If you are looking for a quality-plotted fic, skip this fic. I wrote this out of the sole purpose of entertainment. I'm thinking two or three chapters, but its time frame wouldn't span largely. In fact, I imagine this story to happen in just one animated scene, if ever this was part of the series. *lolz*

I wrote this for my Hao/Syao supporters in the ML who are complaining on the stagnant E+T fiction flow right now (this fic isn't much, but at least you have something to read to pass time with), and for Kate who just celebrated her birthday. I dedicate this also to Chocodrop (sorry, I want to email you, but inbox unmanageability is driving me nuts), wicherwill (see? Eagle didn't become hiatus! ^^), unmei (who follows my works regardless of what series…arigatou!), Dana Daidouji (always reading my work…wowee, thanks!!!), akina (kate's sis!), Christie (thank u too for reading my Mankin fics ^^)…lastly, Kyte-chan, one of the few threads binding me still to E+T. (Don't ask how, I won't say it, even if you threaten to bomb my Hao/Syao Towers)

Wow, I think my "pabati" portion has gone long enough. And this is not a Grammy's speech. ^^;;

In a nutshell, ARIGATO GOZAIMASU!!!


Daidouji Tomoyo was lying on her bed, designing yet another of her Sakura costumes that she knew would only wind up in the special walk-in closet by her mirror – after all, it had been seven years already since Sakura's last clow battle. The cards were already safely tucked in the clow book, placed securely in Sakura's cabinet. There was no more reason for her to make costumes, or to tape battles, or to tag along with her best friend. The latter was painful, but by and by, she had accepted that. Her Sakura-chan was growing up, and she needed all the space she could get for her to fully mature.

So now that most of her major activities were not accessible anymore, she had learn to give more time to herself, to her hobbies. It wasn't really so bad, for she had discovered that beyond videotaping and sewing costumes, she could also play a mean game of chess – Hiiragizawa Eriol says so. That she could also prioritize her singing too – she teaches Music in Sunday Catechism class, together with Eriol, who was the pianist for the church.

She smiled a little. Oh yes, and she was able to get to know Eriol more.

She played with her pencil. If she would get rid of the ruffles and make the collar mandarin-like, it would also look nice on him, Deep blue would bring out the mesmerizing sapphire in his deep-seated eyes, and would make him as elegant as an authoritative twelfth century Chinese emperor.

"But if I do it in a darker shade…black maybe…he'll look dangerous…thrillingly sensual…" She reached for her colored pencils. "No Eve would choose the apple over him, that's for sure."

She sighed. It was hopeless- no matter what she does, she would end up in square one: thinking of Eriol.

Years ago, she would never have considered it – her heart was too fixated on the genki cherryblossom.

However, lately, when her heart started to beat faster than it usually did whenever she sees her handsome friend, or when she would feel heaviness in her heart whenever he wasn't anywhere to be seen…it was so easy to think that, perhaps, she's infatuated with the mage slash Clow Reed reincarnation slash her close friend.

She thoughtfully erased the long sleeves of the coat as she pondered more on her feelings. Just like most girls her age, she had taken a liking upon young adult romance novels, where one can read on a teaser the names of the protagonists and know that, no matter how the odds turn against them in the course of the story, the two will still end up in each other's arms. As for her own love story, she had no idea where the teaser was.

But really, even without the help of the teaser, she knew enough to know that she was crushing on him. The racing pulses, the flushed cheeks, the light feeling, the unceasing thoughts, the sleepless nights, the loss of interest in food…

OK, so the last few ones were extremes, but if she didn't check herself, she knew she would end up in that situation too sooner or later.

It didn't help that Hiiragizawa Eriol was also the personification of all the dashing Adams she meet in the romance novels. Tall, intelligent, quiet, and devastatingly handsome blue-eyed wonder, thrifty with smiles and words at first, but was as charming and witty as the devil himself once he opens up to you.

She was happy to know that aside from Sakura, it was only her that Eriol really takes time to talk to. How many times had she overheard people talking about what a "cute" couple they make?

Too bad it was only her who hears those words everytime.

She sat up. Maybe he only pretends not to hear it. After all, she was no ordinary girl. Daidouji Tomoyo is the daughter and only heiress of a successful toy business empire, not to mention the beautiful melody of Tomoeda.

But then again, who could ever fathom what ever is going on in Hiiragizawa Eriol's gray matter? Maybe he didn't care about those things. Or maybe he could see those things, but he was too busy staring at some other woman.

She sighed. "I'm cute, I'm rich, I'm talented, and almost everyone loves me…and my lovelife is a failure."

She mindlessly doodled on her sketching pad. She found herself writing his name, and the phrase 'Notice me' in careless scrawl. She sighed yet again – it seemed that this had been her standard reaction since she realized her infatuation with him – and reflected on how scientists say that Venus' dense atmosphere is remarkably impossible. They should meet Eriol one day and have an afternoon tête-à-tête with him over English tea and biscuits.

"Let's see if they figure out the dense formula of his mind," she muttered. "I'll personally hand them the Nobel Prize award, with complimentary stuffed bears from the Daidouji Toy Company if they do."

But according to pocketbooks, it was natural for men to be dense, because they themselves are not open enough with their feelings.

"I know," she said to herself. "If Adam only had the balls to refuse Eve's apple…if he only said no, then sin wouldn't have been created. Gosh, all he had to do was say no!"

Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard her cel ring. She lazily reached for it. "Hello?"

"Daidouji-san, I'm sorry for disturbing you," came in the familiar baritone voice that could melt her heart in a puddle within a second.

