Author's Note: I know I usually start off with an Author's Note. In fact, I'm starting with one right now. But this A/N is only to establish what I'm doing. Here's a brief explanation to those new to this series of stories:


DISCLAIMER/EXPLANATION/INTRODUCTION:

It's happened. I've completely become obsessed with CCS and what made it happen was that Fiery Card episode. So I've decided to try something new (and hopefully, not something any other author has tried before. Copyright infringement is EVIL!). I'm going to take our CCS characters, who are in the midst of their senior years and they'll recall the days of seven years ago, back when they were seeking the Clow Cards. There will be other points of view, as well as occasional original additions (which will include views that CANNOT be seen in the original episodes). But keep in mind that I'm working based on an episode guide. These are NOT 100% accurate, nor are they meant to be. They are simply meant to be looks back at days past, through Sakura's eyes...and the eyes of her friends, while they live their lives as normal teenagers.


Summary: Senior year rolls on and Sakura thinks about her grounded friend, Madison. Hoping to cheer her up, Sakura decides to provide some companionship.


Key:

"~* Thoughts *~" = Thoughts

"[Name:]" = Character voiceover


Episode 1- Recalling The Fiery Card


Sakura knew she should have walked straight home. One month had passed since Sakura got back from England. She still smiled every time she thought about that. Madison had impulsively run off to England to search for her lost love, Eriol. And Sakura and Li went right behind her, taping her the whole way without her knowledge. When they came back, there were plenty of consequences. To this day, Madison was still grounded and Sakura owed Tori BIG TIME for covering for her. Without her brother, Sakura might have shared a fate similar to her friend's.

Of course, Sakura didn't feel like answering Tori's every whim today. So she decided to go visit her friend. She'd have to be careful not to run into Li or Meilin, who were living on Madison's estate (which was a long story in itself). Sakura walked into Madison's big house and walked through the hallway.

"Sakura? Is that you?"

Sakura saw Madison's mom in the living room. "Oh…hi, Ms. Taylor."

"You're here to see Li?"

Sakura sweatdropped. Even Madison's mom was aware of Sakura's loving relationship with Li. "Um…not today. I was kind of hoping you'd let Madison have visitors today."

"I guess I've kept Madison in solitary long enough," sighed the mother. "Sure, you can go up there. And if she asks, tell her that her punishment isn't anywhere near over."

"I will, Ms. Taylor."

Sakura skipped up the flight of stairs and made her way through another vast hallway. Then she made a sharp right turn to see Madison laying on her bed, looking at the ceiling.

"I feel like keeping a tally on the wall," Madison muttered. "Did my mom say anything, Sakura?"

"She said you're not out of the woods by a long shot," Sakura answered.

"That's what I was afraid of."

"But cheer up, Madison. That's why I'm here. I came to keep you company."

"Thanks. I could use it."

Sakura looked around Madison's vast shelf of videos. "So what did you do with that tape I made?"

Madison giggled. "I put that in a special place. A Sakura Avalon Production deserves to stand out on its own." Madison pointed up to the wall and Sakura saw her tape behind glass. "I always put the tape on…whenever I think of Eriol."

"I wish I had a tape of Li when he left," Sakura smiled. "But it all worked out."

"Oh, it all worked out all right. When I think back to the past, there were times when I never thought you two would end up together."

"What do you mean?"

"Oh, you know exactly what she means," Kero piped up. He stuck his head out of Sakura's pocket and waved at Madison. "Hey, Madison."

"Hi, Kero," Madison beamed. "It's nice to see someone else has decided to keep me company." She looked back up at Sakura. "Think about it, Sakura. When we first met Li, you guys showed no chemistry whatsoever. You were always scared of him and he…thought you weren't good enough to be a Cardcaptor."

"Yeah…I remember that," Sakura muttered. "When did he ever start to show any interest in me?"

"You really want to know?"

Sakura and Madison looked at the door to see Li standing there. He walked in and took a seat on a beanbag chair right in front of the two girls.

"I didn't actually admit it to you until much later, Sakura," he continued. "And…I didn't even admit it to myself long after it started. But…I'll admit it. The first time I ever felt something…was a long time ago…at the Winter Carnival. It was when we fought the Fiery Card."

