Card Captor Sakura ~ Arcana
Chapter 5 - Strength
Disclaimer: Card Captor Sakura belongs to CLAMP. Original characters
are mine. Please don't use them without consulting me first.
Spoiler, Timeline and Ect. Warning: This story takes place after
the Clow Cards are collected and, er, Yue's fun and games. That's it.
No Eriol, no Suppi-chan, no Ruby Moon and yeah, Yukito's secret is a
bit important to the plot. Sakura is sixteen in this story. This
story is a bit dark compared to canon CCS, you are warned. People are
going to get hurt and/or possibly dead. Please use discretion if you
find that sort of thing offensive.
Chapter 5 - Strength
"Ugh! God, why does he have to be so heavy?"
"Hoe, I swear I'm making him go on a diet when he wakes up!"
"Erm, it's not so bad. We're almost there," Tomoyo smiled weakly as
she hefted Touya's left leg none too easily another foot down the
sidewalk. "I can see the porch light now!"
"Swell," Syaoran muttered as he did his level best to not drop the
bane of his existence. It didn't help that Touya's head had to rest
on his shoulder while Syaoran kept a deathgrip on his shoulders. He
had never ever wanted to be this close to the older man and it was
just creeping him out all over the place. However, Sakura had pleaded
for his help and so here he was, helping the girls lug Touya back to
the Kinomoto residence. "Tell me again why we couldn't use your van
to get this idiot back to his house?"
"Because my bodyguards would have found out and none of us want to
try and explain what we're doing with Sakura's unconscious brother to
them," Tomoyo said plainly, a slight tinge of annoyance edging into
her voice. She wasn't really angry with Li-kun, but the constant
complaining after leaving the park, her own included, missing another
card capturing, which really annoyed her to no end, and having to
help carry Sakura's rather heavy older brother back home was really
starting to get to her. Physical strength was certainly not one of
"Right right, sorry," Syaoran murmured quietly in an attempt to avoid
setting Tomoyo off. He really should have kept his mouth shut, but
Touya was really starting to get damned heavy. Just a little further
then he could go home and hopefully sleep. He was starting to really
need some rest at this point.
"Ugh! I'm really sorry about this," Sakura apologized yet again as
she hefted Touya's other leg in synch with Tomoyo. She had been doing
a lot of apologizing ever since they had started lugging Touya back
home. "I just didn't know what else to do."
"It's okay, Sakura-chan!" Tomoyo perked up cheerfully, all the while
resisting the urge to faint.
"It's not, ugh, your fault, Sakura," Syaoran scowled darkly as he
risked a glance behind at the 'beings' who were responsible, of a
sorts. The Magician, The Hanged Man and The High Priestess were
strolling a ways behind them chatting it up about god knows what. The
High Priestess seemed to have forgiven the other two, but he wouldn't
risk betting on that. One could never tell when it came to the cards.
"You know, you guys could help some."
"Do we look like drudges to you?" The Magician scowled back at him
just as darkly. There seemed a pause as both glared daggers at each
other, then The Magician smirked and purred wickedly, "Is it getting
to be too much for you, dear?"
Syaoran growled sulfurously under his breath as The Hanged Man
ignored them both and skipped towards the Kinomoto's house. "I'll go
open the door!" He was in far, far, far too good a cheer as far as
Syaoran was concerned.
Tomoyo and Sakura both sighed at the rising tension and continued
lugging Touya towards the house. Surely things would start to sort
themselves out once they were there. Just a little further.
The High Priestess was the only one out of the group who realized
they were being watched, and only because she had briefly seen the
watcher earlier that night. It pleased her to know that her new
'mistress' would have to go through even more strife before the night
It was only fitting for Clow's successor to suffer, after all.
Sighing, Yuri rolled over on her bed and curled her legs up tighter
against her chest. She had been strangely tired all day at school. At
first, she had simply figured it was because of that really weird
dream, or maybe nightmare was more fitting, she had had the night
before. However, trying to go to bed early tonight seemed to be quite
fruitless at this point.
She was restless.
