Tied by Fate
Disclaimer: Card Captor Sakura and its characters do not belong to me. The original anime/manga plots do not belong to me either. They are copyrighted to CLAMP. Please don't sue.
Chapter 1: Pain and Happiness
There were three sudden shots penetrating the still silence. Then blood. A lone figure slowly fell to the cement with a horrid thud as blood trickled from the fatal wounds on his body. His intense amber eyes were grieving as he stared at the frightened, little boy next to him. Their eyes, identical to each others, looked straight into the other's, almost as if they were talking to each other telepathically. The man closed his amber orbs as the pool of blood beneath him spread. He managed a weak whisper to the boy.
Then his body stilled, his breath stopped and the boy with dark brown, ruffled hair sank to his knees next to the immobile body. His breath was quick and panicked and his deep amber eyes looked at the man sorrowfully.
Kinomoto Sakura's brilliant, emerald eyes opened as the frightening dream ended. She abruptly sat up in her bed, sweating greatly and panting. After scanning her surroundings and spotting her belongings and her bed, she sighed and fell back into her comfy bed, closing her eyes tight. This has not been the first time she had that horrid nightmare. Even so, the scene scared her out of her wits and she wrapped the comforter of her bed around her as if it will make her safe. Wouldn't you be terrified if you dreamed about a stranger dying and his son, witnessing the scene, kneeling next to his dead body?
It all felt so real. She could almost see the red blood slowly dripping down off the man's clothes as his piercing, amber eyes narrowed in pain. She wondered if this was a premonition, which was never strange or odd for her to get. You see, Kinomoto Sakura may seem like an average girl but…
She opened her eyes at the sound of the familiar voice to see a flying yellow little teddy bear with little white wings. This is only one of the many things that make her life more complicated than others' lives.
You see, unlike ordinary teenagers, she had magic. But she had not always known she had gifted with it. It had begun one day when she was only ten years old. She had opened the mysterious Clow Book that Clow Reed, a powerful sorcerer from long ago, had made. The Clow Book held all the different Clow Cards, which Clow Reed had also made with his powerful magic. Each Card had its own personality and its own unique power. Soon, her quest became clear, to catch all of the Cards that had reawakened. And with the Clow Book guardian, Cerberus, and her best friend, Daidouji Tomoyo, she was able to do just that.
Soon, Sakura had collected all the Cards. Tsukishiro Yukito, Sakura's childhood and current crush and brother's best friend, was surprisingly the mysterious and distant Yue, the second of Clow's guardians and the judge. To make a long story short, Sakura won Yue over with her down to earth personality and she became the Card Mistress.
But the story doesn't end yet. Strange things started occurring again and soon she was changing the Clow Cards into "Sakura Cards." In the end, Hiiragazawa Eriol, her foreign classmate from England, but also half the reincarnation of Clow Reed, gave her a final test. She passed by changing all the Cards into Sakura Cards. Eriol told them that this whole thing was for Sakura to turn all the Cards into Sakura Cards so that they would be all hers. But the other reason was to give half his powers to Sakura's father who surprisingly was the other half of Clow Reed's reincarnation. Eriol was no longer the most powerful magician. He was now was one of Sakura's best friends, in fact.
So all in all, she's had a very exciting past. Nothing too weird has happened for a long five years, until a few months ago when the terrible dreams started occurring.
Sakura smiled as she pushed the dream into the back of her mind, not wanting to ruin the unusual good mood of Kero. Regularly, mornings would be hectic since Sakura was always tardy for everything she attended. During the rush, Kero would be somehow awoken by his Mistress's footsteps and was groggy throughout the rest of the morning, annoying her with complaints and whines. " Ohayo Kero-chan!" she said happily, now fully awake.
Kero's facial expression was cheery and all smiles. He pointed a tiny paw at Sakura. "Guess what day it is today!" he said excitedly.
Sakura's emerald eyes brightened and glimmered with realization. "It's April the first!"
"That's right! Happy Birthday, Sakura!"
Sakura jumped up from her bed happily. "Hoee! It's my birthday!" She grabbed Kero's little paws as she danced around the room joyfully, making the little guardian impossibly dizzy. "I'm sixteen today!" she said, although she sounded like a five-year-old on Christmas day.
Kero's eyes swirled with dizziness as he pleaded, "S-Sakura! Stop!"
Sakura giggled as she stopped spinning around. "Sorry. I'm just so excited. I'm lucky it's a Sunday today! Just think! My birthday is on a Sunday with no school!"
Kero smiled after his dizziness wore out. It was a good sight to see his Mistress so happy. Although, Sakura was basically always like this: cheerful, dense, innocent, and child-like even though she is now sixteen. She was one of those happy, optimistic types of girls who never really thought badly about anyone unless they do something that she disapproved of. But there were barely any people like that, so Sakura got along with everyone. Kero did worry though. For some strange reason, even though Sakura seemed to be the luckiest girl in the whole world, something seemed missing in her simple, yet complicated life. The only thing he could think of is that she never really had a boyfriend. But it was known to almost everyone that she had a crush on Yukito, Yue's temporary form. Maybe he was just hallucinating.
Sakura glanced at the clock near her bed and almost gasped. 8:30AM.
