Fukai Negai- Deep Wish
Hey everyone! This is my new story, Fukai Negai- which translates into 'Deep Wish.' (I'm not too entirely sure about the grammatical correctness of this title, though...anyone who's fluent in Japanese and would like to correct the title, please tell me!) Anyhow, I hope you enjoy! Please read and review!
UPDATE AS OF NOVEMBER 8, 2007: I've gone and edited here and there in the first four chapters of this story, so if you're an old reader and you have time, please go back over these first few chapters:) It's nothing too big, but I've fixed and added a few things that you might enjoy reading. Thanks!
Summary: Wanting to prove herself, timid Sakura Kinomoto accepts a dare to ask Syaoran Li, the typical (and not so typical) most popular boy in school, on three dates within the month. When Syaoran agrees to go out with her, he's only in on it because of a bet as well. Seemingly ill-suited for each other, they drive one another mad, but love often appears in the most uncanny situations.
Disclaimer: Somehow, I always forget to put up disclaimers for each chapter, so this one will stand for the whole story. I don't own CCS, or any of its characters, and it is owned by CLAMP. (I will, however, be making up some characters!) If I use any song lyrics to accompany a chapter, I don't own the song, either.
Chapter 1: Gambling
He walked with his head down.
He could feel the students around him staring, and judging by their hushed whispers, they'd heard what happened. But he didn't care anymore. It didn't matter. Everything was over. He walked faster, wanting to get away from the prying, hungry eyes, the recapping of his own life's events told through the loud gossip humming around him...
And in that instant, he looked up, saw her standing in front of him, and immediately walked the other way, well aware that the crowded hallway had grown hushed. He tried not to think about the hurt look in her bright green eyes. What did she have to feel hurt about, anyway?
"Syaoran, just hear me out," he heard her beg from behind him.
He kept walking, his jaw hardening and his fists clenched. He told himself to ignore her, despite her continuous pleas. It worked—he was angry enough to the point that all of her words seemed to just go through one ear and fly out the other.
And then, suddenly, her tone changed. He stopped walking, and he really heard her this time.
Softly and sadly, she spoke— "Syaoran, just...please." Her voice broke at the last word.
He couldn't take it. He turned around slowly, speaking every word with vehemence. "You did all of that just to impress those snobs?"
He could see that she was about to say something, but he kept talking before she could interrupt him. "You...you toyed with me, and you lied to me, just to fit in?" He could hear his own words getting steadily louder and angrier.
She shook her head vigorously, tears streaming down her face. "No! It's not like that! It's not—"
"Get over it, Kinomoto."
Both turned around at the same time to see who had spoken, and he noticed the look of mingled dread and disgust on her face. It was them.
Sakura Kinomoto met face-to-face with the floor, her books flying out of her arms. Angrily, she looked up at a student standing behind her, but he shrugged with an honest look on his face. People walking by, of course, either had to stare, point, or laugh, or just do a combination of the three. Ignoring the people around her, Sakura looked behind her to see what she'd tripped over. Usually, someone tripped her in the hallways; not this time. She blushed. She'd tripped over her own shoelace.
"Sorry," she said to the person she'd glared at. Picking up her scattered books, Sakura walked down the hall to her classroom, stopped halfway when she realized her shoelace was still untied, set her books down, tied her shoelace, picked her books up again, heard the bell ring, and groaned. That was the second class she'd be late to that day. Two detentions. Joy.
Just then, a group of popular girls, consisting of the cheerleading captain, Chiharu; track team star, Meiling; the self-proclaimed queen of the school, Mai; and their tag-along homework-doer, Naoko; who were whispering something quietly and giggling, walked right in front of Sakura and stopped. Of course, they could be late to class. The teachers at this school were so biased that these girls literally got star-quality treatment.
Sakura had always had ambiguous feelings about this group of girls; while they were unnecessarily mean and nasty and she loathed them for it, she also had to admire their confidence—they were gutsy, something she was entirely not. Like most people in the school, she felt an unbearable need to impress them, something she could not resist, but also something she'd never accomplished.
And then, there was the fear.
