Author: Kitty Neko
Summary: Summer is a time for fun, laughter, and romance. Sakura has had fun and laughter, but now it's time for romance. There's only one problem; her best friend likes the same guy. Okay, so that's not the ONLY problem... AU
Disclaimer: I do not own Card Captor Sakura. I am not making any money off of this story.
Sakura lay face down on the sofa with a little trickle of drool escaping from the corner of her mouth. The whole room was unearthly quiet except for the tick of the clock that matched the twitch in her left eye. It felt like she'd been there for hours when in reality it had probably been 30 minutes. She was bored out of her mind. Granted, doing nothing at home during summer vacation was better than being at school, but she still had nothing to do.
With a small huff, Sakura swung her legs over the side of the sofa and heaved herself into the sitting position… before promptly flopping on her back.
"Stop that," a teasing voice said from the doorway. "It makes me feel bad."
Sakura lifted her head only long enough to take in her mother's rumpled pajamas and disheveled hair and say, "Bah."
"Nice imprint on the side of your face, by the way." Nadesico smirked at her daughter and then let out a yawn that would make a lion proud, which was kind of what her mother's hair was making her think of at the moment.
Sakura tried not to yawn contagiously and asked, "What are you doing up? You barely went to sleep four hours ago."
"Oh, I'm not up," Nadesico assured. "I'm just going to get something to eat and it's right back to bed for me. I'm hoping to get at least another four hours."
"Great. Just peachy," Sakura mumbled and glanced out of the corner of her eye at the clock. It was barely noon.
Her mother had recently started working as a full-time nurse on the night shift at a nursing home, so she slept during the days. Even when she was awake she always seemed kind of sleepy. This put a crimp in the amount of time mother and child got to spend together.
"Why don't you get up and do something? Well, besides the fact that you'd actually have to get your lazy butt dressed," Nadesico asked while scratching her own butt in a most unattractive manner. It was a part of her personality that she shared exclusively with her daughter.
"There's nothing to do!" Sakura whined and rolled over on her stomach. She briefly considered taking a bite out of the sofa
Nadesico moved closer and smacked the unsuspecting girl on the bottom, electing a yelp. "Start a project."
"Like what?" Sakura grouched, rubbing her bum and glaring at her mother.
"Oh, I don't know." Nadesico started drifting off towards the kitchen. "Didn't you say something about wanting to paint your room green? I know that's a lot of work, but it's not like you have anything else to do."
Not wanting to lose her only human contact of the day, Sakura got up and followed her mother's retreating form. "With what? The gallons of paint supplies I conveniently keep up my arse at all times?"
Nadesico paused with her hand on the cupboard door and allowed her lips to twist in an amused smirk. "Sure. Sounds like a plan."
"Mom! Do you have any idea how hard it's going to be to get them out?" Sakura tried to suppress a chuckle at her own joke and failed. "But I'm partially serious. Where am I supposed to get the supplies? Dad and Touya aren't home and my car is at the shop, remember?" The stupid thing had a decided to break down right at the beginning of summer break. Things just seemed to be going her way.
"What about Syaoran? He has a truck." Nadesico stuffed a cracker in her mouth and almost spit it out when Sakura visibly shuddered. She swallowed and asked, "What was that about?"
"He's so moody lately," Sakura admitted grudgingly.
"Give him a break." Nadesico went back to her munching on her crackers. "Your cousin is going through a hard time right now."
"Uh huh." Sakura rolled her eyes.
They weren't cousins by blood. Syaoran's stepfather was Sakura's uncle on her dad's side. If you understood all of that, pat yourself on the back. Usually they didn't have to see each other too often but the circumstances had changed. Syaoran's parents were currently having problems, so he came to live with Sakura's family for the summer - much to Sakura's chagrin. She felt a little sorry for him, but he didn't have to be such a bitch to her.
Sakura giggled a little to herself at the name-calling going on in her head.
"I'm serious." Nadesico broke into her thoughts. "Ask him to take you out. Lord knows the poor boy could use something to do. He's going to rot in that room of his."