"Wow. It's pretty early for you to wake up on a Sunday. Usually, you wake up at noon or something. Why are you up so early, kid?" Kero asked teasing her a bit. But when he saw that she didn't laugh or even crack her signature smile, he knew something was up.
Sakura stared at one spot on the floor, recalling that horrible dream in her mind. She shivered involuntarily. "I kinda had that strange dream again," she said shakily.
Kero's small, beady eyes widened. "What! Again! It must be really important then. You've been having those dreams for months. Do you think it's one of those Card Mistress problems?" he asked worriedly. He had been content with their life now. It was peaceful and everything was just normal. He liked it like that. Now that these dreams are happening, he didn't know what to expect.
"I don't know…" she answered distractedly.
Suddenly Sakura heard her father calling for her downstairs for breakfast. She bid a small farewell to Kero but not before promising to get some food for the hungry little guardian.
Sakura started down the steps with a content smile on her face, determined to keep the dream in the back of her head. But as she reached for the handrail and went down the first step, she suddenly felt pain in her chest.
"N-No…not again!" she whispered to herself quietly so that no one would hear her.
She shut her pained eyes tightly and leaned against the railing, waiting for the pain to subside as it always did before. Images of an incredibly handsome, young teen sadly looking out a window flashed in her mind. He was feeling sorrow…unbearable sorrow…again.
As the sharp pain in her chest went away, she panted as she opened an eye weakly. "H-He's sad again," she said quietly to herself.
She started down the steps once more, trying to forget the sudden images she had seen and the aching she had felt.
This was another thing that made her different from others. She would randomly feel awful pain at any time and any place. She couldn't explain this though, unlike her magic and the Cards. All she knew was that it was a pain beyond compare. Whenever she had these sudden, sorrowful aches, she would suddenly see images of a boy with cold, deep amber eyes looking sorrowful. It was always the same exact boy…the boy from her nightmares. She knew that somehow she was connected to him for she realized that it was always his pain and sadness she felt, not her own. She never told anyone about this, not even her family, Eriol-kun, Tomoyo-chan or Kero-chan. She didn't want them to worry on top of everything else.
Sakura smiled as she sat down at the table, momentarily forgetting what happened on the steps. Kinomoto Fujitaka was already there getting the table ready. He smiled at his teenage daughter with a teasing tone of voice.
"Are you that excited to be turning sixteen, Sakurasan? You haven't woken up at 8:30 in the morning in years." His soft brown eyes, matching to his soft brown hair, twinkled with playfulness behind his glasses.
"He's right, you know. It's amazing to see kaijuu up and about this early in the morning," a familiar voice said coming from the steps. A tall, young man appeared and sat down at the table. Kinomoto Touya, Sakura's older brother, stuck his tongue out slightly at his little sister with a smirk on his lips
Sakura rolled her eyes and stomped on his foot which caused him to yelp.
Fujitaka smiled at his children's behavior. They've been like this for years even after Touya had moved out for college that he didn't even bother scolding them anymore. "Alright, alright, you two. Eat up your breakfast," he said, setting the plates on the table.
Sakura's eyes glittered endlessly as she saw the food. "Otou-san! Pancakes! My favorite!"
She immediately grabbed her fork and placed a couple of pancakes on her plate.
Meanwhile Touya was yet again at it with his teasing. "See? Only a kaijuu would eat this much pancakes! I swear, if Yuki ever saw you like this…"
Sakura immediately turned red the instant he heard Yukito's nickname. Her heart pounded as she pictured his perfect smiling face. "O-Onii-chan!" she said angrily yet she was embarrassed.
Touya made a face as he took a piece of his pancake and ate it. "Oh, is the kaijuu angry now? I better warn Yuki when he comes over…"
Sakura's eyes widened and her jaw dropped. "Yukito-san's coming here!"
"Of course, Sakura. You should know that Tsukishiro-san wouldn't want to miss your birthday," Fujitaka said.
Sakura beamed, feeling the blood rush to her cheeks. 'Yukito-san, pancakes, no school…how much better can my birthday get!' She picked up a pancake with her fork and ate it happily.
"Sakura-san, are you planning to do anything today?" Fujitaka asked.
She placed another piece of pancake in her mouth. "Um, I don't know. I'll probably just hang out with Tomoyo-chan and Eriol-kun today but they haven't said anything yet."
She was wrapped up in her pancakes and on the thought about Yukito that she didn't notice her father and her brother glance at each other and smile.
Suddenly the moment was lost as they heard the repeating sound of the telephone. "Oh, it's the phone. I'll get it!" Sakura shot up from the table and headed towards the phone in the living room.
When she was out of the kitchen, Touya grinned. "Wow, she didn't even ask about her presents."
His father nodded. "That's just how Sakura-san is. She doesn't care about material things. Just being with the people she loves and little things like her favorite breakfast satisfies her." Fujitaka then added with a little laugh. "The person she'll marry will be lucky! He won't have to please her as much with clothing and jewelry."
Touya growled for a second, hearing about her getting married. He was an over-protective brother, always caring and worrying about his family. But his face softened as he saw a picture frame with a picture of his beautiful deceased mother in it. "She's just like Okaa-san."
The telephone ringing didn't cease until Sakura picked up the phone. "Moshi moshi?"
"Sakura-chan! How's your sixteenth birthday so far?" a familiar, gentle voice replied cheerily.