"I remember that," Sakura said. "It was back when I was having that dream over and over."

"I remember that day, too," Madison added. "I was so desperate to tape another card capture. But…you used the Sleep Card, Sakura! How could you do that?"

"I'm sorry," Sakura sweatdropped. "I didn't want to knock you out, Madison. But…this was something Li and I had to do ourselves."

"That Fiery Card was one of the toughest cards we faced," Li continued. "I didn't think you'd be able to handle it, Sakura. But luckily…I was wrong…"


Flashback: Winter Carnival

P.O.V.: Li Shoran

When Li looked up to see fire spreading around the Winter Carnival, he immediately knew that it had to be a Clow Card. He raised his head up instantly and Sakura did the same.

"A Clow Card," they both whispered.

Li was surprised. Sakura knew it, too. He had to admit. She was getting a lot better. Sakura saw the Fiery Card and ran after it. Li followed right behind her, despite the cries from Meilin and Sakura's brother. The card had lured them far from the restaurant and this was Li's opportunity. He quickly unleashed the Time Card.

"Time Card!"

He struck the Time Card with his sword, freezing time in place…

~----------~

[Madison: 'TIME OUT!']

[Li: 'Huh? What's wrong, Madison?']

[Madison: 'This is where I have a problem with the whole story. I suppose you guys weren't even aware of what happened after that?']

[Sakura: 'Oh...I said I was sorry, Madison.']

[Kero: 'But why don't you remind us?"]

[Madison: 'I think I will…']


Flashback: Winter Carnival

P.O.V.: Madison Taylor

Madison could see the flames starting to spread. She could see the expression on Kero's face, but Madison didn't need magic to sense that this was the work of a Clow Card. She was so excited. It had been such a long time since she filmed a card capture. And to make things even better, Sakura was on her way out. She was running after the card.

"I don't like the looks of this," Kero muttered. "It has to be Fiery. That's not good."

"Hold on, Kero," Madison interrupted. "I've got a good shot."

Sakura and Li were far from the restaurant now, but Madison still had a good shot of the action. She saw Li pull a card out and as he reached out to strike it with his sword…there was a flash.

The next thing Madison knew, she saw dust falling to the ground. She was starting to feel very sleepy. Madison knew exactly what happened.

~* 'Oh, Sakura! You didn't! Not NOW!' *~

Of course, Madison was no match for the power of the Sleep Card. Her eyelids grew too heavy. Madison fell to the ground in a heap…and fell asleep.

~----------~

[Madison: 'I really wanted to get that card capture on tape. If I couldn't do that, couldn't you have at least let me watch?']

[Sakura: 'It might've helped if I saw you there. You wanted to stay hidden and tape me when I wasn't looking. Is it any wonder why I wanted to tape you while you were in England?']

[Madison: 'Touché.']

[Li: 'Can I continue my part of the story?']

[Sakura: 'Go ahead.']

[Madison: 'Yeah, go ahead.']

[Li: 'Well, anyway. After using the Time Card…']


Flashback: Winter Carnival

P.O.V.: Li Shoran

It was done. Every single person was asleep. But when Li recalled the Time Card, he nearly collapsed. The concerned Sakura looked his way.

"Li? Are you all right?"

Li tried to catch his breath. "The Time Card takes a lot out of a sorcerer. You're going to have to seal the card on your own."

Meanwhile, Li got a good look at the sky. It was the Fiery Card in its visible form. It was a young spirit looking like a young male. It nonchalantly tossed fireballs around. Then out of nowhere, the stuffed animal, Kero, flew out. Li couldn't hear the words being exchanged, because he was nearly overcome by exhaustion.

Sakura then used Windy. But Windy didn't do much good. Fiery only used Windy to fan the flames. It continued tossing around fireballs. Sakura dodged each fireball. Then the look she got in her eyes told the story of what she was about to do. Li couldn't believe it. If she was doing what he thought she was, then she was about to make a big mistake.

"I'm a Cardcaptor, Kero!" he heard her say. "And I'm going to finish what I've set out to do."

