The Uninvited Corpse
A Card Captor Sakura Alternate Reality Fic by X-Sprinter

Based on the books of Michael Underwood and revised by X-Sprinter and Affiliates

Full Summary: Vernon Gray is the oldest and richest of the residents of the four flats on the sixth floor of a block in Mongton-on-Sea, England. Sakura Kinomoto – his chosen legal adviser – is instructed to draft his last will and testament, when another of her clients finds urgent need of her services. He is accused of the life-wrecking felony of the theft of a fiver from the collection plate at the end of Sunday morning service. Just to add spice in the solicitor's life, Vernon Gray disappears leaving a welter of puzzling clues to confuse the police and the learned Sakura too…

Short Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end) This Fanfiction in the category of Card Captor Sakura, copyrighted by their respective creators and all distributors of their work. Used without Permission. Entertainment Purposes only, no profits. Do not Sue

Chapter One

CAUTION: Chapter contains scenes not suitable for general audiences under the age of 13, parental guidance is recommended!

"Goodbye dear" Mrs. Henderson shouted through the car window above the engine noise.

Her sister-in-law responded with a perfunctory wave and disappeared inside the house before Olive Henderson had time to engage a gear and move off.

As an energetic and often unappreciated, doer of good works she was impervious to the reactions of those around her. Once she perceived where her Christian duty lay, it took more than a force-ten gale to deflect her from her purpose. She had been a widow for twenty-five years, and the less charitably disposed of her acquaintances had been known to suggest that her husband, seeing what was in store for him, had departed hastily to the next world after a mere four years of her married life

It was a fulfillment of Christian duty that had taken her to visit her widowed sister-in-law in Oxford. The two women had never got on, but Mrs. Henderson went regularly twice a year for a four- or five-day stay. She regarded her sister-in-law as a spoilt, complaining woman with too much money, and in return as bossy and insensitive, particularly where her sister-in-law's feelings were concerned.

It was wit ah feeling of relief, but of duty satisfactorily performed, that she now headed home in her small car. It would be another six months before the occasion had to be repeated.

Mrs. Henderson lived at Mongton-on-Sea where she had a flat on the sixth floor of a block not far from the sea-front. Her neighbors on the same floor were a Mrs. Fox a Mr. Welling and a Mr. Gray. Mr. Gray had much the largest flat, with an enclosed sun terrace, which ran its whole length. Mrs. Henderson had signaled him out as a target of her Christian almost as soon as he moved in, which had been about two years ago. Recently there had been slight friction with the arrival of his latest live-in housekeeper. Mrs. Henderson had made it clear, however, that she brooked no nonsense from anyone's employees. The woman (her name was Janet Berry) was obviously jealous and quite unsuited for the post. She had been hired by Mr. Gray's solicitor, Sakura Kinomoto, and Mrs. Henderson proposed telling Sakura of her unsuitability at the first opportunity.

It was around four o'clock when she drove down the slope to the underground garage and parked her car in its usual place. After a quick tidy-up she would go across the landing and invite herself in for a cup of tea with Mr. Gray. She would tell him about her impossible sister-in-law and satisfy herself that Janet Berry hadn't been neglecting him while she had been away. Though it never occurred to her that Mr. Gray didn't appreciate her visits, she had on occasions found him giving her what she could only describe as secretly amused glances, such as would have disconcerted a more sensitive person. It was almost as if he were mocking her for her inability to enter his private world. Not being given to introspection occasional arcane looks.

The only sound of life on the sixth floor when the lift decanted her came from Estelle Fox's flat. Mrs. Fox, now in her seventies, had been a not particularly successful professional singer who liked to pretend she had been a great diva in her heyday. She was singing an aria from Turandot, which Mrs. Henderson had heard all too often through their dividing wall. She was singing fortissimo, and the sixth-floor landing rang with sound. Mrs. Henderson had no more that one occasion asked if it was necessary to sing so loudly, but to no avail.

She let herself into her flat and closed the door to shut out the worst of the noise. She soon unpacked her small suitcase, had a good wash, and was ready to go and ring Mr. Gray's bell. Mrs. Fox was still singing as she recrossed the landing.

Normally, Janet berry would open the door immediately, but it now remained firmly closed. Mrs. Henderson rang the bell a second time and for longer, but without response. She concluded that the housekeeper had slipped out for a few minutes that Mr. Gray who was slightly deaf anyway was having a prolonged siesta.

Lifting the letterbox flap, she peered through. All she could see was the deserted kitchen and the half-open door of the housekeeper's bedroom. There was no sound of life.

After giving the bell a third ring and still getting no answer, she returned to her own flat. After pondering the situation she decided there was little she could do for the moment except go on trying. During the next couple of hours she alternated phone calls with trips across the landing.