These were the same girls Sakura had grown up with; and while they had all been friends back in elementary school, things had inevitably changed by the time they reached high school. Certain girls had become more popular and some had simply fallen into the backdrop; it was a way of life. Sakura was one of the girls who had fallen into the backdrop. In fact, she was probably the best at blending in with the wallpaper. Few people recognized her once she hit high school, and things hadn't changed for the past three years she'd been here. Chiharu, Mai, Meiling, and Naoko had gone the opposite way—they'd become instant celebrities with their looks and charm. In a typical situation, the popular girls would have left her alone—girls like Sakura weren't worth their time.
But it wasn't like that for Sakura.
Yes, they had been friends in elementary school, but their feelings for her had soured as instantly as they had become famous. It was odd; she never knew what she'd done to them, but for some reason, they seemed to want to stomp all over her every chance they got, so they had bullied her ever since her first day in high school, a day she did not like to recall too often. And it wasn't even the outright bullying that people in TV, movies, and books described—no, it was something a bit more different, a bit more subtle, but also more dangerous, than that. It had hurt her feelings initially; naïve (or perhaps more reasonable) as she was, she'd thought that they would still want to be acquaintances, if not friends, when they hit high school.
But it was something she'd just come to deal with; she wasn't inherently one to fight back. So she straightened up and waved awkwardly. "Hi."
Mai laughed. "Hey, Kinomoto."
Sakura lowered her eyes to the ground, waiting for them to say something mean and move on, but all she heard for the next two seconds was...
Complete silence. She looked up, puzzled. Why were they just standing there, grinning like idiots at her? "Er...did you...need anything?"
Meiling spoke up. "Well, we were just wondering if nerds like you had any guts." The girls tittered.
Sakura sighed and began to shuffle towards her class, thinking it was over. That was a surprisingly soft insult, though—they usually said meaner things than that. But Meiling stopped her, standing in her way, and grinned again.
Sakura stopped and shifted her books from one arm to the other. "Look, you guys, I really don't have time—"
Chiharu interrupted her, and Sakura could tell that she was trying to keep a straight face. "But, seriously, Sakura. We wanted to do a little...experiment with you." It sounded sadistic, the way she was talking about it; the other girls grinned, reminiscent of the hyenas in The Lion King.
"What...what kind of experiment?" Sakura raised an eyebrow, wondering what they were getting at. This is such an odd confrontation, she thought.
"We wanted to propose a bet with you, to see if you have the nerves to do it." Chiharu shook her red bangs out of her face and gave Sakura a dazzling—and, Sakura couldn't help but think, deceitful—smile.
Sakura shook her head and immediately walked away. It was not a good idea to get involved with these girls. They were like a high school mafia. And judging by the way they were looking at her—and her past history with them—they would make her do something awful.
"Fine then," she heard Mai say from behind her. "Meiling, I win—you owe me twenty bucks."
"Not fair, Mai! You knew she would say no..."
The girls laughed and walked away, their voices fading as they walked farther away from her.
She looked up at the ceiling exasperatedly. A mixture of curiosity, atypical daring, and that desire to impress them were bottling up inside of her, getting ready to explode...
She stopped dead in her tracks and turned around, calling them back loudly. "What did you just say? Were you betting on the bet that you just offered me?" I wonder if they'll lose all their money gambling when they grow up, she thought, and in spite of herself, she felt a smile creep into the corners of her lips.
Mai turned around to face Sakura. "Isn't that what it looks like?"
All funny thoughts forgotten, she turned red. So they were betting on her cowardice. They'd known that she'd say no, and they'd just done this whole thing for laughs. And for once, she felt anger. Not fear, but just anger. That admiration was still there, though. She wanted to prove to them—and she didn't know why—but she wanted to prove them that she was not a chicken. She wanted to prove them wrong. It was a bad idea, but... "Well, I'll do it, whatever it is."
Mai raised a carefully arched eyebrow, but she grinned. "All right. What you have to do is go out with Syaoran Li. Not on just one date, but on three. And you can't tell him that you're going to ask him out on three dates—you have to ask him to each one individually."
