment on. His eyes went towards a paper cutout, probably the design of the cake that she had made.

"It's for... someone," Sakura answered softly.

"Aw you shouldn't have!" Touya blurted out. He felt like an idiot, but... Sakura started laughing and instant relief washed over him. He looked back at the design Sakura had drawn. It looked like a weird hat. Touya took a rather large sip of his soda. He had a strong feeling he knew who this cake was for, but he wasn’t entirely sure how to tease her about it in a way that didn’t upset both of them.

"You can go back to sleep, brother. I'll be quieter I promise."

Remembering what he came down for, Touya shook his head. "It's fine Sakura. I actually... wanted to talk to you about something."

Sakura looked up, her bright green eyes watching him steady as she continued stirring the bowl in her hands. He didn't really know where to start and by the sheer look of intrigue on her face, he could tell she had absolutely no idea what he was about to say. Touya thought for a quick moment and then decided on the easiest topic.

"Yukito and I are dating," he said, delivering the words with such confidence that it almost surprised him. It was not lost on him that this was actually the first time he had said the words aloud.

Sakura's face lit up like Touya had just handed her a giant present. "I'm so happy for you!" she squealed. She set the bowl she was stirring down and jumped up and down clapping. Touya felt a bit taken back. Seeing such happiness on her face filled him with a kind of joy he wasn't expecting. It was almost enough to make him blush.

"I wanted you to hear it from me."

"Thanks for telling me," Sakura giggled, still beaming.

Touya cleared his throat. In mere moments he had managed to become the one uncomfortable. Well, he could always bring up who she was making the cake for... Sakura was still beaming when he looked in her direction again. He couldn't believe how happy she seemed, however… he noted that she didn't seem too surprised.

"I think you two make a great couple, but," she paused, putting on a more serious expression, "you better be nice to him!"

Touya's face fell. "What? Of course, I'm nice to him!"

Sakura laughed as she walked over to a small cup that looked like it was full of green icing. "Does dad know?"

"Uh," Touya started rubbing the back of his neck. That answer was probably… yes.

"You should tell him," she answered for him, squealing again. "He's going to be so happy."

Touya laughed. "Yeah, I'm sure he will be." If he doesn't start with 'I knew it.' Touya leaned back against the wall as he watched Sakura move from bowl to bowl, taking equal care with each moving part of her kitchen creation. She was gifted in a lot of things. He wondered how aware she was of that.

"I figured I'd tell you first," Touya said and then paused to choose his next words very carefully. "Because you're close with Yukito and... Yue."

Upon hearing Yue's name, Sakura stopped stirring. In fact, she looked as if she was about to drop the cup she just picked up on the floor. When her eyes came to Touya's, he knew that both of them were thinking the same thing. This was territory that neither one of them ventured into. This was a secret they shared but kept separate. Something understood but never spoken. And he had spoken it.

"Sakura," Touya began, lowering his voice. "I don't know what's going on with you, but I want you to know... that I'm here for you." Sakura nodded but didn't answer. Touya hadn't thought much about how Sakura would handle him bringing this up. Her expression remained unreadable. After a few seconds, she placed the cup down gently on the counter. Touya kept going. "We all are… not just Yukito, but me and Dad, too. If you ever need support or someone to talk to... I just want you to know that you can."

Sakura opened her mouth to speak but then closed it. She seemed to be thinking hard, maybe still processing his words, maybe still trying to get over the fact that he was talking about this in the first place. Then cautiously, with that familiar look of concern, Sakura answered. "Touya," she said a bit shakily, "how... do you feel?"

Touya gave his sister a look he hoped was kind and took a step towards her. He took a deep breath in and let it out slowly. It was only going to get weirder from here. "You mean how have I felt ever since giving up my powers?" Sakura looked shocked, but Touya was ready for it. He knelt down near her, drawing her eyes to him. Honestly, he was shocked himself how easily these words were coming out. Maybe he had just been tired of keeping them in. "I feel great Sakura," he said meeting her gaze, "and my power… came back to me."

