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In Any Other World, Tsubasa Side
By Memory Dragon
Warnings: Fluff. And ending... that's not been beta'ed.  I lost two beta readers on these fics and the final chapters ended up without, sadly.
Disclaimer: I do not own Tsubasa or xxxHolic, nor do I make any claim to. Nor can I claim the lyrics from the song "Any Other World" by Mika. Just borrowing it, since it goes so well with the fic.

Tsubasa Side: Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6
xxxHolic Side: Prologue Chapter 1  Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6

Epilogue: In Any Other World...

Because it's all in the hands of a bitter, bitter man
Say good-bye to the world you thought you lived in.

Syaoran knew that the fall would kill him. Without his magic - no, even with it- he could do nothing to slow his own decent. He prayed to the power of the feather as he fell through the clouds, but his hold on his consciousness was slipping. If he couldn’t...

What Syaoran hit came much sooner than he expected. And it was much more... bouncy? Sitting up, Syaoran realized he hadn’t been hurt at all by the fall. A happy chirp turned his attention to the face of his rescuer.

The flying giant fish was by far one of the last things he had been expecting, but he wasn’t one to judge on appearances. “Ah, thank you very much for saving me,” he said quickly with a bow. It chirped back what Syaoran assumed was fish talk for “you’re welcome.” Then it began a slow spiral downward, letting Syaoran see the rest of this world’s beauty. A mountain floating in the sky, an erupting volcano and a bright blue ocean all shined in the distance with unparalleled beauty. Along with the vast forest that he and the others had found themselves in which stretched almost endlessly into the distance.

He also saw another small village far off, not unlike the Amazons’, but it faded from view the closer they got to the ground. Had that been the village of men? Syaoran wasn’t given much chance to think on it, however. Soon, everyone’s worried faces came into view.

“Syaoran!” Mokona chirped, jumping from the newly arrived princess’ hands. “You killed it?”

As proof, he held up the feather for everyone to see. “This is what had caused the Wyvern to gain the power to disrupt the lands.”

He slid off the giant fish and presented the feather to Sakura. She didn’t accept it. Instead, she turned to the small white ball of fluff. “Moko-chan, please give this feather to Yuuko-san. She knows what it’s for.”

“But, Sakura...” It said sadly. Seeing the determined look in her gaze, it swallowed the feather in one swift movement. Syaoran looked away, his help shunned. Sakura didn’t want to accept feathers from him after all.

“Where did this big fish come from?” Hikaru asked excitedly as she ran up to hug it. “It’s so cute!”

“Hikaru-chan! It may not be safe!” Umi yelled after her scolding. But the giant fish simply chirped happily in the tiny girl’s embrace.

“It’s quite friendly, I assure you.” The speaker had a light tenor voice that surprised Syaoran. The voice carried authority. He turned to see a tall, slender man with longish, light purple hair held back with a jeweled circlet. In his hand was an ornate staff. But it was his kind blue eyes that kept Syaoran’s gaze. “I am called Mage Clef, of the village of men down the river. Swordsman Ferio and I had come to help fight the beast.”

“But, how did you know? Even if a messenger had left just after the first attack, they’d just be getting to the village right now,” Hikaru asked wearily. She stopped hugging the fish as her hand fell to the hilt of her sword. Umi did the same as they both regarded Cleft carefully.

The answer came from behind them. “The Princess there called us. She had some magic that worked even with the wyvern’s seal. She said we needed to be here, so we got here as fast as we could and hoped the amazons wouldn’t be too mad.” The green haired man from earlier said. He had his giant sword behind his back, much like how Kurogane stood sometimes. Fuu stood behind him, blushing softly. “Good thing we got here in time too. Though he wasn’t much good while the monster was alive, Clef’s magic is what saved this crazy kid.”

Ferio grinned at Syaoran, indicating the final statement was towards him. He smiled back weakly. The pain was catching up to him now that the fight was over.

In a quick movement, Clef whacked Ferio and called the fish back into the jewel on his staff. Syaoran stole a glance at Sakura, realizing that the feather had probably been the price to contact the men and make sure they got here on time. She must have known about his fall from a vision. He shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions like that, especially not with someone so much like his Sakura. Still, a feather seemed like a pretty step price for just a message. Had there been something else?

“Thank you, Clef-san,” he said softly, wincing as he tried to stand.

Fuu came up to him, taking his bleeding hands into her pale ones. “Syaoran-san, please let us take care of your wounds.” He nodded, trying not to think of the pain. Fuu closed her eyes and a soft cooling wind rose.

His eyes widened as the cuts where the wind touched were healed. Within seconds, Syaoran was completely healed. He stood up, this time without pain and bowed to Fuu politely. “Thank you, Fuu-san.”

“It’s us who should be thanking you!” Hikaru hugged him from behind unexpectedly. “Now the Wyvern is dead and we don’t have to live apart from the men anymore. The thousand years of being separate is over! Thank you, everyone!” Clef and Ferio looked surprised at this admission. Sakura must have called them before the price had been named. Ferio glanced over to Fuu for conformation and she smiled in response.

“I wonder why the Wyvern tipped the balance so much that the men and women had to be separated...” Umi asked, more to herself than anyone else.

Syaoran surprised her with an answer. “When I was inside the wyvern’s head, I saw that it’s eggs had been stolen for a wedding feast. It got angry whenever it saw men and women together because of that. I think that when it got hold of the feather, the only way to keep it’s anger sealed was to stay apart.”

“Yes... That would make sense.” Umi looked with careful consideration at Fuu and Ferio. Her gaze made the two of them blush deeply. “But I suppose that’s no longer a problem...”

Kurogane and Fai stood off to the side with the princess and Mokona. “Syaoran!” Mokona jumped down from a very annoyed ninja’s head. “It’s time to leave!”

“But you should all stay for the feast!” Umi had her hands on her hips with Ascot looking crestfallen behind her. “I was going to make something really great for the princess and everyone!”

Fai smiled politely as Syaoran moved over to the rest of the group. “We’ll have to take a rain check on that.” Kurogane did look a little disappointed at the lack of food, but didn’t add anything to the conversation.

Sakura stepped forward and gripped Hikaru’s hand in friendship. “Seeing you here has given me strength and courage. I hope that some day...” The princess shook her head, releasing herself from whatever curious emotion held her. “Some day, we can meet again.”

“Yeah! Then we’ll have that feast! Just you wait!” Hikaru smiled once again and hugged Sakura before the princess went to join the rest of her travelling companions.

Syaoran took one last look at the Amazons and the men from the distant village. Under the leafy shade, Fuu stood in Ferio’s embrace while Umi and Hikaru stood off to the side with Clef. Ascot ran up, just as Mokona’s magic started to work. “Syaoran-san! I’m going to move forward now! So I hope... I hope you find what you’re looking for too!”

He felt a real smile come to his lips. Even though it was still awkward being an actual part of the group now, he was glad that he wasn’t on the outside. He waved as Mokona swallowed them up and lead them to the next world.

Infinity begins with just a single step.

-To xxxHolic side

Quote of chapter:

"It's easier not to want forgiveness or to expect it. We just keep trying to fix the mistake so we don't have to ask. But you end up trying so hard to atone for one set of mistakes that you over compensate and make new ones. And then you can never break out of the cycle. You just keep going around and around. No way out and no where to go."
-Captain Gideon, Crusade