And so was the book, apparently. It was again flat on the desk
instead of up on the shelf where Yuri had put it. Grumbling
halfheartedly, she tossed the covers off and stomped over to her
desk, unconcerned about being heard. Her cousin was out again,
which was turning out to be a trend. Honestly, sometimes it seemed
like she didn't even have a family anymore.
Shaking her head to disburse that unwelcome train of thought, Yuri
picked the book up and frowned at it. "Well, what is it now? Why do
you even bother? You're empty now so what's the point? And what was
in you anyway?" she mused aloud. It wasn't like she was expecting an
answer, it was just a book after all, but it and its oddities were
starting to annoy her. And she had a sneaking suspicion that she'd be
having more dreams like that weird one until she figured out what was
going on, as if she needed more problems than she already had.
"You'd better stay put this time," Yuri huffed as she placed the book
back on the shelf and wagged her finger at it. Giving it one last
meaningful glare, she walked over towards her bedroom window and
glanced out at the night sky. It looked to be a nice, calm night.
Maybe a short stroll through the park would make her tired enough to
chase the restlessness away and let her sleep.
"There," Sakura said softly as she tucked the blankets up over Touya.
After a lot more moaning and groaning, she had convinced the others
that it would be best just to take her brother up to his room and put
him to bed. Lugging him up the stair hadn't exactly been pleasant,
but it would be much, much better for him to wake up in his own bed.
"That should do it. Hopefully, when he wakes up he'll just think it
was all a bad dream."
"Thank god it's over with," Syaoran groaned up from the spot against
the wall he had slithered down to after they had manhandled Touya
into his bed.
"I hear you," Tomoyo murmured tiredly as she leaned against Syaoran,
also having literally collapsed the instant after Touya was in bed.
Closing her eyes, she rubbed her arms and grimaced. She was going to
be in so much pain come morning.
"Come on guys, it wasn't that bad. We've been through worse," Sakura
pouted down at the pair with her hands on her hips.
"I hate to disagree with you Sakura-chan, but yes, it was that
bad," Tomoyo grumped as she gave her best friend a baleful look.
"Just because we may have been through worse doesn't make it any
"Okay fine, it was that bad," Sakura sighed as she offered them
both a hand to help get them up off the floor. "Let's go downstairs
and I'll fix up some tea for us."
"Oh, that sounds wonderful, Sakura-chan," Tomoyo beamed as she took
Sakura's hand and levered herself up off the floor. She winced as she
wavered for a moment on her feet, then righted herself as best she
could. "I think I'm going to need it."
"It would be nice," Syaoran said blandly as he dragged himself to his
feet, hiding a yawn behind his hand. He headed wearily out into the
hallway with Tomoyo, followed shortly by Sakura who closed the
bedroom door behind her.
Tomoyo stopped at the top of the stairs, halting any further progress
as she glanced around curiously. "Where is Kero-chan? And for that
matter, where are the Arcana?"
Sakura blinked owlishly and blushed, she hadn't noticed they were
gone. She really should pay better attention. They were her
responsibility after all. But she was sure they had come into the
house with the three of them, so they had to be around somewhere.
"Probably still downstairs, I know they didn't follow us up to help.
Not that they were much help anyway, but at least they stayed out of
the way," Syaoran muttered sourly as he gently brushed past Tomoyo
and headed down the stairs.
As they reached the bottom, The Hanged Man peeked out from the dining
room and waved at them cheerfully. "We're making tea. Would you guys
like some?" The Arcana always seemed to be in such a good mood, even
Sakura was starting to find it a little strange.
"Hoe, sure," Sakura answered hesitantly as she walked into the dining
room. The High Priestess was in the kitchen, diligently watching the
water as it came to a boil. There was an odd, but not unpleasant,
smell of herbs wafting across the room. The Magician was seated at
the far side of the dining table, smirking down at a bristling
Kero-chan in obvious amusement.
"Sakura-chan!" Kero-chan piped out as he fluttered up from the table,
flicking his tail distastefully at The Magician, "I made sure they
didn't do anything bad."