Sakura smiled at her friend's excitement. "I had pancakes for breakfast, Yukito-san's coming over later, and better yet, no school today!"
She actually felt Tomoyo grin at her through the phone. "That's great! Oh, we have to meet today! I made these perfect little outfits for kawaii Sakura-chan! Oh, I can't wait to video tape you wearing them!" Tomoyo said ardently.
Sakura sweat dropped. She should've known Tomoyo would make her more outfits for her birthday. "A-Arigatou."
"So, is it okay if you come over here soon? I really want to see how you look in these outfits!"
Sakura laughed. "Okay, okay. I'll come over. What time?"
"Oh, any time is fine by me. Umm…how about ten?"
"Okay, I'll be there at ten."
And with that they both hung up the phone.
She smiled as she went back into the kitchen. She loved her life. I mean, what else can you wish for? She had great friends, a great family, the Cards, Kero-chan, Yukito-san, a great reputation at school…she just felt that something was missing. The image of the dream yet again flashed through her mind. The memory of her sudden pains flashed through her mind, too. Were they clues to what she was missing?
She decided not to worry about anything like that today. After all, it was her birthday and she deserved to just kick back and relax. Today was going to be great! A whole day just to herself. She was kind of relieved to know that nothing interesting was going to happen today.
What she didn't know was this was the day that would change her life.
Sakura leisurely walked to Tomoyo's house, looking at the scenery and the people around her. It was a little past ten already but Tomoyo wouldn't mind. She knew well about Sakura's reputation on being late for everything.
'A couple more minutes won't hurt…'
Sakura loved Sundays. Everyone seemed more relaxed and laid back on Sundays more that any other day. It was probably because children had no school and most adults had no work or a half day of work. It was a day of relaxing for everyone and Sakura loved it. As she was caught up in her thoughts and in some young children playing tag across the street, she accidentally bumped into someone who was coming out of a bakery.
"Ah, gomen ne," she apologized.
Her emerald eyes lit up as she realized who it was and she turned as red as a tomato. "Y-Yukito-san!" She felt her heart skipping two beats.
The tall, silver-haired man with glasses covering his grey eyes smiled down at her. "Sakura! Happy birthday! You're sixteen already, ne?"
Sakura couldn't help but blush even more after seeing his smile. "H-Hai!"
"Time goes so fast!" Yukito said. Then with a wink he said, "Any boyfriends yet?"
Sakura laughed nervously. "No!" It was then that she noticed the white box in his arms. "Ah! You bought a cake?"
It wasn't a surprise. Yukito always had some kind of food with him. Not only did it help him, it helped his other form, Yue, get more strength.
Yukito nodded with a smile on his face. "It's for my really good friend."
"Oh, I hope I didn't squish it when I bumped into you!" Sakura exclaimed worriedly.
"Don't worry Sakura-chan. Even if it did get squished I'm sure the person getting it will be very happy anyway," he said grinning.
Sakura tilted her head to the side. "Hoee?"
Yukito chuckled at her innocence. "Well, I'm going to see Touya. Ja ne, Sakura-chan!"
Sakura waved as he walked away, carrying the box in his arms. She sighed, thinking that whoever received that cake from him is extremely lucky! Yukito was an amazing, nice person. The nicest guy she's ever met. And it's been quite a number of years since she first met him. She met him when Touya had his first day of high school and he had already made friends with Yukito and brought him to the house. She was only in elementary back then, but it was love at first sight for her! But still, something never felt right as she thought about her love to Yukito. She felt as if something was missing. She didn't understand it though, she was certain that Yukito was definitely the one she loved, her childhood crush.
Sakura started towards Tomoyo's mansion again, her thoughts cruising through her mind. When she finally got to the gate it was 10:30. She had spent more time than she thought talking to Yukito. Plus, she had walked so slowly, too.
Hoping that Tomoyo wasn't mad, she pushed the button by the gate and a voice was heard asking for Sakura's name. After giving her name, the huge gate was slowly opened and Sakura hurriedly ran to the steps, trying not to get even tardier than she was already.
She rang the doorbell and a pretty maid let her inside the mansion. Sakura smiled and thanked the maid as she went towards Tomoyo's room. Tomoyo's house was really large and grand with its famous, expensive paintings, vases, and furniture. But Sakura was used to all this already. Tomoyo's mother was the president of a famous company so they were really rich. Tomoyo never bragged about her wealth though. She was really modest and barely anyone knew about that she was Daidouji Sonomi's only daughter. But even with all this money, Tomoyo never ever bought clothes. She always made them herself. She especially made lots for Sakura. She loved video taping the 'kawaii' Sakura in the clothes she made for her.
Sakura knocked on Tomoyo's bedroom door before entering slowly. At once she saw Tomoyo's canopy bed, her singing trophies, her high class computer and radio and her large windows, where the midmorning sun shone through. But Sakura went straight into Tomoyo's private walk-in closet where she knew Tomoyo was waiting. As she opened the door, at once she saw the hundreds of different clothes on racks, different shoes in one corner of the room, jewelry and accessories in another and yet the hats and jackets in another.
"Tomoyo-chan?" Sakura said cheerily.
She found Tomoyo in the back of the room where she was seated on a small bench in front of a large wall mirror. Sakura saw her pale and delicate skin reflecting in the mirror, her long raven black hair cascading over her shoulders and her amethyst eyes looking determined as she put some finishing touches on a dress.
