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A CCS fanfic by Sakura
Standard disclaimers apply.
Slight misquoting from series is intentional.
Words enclosed in / are meant to be italicized.
Slightly revised version up 2002.9.4.
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"I'm home," I call out to an empty room as I wearily trudge in. My flat, which is too spacious for an twelve year-old living all by himself, is spotless. Everything is bathed in the faint orange glow of the setting sun. I should turn on the lights soon.
I yawn and go to my room, flinging my bag and hat on the bed. Aargh, I'm so tired. Three days of school to go before the weekend... I sink in my chair and slump forward on my desk, pressing my cheek against the cold wood. From where I sit I see my bag flung rather unceremoniously on the sheets, the contents spilling out. Lots of homework. Books borrowed from the library. And a rather dilapidated box wrapped in paper that reads in bold red letters, M-I-Y-A-K-E H-A-N-D-I-C-R--
That annoys me for some reason. I get up and stuff it back into the bag, way down below so I wouldn't be able to see it. "I have no time for you right now," I say. Which is the truth. Because there is dinner to make, dishes to wash, a flat to clean, homework to be done. And sometimes, just sometimes, if something odd happens --- a girl to protect.
I take my sword out and gaze at it. My brown eyes stare back at me, unblinking. A tendril or two of auburn hair falls over them. Hmmm, maybe I DO need a haircut... From the back of my mind I hear my sisters' voices giggling faintly. They grow louder and louder, until I could hear them clearly: Syaoran, get a haircut! Don't frown too much! Wear this shirt I bought you! Keep your back straight!
"HAH!" I cut through these voices with a firm swish. The blade glints dully in the darkness. If there's one thing I don't need, it's having my sisters treat me like a baby.
I do a little more sparring with the shadows. Having this sword in my hand calms me down for some reason. It's as if it assures me that yes, I am master of my destiny, and yes, I am strong, much stronger than your normal twelve year-old boy. Out of nowhere, Daidouji's voice rings out in my head: /But you are not strong enough to admit that you like Sa---/
"I TOLD YOU, IT'S NOT LIKE THAT!!" I scream, waving my sword frantically about.
Man, I'm such a nutcase.
I sigh and put the sword away. I get out of my uniform and reach for my shirt. My eyes travel back to my bag. Finally unable to help myself, I walk over, dig in and pull out the box wrapped in paper. MIYAKE HANDICRAFTS. I carefully take off the paper and reveal something I never thought I'd muster enough guts to lay my hands on or even shell out money for --- a teddy bear kit.
"Why the hell did I buy this, anyway?" I mutter.
I flip it into the wastebasket in the corner. It sails smoothly, hitting the edge, then bounces off somewhere in the darkness.
I was up in a tree as usual, staring off into space. This part of the schoolyard was usually quiet, and I often came here to think or read. It was probably one of the nicest places in the whole school.
Unfortunately, a group of girls thought so too.
They came up to the grove, picked out a nice spot --- which turned out to be directly below the tree I was in --- laid out a picnic mat, and sat there eating cookies. As they laughed and chattered, I eyed them with contempt. Noisy girls. I was getting ready to shimmy down the tree when I suddenly noticed that one of the girls was Sakura, and before I knew it I was shifting my position so I could watch her better. She bit into a cookie, munched a bit, then smiled. "It's really delicious, Rika-chan!" Her green eyes were soft, with long lashes. Unable to take my eyes off her, I felt my cheeks grow warm.
A teddy bear was brought out, and they all squealed and cooed at it. "Kawaii!"
Daidouji spoke up. "Do you know that in foreign countries, it is said that if you make a teddy bear, give it to the person you love, and that teddy bear is named after you, you and that person will be in love with each other?"
"Be in love..." Sakura echoed, gazing dreamily at something in the distance.
I watched her as she stared off into space, the wind tousling her light brown hair, her green eyes thoughtful. I knew then that she was thinking of /him/, because the next moment she had that hanyaan! look on her face and the other girls started asking her what was wrong.
My lips were moving; I was echoing the words myself. /You and that person will be in love.../ Suddenly my mind was flooded with images. Green eyes, brown hair, sunny smile. A soft, gentle hand on my arm, warm breath against my ear. /Li-kun.../ she'd whisper. /I lo---/
I suddenly felt my face burn. What the hell was I thinking! I shook my head vehemently, trying to rid it of ridiculous (not to mention embarrassing) thoughts. I mentally replaced the smiling green-eyed fantasy with the image of a smiling, bespectacled high school boy. That's more like it, my mind seemed to say, but for some reason it seemed awkward and terribly out of place.