With wide eyes, she studied him as if unsure she believed it. But Touya knew that she believed it. This was a truth that Sakura had ignored, had pushed out of her mind because she associated it with guilt. The guilt of not being able to sustain Yue herself. It was time to change these feelings.

"How?" She asked sheepishly as if he'd find it offensive.

But the question, though simple as it was, caught Touya off guard. It revealed something that Touya had been unaware of. He had sensed Sakura's increased power. With it being so crazy strong now, he figured everyone with a hint of magic could sense it. But as Sakura stood in front of him, wearing a sheepish smile and appearing very nervous, it was clear to him that one person didn't know how strong she was, and that was Sakura herself. This revelation wasn't terrible, but it was troubling. If Sakura was unaware of the crazy magic brewing within her then how could she protect herself from anyone who'd come after her for it? Touya looked down at the floor. He couldn't be the one to tell her.

Realizing she was still waiting for an answer, Touya put on his best fake smile and shrugged. "Guess it just needed time."

Sakura nodded, but she still seemed nervous, wearing a more concerned expression than before. "Does… dad know?"

Touya noted how different she appeared than the last time she asked him this question.

"I don't know," he answered honestly. "He's never mentioned it to me, but… he's a lot more perceptive than we give him credit for." Touya paused, "like he definitely knows about me and Yukito."

At that, Sakura smiled. The concern leaving her face. "You should –“

"Yes," Touya interrupted her, "I'm going to tell him anyway."

She smiled wider. Mission accomplished.

"Sakura, the reason I bring this up... about me and all this," Touya paused to make sure he had the words right, "is because... I want you to know that we can handle our own and that you don't need to worry about protecting us."

Sakura's expression was unreadable, but the smile was still on her face so Touya continued.

"Just focus on what you need to do and know that all of us are rooting for you. You don't need to be concerned about worrying me or Dad. We're on your side." Touya reached out his hand and gently touched his sister's shoulder. She was giving him her full attention. "I know I'm not the easiest to talk to sometimes…," Sakura smiled and Touya's eyes drifted towards the hat design, "but if you need to, I'll try my best to listen and help however I can."

The next thing Touya knew, Sakura had wrapped her arms around him, hugging him. He looked taken back by the affection but reciprocated, putting his arms around her. When she looked up he could tell her eyes were glistening. She smiled at him with their mother's radiant smile and Touya could see that spark of joy in her that he had seen when he delivered the news of him and Yukito.

"Thanks, Touya," she said softly.

Touya nodded, feeling too emotional to answer.

 


 

 

The phone rang four times before Yukito picked up.

"Touya," his familiar sweet voice carried. "Calling to tell me you're running late?"

Touya's lip curled into a grin. "Who says I'm late?"

"That would be the clock next to me," Yukito let out a soft laugh, indicating to Touya that despite this extreme lateness, he wasn't all that mad.

"Yuki, if the clock is starting to talk to you then I think that's your sign to stop studying."

"I'm sure you'd like that," Yukito answered. Though no laugh accompanied his words, Touya could hear his smile through the phone. Alright, he decided. It was time to show his hand.

"Open the door, Yuki. I'm outside."

"Wait - seriously?"

Touya laughed. From where he was standing outside, he was sure he could make out the figure of Yukito jumping up from his living room couch.

In no time at all, the door flew open revealing an eager looking Yukito, still holding the phone to his ear. "You could've knocked," he said faking annoyance as Touya stood grinning in front of him.

Deciding to answer only with a shrug, Touya walked inside and catching Yukito off guard, kissed him on the mouth, taking delight in watching his whole face blush before his eyes.

"I spoke with Sakura," Touya began.

Yukito was clearly still flustered. He pressed his fingers lightly against his mouth, where Touya's lips had been just seconds before. "You did?" he answered, trying to compose himself.

"Yeah, and I told her that we were dating," Touya looked up, excited to see Yukito's reaction, but to his own surprise, Yukito appeared expressionless. A slew of questions began forming in Touya's mind. He had been looking forward to this, but this was definitely not what he expected. Touya took a few steps back as Yukito's eyes darted towards the floor like he was guilty of something.