"Ah, Sakura-chan. Late again? Here, I was just fixing one of your outfits," Tomoyo showed her the light green dress that she was sewing with a smile.
Sakura gasped. It was so normal compared to Tomoyo's other creations, especially the ones she made for Sakura's Card Capturing and Card Transforming days. Once, Sakura had to wear a red bunny outfit! Sakura cringed at the memory.
Tomoyo giggled, noticing Sakura small gasp. "Sakura-chan, my fashion designs changed over the years. That means no more bunny suit," Tomoyo sighed a bit in disappointment, "But you looked so kawaii!"
Sakura only laughed nervously, secretly sighing with relief.
Tomoyo put on a bright smile. "Oh don't worry, Sakura-chan. I still have the video tapes of you in that bunny suit."
The Card Mistress groaned in embarrassment as Tomoyo laughed.
"Anyway, Sakura. Let's get started with the clothes!" Tomoyo said excitedly, "I've got an outfit for every occasion!"
Tomoyo threw a barrage of clothes at her as Sakura tried to quickly changed into them in a small dressing room. They laughed, reminisced about old times, and talked about everything. Time flew by and as they finished up the clothes, hats, and jewelry, there was one more dress. It was the beautiful dress that Sakura saw Tomoyo working on when she first came in. Sakura smiled as Tomoyo tossed it over to her.
"Last one, Sakura-chan. I worked really hard on this one."
Sakura went into the dressing room and in a brief moment she came back with the light green dress on.
The light green dress had thin spaghetti straps that crossed behind her back and hugged on her upper body perfectly; not too tight, not too loose. It fell down her legs loosely but beautifully and slightly touched the floor. The prettiest thing though was the small peony stitches in a bottom corner of the dress. The flowers were sewed so perfectly and professionally, no one would have ever thought that Tomoyo had done it herself.
Tomoyo had star eyes as she watched her best friend wearing the dress. "Oh, Sakura-chan! It's beautiful!"
Sakura laughed as she looked at herself in the mirror. "I really like this one."
"That's great! I don't know why but I had the sudden urge to make you a green dress. I wasn't sure if you would like the color green or the peonies at the bottom, though."
"Well, I love it!"
"Good," Tomoyo replied happily and then her eyes glittered, "It's a dress for Sakura-chan's first date as a sixteen year old!"
Sakura blushed embarrassedly. "I don't think I'll be going on a date anytime soon," she said with a slight laugh.
Tomoyo pouted. "But you have too! Don't worry," she added winking, "I'll hook you up with someone!"
"Tomoyo-chan!" Sakura yelled. It was embarrassing enough that in all these years she hasn't even gone on a single date. Getting a friend to get a date for her was pitiful! "Where'd you get the idea for the color green or the peonies anyway?" Sakura asked as she stood in front of the mirror and turning around to see the dress at different angles. It was different theme from what Tomoyo would usually create.
"Oh well, I was talking to Eriol before and he was saying that he had a friend who loved the color green and peonies. Eriol said that he was one of the most interesting people…"
Sakura looked at Tomoyo with confused eyes.
Tomoyo shrugged as she saw Sakura's bafflement. "I don't know what he meant either. But he seemed like he really liked the guy. I mean, he talked as if they were best friends or something."
"Really? Eriol-kun never told me that."
"Well, I don't know how he could've made friends with the guy. He lives in Hong Kong."
"Maybe they knew each other when they were little?"
Tomoyo shrugged. "Maybe. Well, all I know is that the guy has amber eyes and brown hair," she replied, "I bet he looks extremely handsome with eyes like that!" she squealed.
Sakura looked at her friend, not noticing Tomoyo's squeals as she recalled her freaky dream. Tomoyo had said...amber eyes and brown hair. He seemed a lot like that guy from her dream. But, she could be overreacting. Lots of people probably had amber eyes and brown hair. Yeah, she was definitely just thinking too hard.
"What's wrong?" Tomoyo asked as she started folding the outfits neatly.
"Nothing much. That guy you just mentioned just sort of reminds me of-"
"-that person in the dream?" Tomoyo finished.
"Yeah. I had the dream again today."
Tomoyo looked at Sakura worriedly, her amethyst eyes reflecting the bright light of the walk-in closet. "Oh, Sakura-chan. Please be careful, okay? Whenever you have one of these dreams…"
But the other girl only smiled brightly. "Yeah I know, I know." Sakura glanced at her watch and her eyes widened. "Whoa! It's already two o'clock! Well I think I've better get home. Otou-san and onii-chan might want to do something for my birthday. Maybe go out to eat or something."
Tomoyo smiled. "Okie dokie. But at least help you bring all these clothes."
"It's all right, Tomoyo-chan. You don't have to."
"Sakura, look at all these clothes!" Tomoyo exclaimed, pointing to the two big bags filled to the top with clothes and accessories.
Sakura laughed. "Okay, okay," she agreed.
Tomoyo giggled along with her as she grabbed one bag of clothes and Sakura brought the other. Before they left, Tomoyo took her camera bag, knowing something good was about to happen.
Eriol was contentedly reading a book on the living room couch as Spinel Sun, or Suppi, his guardian, floated in and landed on his shoulder. It observed the book in his master's hands with confusion.
"What is that book? I don't think even I have read it," the small cat said.
