The Language of Flowers
Disclaimer: I do not own Card Captors Sakura in any form. Don't sue. I'm poor. Really.
I really shouldn't be writing this, but when I saw the meaning of— well... what this story is going to be about, I really couldn't resist. It just seemed so perfect for Syaoran and Sakura! This was originally going to be Eriol/Tomoyo, but this works better. I know it's kind of A-U (Alternate Universe), but it's really not... Mostly, that is. If you just ignore that fact and just read the story, I'm pretty sure you'll like it, or at least think it's cute. Well, enjoy, and leave a review, please! This is my first CCS story—I want to know if people like my form of writing or not.
Li Syaoran looked around nervously as he paced back and forth, a block away from Sakura's house. In his hands, he held a single red rose, in full bloom, a personalized card at its side.
It was today that he would finally confess his everlasting love to the pretty, green-eyed girl. It was today that he would see if she cared for him in the way he cared for her, and if... He groaned, the low noise coming from his chest. What the heck was he doing? Was he ready?
He paced, almost running into a tree on his way from the corner to the middle of the block, his hands trembling in a subtle manner.
It was when the third kid on a scooter sped by him that he finally accepted the fact that the Li Clan were no cowards, and he had to uphold his family honor... By asking a girl to be his.
When he finally arrived at the house, his knees were knocking together. 'This is insane...' he thought to himself. As he walked slowly—'You're not walking to your death, you idiot!'—towards the door, the rose nearly fell from his hands.
He winced as his hand reached for the doorbell. Syaoran felt a bead of sweat run from his temple to his cheek. It was when the rose really did fall that he shuddered with a final thought. 'This isn't just insane—it's getting out of hand.'
Summing up his courage, he pressed the bell
The door opened just slightly, then the swung open.
And there she was... With her light brown hair, though damp, cascading her back in a waterfall of silk not yet spun, and her sparkling emeralds of eyes. And around her—a bathrobe. She had been showering, obviously.
But when he saw her...
The courage he had managed to sum up slipped through his hands like fine sand. His amber eyes widened, and without another word, or thought, for that matter, he dropped the card and the flower—and ran.
Kinomoto Sakura stared, wide-eyed, as her crush streaked away from her house. The look in his molten gold eyes... She shivered, but not from the unsuspecting breezes that spring always brought. No... It wasn't.
She quickly picked up the gorgeous red rose and the card, blushing as she did so. She could only imagine what he was going to say before he ran away.
Slowly, she opened the card, and read what her heart had wanted to hear since she fell in love with him.
I love you. I'm sorry I haven't told you earlier, and if this seems blunt, but I can't wait anymore... I... I just... I can't express my feelings with just one card. Please... Be mine."
She sighed, her heart melting like ice on a stove. 'It sounds so unlike him... But... There's not doubt about it. He loves me! ME! Of all people in the world.' Like a true romantic, she picked up the rose and held it up to her pert nose. The delicious scent blew through her senses like a typhoon.
Sakura practically pranced up the stairs in a bathrobe, flower and card clutched in hand. It was when she was halfway to her bed that she suddenly stopped.
"Why'd he run?!" she asked out loud.
The question dug into her mind, covering anything else she had been thinking about at the moment.
As she caressed a soft petal of the rose, Sakura still believed that he had been sincere. However, there was a price when it came to not saying it to her face...
With an uncharacteristic smirk, Sakura reached her bedroom. Looking down to the garden, she saw the perfect flower. Trust her father to plant the perfect bloom...
Let the fun begin.
Syaoran's nails dug into the palm of his hands as he mentally beat himself. What had possessed him to run? What had possessed him to confess to her, anyway?!
It was now Monday, two days since he confessed his feelings. Those two nights had been spent rolling, insomnia taking its toll on him, every memory of Sakura slamming back into him.
The bell rang for class—and Sakura had still not arrived. But that was okay... Sakura was almost always late, Heir to the Clow or not.