Sakura opened her mouth to protest. Syaoran Li was the most popular boy in school, and she'd just make a fool out of herself by asking him. He'd laugh in her face! It was impossible. It was utterly impossible.
Mai continued. "You have to have gone out with him three times by a month from now."
Sakura gulped. "What if I lose?"
"Well, if you lose," Mai said slowly, as though she were talking to a small child, the other girls laughing behind her, "then that means he'll have said no to you. The news'll get around—believe me, because if it doesn't, we'll do something about it—and that will pretty much be punishment enough in itself. But if that's not enough for you, then we'll just spread some more rumors, just to be on the safe side." Mai flashed her a smile and walked away, her entourage following behind.
Sakura watched them retreat and sighed. What have I gotten myself into?
Sakura sidled into the classroom, trying to go unnoticed. Of course, it didn't work.
"Kinomoto, where have you been? Class started fifteen minutes ago! It's just not like you to be late like you've been lately," the teacher scolded.
Sakura lowered her eyes to the ground. "I'm sorry, I just had a little—er, conflict in the hallway—"
"Detention after school." The teacher said.
She blushed. "I already have a detention."
The teacher went back to the board. "I guess that makes two hours, then."
Sakura sighed and walked to her seat, ignoring the giggles of the students around her. Why her detentions were so funny to them, she would never understand.
Opening her textbook to the right page, she tuned her ears out from the teacher's droning on about whatever and stared grimly at Syaoran, who was sitting a row away from her. She'd heard things about him—and not just the typical things, like how good-looking he'd always been or how he was so rich or how he'd never had a girlfriend or even gone out with another girl, but other things, like how he'd rejected practically every girl who'd asked him out, and with blunt and brutal honesty.
Well, this is definitely something to look forward to.
"Syaoran, just the man I wanted to see!" A black-haired boy with a never-ceasing cheerful expression ran up to another boy with unruly chestnut hair, bangs that were just as messy, and amber eyes responsible for captivating the hearts of practically every girl who laid eyes on them.
Syaoran kept walking. "What do you want, Yamazaki?"
Takashi Yamazaki grinned. In addition to his naturally cheerful demeanor, he was one of the few people who'd truly known Syaoran for a long time, so the bad attitude was nothing new. He had a slight bounce in his walk as the two made their way across the quad. "I wanted to know if you had any plans after school."
Syaoran shrugged. "I have two hours of martial arts practice."
"Not the usual seven?" Yamazaki's grin grew wider. The wisecrack earned him nothing but a slap on the back of the head from Syaoran himself.
"It's not my fault that I work harder than you and Eriol combined," Syaoran responded arrogantly.
Yamazaki snorted. "Hey, Eriol studies martial arts, too. Don't think you're all high and mighty—"
"Well, what do you do?"
Yamazaki laughed. "You know. I build Gundam models."
Syaoran let out a chuckle. Yamazaki was extremely different from anyone else he hung out with—foolish, a jokester, and a nerd about all things anime and video games to the extreme—but there was just this casual air about him that Syaoran liked a lot. He was one of the only two people in the world who could see past Syaoran's cool façade; Eriol Hiiragizawa, who was out sick that day, was the other person.
Yamazaki was moving his hands around wildly as he talked, a typical habit that he'd had since he was a child—a result of his enthusiasm over everything under the sun. "Anyway, I was thinking we could go to the skating rink tonight. The lake's finally frozen over, and—"
Syaoran cut him off. "The skating rink? What would you want to do there?"
"Hm, I don't know...skate?"
Syaoran threw Yamazaki a suspicious look.
Yamazaki looked back innocently—a little too innocently—for a moment, and then he broke down, still grinning. "Come on, Syaoran! Sixteen and you've never even gone on a date! People are starting to talk about you, you know. Honestly, I don't know how you're even the most popular guy in school...anyhow, practically all the girls from school are going to be there for the opening. Mai is going to be there! Guys will be lining up for her. You might as well get in there with them, you probably have the best chance of her saying yes."
Syaoran shrugged. "I guess I'll go."