"It's Clow Reed's journal, "The sapphire-eyed boy responded, grossly interested in the book.
Suppi raised an eyebrow. "But Master. Ever since you've helped Mistress Sakura and you've given half of your powers to her father, you've tried to move slowly away from the responsibilities of being Clow Reed's reincarnation. You want to be a normal, teenage boy now, right?"
Eriol only grinned, looking up from the book. It was amazing how well the guardian knew him.
"Then it's the truth? You're trying to be a normal teenager now?"
He nodded. "Although I will always be Clow Reed's reincarnation, I am still a teenage boy. I might as well make the fun of it, right?"
"Well, you've been trying so hard to be normal. I think you deserve some fun."
Eriol smiled in response. "Thank you. I appreciate it."
"But why are you reading Clow's journal?" Suppi asked, clearly as curious as ever.
Eriol sighed, rubbing his azure eyes under his glasses in frustration. Reading Clow Reed's journals has certainly stressed him out and even made things even more complicated than ever. However, those books explained a lot of things. "Let's just say…something very important in our lives didn't happen," Eriol said quietly, "especially Sakura-san's…" When he saw his guardian's baffled face, he offered an explanation. "Remember when I told you about Sakura's dreams? She's supposed to meet that boy in the dreams…" Eriol explained as he smiled a bit.
"The one whom you said had deep amber eyes and brown hair? If you ask me, he sounds exactly like Master Li. Especially because he had seen his father die like that. The scenario that you said Mistress Sakura saw sounds exactly like it."
Eriol stared at Suppi intently and silently.
"Don't tell me that she's supposed to meet him…" Suppi said slowly, "...him out of all people?"
Eriol nodded. "He was supposed to have a very important role when she was capturing the Cards. I don't know why I didn't know of it. I thought I had predicted everything that was to happen in Sakura's life…" Eriol sighed, "I guess some things aren't predictable even to Clow."
"So what have you done about it?"
"Well, I've been reading Clow's journal and it seems he has not known anything about Sakura having to meet Syaoran either."
"What will you do, Eriol?" Suppi asked, knowing that Eriol was up to something big.
Eriol smirked. "I've already done it."
Suppi blinked. Suddenly Nakuru appeared at the door. "Eriol, they're coming. They said they would arrive tonight."
Eriol smiled as he lay back and relaxed in the couch. "Perfect."
Suppi looked at his master curiously. 'What is Eriol planning now?'
The boy glanced at his wristwatch. Three o'clock. He smiled. "Well, we've better get going. I promised Tomoyo…"
"We'll wait for them to come here and show them the way to Sakura's house," Nakuru said smiling, "I almost can't wait for her to come! She's so cool!" she squealed.
Eriol smiled at her behavior as he headed towards the front door. "All right then. I'll be going now."
Hong Kong, China
An amber eyed, serious boy was just lying on his bed, almost asleep when suddenly he felt a peculiar feeling in his chest. It was a tingling, bright feeling. He sighed as he saw images of a girl he had never met with bright emerald eyes walking with her friend. She was smiling brightly as always.
"She's happy again…" he whispered with slight annoyance as he opened his deep amber eyes.
Ever since he was young, once in a while he would feel this happy, tingly feeling in him. He had guessed it had something to do with the girl that kept on popping into his mind whenever he had them. He was connected to a stranger…a very energetic, happy stranger as he could tell. She was almost always happy. It was annoying as hell, especially to him. What made it even weirder was that he had dreams about her. She was always laughing and enjoying life in his dreams.
She was a total opposite from him, he figured. He hadn't felt that happiness in such a long while. He couldn't even remember the last time he was truly happy.
Suddenly the door to his bedroom opened, interrupting his thoughts.
" Xiao Lang, pack up."
The boy picked his head up, clearly confused. "What?" he asked the woman in Chinese clothing.
"Pack your bags. Try to pack lightly." And with that short reply, the woman turned on her heel to exit the room. Not one to argue with his superiors, the boy reluctantly did as he was told, quietly muttering annoyed insults to the girl in his dreams.
"Tomoyo-chan! Do you have to video tape me all the time?" Sakura asked embarrassedly.
They were slowly walking through the streets to Sakura's house. Tomoyo was once again video taping her intently with her newest video camera.
Tomoyo laughed, throwing her raven hair back. "It's your sixteenth birthday, Sakura-chan! I must get you on your birthday! I'll call this…'Sakura Walking Home on Her Sixteenth Birthday!'" She centered the camera on Sakura who was slightly red in the face.
"So…a speech on your sixteenth birthday?"
Her best friend shook her head vigorously. "No! Tomoyo, no!"
"I'd like to say something if you don't mind, then," a male voice said behind them.
They stopped walking, turned around and smiled at the handsome teen with the navy blue hair and azure eyes which was covered by his usual glasses.
"Eriol-kun! Hey!" Sakura said happily.
He smiled his serene, calm smile. "Happy sixteenth birthday, Sakura-san."
"Hiiragazawa Eriol, one of the celebrant's best friends, and also quite the gentleman if I may add, will proudly speak in honor of Kinomoto Sakura's birthday!" Tomoyo said to the video camera. She centered Eriol's cute face with her camera as they all laughed.