When she did arrive, his breath caught in his throat. She was breathless herself, but probably from running, not from anticipation. She had not caught a glimpse of him yet, and he could see that she was probably muttering curses under her breath.
It was then that she caught his eye. Syaoran felt his face burning under her scrutiny. She smiled softly, as she always did, and he felt like he was the only person who mattered in the world. Everything was going on as usual... so why was he feeling so nervous?
The two took their individual seats, still not a word passed between them. Syaoran nearly died from worry and dread. What was she going to say?
For the rest of the day, Syaoran felt as if he was ready to jump of a building if she didn't talk to him already. She had seemed ordinary enough, asking him how he was, how his weekend was, what she always asked. She had laughed as she joked around with Tomoyo, and giggled with her other friends as they exchanged gossip and whatnot.
He looked at his sweaty hands. Crescent shaped nail impressions nearly broke through the skin of his palm, and he wondered how long she was going to hold up.
Finally, the end of the day arrived. As Tomoyo and Meilin departed, she waved to him to come to her side. He did, his mouth set in a resolute line.
"Walk home with me?" she asked tentatively.
He nodded stonily, his expressions hidden away.
Sakura made polite conversation as they walked the distance from school to her house, he responding with "Huh's?, Yeah... Okay," and the all time favorite, "Keh!"
It seemed like an eternity to him before they arrived in front of her familiar home. Instead of ushering him in, she motioned for him to follow her into the garden.
In a little corner of the neat floral arrangements, she pointed to a small plot of flowers, the blooms large and delicately colored. She bent down to pick one off a sprig, and handed the dark pink-veined white flower to him.
"They're called gladiolus... They were some of my mother's favorites, after cherry blossoms, of course." She laughed lightly, the sound of wind.
He nodded awkwardly. What did this have to do with anything?
She led him to the gate of the garden, him still holding the bloom in his right hand. Without warning, she leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek, her eyes closed.
Syaoran flushed red. Not the innocent pinks of ordinary blushes, but the dark red of nervousness, embarrassment... His heart slammed into his chest like a drum set.
"Um... Err... Eh..." He couldn't think of anything else to say.
Sakura giggled slightly, and before he could think of anything intellectual to say, ran into the house, leaving the bewildered Syaoran by himself.
With a flower in his hands.
Ah... Irony is so sweet.
Syaoran muttered angrily as he stomped up the stairs into his room. How... What was she doing?! Was she trying to give him a heart attack or something?! It was absolutely... absolutely... It was absolutely, completely... It was exactly the type of thing Sakura would do!
'And she did...' he reminded himself cautiously. Never had he felt so confused. Never had he wanted to just scream and give in and just—Jesus, now he knew why people drank alcohol! It would be so much easier to intoxicate himself than to think, and torture himself uselessly about the girl who... He groaned again, wanting to smash his head—or at least some other priceless treasure.
"Why are you doing this to me?!" he asked angrily to himself. "Why can't you just come up to me and just tell me what you think?"
A head peered in from the doorway as his mother passed by. "Are you all right?"
Syaoran jerked his head up. "Huh? I mean, yes, of course, Mother."
She didn't seem to quite believe him, so she stuck her head in farther, until her wandering eyes reached the flowers, wilting just slightly, on his bed. Her eyes crinkled into a slight grin.
"That's beautiful, Syaoran. I didn't know you liked gladioluses... Or flowers of any kind, for that matter." She sighed slightly, then let loose a rare chuckle. "I always thought those flowers were contradicting themselves. Do you know their meaning?"
Syaoran's breath caught in his throat like a carp in a net. Keeping his voice as neutral as possible, he responded, "No... What is it?"
His mother thought for a second, as if pondering her answer. "It's the strangest flower you can give to someone as an answer. 'You have got to be kidding me,' and 'I'm really sincere.'" She laughed again, remembering some faraway memory.
Syaoran wanted to crush the bloom. Thiswas exactly the kind of thing Sakura would do. He wanted to scream in front of his dignified mother, and would have if he didn't have the iron will he had drilled into himself. "Really?" he asked in a strangled sort of voice.
