Stuck in the Middle
Disclaimer: Cardcaptor Sakura belongs to Clamp.
Chapter 7 Shadow in the Rain
Sakura tensed up; the person was just behind her. She closed her eyes tightly and counted to three, then turned around quickly, ready to defend herself, only to hit Tomoyo on her arm.
"OW," Tomoyo moaned, "what a nice greeting to your friend. I only tapped you on the shoulder."
Sakura snapped back, "You do have a voice; use it."
"So what are you doing wandering around this part of the hall?"
Sakura's annoyed face became sheepish, "Well…I was going to the bathroom but hehe…I got lost."
"So why were you looking for me?"
"The banquet ended like half an hour ago. We realized that you were missing, so I've sent Eriol and Syaoran to search for you. After all, two heads are better than one. Even though they'll argue more than they'll do anything else, they can probably find their way around the mansion. I searched for you alone, since I know this place much better than any of you."
"Now that I'm found, where are Eriol and Syaoran?"
"Uh…I don't think I've told them when, but I did say to come back to the hallway on the second floor, which is where we're on."
In the distance, two voices were heard.
"I told you it was this way."
"No, I was the one who said that."
"If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have gotten lost."
"Hello? You're the one who forgot to tie the yarn to something."
"You're the one who came up with the yarn idea, which got tangled up somehow."
Tomoyo looked back at Sakura, " I'm sure that answered your question."
"And proven your previous statement true," giggled Sakura.
"It's pouring outside, and it's really late, would you like to stay here, Sakura?"
"Hey, if Sakura is staying, then I am too."
"And kicking only me out? I'll be staying as well."
"Excuse me, mister Hiiragizawa and mister Li, I don't have a lot of guest rooms around. I had most of them filled with my clothing materials and junk."
Syaoran snorted," Then where's Sakura supposed to sleep? In the living room?"
"I was gonna share my bed with her. After all, it's not like it's inappropriate. However, sharing a sofa with one's best friend of the opposite sex had been done. Are you suggesting that you want to accompany Sakura to sleep on the couch again? I'll gladly allow you, since that means I'll get more room. Ohohohoho…"
"I always knew Daidouji was a wacko?"
"Excuse me Li?"
"I said I always knew Daidouji was a wad bit cold. That why you need Sakura by your side to get heat."
"You know, I think I should get to chose where I wanna sleep."
"Hey, are you guys seriously going to kick me out?"
"I'm not letting a guy sleep on my bed."
"Do you think I love the couch?"
"To tell you the truth, I might as well go home."
"No Sakura, you're not going home in this weather. It's a long drive down the hill."
"Everybody listen up, do I exist here?"
"Shut up, Eriol. I'd love to kick you out of existence."
"Wow Ran-chan, such harsh words."
This went on for another few minutes before it was finally resolved, thanks to the brilliant idea of Eriol.
"Now you set it up there, you get to work and Sakura let's go to the kitchen and get some snacks," Tomoyo smiled sweetly at Sakura, after directing Eriol and Syaoran in a fierce tone.
"Why is it that Daidouji treats us like crap and is exceptionally nice to Sakura?"
"She just very fond of her 'kawaii Sakura-chan'."
"Do you think she's a lesbian?"
"I hope not, she's such a beauty."
Syaoran sneered, "I think someone here has a crush on the Daidouji monster."
"No I don't. Like you said, Daidouji is a monster."
"That, you're wrong, she's a slave driver and a maniac.
"Did I just hear people insult me in front of my face?" screeched Tomoyo.
The moment Eriol and Syaoran looked upon the monster's face, they cowered and moved closer to each other.
"Do you dare not do as I say and gossip about me behind my back?"
Eriol and Syaoran gulped and shivered as they saw what appeared to be a long leather whip in Tomoyo's hand.
"GET TO WORK NOW." Tomoyo cracked her whip and both puny boys straightened up and started setting up the huge tent and pulling out sleeping bags out of small bags.
Tomoyo turned toward Sakura and giggled, "This is going to be so fun, just like the sleepovers we used to have."
Sakura laughed nervously, "Yes, I can't wait." I'm glad I'm on her good side, so I never have to feel her wrath.
"I'm gonna get us some pillows and blankets." Tomoyo hummed as she skipped up her grand staircase.
Sakura stopped smiling, and sighed in relief. "I'm so glad I'm not you guys. She can be so scary sometimes."
Syaoran thought, I used be glad I'm not you, now I'd rather have Daidouji pampered me than to be her slave. An image of Tomoyo taking care of his every need, even offering giving him a bath flashed through his head. On second thought, I think I'd rather be her maid. She treats her maids better than she treats me.
He shook his head as an image of him wearing a maid's uniform appeared. I change my mind; I don't want to be anything that has any relation to her.
