[Opening Notes]

Disclaimer: All I own is my brain, Sanosuke, and Larcenciel, and the Sanosuke I speak of is a plushie. In other words, I do NOT own any rights to this or any other series, unless one day they ever make an anime out of any of my books or whatever, which I doubt they will, but I digress.

And anyway, this is just a disclaimer, and it's a disclaimer for a Cardcaptors' fic at that, so I don't even know why I made the point of declaring my undying love for Sanosuke Sagara...oh well. Screw it. I'm in love with him. The only people I love just as much are Larcenciel and Doumyouji Tsukasa. So, to sum it up - I don't own anything, no matter how much I wish I did. Oh, and I don't own any of the song lyrics in this story. They come from various Cardcaptor songs.

[Full Summary]

When Sakura Kinomoto was twelve years old and she'd just found out that her parents had been murdered, she collapsed and was found by a boy she didn't even know. Despite the fact that they were strangers, he spent the entire night on a park bench, comforting her and then disappearing the morning after. The only proof she has that he was real was the old leather jacket he left behind for her to use to keep warm.

Now, four years later, Sakura's novel is being made into a movie, and it turns out that he's playing the part of the lead male, but they can't remember where they know each other from...yet.

And the fact that he's become an apathetic ass isn't going to help much, either. Where did the nice boy that helped her out that one night in the park four years ago disappear to?

After making it her goal in life to find out, how is she supposed to react when she finds him again, only to be faced with the fact that he's not who he once was?

[Author's Notes]

Midi: For a while now, I've wanted to start a new fanfiction, and I had a great idea for one, too. But after a while, I realized that I didn't have enough ideas to actually plan an entire story based off of that idea, so I'm here writing this nice little piece instead. This fic is actually partially based off of a piece of original fiction I was planning on writing, but then decided not to. It will, I believe, be much better and more enjoyable as a fanfiction. And I regret saying that Larcenciel won't be appearing too much in this fanfiction, as he is off visiting my dear Aunt Gertrude in Switzerland.

Larcenciel: I know you'll all miss me, but hey - Gertrude is up for operation on her spleen, and I gotta go take care of her. -sighs-

Midi: O.o Right. Anyway - I also have a few things to announce before heading off into the actual story. While I think I'll really enjoy writing this story, please remember that I'm only adding more pressure to my already busy schedule by taking up this responsibility. The chapters are all going to be fairly long, and it will be difficult for me to update a whole heck of a lot considering I'm still writing Perhaps in the Past.

So please don't email me and threaten to chase me with pitchforks or anything like that. Because all it does is make me irritable.

And I don't remember ((and I'm too lazy to check)) if I mentioned this before, but I have no earthly idea how long this fic will be. But each chapter is relatively long...so yeah. And this is a SEVERELY fluffy fic. Lots and lots of fluff.

LOTS.

And no smut, sorry. For smut, please go read my Rurouni Kenshin fic, ne?

Anyway, I've blabbed long enough. Enjoy the story.

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- In the Arms of a Stranger-

- Story © Midi Tenshi -

- 1st Song: Kimi ga Ita Scene -

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- Prelude-

- Loss, Tears, Comfort -

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Even though I still don't understand the meaning of "eternity,"
something starts anew when it becomes memories
Even now, I dream about you at times
in the nights full of peaceful stars.

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A young girl who appeared to be around eleven or twelve was sitting quietly in a small, brightly lit room, in the left wing of the Kuroshima Hospital in Kyoto. Her light brown hair was short and tied up into two short pigtails just below her ears. Her soft bangs fell into large, emerald eyes that stared off into the distance in a glazed daze, looking for all the world

like a corpse.

Seven hours ago, she'd been called away from her best friend's birthday party after being informed that her parents were missing. At first she'd thought it wasn't true – it couldn't be true...but then she saw the look on her aunt's face when she came to pick her up and had been filled with urgent panic instead. During the five minutes that it had taken her aunt to drive her to the hospital, she stayed completely silent, completely still, completely numb.

And now she was here – sitting all alone in an unfamiliar room that was so blindingly white she wouldn't be surprised if she went blind.

"Sakura?"

The girl's head shot up at the sound of a recognizable voice. She looked up to see her best friend, Tomoyo, standing in the doorway, shifting nervously and tugging at her sleeves with clenched fists. Just beyond her stood an boy with black hair a round glasses. Both pairs of eyes, blue and violet alike, were dull with grief and sympathy.

"What is it?" asked the girl named Sakura, swallowing as she felt a lump rise in her throat. Her voice came out throaty and breaking. "What's wrong, Tomoyo?" She glanced back and forth between the two of them, panic level rising dramatically when neither said anything. "Tell me what's wrong!"

It was the black-haired boy who stepped forward, mouth set in a tight, grim line. "I'm sorry, Sakura-san," he whispered, head bowed and fists clenched.

He quickly turned to face the younger girl. "The police found your parents."

Sakura's eyes grew wide at this wonderful news and she smiled, but then all happiness faltered when she saw the tears escaping the eyes of her cousin.