His mother nodded, confirming his worst fears at the moment. "Of course, Syaoran. Have I ever lied to you about memories?"
He shook his head, and, with a smile, his mother left. Syaoran's whole self collapsed. 'Sakura! Why do you always have to do something like this?! Why can't you just tell me whether you like me or not—like a regular person?!'
The young man started pacing in his room—a habit that appeared whenever he was nervous or frustrated. Why did he have to be the one that fell in love with Kinomoto Sakura?! It was certainly enough to drive anyone mad!
When he calmed down at last, he could only think of telling her, of asking her.
'Are you truly sincere, or are you kidding me?'
Sakura chatted happily with Tomoyo over the phone. As she expected, Tomoyo had squealed with delight that finally—finally— Li Syaoran had confessed his love for her friend. At long last!
"So I gave him a kiss on the cheek, handed him the flower, and left him like he left me—alone," Sakura summed up.
Tomoyo laughed. "I can't believe you were so mean to him, Sakura! You know he's shy..."
Sakura shrugged, then realized her friend couldn't see her over the phone. "I suppose... But I really want to hear the words from his mouth. Wouldn't you, from Eriol?"
Unlike herself, Sakura could see the blush blossoming on Tomoyo's pale cheeks. "Sakura! There's nothing going on between Eriol and me! We've just been friends, that's all."
Sakura rolled her emerald eyes. "Whatever. Well, I have to go start dinner... I'll talk to you soon, all right?"
Tomoyo made a noise of agreement. "See you tomorrow at school, okay?"
The bell rang at the end of the day and still Sakura got no answer. She glanced over at Syaoran for the thousandth time that day. He was rummaging through his backpack, and not noticing her at all.
Sakura sighed wistfully. Maybe he didn't understand the meaning of the flower yet... He could have asked, or at least gone to her and just asked if she loved him or not!
'Of course you do...'
She said goodbye to her friends and walked out of the school. Just as she prepared to start walking home, a hand tapped her timidly on the shoulder.
"Hmm...?" Sakura turned around and was surprised to see the very person she had wanted to all day—Li Syaoran.
"Err... Um... Sakura, can I walk you home?" His eyes were plastered on her feet; she could not see his golden eyes.
'Something's up,' she quickly decided. Nodding, trying not to look overly anxious, she complied.
This time, the walk home was silent. The muffled tapping of their shoes on the cement sidewalk was the only thing that happened to be conversing.
Sakura's hands trembled as she saw her house. Little that she knew, it was exactly the same thing Syaoran's hands had done before he confessed his love for her.
Before they neared her home, he softly grasped her arm. "Sakura..." He breathed out her name out like it was a sacred goddess of sorts.
She remained silent, her eyes locked with his, dancing green clashing with serious amber.
"Sakura... The other day... When I told you... When I told you I loved you..." He looked down for a split second, then back to her eyes. "You didn't give me an answer... So... Um... Were you really sincere about that kiss... Or were you only kidding me?"
Sakura sighed out her relief, then broke out into a smile. "Syaoran, do you know the third meaning of gladioluses?" He shook his head. "It is supposed to tell the recipients that they pierce the heart like a sword." She smiled up to him and leaned in so their noses were almost touching. Syaoran gulped at the nearness. "Li Syaoran... You pierced my heart like a sword... Like the sword you use."
Syaoran felt his heart start to pound uncontrollably. This meant... This meant that she did love him. He couldn't help himself as he leaned down, closer to her face, and kissed her softly on the lips.
It was a chaste, sweet kiss, one of innocent love. He didn't know if he felt the warmth from her face or his own.
When they broke apart, Syaoran was finally able to hear the words he had wanted to for so long.
"I love you."
As the sun slowly set over the trees, melting into the horizon, a single butterfly flapped its stained-glass window wings down, settling on a flower.
When it rose again and began to fly away, Sakura could only be reminded of a kiss.
A single, soft kiss that had landed on her lips.
Like a butterfly.