Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Mahou Sensei Negima! Fan Fiction ❯ In the Shadow of the Moon ❯ Chapter 32 - Shadowed Hearts ( Chapter 32 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
I love it when things come together. Chapter 201 of Tsubasa finally reveals the relationship between Watanuki Kimihiro (xxxHolic) and Li Syaoran II, my guess at them being brothers was almost right. The new information makes it easier to link this crossover with cannon from those series, playing with causality is fun :)

single quotes (' ') denote thoughts or telepathy
forward slashes (/ /) denote translated speech

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the series mentioned in this story. This story is created solely for entertainment and no intention of profit.

Chapter 32 - Shadowed Hearts

Nabiki quietly listened in while Li-sensei talked with Kotaro and Ku Fei about making charms for use in the Onmyodo system of magic, to her it sounded a lot like what Kari was teaching her about placing spells that require a lot of preparation into objects. After a while Syaoran takes over the discussion and Sakura quietly excuses herself.

Nabiki moved to intercept the teacher on the way to the stairs, but was caught off guard when the older woman smiles at her. "I believe it would be best to talk about your questions away from the others Nabiki-chan. If you would care to join me in my room." The last was clearly more of a command then a question as she proceeded to the stairs.

The middle Tendo daughter was successful in holding her tongue until they entered the room. "How do you know what my questions pertain to Li-sensei?"
"I can see future events Nabiki-chan." Sakura says quietly. "I don't know what your questions are, but I know whatever my answers would have been in the common room would have caused you to start shouting and disturb the other girls."

"My first question was going to be how well you could see the future." Nabiki says stunned.

Sakura smiles. "Then you have most of the first answer. The truth is I can see results. By thinking about modifying my responses, I can also see with some clarity how the result will change."

Nabiki silently swears off gambling with this woman ever. "So how far into the future can you see?"

"Time does not seem to be the issue." Sakura shrugs. "The limiting factor seems to be how emotionally close those involved are to me and how much I can effect the outcome."

Nabiki ponders this for a moment. "So if you are not involved with someone you can't see what will happen to them." At the older woman's nod she continues. "I heard from Ran-chan that you were the one to tell Obaa-san she needed to act to save us from something."

"You could say I had an attachment to you, your sisters and Ranma through my involvement with Obaa-san and Kari-chan." Sakura says with a smile.

Nabiki blinks repeatedly at this causing the woman to laugh. "You seem surprised Nabiki-chan. Did you think Obaa-san would intentionally leave one of her grandchildren in the care of someone outside her family. Obaa-san has had many children in her life. My father just happens to be one of them in a round about way."

If Nabiki was confused before she was really stumped now. "How?"

The older woman chuckles as she helps the girl sit down on one of the chairs that had been vacated earlier. "I guess you could say he is reincarnated. Obaa-san had a son named Clow Reed who became a powerful sorcerer, in his own opinion too powerful, and created the predecessors to the cards you saw me use. He also had the ability to see future events."
Sakura paused for a moment to offer the girl some of the cookies that were left on a snack tray. The only response she received was a bewildered look. "When he knew his time to pass from this world was coming, he apparently foresaw a result he did not like, and modified things to ensure that a new master for the cards would appear that would do their best to use them responsibly. What he did was to split his own soul into two new beings, one of whom is my father."

"I see." Nabiki says while still looking confused. "The real question I guess I wanted to ask was since you and Kari seem so close why you did not save her from her father so she would not have felt forced to become an enchantress."

"There is the catch Nabiki-chan." Sakura states sadly. "Himura Kari the playful and often impetuous enchantress is almost a daughter to Tomoyo and I. Himura Kari the sad, shy and often ignored youngest child of Himura Kenji was a stranger to me."

The younger woman would have given anything at the moment to come up with a better response but all she could do was repeat her earlier question. "How?"

"None are so blind as those who will not see." Sakura quotes as she folds her hands in her lap and looks down at them. "I wish I could say there was some grand reason to excuse myself, but the truth is at the time I was simply being both childish and selfish."

Nabiki watches as tears fall into the other woman's hands. "I gained a lot of power when I was young and felt godlike and untouchable. I missed so many things because they did not seem important. I missed that my best friend loved me enough that she would seek out the grandmother I did not care to know, and give up her humanity so that she could live as long as I would and be close to me. I did not think to ask why she introduced me to the little girl who had become her ward almost a decade later."

"Little Kari remained a stranger to me." Sakura pauses and wipes her eyes. Looking at Nabiki now she continues. "Several years later I was swamped by a vision of a man whose ambition would cause all realities to unravel, and I had no power to stop him of my own. Instead the only thing I could do was put my children in harms way and depend on them to end it. I sent Hiro-kun to the witch of dimensions and he willingly went, but it was not enough. My son was not the fighter needed for this quest."