Syaoran groaned as he picked up the pillow that was thrown at his head with extreme power.
"Are you being lazy and slacking off?" questioned Tomoyo.
Syaoran replied, "I am if you don't want to lose your model."
The murderous glint in Tomoyo's eyes was replaced by a starry one. Her scary face became gentle and she came towards Syaoran and pulled him onto the sofa next to Sakura.
"Of course, we can't have my models doing any hard work. Hiiragizawa-san, looks like you are the only one up for the job."
"What?! In case you have forgotten, I was the one with the serious injuries; I got flattened by the door more than once."
Syaoran smirked, "If you were a man, you wouldn't be defeated by a door."
Sakura decided to step in, usually she just stay out to listen in on their amusing conversations or ignore them and do something else, "Just get the tent up and the bags out; I wanna sleep!"
Syaoran retorted, "You can unroll your own sleeping bag yourself."
"Well, you left your scent on everything you touch. I had a great sleep when I slept on you last night, I thought it must be your scent. So if you leave your scent on my sleeping bag, I wouldn't have to slip into yours to have a good night's sleep."
Sakura rubbed her cheek on Syaoran's shoulder as she held onto his arm. Syaoran felt really uncomfortable and replied with a blunt fine.
Sakura nearly giggled at how well she could manipulate her best friend. Syaoran unrolled two sleeping bags and put the pillows and blankets onto them and lay down to rest. He was surprised when Sakura appeared and stuffed a cookie in his mouth. He sat up in surprise and spat the cookie out. Eriol grimaced when it landed on his face. He sputtered, "That was unpleasant."
"Are you ok?"
"Yes, I'm fine," mumbled Syaoran weakly.
"You know, I think Daidouji is high on sugar, because she has became very hyper and moody, though moodiness doesn't have anything to do with sugar."
"You know, I agree. Let's cure her with some salt."
"Great idea, Sakura."
"I'm gonna slip into the kitchen to add the salt in her hot chocolate."
"Whoa Eriol, what a man, I thought you're not man enough to do anything."
"I thought I was the one who's suppose to be the one insulting you."
"O well, the tables have been reversed. Hahahahaha."
Eriol walked into the kitchen sneakily. Mental note to self: add salt into Syaoran's cup as well. He worked swiftly and quickly and made sure to add extra to Syaoran's cup. He carried them out and handed the one with salt to Tomoyo. When he turned around to get the other cup for Syaoran, he only saw one. Syaoran had gotten one for Sakura and one for himself.
Eriol took the last cup and took a nice long sip. When the heat had subsided, he felt the saltiness burning his mouth; he spat out the chocolate. He forced a small smile and excused himself. When he came back, he was drinking a cup of water.
"So what should we do now?" asked Sakura as she snacked on a piece of Tomoyo's mango cake from a day ago.
Tomoyo had a devious look on and spoke in a low voice, "Let's exchange ghost stories. I have a good one."
Eriol shivered excitedly, "I'd love to tell one after you, mademoiselle Daidouji."
Meanwhile, Sakura huddled close to Syaoran. She detested ghost stories. They were scary and they have ghosts in it. Even though ghosts are only hollow transparent floating substances with no brain in her dictionary, Sakura was disgusted with the way they look and how they chilled everything.
"No one was allow to approach the Forbidden forest located in the depths of the mountain. There was a rumor that if you are within a mile of that area, something bad always happens to you. A girl who came from a distance town was intrigued by the rumor. She went to investigate by herself…"
In the background, you could hear Sakura whispering "no, don't go there" and an occasional whimper and chattering teeth. She clung onto Syaoran's arm tightly, making him fidget in pain. She had gotten as far to hugging him really tight around the ribs, nearly cutting off his respiration.
All through Tomoyo's story, all he could concentrate on was himself being tortured and the way Sakura was very close to him. He relaxed when Tomoyo finished the story. "…The beast came out of nowhere and attacked her again. She never saw his face. Then she finally drove her sharpened branch into what appeared to be his stomach. The 'stomach' was his 'mouth'. It sucked on the stick, pulling Kyoko into his mouth. He slurped Kyoko and swallowed her. She was never seen again. There was a rumor that the monster had transform the beautiful maiden Kyoko into his kind and left her to roam among the humans as an immortal. When you see a woman with a streak of metalic silver, a streak of metalic bronze and a streak of metalic gold hair braided together, beware of her; she might just be the one to devour you."
Eriol clapped appreciatively, "Good story, nice plot, but why would the girl want to eat anyone? Listen to my story. It's much more better than yours."
Sakura stuttered nervously, "Can you define the meaning of better?"
"It means it'll be more intense, more heart throbbing, more scary and has a much more complete ending, so it's either a happy ending or a unhappy ending and no death threats attached."