"All right! Meet me there at six, then. See you at lunch!" Yamazaki said excitedly, and he ran to his next class.
Syaoran shook his head. Why am I friends with this guy again?
Sakura paced around the sidewalk of her school nervously—it was in front of the building where Syaoran's next class was. She'd decided to ask him soon and get it over with.
This whole bet was not without effort; she'd gone to the restroom earlier to try to improve her appearance, but it had simply not worked. All of the makeup she'd put on herself had made her look like a clown, and she'd ended up sighing and wiping it all off.
She held her breath as she spotted Syaoran walking her way. Cautiously, Sakura stepped in front of him and opened her mouth to say something...
And was she surprised when nothing could come out.
Syaoran stood there for a second, staring at her with a confused expression on his face, and then he rolled his eyes and walked away.
Sakura finally found her voice and broke into a run, chasing after him. "Wait!"
Syaoran turned around, looking baffled and annoyed. "What do you want?"
She reminded herself to calm down a bit—she knew she was probably freaking him out with her antics. "My name is Sakura Kinomoto. You probably don't know me, but I thought I'd like to get to know you, so I..." Sakura's mind went blank again.
After waiting for Sakura to say something, Syaoran frowned. "Look, if you're going to say something to me, say it."
She let out a shaky breath. Why was she so nervous? "I was kind of wondering...if you'd...if you'd like to go out with me."
Sakura closed her eyes, half expecting for Syaoran to laugh loudly and walk away, leaving her alone in her humiliation and misery...but he didn't laugh. He just raised an eyebrow, looked her over, and left.
Okay, that wasn't so bad...
But somehow, Sakura felt worse than she would have felt if she'd been laughed at.
Syaoran walked to his next class, not feeling bad at all about what he'd just done. This was just a daily routine thing for him: some girl he didn't know would ask him out, he'd say no, end of story. But there had been one thing that had been a little different about this one.
Right before he turned around and left, he'd seen her eyes—an uncannily bright emerald green—and they were full of something that he could not seem to put a finger on. Whatever it was, it was sad and slightly haunting, because now he couldn't get the image of those eyes out of his brain. He'd never seen anything like it before, and it set him slightly on edge.
But then, after another moment, he proceeded into the classroom without another thought about it.
Why do I feel bad that he rejected me, anyway? I never even cared about him before, Sakura thought to herself as she stood in line to get lunch. Her morning classes had gone by quickly, since she wasn't really paying attention; she'd been thinking about the incident and repeating her thoughts over and over all morning. It was true—although he was the most popular person in school, Sakura didn't fawn over him like other girls did. She didn't even care for him, because she'd figured he was just a big snob; and she was right. But the way he'd rejected her—she'd seen the coldness in his expression as he'd just looked her over as though she was some kind of freak. It had hurt her more than she'd thought it would.
There was a lone table at the end of the cafeteria, but she would have to walk down to it under the scrutiny of every student around her, and she was not up for it today. It was cold outside, the middle of December, but she felt like eating outside anyway, so she carried her tray out to the abandoned courtyard and sat on a bench.
The look on Syaoran's face was branded in her mind, and to her surprise, Sakura saw tears spill onto her tray. Why on earth was she crying? He was just some selfish, arrogant snob, and Sakura had actually expected him to refuse—just not that way. Her thoughts wandered to why she even asked him, and she remembered the dare.
Sakura wiped her eyes and threw her food out, not eating anything. She felt new resolve; she'd endured three years of relative obscurity, and even beyond that, heartless bullying. She wasn't going to let Mai get the last laugh. She was going to ask Syaoran Li out on a date, and he was going to say yes. Now she just had to think up a plan.
Syaoran drank his water absentmindedly as he listened to Yamazaki loudly tell a joke to the boys at the lunch table. He wasn't listening to the joke; Yamazaki being one of his best friends, he'd heard the joke plenty of times, enough to make him want to punch Yamazaki in the face every time he heard it. The boys roared with laughter, and soon after, the subject changed. Syaoran sighed and opened an ear.
"So, are you guys going to go to the skating rink tonight?" Yamazaki asked.