Perhaps it wasn't such great news after all...

She silently waited through a few moments of agonizing silence, pleading with her eyes, begging to know what was wrong.

"They're dead."

Sakura could only stare.

Dead?

How could they be dead? It - it didn't work like that! They were supposed to be at home! They would be home! Tonight and every night after! They had to be! Sakura would walk right through that door and kiss her mother on the cheek before following her into the living room where her father would be reading the evening paper. He would ask her how her day went, and Sakura would respond with the typical "Fine, thanks" and then she'd head up to her room and do her homework. They were still alive! They...they had to be! They'd been there when she woke up that morning!

"How...how did they die?" she asked suddenly. "Eriol...how did they die?"

It was quick, abrupt, and so to-the-point that it shocked the boy named Eriol into momentary silence. "They can't be dead if you can't even tell me how they died!" she cried desperately, rushing forward and grabbing the front of his T-shirt. "Sakura-" protested Tomoyo, reaching for her hands to stop her, but stopping when she realized just how hard this was going to be on her.

"Stop it Tomyo!" she told her, then turned back to the boy. "Eriol!" she shouted, tears beginning to form in her green eyes. They slowly but surely began clouding her vision, blurring her surroundings until the tears gained their relief and slid down her flushed cheeks. "Tell me!"

He sighed and carefully dislodged her hands from his shirt.

"They were murdered."

Silence.

Utter silence.

Silence so deep that it was almost painfully intense.

Sakura opened her mouth to speak, but only choked. Tomoyo sighed as well, gently pushing Eriol out of the way and placing her hands on her best friend's shoulders. "They were found in a ditch outside the Tetsegawa Grocery Store," she explained quietly. "The police said that they got caught in the middle of a drug deal. They were shot."

This was too much information for his friend to process at once, realized Eriol. She was slowly but surely going into shock.

"Oh, Sakura," sobbed Tomoyo, pulling her into an embrace, only to pull back quickly when she felt the girl stiffen in her arms.

"No," whispered Sakura, shaking her head and laughing despite the huge throbbing pain that had settled in the pit of her stomach and was slowly spreading to her chest. "It's not true. They aren't dead!" The laugh stopped abruptly as her face crumpled with agony. "No! It's isn't true! It isn't true!!!"

Eriol tried to touch her on the shoulder, but before he knew what was going on she had screamed something that he couldn't understand and was running for the door.

"Sakura!"

Tomoyo started to run after her, but was held back by Eriol, who was looking much more serious and sombre than usual. "No," he said softly, shaking her head.

"But what if she-" Tomoyo started to protest, but Eriol gave a curt shake of his head. "No," he repeated, looking down the hall where she had disappeared, blue eyes sad. "She needs to go."

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You turned towards me and were about to say something
and that shadow is going to disappear in the morning light
I couldn't even say, "I want to stay with you forever"
but to only wave in silence at that time.


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Feet slammed against black top.

Arms and legs swept through the air frantically.

Short hair flew.

They couldn't be dead. It didn't work like that.

"They aren't dead," she whispered to herself. "They aren't gone."

But the tears still came. Her subconscious wouldn't let her be completely satisfied with all of the things she told herself.

She closed her eyes and ran aimlessly, not really caring if she ran into anything or got hit by a car. It didn't really matter anymore. Her parents were dead. They were gone and she was alone. Her relatives, however else they would try to convince her, had to leave. She would be sent to live with somewhere else, and they would go back to their normals lives, while she remained alone in the world. She'd have to leave Tomoyo, her best friend. She'd have to leave her house - the house she'd lived her whole life in.

She'd be alone.

All alone.

Eventually her legs began to ache and she suddenly found it very difficult to keep running. Every step she took she slowed down a little more, and a little more, and a little more until she was absolutely still.

"It hurts," she whispered, falling to her knees. "It hurts so bad."

There was a moment of silence.

"What hurts?"

Sakura gasped and her head shot up at the sound of an alien voice. She quickly jerked around to look at the intruder but since she was crouched down, she went flying backwards instead. She flung out her arms instinctively, left arm going at an awkward angle, but before she even had the time to realize that her arm would be dislocated if she landed -

"Hey, are you okay?"

Her shoulders slumped as she leaned back into the warm, welcoming hallow of the person's arms.

She was safe within the arms of a stranger.

Someone she didn't know.

Metaphorically, that sounded ridiculous. Was she really safe? How could you be safe in the arms of a person unknown to you? Any moment now he could pull out a knife and slit her throat, or rape her, or anything else he wanted to do.

She was totally defenseless.

So...was she really safe, despite all of the bad possibilities?

Sakura blinked back a few of her tears and sucked in a long breath before gathering together enough courage to turn her face up and look into the eyes of her savior.

She instantly decided she was.

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"Are you okay?" the boy repeated, looking a little concerned. Sakura couldn't do anything but stare up into eyes so captivating and intense it literally took her breath away to look in them.

They were the deepest shade of amber, glowing with light yet shadowed in dark - like yin and yang - polar opposites fusing together to create one perfect form.

