Be forewarned that this short piece of fiction may not suit the taste of all FFnet readers, especially the ones in the upper age bracket. This is my very first CCS fan fic written during the late 1990s, first published in 2002. Random plot, with S&S goodness.
Disclaimer: I do not own Card Captor Sakura. CLAMP does. All the characters in this fan fiction belong to their respective owners. I do not own them in any way.
x x x
"Are you ready?"
"Take my hand. Trust me, it will be all right."
Blinding light is seen coming from the center of an unknown darkness...
x x x
"Sakura!" a voice called. "Sa-ku-ra!"
Sakura's eyes and mouth flung open, startled by the intensity of the voice. She turned and came face-to-face with a yellow mouse-like creature glaring at her. "H-HOOOEEEEEEE!" she cried, sweat drops forming on her forehead.
"Sakura!" it yelled again. "Why are you still in bed?"
"Nani? What do you mean, Kero-chan?"
Kero shook his head in disapproval. "You're going to be late for school, Sakura!"
At this, Sakura fell off her bed in an instant.
Sakura practically flew down the stairs, dressed in her Tomoeda Elementary School uniform. "Ohayou, Sakura-san," her father called from the kitchen. "Breakfast?"
"Iie. I'll just eat during recess. Besides, I'm not hungry," she explained. Sakura rushed towards the door, grabbing her shoes on the way. Jumping on one foot at a time, she struggled to put on her Mary Janes. "Thanks anyway! I'll go now." she called to her father.
"Okay, then. Itterasshai!"
"Ittekimasu!" The door shut behind her.
x x x
At Tomoeda Elementary...
x x x
Sakura looked up from her writing pad. They were having a test during Math class, and to Sakura's relief, it was already recess.
"I'm gonna fail! I just know it!" Sakura wailed when they were already walking along the hallway.
"Calm down, Sakura-chan." Tomoyo fondly gave her best friend a gentle pat on the head. "You'll feel better after recess."
Sakura felt her stomach growl. She blushed and said, "I guess you're right. I hadn't eaten breakfast yet because I overslept." She smiled cutely.
"Sakura-chan, you're sooo cute!" Tomoyo mused. "I wish I could've captured this moment with my camcorder." Her eyes sparkled like diamonds.
Sakura sweat dropped.
Chiharu, Rika and Naoko, who are now standing behind Tomoyo, also sweat dropped.
Sakura greeted them. "Hi! How'd you guys do in the test?"
Chiharu made a thumbs down sign. Rika made a face. (Whoa! The test must have been pretty hard! Rika actually made a face!) Naoko placed her hand on her cheek and shook her head.
"You too, huh?" Sakura said sadly.
They were about to head towards the cafeteria when they heard two familiar male voices coming towards them.
"What are you saying? You're not leaving, are you?"
"I actually hope not, but I have to follow as the heir."
". . ."
The five girls stood there listening. Moments later, Takashi and Syaoran appeared from behind the corner. The two seemed to have noticed that they were being stared at since they were coming right towards the group. When the boys finally reached them, Takashi immediately started a conversation. "Hi girls!" he greeted. "I particularly cannot help but notice that you were staring at us. May we help you in some way?"
Syaoran remained silent, his gaze glued to the floor.
Sakura eyed him curiously.
"Well, if you guys would kindly explain to us what you were talking about, we would be very much obliged." Chiharu answered, mimicking Takashi's choice of speaking.
"Well, if Li here is amenable to your request, I will be more than happy to fill you in on the details." Takashi replied in an as-a-matter-of-factly manner. The group looked at Syaoran, who quickly looked away and gave a small nod.
Attention was then brought back to Takashi. He cleared his throat and proceeded. "It is a very long story, really. To make it a bit short, I'll summarize it."
"The Li family has an ancient heirloom: The Legendary Phoenix Orb, which is given to the Chosen One after every one hundred years. Unfortunately for Li Syaoran here, the hundred years had passed and the Orb must be passed down to the next generation. Syaoran, being the Chosen One, must carry on its legacy and have descendants of his own. Receiving the heirloom itself would bring ancestral power to the keeper. For the rite to begin, Li Syaoran must find a wife within this year, or so his family insists."