"She… she knew?" Touya asked, completely thrown off. He started replaying the conversation he had with his sister earlier. He had recalled that Sakura hadn't seemed too surprised, but Touya had chalked that up to the fact that he had literally spent most of his time with Yukito and figured everyone had just assumed that they'd find a way together. But, had he been wrong? Could Yukito have already broken the news to her, and… without telling him? Sakura's words played in his head. Thank you for telling me.

"Yes," Yukito answered softly, still looking at the ground. "I'm sorry, Touya, but I believe she already knew."

"But… how?" Touya felt utterly confused. He could barely formulate words.

Yukito took a deep breath in, clearly preparing himself. Touya crossed his arms over his chest in anticipation, hoping to God he would like this explanation.

"I think it was last summer or maybe two summers ago… I'm not sure, it was a while ago." Yukito paused to take another breath. "Anyway… Sakura had confessed her feelings to me. She thought she might have been in love with me."

Touya's eyes widened. He had remembered his sister's schoolgirl crush on Yukito. He had teased her plenty for it. But this time that Yukito was referring to… it really was a while ago. And they had only just recently gotten together. There was no way she would have known all the way back then about them. She was magical, but she wasn't physic.

"Anyway," Yukito continued, "after I explained to her that those feelings were platonic… like the kind she'd have for family, I told her that she would find her own special someone, someone that she truly loved."

Touya felt his heart beat faster. He had a feeling he knew where this was going. Yukito took a few steps towards him, his grey eyes were staring intently at him with a kind of passion that Touya hadn't noticed before.

"Sakura then asked me if I had special someone. If I had someone… that I loved."

Touya swallowed hard as he watched Yukito take another step towards him.

"I said yes," Yukito spoke clearly, and confidently, like he wanted Touya to know that every word was the truth. "and she asked me if it was you."

So, she had known. Touya covered his mouth with his hand to stop his jaw from hitting the floor. Even all the way back then, his sister had suspected that they were together. And Yukito. Could he have felt this way about him all along? Did he… love him? Touya stood still, the anticipation tying knots in his stomach

"…and I said yes, but that I didn't know how you felt." Yukito smiled nervously as he took a few more steps forward until he stood right before Touya, but Touya's mind was too busy racing to notice. He stood motionless, feeling like he was in some weird dream. He couldn't believe these words were coming from Yukito's mouth, and that Yukito loved him. He loved him before they were together. He loved him and he had told his sister about it.

"Sakura told me that she was sure that you felt the same," Yukito let out a soft laugh. "And I knew that she was only saying that to be polite, but it was nice to hear. In fact,…" Yukito hesitated as if deciding if he should continue or not. "It was actually the first time that I had hope that maybe something would happen between us. Like maybe one day you would walk into my house and kiss me like it was the most normal thing in the world."

Touya felt dizzy. He couldn't place all of the feelings he felt, but there was an undeniable warmth spreading through him. He looked at Yukito standing in front of him, really looked at him. He was so strikingly beautiful. Touya had never met anyone who was so kind and loving. With his cool silver hair, creamy white skin, slender body, and piercing grey eyes that looked through him, Touya had been smitten for longer than he could remember. He had been utterly aghast to find out Yukito had felt the same. It seemed almost impossible to Touya that these feelings could have been reciprocated way earlier. Touya swallowed hard as he noticed, seemingly for the first time just how close their bodies were at this very moment and how much closer they could be.

Yukito reached out and took both of Touya's hands in his, interlocking their fingers. "I know you're probably wondering why I didn't tell you any of this before now," Yukito said as he stroked the back of Touya's hands. "Truth is… I didn't really believe you could feel this way. Even when you asked me out, I think a part of me didn't believe it was real."

Touya couldn't speak.