After class I was flinging my bag over my shoulder and fixing my hat when I overheard Sakura, Daidouji, and Hiiragizawa talk about going to a handicrafts store. There was no need for me to come along, but just the sight of that Hiiragizawa smiling at Sakura and she going, "Eriol-kun, it would be nice of you to come along!" was enough to make me lose it. I found myself pushing past that creep Hiiragizawa and staring her in the face and saying a bit too passionately, "I'M COMING TOO!"
And so that was how I found myself at the handicrafts store staring dully at the spools and needles, while Sakura and Daidouji stood by the kits and picked out a teddy bear for the making. My eyes instinctively sought her out again. There was something about Sakura that made me stare at her a lot. She was clutching the kit and smiling, and although there was nothing particularly special about that, I was holding my breath.
/If you make a teddy bear, give it to the person you love, and that teddy bear is named after you, you and that person will be in love with each other./
They moved away from the kits. I glanced around to see if somebody was watching, and when it seemed like everything was safe I walked over and casually picked up a teddy bear kit. A loud, enraged scream sounded from somewhere in my head. /What are you doing?! Put that box right down, you hear me? Don't tell me you believe that loaded bull---/
I'm buying it for HIM, not for HER, I argued.
/Liar, you're buying it because you---/
Beep! The cashier's scanner drowned out the rest of the tirade. /Sorry,/ I mentally apologized to the (now hushed) irate voice in my head, even though I knew it didn't help matters any.
Finally. Dinner is done and over with, the dishes are clean and put away, the floor is spotless, and homework is finished. What's next? I pull out a notebook and do some budgeting. I shift in my seat and in doing so, hit something with my foot. What the ---?
It's the teddy bear kit.
"Not you again," I grumble. I toss it on top of my bookcase, but the box bounces back and hits me smack in the face.
"OW!" I glare at it. "Fine, have it your way!" I tear the box open, dump the contents on the desk, and eye the instructions. "Hmph, piece of cake," I mutter, fingering the fabric. I fish out the sewing kit and start. My hands are clumsy and my stitches are uneven at first, but as times goes on I get the hang of it and soon enough, I stay up all night stitching...
I stand outside a door, holding a paper bag in my arms.
/Li-kun, you too?/ asks somebody. I look, and it is Sakura, clutching a paper bag and looking very much surprised.
/S-Sakura.../ I stammer, feeling my face burn.
/What are you doing outside Yukito-san's house?/ she asks.
/Eh, his house?/ I gape at her.
Her green eyes stare back for a moment, then soften in understanding.
/Oh, that's right, you like Yukito-san too./
I look at her, confused. /Well, yeah... I mean, no. No, you got it all wrong./
She blinks. /But you said before that you---/
/That was before,/ I snap, cutting her off. She looks away, startled by my coldness.
An uncomfortable silence ensues. I open my mouth to apologize, but then my eyes stray to the paper bag in her hands. /Don't tell me that's a teddy bear./
/Yes, it is,/ she smiles, blushing slightly. /You see, if you make a teddy bear and give it to the person you love, you and that person will be in love forever./
/I know that,/ I mumble.
/Ah, Li-kun, you made a teddy bear too?/ she points to the paper bag in my arms.
I flush. /Uh...yeah./
/Then let's go in and give these to Yukito-san!/
/This bear's not for HIM,/ I declare rather vehemently, taking both of us by surprise.
Sakura blinks. /Then whom is it for?/
I hesitate for a moment. Then I slowly face her and timidly hold out the bag to her.
Her eyes widen. /But I---/
/Please love me,/ I whisper, desperately.
My eyes fly open. The alarm clock reads 6:00. Slowly, things start to register themselves --- the wood against my cheek, bright fluorescent light burning in my eyes, a dull ache in my back. I must've fallen asleep.
I straighten up in my seat and promptly wince. Ouch.
Sitting beside the lamp, black eyes shining, is a small gray teddy bear. I stare at it dully at first, trying to figure out where it came from.
Oh, yeah, I worked on that all night.
I lift the bear and scrutinize it, pleased by the clean stitches and the neatly tucked folds. Hmm, not bad. I hold it right up so its black bead eyes are level with mine.
"Yo," I say aloud.
Snatches of my dream come back to me --- her startled look, my burning face, my trembling hands, my honest plea.
"Please love me," I echo softly.
The teddy bear's eyes glint in response.
I sit there in silence, half of me thinking how stupid I was to be taken in by a girlish fantasy, to believe that something crafted out of cloth and thread would have the power to sway a person's heart; the other half of me awed with the realization that I had just poured every single hope I had into this clumsy, scrawny bear, and that maybe, just maybe...if I gave this bear to someone, I would finally be loved and wanted in return.
Soft sunlight filters through the curtains. The bear's eyes are chameleons in the pale light --- sometimes a deep ocean blue, sometimes as gray as tears, sometimes green, soft and smiling, like Sakura's eyes.