Author's Note: This is…sort of something I've decided to try. I'm not sure if you'll all like it, because this isn't something I'm used to writing. But I'll give it a try.
Dateline: Thursday 3:15 PM
Location: Penguin Park
Sakura took her time getting home, despite having been dismissed from school an hour earlier. A month had passed since she got home from the United States. She had sealed the 20 American Cards and placed them back in Clow Reed's incomplete book; and from what Kero told her, she also unknowingly made a 21st American Card that completed the book.
She didn't think too much of that, though. She had a lot of catching up to do at school, as she had missed a lot of time. Begrudgingly, she eventually did do it and turned the work in. At least now, she could focus on her own life again. But there was one thing that had been bothering her lately.
It was her best friend, Madison Taylor, who missed school for the second straight day. Their relationship has been shaky over the last few weeks. Although they had been best friends practically their whole lives, Madison still felt uneasy around Sakura. Sakura knew why. Madison still felt heartily sorry for what she had done while in the United States. In a completely spontaneous moment, she and Li Shoran…kissed each other. Sakura still didn't want to remember that and that moment nearly severed their friendship forever. Of course, Sakura eventually forgave her, but Madison still felt guilty. It was evident every time they were around each other.
Li thought Madison was acting weird for another reason. He knew how she felt about Eriol and Sakura agreed with that idea. Madison tried to hide her true feelings, but they couldn't stay hidden. The Memory Card made sure of that. And since the Memory Card brought that memory out, Madison seemingly couldn't get Eriol out of her mind.
Finally, the long walk was done. Sakura was finally home.
Dateline: Thursday 3:15 PM
Location: Sakura's house
Sakura walked in her front door and calmly walked passed her family. Of course, it was hard to ignore Tori, who was waiting by her bedroom door.
"You caught up yet, squirt?" he asked.
"I already told you," Sakura growled. "I'm caught up. It only took me a few weeks. That's what happens…when I have to testify."
Sakura didn't forget her fake alibi. Her family thought she was in the United States to testify against a murderer, when she was actually hunting cards. It was enough for her to keep her secret from her family.
"Did you want something?" Sakura asked, when she noticed Tori wasn't moving.
"Just wanted to tell you that the Chinese brat called," Tori answered. "He wanted to talk to you."
"Thanks," Sakura said brightly. "I'll call him right now…if a certain nosy brother gets out of my way."
"All right, whatever," Tori muttered. "Just don't invite him over right now. It'd be in his best interest to stay as far away from me as possible."
Finally, Tori moved out of the way and Sakura ran into her room. She tossed her backpack aside, without looking at where she was throwing it.
Sakura sweatdropped. "Oh, I'm so sorry, Kero. I didn't hit you, did I?"
Kero crawled out from under Sakura's backpack. "Oh, of course not. You didn't hit me. You NAILED me!"
"Sorry," Sakura apologized, "but I have other things on my mind right now."
"And I bet those other things all have to do with Li."
"How did you know?" Sakura grinned.
"Because you're always talking about him," Kero answered. "You can't live a day without him. And this after you two almost broke up."
"I've gotten over that," Sakura retorted. "He made a mistake and he's sorry for it. Besides…with everything that's happened in the United States…I really don't know how much time we'll have."
"Come on, Sakura," Kero pleaded. "Stop with the guilt trip. The kid got shot in the arm. It was an isolated incident and it certainly wasn't your fault."
Sakura hasn't come out of the United States without her share of changes as well. She felt so guilty on the trip home. She had come so close to ending her relationship with Li. At one point, she even told him she hated him. Then he got shot. If he had died, then Sakura would have never forgiven herself. Sakura realized that it was all in the past, but it still lingered in the back of her mind.
"I know it wasn't," Sakura finally said. "I wish I could be more like Li. He's pretty much forgotten the whole thing. But what do you think he called me for, Kero?"
"Same thing he always calls you for," he answered. "He wants to tell you how much he loves you."
Sakura beamed. She really loved when he did that and she knew he meant it. When Li moved back to Japan and declared his love for Sakura, his family was against it. They ordered Li to come home, which he refused. Then they had their falling out. Li hadn't spoken to his family in years…and it was all because of the love he had for Sakura. She had often forgotten about that. But the more Sakura thought about it, the more she realized how much Li really loved her.
Sakura reached for her phone, but as she picked it up, it began to ring. Sakura quickly answered it. "Hello?"
"Sakura? It's Li."
Sakura smiled gently. "Did you try calling me earlier?"
"Yeah. I need to talk to you. It's…pretty important."
"Is it bad?"
"That depends on how you look at it. I really need to talk to you about it."
"Ok, we'll talk. Where are you?"
"Right behind you."
Sakura gasped and turned around. She saw Li Shoran hanging on branch near her window, holding one of Madison's cell phones. He usually wasn't one to take advantage of living in one of her guesthouses, but Li liked taking a cell phone and surprising Sakura.