Eriol cleared his throat. "Well, on this very special day, one of my best friends, Kinomoto Sakura is turning sixteen. Through the years, I've seen her grow into quite an exquisite young lady," he smiled at Sakura who rolled her eyes and laughed, "I've seen her through good times, bad times, sad times, and yes even through her many, many, many humiliating times."
Sakura laughed and punched Eriol lightly on the arm. He chuckled as well and Tomoyo was giggling behind the camera.
"So in honor of Sakura-san's birthday, my present to her is to force her to finally tell Tsukishiro-san that she likes him..."
Eriol nudged Sakura who turned red. Eriol and Tomoyo laughed.
"I'm just kidding, Sakura-san. I'll give my present when it comes," he said smiling.
"Oh Eriol, you didn't have to…" Sakura started to say.
"Sheesh, Sakura-chan. We're your friends. Of course we'd want to give you presents on your birthday!" Tomoyo said.
"Well, anyway are you guys walking somewhere?" Eriol asked with feigned curiosity.
"We're walking to my house. Tomoyo-chan's helping me carry theses bags," Sakura said.
"Oh, why don't I help you with those, Sakura-san? Tomoyo?" Before they could resist, Eriol had grabbed the two bags full of clothes from both of them, acting like a proper gentleman. He smiled. "I'll walk with you two."
Sakura and Tomoyo smiled in thankfulness.
As they started walking again Eriol groaned and gestured towards the bags. "What did you guys do? Go shopping?"
Sakura giggled. "Well, something like that…"
Tomoyo and Sakura laughed.
"Hey, do you guys wanna get some ice cream or something? Let's just consider it as Sakura-chan's birthday celebration," Tomoyo suggested.
"Yeah, we should. Let's go," Eriol agreed enthusiastically.
Sakura laughed, giving into her friends' request. "Okay, okay."
Sakura opened the front door of her house and let Eriol and Tomoyo in. It was already five o'clock! After the ice cream, Tomoyo had insisted that they should go hang out at the park so that she could video tape Sakura. After that, Eriol said he should stop by at the bakery to get some bread for home. Then Tomoyo saw a jewelry store and wanted to see what jewelry was inside. It was so much fun, laughing with her best friends, that Sakura had lost track of time!
"Otou-san! Onii-chan! I'm home! I brought Tomoyo-chan and Eriol-kun with me!"
The house was deadly silent and dim. No one was home. Sakura sighed in disappointment. She had planned to spend the rest of the day with her family. Oh well, it was her fault for coming home pretty late.
What she didn't notice was Tomoyo and Eriol give each other grins.
"Well, it looks like they're not here. C'mon let's go to the living room. We'll leave the bags there."
Tomoyo, who by the way was still recording with her video camera, and Eriol followed Sakura into the living where it was dim since the lights were off and the blinds were down.
As Sakura flipped the switch…
"Happy Birthday, SAKURA!"
"Kaijuu, you should've seen your face!" Touya said laughing maniacally.
Sakura blushed and glared at her brother. "Sh-Shut up! I was caught by surprise…"
Sakura's family, Yukito, Eriol, Tomoyo and her four other close friends; Sasaki Rika, Yanagisawa Naoko, Yamazaki Takashi and Mihara Chiharu were all in the living room sitting in various places as they ate cake.
"You should've seen your face, Sakura-chan! You looked like you saw a ghost!" Rika said teasingly before she placed cake in her mouth and chewed politely.
Naoko's eyes started sparkling behind her large glasses. "I read a book once about something like this! The girl thought that everyone was going to surprise her and shout, 'Happy Birthday!' but instead when she flipped on the light, a ghost appeared!"
Yamazaki added with a big grin, "Didn't you hear? The ghost belonged to a dead alien who wanted revenge on her family who didn't believe in aliens! There's a legend that says-"
Sakura trembled, turning blue at the mere sound of the word 'ghost.' "H-Hoee…."
Chiharu bonked him on the head with her mallet that she somehow got. "Oh Sakura-chan, don't listen to him."
Fujitaka laughed. "Sakura-san, you're sixteen now and you're still afraid of ghosts!"
They all laughed as Sakura just blushed in embarrassment.
"Wait, so everyone was in on this?" she asked.
They nodded, smiling at Sakura's question.
"Who did you think the cake was for?" Yukito said from her left side of the couch.
Sakura, sitting next to him, blushed. "A-Arigatou…" She her smile widened as she realized that she was sitting next to him. Oh, this day just had to be the best day of her life!
Sakura suddenly gasped causing them all to look at her with concern. The image of a grumbling Kero in her room, smelling the sweet smell of cake, came to mind. He would kill her if she didn't leave him some!
"What's wrong Sakura?" Chiharu asked, munching some food.
"I…uh…can you guys leave a piece of cake for me for later on?" she said.
Touya laughed. "Kaijuu, you're such a pig!"
"THAT'S NOT IT!"
"Well Sakura-chan, I think we should go now," Rika said walking to the door with Naoko next to her.
"Yeah. We still have school tomorrow," Naoko said with a frown.
"Great party, Sakura-chan!" Chiharu said, "But I'd better go too."
"And I'd better escort these girls to protect them from the one-eyed aliens that-"
Chiharu sighed and smacked Yamazaki again. "He's lying."
Tomoyo, Eriol and Sakura saw their classmates at the door. "Thanks for coming! It was really a surprise!" Sakura shouted as she watched them walk to their homes in a group.