Sakura pauses and Nabiki worries that she will start crying again. "I surrendered the staff I had inherited from Clow Reed to the witch in exchange for the power to create an alternate timeline where my child instead was a near duplicate of my husband that we could train and prepare for the fight he would face. Little Syaoran later reset the timeline and gave Kimihiro back to me." Sakura wraps her arms around herself tightly. "Yet both my boys had given up something to the witch of dimensions, Hiro-kun gave up his memories of his family so that Syaoran could have the chance to rescue my counterpart in another world."

"So much for being untouchable." Sakura gives a resigned sigh. "For the price of giving up two children any mother would be proud of and the staff I needed to use my magic I could see that the man's ambition would be ended. At the time I felt so useless and weak. I had lived two lives and raised and loved sons in both of them that I could not be sure I would see either of again. In a fit of depression, I walled away my ability to look into the future. I nearly drove away my husband, but I was fortunate that he was willing to wait for me to recover."

Nabiki is not sure how to take this revelation and instead stands up to grab a cookie from the tray. "I can see the pain you went through Li-sensei, but I don't understand how Kari features in this story."

"I guess that I have been rambling a bit." Sakura gives Nabiki a smile and waves for the girl to sit back down. "As I stated earlier Kari was being cared for by Tomoyo. Even though Tomoyo had been given guardianship, the academy could not do anything when Kenji showed up at the school and exercised his right as clan head to have Kari return to the family home. I finally became involved when Tomoyo called me in a panic to help her find Kari several days later when she had gone to Suginami ward with a court order for Kari to be returned to her and found the house ransacked."

"Shortly after Kari became an enchantress, and finished derailing her father's plan, she lost control of her powers." Sakura laughs but it has more pain than mirth. "After setting the guards to fighting with each other, somehow she made her way back to the academy. By the time I had sorted through all the events related to the child, Tomoyo felt a pulse of power from the singing contest Kari had been so happily practicing for. When we arrived on the scene, I watched as my best friend broke down crying over unconscious form of the child she had come to love."

"You should know that there are dangers to becoming a true enchantress Nabiki-chan." Sakura looks at the girl seriously now. "The powers unlocked will play havoc with the persons mind. Tomoyo made it through relatively unscathed, but she had an experienced guide to help her. Kari's mind was very nearly shattered in the process. It was only because Obaa-san got to Kenji first that I did not find ways to do worse than break his jaw."

"That was the first time that I met Obaa-san. She arrived on the scene and was very nearly ready to rip off Kero-chan's wings when she found out he had failed to tell me about her being able to help me make a new staff." Sakura actually giggles at the memory. "We spent several days making the staff you saw me use earlier while Tomoyo used her powers to call Kari's consciousness back from the dreams. After that Tomoyo and I spent months combining our magic making sense of Kari's jumbled thoughts and memories."
Sakura gives a small sad smile. "I did not realize until after Kari was functioning again that the commentary I made with Tomoyo, as we reassembled her memories, would be remembered as though we had been there offering her comfort throughout her childhood. In the end, Kari thinks of me as her loving and caring aunt. Where as the woman who actually cared for her, while still loved, has been moved to the role of teacher. Neither of them blame me for it, and Obaa-san does not blame me for not helping Kari before things broke down. But I blame myself and have worked since then to use every option at my disposal to make things better for everyone and not just those close to me."

"So what happened tonight?" Nabiki asks while still recovering.

"A wonderful bit of work." Sakura says with a grin as she ticks off things with her fingers. "Ranma gets a few more friends who are willing to help him explore options here at the academy. Tomoyo gets to offer love and comfort to two girls she has held close to her heart for a long time. Setsuna and Konoka both get what they have longed for, love from someone who's only desire is that they enjoy themselves. To accomplish this all I had to do was turn my cell phone off while Tomoyo and I enjoyed a dinner to celebrate her return from a successful fashion show and the start of her new job as manager of the coed dorm. Tomoyo did the rest when she felt Setsuna's power activate."

Nabiki ponders this for several minutes when an idle comment earlier suddenly catches her attention.

"Who is Kero?"

--

The group that had been out by the dojo returned just as there is a high pitched shout from the dessert table. "Hey ya pork bun I was gonna eat that."

Ranko could only stare at what looked like a small yellow plushie cat with miniature bird's wings sticking out of its back trying to berate Mokona over a plate with a few chocolate crumbs left. What was even weirder was the black colored one next to it, with miniature butterfly wings, calmly drinking tea.

