AN: Third chapter. Yay. Enjoy. I don't own CCS. Just my plotline. Oh yeah, and Maya is an OC. So I guess I own her. ^-^ But otherwise, none of the characters belong to me.

Okaasan

Daidouji Sonomi leaned back in her office chair and sighed. She loved her job and she loved her company, but she was tired. She wanted to go home.

Suddenly, she sat up in her chair, back ramrod straight, eyes straight ahead. Something was wrong. Something was terribly, terribly wrong.

Mothers have an intuition where their children are concerned. Many mothers have testified to having a terrible feeling at the exact moment when something happens to their child, even if they are some distance apart. That was what Sonomi was experiencing.

Every maternal instinct, every intuitive feeling she had was screaming at her. Something had happened, something awful. And it concerned Tomoyo.

But what?

Moments before, she'd had every intention of going home a little early, having dinner with her daughter, perhaps watching a movie or something before going to bed. It had seemed like a great plan for the evening, considering that she had been in and out of meetings all day. A chance to relax a little.

But now, she was afraid to leave her office. She was afraid to even move. She simply sat in her chair, staring at the top of her desk, waiting for something she couldn't name. The feeling grew worse.

Twenty minutes later, the phone rang. She had almost expected it to ring, but she still jumped a mile, out of her chair and to her feet. She stared at the phone for a minute, as though it had transformed from a simple item to some wonderous artifact.

Then she regained her senses and dove across the desk. She fumbled with the receiver for a minute, as it seemed determined to leap out of her hands; finally, she got a firm grip on it and pressed it against her ear. "Moshi moshi. This is Daidouji."

She listened for a minute.

Her eyes went wide, and her face whitened to the color of paper. The cordless phone receiver slipped from nerveless fingers and fell to the floor.

She left it there; she barely even had the presence of mind to grab her purse on her mad dash out the door. She flew past her secretary and a few of her business associates, without so much as a single word, and out the door.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The double doors that led into the hospital waiting room parted with a bang, making several people jump. Sonomi flew into the room.

"Where is she?" she gasped desperately. "Where's my daughter?"

"Daidouji-san," a blessedly familiar voice said softly to her left.

Sonomi spun around and lunged forward, wrapping the speaker up in a tight hug. "Sakura-chan, thank the gods you're here!" She looked around a little; those two boys were sitting there, staring at the doors that led to the hallways where the patients were housed. It was as if they thought that by staring at the doors, they could make someone come out of them with news. Then Sonomi pulled back and stared the teenager in the eye. "Where's Tomoyo?"

Sakura didn't respond right away; her green eyes, already red rimmed from crying, filled with tears that immediately spilled down her cheeks. "They won't tell us anything!!" She sniffled pathetically. "Tomoyo-chan…"

"Sakura-chan," Sonomi pressed gently. "You were there when it happened?"

A nod.

"Was it…bad?" Sonomi asked, not really wanting to hear the answer.

Sakura looked down for a minute before whispering. "It was…awful. Tomoyo-chan…"

The doors burst open again. "Sakura!"

The sixteen year old girl looked up, and her eyes widened. The look on her face was a mixture of grief and gratitude. "Oniichan!"

Sonomi released Sakura and stood up straight as Kinomoto Touya dove across the room and grabbed his younger sister up into a tight hug. "You okay?"

"Hai, but Tomoyo-chan…" Sakura finally sobbed.

The doors parted again, a little more calmly this time, and Yukito and Fujitaka flew in. "We got your call," Yukito explained. "But Touya took the stairs three at a time." He also dashed across the room and stole Sakura away from her brother for a hug of his own; her father did the same.

"Any word?" Fujitaka asked in a concerned voice.

"Iie."

As if on cue, the doors at the opposite end of the waiting opened, and a man with a stethoscope hanging around his neck stepped out. He looked tired, and not particularly happy.

"Daidouji-san?" he said in a soft, slightly hesitant voice.

Sonomi all but left forward. "Hai?" she asked, a little too hopefully.