If only. Sakura made a big show of sticking her finger down her throat and making retching noises.
"Fine." Her mission accomplished, the older woman put the box of crackers back in the cupboard and started walking away. "Spend your day all alone. No skin off my butt." And she was gone.
The silence in the house was deafening.
If she had been sitting, Sakura would have slumped over. Great, she could either sit around doing nothing or wake up her PMSing cousin and somehow convince him to stop moping and spend the day with her. Decisions, decisions.
"Not like I have anything to lose," Sakura said aloud herself with her mind made up, "certainly not his love and affection."
It didn't take her long to creep up the stairs and she found herself standing in front of Syaoran's room in no time flat. Hand shaking, she took hold of the cold brass knob and twisted it clockwise. She had no idea why her heart was thudding so hard; it wasn't like she was afraid of him. Taking in one last deep breath, she leaned her body weight against the door and it slowly creaked open.
The room was surprisingly dark for being in the middle of the afternoon, but that probably had something to do with the thick comforter draped over the window. It took a minute for her eyes to adjust and she sucked in a breath when she could finally see. It had never occurred to her that Syaoran would be one of those guys who liked to sleep in his boxers. At least, she hoped he was wearing boxers. He was lying with his back towards her and the covers pulled up to his waist, so she couldn't tell for sure.
There was no response. Against her natural instincts, Sakura crept closer until she was hovering about a foot over him. "Syaoran?" Nothing. "Syaor-"
"Go away," Syaoran grumbled and pulled the covers over his head. "And don't breathe on me; your breath smells like ass."
What was everybody's fascination with butts today?
Sakura felt her face heat up with anger and had to clench her fists to stop herself from reaching out and strangling the life out of his worthless body. "Fine," she said through gritted teeth. She berated herself on the short trek back to the door. Why had she come in here against her better judgment? It had all been for nothing!
Syaoran was silent until she almost reached the door. "You really should consider losing some weight, Sakura. I could hear your footsteps from the stairs."
In Sakura's mind, that was just crossing the line. She knew she wasn't fat but ever since she got a little overweight in Junior High, it had been a touchy subject - never mind that she had since gotten healthy and in shape. Retaliation was in order. Struck by sudden genius, Sakura flicked the lights on and enjoyed Syaoran's cry of agony.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Not quite finished, Sakura took a running leap and landed on Syaoran's bed. She then proceeded to jump around like it was a trampoline. "Fat, am I? I ought to fall on you and squish you like the bug you are!"
Syaoran was wide-awake now and looking at her like she was insane. The covers were completely off of him now. "Nice boxers," Sakura said before leaping off the bed gracefully and skipping to the door. Just as she was leaving, she stuck her tongue out and said, "Too bad there's nothing in them."
Her glory was short lived. Back in the living room, Sakura sat down and shut her eyes. That whole ordeal hadn't done much for her boredom problem. Now she still didn't have anything to do and would probably have to deal with a pissy cousin.
When there was still no sign of Syaoran five minutes later, she was able to breathe a sigh of relief in hopes that she was off the hook. Unfortunately, it was a little premature. Just seconds after the thought crossed Sakura's mind she heard a door slam upstairs. She didn't actually see Syaoran enter the room since her eyes were closed, but she felt his presence and she definitely felt him flop down next to her on the sofa.
"What do you want?" she barked.
"That's my question."
"What?" Sakura finally looked at him and vaguely registered that he had clothes on now.
Syaoran quirked an eyebrow in her direction. "Please tell me you had a reason for that delightful wake-up call."
"Oh." Sakura leaned back and examined her cuticles. "Never mind."
"Never mind?" Syaoran repeated, annoyance becoming increasingly obvious in his voice. "You wake me up and then say 'never mind'?"
Sakura shot him a look from the corner of her eye. "I said 'never mind' because I know there's no way you're going to say yes. I was stupid for thinking you would in the first place."
"Sakura! Stop being childish."
