AN: Kyte-chan has been browbeating me about not writing much CCS as of late, so I caved like the sap that I am the author runs away so Kyte-chan won't kill her and wrote another one. Naturally, it's the ExT pairing. I'll write another CCS story someday.

Okay, a loooong time (about a year-ish) ago, I posted a songfic entitled "Piano Man." This past summer, I responded to a songfic challenge, and wrote a story that ended up being a sort of follow-up, using the song "Where's the Girl." So it kind of took on a life of its own, and became my little arc, which I named "Addicted to You." It stands perfectly well on its own (I hope!), so you can enjoy it without having read either of the other two.

On we go. Kyte-chan, you can stop chasing me with that stick now. XD I don't own CCS. Blah.

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Only Hope

Drip…drip…drip…

It was a constant. The persistent sound of rainwater running off of the roof's edge. It was a constant. The rain itself had stopped a short time ago, but the remaining water continued to fall in slow, steady droplets from the corner of the roof. It was a constant. It was relatively unchanging; each new drop suspended for that last moment, clinging to the edge of the building before it finally lost the battle and plummeted downwards to splash onto the edge of the porch.

But most importantly, it was a constant. And Daidouji Tomoyo valued constants.

She was standing on the porch, protected from the dampness by the roof and the windows that enclosed the area. There were glass panes in the windows, but they were all open to let in the fresh air through the screens. She shivered slightly at the cool air, thankful for the oversized cardigan sweater she had wrapped around herself before coming out here.

Both hands wrapped a little more tightly around the mug in her hands—hot tea, perfect for a day like this. The heat of the drink seeped through the ceramic into her cold palms, warming them significantly. She sighed and raised the mug to her lips, taking a long drink. Again, the wonderful warmth ran through her, and she felt a little better, in spite of herself.

She was troubled, and had retreated to the safe haven of the enclosed porch to try and find some consolation or help, but the rain provided no answers.

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It had been a big whirlwind. The last month had been like a hurricane, sweeping through her life and turning her neat, orderly world into a mess, where nothing was constant, nothing was as it seemed, and nothing stayed the same for more than an hour at a time. That was why she valued consistency so much. For so long, her life had been in various stages of fluctuation. And just when she had found some sort of peace...HE had come back into her life.

The tornado that had turned her world upside down. The storm known as Hiiragizawa Eriol.

She hated him.

Eriol had found her. He had just come parading back into her life after so long, and demanding to know why she had gone, why she had left, what was wrong with her. And in a moment of weakness that she had started ruing the instant after it had happened, she had told him the truth. And, to her further mortification, she had started to cry under the slightest of pressures. And he had held her, let her cry.

She loathed him.

And the next morning, she had awakened in his bed, in his arms, after talking through most of the night. Nothing had happened; when her eyes had opened that morning, she had still been fully clothed, albeit a bit mussed from slumber. And he had been simply lying beside her, watching her with a smile. And he had kissed her.

She despised him.

Because he made her think. He made her feel.

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This was his home, though he wasn't here. He would return shortly, though. He had said something about an errand he needed to run right away, and he'd be back later. Eriol had asked her to please wait until he got back.

She had warily agreed, still not quite sure if she wanted to trust him entirely; he had broken her heart once, and she didn't want to give him the chance to do it again. But Nakuru, ever cheerful and ever energetic, had proven equal to the challenge of entertaining their guest. She had taken Tomoyo on yet another impromptu tour of the Victorian mansion Eriol called home, and then supplied the tea before finally allowing the young woman some time alone. The porch had provided the perfect shelter.

Tomoyo sighed and took another long drink of her tea. It had cooled down significantly, but still tasted good. Yet it wasn't enough to take her thoughts away from the one who had declared himself to be her knight in shining armor, no matter how much she protested or pushed him away.

She could have had her pick of almost any man. She was beautiful enough for them to want her, whether or not she wanted them. But most of them proved intelligent enough to give up when she repelled their advances; they would respect her lack of interest, or they would simply maintain their distance. But he was different. No matter what she said, or how she tried, he wouldn't walk away.

It frustrated and frightened her.

And she detested him for doing that to her.

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She took another long draught of the lukewarm tea. The mug was less than half full now.

He would be back soon. And he would be polite, charming, no matter what she said to him. He knew how she truly felt—she had told him in a blaze of anger—and he wouldn't let her escape again. If she left, he would find her again. Simple as that.

She loved him. So much, it hurt. She had loved him even before the night that had changed her. That one night, so long ago, was the reason she had fled, and the reason why he'd had to chase her down. It terrified her that he cared that much. She needed him more than she had ever needed anyone ever before, and that scared her.

Daidouji Tomoyo had grown up into a fiercely independent person. Needing someone was not something she was used to, nor was it something she found desirable. And here she was, trapped like this.