"I know not much has changed. We've been studying a lot… and I know it's not your favorite thing but to me… even these simple things feel special and different. Just knowing how you feel, Touya… fills me with this joy. It's true you know," Yukito lowered his voice and looked directly into his eyes, "I love you. I've always- "

But Touya didn't let him finish. He couldn't take it anymore. He pulled Yukito into his arms and pressed their lips together, kissing him more aggressively than he ever had before. Each kiss was laced with purpose and full of a burning desire. Yukito had stoked the fire and now it was at full flame, fueling Touya's every move.

Yukito gave into it as quickly as if this was his idea. He had one hand wrapped around Touya's waist and the other gripping his thick brown hair. They stumbled a bit over and into each other as they moved from the kitchen to the living room, where with a sly grin, Touya had pinned Yukito to the couch. Yukito laughed but didn't for a moment take his hands off of Touya.

They kissed back and forth, climbing over one another. Already appearing out of breath, Yukito's chest rose and fell underneath Touya. When Yukito sat up, Touya briefly thought that he had had enough, but with a certain eagerness in his eyes, Yukito raised his arms and lifted his sweater up over his head, playfully throwing it at Touya's legs. Watching Yukito undress unleashed something primal inside of Touya. the next thing he knew, he was throwing his own shirt off and Yukito's hands were undoing the buttons of his jeans.

"Is… this… ok?" Yukito said breathlessly.

Touya stared into his deep grey eyes, seeing his own desire reflected back at him and so much more. "You have no idea."

Yukito smiled as Touya kicked off his jeans and laid down on top of him. Yukito wrapped his legs around him and Touya's mind went blank as he felt the warmth of Yukito's skin against his own. Breathing in the same breath, they traded kisses in the dimly lit room, until Touya pulled away to stroke the side of Yukito’s cheek.

"Yuki," he said softly, pushing a few strands of hair behind his ear, "you mean so much more to me than I could ever say, but allow me to say this… you have always been my special someone. I love you, too."

 

 

Chapter Text

Touya woke up on Yukito’s couch, without Yukito next to him. Slowly he sat up, pushing blankets out of the way and walked over to the kitchen where he would no doubt find Yukito.

Just as he expected, Yukito was head first in the refrigerator, pulling out various fruits, vegetables, meats, and sauces.

Touya had to laugh. Yukito was wearing nothing but his boxers and his arms were full of food.

“Hi,” Touya said, announcing his presence.

Yukito turned around a bit startled and placed the various fridge contents down on the counter next to them. He took a step back and very obviously checked out Touya in front of him, who was dressed in exactly the same way.

“We missed dinner,” Yukito said a bit bashfully, motioning to all the food he had just dumped in front of them.

“Really?” Touya smirked, “was too busy to notice.”

Yukito blushed, lowering his gaze to the floor. Touya watched him, loving every minute of it.

“I’m going to make something for us,” Yukito said after a few moments.

“Sounds good, Yuki.”

Touya grabbed a pear off the counter and took a bite out of it. He could definitely get used to Yukito making him dinner... especially dressed like that.

Figuring it was best to let Yukito cook without distraction, and also because he didn’t trust himself to behave that close to Yukito’s half-naked body, Touya headed back to the couch in the other room.

Finding his clothes, Touya pulled on his jeans and now wrinkled shirt. He sat down and took out his phone. Two missed calls from Dad, popped up on the screen.

Fujitaka. Touya let out a sigh. That was the next conversation he had to have and it was sure to be an awkward one. He picked his head up to notice all of a sudden, Yukito standing in front of him, finding his own clothes on the ground and putting them on.


“You’re not leaving are you, Touya?”

“No, Yuki. I’m not going anywhere.”

Yukito raised his eyebrows as he took a seat on the couch next to him. “What’s bothering you?”

Touya put his phone back in his pocket. “Right now it’s that you put your clothes back on.”

Yukito smiled and then closed the gap between them, leaning in and kissing Touya. Touya responded by placing his arms around Yukito’s waist, bringing their bodies closer together. Yukito pulled away first. “You’re a good kisser, Touya, but a bad liar.”

Touya laughed. He wasn’t expecting that.

A noise sounded in Yukito’s stomach, causing him to stand up and apologize. “Sorry, I’m staving.”