She feigned normality in her tone, although it took almost all her Daidouji willpower™ not to…let her heart melt in a puddle within a second.  "Hai, daijobu ka? You don't usually call me…you visit me. I know you're especially thrifty with your prepaid card load."

"True." She could hear his chuckle, and it was all she could do to stop her heart from…doing the puddle thing. He continued to speak. "Actually, Daidouji-san, I want to ask you something."

"H-Hai?" Her heart jumped. Was this the moment she had been waiting for months already? That he would confess?

OK, so it was anticlimactic. In romance novels, the leading man would confess in the end, after all the tears shed and hardships felt and the jealousies in between. Not that she minds. To hell with pocketbook confessions!

"I know this is out of my league to say but…" he said shyly.

"Go on," she prompted, trying to swallow her nervousness.

"I'm wondering if you can look after Spinel for awhile," he said uncertainly.

She felt her heart hurled back to the asphalt road from its seventh heaven location awhile ago. "S-Spinel?" she echoed.

"I-I know the last thing you would do is to babysit a cat, but Spinel is harmless…just keep it away from sweets and you won't have any problem at all," he said quickly.

She was speechless. She really thought it was going to be the defining moment of her lovelife already!

"Do you have a history of asthma or something?" he asked hesitantly.

She wanted to say that he had just caused her to develop a coronary thrombosis, but decided against it. She didn't want to look cheap. "No, I can take care of Spinel," she said cheerfully. "So where's your big trip anyway?"

"I'm taking Nakuru to the dentist. She was complaining of toothache this morning, but didn't want to have her dental check-up without me around. I can't take Spinel along because one toothache-stricken servant is more than enough for me."

"I see." She played with the curls of her hair absent-mindedly. "You can drop Spinel here anytime."

"Thanks, Daidouji-san. I do not know what I would do without you," he said gratefully before hanging up.

She stared at her cel. "It would have been nice if he meant what he said." She proceeded to change into her much nicer pink sweatshirt and skirt, then checked her reflection in the mirror. If she couldn't make him fall for her, the least she could do is make him see what he was missing.

"Thank you so much again, Daidouji-san," said Eriol as he handed the scowling cat to her. She took it mechanically and pasted her Daidouji smile™ on her pretty face.

"How can I say no to someone who makes my Algebra homework for me?" She silently fumed. Didn't he even notice how angelic she looked right now, dressed in pink and white?

Oh yeah, how would he even notice when he won't even look at her in the eyes. She wanted to know why the mahogany flooring of the mansion was much more interesting to look at than her.

Nakuru, though, wasn't as visually challenged as her master. "Mistress Tomoyo is blooming wonderfully! You're in love!"

She blushed, then stole a glance at Eriol, who suddenly frowned. She stopped smiling. He must think she was really cheap, responding that way to Nakuru's tease.

"We'll see you later, Daidouji-san," he said, bowing politely. She waved back.

"Later, Eriol-kun," she said.

Tomoyo sighed and pulled the throw pillow under her feet and placed it on her lap as she opened her pocketbook.

"Don't you have any other reading material here with substance?" asked Spinel, looking pointedly at her mini-library of pocketbooks.

She laughed. "I'm sorry, but I'm not much of a bibliophile. Not like Eriol-kun…"

The cat must have sensed the bitter ring in her voice. It sat up. "Master likes you a lot, or he would have opted to leave me in Mistress Sakura's custody."

She wanted to smile, but she decided that the cat might just comforting her. She pointed to the book on the right, the red one. "That particular romance is good…done by my favorite author."

It looked at the title. "Fire and Ice."

She held her own book up, entitled Embracing a Canvas. "I like this too…a lot. Unrequited love and all the likable mush."

"Sounds like you," it said after reading the teaser. "A woman who fell in love with a portrait. The man was loving her back only in her dreams, but eventually, she meets the guy who is the subject of the portrait, and he's engaged already. But they still ended together." It rolled its eyes. "Count on authors to make the looniest, most impossible plots."

"How did it sound like me? I don't obsess on portraits!"

"Unrequited love."

Her cheeks flamed. "How can you say that? I haven't even had a boyfriend yet!"

"That's because your heart is already with my master," said the cat matter-of-factly.

She blinked.

It sighed. "Yes, I can read your thoughts. You are that transparent. In fact, anyone with decent eyesight can perfectly see your feelings for him. Unfortunately, Master's eyeglasses can't even help him see that."

She tossed her pocketbook aside. "OK, so you're right. I like Eriol-kun…I mean, who wouldn't? He's so wonderful!"

"I agree," said Spinel. "So I think you owe it to him to let him know that."

"So…you think I should do the courting?"


She frowned. "That's not the way it goes with pocketbooks! Men should always make the first move!"

"You said it yourself…Master is wonderful…wonderfully dense."

She rubbed her cheek. "But…Spinel, I don't want him to be bothered my feelings. I don't want him to worry about my feelings if he would reject my…yeah."

"That would be his problem already, not yours." Honestly, until now, Spinel couldn't understand how the "animal with the highest form of intelligence" could turn into a hopeless idiot when it comes to the affairs of the heart. His master and rational Daidouji Tomoyo weren't spared from that woe.

Something then flashed back into its mind…one of Eriol's talks with him. Tomoyo could only stare at the suddenly silenced animal in wonder.

 To be continued

 Embracing a Canvas © is one of my pet E+T ideas…but I never got to write it. Hee hee. Nwei, I don't look around much in the E+T fanficdom of so I'm not sure if someone has this plot already. If so, kindly email me so I can take off the copyright symbol ^^

Fire and Ice © on the other hand, is the name of my Hao/Anna site. All hail! ^___^