All of the boys nodded and murmured in agreement.
"You're going, Syaoran, right?" one of the boys asked him.
Syaoran merely shrugged.
Yamazaki looked at him confusedly. "I thought you said you'd go?"
Syaoran shrugged again. "If all the girls will be there, they're going to bug me."
All the boys groaned.
"For crying out loud, you're such an anti-social! What do the girls see in you anyway? God, if there was something I could give just to see how you'd even interact with a member of the opposite sex—" Yamazaki stopped talking for a second. A plan was forming in his head, Syaoran could tell, and he frowned as a grin slowly spread over Yamazaki's face. "Syaoran, I have a challenge for you."
Syaoran looked warily at his friend, screwing and unscrewing the cap of his water bottle. "A challenge, huh?"
"Look. If you go out with the next girl who asks you on a date, I'll try to predict whether or not you guys are compatible enough to stay in a relationship that lasts at least a month. If I'm wrong, I'll go to college."
Syaoran was surprised. They were all sixteen and ready to graduate in a year. Both Syaoran and Eriol planned to go to very good universities, especially since they had the grades to make it there, but Yamazaki had said that high school was enough. He was like a brother to Syaoran, so his not going to college really worried him. It wouldn't be as easy to get a decent job without going to college.
One of the things Syaoran wanted most was for Yamazaki to get into a university—he had good enough grades, so it was a definite possibility if Yamazaki would just make the effort. However, this relationship idea was the problem; the reason why he hated dates was because to him, girls were all the same. They were stuck-up, self-involved snobs who never talked about anything or anyone but themselves; and if they weren't they were geeks who had no lives. And no matter what their differences, both external and internal, they all had one thing in common: they wanted to have a piece of Syaoran's immense—and slightly inexplicable—popularity.
For a brief moment, Syaoran wondered why Yamazaki would so recklessly bet his future on whether Syaoran got a girlfriend. Reason came to his aid. Come on, it'll make Yamazaki go to college!
Despite his cold exterior, Syaoran would have done anything for Eriol and Yamazaki—brothers to him, as he'd grown up with only a mother and four sisters—and the thought of winning something so easily made him want to jump at the chance. Just one little date, and if Yamazaki said that the relationship would work out, he'd just sabotage it. If he said the opposite...well, then Syaoran would force himself to keep the relationship going. He wouldn't like it one bit, but if it made him go to college...
"I'll do it."
The boys at the table all grinned, each one knowing that he would have to accept no matter what the circumstances were. It was like a sick reality show. Yamazaki grinned along with them, and strangely, he was quiet the rest of the lunch period, smiling to himself and letting others tell the jokes for once.
Syaoran's previous thoughts crept back to him. Why would Yamazaki agree to do something he hated so much over whether Syaoran got a girlfriend or not? And then, he realized, even though he felt he'd known for a long time, that Yamazaki would do anything for his friends, too. He wanted Syaoran to find someone he liked.
Sakura stepped into a tub of hot water. She was taking a short bath so she could be as warm as possible when she got to the skating rink. It was evening now, and other teenagers all over Tomoeda were excitedly getting ready for the ice rink, which hadn't been open for two years.
She'd heard that Syaoran would be there. She felt, for some weird reason, that if she asked Syaoran in front of his friends, there would be more of a chance that he'd say yes. Or, she thought to herself, there's more of a chance that I'll just be absolutely humiliated. Again.
Fifteen minutes later, she stepped out of the tub, quickly toweled off, and put on her warmest winter clothes before the warm feeling from the bath was gone. After getting ready, she grabbed her ice skates, yelled down the hall to her father that she was going out, and headed towards the skating rink. It was cold out, but Sakura felt perfectly fine, thanks to her bath.
I hope he'll say yes this time...
Syaoran inhaled fresh, cold air and sighed happily. It'd been awhile since he'd gone skating outside, and it felt good. Stepping onto the ice, he waddled around for a few seconds till he was gliding and turning gracefully. He'd ice skated every winter, but not ever outdoors, at least not for a few years. He ignored the admiring stares from the girls skating or sitting around the rink, until he crashed into someone when he'd looked to the side for a second. The bump caused both to fall hard on the ice.
