Zenhir: no excuses, all I have to say is sorry. its a short chapter that gets to the point. But I'm happy to tell readers that I am back in the game and I have the entire story planned out now. so that means No more waiting. Yay!

Lavender
Chapter Eight
Define Life for Me

Sakura's eyes bulged at the glittering heart pendant that was being teasingly held in front of her face.

"For you," He said and dropped it in to her palms.

"But this…"

"It's real white gold…hey! Don't look at me like that, I saw you staring at it yesterday so…"

"Thank you Syaoran!" She embraces him and he stumbles back a few steps to catch his balance.

Someone cleared their throat loudly besides them. Sakura looked up to find Tomoyo with a watering can and a stern expression.

"Well, if you expect me to cover up your shift Sakura you should at least do this more subtly so as not to awake the sleeping tiger over there…" She shouldered Eriol's direction who was found in the morning asleep at his table with Tomoyo's jacket slung over his shoulders.

Syaoran removes Sakura from his grip and muttered a quiet apology in Tomoyo's direction before turning towards Sakura again, "Well, shall we go?"

She accepts his arm and gives Tomoyo a bright smile before they left the stairs of Tomoeda nursery on their first long awaited day out together.

Tomoyo folds her arms across her chest and smiles too, "Teenagers." She shakes her head as if she was a mother watching her daughter walk out of the house on her first date with the boy she loved.


Hiroki felt as he was waking up from a nightmare when he saw her walking down the plane. Finally, someone sensible could snap Xiao Lang back to his senses.

"Ah, Erika!" He exclaimed warmly as she glided down the stairs smiling a much practiced smile as cameras flashed, "Shall I take your bags for you?"

"No, I asked for a personal carrier, I didn't hardly expect to carry all these things myself," And as she spoke, two men shuffled over with nearly a truckload of suitcases and variously sized bags. The sight of it caused Hiroki to shiver with happiness.

"So this means you're staying!"

She gives him an angry look, "What do you think I came all this way for! After Xiao Lang deserted me for this ridiculous joke of a tour I thought maybe I could at least keep him company among this…disgusting trash...but anyways, where is Xiao Lang? Is he hiding from me?"

Hiroki felt sweat slide down his forehead, "Well…you see…he had this very important interview…and…"

"He didn't cancel it for me? Ha, I think I need to train him from scratch it seems…well…what are we waiting for? I want to see where we're going to live for the next couple months. I do hope it comes with only one bedroom." And with this the girl smiled mischievously.


Sakura inhaled the pleasant smell of sea water and touched the pendant on her neck. She felt warm arms wrap around her from behind and she smiles.

"We're lucky there's no one here today," He whispered in her ear.

"No, we're just lucky to be here." She tilts her head up to stare at his eyes. They showed so much love and affection it seemed as if they were kids again. They were simply taking a small detour from home. For a strange moment she imagined themselves in their school uniform, laughing and having fun on a deserted beach.

"It must've been difficult for you."

"Just a little…but now I'm glad I made it." Syaoran sighed and spread himself out on the hot sand, "Plus, it brought me back to you, Sakura. I would've done it all again if it brought me back to you."

Sakura felt her stomach flutter. Everything was turning out the way she had hoped. Perhaps it was slightly late and with many more undesired problems in between, it still turned out like the perfect ending to her story. But there was still one thing that was bothering her.

"Syaoran…don't you think that your – "

A phone rings and Syaoran cursed out loud, "I thought I left it…god…hold on, Sakura, this will only take a minute, yes, Hello?"

Sakura cups her chin in her hand and watches as Syaoran sits upright with his phone pressed to his ear. She had expected something like this to happen. He was a star. Having a second to spare with her in secret was better than anything she could possibly hope for.

"No, no way, I cancelled it, yes…no, fine, Hiroki canceled it, no, I heard him say it, could you just – why not? – I did this before why can't I do it a – this is ridiculous – I'm busy right now! – you know what – what? – no – no" There was a long pause. Sakura heard a jabbering high pitched voice rambling in the background. She couldn't make out if it was a girl or perhaps a very excited man. Suddenly Syaoran jumped to his feet, sand scattered the ground and Sakura squealed with surprise. He gave her a quick look of apology before returning to his business on the phone, "Okay, okay – fine! – I'll be right over – right – good bye now and don't bother me again on this number or I'll have it changed, got that? Good." He hung up and stared at his phone.

"Frustrated?" Sakura asked.

"I'm sorry – I just – have to – here, you can come with me, it won't take long." He muttered while raking his fingers through his hair. Before Sakura could answer, he had already taken her hand and was leading her back up the hill.

"How long will this take?"

