Author: Bethany Ten; broken__bird
Fandom: Cardcaptor Sakura
Characters/Pairings: Hiiragizawa Eriol x Mizuki Kaho;
Theme: 1. look over here
Disclaimer: bethany ten does not own cardcaptor sakura.
one thousand and one nights
by Bethany Ten
look over here
She was young.
And she would remain that way for a very long time, from the looks of it. From the looks of it, she would remain twenty-something forever, and he discerned this not from the flare of moon magic that cradled her like the arms of Somnus, but from the twinkle in her pale-pale eyes, like a star that flares brightest just a hairsbreadth from dying. She walked on the air and drew patterns in the cloudless sky.
Her scarf was a soft yellow and burgundy, coiling around her slender neck where her hair coiled auburn slow somewhere at the small of her back. Her eyes were bemused, and he wondered how he knew this since he wasn’t even facing her; she was something shining brightly, an opaque, sketchy outline of a silhouette behind his folded eyelids.
Her magic was a whorl of mist, something opaque and there, all-encompassing like the warmest spring rain, clouds of dust kicked up after the ascent of a careful foot; his subconscious shielded its fangs just as quickly as it bared them, finding only something comfortable and beautiful where nothing—or something—dangerous should or should not have existed.
He opened his eyes.
● ● ●
She was colorless.
And she would remain that way for a very long time, from the looks of it. From the looks of it, she was a phantom in shades of black and white and red, something beautiful and unseemly all at once, to be beheld from a distance with too-perceptive or imperceptive eyes; she was ethereal in organza that outlined her gentle arcs in gritty, black ink.
If anyone asked, her favorite colors were spring green and gold.
She answered this question again and again.
She saturated her tea in honey or abandoned it, bitterer than the most pitch coffees; they never saw her, though, in anything other than variegating shades and hues of black and white and red. She answered the question with a practiced ease, and draped a blindingly pink jacket over her slim shoulders, because it seemed like the thing to do at the time. He felt the ghost of her dusky touch tracing a line beneath his eyes, and tingled. She was gone.
He opened his eyes.
● ● ●
She was mysterious.
And she would remain that way for a very long time, from the looks of it. From the looks of it, if the world stopped turning, if the storm was through, if the end approached lightning-fast, she would still have that serene smile on her face; it blossomed there like a waterborne lily, suspended there by a thousand and one nights’ worth of memories wrapped around her jaw. She would be silent when the end approached lightning-fast, and he never knew whose will she bowed to like a blade of grass beneath a soft step; she would, forevermore, be silent.
“This,” she said, “is the will of Clow Reed.”
Both Yue and the evening were querulous, and it annoyed him to the point of being a physical ache. Or perhaps the chill had somehow assailed his bone marrow; he was tremulous in the most omniscient sense of the word, and he made a note not to allow Nakuru spoon sugar in his tea, because that was how the world worked.
She—like the chill—was bone-deep, unquestionably. She slipped beneath your skin and remained a pleasant, velveteen cord of muscle; she slid her thumb beneath your wrist and pulled you along. She was a soft wintry breeze in that particular aspect, and when he breathed, she was a fog of cinnamon in his lungs, a stirring somewhere beneath his sternum. She was a secret; she was Clow’s book itself, a lock only to crumble undone with the proper hands.
The bell was nowhere nearly as musical as her voice.
He opened his eyes.
● ● ●
She was there.
And she would remain that way for a very long time, from the looks of it.
“I wasn’t expecting you.” He smiled, disarmed, an easy target for all but temptation. “I thought you didn’t want to be seen with me.”
“May I have this dance?”
She was draped in gold, slight, curled grooves like ribbons forming a small train that caressed the cold atmosphere just past her heels, and the silk billowed slovenly behind her in envy of the softness of her skin; there was a sash, a thick line of emerald cradling her waist and ending in a plain opal brooch. Her hair was sluiced behind her ears, and for a brief moment he could envision himself holding her for longer than seconds the way a man chases sunset before it vanishes; she was a queen of a wild card caged in vines, and he was the hero, unorthodox with his mage hat and staff, bidding the thorns part lest she wither. The ghost of Sakura’s brother would just be that: a ghost, something seen but never experienced.
He stepped to her, and their hands gathered. He pressed his forehead to the smooth plane of her stomach, and there he sighed, staining her skin.
“Yes, you may.”
She was warm, the moon bathed in sunlight, all-encompassing; he teetered on the brink of a beginning. Her hands were poetry, and they whispered words through the weak-seeming fabric that was his jacket, where they, alongside her, stole into his skin and painted it pinkish.
He found not the words with which to complete his sentence.
“They don’t blame me,” he said, “but they still stare sometimes.”
“I would have thought they were envious,” she said.
“Not of you,” he said.