"Oh! Uhm, thank you Kero-chan. That was awfully nice of you," Sakura
smiled as he flew over to her shoulder and settled down. Well, at
least he hadn't gotten distracted by the Touya problem.
"Just doing my job," Kero-chan puffed out, sounding like it was
nothing much. It wasn't really, but he did feel kinda bad at not
being there when The High Priestess had attacked. He wasn't bothered
at all by the fact that Sakura-chan apparently hadn't needed him; of
course not. He'd just have to pay better attention to those annoying
cards from now on. He was the fierce Guardian Beast, Kerberus, after
all. It was his job to protect Sakura-chan, not that brat or the
Arcana's. Though, he'd feel a little better about it if Yue was there
The High Priestess hummed an odd melody as she poured up the tea and
began handing out cups. Syaoran balked slightly as she offered him a
cup and she smiled sweetly at him, "Don't worry, I didn't put any
hemlock in it, even if it is a lovely way to poison someone."
"Ignore her," The Magician said bluntly, blowing into her own cup
before taking a sip, "She likes messing around with humans."
"So says the pot in regards to the kettle," The High Priestess
muttered snidely, gesturing for said humans to take a seat before
heading back into the kitchen.
"I never said I didn't like doing so either," The Magician murmured
in return, taking another sip and scooting over slightly as Tomoyo
took the seat next to her.
They all sipped their tea in silence for a few minutes, the teens
doing their best to not moan and groan at their many aches and pains.
It wasn't until Sakura's cup was nearly empty that she dared to ask,
"So, who is this 'her' you Arcana keep referring to when you attack
The Hanged Man looked up innocently from where he was leaning
nonchalantly against the kitchen counter. "Beats me."
"Hoe, I'm too tired for this," Sakura sighed wearily before
attempting again, "Come on now, I know you know what I'm talking
about. It's another Arcana isn't it?"
"You won't get an answer from any of us. You don't deserve it," The
Magician eyed Sakura acidly as she took another sip from her teacup.
"Hey! She's your mistress now! You should be more polite," Kero-chan
growled out as he glared across the table at the Arcana.
"Just because we have been caught is no reason to tell the Mistress
of the Clow anything at all. Frankly, it is all the reason we need
not to tell you anything," The High Priestess explained, not deigning
to look up from her own teacup, "We are our own beings. If we choose
to tell you anything it is because we wish to, not because we have
to. You are only temporarily in charge, of a sorts."
"Just what is your problem with the Clow; and how do you even know
about Clow in the first place?" Kero-chan asked snippily as he
stretched up over Sakura's head and focused his glare towards the
"If you don't know that then you really don't deserve to know
anything at all!" The High Priestess snarled, shattering the teacup
in her hand in mounting fury.
"Hoe! I'm sorry, you don't need to get this upset! We won't ask
anything more! Sorry!" Sakura babbled out, waving her hands in the
air and trying to think of some way to calm the Arcana down before
any of them suffered for it.
It was in that moment, as everyone was starting to edge away from the
fuming High Priestess that a loud thump came from upstairs. Sakura
looked up slowly before glancing around at the others with a
dumfounded expression on her face. "I think niichan is up."
"Oh great," Syaoran grumbled as he hurriedly started to get up. "I'd
better go then before he finds me down here."
"No no, please stay. You're not done with your tea yet," Sakura
smiled pleadingly as she gently pushed him back down into his chair.
"I'll, hoe, go up and see how he's doing. Just... stay please."
Kero-chan fluttered off of her shoulder as she left the room and
headed up the stairs.
"Niichan?" Sakura called out as she crested the stairs. He stood in
the middle of the hallway with his back to her, not moving even at
the sound of her voice. Uhoh, he didn't think what happened at the
park earlier actually had happened did he? Sakura fervently hoped
"Niichan? Are you okay?" she tried again, trying her best to hide her
worry as she hesitantly reached out to touch his arm. Before she even
had a chance to blink, he grabbed her wrist and yanked her closer.
"What are you-"
"Mistress of the Clow?" Touya hissed out in a voice with an odd
echoing undertone, glaring balefully down at her with eyes that
glowed an eerie electric blue. "Yes, you are the one."