Sakura clutched onto Syaoran tighter. He sighed, "Fine, just for today, I'll play big brother and you can sit in my lap and hug me like a teddy bear."
Sakura nodded and settled in his lap like a little child. "Thanks Syaoran," she said appreciatively.
"May I start now? I don't want to see more mushy love stuff from you guys."
"Hiiragizawa, I'm just fulfilling my duty as a best friend. A boy like you wouldn't know what love is."
"Since when can you send clever comebacks to me and make me look like an idiot?"
"Hello, I'd like to enjoy a story here."
"No Eriol-kun, continue on. Let's hear you talk about your theory of how Syaoran's clever use of language came to be."
"Tomoyo's right. I should start my story."
Sakura put her hands around Syaoran's neck and breathed in deeply while shutting her eyes really tight. Syaoran patted her head uneasily. He had never been this close to a girl that's not his girlfriend. There is a first time for everything.
"I'm sure you might have heard of the headless horseman. In my town back in England, there was a body-less head roaming around the streets. He was just a floating head. He was known as Nobody. His life, when he still had one, had always been miserable. He was a poor farmer and he planted corns for a living. One stormy night, someone knocked on his door. He answered and saw a looming shadow outside his door. He couldn't see the face at all. The shadow asked him to help her. Nobody refused and ten years later, when he got rich, he was able to buy a house with a doorbell. One night, when it was pouring rain out side, the doorbell rang."
A startled Sakura fell out of Syaoran's lap. She hugged Syaoran very tightly. Syaoran was feeling very uncomfortable, like a prey of a boa constrictor. Tomoyo got up and inched closer to Sakura. Great, now I have two people clinging to me. Eriol spoke up, "Well, that wasn't part of the story."
Syaoran replied sarcastically, "No need to state the obvious. Uh…Tomoyo, you can cling onto Eriol, having two people's weights on me is really tiring."
"Excuse me? Who's clinging onto you? I'm clinging onto Sakura."
Sakura shivered and held onto Syaoran tighter.
"Eriol, since you claim to be a man, though you've been nothing but a boy, why don't you go open the door?"
"That was a severe blow to my pride, Ran-chan, but my body ached so much from the door that I couldn't move. Tomoyo, you should go, you're the host of the house."
Tomoyo's voice quivered, "M…me? My bravery doesn't match up to you guys. I…I think you guys should go. We, girls, would like to feel protected."
Syaoran nodded, "Tomoyo's got a point. Besides, having two girls weighing me down, I don't think I'll make it to the door. Eriol, you should head to your doom…err…I mean head to the door and greet our unexpected guest."
"No way in hell am I getting near that door."
"No way am I letting you stay in my house forever."
As Tomoyo, Eriol and Syaoran continued to argue, the doorbell rang several times more, but the rings were ignored as the three were engaged in a heated argument. Only Sakura heard it, she couldn't stand it anymore. Eriol had spooked her enough. She's not going to let a doorbell give her nightmares. She tugged hard on Syaoran's shirt.
Sakura whispered to Syaoran using the cutest pouting face she could muster, "Syaoran, can you please just go open the door? I'll come with you if you want. I…I don't wanna get any nightmares."
Syaoran sighed, "Fine. Boy and slave driver, stop arguing. I'll open the door, you can either come or stay."
"I'm not going to go."
"I'll go if Sakura's going."
"Hey don't leave me alone."
Syaoran marched up to the door, with Sakura right behind him snuggling really close to him and Tomoyo and Eriol trailing behind. He took a deep breath and opened the door slowly.
A shadow could be seen as lightning flashed, Sakura let out a high pitch scream, followed by Tomoyo. The shadow also seemed to be screaming. Syaoran plugged his ears from the horrible sound and shouted out, "SHUT UP!"
Then all was quiet. The four of them looked at the shadow and the shadow looked back at them. The shadow was actually a girl, drenched in wet clothes, so wet it was glued to her skin and you could see the outline of her bra.
Tomoyo was the first to recover and shoved both Syaoran and Sakura out of the way to greet the guest.
"Hello. I'm Daidouji Tomoyo. You're at the Daidouji Mansion and what the hell are you doing here?!"
Sakura glared at Tomoyo before talking to the girl, "Don't mind my friend here. She's a little moody today. Usually she is so polite that she winces when she hears people say shut up and what the hell. What she said would have meant how may we help you?"
The girl stared at them oddly, then replied, "I'm Yuuki Sachi. I got lost and I wanted to know if I could stay the night. I'll pay for the stay."
Tomoyo looked her over, "Are you a smoker, drinker, or drug addict? Are you messy? Do you snore? Do you have a clean record? Do you have any weapons with you? How did you get here?"
"I have a clean record and I got here by the silver car over there and the answers are no to your other questions."