“Feed us then,” Touya grinned, leaning back farther on the couch.

“I’m trying,” Yukito responded. “But I can’t if you’re in here... looking like this.”

“Looking like what?” Touya grinned wider.

“Looking upset.”

“Oh.” Mood killer. Touya ran his fingers through his hair.

“Can you tell me, what’s bothering you? Or...” Yukito paused, that look of sweet concern on his face. “Is it something you can’t talk to me about?”

Touya sighed as he stood up. He could tell him this. Inf act, he wanted to. “It’s Sakura. There's something I didn’t tell you.”

“Oh?”

“I wasn’t sure if I could because... well, you know.” He hated the words as soon as they left his mouth but unfortunately, they were the truth.

Yukito looked away from him which made Touya feel even worse, “but now... you do?”

“Yeah,” Touya nodded, a bit dejectedly. “Now I think I need help.”

“Ok,” Yukito said.

“Ok?” Touya felt surprised. He knew Yukito could read between the lines, but what he was asking him was pretty uncomfortable... for everyone.

“If I can help then I want to. I’ll... change.”

“Wait - Yuki. You should eat first.”

But Yukito shook his head. “Sakura is more important. And so is easing the mind of her big brother.”

Touya smiled at that. “Her stubborn big brother that is currently standing between you and dinner?”

“Yes,” Yukito chuckled. “I’m sure he’ll make it up to me.”

Touya’s eyes widened. “Oh, he most definitely will.”

He reached out his arm to touch Yukito, but the change had begun. The dimly lit room was now encased in bright white light. Touya flinched backward, covering his eyes that hadn’t been awake for that long.

And just as quick as the light came, it was gone. The breathtaking moon guardian now stood before him with his bright eyes, large majestic wings, and stern expression. Touya suddenly felt thankful he had the good sense to throw his clothes back on.

“What is this news about our master?” Yue asked.

Touya crossed his arms over his chest. He wasn’t sure where he wanted to begin. “Sakura’s magic... has gotten stronger.”  Yue nodded in a way that told Touya he was already aware of that. Touya hoped that he hadn’t made Yukito change for nothing. “What I mean...,” Touya clarified, “is that she’s the strongest she’s ever been. I can sense her before she even gets home, sometimes even when she’s miles away.”

“And this troubles you?” Yue asked.

“It does.”

“Why is that? I assume you’d like to know where she is.”

Touya let out a sigh. This situation felt complicated but yes, that had been one good thing about this mess. “If I can sense her, then so can others. A power that strong invites danger. What’s worse is that I don’t think she’s even aware at all of how powerful she’s become. Which means any threat that comes her way, would be a total surprise. She wouldn’t expect it and therefore, might not be ready for it.”

Yue’s expression remained unreadable but he put his hands behind us back and walked across the room. “You think people are coming... for Sakura’s power?”

“It’s happened before has it not?”

“I suppose it has,” Yue continued walking, “but what makes you think she doesn’t know?”

“Yue, the very fact that you’re asking me that, pretty much confirms it.”

Yue seemed instantly annoyed, which Touya fully expected. He was one of her guardians after all. Being on top of any potential threats was his job. “Our master is young, Touya, but she is smart and intuitive.”

“I’m not debating that, Yue. It’s a gut feeling that I have. Sakura may be too powerful for her own good and if she doesn’t know that then she probably can’t control or conceal it.”

“So that’s what you want then? For her to conceal her magic?”

“Yes,” Touya didn't really know that until Yue had said it, but that's exactly what he wanted. “I think that would keep her safe.”

“I’m not sure how that would be done.” Yue’s frustration was now showing. his face appeared more stern, his movements seemed more precise.“I and Kerberos were created with alternate forms. Sakura was not.”

Touya rubbed his temples, feeling very agitated. That was a fact he was obviously very aware of.

“If she truly has as much power as you say then I suppose she could give it away, or...” Yue paused. 

“Or what?” Touya prompted.

Yue lowered his voice, and slowly turned his head towards him. “Or someone could take it from her.”