"Oniichan? What are you doing?" Sakura tugged on her arm, trying to
get free of the grip that was getting tighter and tighter. "You're
hurting-" she trailed off as she looked up into Touya's eyes, not
seeing him there but something else entirely. "You're not Touya. Who
are you? What do you want?"
"My identity is of no consequence. Know only this," the thing in
Touya said calmly as it dragged the stunned girl ever closer, "For
your relation to Clow you must suffer again and again and again."
"You're an Arcana then," Sakura eyes narrowed as she began to slowly
reach up towards her neck with her free hand. "Touya has nothing to
do with Clow. Let him go."
"I don't think so, I rather like it here," Touya's possessor grinned
viciously as he slammed her roughly against the wall, his eyes
glimmering brighter as she screamed in pain.
"Sakura!" Syaoran was already through the dining room doorway, sword
drawn, before her scream even ended. He took the stairs two at a
time, Kero-chan zipping past his head and Tomoyo fast on his heels.
However, the scene they discovered at the top caused them all to
Touya towered over the crumpled form of his baby sister, the key
pendant and the Clow cards held mockingly in his hands. "So is this
it? The only power that you have is held within these little toys?
Disappointing. I would have thought that cursed sorcerer would have
made a better choice than this."
"Touya?" Tomoyo whispered quietly in disbelief.
Glowing blue eyes turned their attention towards them and a humorless
smile graced Touya's lip, "Well, you have some knights to defend your
honor at least. I doubt they'll stand up well though."
Syaoran drew his sword up, attempting to summon forth some defense,
but it was too little too late. Touya, or whatever it was that was in
the man, gestured slightly sending a wall of pure blue energy
slamming into him, tossing him back out into the air above the
"Syaoran!" Sakura yelled frantically, reaching out her hand
fruitlessly and receiving a vicious kick for her trouble. She had to
do something... but what? That thing had the key and her cards now.
"Li-kun!" Tomoyo cried out, sinking to her knees as she watched him
land face down in the hallway below, his sword thrown up and over,
spearing into the wall. She waited a moment, not even daring to breathe,
but he didn't move. He didn't move... he wasn't... he couldn't... this
was all wrong.
The thing that was in Touya laughed as Kero-chan darted towards him,
negligently kicking Sakura again, harder this time, even as he
plucked the little guardian out of the air. "You're almost not even
worth the trouble."
"Just you wait!" Kero-chan snarled as he struggled in the man's
unnaturally strong grip. "I'll make you pay!"
"Don't be ridiculous," Touya's possessor purred, "You don't even have
the strength to fight, much less change your form. I siphoned it all
away while the lot of you blithely sat down there and drank your tea.
Surely you must have noticed?"
"What?" Kero-chan blinked, realizing suddenly that although he had
unconsciously been trying to change into his more powerful form ever
since Sakura's scream, it wasn't working. He couldn't change, he
didn't have the strength to call on the necessary power. It just
wasn't there. "How did you-"
Anything further from Kero-chan was halted as Touya threw the little
guardian into the wall above Sakura. He smiled faintly as Kero-chan
wilted and dropped, fittingly, at his mistress' feet. "I'm expected
elsewhere, so I'm afraid I must cut this visit short. For now."
Tomoyo shakily drew herself up to her feet and barred Touya's path as
he turned his back to Sakura and towards the stairs. "I won't let you
leave... not after what you've done."
"Another knight who can do nothing," Touya's smile took on a
condescending quality as he strode towards her. He stopped less than
a foot before Tomoyo, far too close for her liking, and reached out
to touch her cheek, chuckling darkly as she flinched. "Do you wish to
die defending your mistress?"
"I'll... I'll do whatever it takes to help Sakura-chan," Tomoyo said,
her voice wavering even though she tried her best to sound brave.
"Commendable," Touya murmured as he grabbed her shoulder, shoving her
to the side and out of his way, "But useless. However, I'll be kind
and leave you a gift. The least you can do is bleed for her."