Tomoyo raised an eyebrow accusingly, "Then why are you drenched from head to toe?"
Syaoran rolled his eyes, "Isn't it obvious? She was soak because we were arguing for five minutes over who should get the door. In the pouring rain like this, it's not surprising to be that wet."
Sakura sneezed, "We should get back in, or we'll catch a cold."
Tomoyo nodded, "True. I guess it's all right to take you in."
The five went in dried themselves off. It was past three already. All of them went to bed…I mean bag and rested for the night. Everyone had fallen asleep, except for Syaoran. He couldn't sleep. He got up to get a glass of water. Too bad it was really dark, because just then he tripped over someone's bag. Sachi sat up. Syaoran whispered apologetically. Sachi smiled and shook her head.
They headed towards the kitchen and drank hot chocolate.
"So you're name is Sachi? I'm Li Syaoran."
"I'm a very straightforward person and I just want to say you're hot, Syaoran."
"Thanks, I get that compliment from every girl except Sakura, Daidouji and my cousin Meiling. And my sisters too, I guess, since they call me cute."
"You're are cute."
"Let me repay you with a compliment: you're pretty."
"Thanks. I don't get that much."
"You're welcome. So…where are you from?"
"Me? I'm from Japan, but I grew up in Hong Kong."
"Cool. That's where I'm from."
"You know, you look very familiar, you don't happen to go to a school near Central, do you?"
"I do, it was a private school, the only one at Central of course. Hong Kong is a small place after all. I've tried walking from one MTR station to another."
"Cool I went to that private school too. If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?"
"I'm twenty-two, the others are around that age."
"That's the same age as me, I'm beginning to suspect that we were in the same class in elementary school. Of course, I went by my other name. Sachi in Chinese is translated as Zuo Qian."
"I remember you, my name is actually Xiao Lang, but in Japanese, it became Syaoran."
"I remember you too, you were the quiet and serious one, a loner. You came in the middle of a school semester, which was rather odd. The teacher said you transferred here from Japan. We were all very surprised when you spoke Chinese, we thought you might be speaking Japanese."
"It's not that surprising, you're speaking Japanese."
"My mom enrolled me in classes. It was only because I wanted to read manga. Why did you leave though, during second grade?"
Syaoran sighed, "You said it yourself. I was a loner. I was always a loner even when I was in Japan and I just started preschool. Sakura was the only one who bothered to talk to me." He smiled gently as he continued on, "she was the bestest friend in the world. I went back only for her and for myself." Syaoran's face became a little down "I don't want to be lonely. When I'm around Sakura, I feel happy and complete. She was the one who helped me with the socializing skills. I probably wouldn't be dating if it wasn't for her."
"That's nice," Sachi smiled.
"I know," said Syaoran. I grateful for that, Sakura…you're the greatest friend in the world.
"Hey Syaoran, do you want my phone number? I'd like to keep in contact with you."
"Here's my cellphone, just enter it in."
"We should probably get back to sleep. I need to leave early this morning."
They went back to bed…bag and slept.
Syaoran woke up to hear Sakura and Tomoyo rushing around to get ready for work. Syaoran groaned and asked, "Isn't it still a week till we go back to work?"
Sakura, who worked in the same company as Syaoran, gasped, "My kami-sama, don't tell me you forgot our week off is over. Sana called last Friday and told us that our holiday was cut short to a week."
Syaoran sat up and asked to borrow one of Tomoyo's designed men outfits to work.
"She left already."
"Hurry up Syaoran, I heard we have bad traffic today."
"Ok, I'm coming."
Eriol came in from the garden and saw everyone rushing. "Why is everyone rushing around on such a lazy and beautiful day?"
Tomoyo snapped back at him in frustration, since she was going to be late for the meeting if she doesn't leave soon, "People, unlike you, actually have duties to fulfill."
Syaoran and Sakura were already out the door and in their cars zooming to their offices. Tomoyo left and locked the door, and drove off down the road.
Eriol was left all alone in the big house. "Why is it that everyone always leave me behind?" Eriol crossed his arms and he smiled when he thought of something to do.
Hi, it's been a while. :p That's why I've made this chapter longer than usual, since it's gonna be the last chapter I post before the school years starts and I'll procrastinate more.
Anyway, the things about Hong Kong are true…the one about the private school in Central is not though. Hey, it's not my fault I don't know any schools there. I'm gonna keep my notes short.
Sorry about the change of writing style, I was reading my first chapter and it seemed so good, now everything from there on became bad….
I still can't believe another person thought I was a good author. I was so moved by that. Anyway, like I said, really slow updates coming up, but I'll definitely try and update during Christmas. Also if anyone still interested in looking at the pictures from the interview of last chapter, send an email or review.
Kawaii Tenshi no Hikari
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