AN: *looks at date of last update* EEP! Has it really been this long? Okay, I know it's really not a terribly long time, especially when compared to some, but for me, it is! I feel bad when I don't update for a while. Plus, I really like this story. I just haven't had a ton of writing time lately, nor have I been in the mood to write. *sigh* Sometimes I wish I didn't have to sleep, ya know?
Anyway, I'm back, and I'm updating now. Yay rah. I don't own Cardcaptor Sakura, the geniuses at CLAMP do, blah blah blah, I'm pathetic, etc. Yeah.
"Arigatou, Daidouji-san," Sakura said with only a hint of fatigue lacing her voice. To the rest of the world, it appeared as though the young Card Mistress was holding up quite well under the weight of her best friend's death. But those closest to her knew that it was all a façade, a mask to ward off sympathies that she just didn't have the strength to respond to.
Sonomi waved her three guests into the room with a shake of the head. "It's no trouble. I understand completely." Tomoyo's mother was having the worst trouble bearing the tragedy—not surprising, considering that it was her only daughter that had died. But she just wasn't coping, as was evident from the way she had taken one look at Sakura and burst into tears. "Stay as long as you like."
With that, she shut the door, leaving Sakura, Syaoran, and Eriol alone in Tomoyo's room.
Sakura looked around forlornly. Her eyes lighted on the green couch and chair set that flanked a hardwood coffee table. How many times had they sat on that very furniture, pondering the workings of the heart, magic, and algebra equations, though not necessarily in that order? How many hours had they huddled together on that couch, gossiping, sharing secrets, and simply talking about anything and everything? For that matter, how much time had they all spent together in this very room? Too many hours to count, that was for sure.
As if reading her thoughts, Syaoran sighed. "We spent a lot of time here."
Eriol didn't say anything. He really hadn't said much since the accident. But that was the way he was. He had never been one to let much out. Sakura had spokenly secretly with Nakuru, and she had confirmed that he had almost completely withdrawn, not letting anything in or out. The younger of the two Moon Guardians had been reluctant to go behind her creator's back, but she had finally yielded before Sakura's pleads.
"Well, should we do what we came here to do?" Sakura suggested with a little too much energy to be truly convincing. She walked back towards the curtain that led to a darkened room; with one hand, she brushed the curtain aside and walked in, disappearing behind the hanging fabric.
Syaoran followed her immediately, and Eriol trudged behind them.
By the time they had stepped into the dark room, Sakura had already made a selection and was standing at the far end of the room, poised to begin what they had come there to do in the first place.
"Shall we?" she asked with a forced smile. Her suggestion was met with mute nods as the two young men selected seats in the small plentitude of chairs that were lined up in the center of the room. At their agreement, she popped the video into the VCR and hit play.
Snow appeared on the screen as Sakura took a seat between Syaoran and Eriol. Then the screen went dark for a moment, and finally, an image appeared.
Syaoran tilted his head to the side. "Where on Earth did she get that?"
"She spotted me," Sakura replied with a sigh. "This was right after my first capture. I'd just caught FLY, and I was testing it out."
The picture moving on the screen was Sakura in her pajamas, on her original Wand, flying past the full moon. Kero was hovering beside her. It was all in all a very pretty picture.
"She just looked out the window and caught you like that?" Eriol asked softly, marking the first time he had spoken since they had gotten here.
"Unfortunately," Sakura sighed. "So much for secrecy, I guess. But a couple nights later was my second capture, and Tomoyo-chan was there with the very first battle costume. She got that on tape, too. I think it's actually on this tape.
Sure enough, not five seconds after she had finished saying that, the image of Sakura chasing the SHADOW flared onto the screen. Sakura shook her head. Had she really been that young?
"Sakura-san," Eriol began slowly as they watched, "why did you let her videotape you like this? I mean, I know at some point it had to get annoying. But you never told her to just stop it. Why?"
"Because it made her so happy," Sakura answered after a long pause. "She just loved taping me, for whatever reason. It always made her smile and do that 'kawaii' thing she always did. And the way I saw it, if that was what it took to keep Tomoyo-chan happy, then it really wasn't a sacrifice at all. And yes, sometimes I really didn't want a camera in my face. Sometimes I thought it was too dangerous for her to be following us around. But like I said, it made her happy. And a smile suited her the best."
They fell silent, not really sure what else to say. Slowly, their attention refocused on the screen and the pictures that continued to move across it. They didn't move much, save for when Sakura got up to change tapes. They were all well organized, and carefully labeled, so it wasn't difficult to find the ones they most wanted to watch.
Hours flew by as they sat and watched literally dozens of videos. Most featured Sakura, a good number featured Syaoran, and a few of the more recent ones starred Eriol. There were even a couple of music videos, made from older clips set to music.
Finally, Sakura ejected the tape and pressed the power button on the VCR. The screen went blank, and the small red light on the video player dimmed to nothing.
"I'd forgotten some of these," she said sadly, sliding the tape they had just finished watching into its dust cover and replacing it where she had found it on a shelf. "But it was nice to see these again."
Eriol stood up. "I must say, I'm a little offended. Syaoran, you never told me you were such a good actor. I mean, to pull off such a convincing Sleeping Beauty and all…" He didn't really feel like making a joke at his descendant's expense, but the opportunity was too good to just pass up. Besides, maybe, just maybe, ticking Syaoran off would cheer him up even a little.
The reaction was almost the one he had anticipated: his darling descendant went completely red in the face, clenched both his hands into fists, and began stuttering angrily as they followed Sakura out of the video viewing room.
Eriol sighed as Syaoran freaked out.
It wasn't helping.
Not at all.
AN: Ugh…short, not the best, but ya can't have Tomoyo without the movies and the camera and all that fun stuff. Sorry if this was a disappointment, and it probably was *sweatdrop*
Next chapter is another Sakura centered chappie. Nice and angsty. It'll be longer than this one was. Hopefully. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get it posted, though. I'm kinda swamped beneath the massive weight of this mountain called schoolwork. Three papers, two presentations, and a wedding to go to on Saturday. Don't you sometimes wish you didn't have to sleep?
Thanks for reading, double thanks for reviewing, and ja ne!