Touya felt his mind immediately kick into overdrive. The kid. Things were slowly starting to add up. Touya had suspected it and now he was sure if it. The little brat was taking Sakura’s magic. He had to be. The only question was... why? And if he was then why was Sakura’s magic still so strong? Did he not take enough? Touya thought back to the hat cake. The vision of Syaoran jumping into the water to save his sister replayed in his mind. Maybe Syaoran knew. Maybe he sensed it. Maybe... maybe he was trying to protect Sakura too.

“Would she know?” Touya asked. “If someone took magic from her, would she be aware of it?”

Yue looked uncertain. “I suppose it would depend on how much they were after and if... if they wanted her to know.”

Interesting. Very interesting.

“But Touya, I highly doubt it. There have been no new threats and-“

“And no new kids?” Touya raised his eyebrows.

“We’ve sensed no magic from the girl. She appears harmless.”

“Appearances can be deceiving, Yue. You of all people should know that.”

Yue let out a defeated sigh. He was frustrated and annoyed, that much Touya could tell. Whether or not that frustration was directed at him or this conversation remained unclear. Knowing him though, this conversation would soon be over. He and Yue were probably the same level of stubbornness. it had always been hard for the two of them to talk things through without a high level of tension. 

“What would you have me do then? Why ask for me?”

Touya took a deep breath in and let it out. “I think someone should be with her, watching over her at all times.”

Yue looked at him. He knew what he was suggesting. Yue and Yukito were one in the same. This plan would therefore take Yukito away from him. Touya looked down. It wasn’t really what he wanted. Not when they had just finally gotten together. In fact, it almost felt like a betrayal, sending him away to protect his sister, mere hours after they had just made love for the first time.  Touya began running his fingers through his hair nervously. He didn't know if Yue knew that... if he knew what had happened between them, but he was suddenly finding it pretty difficult to maintain eye contact.

“I will talk to Kerberos. I’m sure he’d be more than willing to attend school with Sakura. That is... if he thinks what you are saying has merit.”

Touya nodded. “And you?”

“I think we both know that my other form prefers you.”

Touya gulped. He looked at the floor.

“Perhaps if you want me around her more than you must be around her more.”

Touya’s face lit up. That was not a bad idea. In fact, maybe it was time he met this new girl after all. He managed to look back at Yue who’s smugness was overwhelming. He was definitely not taking this conversation seriously.

“There’s a real threat coming, Yue. Whether you believe me or not, I can feel it.”

“When it comes to the master, Touya, I will consider all possibilities. But these claims require more discussion. More insight. It would be foolish to act on something with such limited information.”

Ugh. Whatever. Touya felt angry but this conversation had gone the best it could’ve... all things considering. At least he had spoken his mind and put it out there. At least Yue knew and soon the talking plushy would too. Who knows, maybe the stuffed lion would be more on his side once he found out.  “Fine,” Touya concluded.

“I shall change back then.”

Touya nodded, but he noticed Yue wasn’t moving.

“Touya,” Yue said, changing his tone. “You once promised me that you would take care of my other form. Him seeing you weary and anxious isn’t doing that and you’d be wise to keep that in mind.”

Touya didn’t answer, probably because he didn't want to admit Yue was right. Yue could be unbelievably frustrating at times, but he wasn’t wrong. Not about this.

“When you leave tonight,” Yue paused, “if you leave tonight... I’ll speak to Kero.”

If I leave tonight. Touya bit his tongue. “Thanks, Yue.”

“It’s been a pleasure, Touya. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot of each other soon.”

Wait, what? Touya opened his mouth to say something else but he was too late. In a bright white flash, Yue had gone, leaving Yukito standing before him once again.  Yukito started speaking, but Touya’s mind was elsewhere, concentrating on all the things that Yue's last words could've meant. 

Chapter Text

It was 7:55pm and Touya was sitting on his bed, staring at the clock.