By now she was sure something must be wrong and she must find our what. A first step was to discover whether her neighbors knew anything. With luck Mr. Welling might be able to provide a clue. That is, if he was in. He owned a number of clubs in the town and was often out from around midday until the small ours of the morning. Mrs. Henderson was unsure what went on at his clubs, and thought that she would probably disapprove if she knew, thought she had always found him a courteous neighbor. He had never given her cause of complaint, though she was aware that he sometimes entertained young ladies at his flat.

As she had surmised, however, she got no answer at his door and was left with no alternative but to tackle Mrs. Fox. She was certainly at home and still full in voice. Mrs. Henderson pressed her bell and kept her finger on the button until Isolde broke off her declamation of clove to the dead Tristan and came to the door.

Even if she lacked the voice, she had the figure of a dramatic soprano. She had a massive bosom and long tresses of faded golden hair and, surprisingly in view of her age, a youthful peaches-and-cream complexion.

She now stood before Mrs. Henderson in one of her numerous caftans with her tiny slippered feet peeping out beneath the hem.

"I was singing" She said unnecessarily. "I thought you were away"

"I came back this afternoon. I've been trying to get in touch with Mr. Gray, but can't obtain any answer. Do you know anything? Has he been taken ill?"

Mrs. Fox shook her head vaguely, "Not as far as I know"

"When did you last see him?" Mrs. Henderson asked. " You know I don't remember things like that. It was probably some time last week. I'm not on friendly terms with him the way you are. Not since he was so rude to me"

"What about Mrs. Berry" "I don't believe I've seen her going in and out either. She may be away" Mrs. Fox answered. "I'm sure I have been told if that were this case. She never mentioned going away when I went in to say goodbye to Mr. Gray before I left last Thursday.

"Then I can't help you. She may have had to go off suddenly and arranged for Mr. Gray to go into a nursing home for a few days. As a matter of fact, I wasn't well myself over the weekend, and today's the first day I've been singing again. I still have to take great care of my voice, you know. I'm hoping next month to record excerpts from some of my most famous roles"

Mrs. Henderson shot her a suspicious glance, but was met with a distinctly challenging expression.

"So what do you propose to do?" Mrs. Fox now said. "About Mr. Gray I mean."

"If I've been unable to get any answer from his flat by tomorrow morning, I shall notify the police"

"Isn't that over-reacting?"

"Certainly not" Mrs. Henderson retorted sharply. "He could be lying dead inside" she paused. "I never did trust that Janet Berry"

"Surely you're not suggesting she's murdered him? That's too dramatic for words"

"I'm not suggesting anything of the sort" Mrs. Henderson said defensively "But supposing he died naturally and she's just made off. He always keep a great deal of cash in the flat" she added as if to clinch the argument.

"I'm sure you'll do what you think is best" Mrs. Fox remarked with no great conviction.

"It's a question of one's duty"

"Of course"

"I'll fin out if the caretaker knows anything and I'll also try to catch Mr. Welling, though I doubt whether he'll know any more than you do"

She turned briskly on her heel, leaving Mrs. Fox staring after her with a bemused expression.

Normally she was always in bed by eleven o'clock, but on this particular evening, she sat up determined to catch Mr. Welling when he arrived home. It was shortly after midnight that she heard the soft sigh of the lift. She had been sitting with her front door ajar in order to hear any comings and goings.

Mr. Welling was on the point of opening his door when she called out to him.

"I'm so glad I happened to hear you come in, Mr. Welling. I'm very worried about Mr. Gray. Do you know what's happened to him? I've been trying to get in touch with him ever since I arrived home this afternoon, but there's no reply and I can't think what can have happened."

As she spoke she moved across the landing to join Mr. Welling outside his own door. He was a small dapper man in his forties who was always immaculately dressed whether in formal or casual attire. On this occasion he was wearing a pearl-gray suit with a pink shirt and a pink and gray-striped tie. He seemed neither surprised nor annoyed at being pounced upon by his neighbor.

"I've no idea" He said after a longish pause, "But I'm sure there's no need to worry"

"Have you seen his housekeeper at all during the past few days?"

"I can't say I have. Maybe she's gone away and…"

"And left Mr. Gray to fend for himself?" Mrs. Henderson enquired scathingly

"I wasn't going to sat that, though in the fact, I'm sure Mr. Gray could well look after himself for a short while"

"I'm certain something's happened to him. Anyway, I'd have known if Mrs. Berry was going away. I'd offered to go in and sleep at his flat myself if need be. They both knew that."

"But I believe you were away yourself over the weekend. They mightn't have wanted to mention it in case you felt you should alter your own arrangements"

Mrs. Henderson pondered the suggestion before dismissing it.