"Come with me, please," he gestured towards the doors. Much to his surprise, an entire army of people jumped up and moved towards the swinging doors. "Ano, excuse me, but—"

"It's all right, they're with me," Sonomi said firmly, for once not even caring that the accursed Kinomoto-sensei was amongst the group. All that mattered was Tomoyo. "They're family."

Apparently mollified by this, the doctor led them into what appeared to be his office. He took a seat behind his desk and gestured to a chair positioned opposite him. Sonomi took it; the rest of the crew opted to remain standing by the door.

"Where is my daughter?" she demanded again.

"There was an accident," the doctor explained. "A couple of stupid kids took a dare, went around the corner going about eighty, and hit your daughter."

"I was told about the accident. Now where is my daughter?" Sonomi asked, though it was a little more subdued this time. Somehow, in the darkest recesses of her heart, she knew. She knew.

"We couldn't save her," the middle-aged man in the immaculate white coat said in the most gentle voice he could manage, but nothing could cushion the blow. Nothing to make this kind of news easier to receive. And the red haired woman sitting in the chair across the desk reacted exactly how he had expected.

Daidouji Sonomi crumpled, actually falling out of her chair into a broken heap on the ground.

Several pairs of arms closed around her almost instantly, offering and taking comfort. She heard someone sobbing into her shoulder; it sounded suspiciously like Sakura. And it sounded like others were crying—she guessed it to be Li and Hiiragiziwa.

But at that precise moment, she didn't have enough energy to spare to worry about anyone else. She knew they were feeling very much the same way she was, but she just couldn't muster up enough strength to worry about them.

Few people outside of the family and close friends knew just how close Sonomi and Tomoyo really were. In spite of the mother's work schedule and the daughter's schooling and choral practices, they managed to spend quite a good deal of time together.

She sobbed as though her heart was broken. In all probability, it was broken.

And there was just no way to heal a mother's heart.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Tomoyo's eyes were burning. "Okaasan, I'm fine!" she called, belatedly realizing that her mother would not hear her. "Okaasan!" Tears fell, and she pulled away from the scene.

To her surprise, Maya was watching her.

The girl threw an angry glare at the angel, for that was what she assumed Maya was. "Why did you bring me here to see this?"

"I promise you," Maya said calmly, not at all fazed by the teenager's anger, "things will change. Perhaps not now. But in time, I think you will be glad you were able to see them."

"What, be happy I saw my mother cry like that?" Tomoyo spat bitterly, angrily, sadly. "Happy that Sakura-chan and Li-kun and Hiiragiziwa-kun are like that? I don't think I will ever be happy to have seen that, thank you very much."

Maya said nothing more, but smiled knowingly.

Still glaring through her tears, Tomoyo turned back to the dramatic scene still unfolding in the Here-Below, as she thought of it. She didn't want to watch anymore, but something deep within her was compelling her to watch. It was like giving a perpetual drunk the liquor he shouldn't have.

It was becoming more and more clear that nothing here was at all what it seemed. When she had arrived, she had thought that she was in heaven. Then she had started watching this.

Now she wasn't so sure.

With tears streaming down her face, she refocused on her friends and family.

She tore her eyes away almost instantly. Her mother was identifying her body. And she just couldn't bear to watch that. She couldn't handle seeing her own dead body lying there on a cold, metal table beneath a sheet, nor could she deal with watching her mother's reaction.

When she looked back, Kinomoto-sensei was actually carrying her mother out of the hospital. Sakura was clinging to Li as though her own life depended on it, while Touya had one hand on his sister's shoulder. Yukito was half dragging Eriol, who still seemed to be in shock.

Tomoyo's heart broke into even more miniscual pieces.

She had never seen Li or Eriol cry.

AN: This seemed like a pretty good place to end this chapter. I'll hopefully get the next chapter up a little faster. Now we start jumping around, from character to character and POV to POV. And I do know where this story is going—I'm actually almost done with what will be the last chapter.