They turned, smiled at her and waved back.
As the three return inside, Sakura said, "Thanks for agreeing to stay to help clean, you guys," as she picked up an empty plastic cup.
Tomoyo smiled. "No problem."
Everyone else who had stayed was in the living room picking up the trash and cleaning things up, since plastic cups and plates filled the tables. Fujitaka was the only one in the kitchen washing the dishes.
"Did you like the surprise, Sakura-chan?" Yukito asked.
Sakura nodded. "I loved it! Thanks!"
"And all thanks to Daidouji and Hiiragazawa," Touya said.
Sakura turned to her two best friends, her emerald orbs glittering brightly. "Really? You guys planned this?" Sakura asked, her face all smiles.
Eriol nodded. "Of course!"
Even planning birthday parties were assigned to Eriol and Tomoyo. They did anything that had to deal with planning or arranging perfectly. But imagine having them hook you up with someone...
"Thanks so much!" Sakura said.
"Did you like your presents, Sakura-chan?" Yukito asked.
Sakura nodded vigorously. She loved her presents! Naoko had given her a bunch of fantasy novels which, Naoko had assured, had no ghosts. Rika gave her the whole DVD anime series that they both loved. Chiharu had given her four tickets to the new amusement park that opened a town away. Yamazaki had given her a book about all the legends and myths of Japan and had also assured her that they barely had any ghost stories in them. Yukito gave her a ticket for a free dinner for two at a nearby restaurant. Touya had told her that he would do her chores for a week and had also given her a small cute wallet with a picture of a small pink fluffy monster in the corner of the front. Her father had given her some cool fossils from his latest expedition. Tomoyo had of course had given her the outfits and Eriol…
"Eriol, you don't have a present for Sakura-chan?" Tomoyo whispered in surprise.
Eriol looked at her guiltily. "I didn't forget. They're just not here yet."
Before he could've answered, the doorbell rang, its dinging sounding through the house. Eriol smiled. "Okay, there they are."
"Huh? We didn't invite anyone else," Touya said curiously.
"C'mon, let's just get it already. It's rude to leave people standing outside," Sakura said walking towards the door.
The others followed close behind her. As Sakura opened the door, Nakuru suddenly jumped out and squeezed the heck out of her.
"Sakura-chan! Sakura-chan! Sakura-chan! Happy birthday!" Nakuru squealed, still hugging her tightly.
"H-Hoee…" Sakura couldn't breathe!
Suppi who was in Nakuru's pocket flew out before he could've been squished. "Sheesh, Ruby Moon. You'd think after living with you for how many years I would've gotten used to you," Suppi muttered while flying over to Eriol and landing into his pocket, quietly.
Suddenly Kero appeared flying down at rapid speed down the stairs. "SAKURRAAA! MORE CAKE!"
He stopped as he reached the bottom of the steps. Kero blinked at the people surrounding him and quickly turned into a stuffed animal as Tomoyo grabbed him and placed him in her pocket.
Yukito and Touya still weren't used to this by now. They knew all about the whole Card Capture thing but they just couldn't get used to the idea of having flying and talking stuffed dolls. So, they watched the scene silently.
Eriol chuckled at Nakuru who was still hugging Sakura and telling her "happy birthday."
"Nakuru, let go of poor Sakura now," he said smiling a bit.
Nakuru smiled and ran over to Eriol's side, obediently.
That was when they all noticed the figure that was behind Nakuru.
She cleared her throat. "May I present the magnificent, polite, powerful, wonderful-" Eriol nudged her with his elbow and she giggled. "- Yelan Li."
Sakura gasped as the woman walked inside. She was absolutely beautiful! She had long, shining, black hair that reached almost to her knees. Her coal black eyes shone with pride. Her stunning but foreign clothing suited her nicely and her pale skin and straight posture gave her a royal aura.
Hold on…aura…AURA! Sakura's eyes widened in shock. This woman had magic!
Yelan regally bowed her head a bit. "Hello."
Eriol smiled at seeing the stately, Chinese woman. "Nice of you to come, Yelan-san."
"It was you who requested our presence, Eriol," she said in perfect Japanese, smiling a tiny bit.
Our? Sakura looked around curiously and in confusion. She didn't see anyone else there.
Before anything else happened, Yelan spotted Sakura who was still staring at the beautiful woman.
Yelan smiled and bowed to her. "It's a pleasure and an honor to finally meet you. I've heard so much about you from Eriol. Oh and may I add Happy Birthday..." She looked up with a smile, "Card Mistress."
They were all shocked. This woman knew! She knew about the Cards! She knew about the magic!
Yelan smiled at the girl. She was pretty and cute, the kind of cute that would send her four daughters running and hugging her and saying how cute she was. What Yelan liked most about Sakura was her emerald eyes. Those innocent, child eyes...the kind that she wished her son still had.
"E-Excuse me…H-How…?" Sakura stuttered, still unable to register it in her head that this woman knew about practically everything.
Yelan smiled at the girl. "Yes, I know about everything. You see, I'm a descendant of Clow Reed."
"Hold on…why are you here?" Touya asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Eriol requested us to come here a few hours ago. He was saying that he had something very important to tell all of us. Also, he said to come for Sakura-san's birthday too."
"He told you only a few hours ago! How'd you come here so fast?" Tomoyo asked in amazement.