(Sakura isn't making her appearances yet until Chapter 2… this is the introduction to the mystery)

"I can't believe that for a moment" she said

"I imagine you've already spoken to Mrs. Fox"

"Yes. She doesn't know anything either."

"And the care taker? Have you had a word with him "

"I'm afraid Mr. Bishop was as unhelpful as I've always found him. He just said it was none of his business. If you ask me, it's time we had a new caretaker."

Mr. Welling smiled in a noncommittal fashion, but made no comment other than to push his door open.

"A new day will doubtless bring fresh light" he remarked as he stepped across his threshold.

"If it doesn't, I shall phone the police first thing in the morning. Somebody's got to do something. The poor man may be lying there dead"

"In that event, he'll be the last person to be worrying"

Mrs. Henderson ignored the remark and, bidding Arthur Welling a tight-lipped goodnight, returned to her flat.

Despite her preoccupation with Mr. Gray's fate, she slept soundly. She was fond of telling people that she always slept well because she had a clean conscience, implying that the reverse applied to anyone who passed a restless night.

At half past seven the next morning she once crossed the landing to Mr. Gray's door. The paperboy had already made his round, and a copy of the Daily Telegraph was sticking out of the letterbox. If there'd been anyone at home, it would have been removed by now. She knew that Mr. Gray woke early and liked to read the paper in bed as soon as it arrived.

She prised out the newspaper and pushed the letter-flap open to peer inside. The kitchen door looked exactly as it had the previous afternoon, but more significant was the door of Janet Berry's room, which was in precisely the same half-closed position as she had previously noted it. There was neither sound nor scent of life within. It was time to alert the police.

Back in her own flat, she phoned the police station and when somebody asked her name and how he could help her she said without further preliminary: "I want you to send an officer round to Southview Court. I'm afraid something's happened to Mr. Gray in the flat opposite mine and I'm very worried"

"So what is it you want the police to do madam? The voice enquired with all practiced patience.

"Go in and find out what happened, of course"

"We can't go breaking into people's homes without good cause"

"I've told you…"

"How do you know the gentleman hasn't been called away?"

"He'd have left me a note. Anyway, I'm quite certain something's happened. Something to warrant police action. It's your duty to do something," She added firmly

A heavy sigh came down the line. "All right madam, I'll get somebody to call around, but I'm not making promises about forcing an entry into this gentleman's flat"

"But you're always breaking into people's homes" Mrs. Henderson expostulated. "One's constantly reading about it in the papers. There's no point in one of your officers coming here and staring at Mr. Gray's front door."

"Someone will round madam. I take it you'll be in?"

"I'll be waiting. Please let there be no delay"

Forty minutes later, there was a ring at her front door and she hurried to open it.

"Mrs. Henderson?" a chestnut haired uniformed sergeant enquired.

"Yes. That's Mr. Gray's flat across the landing." She pointed eagerly over his shoulder, past the young woman police constable who was standing behind him.

He received the information with a brief nod, but didn't turn his head. "Perhaps we could have a word with you first, Mrs. Henderson. Then we'll decide what to do. I'm Sergeant Li Syaoran and this is West Precinct Police Department"

Seated in her living room with an attentive audience of two, Mrs. Henderson recited the facts, throwing in a few observations about her less than helpful neighbors.

"So you see I have a good reason for fearing that something must have happened to Mr. Gray," she concluded.

"Do you know whether anybody has a key to his flat?" Syaoran asked.

"As far as I know, only Mr. Gray himself and Mrs. Berry. I did once ask him if he would like me to have one just in case, but that was before Mrs. Berry arrived on the scene" Mrs. Henderson's tone expressed her feelings on both matters.

"Does he have any relatives you know of?"

"No. He's a wealthy old man alone in the world. His only visitors were myself and his solicitor from London, a Miss Kinomoto"

"I see. Well I thing that's all we need to ask you for the moment, Mrs. Henderson." After a slight pause, he added: "In the light of what we discover, I may need to question you further"

"I can assure you of my fullest cooperation," She said briskly.

"Good! Then, let's go to Mr. Gray's flat"

After carefully examining the door for marks, Syaoran peered through the letterbox, and then sniffled at the air inside.

"Let's see if we can get in without making too much mess," he said after straightening up

He fetched a bunch of keys from his pocket, together with a length of narrow plastic. Turning his back on Mrs. Henderson, he gave his attention once more to the door.

"Our locks are said to be burglar-proof" Mrs. Henderson remarked as she tried to see what he was doing.

"There is no such thing" he remarked with a grunt

A couple of minutes later there were a sudden click, followed by two more, and he pushed the door open. Mrs. Henderson made to follow him in.

