Okie-dokie, let's get on with the disclaimers:
The poem here (the one in italics) is by ispucian, one of the readers who enjoyed my work, I Am Here. I wrote this for her, even if I doubt if she would like how I fused her poem here. I'm still contemplating whether it will have lime. BTW, do not confuse this with the original I Am Here. It will remind you of the original plot, but I tried to rework it by slowing the pace of one part of the story. This will be told in Tomoyo's POV, following the poem.
I Am Here --- edited
(for Ispucian ^_^)
I had asked Nakuru to rest already for the night after we had both made sure that Eriol Hiiragizawa was already sleeping. He had another one of his nightmares about his accident that he thought had claimed his girlfriend's life. If he only knew…
I smoothed his bangs, sighing. Ah, complications. Had I only told him earlier about the real circumstances- that he mustn't feel guilty about Mizuki Kaho, I wouldn't have to see him personally go through these psychological tortures.
Awhile ago, as I watched him cry out for me not to leave him, I had to bit back those tears threatening to spill on my cheeks. Instead, I made myself promise him to never leave his side…to be always here with him. It was the only words that came into my mind that could pacify him. I knew that, because I once felt that way too.
I know how hard it isTo lose someone you love…
My heart went out to the peacefully slumbering man resting on my lap. I hated the thought that those unwarranted nightmares would ruin his sleep. He didn't deserve this cruelty. He may seem like a big and mature man already, but I was sure that the heart within him remained the heart of an eleven-year-old boy, easily shattered, even if he tries to mask it with coldness. And I wanted to protect that heart, that small, fragile heart. But what could I do? A stranger in his life like me can only do so much. Yes, I may help him walk again and help him continue his normal existence. But what about continuing his normal life?
It was beyond my capability already…the power to forgive himself.
You cry from the depths of your heart
Thinking you could've protected her
You blame yourself of her deathCrying bitterly from the shadows of her past
I recalled how, for the past few days, he had tried to push me away, snapping at me at every opportunity, and then return to his dormancy, maintaining that punishing silence. He had refused all my attempts to try to bridge our gap. He was stubbornly clinging to her memories…the memories of the woman he thought he killed.
"Ne, Eriol-kun, you reject everyone…you don't want anyone but her," I said softly, stroking his cheek. "And if only I have the power to do that, I surely would have done that. But not everything we want is given, because sometimes, what we want are what we don't need." I sighed. "Kaho-sensei is too afraid to fight for your love, and in the end, you wouldn't have been happy anyway, right?"
I leaned on the wall and shut my eyes. "But still, it is her name you cry out before you sleep, while you sleep, and when you wake out of it. Eriol-kun, you're hopeless."
I smiled sardonically. "And yet knowing these things, I still insist to try to fill in her shoes, eh? I guess we both are hopeless." I didn't bother anymore to dissect the reason for my own hopelessness that I wouldn't resolve even if I was mentally capable; put that down on the sin of omission.
I looked at my watch and sighed. It was time for me to retire to my own bedroom. I carefully lifted his head, but it only woke him up.
"Don't…" he murmured. "Stay."
"Eriol-kun," I said gently. "I need to sleep."
"Please," he whispered hoarsely.
I froze indecisively.
That night you said,
' I don't want to be alone anymore. '
At last you realized that you needed someone.
Someone not Mizuki Kaho.
I touched his cheek and smiled. "OK."
He smiled lazily up at me, then sat up, hair disheveled.
"Do you need something, Eriol-kun?" I asked.
He wordlessly took both of my hands and clasped them with his. He slowly placed them on either side of his head, then leaned his head on my shoulders.
"You feel nice and warm," he said huskily. "Please hold me close. Please keep me warm."
I nodded and hugged him closer. He held on me as if I was his lifesaver, his grip painfully tight, but I didn't complain. If this would lessen his pain…I would numb my senses and not feel my own pain.
After awhile, he looked up. "Don't…don't leave me, Tomoyo."
I nodded, a little stunned when he called me by my first name. "I won't. I'm yours."That night you asked me to stay
I did what you asked
I told you, ' I am here,
You won't be alone anymore.'
"Mine," he agreed before leaning close towards me and planting a feathery-light kiss on my lips. I was caught by surprise, my mouth open in shock. He freely penetrated my lips, probing its corners teasingly, tasting its virgin sweetness.
I trembled when I felt that he was insatiate; his hands found their way to my cheekbones and pulled me closer to him. His kiss had turned slowly more passionate and demanding, bolder and more fierce.
I wanted to pull back; he might be imagining Kaho-sensei as me! But his passion was throwing the remaining wits within me left and right. His kiss was sending my everything to an exhilarating spin.
He pulled back abruptly, panting. "I want you…I want you badly…I want to make love to you right here right now…" He took my hands to his hammering chest. "See what you did to me?"
I felt my cheeks flush. I got up shakily. "I'm sorry…"
This only prompted him to mutter profanities. "I shouldn't be doing this," he said, and now I was sure that he was fully awake. "I…I abused your weakness…"
I winced at what he said. "D-Don't worry," I said, trying to remain cheerfully unaffected. "Nothing will change between us. Tomorrow, we'll forget about it."