"Wait a second…" Rika interrupted, a bit confused. "Isn't Meiling-chan Li-kun's fiancée?"
Sakura felt a pang in her heart, not knowing why. She glanced at Syaoran who seemed to be quite annoyed at Rika's comment.
"I'm not finished yet." Takashi explained. "You see, the heirloom decides whoever Li should be married to. It just so happens that Meiling isn't chosen. Since this was the case, Li Yelan, Syaoran's mother, broke off their so-called 'engagement.' No one, minus Meiling, opposed since they all respected the Orb, it being sacred and all. It is one of those 'do or die' stuff."
Naoko gasped in amazement. "Wow..."
Sakura frowned. "Then why, if I heard right, do Syaoran have to leave?"
Her answer was a complete silence.
Syaoran decided to speak up. "It is said that if in the one hundred year span of the Chosen One's given time, he still hadn't undergone the rite, he and his clan will suffer unbearable punishments from the Curse." he said, gazing directly into Sakura's eyes. It was so intense and sincere that it made Sakura blush. No one seemed to have noticed though, to Sakura's relief.
"When will you be leaving for Hong Kong then?" asked Tomoyo.
Syaoran thought for a while. "I guess in about a week or two," he replied.
"So soon?" Sakura blurted out.
Syaoran stared at Sakura. Her normally bright eyes were now filled with anxiety. He hated himself whenever he made Sakura unhappy, not that he cared for her or anything. Or did he? Listen to me Kami! I must be mad! he thought. Much as he would hate to admit it though, he knew he liked Sakura. Actually, he -loves- her. He quickly erased the thought out of his head. Did I just say I love Sakura? Now I know I'm losing it! he thought bitterly to himself.
But who was he kidding? When she first came into his life, she was only a rival, nothing more. But somehow, he grew to care for her and she became a very important person in his life. He just can't bring himself to admit it though. Sure, he had tried many times to show her how he felt for her, but it never went well. Something always stood in the way. And now, he knew he might not be able to bring himself to try again. He was about to leave for Hong Kong in search of a wife. What would he do then? His foolishness made him so controllable. He allowed himself to get in the way of his own wants, torn between family and self.
Tomoyo, who seemed to have read his thoughts, sighed and said, "But do Li-kun want to go back and get engaged by a decision which is not his own?"
Everyone fell silent, filled with his or her own thoughts.
Tomoyo (smiling to herself): My, my, I am interested in how this whole thing would turn out.
Naoko (looks at Tomoyo): I wonder what Tomoyo is thinking about...
Rika (sighs): I feel so sorry for Li-kun...
Chiharu (looks at Takashi): It's the first time I've seen Takashi this serious.
Takashi (serious look): Boy, I'm hungry. I wonder what I should eat...
Syaoran (blushing): I don't like this at all...
Sakura (looks at Syaoran): Poor Li-kun...
Takashi cleared his throat and announced, "Well, we must get going and have our recess. That Math test got the best of me and my stomach is desperately screaming for me to feed it."
Chiharu nodded. "I agree. Let's go, girls!" She turned to Syaoran and Takashi. "You guys can come and eat with us if you'd like."
Takashi readily accepted the invitation while Syaoran made no protests.
"I suppose that's a yes." Chiharu grinned. "Yoshi! Off to recess we go!"
x x x
"Kinomoto-san! Kinomoto-san!" a voice called.
Sakura turned around and saw Terada-sensei running towards her. She was already on her way home when her teacher called her.
Sakura bowed slightly then gave her teacher a puzzled look.
Terada smiled. "Kinomoto-san. I was going to tell you this tomorrow but…" Clearing his throat, he continued. "Congratulations, Kinomoto-san. You have been chosen as one of the five representatives of our school to participate in the Interscholastic Competition of gymnastics: Kid's Category."
Sakura's eyes went wide. "N-Naniii?"
He gave her a small parental consent form. "Don't worry. I will inform your father about it. I'm sure he'll let you go to Hong Kong if it's necessary."
"Your plane will leave in about a week." he continued.
x x x
Tomoyo smiled, her eyes sparkling. "That's great, Sakura-chan!" she exclaimed.