Sakura didn't. "How many times do I have to tell you NOT to do that?! It always freaks me out!"
Li hung up his phone. "Sorry. It's just something I love to do. So can you open this window? It's getting pretty cold out here."
Sakura sighed and opened her window. Li casually slid in and landed right by her bed. Usually, he would greet Sakura with a kiss, but this time he didn't. That made Sakura nervous. What did Li have to tell her?
"What is it?" she finally asked.
"Have you seen Madison all day?" Li asked.
"She wasn't at school," Sakura answered. "You know that. But you're the one living in her guesthouse. Haven't you seen her?"
Li asked his question again. "You haven't seen her?"
Sakura shook her head. "I haven't seen her. Li, is something wrong?"
Li looked out the window. "Then…she really did it."
"What do you mean?" asked the now-concerned Sakura. "Li, what did she do? Please tell me!"
"She said she'd do it," Li began, "but I didn't believe her. I didn't think she meant it. I should have known better."
Sakura was begging for Li to tell her. "What is it?!"
"It happened yesterday," he continued, "when I was on my way home. I was cutting across Penguin Park…"
Dateline: Wednesday 3:00 PM (Flashback)
Location: Penguin Park
Li tried walking through Penguin Park, hoping it would get him home a little earlier. He hoped to call Sakura again. They were practically inseparable since they got back and Li wouldn't have it any other way; not after coming so close to losing her.
But suddenly, Li stopped walking. He could see a dark-haired girl sitting on a bench by the pond. It was Madison. She wasn't at school today, but she was here. Li decided to walk up to her.
When he got to the bench, she looked sad. Her face looked like it was filled by tears just a moment ago. She wasn't surprised to see Li there. She only looked at him and waved weakly.
"Is something wrong?" Li asked.
Madison sighed hopelessly. "I miss him, Li."
"You're thinking about Eriol again, aren't you?"
Madison looked out into the pond as she plucked a purple rose. "I actually held out hope that he would come back someday. But every day passes and there's nothing that says he'll do that. I'm starting to think he'll never come back to Japan."
"I'm sorry." Li didn't know what else to say.
"I don't know what else to do, Li. I really don't think I can go on like this. I want so much to be able to see him again. And if he won't come back…then maybe I should go see him. I'll go to England myself."
Li scoffed. "You…go to England? You wouldn't."
Madison suddenly became angry. "What do you mean? You think I wouldn't? Li Shoran, you can actually sit there and tell me that I wouldn't go look for Eriol?! Let me tell you something, Li! If it actually comes to that, then I'll be on a flight to England TOMORROW!"
"Come on, Madison. You know you wouldn't do that."
"We'll see," Madison huffed. She stormed off, leaving Li alone by the pond.
He didn't believe any of it. Madison going to England? It wouldn't happen. She especially wouldn't go tomorrow. She wouldn't.
Dateline: Thursday 3:30 PM
Location: Sakura's room
"I didn't think she would. But if she hasn't been seen the whole day, she probably has. Especially since I found these."
Li handed Sakura a receipt. It was for a one-way ticket to London, England. She couldn't believe it. Madison was actually going through with this. But Sakura noticed something. The receipt said it was a ticket for a flight at 8:00 PM. It was only 3:30. Sakura started to get an idea.
"Li? How's the weather in England this time of year?"
Li knew exactly where she was going with this. "No…no…no…you can't mean…?"
Kero knew it, too. He flew right up to Sakura's face. "You can't mean it, Sakura. You can't mean…?"
"We're going to England," she said firmly.
"Sakura!" Kero shouted. "There's no way! How can you possibly get tickets on time?"
"You leave that up to me."
Dateline: Thursday 3:50 PM
Location: Sakura's room (Post-Phone Call)
"Thank you very much. We'll be there in about an hour."
Sakura hung up the phone with a big smile on her face. She looked at Li. "There were just two cancellations on Madison's flight. I got us tickets."
"How are you paying for them again?" Kero asked.
"I've had some money saved for a rainy day. Get packed, Li! You have about an hour and a half to get ready."
"So…what should I tell Madison?" Li asked.
Sakura hesitated. "Nothing. Don't tell her anything."
"Huh? You can't mean that. You…"
"Just hear me out," Sakura interrupted. "Madison obviously wants to do this alone. She doesn't want any of us to know about it. But I'm not about to stand by and let my best friend look for love…alone. I want to be there to see it."
"So you don't want Madison to know we're there?" Li asked. "We won't be able to pull that off."
"You just leave that to me," Sakura grinned.
"You're sounding more like Eriol everyday," Li frowned.
Sakura's emerald eyes sparkled. "You haven't seen anything yet."
Any comments? Good? Bad? Let me know, because this is something I've been experimenting with. Let me know and review below. If I do get positive feedback, then I won't be able to update for a while. Unlike my previous stories, this one's still in progress. So I might be back in a few days, if not a week.