He had just come home from Yukito’s house, where he had spent almost the entire day. They had been watching a random movie together on TV when out of nowhere, Touya had been hit with an overwhelming feeling that told him to come home. He didn’t know where the feeling came from, or what it meant exactly, but he had left immediately.

Now that Touya was home though, he didn’t know what to do with himself. The feeling of danger he had been struck with was intense, but now... it was nowhere to be found. When he first entered the house, he saw his mother’s photograph. It was untouched and unmoving. He asked her for help. Asked her if she had seen anything dangerous, but received no response. 

Touya then walked upstairs, where he saw the light spilling out under Sakura’s door and had heard the muffled sounds of video games coming from her room. His sister was home, and if the video games were any indication, the toy plushy was with her. Meaning, she was safe. So Touya headed to his room, sat down on the bed where he was now, and stared at the clock in front of him. 

7:58pm. 

Touya sighed into his hands as he laid back onto his bed. He couldn’t remember ever feeling this confused. Could his senses have betrayed him? There seemed to be no indication whatsoever that an actual threat existed. So – what the hell was going on? He knew he had been known to worry for nothing but this just seemed ridiculous.

Suddenly his phone vibrated next to him. Touya knew it was Yukito and instantly felt a bit relieved that he hadn’t told him exactly why he needed to leave during the middle of their movie. As far as Touya knew, his mind was playing tricks on him and he didn’t feel up to being teased about it. He also knew that he couldn’t answer the phone. As much as he wanted to, he knew Yukito was very perceptive. Touya didn’t want him to hear the uncertainty in his voice. So, he made a mental note to call him later and hoped that he wasn't too mad. After all, if the roles were reversed and Yukito was the one who left without any explanation, Touya wasn’t sure if he’d be all that understanding.

He let out another sigh and looked around his room, trying to find something to occupy the busy thoughts swirling around his brain. There were books on the floor that he could open to study, but he didn’t feel like doing that. He briefly thought of trying to find the movie he and Yukito were watching but decided against that as well. He didn’t feel that hungry but he could make food for himself. Or... he could just wait and see if whatever danger he had so vividly sensed earlier would return. 

Yeah, that sounded like a plan. But, if Touya was really going to ride this out then he needed to stay awake. He needed… tea.

Touya stood up and exited his room. After double checking that there was still light and video games coming from Sakura’s room, he turned around and walked down the stairs to the kitchen.

Grabbing the kettle, Touya turned the faucet on and filled it up with water. He dug into the cabinets for the tea he wanted to drink and set that down too. He took out a teacup and a spoon and even sugar, because…Yukito. All that was left to do now was wait for the water to boil. Which was fine. It was just more… waiting.

Feeling impatient, he looked up at the clock on the kitchen wall. 8:00pm.

Touya started running his hands through his hair but then… stopped. The feeling… the one from earlier… was coming back. He started feeling dizzy. A wave of anxiety rushed over him, causing his heart rate to climb and his hands to shake. He paused, trying to calm himself down, trying to hone in on the source and then there it was – clear as day. Slowly... as if being beckoned, Touya turned his head and looked out the kitchen window. There was no mistaking it. Something was outside. 

Touya gripped the window and opened it. Off in the distance, up in the sky, was a hooded figure… and it was coming closer. He felt his heart beat faster. The figure – it looked like a person – wearing an oversized robe. 

Wind came in through the window sending a chill down Touya’s spine. His eyes were transfixed on the hooded figure, watching with intense eyes. He felt frozen in place, unable to move as if he had sprouted roots and was now firmly planted to the ground. The figure raised its arms in the air causing excess robe to spill out over the sides. Touya swallowed hard. Was this person, a child?

It couldn’t be. Not another kid. Not one of Sakura’s friends. He couldn’t jump to conclusions. Maybe Sakura didn’t even know this person, maybe this person wasn’t even a person at all… maybe this was… Touya gulped. Maybe this was pure magic. 

As the figure moved closer, Touya’s senses came fully alive, sending jolts of energy through his veins, shaking him awake. He found movement in his legs. He could feel his heart beating outside of his chest. He had to get to Sakura. Whatever this ominous thing was it was not welcome in his house and he would not let it get to her.

