Hi! Finally, Kirjava-chan (that's me!) is proud to present the third and final installment to 'Stuck In A Moment'. I want to thank all those wonderful people who reviewed the story and encouraged me to finish it! You are such the best! Also, thanks to all those who read, but didn't review!
Yay! Very happy! This will be my FIRST complete fanfic! Yay!!!
Okay, enough. I hope you'll like this!!
The italics (like this) are conversations either Sakura or Syaoran is remembering. All of them are with each other. They're not in chronological order. But there won't be too many of them. This chapter is about the present, not the past.
Disclaimer: I don't own CCS. So, go ahead and sue me. Please! That way, I'll beat you in court (thanks to my beautiful disclaimer) and walk away with enough money to buy CCS and then, I'll own them! Ha!
Syaoran cursed under his breath. The blasted plane had been delayed for hours, and so he had arrived late to Tokyo. Even worse, the ceremony was due to start in fifteen minutes, and he was still an hour's drive away from Tomoeda. Possibly more, if he had the 'good' luck of being spotted by a police officer and detained for his excessive velocity.
A he drove on, the countryside a blur outside his window, he thought of what the reception might be like. For the hundredth time, he cursed whatever had possessed him to accept the invitation. What would he say to Sakura? "Hello. Remember me? I'm the guy whose heart you stomped over and fed to wild dogs." Or should it be something more along the lines of "Oh, hi. Recognize me? I'm Syaoran! You know me: that guy who made you so miserable you were forced to divorce me!"
Sometimes, he wondered if his life would've been better had he not married Sakura. Sure, he would've been consumed by regret every single day of his life, but she would've been happy, and he would've been saved from a great deal of heartache. Sometimes, it just seemed as if it had not been worth it: the fight with the clan, the public humiliations, the chase by Touya… At the end, it had been for nothing.
"What?" Sakura exclaimed, surprised by his sudden outburst.
"Sakura," he said, taking her hands between his. "I love you more than anything. You make me happier than any human has the right to be. I want to be with you forever. Please, marry me."
"But what about the clan? Would they allow it? And Touya! He'll hunt you down!"
"This isn't abut them! It's about you, and it's about me. It's us."
"But what about-- Kami, what am I saying? I know you're right. To hell with the everyone. Yes, I'll marry you!" And she threw herself into his arms.
That was the first—and last time—he had heard Sakura curse. Syaoran smiled; of course it had been worth it. Those years with her had been the happiest of his life. With a start, Syaoran realized that if he had a chance to do it all over again, he wouldn't change a thing. He would still marry her, even knowing that it would end as it did.
Now, he knew what he'd say: "Hello, Sakura. Remember me? I'm Syaoran, the guy whose life you brightened for what seemed like five minutes."
Sakura turned around. For a few seconds, it had seemed as if she was alone in the world, only her and the pigeons. But then, reality came, along with people calling after her and running out of the church, the man she had once fancied herself in love with at the head of them.
Her heart thumped loudly in her chest, as she ordered her feet to move, to run away. Unfortunately, they didn't obey, and Sakura soon found herself enveloped in a pair of arms that smelled of cologne.
"Sakura, sweetheart, what's the matter?" Sakura swallowed convulsively; she didn't think her already broken heart could manage to confront this man who had trusted her with so much.
"Sakura?" he called her, her name from his lips sounding so wrong. And she realized that she owed her fiancée the truth, just as she had once believe she owed to Syaoran.
"Good bye, Kinomoto Sakura."
"Listen, please. This is really hard to say." Sakura started. What was she saying! It was bound to be a lot harder to hear! "I'm really sorry. I really am. I…" Sakura started crying. "I can't marry you. I wish I could; you're wonderful and caring and sweet, and someday, someone is going to be incredibly lucky to fall in love with you. But not me."
"You.. don't love me?" All the color had drained from his face, his hands falling limp to his sides. Sakura cried harder, as another image crossed her brain. "Don't you love me?" he had asked then.
Taking a deep breath, she answered flatly. "No. Not as you deserve to be loved. I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry." Not being able to bear it any longer, she turned away, and this time, her legs obliged her will to run.
Soon, she had lost the crowd between the trees, and not even Tomoyo had followed. Alone, she wondered if maybe it just wasn't part of her fate to be happy. She didn't deserve happiness. She had had it once, but she'd been too critical, too restless, too demanding, too selfish, too jealous… She could still remember what had driven her to leave Syaoran.
"Syaoran! I'm sick and tired of you being away all the time! I want you to be here, with me, but instead, you're off in England, or Hong Kong, or Holland, or wherever!"
"I'm sorry Sakura, but I can't help it. But you know it won't be for long. I have to travel a lot right now, but as soon as the company runs smoothly, I'll be able to spend much more time with you."
"But I want you here now! I love you, and I don't want to have to spend so much time apart from you! Do you love your company more than you love me?"
"How can you even ask that?" Syaoran voice lowered significantly, his features soft as she reached for her and held her in his arms. "You know I love you. There's nothing or no one I love more than you."
