Chapter Twenty Seven
Card Captor Sakura
Sakura felt her body relax while listening to his words...She hadn't thought she would ever meet him again, much less in her own Kingdom, telling her family about their story...their story.
Her eyes were completely trained on him and it was all she could do to prevent herself from running to him, touching him...Maybe he felt the same? Would he come all the way here...if he didn't?
" I would do anything for your sister..."
Yet it was not the time for contemplation, rather for listening. Even though she could hardly stay in her seat, without bursting forth to where Syaoran was, she kept herself under control and listened hard for his next words.
" I am guessing this heir to the Kingdom is you, then?" Eidan smirked, as Yukito translated Syaoran's words. Yukito didn't bother to translate Eidan's words for Syaoran and instead, looked at the King expectantly.
Syaoran let out a breath and shifted in the seat he was sitting in. Sakura knew he had no idea where he was, and how many people were actually listening...he probably had no idea she was listening as well..
She really did not believe her brothers. How they could be so cold hearted to the man who in all's sense, saved her life, saved her from Oribia and saved them from an angry mob of Li soldiers. But then again, the rivalry and hatred between the two Kingdoms was so deep, she guessed it would be hard to let go...but it had been almost a year since they had last met Syaoran.
Couldn't they let this one grudge go?
He was her husband...their brother in law..
If, of course, the marriage still meant something to him, Sakura thought forebodingly in her mind. Her fingers rested on the wooden ring that was around her ring finger, still and to this day. Ever since he had told her to keep it...that it hardly meant anything to him if it didn't to her...she had worn it on her ring finger, her wedding finger.
She hadn't, of course, dedicated her life to his memory. But no matter as she lived her dreams of becoming a Healer and supported her family...she could not get him out of her mind.
And now he was here. In the flesh...
" This boy was..." Syaoran whispered, his voice quiet and steadily rising to higher volumes, "...he was...very cold hearted. He didn't care about the world around him and only concentrated on his training and becoming a King. He knew about the rivalry between the Li and Kinomoto Kingdoms and hated Kinomotos, for his father had been killed in one of those dreadful wars...and he had never gotten over it. Until...one day, a little boy was sold to a close friend of his. Yamaki, was his name. He wanted someone, a page or whatnot but he was quite cheap and did not want to spend the money to train one-"
" What does this have to do with you and my sister?" Yukito broke in, sceptically.
Syaoran paused, raising his blindfolded face to the direction Sakura's brother was talking from. " This is my story. I would like to think I could at least say it my way."
Yukito looked at his father, incredulously, however Fujitaka let out a small display of amusement. " The boy is right. Let him continue."
Yukito glared at Syaoran, and Sakura wondered what was up with her brother. Yukito was the smart one, the intelligent one and she knew, from his past words and references, that he understood her love for the Li man. But now, he was pretending as if Syaoran had never done them a great favour and that he was nothing but dirt under his shoe!
Syaoran took a deep breath and Sakura saw the sweat growing on the sides of his face, and from the tone of his voice, his nervousness seemed to be increasing, rather then diminishing. " Yes, well...This little boy's name was Kei. He had stowed away on a Li ship, and had come from the Kinomoto lands. They used to call him...Kei Li.."
Sakura's breath caught in her throat at the familiar name but Yamazaki's hand tightened at her wrist. Don't say a word.
Sakura wanted to hear the rest of the story and would not interrupt. She did not need Yamazaki's warning, but kept close anyway. Yamazaki hardly found the time to spend in the castle anymore...he must've thought this event needed his presence.
" The beggar boy only stayed with them for two days until the prince's uncle, Duke Jel Tyran found out about it. It was...absolutely disgusting. Kei Li was executed, hung in fact. It was then, the Li prince was forced to mature and realize that the Li people were not as perfect as they claimed to be. For every human has the capability to be evil. And the Li people had just proved it. So, the prince's hatred towards Kinomoto decreased and instead, redirected towards his uncle."
Sakura remembered Tomoyo's words from one of the first conversations they had ever had. "Syaoran got over it but he hated Kinomotos too. Until he saw a little beggar boy, stowed away on a ship get hanged. The beggar boy had traveled here with cargo from Kinomoto lands and everyone was so angry at the fact that a Kinomoto had landed here that they hanged him only two days later."
She had no idea whatsoever the meaning behind that name...but now she knew.
Eriol shrugged as well, and the woman huffed. " Syaoran, you got a name for her?"
Syaoran looked startled. " Uh...I dunno, how about...Keili."
Eriol and Yamaki exchanged glances as the farmer's wife exclaimed over the excellent name. Syaoran looked rather uncomfortable as the Farmer seemed to look over Sakura then stared at Syaoran in a sort of startled surprise.
