Sea of Dreams:

Chapter 1: The Tennis Match

"You're late again."

The cold words swept onto the chill morning air and quivered there. Brilliant shafts of sunlight streamed through the tiny windows and vainly lit up the gymnasium. There was a long net that stretched across the length of the gym, and behind it, stood a tall girl with short auburn hair, emerald eyes, a tennis racket and a very cross expression.

"Not everyone makes it their priority to play tennis with you at daybreak, you know," the boy said carelessly. "You're lucky I even came at all."

"Why?" the girl said, a note of defiance coming into her voice. "It's not like you to be scared - "

"I'm scared of nothing!" The boy's amber eyes glared at the girl's emerald ones.

"You're scared of nothing," the girl mimicked, "yet you lose to me every day in tennis."

"What's the matter?" the boy said in a mocking voice. "Don't want to play?"

She shrugged. "Give me a good reason not to. You lose all the time, anyway."

"Just because I lost yesterday - "

"And the day before that," she added.

"Okay, fine, the day before that - "

"And the day before that."

"Okay, fine - " the boy paused for a moment, pondering. Then, his expression changed. "Hey!" he shouted.

The girl smirked. "It's true what they say."

"What?" he growled.

"Is it true that where you come from, the sun rises an hour late?"

"Yes."

"So, where you come from, everything's an hour late?"

"Yes."

"So, therefore, you too, catch on an hour late."

"Look, can we just play?" he said menacingly.

She served the ball. He missed it. As he went for the ball, he suddenly whipped around.

"What was that about catching on late again?" he asked furiously.

She shook her head, smiling. "An hour late," she said quietly to herself.

"That's not fair. You cheated," the girl complained.

The boy glared at her. "Are you accusing Syaoran Li of cheating?"

"No, I'm accusing the lamppost! Of course I'm accusing you of cheating!"

"I'd be careful of who I was accusing, Sa - "

"Syaoran Li is a cheater! Syaoran Li is a cheater!" she shrieked.

"Shut up!" he yelled.

She glared at him, before turning off in a huff.

"Thanks for the game, Sakura!" he yelled after her.

He ducked as the ball came whizzing toward him. It hit his arm.

"Why is her aim so good?" he muttered to himself.

Kinomoto Sakura walked in high bad humour back up to her room in her hostel. She greeted her roommate by throwing a pillow at her and flopped onto the bed.

"What's up?" Mihara Chiharu asked.

"Oh nothing. How did I end up being best friends with that jerk again?"

Chiharu giggled. "Oh, you mean Syaoran?"

Sakura narrowed her eyes.

"Ya, him. How in the world did I end up hanging around - " she shuddered, "him?"

"Oh, Sakura," Chiharu sighed, and propped herself against Sakura's bedpost. "Syaoran's a really sweet guy. You just have to give him a chance."

"Are you saying that only because you've got a crush on him?" Sakura yelled.

"Why would it bother you?" Chiharu asked innocently. "You don't even like him, you're just his best friend, that's all - "

"Yes!" Sakura shouted, "and I don't want you crushing on my best friend, got that?!"

She ran out of the room. Chiharu smiled.

Syaoran stomped up to his room in his hostel. His roommate, Yamazaki Takashi looked up.

"Fought with Sakura again?" he asked innocently as Syaoran sat down on his bed.

"Fought?" Syaoran asked in a mockingly thoughtful voice. "I never fought. She's getting on my nerves with that temper of hers!"

"What happened?" Yamazaki asked.

Syaoran rolled his eyes.

"Nothing. I served the ball, and by mistake it hit her in the face. Then she got all jumpy and kept calling me a cheater and - "

"Is that why you're angry at her?" Yamazaki asked.

"She accused moi of cheating! Me! Syaoran Li! The leader of the Li clan! I never cheated; it was an accident - "

He never got any further, for Yamazaki was rolling around in tears of mirth.

"What?!" he asked indignantly.

"Really, Syaoran, sometimes you act like a little kid. I mean, getting all worked up over a little thing Sakura said to you! She's a really sweet girl. . .and kinda hot too, now that you mention it. . ."

"You keep your hands off - "

"Whose girl?" Yamazaki asked innocently. "She's just your friend, right?"

"Right!" Syaoran shouted. "And I don't need you on my best friend's tail, got that?!"

And he ran out of the room yelling "SAKURA!" at the top of his lungs.

"She's not going to be in the boy's hostel, you idiot!" Yamazaki yelled after him.

A surprised silence greeted his words.

Sakura ran into the main lawn of the college. She didn't care if she was angry or not, she'd never stand Chiharu getting the attention that Syaoran normally reserved for her -

Thud.

Stars winked in front of Sakura's eyes as she ran into something very solid. She fell back, massaging her head.
When she looked up, she saw Syaoran Li on the ground. It appeared that he had been running as well, and they had run smack dab into each other.

"Syaoran?" she asked, growing dot-eyed.

"Sakura?" Syaoran asked, and scrambled up.

"Look, Syaoran, about that tennis game - " Sakura started.

"I'm sorry about acting like a kid," Syaoran said quickly.

"I'm sorry for accusing you of being a cheater," Sakura said meekly.

"Hey, I should've gotten used to it by now," Syaoran said.

There was an awkward pause.

"Friends?" Sakura asked.

"Friends," Syaoran agreed.

They hugged.

Disclaimer: I own no one.