"Tomoyo…" He was starting to say something when I shook my head.
"Don't say anything more. It's alright. You weren't in a normal state of mind."
"And you?" he asked.
I ignored him. "Oyasumi nasai, Eriol-kun. I'll see you in the morning."
I put down the letter that Kaho sent me weeks ago. She had informed me that Eriol Hiiragizawa would be coming back to Japan to recuperate from the injuries he incurred in the accident that he thought he caused. He was driving Kaho home from the university when the car lost its brakes. It spun a full one eighty degree before slamming on a concrete wall, making the engine explode. The doctors told Eriol that Kaho didn't make it. These doctors were paid to tell him that, although she was still alive. I guess she was desperate to break their relationship after all, but she didn't want him to hurt it much, so she made up her own death.
It had been some three weeks since I welcomed Eriol –then bounded by his wheelchair- in the airport. He was clearly devastated when he thought he killed Kaho, and he didn't even want to try to live normally again, anguished by the thought that he caused someone's death.
But no, I was determined to see him walk again. Walk, talk, and laugh, just as how I remembered him before when he teases Li Syaoran-kun or he chats with Yamazaki-kun back in fifth grade.
I know it was asking for the impossible, considering how we never had been close. The only intimate contact we had was what happened in his room last night…and that was only because he needed someone to comfort him.
Some comfort I gave him.
"Ohayou, Mistress Tomoyo!" greeted Nakuru cheerfully.
"Ohayou, Nakuru," I greeted back, keeping the letter in my pocket. "Is Eriol-kun up already?"
"How should I know? I wasn't the one up in his room all night," said Nakuru, shrugging.
I felt myself flame. "Iie…"
"I went back to my room," I choked out.
"Of course you did," said Nakuru, surprised. "I was talking about Suppi. Suppi came upstairs to check on Master Eriol."
"Suppi?" I sighed, relieved. I thought Nakuru knew about what transpired between me and Eriol-kun last night.
Nakuru was still blissfully oblivious. "Anyway, why do you ask?"
"I was wondering if he would want his breakfast taken upstairs," I replied.
"Hmm, I think that would be great," said the moon servant, grinning.
Just then, the maid came in. "Miss Daidouji, a certain man who says he's Mister Hiiragizawa's therapist is here."
I nodded. "Let him in."
"So the session is fixed," I said in my business-like tone. The young man before me nodded; his eyes glued on me. I was used to these kinds of gazes; I was first uncomfortable with these kinds of stares, but later on, I had grown used to it.
The therapist smiled and shook my hand. "I will start our session tomorrow, Ms. Daidouji."
"Yes. Your session with Hiiragizawa-kun," I said somewhat pointedly.
"Of course," he smiled some more.
"And whoever said that I need a therapist?"
Both the guest and I turned around and saw Eriol being wheeled down the stairs dutifully by Nakuru.
"Hiiragizawa-kun," I said quietly. "I'm sorry, but I insist that you go on with the motor recovery your physician suggested. The doctor says you still have a great chance to-"
"I DO NOT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WHAT THE DOCTOR SAYS!" he bellowed. "Get that damn person away from me, do you hear me? I will not walk!"
I excused myself from our guest and motioned Nakuru to walk the therapist out of the house. Soon, it was just the two of us in the living room. He was glaring at me lethally.
I exhaled audibly and knelt down before him so we could be face to face. "You will walk, Eriol-kun. You will walk again whether you like it or not."
His azure eyes roared in contempt. "You have no right to tell me what to do. You're no one special in my life. And if you really think that you can take Kaho's place as you told me when I arrived here, well, you're damn wrong, lady."
"I will not take anyone's place," I said. "And come to think of it, you're no one special in my life too. A selfish eleven year old brat trapped in the body of an eighteen year old handicapped body. Why should I bother to waste my time with you?"
"You tell me."
"Because I promised you something, Eriol-kun," I said softly. "That you wouldn't be alone anymore. That I will be here."
"Eriol-kun, Mizuki-sensei is gone, but you're not, and that's a whole world of difference between you two. You still have so much to live for," I said, my voice softening. "There's Nakuru and Suppi, Sakura and Li, and me. We still want you with us."
He wheeled back and away from me. "I don't need anyone. I don't need you."
"You asked me to stay last night," I said in my last-ditch effort for him to listen.
He froze. "I was hysterical."
"Hysterical, huh?" I marched towards him and cupped his face with my hands. "For pete's sake, Eriol Hiiragizawa, may I remind you that last night, you kissed me hungrily. And even before that kiss, you were perfectly calm when you told me not to go yet. Now tell me whether THAT is hysterical!"
He pushed my hand away. "It was cold last night, and I needed something warm. Coincidentally, it was you by my side, so…"
"I see," I said quietly, getting up. "And since you won't change your mind about that, I'm afraid I won't change my mind about the therapist too. Good day, Eriol-kun."