Title: Fire

Author: Dark-Hooded Eriol the Magician

Fandom: Cardcaptor Sakura

Pairing: Sakura x Keroberos

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: Work of fiction. Not my own characters.

A/N: This was inspired by a question in a mailing list about what would happen if Keroberos fell in love with Sakura.

oOoOoOo

Fire

oOoOoOo

Sakura Kinomoto woke up feeling excited. Her emerald green eyes were shining with anticipation. She calmed herself before she starts drowning in excitement.

Her hands pushed open the window and looked up to the blue sky. She got up and looked at herself in the mirror. Her short honey-gold hair glinted warmly in the morning sunshine complimented by her eyes. Her soft curves underneath the pink pajama top perfectly matched her lean, athletic body. She was seventeen years old and in the early summer of her beauty.

Looking good Sakura, she said to herself before heading to the bathroom to take her morning bath.

The Card Mistress grabbed her towel off the rack and twisted the knob for hot water. She slid off from her pajamas and slid into the waiting waters in the bathtub. A sigh escaped her lips as the warmth surrounded her and dipped her head lower, the water completely covering her except her head.

Today, Li Syaoran will return from Hong Kong. Her new life was about to start. She smiled at the thought and closed her eyes. She was ready to fall asleep again when the phone rang.

Sakura's eyes snapped open and were about to call for her elder brother, Touya Kinomoto, to answer but then she remembered. Touya had left for the university leaving her with her father. She suddenly missed him.

The phone rang again. She quickly wiped herself and draped the towel around her body before getting up. The telephone lay in a table between her father's room and hers.

"Good morning, Kinomoto residence."

"Hello? Sakura-san?" The voice asked.

Sakura recognized the voice to be her classmate at school, Hiiragisawa Eriol. "Yes, it's me. What can I do for you?"

"It's very important!" Eriol stated with excitement coloring his voice. "Please come at my house today. I made a new spell so that we could use to give our Guardians human forms." Eriol said cheerfully.

Sakura stared at the phone incredulously. Eriol was weird but she liked him anyway. She giggled and said "Human form? I think it suits Kero-chan and Supii-chan. I don't think Yue and Ruby Moon need it."

"You're right!" Eriol said excitedly. "Cerberus was always asking me to grant him human form but I couldn't find the right spell to change him…"

Sakura smiled wearily. Like her best friend, Eriol was a little eccentric. She giggled. Eriol had insisted on her learning all the spells Clow Reed had made to train her powers. She often went to his house at the other side of town for her magic lessons. It was always great fun because Akizuki Nakuru and Spinel Sun were wonderful.

Then she remembered that her boyfriend was coming and she had to spend a day with him. Surely he missed her a lot because she did. "Gomen ne Eriol-kun. Syaoran-kun's returning from Hong Kong today so I probably can't come for lessons today." Sakura said gently.

Eriol seemed to have taken the blow seriously. He cleared his throat and said in a reedy voice. "Okay. Have fun with my cute little descendant and come to my house when you feel like it."

Sakura's brows furrowed. He was making it hard for her. But Eriol is her friend and she hated to think that he will be mad at her. Least of all, she didn't want to anger the great reincarnation of Clow Reed.

She stood there, holding the phone in her ear while twisting the phone cord. The droplets glistened in her fair skin and the bright sunlight flooding the room from the open windowsill accentuated her warm glow.

The Beast of the Seal, Cerberus also known as Kero-chan , woke up from his long sleep and pushed open the drawer from which he was residing in. He was in his stuff toy form. He took off his nightcap and flew to the bed where he expected his mistress to be sleeping. But she wasn't there.

A low rumble issued from his stomach and he nearly fainted in midair. He was hungry. He decided to look for Sakura in the kitchen or the living room; she'll probably be cooking breakfast for him and her.

Thoughts of how long he had been her friend and Guardian flooded his mind. He had watched Sakura grow from the pretty, loving little girl to a beautiful passionate young woman. He was right in choosing her for being the Cardcaptor. Fate, destiny, or even coincidence cannot describe the feeling when he saw her open the Clow Book and released all of the Clow Cards.

He smiled at the times they both shared like the quiet he'd spent with her when she was crying, when they are noisy and partying or even when they were fighting. Sakura never knew how important Keroberos was to her she nearly lost him when he ran away. It just strengthened their bond.

Keroberos cares for the young lady very much. He tried to cheer her up when she was down and comforted her when she cried. He was beside her when she was sick and when she was healthy. If Kero-chan was a human, he was the closest thing to a brother.

He flew out of the room and saw Sakura talking in the phone. She looked beautiful under the morning sunshine. Kero-chan didn't even know what happened to him. He was drooling and blushing like he never saw Sakura before. He didn't mind when she's dressing for school and for Tomoyo's outfits in front of him.