A pained scream tore through Tomoyo's throat as bolts of blue energy
lanced out from Touya's hand, sliced through her clothing and deep
into the skin of her shoulder, right where he had touched her. She
curled up in agony as they shredded all the way down her arm, finally
stopping at her wrist and fizzling out. Touya gave her one final
amused glance before turning around and sauntering down the stairs.
"You're not doing very well are you?"
Half-waking at the question, Sakura shifted slightly, trying to find
a more comfortable position to lay in. But nothing seemed to work, if
she moved to the left something twinged in protest, moved to the
right and something ached terribly. Was it her imagination or did she
just hurt all over? Strange... what had she been doing earlier to
make her body hate her so much?
Wait. They had gone to capture another Arcana card earlier that
night, hadn't they? Maybe that was it, she vaguely remembered it not
being all that pleasant. Then again, school at night never was
pleasant. But no, there had been something else... Yes, they had gone
through the park and gotten attacked by another Arcana and Touya...
there was something wrong with Touya... what was it?
"If you keep hiding away from reality you're going to end up losing
There was something about Touya... No, there was something in Touya
that had attacked her, taken the Clow and then... attacked the
others! "Li-kun! Tomoyo-chan! Kero-chan!" Sakura yelled out
frantically as she shot up and instantly regretted it. Everything
hurt: her ribs, her back, her stomach... In fact, the last thing she
remembered was getting kicked, again. But that had all happened in
the hallway at home, and she definitely wasn't there now.
She was outside somewhere, in the woods, very familiar woods. The
trees that towered above were the same ones she had dreamed about the
night before, but it wasn't anywhere near as cold as it had been
then. Looking around hesitantly, she realized the other difference as
well. The fear, terror, that she had felt before wasn't there
anymore. She wasn't exactly comfortable being there, but she wasn't
scared out of her mind either. How strange.
"Ah, so you're up now. That's good."
Sakura whipped her head around, staring at the tree straight across
from her. At its base kneeled a young man, a very pretty young man,
that she was certain hadn't been there a moment ago. He wore black
gauzy clothing with a silver glitter pattern that seemed to match the
stars above. His feet were bare, she had a feeling he would never
have need for shoes, and his long black hair hung in a loose ponytail
over his right shoulder. The smile he gave her was kind, but his
purple eyes had no pupils, much like The Magician's.
He wasn't human. He was probably another Arcana.
Sakura reached up to her neck frantically, realizing too late that
that thing in Touya had taken the key from her. What was she going
to do? She couldn't defend herself, she probably couldn't even run
with how bad she felt. But maybe-
"Don't worry, I'm not here to attack you," the young man said gently,
closing his eyes for but a moment before opening them again, "I'm not
really here and neither are you. In actuality, you are back at your
home lying unconscious on the floor and I am elsewhere. However, I
thought this would be the best time to... have a look at you while
the others are distracted."
Sakura backed up against the trunk of the tree she had been laying
under and eyed him suspiciously. "Have a look at me? Who are you?"
"I am The Star." The now named Arcana stood up at his admission, his
long black hair shifting gracefully down his back, and stared up at
the night sky. "You're like me in a way... I've felt you for a long
time, even though I've been asleep ever since then. But I still
know you," he looked over at her pensively, "and I know what you've
been through. But that isn't nearly enough, you're going to have to
go through so much more before any of us are content."
"I don't understand," Sakura shook her head, her body was starting to
hurt worse and now her head was joining it. Why was this happening?
What did the Arcana want from her? "Why are you doing this?"
"Because you are Clow's successor, and because we hate him for what
His voice faded out then, along with the forest. Darkness enveloped
her, cocooning her against the pain she had been feeling, as another
voice began to call out to her.
Something, no, someone was tapping her lightly, but insistently, on
the cheek. "Sakura-chan? Sakura-chan, it's time you woke up. Come on
now, you really don't want oneechan to have to wake you up."
"Hoe," she murmured and winced as pain began to quickly return to her
body full force. "Oh, ow ow ow ow," she groaned, fluttering her eyes
open to see The Hanged Man looking down at her with mild concern.