After a moment, the boy blinked a little and cocked his head to the side, staring right back, as though he couldn't tear his eyes away.

A strange, cold silence followed - freezing but at the same time warm and familiar.

"I...I'm sorry!" cried Sakura, coming quickly and suddenly to her senses. Immediately aware of the position they were in, she moved back away from the strange boy with beautiful amber eyes. "I apologize! Please forgive me! I..."

Sakura's voice faded away into the darkness as he leaned forward and held out a hand. "I don't know why I even asked. You obviously aren't okay." Without waiting for her consent, he gripped her arm and pulled her firmly yet gently to her feet. "What's wrong?"

She only looked at him blankly for a moment, but then she bowed her head as tears began replacing old ones and ran swiftly and without consent down her cheeks.

"A lot of things."

The boy, who was probably three or four years older than her, hadn't moved his hand from her arm. After a few seconds, he sighed and ran his other hand through his messy hair. It was too dark to make out exactly what color it was, but Sakura guessed that it was probably a lighter shade of brown, much like hers.

He silently led her off the street, settled her down on a cold metal bench to the side of the path looping around the small park and playground equipment, and then sat down beside her.

"Anything you need to talk about?"

Sakura was shocked. What...what was going on? This boy was a complete stranger and he wanted to know is she needed to talk? How could he know exactly what she needed?

She hesitated at first, but then nodded slowly.

"Alright," he replied, taking off his jacket and slipping it over her shoulders. "Go ahead."

Sakura stared at him. "Why are you doing this?"

The older boy turned his head to the side in a thoughtful way. "Because you really look like you need to talk to someone. Something bad obviously happened, and I'd like to be able to help you out a little if I can."

She lowered her head again. "Why would you want to help me?" she asked again, voice quivering and hands shaking. Barely an instant later, her hands were being covered by the older boy's and he was giving her a hesitant smile.

"I know what it's like to have something you need to let out and have no one to go to," he said, squeezing his hands around hers slightly. "So go ahead. Talk."

She was still a little hesitant about it but the reassuring warmth radiating from his hands and his jacket tore away her last reluctant thoughts.

She opened her mouth and began to speak - everything that had happened that night...everything she'd heard or thought or felt - he was informed of it all, and the boy simply nodded every once in a while and ran his hands through her hair when it seemed like she wouldn't be able to go on any farther because of insistent tears. And when she did start to cry, he simply wrapped his arms around her and rocked her back and forth until she calmed down a little.

Deep into the night it went on like this, until Sakura's last words were spoken, and she fell asleep in the arms of a stranger.

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She had fallen asleep.

The seventeen year old boy gazed strangely down at the young girl who had her head resting in his lap and her hands entwined with his own. Everything she'd said had been so cryptic, so wrapped up in her emotions and infused with her spoken aloud thoughts that it had been difficult for him to decipher a lot of it.

And even though he still didn't know exactly what was wrong, or what had happened, he'd felt her great, almost unbearable pain. It had lingered in her voice and had replaced what would have been happiness in her brilliant green eyes.

He wasn't sure what could have caused it all, but he could tell she was feeling better - her body was blissfully peaceful as she slept, and he realized suddenly how exhausted she must have truly been.

"Who are you?" he asked softly to the girl's sleeping face, brushing a few strands of hair out of her closed eyes. "What happened that made you so sad?"

But there was no reply - not that he'd been expecting one.

He gazed down at her a little longer before moving his eyes upward. He was shocked when he realized that it was almost dawn. Almost panicking, he looked back down at her. She seemed so content - how could he awake her now? But then again, how could he not? He couldn't just leave her here! Who knows what could come of that?! Despaired, he groaned a little. He had to be at the airport at seven! If he missed this flight, who knows how long he'd have to wait to book another seat - especially on an overseas flight!

Grimacing and cursing himself for his own selfishness, he carefully lifted up the girl's head and stood up before just as carefully lowering it to the firm black metal. Feeling as though it would keep her safer, he covered her back up with his leather jacket. It was just a coat. He could buy another one.

On a whim, he leaned down and kissed her on her warm forehead, surprised when a tingling feeling ran down his spine, but he pushed it away as a shiver from the chilliness of the morning. The boy got to his feet and stroked the girl's cheek, giving her one last glance before he turned away and walked down the road.

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Sakura awoke to a sky alit with a hazy concoction of red, pink, orange, and violet. For a moment she was confused, but then her eyes adjusted to the light and she noticed the brown leather jacket wrapped around her shoulders.

So...so it was all true?

Her parents had...

And then she'd run away.

And the boy - he must have left her this...

For a while she sat quietly on that same bench, fingering the soft leather with her hands.

But then she gritted her teeth and raised her eyes to the sky.

From that moment on, Sakura Kinomoto swore she'd find that boy again - even if it meant an entire life time of searching.

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Midi: And that's a wrap. Whatcha think? Reviews are wonderful, as always. Thanks. I'll update within 1 - 3 weeks. Ja ne!