Sure enough, Sakura reached out for two cards. This was beyond dangerous. She didn't know what she was doing.

"Sakura!" Li cried out. "You can't use two attack cards at once!"

It was no use. Sakura wasn't listening. She released both Windy and Water at once. But then something amazing happened. They were actually working with each other. Li couldn't believe it. Had he underestimated this girl? Were her powers becoming stronger?

Windy and Water tackled Fiery and it fell to the ground. Fiery had been extinguished and all that was left was to seal it.

"Fiery Card! Return to your power confined!"

The astonished Li looked on as Sakura sealed the Fiery Card. She had it. She had sealed the third elemental card…on her own. It was unbelievable.

Kero flew over to congratulate Sakura…then he started to glow.

"What's happening?" Sakura asked.

"Fiery has been sealed," he explained. "My powers are derived from both Earth and Fiery. And with Fiery sealed, that means I'm starting to get some of my power back."

"Oh…I thought I was going to lose you," Sakura said.

"Is that what you were worried about?" Kero asked. "No. I'm still the same Keroberos you all know and love."

Li scoffed. "You're still just a stuffed animal."

That set off a huge argument. It was common for Li and Kero to get into it. Li knew that Kero was just a stuffed animal. Sakura, on the other hand, was like no girl he had ever seen. Was he starting to feel something for her? Nah! Couldn't be!

~----------~

[Li: 'Oh yeah, I denied it at the time. But that still wasn't the end of it. Later that night, I started to get that feeling again. The one deep within my chest.']

[Sakura: 'It was the night at the Winter Carnival?'].

[Li: 'When it was starting to snow.']

[Kero: (Gulp)]

[Li: 'I was standing next to Meilin. But then I saw you in the car in front of me. Then it started to snow…and I started to get that feeling again…']


Dateline: Nighttime at the Winter Carnival

P.O.V.: Li Shoran

Meilin was curling up next to Li again. But he hardly noticed. His head wasn't into it. He was still wondering how he could ever think what he did earlier. He knew he didn't have feelings for Sakura. That couldn't be it. At least he wasn't around her, though. That would only lead up to more confusion.

Then he heard Meilin. "Sakura?! What's she doing there? Did she plan this?!"

Li almost gasped at the sight in front of him. The car in front of him; it was Sakura and Julian. Then Li looked up at the sky. It was starting to snow. He saw Sakura run up to the window and smile. That look of innocence on her face…was more than anything Li could handle. She looked…so beautiful.

~* 'Wait! Did I just think that? What's wrong with me? I know I don't feel that way about her! Not Sakura! Do I?' *~

Li saw the wonder-filled expression on Sakura's face again. He suddenly swore he began to hear music.

Each time you win,

Thus you blush from head to toe

When you catch sight of her

She's just an ordinary girl

In a magical world

Now she's on the trail of trouble

(And the adventure's just begun)

One day, you find your whole life has changed

As quick, be brave

Your heart will show you the way

She's just an ordinary girl

In a magical world

Now she's on the trail of trouble

Li was so confused. He didn't know what to think anymore. But as sure as he held the Time Card, he was sure that he felt NOTHING for Sakura.


Li gave off a half-smile. "Shows what I knew, huh? The brain of a ten-year old."

Li reached over and gave Sakura a gentle kiss on the lips. Sakura learned something new that day. She never knew that the seeds for her relationship were sown even back then. And by now, those seeds have blossomed into a full loving relationship.

"Ok, lovebirds," Madison smiled. "You guys go ahead and take it outside. I'll be fine in here."

Sakura and Li held hands as they walked out of Madison's room. Sakura looked at Li again. Madison was right about one thing. Had this been seven years ago, this never would have been fathomable. But now…Sakura and Li would accept no different. They loved each other…

…And they always would.


Author's Note: How was it? Everyone like it? Please let me know! I'm hoping to do something like this for every other episode out there and it'll be a lot of…work isn't the right word, because this is something I'll ENJOY! That's how much I'm into this right now! I'll try to update this occasionally and I hope to finish with about at least 30 installments


So how was it, huh? Huh? Huh? Come on! Please let me know by reviewing below!