"Ah, there we go," The Hanged Man said cheerfully as he levered her
upright off the floor, ignoring any pained protests directed at him.
"Yes yes, I know it hurts, but it's not too bad. And well, I thought
you'd want to wake up before she got too far ahead of you."
"What?" Sakura blinked at him in abject confusion. What was he
talking about? Glancing around at the hallway she started to remember
just why she was on the floor and why every single inch of her body
seemed to hurt. "Oniichan? Where is he? What happened?"
"Well," The Hanged Man grimaced, apparently trying to think of a way
to say everything without causing her even further confusion,
"Strength came for a visit, possessed your brother, who then
proceeded to kick the crap out of you and your friends, then stole
your key and Clow cards and ran off."
"Hoe," Sakura stared at him blankly, wavering slightly as her tired
mind attempted to process what he had just told her. After a few
moments, she asked with a pained expression on her face, "None of you
could stop him, it, whatever, from leaving?"
"Erm, no, we didn't try," The Hanged Man patted her apologetically on
the head, "We learned a long time ago to stay out of little miss
dragon's way when she's acting psychotic. She gets very, very, very
"Oh," Sakura muttered, slightly taken aback at that, "Dragon?"
"Yes," his happy go luck smile returned instantly as he started to
help Sakura to her feet, "Strength is a dragon, a little phantom
dragon, but a dragon nonetheless."
"I see." She didn't really, but she wasn't sure what to say at this
point. Wait, no, there was something else nagging at her that wasn't
right. Glancing around at the hallway again and not seeing what was
bothering her, she asked, "Where are Tomoyo, Li-kun and Kero-chan?
They're... okay, aren't they?"
"Well, sort of," The Hanged Man grimaced briefly as he pushed her
gently in the direction of the stairs, "They're downstairs. Kerberus
will be fine, he was designed to bounce back fairly quickly. Oneechan
is looking after Tomoyo and her, uhm, 'wiseness' is taking care of
"But they're okay, right?" Sakura asked again, wrapping her right arm
over her stomach as she painfully made her way down the stairs. She
didn't remember ever having felt this bad before, but then again,
she'd never gotten kicked like that by anyone before.
"More or less," The Hanged Man muttered under his breath, guiding her
into the living room once they reached the bottom of the stairs. It
wasn't the most welcoming of scenes that greeted them. Tomoyo sat in
one of the chairs while The Magician was doing something to her
arm. Syaoran was laid out on the couch, his head resting on the lap
of The High Priestess, who looked oddly content as she absently
brushed her fingers through his hair. Kero-chan was curled up on the
coffee table next to Syaoran's sword, which was gleaming eerily.
"Itai! That hurts," Tomoyo cried out, her arm jerking reflexively in
The Magician's grip.
"I know it hurts, but it'll hurt worse if you mess me up," The
Magician grumped as she refocused her energies on the bloody wreck of
the girl's arm. "Healing magic isn't exactly my forte."
"Oh Tomoyo-chan, I'm so sorry," Sakura said mournfully, getting a
good look at her best friend's arm as she staggered into the room.
"It's all right, Sakura-chan, or at least it will be," Tomoyo smiled
weakly as she eyed the pink glow spreading over her arm suspiciously,
"She'll be fine," The Magician rolled her eyes as the glow
brightened, "This will take awhile though. I always hated healing
magic. You have to put so much effort into it and yet you get such
pitiful results back."
"Thank you," Tomoyo whispered, doing her best not to wince as the
magic stung at her wounds.
"Uhm," The Magician blushed in response, "It's nothing."
Sakura gave Tomoyo a quick squeeze on her uninjured shoulder before
turning her attention to the couch. "And Li-kun, how is he?"
The High Priestess looked up, her fingers halting in mid-brush as if
she had been completely oblivious to the other activities in the
room, "Oh, he'll be fine. No broken bones or anything... now," she
trailed off for a second before adding a final, "He's fine."