"Now Kero-chan Mokona is a guest that is only going to be with us a little while." Tomoyo admonished while trying to keep a straight face. "We can make more later."

Looking over all the now empty serving plates, the yellow plushie sat back and put its hands to its head and piteously whined. "Cake"

The other plushie pulled a miniature paper fan out of nowhere and proceeded to smack the first one with it. "Quit that. We came here to help get this place organized, not snack."

"Now Spinel that was not very nice." Kari admonished while Ranko and most of the other girls in the room tried to keep from giggling with varied amounts of success. Kari turns her attention to where Kero had returned to giving Mokona the evil eye. "Now I am glad you both came as there are some beams for the Dojo roof that need moved into place. I promise we can bake some more cakes that should be ready by the time that is done."

Ranko watches amazed as the plushie flies from the table and out the shogi with a cheer. Amazement turns to awe when the creature's wings expand and suddenly it turns into a larger then life winged lion. "Be back soon." The lion booms out as it flies over to the dojo.

"You always were good at bribing him Kari-chan." Spinel deadpans while drinking his tea.

Kari raises an eyebrow and grins at the creature. "Oh and I suppose you have no interest in the copy of 'Passions of the Soul' by Descartes I found for you." What followed was an even faster dash and transformation into a panther with black butterfly wings.

Ranko stood in shock looking towards the dojo, watching as the two now giant cat creatures picked up large wooden beams in their mouths and flew them to where the roof was growing. Kurogane working on the roof almost fell off in surprise, when Kero delivered a beam to him.

After the second attempt Kari finally was able to get her niece's attention. "Do you think you could help Konoka and Sensei with making more cakes? I have another project I need to work on." Kari asks with a grin.
The following dash to the kitchen would have impressed both of the guardian beasts. Kari giggled and thought to herself. 'Behold the power of chocolate. Which I will need to restock very soon if this keeps up.'

--

Setsuna, Asuna, and Ukyo took this opportunity to get in practice in the large field by the dojo. Akane wanted to train more with Ku Fei, but the younger girl after a bit of pleading convinced her to practice with Negi instead. Kotaro volunteered to critique her form and style.

All in all it was great practice in controlling her temper, with being not only bested by a eleven year old but being offered suggestions by another one. Konatsu stood off to one side doing his level best not to laugh.
Nodoka had volunteered to keep an eye on the girls that were making use of the baths. This only earned a brief rolling of the eyes from Sakura-sensei. As her son and counterpart finally decided to get some much needed rest, She agreed to keep an eye on the children doing more boisterous activities.
Sakura had briefly checked on Kari who was making three hollow faceted glass globes from sand in the decorative garden. Asking what she was planning earned only a grin, and a statement of "It's a Secret."

The teacher of history was surprised when Setsuna took to the air and started diving attacks on her students. Once there was a break in the action she stated pleasantly, "That seems a rather unfair attacking method Set-chan."

Setsuna wipes a bit of sweat from her brow. "We can't always trust that our opponents wont seize on a mobility advantage. This way they can practice being prepared for it and to counter it."

"You do have a good point there." The older woman replies and then gets a speculative look. "Do you think you would be prepared to fight someone on equal terms in the air Set-chan."

"I believe I would be Li-sensei" Setsuna says with a hint of pride.

In response to this Sakura takes her pendant from around her neck and three cards from her pocket. "Shall we test that Set-chan?" She says with a grin.
Without using any chant this time the pendent transforms into her wand in her left hand. Her dress shimmers and transforms into a close fitting suit similar to Konatsu's and the baton transforms into a shield while in her right hand a sword appears. What really catches the shinmei-ryu stylist's attention is the pair of wings, even larger than her own, that appear from the woman's back.

Only the girl's trained fighting instincts allow her to bring up her sword in time to block the thrust from the woman's sword. The surprisingly strong shield bash that followed knocked her into the air. Setsuna had only a moment to recognize that the woman had reappeared above her.
Sakura smiled as her sword passed through an afterimage of the girl, and grinned as she turned in the air to block a sword slash from above with her shield and a dagger thrust with her sword.

Setsuna tried her best to press the advantage gravity gave her over the woman, but was caught off guard when instead of trying to break away the sorceress laughed as a card with a winged woman appeared on her shield. The young woman was first blown high into the air as the card disappeared and then bound tightly by ropes of compressed air.

Setsuna began to fall with her wings no longer supporting her in flight. Instead of crashing down she found herself caught gently by the woman. "You should also never assume you know your opponents limitations Set-chan."