"Do you need to go?" Syaoran asked as he inserted his keys and started the engine to his car.

"It's just – Touya – he…he's going to be wondering where I am and I don't want to – " Sakura looked away.

"Lie, you don't want to lie to him. It's okay." Syaoran pulled out of the parking space, "I'll drop you home, we can do this some other day."

"But you're so busy and I really don't want to mess up your schedule for me!"

He surprised her when his hand shot out of nowhere and landed on her own. He squeezed her hand gently, "Look, Sakura, it took me twelve years to meet up with you again, I don't care about my goddamn career if it means taking me away from you. I'd quit singing if it meant that, so just, just let me take care of it okay? You should worry about your own health first, have you seen any professional doctors?"

Sakura looked at his profile. It seemed so perfect hearing words like those coming from his mouth. It was as if the old Syaoran she knew had completely returned to her. Xiao Lang never even existed.

"Sakura?"

"Oh! Yes, my brother's a pretty good doctor; he takes care of me for the most part."

He was silent for a moment then let out a satisfied noise, "I trust your brother, and he'll do what's best for you. Now, um, was it right or left?"

"Wait was that – "

"Yes that was Tomoeda Nurser – "

"RIGHT, RIGHT SYAORAN! TURN RIGHT!"

"For the love of god, okay!" He said and Sakura released her grip on his hand. He let it rest there on her lap for a few seconds before shifting its weight back on to the steering wheel. Sakura was missing him already.


"So this is where my dear Xiao Lang lives, it's not that great, but I can live." Erika threw her purse on the couch and her assistants piled her other belongings on the floor, "Oh Hiroki, will you pick up the tab?"

Hiroki jumped to her aid and pulled out his wallet, pulling out a couple neatly folded bills and paid the men who exited with a flourishing bow.

"Hiroki?" She called.

"Yes Erika?" He answered like a servant to a lady.

"Where is Xiao Lang?" She looked around the room expectantly.

"I may have mentioned it to you but he is at an interview with a very famous…"

"Cancel it! I have to see him!"

"But…but I can't do that!"

"Yes, you can. And Yes, you will!" Erika exclaimed, "Or bring me to him. But its such horrid weather outside, I don't want to get be all gross and sweaty when I see him."

"Yes, of course you don't," Hiroki said, sweat trickling down his brow already, "I'll see what I can do Erika, in the meanwhile…make yourself at home! After all, Syaoran's home is your home."

Erika gave him an impressed smile, "I like that, Hiroki! My home..." She flung herself on to the same leather couch Sakura had laid on just nights before, "Huh, is this cheap leather?"

"Pardon me?" Hiroki asked, already halfway out the door.

"It feels lumpy, I can't have my Xiao Lang sitting on something pitiful like this. Have it removed immediately!"

"Of course, as Erika wishes. I'll be off to the studio now! Ta ta," with a bow almost as graceful as her assistant, Hiroki shut the door to Syaoran's room.

Erika gave a deep depressing sigh once the room was quiet. She decided a tour was in order and got to her feet. She clapped her hands together and hurried over to his table and peered at the contents strewn across it. Hm…music…what a good boy, he's been working so hard…instant noodles, gross, how fattening…She flipped through his drawers, not one bit caring about privacy. Old magazines…so many cassettes…oh what's this? She lifted up the picture of Syaoran and Sakura in their track uniforms.

"Is that my little Xiao Lang!" She exclaims with excitement, "What's that ugly thing standing next to him, hm, cousin perhaps, he probably forgot to dispose of this, I'll get rid of it for him." She drops it in to the wastebasket and continued to rustle through his things.

"A flower? Since when was Xiao Lang so sensitive. But what a pretty little vial!" She said, the vial of lavender held carelessly between her fingers, "It's so small…its hard to imagine it belongs to Xiao, well I'll just stick it back – oops!"

The vial knocked against the edge of the table as she lost her grip and it fell to the floor, shattering in to a constellation of pieces, "Oh…shit…how clumsy of me."

Then without warning the front door opens and Erika looks up to find Syaoran, staring at her with all the shock in the world written clearly on his face. Erika didn't notice a thing because she threw herself at him and promptly gave him a light kiss on his cheek, "Xiao Lang! Wo hao xiang ne oh!"

"Well I didn't exactly miss you," Syaoran said as he removed the ecstatic girl from himself and that's when he saw the remains of his vial on the floor, "What the hell happened!"

"Oh my god! I'm so sorry Xiao! I'll buy you a new one right away!"

"No! Erika, you've done enough! Just don't get yourself cut, are you bleeding? How can you be so stupid?"