Without another thought, he took off running. He ran up the stairs faster than he had before. The last time he had moved this fast was… when he saw Sakura being dragged under the water. Touya shook his head. He couldn’t think about that right now. Finally, he reached the hall, but the light coming from Sakura’s room was now so bright that it was blinding. “NO!” Touya shouted. “No, no, no!”

He lunged at the doorknob, but he couldn’t open it. He heard the roar of a lion and Sakura’s muffled screams. He was too late.

Touya banged on the door, but it wouldn’t budge. He tried again, and again. He backed up and took a runner’s position. No matter what, he would get in there. If he had to break the door down in the process, they could deal with that later. Taking a quick breath, Touya gathered all the strength he had and ran side first into the door. He did this two more times, but still… nothing. He was breathing heavier now, wiping the sweat off of his forehead. It was no use. Whoever this figure was… it had come for Sakura and it made damn well sure no one else interfered.

The hallway seemed to stretch on for miles. Touya didn’t want to give up. He put his hands on his knees to catch his breath. He heard another roar and felt warmth radiate from the door. It felt like… fire? He heard more screams and Touya stood up and covered his ears. It was far too late to call Yukito now. He should have just been honest with him. No - he should’ve asked him to come home with him.

He had to think of something.

Touya looked at the stairs and then once again took off running. Before he knew it he was leaping down to the first floor and sprinting to their front door. He reached for the knob and tried to thrust it open, but… it was locked. 

He took a step back. Locked from the inside? He turned all of the knobs. He grabbed the keys off the couch next to him and tried to use them, but that was also no use. He couldn’t believe it. Sakura had been in her room. Why would this thing seal their front doors? The room felt icy cold as Touya punched the door and then shook out his hand. He was angry now.

A noise sounded outside and he ran to the kitchen, tripping over several items in his path. He stopped when he saw it. Outside, flying in the air… was his sister. She was battling the robed figure who was now closest to the house – sitting on the powerlines that ran across their neighbor’s front yard. Touya stepped closer to get a better look. He cursed the window for being too small. There was no way he could fit through it if he tried. He couldn’t help her. All he could do was watch and… wait. 

Touya felt like screaming. How was this fair? Sakura was supposed to have help and here he was – locked inside. Unable to do a damn thing!

He clenched his hands into fists and slammed them on the kitchen sink. He let the cold wind run wild through the house. He heard the sounds of struggle and he didn’t want to look, but he also couldn’t turn away. This thing, it was powerful – too powerful. None of Sakura’s strikes were landing. Touya’s mouth fell open as he saw the magic that Sakura tried to use be taken away and then used against her.

And then suddenly, it was as if time was moving in slow motion. Sakura was in the air, flying towards the figure and then a second later, she was falling. Falling towards the ground. Touya screamed her name. He willed his body to move through the walls. From how high up she was, she wasn’t going to make it. He had to get outside. He had to save her.

He ran back to the front door and yanked on the knob. He pulled it over and over until the metal burned into his skin. He took a step back and ran full force into the door. He hit it hardest this time. A hit of pure adrenaline. The door came down. Touya fell forward, picking himself up, jumping over the broken pieces.  

Lunging over their front steps, he kept his eyes up to the sky. His breathing grew more labored as he ran the corner. He was going to make it. He was going to catch her.

 

 

The tea kettle blew – loud and hard. The hot steam whistled through its tin frame filling up the house with noise. Alerting the world that the water had boiled and there was tea to be made.

Touya’s eyes jolted open as he looked over at the steaming pot. He blinked a few times as if unsure of where he was. He looked out the kitchen window, but it was dark outside… empty. He turned around and looked at their front door. It was closed. Nothing out of the ordinary. 

The whistle sounded again and Touya, now fully awake and annoyed, shut it off. He leaned against the counter and crossed his arms over his chest. Something definitely felt off, but the house was quiet and peaceful. In fact, the only sound Touya could hear now was the ticking of the clock that hung on the kitchen wall. 8:00pm.