The memory came unbidden but rang true in her mind. Before she could contemplate it, however, Syaoran was talking once more.
" However, the worst was yet to come. His cousin, Meiling...dressed up as a man, got caught by the Kinomoto soldiers...and then, was never seen again. Yet, he remained in faith that she was alive...and went, often, for months at a time...searching through the Kinomoto lands for her. But then one day, he did find something...and it was not his cousin."
Sakura's skin prickled. Her heart thumped wildly against her chest and she was sure the rest of the room could hear it, for the room was dead silent. Everyone's expressions were of utmost attentiveness and Syaoran took another breath as his voice began to waver.
" It was a girl. Scrawny and small and half drowned. Her hands were swollen and puffy and she was strange, would never utter a word, not even a scream. All she carried was a small pack and he knew she was a Kinomoto however...something drew him to her. Something he had seen in his dreams before...those green eyes. He had saved her life, yet she continued to fight...until, he found a necklace in her pack which was the same as Meiling's. He grew urgent and demanded she stay with him until Meiling was found. This girl was his only lead to Meiling...yet she could not speak a word."
Sakura could feel her brother's eyes on her and she looked down, her eyes directing themselves to the floor. She had never fully explained what had happened that had landed her in the Prince's hold and here, the Prince was, baring everything that had occured infront of her family.
"The prince often wondered...if his worst mistake was to bring her to his Kingdom. She was like a caged animal, beautiful and exotic...yet, considered ugly and foreign in my household. People were mean to her andtreated her...badly. She saved a dear friend of the prince's baby and yet this only confirmed people's beliefs that she was a witch, rather then win their hearts. He watched over her, continued to protect her, for a reason he did not know."
Yukito let out a snort and Fujitaka gave him a warning look. However Syoaran was too far gone in his story telling to realize the Kinomoto's disdain. Sakura, however, was nearly as lost in the story as he was. Her heart was thumping so hard, she was sure the noises would echo in the room but they remained contained her body as her voice had been when she was cursed.
" She had saved him once, when they were traveling to the Li Kingdom. Patched him up good with her rough hands and saved him from death. She still kept care of him throughout her stay at the castle and she understood...she understood...him. He had never known such a thing and before long, his nights would be filled with dreams...of her...and he did not care that she was a Kinomoto with strange habits, mute and with swollen hands...Hell, he was haunted by dreams that kept him up late nights...imagining the touch of those hands on his skin-"
" I think that is quite enough," Yukito interrupted, his voice cold and hard. " We wish not to hear of your attractions to my sister."
" I never said this story was about me, did I?" Syaoran replied, his voice just as frigid. " I would appreciate it if you did not interrupt me."
Yukito's eyes narrowed and Touya took a step forward, threateningly but Fujitaka held him back. Syaoran wanted to get it all out, that was for certain. Sakura had a deep suspicion, he had never spoken of this to anyone. His voice trembled at certain parts and some even held a tone of uncertainty to it, as if he had never come to terms with what he was saying he had felt.
Syaoran kept talking, his voice hoarse from overuse and from the emotions being piled into the story. " Yet he should've known, that...that his Kingdom, his people would never accept it. But when he had gotten a lead, a promising one on Meiling...He could not say no but he could not leave her to fend for herself. It was a bit selfish of the Prince, really. There were other options, but he was...fool hardy."
"He...married her. Promising her, it was for name only. How he wished it was for otherwise, yet, he knew she didn't feel the same way...So he left, assured that his name would protect her...however, he had bargained without his Uncle. His uncle was an evil man, a son of a bitch, if I ever saw one. He accused her of many horrendous things and imprisoned her, leaving her on the stake to burn."
His voice was hardening and anger seeped into his tone as he hissed, "That bastard was burning her...and the Li prince would not, would never let that happen. He grabbed her from the fire, but before that...he heard her voice. Her voice and it was calling his name...and she saved him, once again...and he held her in my-his arms...but then there were her brothers, like six knights of shining armour and I-he let her go...I let her go, hoping she may come back, knowing she never would."
Then he let outhis breath and Sakura knew she was crying, tears were rushing down her cheeks faster then she knew possible. Yamazaki had let her go and she stood there, listening to his words and silently sobbing.
It was too much.
She had never known... never suspected..
" And as he repaired his...Kingdom, all he could think about was her. All he dreamt about was her. And all I want her to know...even though she is never with me, I see her everyday. I see her in every water droplet of rain, in the forest of oaks, in the ripples in the lake, in every flower, seed, leaf and bark...I hear her voice in the bird cries, see her smile in the clouds...for she is the very essence of my being. The beat of my heart, the rush of my blood, the feel of my skin...the breath of my breath..."
