Tomoyo was humming softly the tune of Eriol's still title-less composition when the phone suddenly rang.
"I'll get it!" she called out to no one in particular. She knew that her husband was busy in the music room while Nakuru was in front of the television, absorbed in watching those suddenly ubiquitous reality shows. On the other hand, Suppi may be in the library, busy with its books.
As she lifted the receiver, she couldn't help but wonder who would call the Hiiragizawa residence. It couldn't be for Suppi, that was for sure—unless Kero-chan had started to use the phone to annoy its counterpart sun symbol guardian. It might be for Nakuru, but it was unlikely. Except for Sakura and Yukito, no one had ever called on the moon servant.So that leaves me and Eriol-kun…
She answered the call on the next ring. "Hello, Hiiragizawa residence."
"Is Mrs. Hiiragizawa there?" asked the female voice.
Now if that caller had one consolation, it was that it wasn't looking for Mr. Hiiragizawa. "Speaking," she decided to say, a little thrilled by the attachment of her beloved's surname with hers.
"This is the Tomoeda General Hospital. We called you up to inform you that your mother met a serious vehicular accident, and is now in comatose. Please proceed here immediately--"
But she had already placed the phone down, trembling. She sank on the couch, eyes shaking. It couldn't be true. Daidouji Sonomi…in comatose?
It was absurd—her mother was the perfect fount of life. This couldn't be happening.
At that moment, Eriol entered the living room, holding on to his folder of music sheets. His attention was immediately arrested by the pale-looking woman seated by the phone, looking very upset. He placed his things on the table, and then sat down beside her.
"What is it?" he asked. He was neither concerned nor harsh. He was plainly asking, for curiosity's sake, perhaps.
In tremulous voice, she told him about the call she just received.
A/N: To those who guessed it was Lavender that the song came from, then congrats! You got it right! This is the ending theme of the drama sung by Ambrose Hsu entitled Xing Fu De Shun Jian. I recommend that you guys download this either through Winmx or Kazaa so you guys can truly experience this fanfic. I'm working on the fourth version of my ET site too, and I'm going to post this mp3 there too .
Anyway, to those who guessed it right, I will be emailing you guys my "arigatou".
Now on with the story!
Eriol's grip on the steering wheel tightened as he heard the small broken sobs from his wife. "Tomoyo, you have to calm down," he said, masking his voice with annoyance. He didn't want her to sense his agitation about her situation. He knew that Daidouji Sonomi was the only family she has with her now, after Sakura migrated to Hong Kong with her husband.
"Mind your own business!" she snapped.
"Well I can't do that with all your bawling!" he yelled, hurt by her curtness. He wasn't used to this kind of Daidouji Tomoyo, and he never would. She was upset, and he had no idea how to deal with it. In the end, he just decided to raise the volume of the FM radio to block out her sobs.
"Damn it, Eriol! Let me out of this car!" she wailed. She wasn't in the mood to even argue with her impossible husband, but his indifference was draining her energy. "If my noise annoys you then let me out! I can walk there alone—"
"Shut the hell up!" He abruptly stepped on the brakes, making the cars behind them honk angrily.
"THAT'S IT!" she screamed, taking her seatbelt off. "Let me out of here! I'm going to the hospital alone—"
His hand roughly grabbed her shoulders and pulled her towards him in a silencing kiss. She tried to resist, but all for vain. He was her kryptonite, her ultimate weakness. Hadn't she learned her lesson yet?
He let go of her, eyes less harsher than she remembered. "You are my wife," he said in soft firmness. "I am where you are, don't you forget that."
He started the car again, deliberately ignoring the waving traffic enforcers. She, on the other hand, leaned back on the car seat, her eyes shut.
This was the first time that he ever voluntarily acknowledged her presence in his life, and this was the only thing that she could be happy for in this otherwise dire situation.
She sneaked a glance at the profile of her husband, and then closed her eyes again.
If I pretend hard enough, maybe I can actually convince myself that he is worried about me.
"Mrs. Hiiragizawa! Please stay back. Daidouji-sama is undergoing an operation—" The nurses outside the emergency room tried to hold Tomoyo back, but she violently shook them off.
"My mother needs me! Don't you medics understand? Mother! Mother!!!" she dashed into the operating room, her eyes welling up with fresh tears. Behind her, Eriol hurried after her.
One of the doctors noticed her presence at once. "Ah wait, Miss Tomoyo! You have to wait outside!"
She ignored them and went straight to her unconscious mother, sobbing. "Mother, I'm here! It's me, Tomoyo. Mother, wake up please!"
Another nurse entered the room, face contorted in panic. "The patient has lost too much blood…"
"Nurse, get the patient's daughter out," ordered the head of the medical team, face torn in pity and desire to continue his job.
"You have no right to do this! She is my mother!" she wailed, struggling to return to Daidouji Sonomi's side. "She is my life! She can't die, do you hear me?!!"
Sonomi's eyes weakly opened. "T-Tomoyo…"
"Mom!" she called, eyes shaking. "Mom, I'm here!!! Mom!!!"
The woman smiled with the last of her strength. "I love you, Baby. I'll always will." And then she closed her eyes, making the doctors surrounding her more worried.
Eriol's arms wrapped around her, and she instantly buried her face on his chest, sobbing her heart out. The man guided her out of the operating room, whispering hushed comforting words to her ears—words that she would never had expected to hear from someone like him.
The next thing she knew, they were both seated on the benches outside the room. She was still clutching on his shoulders as if they were a lifesaver.
"Tomoyo, ssh, your tears won't help her," he murmured, smoothing her hair with his palm.