As she pondered that, the rain began to fall anew. There was a strange comfort in the regular beating of the rain against the roof. The pounding, as the drip, was constant. And that was reassuring.

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She looked around at the porch. Behind her was the door that led back into his house, the enormous mansion that he called home. She had been spending more and more time here, working around business and whatnot. Why was that? Why did she spend all that time here? Why was she here now?

She had not spent the night here, not since that first night, when he had followed her from the bar to demand the truth. That night, she had fallen asleep in his bed, and nothing had happened between them. Adding intimacy would only add unnecessary complications, she told herself. He hadn't asked, the subject had never even been brought up; he was too much of a gentleman for that.

Her landlady, the elderly woman who ran the apartment building, was thrilled by his attentions to Tomoyo. She had become quite fond of the young woman who had moved into her building; Tomoyo was quiet, polite, and always paid her rent promptly on time, if not early—all positive traits, so far as the landlady was concerned. Eriol had come by on a few occasions to visit, or drop off such things as flowers, and he had always taken a moment to stop and say a 'Good morning' or a simple 'How are you today?' Those simple courtesies, combined with his good looks and considerable charm, had made quite an impression on the old woman.

And he never wavered. She tried, desperately, to keep him at bay, but he refused to be swayed. There were cards, chocolates, and always, always flowers. And he remained the gentleman, not flinching when she insulted him, not backing down when she challenged him.

He loved her. She knew he did. And she loved him.

Not wanting to stay, but unwilling, unable to leave.

Why was it so hard?

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"Tomoyo-san?"

She jumped at the voice in spite of herself. She was so startled that the almost-empty mug fell from her hands and shattered on the wooden planks at her feet, splattering brown-red tea all over the floor.

Great. Just great. Eriol had been back for all of ten seconds, and she had already managed to make a spectacle and thoroughly embarrass herself in front of him. Wonderful.

"G-gomen nasai…" she muttered, dropping to her knees and gathering the broken pieces of pale blue ceramic into a pile with shaking hands. But trembling hands and sharp edges didn't mix too well, as she learned the hard way. She gasped and fell back, her right hand clutched around her left; a small trickle of blood was already running down onto her palm from two cuts on her fingers.

Dammit, dammit, dammit…what was it about him that brought out the worst in her? She never failed to be at her most awkward around him.

A hand closed gently around her injured one, and she felt something warm press against her back. "My goodness," Eriol said, the barest hint of a chuckle in his voice, and she felt herself flush with shame and embarrassment. A handkerchief appeared, most likely pulled from a breast pocket, and wrapped around her bleeding fingers. Almost instantly, a bright crimson stain appeared on the white fabric.

Damn that man to the lowest hells. Damn his ability to make her act like this. Damn the ever-present kindness that never failed to make her heart race and her breath hitch. Damn his touch…

"Sorry that took so long," he whispered, and she shivered.

"Did you get what you needed?" she asked softly, trying not to show how nervous she was at his closeness. He was kneeling behind her; his chest was pressed against her back, one arm circled loosely around her neck, the other holding the now-stained handkerchief around her wounded fingers.

"I did," he replied; she could feel him smiling. He used the arm around her shoulders to half-pull her to her feet. "It's a little something for you, and I would be honored if you would accept it."

She stiffened. A gift? He released her, and she turned slowly—to find his nose mere inches from hers. Why was he always so close? It didn't help any that the light was reflecting just right off of his lenses that his eyes weren't quite visible. She held her breath unconsciously.

And was rewarded as he kissed her gently.

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"Tomoyo," he took both of her hands in his own. "I have something for you."

She nodded.

One of his hands disappeared into the pocket of his long black coat; apparently, he hadn't even bothered to shed his slightly-damp jacket before coming to find her. "I don't want you to think before you answer whether or not you'll accept this. I want you to just say the first thing that comes into your mind, and don't question it."

Suddenly, Tomoyo felt nervous.

That feeling peaked as he withdrew his hand from the pocket, and it was holding a something small, white, and square. Again, she held her breath and watched him drop to one knee, not letting go of her hand. He popped open the box and held it up to her. "Would you make me the luckiest man alive?"

No, no, no… her mind said frantically, but true to his request, her heart jumped and took control of her voice to answer before she could even register the thoughts. "Yes…yes…"

The ring—a tiny, delicate band of gold with a single diamond on it—was on her finger before she could even think about it further. And any beginnings of any thoughts she might have had in protest of what had just happened where chased quite merrily out the window, where they scattered to the four winds as he kissed her once again.

Maybe she didn't want to escape.

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AN: I think there will probably be one more story in this arc, and then it will be put to rest. Thanks for reading, double thanks for reviewing! Luv you all!