Sakura's fists clenched tightly and she felt herself sink to the ground, overcome by the flood of emotions. He had never spoken like this. Ever. She had never known. His cold eyes, and his actions...never, she had thought it was the spell, her mother's spell.
But now, she knew, it was never her mother's spell. Her mother could not cast magic like that beyond the grave.
Everything was for real.
His feelings...were all, real, real as their bodies, their hearts and their minds. It was real.
He had come back for her. Impossible, it was impossible but deep in heart, she knew all that was coming out of his mouth was true.
" Who is he talkin about?" She heard a maid whisper.
" Dunno, but if she doesn't accept him, I will.." Another responded.
" One hunk of a man, ain't he?" A cook giggled.
Fujitaka stood and cleared his throat. The action caused the room to silence once more and his eyes viewed the room in one sweep. Then his eyes turned to his daughter and he walked towards her. " Well...Sakura?"
Sakura looked up to her father, tears streaked down her cheeks. She nodded in acknowledgement and he smiled, softly in return.
The short command caused the room to go dead and everyone whipped around, staring in shock at the previous King of the Kinomoto people.
The man who was supposed to hate and loathe all Li people for the monsters they were.
Her brothers stared.
It was silent again and all that was left was her heavy breathing and the surprised mumbles and gasps from the maids and cooks.
" Go...Go to your husband. Untie him. He has...proved himself more then worthy for my only daughter. Go. Be happy," Fujitaka said, his voice getting even more quieter and softer as he went on. His eyes grew sad and Sakura knew he was thinking about Sakura's mother. " Be happy..."
Touya yelped, " Are you sure you're making the right decision-"
Fujitaka turned and looked at him, with a look they had nearly forgotten for over theses years, he had been taken over by Oribia. It was the look of a father, scolding a child and Sakura felt her heart warm and her brother shut up, instantly.
Sakura didn't waste a breath. Heart jumping to her throat she walked to Syaoran, watching his body tense at the sounds of her footsteps coming closer to him.She knew that the room's occupants were staringat the two of them, but shedidn't care.Her body tingled and she felt herself fight for every breath, celebrating a victory for every sane thought.
And then she placed a hand, painstakingly, breathtakingly, on the back of his neck.
Wanting to comfort him, she raised her palm and placed it on the back of his neck. His skin was warm and her whole body tingled, straight from her palm to the tips of her toes. Her breath was taken away from her but it had an opposite effect on Syaoran. He jerked away from her, eyes wide with anger, ferocity, sadness and another emotion she couldn't define.
Sakura heard his breath catch and he strained on his bonds, trying to look around.
" Who-" He started to ask but she had already walked around him, untying the bonds around his eyes.
His eyes flied open and connected with hers.
And everything was once again silent. Yet this time, it was only the two of them.
" ...Sakura..." He whispered, his amber eyes bright.
Her heart panged and throbbed and bled and it was all she could do to not touch him. She was content, to stare at him, to see the man she loved, in front of her...in front of her..
" Untie me," He said, his voice hoarse. Sakura nodded, bending down to take the knife from his boot where she knew it would be and cut the binds around his wrists. And then he was up and around and he had pulled her to his body and held her so close, so tightly...And she kissed his eyes, his cheeks, his nose and his forehead, her hands stroking his hair, fisting themselves in his locks. And his hands were caressing her back, running up her arms, as if he hardly believed she was there, in front of him, and then his hands were cupping her cheeks and he croaked, " Sakura...I-"
She leaned into his warmth and gently smiled. " I know."
" I-I-" He struggled to say the words and Sakura kissed the corner of his mouth, softly, her eyes trained on his.
"I know," She repeated. His eyes looked into hers and she saw the expression in them that was so familiar to her and she wondered why she had never recognized...never saw...but then all sane thought flew out of her mind as and he leaned in, hesitating, his breath hot on her lips. Even now, asking permission. After all he said, asking permission. And with a burst of emotion, Sakura pulled him close, pressing her lips against his, in a kiss that was not gentle, nor tender. It was a passion, a love, a connection of two souls, as their lips met and met again, their tongues clashing and tasting and exploring and knowing and loving...
And it was only when a loud cough, broke them apart. Looking up, they saw that the room was nearly empty except for Fujitaka. He walked up to them, smiling a little.
" Welcome to our home, son in law," My father said, his voice gentle.
" I-" He could not speak and Sakura knew, for she could not speak either.
His father nodded, understanding. And he whispered, " Please, stay this night."