"S-She can't die…she's the only one I have…she's the only one I've got…" she whispered, her voice broken as her heart.
He clasped her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing it gently. "I'm here for you."
But she was beyond comprehension anymore; she had fallen asleep, exhausted from crying.
When her eyes flapped open again, the first thing she saw was the lonely blue eyes of her husband.
"E-Eriol…" She tried to get up, but she felt that she was too weak. She then discovered that they were back inside his car again. She tried to re-orient her thoughts, and she gasped. "M-Mother!"
She felt her lungs lose air when he slowly shook his head.
"She passed away an hour ago."
The same darkness that claimed her consciousness returned, and she willingly went with it.
She didn't remember anymore what happened after she lost consciousness. She wasn't aware anymore of the interment ceremony the company gave her mother, nor the people who gave their condolences to her. She vaguely recognized Sakura's tearful face and Syaoran's grim smile, but she was too exhausted to even acknowledge their presences, or their efforts to cross miles just to see whether she was alright.
She could only remember security in the arms of the person she least likely expected to give. Hiiragizawa Eriol took care of everything, making sure that the people were accommodated, the food was served, and at the same time, that she was eating her meals three times a day. Only heaven knows why he was doing this—obligations, perhaps it was safe to say, but she was simply grateful that he was doing all the worrying for her. She only wanted to heal her brokenness. She only wanted some last private moments with the memories of her mother.
I wasn't even able to say goodbye properly, she thought as she stared at the picture frame of her mother resting on her table. She wasn't even there to hold her hand before her mother's soul drifted away. She didn't dare think anymore of how her mom felt when she departed alone.
"Say hello to Aunt Nadeshiko for me," she said softly before lying down on her bed to sleep.
"She didn't take dinner yet?" Eriol asked when he saw Nakuru tapping her knuckle on the bedroom door of Tomoyo.
The moon servant sadly shook her head. "She didn't eat much this morning, and her breakfast was her last meal today."
"Damn!" He knew he shouldn't have gone to the Daidouji main office today—Nakuru and Spinel weren't reliable enough to trust the depressed Daidouji woman with. He was the only one who could really look after her the way he wanted.
But he had to go over with the company lawyer the legalities and issues that surfaced with the president's death. He had taken care already of giving the absolute power of attorney, and had opted to just give his wife a monthly pension so she wouldn't have to be forced to take her mother's place. He didn't know how Tomoyo would react, but he reasoned that she was not in the right emotional state to discuss urgently important things such as this one.
"Leave us alone. I can take care of her." He took the food tray from Nakuru, and the latter left the hallway sadly.
The connecting door to the bathroom opened, waking Tomoyo up. She groggily opened her eyes as the aroma of food greeted her senses.
"Nakuru said you didn't eat this lunch, and you slept over dinner," Eriol said scoldingly, placing the tray on his lap as he took his seat on her bed. "If this is suicide then I won't just stand in the sidelines and watch."
"W-Where have you been?" It was the first question that popped in her mind.
"In your company. I had asked for an appointment with your mother's lawyer so he could read the last will and testament for you," he replied, spooning soup for her.
She looked at the food, then back at her lap. "I'm not hungry…"
"Then pretend, for your health's sake," he said curtly. "You're killing yourself!"
"Leave me alone," she begged.
"You can't make me go away. I am your husband."
"Do you want me to believe that?" she asked wearily.
He groaned audibly. "Let's argue about this some other time. Right now, you need to force yourself to eat because you need to get your strength back."
"What for?" she asked moodily.
"Damn it, you still want to be a mother, remember?" he snapped, startling her.
Her lilac eyes widened. "A mother…" Yes, she remembered telling Daidouji Sonomi about her desire to be a mother. She could remember how Sonomi's face lit up when she said that, as well as when she started talking about it as being the epitome of womanhood.
"You will mother my child, Tomoyo," he said firmly, placing the tray on the table. His hand slipped to her neck and caressed its way up to her pale cheeks. "And I want that child to be born healthy and strong. Will you live for that, Tomoyo?" he asked softly.
Her tears threatened to fall. Hiiragizawa Eriol was giving her a purpose to continue living.
Eriol lowered his lips to her temple kissed her gently. "Live, Tomoyo. You still have so much to live for. I am sure that this is what Daidouji-sama wanted too, that's why she left you while you were sleeping. She wanted to bid farewell painlessly."
"I'm in pain now," she whispered.
His lips found their way to her own. "I'll take them away…by and by," he promised before kissing her chastely. "But tonight, you have to rest."
"N-No…let's talk about our future child." Tomoyo smiled for the first time since the fateful incident. "I want a boy, just like Aunt Nadeshiko had. So someone will protect his baby sister…"
"So you're planning to have more than one baby, eh?" he asked, slowly smiling back.
She leaned on his arms. "Yes. I'll make Mother proud of me."
They talked idly for a few more minutes when she suddenly asked him to sing for her his unfinished masterpiece. He quickly obliged.
When autumn comes again, you want me to embrace love with a smile on my face. No matter how temporary this tenderness is, the kindness of being able to meet again is already enough for me…
…knowing that there were certain incident and certain people remaining on the day when it happened and leaving not…
Gazing into the cruelty of time, Unwilling to be forgotten, I am very satisfied with this fate: the happiness of having you around me.
He felt her slowly drift off to sleep in his arms. He gazed down at her sleeping face, thankful to see them less lonely now. The tranquility in his wife's face was enough to solicit a warm emotion within him.
He had no answer for that, and so he just let himself sleep too, holding her in his arms as if she was his most precious possession.
to be continued