"Oh, Tomoyo-chan!" Sakura sighed. "It is too soon. I'm not ready."
"I believe that Sakura-chan is capable of doing whatever she sets her mind to, and I think today will be the best time to use that!" Tomoyo told her.
Sakura fell deep in thought. It is a lifetime opportunity, after all. Hong Kong... It's a nice place. Hey, wait a minute! she thought, her eyes widening. That's where Li-kun is going in about a week as well!
Tomoyo interrupted her thoughts. "Sakura-chan... that's an interesting shade of crimson you're displaying," she remarked in a teasing manner.
"Eh? Nani?" Sakura cried. "W-What are you talking about, Tomoyo-chan?" Her face turned into a deeper and darker shade of red.
"Maa. Maa. No need to be shy, Sakura-chan." Tomoyo teased.
Tomoyo nodded to herself, thinking about things only a girl like her would think. Tomoyo-chan can be a very strange girl at times, Sakura thought.
x x x
Syaoran walked along the dim streets of his neighborhood. Reaching inside his pocket, he stopped in front of the door to his apartment room to get a hold of his keys. He turned the lock and opened the door.
Before he had even entered the room, the force of two hands glomping pushed him down.
He looked angrily at the girl glomping onto him. "MEILING! Get OFF me right now!" he ordered, his temper rising by a hundred. He stood up and dusted himself off.
The black-haired girl just gave him a smile. "Certainly will not!" she beamed.
Syaoran grunted his annoyance. If it was any other day, he wouldn't have been as temperamental. But today was different. He shook Meiling off his arm and went into his room saying, "Leave me alone."
Meiling pouted, pissed. "Leave me alone!" she mimicked, making a face. "Geez! What's with him? Mou!" She stuck her tongue out at him and skipped away towards her own room.
x x x
A dark figure hovered about the busy streets of Hong Kong. It stopped by a huge mansion and stared at it longingly, almost as if it wants the house to swallow him alive.
Just then, a speeding truck headed straight towards him. The driver was drunk and had the stereo turned on into full-blast. He was singing along, not noticing what he was about to hit.
The dark figure jerked its head and saw the truck.
Blinding light is seen,
Blood spread throughout the street. The figure swiftly ran away, leaving the gruesome scene behind. There was a pool of blood and car parts mixed together, the dead body stained with blood and a sharp piece of metal sticking out of the corpse's shoulder.
x x x
"HOOOOEEEEEE!" A loud THUMP! was heard from upstairs.
Touya groaned inwardly. "Monster..."
Fujitaka just chuckled. "I guess being the representative of her school in an interscholastic competition got our little Sakura all worked up."
Touya looked unimpressed. "Most probably."
Fujitaka frowned. "I can't help but worry about her. I know Terada-sensei said there would be two teachers accompanying the five finalists... but... I have a bad feeling..."
Touya saw how worried his father was. He actually felt the same way as his father but he decided to say something reassuring. "I'm sure she can take care of herself."
His father gave his son a weak smile. "I hope so," he replied, forehead still creased.
x x x
"Four days to go before my plane leaves." Sakura sighed, lying down under the shade of a tree behind the school. She looked up the sky but as she did so, she saw a face looking down at her.
She immediately got up and asked him what he was doing there.
"Nothing," he replied. "I was out walking when I saw you lying down here." He looked around. "What are you doing here?"
"I came here to think..." she answered.
"Um, well... it's just that I'll be leaving in a few days from now to an interscholastic competition."
"Leaving? And where to?"
Sakura smiled meekly at him. "Uh well, to Hong Kong. I take it you don't know I'm going there?"
Syaoran gave her a small nod. "Yeah." He frowned and added, "I'm leaving in a few days, too."
There was an awkward silence between the two.
Sakura broke the silence, hoping to release the tension that rose in the air. "Well, I guess we must get going now. It's getting pretty dark."
"Yeah, I guess..." was the reply she got.
x x x
A few days later, at the airport...
x x x
Sakura faced her father and brother. They each said their good-byes with tears in their eyes (okay, maybe not Touya) and gave Sakura a hug. Sakura then turned to her friends. Chiharu and the others wished her good luck and decided to leave Sakura alone with Tomoyo.