"Yes, I'm sorry Eriol-kun. I promise I'd come tomorrow. I'd bring Tomoyo-chan, Syaoran-kun and Kero-chan. I promise. See you later." Sakura reassured and then she hung up. She was glad to find the right words to say, the right actions to take. Today was special. It was just for Syaoran.

She turned to see Kero-chan floating there. She blushed and muttered "Oh...I was in the middle of my bath..."

Kero-chan shook his head and smiled. "Go back then. You might catch a cold. "

Sakura nodded in agreement before walking back to the bathroom and shutting the door behind her. She didn't notice the admiring look that danced in Kero-chan's eyes.

oOoOoOo

"Syaoran-kun!" Sakura said cheerfully and she ran forward to eagerly hug her boyfriend's neck. She pressed her head to his chest and listened to the rapid beating of his heart. She looked up and smiled at his embarrassment. "I'm glad you're back Syaoran-kun!"

Li Syaoran gazed at her and grinned. "I'm home."

She took a good look at his outfit and noticed that he was wearing green sweatshirt and jeans but he still looked so handsome. She wore a pink silk blouse and white skirt that emphasized her beauty and innocence.

He touched her hair and gazed deep into her eyes. Those eyes were so deep, like seas of emerald green that you could drown in forever and ever. "I am glad that you're here Sakura-san."

Daidouji Tomoyo was standing there and watching the two with fervent admiration through her video camera.

They were at the airport to meet Syaoran. They had been waiting for hours in anxious anticipation of this glorious moment. She wanted her best friend to be happy so she stayed with her the whole time. All she wanted was to catch this precious moment of Sakura holding on to her boyfriend. She was holding Kero-chan's stiff form because the Beast of the Seal cannot move as freely in public.

Tomoyo was wearing a yellow cashmere blouse and a short beige skirt that showed off her slender legs. Her long dark gray hair was tied up in half-ponytail leaving stray strands to frame her beautiful face. Her azure eyes were sparkling with delight when she watched the reunion of two destined hearts.

"Daidouji-san, hello!" Syaoran said to her. His arm was draped around Sakura's shoulders. He was holding his suitcase in one arm while Sakura was holding the other. She focused the camera on him and laughed sweetly.

"Hello. Come on, Kero-chan, let's follow them." Tomoyo said and followed the couple.

They spent the day at reminiscing about memories from five years before. They were giggling and joking as they walked on the streets of Tomoeda. They met and saw their old classmates. Tomoyo had ordered reservations on an exclusive restaurant for the couple before she left to go home.

With each moment, Sakura knew how much she loved Syaoran. She focused so much on him that she had completely ignored the strange behavior Kero-chan was exhibiting. By nightfall, Sakura was so tired that she could've fallen asleep standing. But Syaoran walked her home and he even kissed her cheek.

Sakura was very happy about it.

"Ne, Kero-chan..." she said later that night. She was feeling drowsy. She cannot fall asleep because Kero-chan was playing video games as loud as he could. "Kero-chan…"

"What Sakura?" Kero-chan snapped. He looked at her and then flew to switch the lamp on.

"Aren't you going to sleep?" Sakura mumbled.

"Sleep? Not tonight, I'm busy." Kero-chan retorted snappishly but Sakura wasn't in the mood to fight.

"Okay, mind talking to me for a few seconds?" she asked and she gazed sleepily at his beady eyes. She let a smile play at her lips and said "Syaoran-kun was so handsome. I'm happy that he's back. I think I...I really love him..."

Kero-chan just listened listlessly. He didn't know why he was jealous of the brat from Hong Kong. It seemed so wrong for her to love him... They were accepted as a couple... He didn't say anything.

He turned his back and he flicked the switch to off. Sakura was already asleep in spite of the noise. He considered her situation and lowered the volume of the television before staring at the beautiful slumbering angel before him. He flew nearer to her and brushed away a few stray locks from her lovely face. She was a girl after all and if he could only be a boy...

"Good night, Sakura." Keroberos said softly. He resumed playing his game.

oOoOoOo

"Nice work Sakura-san. Now try to concentrate on the form you want this flower to assume. Come now..." Eriol instructed to Sakura the next day.

They were at the living room in his house with Syaoran and Tomoyo. They all had different reasons. Syaoran wanted to see her improvements while Tomoyo wanted to videotape her best friend. Kero-chan was arguing with Supii-chan. It was true that some things never change.

"Okay a cherry blossom...I can do this..." Sakura murmured as she closed her eyes and concentrated on the image of the rose in Eriol's hands. She wanted it to be a cherry blossom. Slowly, she repeated the words Eriol had taught her and concentrated some more.

Tomoyo, Eriol, and Syaoran gasped as the rose glowed in a pinkish light before transforming a cherry blossom. Sakura had achieved her purpose. They all applauded as Eriol handed her the flower.