The work on the roof had stopped when the fight started. "I give it a rating of six out of ten Kerberos." The leopard stated mildly as they watched the sorceress glide in for a landing.

"Nah, Sakura was taking it easy on the kid. I give it a four." The lion responds easily.

--

Sakura decided to let the children practice and just continue to observe until dinner was ready. At which time Kero finally was able to enjoy the promised cake with gusto. Throughly embarrassing the other guardian. That is until Spinel opened his mouth to comment, and Kero shoved a large fork full of cake in. The ensuing sugar induced round of gluttony succeeded in even impressing Mokona.

Kari tried her best to be angry at having to restock what should have been a months worth of food after only a day, but was too busy laughing to summon the strength to do so. Ranma who had finally been able to change back grumbled about how he still had not been in an eating contest, much to the Tendo's amusement.

After the remains of dinner were properly disposed of Kari finally implemented her plan to enhanced the growth of the trees with Tomoyo's help. The two enchantresses sang a hauntingly beautiful song that held all of the others watching enraptured as three sensual green skinned female creatures appeared from the ground.

The warm beauty of the dryads as they danced to the continued singing was mesmerizing. Those watching completely lost themselves in the vision. It could have been minutes or days later when the dance finished. Those who had watched finally realized that the saplings had turned into large trees in full bloom and the formerly bare ground was covered in thick grass and wild flowers.

Kari smiled at the dryads and approached them slowly. The others were finally able to tell that while proportioned like an adult female the earth spirits stood barely a meter tall. "Little sisters would you like to stay in this world a while longer and play with me."

The small nymphs nodded eagerly and Kari held up the globes she had created earlier. The dryads seemed to dematerialize and flow into the faceted crystal structures. The crystals now glowed with a pulsing warm green light from within.

Kari smiled as she seemed to consider something for a moment. "Kotaro-kun would you like to help Ranma and I finish a project."

Kotaro seemed to consider this for a minute, but was quickly convinced by a little gentle prodding from Ranma. Kari had each of them take one of the globes and follow her to the life sized figures she and Ranko made earlier in the day. Ranma was told to stand in front of the figure of an medium sized angel with its head bowed and hands clasped as if in prayer. Kari took a smaller figure kneeling on the ground with its head bowed. Leaving Kotaro with the largest one standing with its arms held open forward and wings spread out wide in the back.

Following Kari's instructions they all held their globes forward near where the angel's heart should have been. Kotaro watched in amazement as the figure shifted and seemed to begin to flow around the globe in his hands. Kari quietly advised them to pull their hands back. When they had done this the globes remained floating in the air and slowly merged with the statues as they began to shift and take on a more lifelike appearance.

Kotaro suddenly understood he had been setup as he was tackled by a blue and pink blur accompanied by a cheer of "Goshujin-sama". Kari's laughter could be heard a good distance away.

From the crowd of spectators a freckled young woman begins to angrily dash forward but is stopped when Akiri's small hands take hold of one of hers. "She won't hurt him, and you don't need to worry that any of us are after him." The small girl grins mischievously. "Kotaro-kun is just too cute when he blushes."

--
Outside the Tatsumiya shrine a brown haired woman in a miko outfit pauses in her sweeping to grin at a black cat calmly approaching her. "It has been a long time. What brings you here tonight."

The cat growls out. "Hello Kaho. I was hopping to check in on Mana, but she was not at her dorm"

"I am afraid she got caught up in some mild troubles and is staying with my niece at the moment." The woman replies with a grin. "She should be back later tonight. I could check on her in the morning if you would like to come along."

The cat nods and begins to head towards the shrine, but pauses when the woman asks a question. "Do you think you will tell Kisuke-san about Mana?"

"Someday perhaps Kaho." The cat turns and resumes walking into the shrine.

"Oyasumi Yoruichi-dono" The shrine maiden says as she resumes her work.

notes:

Kero - Kerberos (Cerberus) - Sakura's sidekick/advisor/(stuffed animal) from CCS.

Spinel - Spinel Sun - a guardian beast of similar nature, if not personality, to Kero created by Hiiragizawa Eriol (The other reincarnation of Clow Reed.)

Descartes - 17th century French philosopher, scientist, mathematician, and writer. Called the father of modern philosophy and famous for the quote "I think, therefore I am."

Goshujin-sama - honored master

Kaho - Mizuki Kaho - a celestial mage in CCS that helped Sakura during the clow card final judgement.

Oyasumi - short form of good night

Yoruichi - Shihoin Yourichi - the queen of flash from Bleach.

Ahh yes my muse has returned. Introducing two new crossovers in a chapter is a new best for me. I will leave you to guess at the first one.

Chapter 31
Chapter 33
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