Erika didn't listen to him. All she understood was that her Xiao Lang was mad at her and it was all her fault. She was on her hands and knees, "Tell me where you got this one! I'll find it, promise!"

"Erika…you can't find another one, I'm not mad, just get up."

"Xiao Lang, I'm so sorry…I didn't know what I was doing, I promise you that I'll find one! Just give me a couple of days and I'm sure I'll find one exactly like it!" She was starting for the door.

Syaoran reached out to stop her but she pushed him away with one hand, "Erika! Wait! Just – "

"I'll be back okay, Xiao Lang! I'll replace it, I promise!" And she had disappeared. Syaoran sunk to the floor.

Crap…what just happened…and what the heck was she doing here?


Sakura knew she was in deep trouble before she even opened the front door. Touya's car had been out front and he was rarely home early. It almost felt as if his wrath was seeping through the walls until she could barely bring up the courage to insert her keys. Then suddenly she was face to face with her brother and she thanked heavens Syaoran's car had already pulled out and left just moments ago because Touya looked furious.

"Get in; you're going to catch a cold."

"But, its almost eighty degrees outside!" Sakura protested.

"I said Get – Inside – Now!" Touya ordered, and Sakura hastily brushed by him, leaving her shoes outside which probably had sand in it. But Touya didn't spare one glance before he slammed the door shut. Sakura jumped.

"Touya! You're scaring me! What's happening?"

"I should be asking you, Sakura!" He shouted, "Don't lie to me now! You're seeing that Li bastard aren't you? Did you learn your lesson or not! Xiao Lang is dangerous! All he's going to do is bring you more trouble! Have you forgotten everything he's done to you?"

Sakura was speechless, "How, how do you know?"

"How do I know?" Touya almost laughed. It was a sarcastic laugh. It was an empty laugh. It was a laugh that scared Sakura, "Look – at – this – will you? It's been all over the papers for well over a week now! Do you even understand how it feels being in my situation right now, Sakura? My baby sister is running around on dates with some celebrity as if she was – she was some common hooker!"

"TOUYA!" Sakura screamed.

"Don't start with me! I had to deal with this crap from even my pateints! You are making it difficult for me, Sakura! This is in no way beneficial for you health! With your health deteriorating from all this outside activities it's no wonder you get sick so easily! You're just making it worse for yourself, Sakura! I told you, you can't see him! And that means YOU can't SEE HIM! Goddamnit, can't believe that son of a bitch actually laid his filthy undeserving hands on you – "

"You will NOT bring Syaoran in this!"

"And why shouldn't I? I have my right to bring in the man whose been playing around with my baby sister! I've been nice so far! I could've beaten his ass up ages ago!"

"Touya! You will not bring him in to this! I don't care if you scream at me, or get mad at me! But you can't bring Syaoran in it! It's not his fault I want to be with him! It's not his fault he wants to be with me!"

Touya was red in the face now and Sakura knew those were exactly the words he was terrified of hearing but she couldn't stand it anymore.

"It's not just about how you deal with Touya! What about me? What about my life? I can't stay under your care forever Touya! I'm twenty now! I'm already old enough to make my own decisions! You can't take care of me forever, Touya! You can't stop me from seeing Syaoran! You can't lock me up!"

Touya slammed the newspaper on the table and grabbed his sister by the shoulders, "You don't understand, Sakura! You need me! With your sickness, you can't survive out there like everyone else! You need special care and attention, does Syaoran understand that? No! He doesn't! He doesn't care crap about that stuff! Why? Because he's a celebrity with his own problems! But I CARE, Sakura! I've been caring since you were born! I take care of you! I make sure you're safe!"

Sakura pushes Touya's hands off violently, "How do you know he doesn't care, huh? He cares a lot about me, Touya! He's always cared for me!"

"You can't trust him!"

"I DO trust him! I'd trust him with my life!"

"If you go with him you won't have a life! He's like death waiting for you! I can't allow this to go on! You have to stop this madness, Sakura! Wake up and come to your senses, you're acting like you're five years old!"

Then Sakura did something shocking. She slapped her brother and the entire house held its breath in resounding silence. Touya stared at her; a finger lay across his cheek. There was a red swell where her palm had landed, "Sakura…"

"Touya, Touya, please…just listen to me." Sakura gasped, choking on her tears. She had never hit her brother. He had never hurt her. But this was something she just had to do. Something she had to say. She took a deep breath. Touya had frozen where he was, his breathing deep, but he was listening. He was waiting, but there was such a fear in his eyes that Sakura felt as if she was tearing him apart because he knew. He knew clear as day what she was about to say.

"Touya…" She breathed, "…I might be dying…"