Arguments like that had become frequent, and even after Syaoran's travels became less, Sakura was still depressed. She was very sick, for a long time, and when she got better, she was even more depressed. Not even she had known why. Unable to find the reason, she had blamed it on the only constant of her life: Syaoran. Soon, that instinct grew to certainty, and she had begun to resent him to the point of where she deliberately spent as much time out of the house as possible.
Then, she had seek help and found anti-depressants. But still, life to Sakura seemed like a big, black, endless pit from which she couldn't climb out. Syaoran, of course, noticed something was wrong, and confronted her about it, tried out to find what was happening. She didn't like the pressure he unknowingly put on her, and, drowning on desperation, resented him even more and purposely avoided talking to him about her problems, and ignored any questions he asked. The bottom of the pit seemed closer everyday, until she talked to Syaoran, sent him out of her life.
By now, Sakura was crying harder than ever. Unable to go on, she sat at the edge of a fountain that adorned one of the less traveled boulevards of Tomoeda. Still crying, she ignored the puzzled stares of the passing people, who wondered at the beautiful girl in the wedding dress.
After a very tiring drive, Syaoran had finally gotten to Tomoeda. Immediately, he went to the church to where the ceremony was to take place. He was very surprised to find it empty, the beautiful floral arrangements that decorated the altar untouched. With a sad sight, he sat himself in one of the benches. He had been too late. Though Syaoran wasn't sure why he felt so miserable about it, he did. And he was in no mood to attend the reception. Thus, he decided to just skip the wedding altogether.
For awhile he sat there in silence, a solitary figure dressed in etiquette, trapped in memories of what his own wedding had been like. How beautiful the decorations had been, the pleasantry of the music, the joyous faces of everyone salve Touya, how gorgeous she looked.
At last, Syaoran stood up and left. The air was so refreshing, the sun so warm, the atmosphere so tranquil, Syaoran decided to take a stroll through what used to be his home, leaving his beautiful car in the security of the church parking lot. Up and down the Tomoeda streets he went, each intersection, each patch of grass holding a memory within, filling Syaoran's head with the phantom laughter of many years ago. Through the walkways with arches of blossoming trees, he remembered all that had drew him to this place at first, and in between the falling cherry blossom he spied a fountain he had been to only once before, in company of Sakura.
"Sakura? Where are we going?"
"Come, sweetie, I want to show you somewhere!"
"Why are my eyes closed?"
"Builds up suspense." Giggle. "Here we are."
"No, Syaoran. THE fountain. My Mother used to bring me here on Sundays, and we'll sit together, and see the people that passed by, and try to guess who they were and what were they doing."
"It's a really nice spot. Will you join me in observing the crowd?"
Syaoran took in the sight. The benches and flower pots and trees were all the same as they had been when he'd last seen them. At the edge of the fountain, sat a beautiful woman, with a head of auburn, dressed in a flowing gown of immaculate white.
Sakura still sat at the edge of the fountain, though she had long stopped crying. Still, she was sad and had never felt so alone in her life. That's why, when she saw the tall, handsome man with messy brown hair and twinkling amber eyes, she thought him a mirage.
But mirages don't gasp. And that's how she knew that the person in front of her, the one she'd remember so much that day, was real. Her heart rate accelerated so much, she was sure it would stop, as the man approached her, a disbelieving look on his face.
When he reached her, she stood up, no more than a mere inch between them. "Syaoran." Sakura couldn't hold back anymore. With a swift motion, she closed the distance between their lips, in their first kiss in years.
Syaoran was shocked when Sakura kissed him, but immediately answered her back, all the passion he had held back since the divorce, all the longing, all the loneliness, all the anger, all the love merging into a single glorious kiss that tasted of ecstasy and delight.
At last, he managed to make himself tear away from the kiss, and look into Sakura's eyes. He had no doubt of what shone in her eyes, yet it puzzled him nevertheless. Before he could open his mouth to ask her about it, she answered, as thought reading her mind, like she used to do.
"I couldn't do it." The tears she had managed to hold back earlier came flowing back. "I didn't love him. I couldn't love him. Not while I still loved you." She kissed him again, a swift one this time. "Because now I know Syaoran: I love you still. I could never stop loving you, not even if I wanted to."
The silence that followed her confession seemed to go on forever to Sakura. She could feel blood pumping in her ears from fear of rejection. But it all went away when Syaoran smiled, and brushed her tears away with gentle fingers. "Good." He said, he's voice barely a whisper. "Now you know how I feel." He didn't give her time to react before he kissed her again. This kiss was soft and tender, and showed no trace of the hunger the first one had held. It was just like their first kiss, the one so long ago; it was as sweet and charming as they both remembered.
And the people that walked by, wondered who this two were, why were they dressed so, and why did they cry with such happy faces. They wondered how it was possible for two people to look so different, yet so well together.
And Syaoran and Sakura wondered, whether they were truly awake, or even alive, so happy they were, feeling as if not a single day had gone by.
So… like it? I really hoped you did! I worked really hard to make it just right, too have enough sap, but follow the pattern set by the first two.
Please, please, please review! I really love all your reviews and can't get enough of them. Please, review!
PS: In case you can't tell, the ending was inspired by Bon Jovi's "Thank You For Loving Me" video. God bless MTV.