"Oh, Sakura-chan, I'm going to miss you!" Tomoyo said, holding back the tears that were threatening to come out.
Sakura smiled at her friend reassuringly. "Don't worry, Tomoyo-chan. I'll write to you as often as I can. After one month, I'll be back."
Tomoyo took Sakura's hand. "Please take care. Kero-chan will stay with me for the mean time. Good luck in the competition!"
Kero wiggled out of Tomoyo's purse. "I'm gonna miss ya! You take care now!"
Sakura gave him a sweet smile. "I will. I'll bring you home sweets if you'd like."
"Alriiight!" he squealed.
Sakura lifted her luggage and gave her friends one last smile. "I'll miss you two!" She boarded the plane along with the two teachers and the four other contestants, her eyes brimming with unshed tears.
Tomoyo, Kero (hidden inside the purse of course) and all the others waved at Sakura until she disappeared from their line of vision.
Tomoyo sighed. "At least I can be sure she'll be safe since Li-kun would be there," she said to herself out loud.
The Clow Card Guardian heard this and reacted violently. "What? The brat's going there, too? I didn't know that!" (Note: the others already left Tomoyo and Kero behind.)
Tomoyo sweat dropped. "Don't overreact. I know how much you don't trust him but he did help her and protect her a lot of times, you know."
"No arguments there, I guess... " Kero reluctantly agreed. "As long as Sakura can be watched over... I have no objections."
Tomoyo smiled, obviously pleased.
x x x
Sakura continued to watch the figures she was waving at until she couldn't see them anymore. The girl walking beside her tapped her on the shoulder. "Hello there!"
"Hi!" she greeted back.
The pig-tailed girl grinned. "You have the ticket for seat G-13 right? I'm in G-14. Thought that since we're gonna be beside each other the whole flight, let's get acquainted." She beamed at Sakura. "My name is Haruko. Haruko Shinagami. And yours is...?"
"Sakura. Sakura Kinomoto."
"Your name is familiar. We're both in fourth grade, ne?"
"I'm gonna warn you that I'm a blabbermouth from the beginning," she warned good-naturedly. "My friends always say I don't know when to stop!" She laughed.
Sakura giggled and said, "It's alright! I like that in a person. They're easy to get along with."
Haruko smiled enormously. "Thanks!"
They immediately got along well and chatted away like old friends. Though the whole trip to Hong Kong got a bit boring when they'd occasionally run out of things to say, the two girls managed to amuse themselves by watching the other passengers trying to keep busy.
x x x
Finally, they arrived in Hong Kong...
x x x
Sakura gasped at the landmarks they passed by. They were now riding on a tourist bus that was supposed to take them to their hotel. After an hour, they arrived at their destination.
Sakura and Haruko became roommates as designated by the teachers. They unpacked their things and decided to go and check out the landmarks. The teachers allowed them with a condition to go back early and have a map with them.
Several blocks away from the hotel, Sakura suddenly spoke up. "By the way, Haruko-chan, do you have an idea why we are supposed to stay for a month. I was sure we'd be able to leave earlier than that."
Haruko thought for a while. "If I remember correctly, I heard my teacher talk about it to my father. He said that we are staying for a month because the competition will be held longer than expected. By the way, now that you mentioned the competition, did you know that during the competition, a girl might be picked to get engaged with what's-his-name? He is the son of one of the most respected families in Hong Kong, also the sponsor of the competition. They say he's quite handsome."
Sakura stopped in her tracks. Engagement? Wait a sec, could it possibly be... ? "Li-kun..." she whispered, not realizing the volume of her voice.
Haruko perked up. "YEAH! That's right! The Li family! How'd you know, Sakura-chan?" She looked at Sakura and frowned, "What's wrong, Sakura? You look pale."
Sakura laughed at herself. "HAHA! It's nothing, really!"
"Gee, you're a bad liar." Haruko scratched her head in disbelief.
x x x
A figure watched them from afar. It let out an evil cackle and stalked away into a dark alley.
x x x