"Oh-kay," Sakura gave The High Priestess a funny look before glancing
down at the coffee table, "Kero-chan-"
"I'm fine," Kero-chan piped out, wavering dangerously as he climbed
to his feet, "Just give me a second and then I'll get that nasty
Arcana for you!"
"It's okay, Kero-chan," Sakura said hastily, reaching down and
pushing him back onto the table before he fell down, "Don't push
yourself so much."
"But-" Kero-chan blinked helplessly up at her.
"No buts," Sakura waved a reprimanding finger at him, "I'll take care
of everything, you just rest up."
Kero-chan opened his mouth to deliver a retort when The High
Priestess spoke up, "You should listen to her, Kerberus. You're not
going to be much good to anyone until you can stand up on your own
power without falling over." Her tone was scatching as she glared the
Clow guardian down.
"Ano, please don't fight. I don't think I can take it right now,"
Sakura sighed and rubbed her forhead. She was exhausted and she
hurt all over, but she couldn't rest yet. She didn't even trust
herself to sit down at the moment. She had hurry up and chase after
Touya... that Arcana before it got too far ahead, and it didn't look
like she was going to have any help either.
"You're going to have to do it alone this time, Sakura-chan," The
Hanged Man said apologetically when she turned an appraising look on
him, "The others have to stay here and help your friends and I
wouldn't be any good against Strength. Fate and raw elemental power
don't really go good together. But," He leaned down and picked up
Syaoran's sword, offering it to her hilt first, "You should take this
"It's Li-kun's, I couldn't possibly-" Sakura stuttered out.
"Hey! I'm going too!" Kero-chan yelled, fluttering his wings in
"No, you're not," The Hanged Man glared balefully down at Kero-chan,
his eyes darkening to an almost black, "You don't have the strength
to keep up with your Mistress and frankly, I find your attempts to
hide your weakness annoying."
The High Priestess smiled sweetly at her 'brother' while The Magician
simply ignored them all and continued to heal Tomoyo's arm. Sakura
and Tomoyo just stared at The Hanged Man in shocked suprise; they had
never really seen him with any other mood than happy and mischievous.
Kero-chan, on the other hand, humphed, seemingly cowed when he
finally bit out a "Fine."
"That's wasn't so hard, now was it?" The Hanged Man asked gaily, his
cheer returning as he wrapped a still stunned Sakura's fingers around
the hilt of Syaoran's sword. "There we go. You're all set."
"But-," Sakura protested, trying to get a word in edgewise as she
shook off her shock from his outburst.
"You really ought to hurry, she's going to leave you behind if you
don't," The Hanged Man interrupted her as he began to push her out of
"But-" Sakura glanced around the room one last time as she was pushed
into the hallway. She didn't want to leave the others like this, even
if he was right. Surely there was something she could do for them.
"Be careful, Sakura-chan," Tomoyo murmured worriedly, waving
listlessly. That wasn't what she wanted to say, she couldn't
understand why she wasn't protesting any as Sakura-chan was hustled
out of the room. She didn't think Sakura-chan should go off alone at
all. Why couldn't she say anything? All she seemed to be able to do
was watch as her best friend was forced to leave her behind. What was
wrong with her?
"Sakura," The Hanged Man stopped once they were at the door, his
voice soft yet commanding as he lifted her chin up, "There are some
things you must do on your own. They cannot help you now and you
cannot help them. Strength judges you only on your own merit. You can
only conquer her when you are alone."
"Oh," Sakura breathed out shakily. She didn't like the sound of that,
but it made a terrible sort of sense to her tired mind. "I see... I
"Don't worry," he smiled down at her, giving her a gentle poke on the
nose, "I'm sure you'll do fine."
"I... I hope you're right," she whispered quietly, gazing longingly
towards the living room before turning and opening the front door.
"I'm always right," he muttered quietly under his breath, scowling as
he watched her head out, "Though sometimes I wish I weren't."
You would have been happier.
Ugh, that was unpleasant to write. *sighs* Don't worry, there is
actually going to be some, er, exposition about the happenings in
this chapter in the next. It's just... this one was getting long
enough as is. ^^;;
Next: Two Arcana for the price of one! Hoe, where am I?