Yelan smiled. "The Lis have our ways."
Eriol chuckled in agreement. "They sure do."
"Now Sakura-san, what is your last name? Eriol has never told me," Yelan asked politely.
"My last name? Oh it's Kino-"
Suddenly they were interrupted by Fujitaka coming to see who it was. "Sakura-san, Touya-kun, who is-" he stopped as he saw Yelan.
"Y-Yelan?" he said in surprise. His eyes widened.
He smiled. "It is you! How long has it been? How have you been? How are the children?"
Yelan laughed. "It's so good to see you! The last time I saw you was when I visited Nadeshiko! How is she? Is she here?" Yelan said excitedly, peering into the house, trying to find the familiar silver-haired maiden that she adored so much.
Now even Eriol was surprised. He never knew that Fujitaka and Yelan knew each other. It was even more surprising to see Yelan in such an anxious, excited way. It was as if her nobleness disappeared for a moment.
It was silent for awhile and Yelan felt the uncomfortable air. She never expected what Fujitaka was going to say next. He sighed and smiled sadly at her. "Nadeshiko is…she passed away…"
Yelan widened her eyes in shock. "Nadeshiko? No…that can't be…she was the most energetic person I knew!"
"She was ill…"
"Oh my, I'm so sorry Fujitaka…I wasn't even here for the funeral." Yelan looked guiltily at him with tears almost to her eyes.
Fujitaka smiled. "It's no problem, Yelan." It was then when he saw everyone's confused eyes peering at them and offered an explanation. "I'm sorry, how rude of me. Yelan, Nadeshiko and I were all friends when Nadeshiko was in still high school," he explained, "She came as a transfer student and was in Nadeshiko's class. But she had to leave before we got married."
Yelan looked sadly at the floor. "Those were the days where I didn't have to have so much responsibility. Remember, Fujitaka?"
"Yes," he replied with a smile. "You had to go back to the Li clan. You had a wedding too and had to become a strong sorceress, right Yelan?"
Sakura looked at her father with surprised eyes. He knew that Li Yelan had magic too? Well, just about everything was becoming surprising to her tonight.
Yelan smiled sorrowfully. "Yes…"
"But you loved him, right? How is he?" Fujitaka asked politely.
She looked at the wood floor, hiding her despairing eyes. "He...He also…"
"Oh, I-I see…I'm sorry...I didn't know..."
The woman tried to shake her sadness away and she smiled at them all, trying to hide her sorrow. "It's all right. He was leader of the Li Clan. When people somehow found out we had magic, it was normal for them to attack the leader. People always tend to fear what they don't understand. And magic is one thing that people will never understand," Yelan said as she closed her eyes. "My husband was walking home with my son who was eight years old then. It was dark…some crazy person had a gun…it took my husband by surprise. He didn't have time to react...except to protect my son."
They were all quiet for a couple of minutes, feeling sadness for the poor, nice woman they had just met. Sakura could've sworn that she saw two teardrops fall from her beautiful eyes and hit the floor.
"Yelan," Eriol said quietly, "That reminds me…where is he?"
She looked at Eriol in confusion for a moment. "Oh yes! I totally forgot!" She looked around her and out the front door into the evening. " Xiao Lang?" she called.
A boy appeared behind her from the cover of the shadows. He had a very handsome face, brown, disheveled hair, amber eyes….wait…he looked oddly familiar…
Sakura gasped, taking in all his features and recognizing him all at once. It was impossible. It was the stranger who haunted her dreams and made her feel unexplainable pain. This was him. Everything was happening so fast, that she simply stood there in shock.
"Yes?" he said quietly in his deep voice as he stood beside his mother.
Eriol smirked seeing that Syaoran seemed to be still the same. He walked in front of Syaoran, still smirking.
There was an uneasy silence as they stood there, just staring at each other. While Eriol had a smirking demeanor, the stranger simple stared at him with confusion.
Suddenly the reincarnation of Clow Reed said a perplexing, "How are you...cute, little descendant?"
Syaoran immediately growled and glared. "YOU!"
Eriol laughed. "It's nice to know you still remember me."
He looked away and grunted. "Were you the one who made me leave Hong Kong?"
"Why yes, I am."
Syaoran grunted again, glaring at the azure eyed boy.
"You two, be nice," Yelan said warningly, "Everyone, this is my son, Li Syaoran."
"Let me introduce you, Syaoran," Eriol said. He pointed to each one as he introduced them.
"This is Kinomoto Fujitaka, Kinomoto Touya, Tsukishiro Yukito, the lovely Daidouji Tomoyo and…...and this is Kinomoto Sakura."
Syaoran had looked at each person emotionlessly, but his eyes stuck on Sakura as Eriol introduced her. He looked her up and down recognizing the young teen from somewhere.
Honey brown hair, emerald curious, innocent eyes…it was her…
Sakura gulped as Syaoran eyed her like a hawk, his gaze absolutely terrifying. He was the same person from the dreams and the same person from the images in her head whenever she felt the pain. It was without a doubt that this was the boy who caused all those horrible dreams and sudden pains.
But why? Why did this cause her pain? Why did she feel his thoughts and emotions? Why was he here in the first place?
Everyone was silent as they stared in confusion at Syaoran and Sakura who were simply looking at each other.
Finally they both spoke at the same exact time.