"I did it!" Sakura yelled joyfully. She smiled so beautifully that even Tomoyo blushed slightly.

She's grown up, Syaoran thought as he gave a big bear hug. Sakura giggled, delighted. Kero-chan flew to Eriol and tapped his shoulder. "This is the transfiguration spell Clow made right? I remember the day he wrote it."

Eriol nodded and said "It just might help you if you want to."

Kero-chan didn't understand then so he just shrugged and flew back to stuff strawberry cakes into Supii's mouth. But before anything else happened the cherry blossom glowed red and returned to its true form.

"Why, Eriol-kun?"Sakura asked, bewildered.

"It's because the spell for just approximately three minutes." Eriol replied cheerfully. "But it could stay in that form if you add some more magic words."

He wiggled his eyebrows and drew out Clow's spell books and a blackboard. He took out a chalk and copied the spell and then asked her to repeat.

Sakura smiled. She knew that when Eriol took out his blackboard she was in for another session and he wouldn't stop until she got it in her head. She shrugged and went along because it never hurt to become better.

oOoOoOo

"Keroberos," Spinel Sun called as he flew towards the flying yellow stuff toy. He smiled and then sat beside him on the porch swing. The wings were drooping and the usual cheerful spirit was gone.

"Hi Supii-chan," Kero-chan said absently.

He was really lonely nowadays without Sakura. She was always with Syaoran and Tomoyo. It was sad because she often forgot about him. He was jelous because he knew that Sakura would never love him back.

"Why so down? Anything you want to talk about?"

"None," Kero-chan lied. He was so confused.

"I know you have a secret, so speak up." Supii-chan said gently.

Kero-chan looked at him and said, "If you're trying to make a joke, that's seriously disturbing."

Supii frowned and said loudly "Oh someone's in love!"

He grinned and dodged the punch Kero-chan did. He knew it has something to do with Sakura. The weird way Kero-chan looked at her and the sweetness of his smiles proved it...

"Oh really? Who?" Kero-chan pretended not to know.

"You." Supii-chan replied.

"Why?"

"You love her don't you?"

"I... do not know..."

"Sure you do. You know you do."

They both fell silent and stared at the sunset. The last red rays danced in the sky like the burning longing in his heart...

"Fire that burns so clearly, like a flame cast intentionally. Only desire from heavens above, can it be called the fire of love" Kero-chan listened when Supii recited it. It suited him quite well actually...

"What's with you? Reciting a poem you know would hurt me! What's the matter with you Supii?" Kero-chan exploded and he looked at the calm Guardian.

"You love her."

"So what if I do?"

"Tell her."

"No I can't. I wouldn't." Kero-chan said seriously. "It wouldn't be right. I can't. She has the Brat already…"

oOoOoOo

"Eriol-sama! Transform me into a boy for a day, please?" Kero-chan pleaded to the young magician. He spent the night in Eriol's house because Sakura left him unintentionally. The Sun Guardian was on his tiny knees before Eriol pleading.

Eriol raised an eyebrow at Supii who smiled guiltily. The dark-haired mage shook his head.

"All right," said his former master and he called his magical staff. He pointed it at Kero-chan. "Turn into your real form first."

Kero-chan obliged and turned into a big yellow and gold dog with enormous wings stretching behind him. He waited as Eriol started to cast the spell on him. Magic filled the air and he could feel wave after wave pass through him. Again he was awed by the magician's power.

He didn't understand the words because a new feeling seared through his whole being. Darkness clouded his vision and he felt his body grow weak. He felt dizzy like his mind was slipping and his body were melting. He felt his wings were shrinking and then his face was changing...his body was slowly taking the human form...

Almost as soon as it started it was done.

Kero-chan slowly sat up and noticed that he was lying on the cold floor. Sweat beads were trickling all over his body and he was cold. He sat up and looked at the changes wonderingly.

Eriol smiled because transformation was complete. Keroberos looked handsome in human form. He blushed when he noticed that the "boy" was naked. He quickly summoned a towel and wrapped it gently around Keroberos while ignoring a sniggering Spinel Sun.

"There. I'll lend you some clothes so you could go back." Eriol said calmly. Clow Reed had created Keroberos and he still loved the Seal Beast. He watched as Kero-chan got up unsteadily.

"I think I need to guide you to the bathroom to clean you up..." the mage suggested lightly.

"Thanks," Kero-chan answered gratefully.

oOoOoOo

Keroberos was walking down the streets he knew well. He was enjoying the sensation of being a human for a day. The grace and agility he had were more noticeable in this form. He felt different. He was wearing a black jacket and a cotton white t-shirt underneath that. His cocky smile only added to his charm.