"You wait here madam," He said firmly.

"That's Mr. Gray's bedroom," She said pointing at a closed door at the end of the passage to their right.

Standing by the front door like an eager but obedient dog awaiting its master's call, she watched the two officers move methodically from room to room. Mr. Gray's bedroom was the last to be reached, and they disappeared inside, pushing the door to behind them. It seemed an age before either of them reappeared, while Mrs. Henderson stood chafing outside. Eventually, Syaoran's partner emerged from the room and beckoned to her.

"I'm afraid your friend is dead," she said gently. "Sergeant Li would like you to identify the body"

"Of course" Mrs. Henderson said with a gulp as she followed the girl back into the room.

Sergeant Li was standing at the foot of the bed and they both watched intently as Mrs. Henderson peered at the head resting on the pillows.

She swung round abruptly and in a tone both indignant and accusing, she said, "That's not Mr. Gray. I've never seen this person in my life!"

-TBC-TBC-Belated Happy Valentines-TBC-TBC-

Sakura will be appearing in the next chapter. I have a question to reviewers, who should I put as the sergeant, Syaoran or Eriol, I think Syaoran because the Sergeant has more scenes than Sakura's Business Partner. I need your comments and suggestions from the Magna Carta to red beavers. Will work for Reviews

AUTHOR IS NOT LIABLE FOR MINOR AND/OR MAJOR INJURIES, MALICIOUS AND/OR SEXUAL ACTS THAT THE READER, UNDERAGE FROM RATINGS OR NOT WILL DO AND/OR ENCOUNTER AFTER READING THIS FANFICTION IN ANYCASE THEREOF. YOU AND YOUR STUPID BUDDIES SHOULD BETTER KNOW NOT TO DO STUNTS AND/OR WORKS FROM THIS FIC! (The ALSi covers Author's Rights) This is just one of my numerous precautions.

THIS FANFICTION IS BASED ON AN ALTERNATE REALITY FROM THE SERIES, NO MAGIC Sorry, it just doesn't fit the standards of the fanfic, and again sorry for those readers expecting magic, but please do continue reading it, Thank you for your understanding.

FLAMES ARE ACCEPTED AS LONG AS YOU ARE SURE ABOUT IT.

Full Disclaimers Report: All rights and privileges of Card Captor Sakura are trademarks and property of the following:
Japanese Production Staff:
Animation: Madhouse Studios
Broadcasting Company: NHK
Production Companies: CLAMP, Kodansha and NEP21
English Production Staff:
ADR Recording: The Ocean Group
Broadcasting Companies: Animax Asia (Asia), Cartoon Network, KIDS' WB and Teletoon Canada
Distributors: Geneon Entertainment and Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd. (Australia)
DVD Authoring: 342 Media DVD Center and Deluxe Digital Services
DVD Menus: 342 Media DVD Center and Deluxe Digital Services
DVD Production: Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc.
Licensed by: Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc. and Nelvana
Online Editing: Point.360
Subtitled Versions: Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc. and ZRO Limit Productions
Spanish Production Staff:
Broadcasting Companies: Caral Caracol (Colombia), Cartoon Network LA and ETC TV Chile
Distributors: Xystus (Latin America)
Dubbing: Arait Multimedia and Intertrack SA de CV Mexico
Production: Cloverway Incorporated
Tagalog/Filipino Production Staff:
Broadcasting Company: Alto Broadcasting System-Chronicle Broadcasting Network or ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation
Distributors: Magnavision Inc
Dubbing: Star Records c/o Alto Broadcasting System-Chronicle Broadcasting Network or ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation and VIVA Records Philippines
The real author of the reference novel I am using, Michael Underwood, under the Copyright Act 1956 as amended also copyrights this story. All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

The Characters and plots of these works are used WITHOUT permission for the purpose of entertainment only. This work of fiction is not meant for sale and/for/of profit. The Author does not own card Captor Sakura Characters and the story The Uninvited Corpse by Michael Underwood and related stuff in this fiction. Only the original portion of the fiction included here is considered to be the sole property and copyrighted to the author! ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 02-15-05 by the ALSi

Michael Underwood's The Uninvited Corpse ©1987
Card Captor Sakura by CLAMP; KODANSHA; NHK; NEP21 ©1998
Revised Edition with Card Captor Sakura crossovers by ALSi™ ®2004
Revised Edition, Crossover, and Posting by X-Sprinter c/o ALSi™ ©®2005

(End of Disclaimer; Updated 02-16-05)

If no Comments, then click go to review and type No Comments, at least you reviewed right? Thanks.

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C/O Anime Lover's Society International™; Fanfiction ®© 2005

Fanfiction By: X-Sprinter (ALSi MEMBER)