"Ow," Syaoran heard a feminine voice mutter, and he immediately realized who it was when he saw her eyes. Those green eyes had burned a permanent image in his head that afternoon. "You!"
"Sorry...sorry about that," she murmured quietly, and then looked down at her leg, suddenly wincing in pain.
Syaoran looked down to see what was wrong and gasped. There was a gash in her shin, and blood was starting to spread on her pant leg; by now, a crowd had gathered around the two, who were still on the ground. The blade on my skate must have slipped against her leg when we crashed, he thought. Quickly, Syaoran got up and the crowd cleared a path. Sakura tried to stand on both feet, but she ended up having to hop, which was difficult on her ice skates.
A bit reluctantly, Syaoran offered to let her lean on his shoulder until they got off the ice. It was his fault, after all.
People stared shamelessly as Sakura dropped down on a seat and the patrol came by to help. The cut was large and deep; Sakura's pant leg was soaked with blood now. Syaoran stuck around to make sure she was okay, said sorry after her leg had been bandaged, and walked off towards Yamazaki. Yamazaki looked towards Sakura briefly with a slight look of concern on his face, and then looked to Syaoran, who sat down beside him. "Is she okay?"
Syaoran nodded. "Man, you don't watch out for what's in front of you for one second, and this is what happens," he said with a sigh.
Yamazaki laughed. "As long as she's okay and not angry at you, I'm sure it's alright." He changed the subject quickly to something he'd been asking all day. "Has anyone asked you out yet?"
"No, thank God."
Yamazaki sighed. "Well, someone's bound to soon."
The two sat there and talked for awhile, when someone suddenly came over and stood in front of Syaoran.
It was her.
"What do you want?" he muttered irritably, refusing to look at her again. "I said I was sorry."
Sakura looked down at her feet uncomfortably. "Um...no, that's not it. I'm not angry at you—it wasn't your fault. I wasn't looking."
Syaoran's peeved expression softened. Okay, so she wasn't so bad. At least she wasn't as crazy and self-centered as some of the other girls.
"Look, I know I asked you before and you said no, but I'm not out for your popularity or whatever, if that's what you're thinking. I just honestly want to get to know you, and I'm asking you one more time—would you like to go out with me?" Sakura felt herself turn red as she realized she was pretty much telling only half the truth. Get to know him? Possibly. Her main reason, however, was to prove Mai wrong.
Shoot. Syaoran looked towards Yamazaki, who happened to be grinning from ear to ear. Of course, Syaoran felt like punching him as hard as he could, Yamazaki being the one who started all of this. He seriously wanted to say no, but he wanted Yamazaki to go to college more; and, not to mention, he did feel really bad for cutting her leg like that.
A little more exasperatedly than he meant to, he sighed and said, "Sure, why not."
Yamazaki smiled, and Sakura laughed happily.
"Really?" they both asked at the same time.
Bewildered, Sakura stared at Yamazaki, who smiled back innocently; baffled but not wanting to be distracted, she turned her attention back to Syaoran.
Syaoran grumbled, "Yeah, really."
"Wow! Great. Where do you want to go?"
"Um...McDonald's or something, I guess." Yamazaki nudged Syaoran hard in the side. "Ow! Fine...let's go to that new restaurant by our school. Today's Friday, right? Um...tomorrow night at seven, then. Meet me there."
Sakura nodded happily and Syaoran glared at Yamazaki. "Are you happy now?"
Sakura looked a little surprised. "Um...just wanted to say thanks." She slowly walked away.
Yamazaki shook his head. "You seriously need an attitude adjustment when it comes to girls."
Syaoran shrugged. "Whatever. So, will it work out between us?"
Yamazaki stared at Sakura's slowly retreating figure. "I guess there's a small possibility...but I'm definitely thinking no."
Syaoran groaned. He'd have to force himself to keep a month-long relationship...with her, of all people.
Well, that's it—sorry if the story isn't that great so far. I'll be working on it soon, so please be patient for me to update, and please review! 8) Thanks for reading!