AN: New chapter. Don't hurt me for the delay. This is my priority fic at the moment. I'll be focusing on this until it's done in, oh, about three chapters. And I already have the last two chapters each half written, since they were things I've known were going to happen since I started this fic.

Okay, a review set this chapter off. I think the words were something along the lines of "Where the [censored] is Meiling?" Realize that I'm paraphrasing, of course ^_^ So here you go. A moment with Meiling. Totally introspective. After this chapter, there will be three more, and Yue will be back with Sakura and co. in the next chapter. Yes, I'm bringing Yue back. So just be patient!

Onwards. I don't own Cardcaptor Sakura. CLAMP does. Blah.

Chapter Fifteen—Alone

She listened silently to her cousin on the other end of the line. One finger absently twirled the spiralled telephone cord around it, a nervous habit she had picked up long ago.

Quite frankly, Meiling didn't believe him. Syaoran had to be kidding.

He was telling her about something that had happened a few days ago, to him, Sakura, and Eriol while they had been in the music room at the school. A song, coming from an unseen source. Tomoyo's voice, singing apparently from the very walls themselves.

It was the most unbelievable thing she had ever heard. Tomoyo was dead. Meiling didn't use euphemisms like 'passed away' or 'moved on' or even 'gone' to try and soften the blow. It didn't do anything to make it easier. Tomoyo was dead. Flat-out, simple, direct. Dead.

Such an ugly word to describe such a beautiful person.

But the more she listened to Syaoran's words, the more she realized that he was telling the truth. He truly believed what he was saying, and he wasn't one to lie. Especially when it was about something this important, this emotional. And she had known him long enough to be certain of his honesty.

No matter how impossible it seemed.

But Meiling didn't say anything. She simply let him talk. His voice cracked several times during the course of his dialogue. He had just needed someone to listen, and she was his sounding board. It was the least she could do, considering how much he had been holding in for the sake of his beloved.

He ended his story about the mysterious song, and went off on how everyone else at the school was holding up. Her friends were doing well. They were coping beautifully, accepting, and moving on with their lives. But there were a precious few who couldn't quite let it go.

And there was something else Syaoran had said that had caught her attention: he was actually willing to admit that he was worried about Hiiragizawa Eriol. The seriousness was reflected by the fact that he would say it out loud.

Meiling had only met Eriol once, and she wasn't quite sure what to make of him. Syaoran had told her that he was Clow Reed's reincarnation; she knew it was true, but it had always struck her as a little odd that the greatest sorceror to have ever lived could be ordered around by someone nonmagical, like he fell all over himself to do anything Tomoyo might ask of him.

And from what Syaoran was saying now, the poor guy was heartbroken. Shattered, almost beyond recognition or repair.

The Chinese girl listened silently for a while longer, than offered a few simple words of comfort, sympathy, and understanding. Then they bid their farewells. As she set the receiver back into the cradle, Meiling became acutely aware that she was exhausted, considering she hadn't really been doing anything.

Her hands, now free from holding the receiver, folded themselves in her lap.

It had been difficult here, alone. At least her friends in Tomoeda had each other. Everyone there had known Daidouji Tomoyo, and her death had hit all of them more or less equally. And they'd had each other to rely on to get through. They had each other's shoulders to cry on.

Meiling had no one.

When Syaoran had called her with the news, he had still been in shock, but she had heard Wei in the background, being encouraging. She had received the news alone, and had reacted to the news alone.

No one here had known Daidouji Tomoyo. No one had seen her sometimes humorous obsession with videotaping her best friend; no one had spent an entire summer emailing and calling back and forth, working with this girl to develop a plot that hopefully would culminate in the romantic confession of two of their best friends, ending a lengthy period of loneliness for both of them. No one here knew her, and so no one could completely understand why she was heartbroken.

Of the whole Clan, the only one who knew anything of it was Li Yelan, Syaoran's mother, Meiling's aunt. Yelan was the one Clan member who had met Tomoyo, who knew anything about her. And she sympathized, comforted as best she could.

But that was all. Otherwise, there was no one.

Alone in her room, she let her mind drift back to the past.

Meiling remembered the day she had returned to Japan at Syaoran's summons. He had claimed that he had news to tell her. It had ended up being that he needed to tell her that he was breaking off their engagement because he had lost his heart to another—the cheerful, if naïve, Card Mistress. Tomoyo had known what was to happen; she had offered support before the axe fell, and given it after the crushing blow had been dealt. Meiling had soaked her lap that awful night, sobbing.

And then there had been the day that she had brought Syaoran back to Tomoeda so that Sakura could finally give him her answer. That had been a plot she and Daidouji had cooked up in order to bring the two together. Tomoyo had been wonderful about doing everything she could to get the two alone so that the confession could take place. Of course, the VOID had struck, nearly destroying the whole thing. But in the end, it had been the last straw, giving the two the push they needed to confess.

One single tear slid down Meiling's face, leaving a long, damp path in its wake; it rolled off her chin and fell onto the hands she had so tightly clenched in her lap. Another soon followed suit.

That had been Tomoyo. One of her closest friends.

She knew the story: a couple of idiotic teens taking a corner too fast on a dare or something, Tomoyo went flying, and died there, on the pavement, before help could arrive. She breathed her last, cradled in her best friend's arms.

It wasn't right. That wasn't how it should have happened.

Tomoyo was too good, too decent of a person to have died like that, curled up on the cold pavement in the middle of some street, surrounded by her own blood and a few close friends. Maybe that happened to some other people, but not Tomoyo.

Tomoyo was supposed to grow up. She was going to be a successful fashion designer, get married to someone she loved, and have five children, all of whom would be as beautiful and talented as their mother. She was supposed to die an old lady, warm in the safety of her bed, surrounded by family and friends, after living a long and successful life.

But it hadn't happened like that.

More tears freed themselves to run rivers down Meiling's cheeks. She dipped her head; her dark hair swung over her face, obscuring it, even though there was no one there to see her cry.

She was still alone.

AN: And I'm spent! Whew. That was harder than I thought it would be…but I'm almost to one hundred reviews! *does happy dance* Pretty please put it over the top? *flailflailflail* Please?!?

Should be three more chapters. Next chapter, yes, I'm bringing Yue back, and he's going to have a little bigger part than he did last time he appeared. And all you ExT fans, never fear. I promised you romance, and you'll get it. It's coming ^_~