Eriol-kun had good taste in clothes, he thought as he surveyed himself with satisfaction. He pulled on the dark sunglasses. It only made him look more mysterious.

Keroberos hoped that Sakura would find him irresistible. He had been convincing himself that she would take this coolly. He was ready to say his love for her. He will take her away from Syaoran's arms. He will be the only one for her.

Eriol had said to him that the spell would wear off in midday because even the magician wasn't that powerful. He retains his powers and could still do his duties as Seal Beast. But the spell could backfire anytime leaving him stuck in this new form. Secretly, Keroberos wished so. Sakura would prefer him like this and not as the silly Seal Beast that she used to play with.

He stopped in front of the Kinomoto residence to watch Sakura and Syaoran make out behind the gate.

It nearly shattered his resolve. He cleared his throat. The couple jumped and looked at him uneasily. Keroberos smirked, removed his sunglasses and waved casually. "Hello there."

Sakura stared at the stranger in the gates. He had white blond hair and golden eyes. The smirk was familiar. Even the aura was familiar. She looked closely at the face and noticed the resemblance. "Kero- chan, is that you?"

Her guess was right. The boy smiled cheekily. "How do you like my new form, Sakura-chan?"

Sakura stared for a moment, unable to find the right words to say. Even Syaoran was speechless. She wiped off her smudged lipstick shyly and then focused her curiosity on the Seal Beast.

"What did you do? Who made you like that? And what makes you think you're better like that? Sakura cannot stop the questions that tumbled out of her mouth. She didn't want to admit that Keroberos looked sexy and incredibly handsome.

"I changed forms. Eriol-sama made me like this..." Keroberos answered and then struck a cool pose "I am hot this way..."

Syaoran and Sakura chuckled. Sure, this boy may look different but he is still Seal Beast Kero-chan. They both laughed and laughed until tears came into their eyes. Keroberos did not understand why they were laughing.

"Come in Kero-chan. Breakfast is ready." Sakura giggled and she led the boy inside the house, carrying him by his ear.

Sakura didn't notice me, Keroberos thought as he sat in the background like an insignificant ghost. Sakura was enjoying Syaoran's teases. She didn't even notice the sweet pleading looks he gave her. This was getting harder and harder to bear.

He got up and noticed the time. Breakfast had become brunch. It was nearing midday and he never got Sakura alone.

As if by a miracle, Syaoran announced that he was going to leave. Keroberos thanked the heavens for this and waited until Sakura had escorted the boy out the door.

Sakura smiled to Keroberos who looked serious. She asked him what was wrong. Keroberos blushed and asked her if she wanted to go for a walk with him. Sakura nodded and wondered why he blushed hard.

She was wearing her favorite pink sweater and skirt. The cherry blossom looked like a twelve-year-old instead of seventeen. It reminded him of the first time they met and how much time had passed as he watched her grow up.

While they were walking in the sidewalk, Keroberos wondered whether he should say something or not.

"Sakura-chan, how many months has it been since Syaoran-kun came back from Hong Kong?"

"Three months." Sakura replied promptly.

"Oh..."he said softly. "Oh."

"Why?" the Card Mistress looked curious.

"It's nothing. I just missed you." Keroberos said, bowing his head and hiding his tearful eyes. It seems like nothing can change her mind. Sakura and Syaoran were a couple. He could do nothing about it. Sakura doesn't care about him in the same way.

"Missed me?" she asked, confused.

You are too young Sakura. You cannot understand, Keroberos thought. The wind blew, stirring her honey gold hair and her short skirt. Her wonder only made her cuter. He couldn't take it anymore.

"Sakura...just..."he said and then he cannot meet her eyes. He looked away and murmured, "I love you."

Then he felt a searing pain in his chest. The spell must be wearing off. But he was wrong. He saw great arcs of flames, burning viciously. Before he could do or know anything the fire engulfed him. Melted his form and made him scream in agony. Nothing could relieve it. For him, he saw and felt nothing but pain. The flames danced about him. He remembered a conversation with his beloved former master.

"The Seal Beast must never fall in love." He was hearing Clow's voice. Clow's deep, haunting voice from long ago. He thought hard to remember their conversation.

"Why master?" he had asked, rubbing his head on the magician's hands.

"It's because you must guard the next Master or Mistress, Keroberos. You can love them as if they are your children or comrades but you cannot love any deeper than that." Clow warned wearily. He had ignored the warning.

It must be ending. Darkness was dissolving the world around him and it left him alone. He never heard Sakura crying out his name. Never saw her tears. He was dying.

But he never regretted that he loved Sakura. He was happy that he was just going to be consumed by the flames that were his element. He didn't regret his decisions. Clow Reed would understand. Finally, his soul went quietly and his real body turned into glitters and was blown away by the wind.

oOoOoOo