Syaoran nodded and Fujitaka walked away, a small smile on his face. Syoaran looked down at Sakura and his eyes were bright. " Sakura...I-"
His voice broke and Sakura led him away, into the corridors of the castle and down to her room. Heart banging with an overload of emotions, she pulled him in as he repeated, " I-I need you, Sakura, I-"
" Shh.." She whispered, her finger against his lips. " No more."
He nodded and she blew the candle out. And together, they shared the night, the passion and its wake.
Fujitaka was adamant. Syaoran had stayed for a week at the Kinomoto household and had gotten to know the country. His brothers still stayed testy with him but their coldness ebbed as he taught them a few Li techniques of fighting. He hit it off, surprisingly well, with Eidan who had gone crazy over the new techniques of staff handling Syaoran knew.
But Sakura knew, he had a Kingdom to return to. A Kingdom to run and take care of. Fujitaka could see it too and when the day loomed when Syaoran would have to return, he smiled painfully at her and told her that he would miss her. Sakura had replied, strongly that she wasn't leaving but Fujitaka shook his head.
She had a duty too. She had a duty to end the feud between the two countries and help heal the years of hurt that had grown in these battles.
And it was a tearful goodbye. Her brothers were shocked but had accepted her decision, faster then she would've thought. She had reminded them that if their sister was the Queen of the enemy country then it would be impossible for any feud to occur, for any mishandlings or cunning exchanges to happen.
" Syaoran?" She whispered, as he held her from behind, holding her close as the wind flew past them.
" You really think they'll like me this time?" She turned around and faced him, her eyes meeting his.
Syaoran's lips twitched in amusement as he rose a hand to her chin. " I think we're gonna have to be beating Yamaki away with a stick, that's for sure."
Sakura laughed and Syaoran held her tighter. " I always wanted to hear your laugh," He whispered into her ear. "You'd smile and it was as if my world had...brightened. And I'd imagine your laugh..."
" But it's better then anything I could've imagined-"
" Syaoran, I don't feel so good.."
Syaoran looked down to see Sakura bent over the ship, emptying her guts. Then he laughed, uproariously at her seasick face. " I remember you were seasick the first time-"
" Shut up," Sakura said with a grin on her face, trying to steady herself on the ship. She'd have to get used to boats anyways. She was planning on visiting her family a whole lot, anyway.
She turned around and grinned at the little toddler who was racing around the boat, eyes wide in amazement. " Kura, water! Lots and lotsand lots!"
Sakura giggled and walked past Syaoran, picking up the toddler. " A lot of water, isn't there?"
Samy smiled at her, his eyes twinkling, reminding her horribly of Oribia. Oribia's soul was still out there. Sakura had taken Samy with her, for he was still...not the most popular kid in the Kinomoto Kingdom. She had thought it safer to be in a Kingdom where no one knew of his heritage.
But Oribia was still out there. And most likely planning revenge.
Syaoran took Samy out of Sakura's arms and held him high up in the air and the little boy squealed in laughter. " Wait until we get to my Kingdom," Syaoran said in a mock roar. " Not only will there be a lot of water...there will be a lot of sweets!"
Sakura grinned as the boy began to name off his favourite sweets. She had never expected any of this to happen. For Syaoran to have come after her, for her to become the future Queen of the Li Kingdom, for any of this.
But it had happened.
And she was happier then she had ever been in her life.
For after he had remarried, the woman turned out to be an evil witch
Who cursed the brothers into swans and left the daughter
To roam the lands, stitching starwort in silence
To break this curse
But instead, she found love in the most unlikely places
And proved her strength over and over
Saving her brothers
And saving her Kingdom
Moving forward and leaving the past
as a misty dream..
a/n: the end part is sort of like an epilogue isnt it? i wasnt actually gonna tie up the ends, but i decided to afterwards. well anyways, Misty Dreams is done and I'd really like to thank all the reviewers, you know, those big lists I usually do at the end, but since that's not allowed anymore, I'd just like to give you guys all a big hug. I'm seriously so happy you guys loved my story that much and you guys convinced me to keep writing, convinced me that my story was good and that it deserved half the praise it gets. ( Well the last one, hasn't quite sunken in yet) I'm glad you forgave me for a loooot of mistakes I made (grammar, Sakura's muteness but suddenly she can talk, and suddenly people know her NAME? Lol, what was i thinking...'shakes head') Your reviews made me laugh (even more your pennames...really, lol, I think one penname had me laughing for a few hours at least..)
I'm talkin like I'm some famous person...ha! Lol, watever, you guys liked the story and hopefully the ending and I know, you guys will probably be with me through my new ventures as well.
sooo with a great big hug and a kiss from me to you! mannn imma miss this!lolllll...byeeeee!