It took a lot of will power for Sakura not to say 'I'm not being childish, you are!', but she somehow managed. "Fine."
There was a long pause.
"Shut up. I will when I'm ready." Sighing loudly, Sakura rolled her eyes and said, "I was wondering if you would help me paint my room."
"Sure, why not?"
"Eh?" Sakura's head shot up in surprise. "You'll do it?"
Syaoran shrugged. "I have nothing else to do." He paused and leaned closer so that there were only a couple of inches between them, letting his amber eyes narrow, "but don't think I'm going to forgive and forget this morning so soon."
Sakura's stomach did an odd flip-flop that she chalked up to nausea from being so close to his face. Unwilling to be the first to back down, she steadily stood her ground and said, "That's fine by me. I don't really give a damn what you forgive and forget. That's your problem. And it's not morning, you dumbass."
The corner of Syaoran's mouth curved up ever so slightly. "We'll see," he said.
"This is so relaxing," Syaoran said sarcastically from his side of the wall. Sakura chose to ignore him since he was being an idiot.
The whole day had been stressful. Not only had it taken them forever to get to the store and pick out the color of paint that she wanted, but when they got to the register she had realized that her wallet was missing. No doubt it had fallen out of her purse and was sitting happily in her room. Not wanting to drive all the way back home, she had been forced to borrow money from Syaoran. The smug bastard had taken pleasure in informing her that she now owed him big time. And that was just the beginning.
Once they had finally made it home, they had to take all of her heavy furniture out of her room and attempt to lay down a tarp. And throughout it all they had argued. At one point Sakura had contemplated scrapping the whole project and just using the tarp to wrap his body in. By the time they actually started painting Sakura was ready for a very long nap.
"What?" Sakura snapped and swiveled around to look at the current bane of her existence.
"Well, if you're going to take that tone with me, nothing." Syaoran looked away from her and resumed painting, but this time there was a very large smirk pasted on his face.
"Fine. Don't expect me to beg you or anything," Sakura muttered and went back to work. The paint looked uneven in front of her so she went over it again with her brush.
"I think we're just about through with the bottom part of this wall. All we have to do is the top," Syaoran commented a while later.
"So it would seem."
"I'll do it," Syaoran said, coming over to her.
"Why?" Sakura asked, suspecting that he wasn't doing it out of the kindness of his heart.
"Because you are short."
"I'm not short!" Sakura protested. "Five, four is not short."
"Well, it's not tall," Syaoran quipped.
Refusing to let him win that easily, Sakura said, "What does it matter how tall I am anyways? Whoever does it is going to have to use the ladder either way."
"Yes, but…" Syaoran drifted off.
Sure she was going to regret this, Sakura winced and asked, "But?"
"I'm afraid you might break the ladder."
Sakura roared in indignation and took a swing at him. Syaoran easily dodged it and just laughed at her. Sakura would have tried again, but she was having problems; her swinging at him had caused her to lose balance and she was about to fall against the freshly painted wall. Syaoran noticed just in time and, with quick reflexes, grabbed her upper arm to steady her.
"Thanks," Sakura muttered barely audible, but he still heard it.
Laughing, Syaoran helped her to her feet. "Now you really owe me." Since Sakura had no reply he continued, "You can start by getting me something to drink. I'm parched."
Glad for an excuse to leave the paint fumes, Sakura nodded and was out of there in a flash. In the kitchen she was greeted by the sight of her brother, Touya, and his best friend Yukito.
"When did you get back?" Sakura asked, coming up to them.
"Just now," Touya replied. His eyes flickered down and then back to her face. "Having fun?"
"Not really," Sakura answered. "I'm finally painting my room."
"Oh really, I never would have guessed. All by yourself?" Touya looked away, a constipated expression on his face that might have been caused by a suppressed grin.
"No, Syaoran's helping me."
Sensing that the conversation was over, Sakura turned to her brother's friend. "Hey, Yukito. How are you? I haven't seen you in a while."
"Eh?" Yukito was staring below Sakura's neck and it took a minute for him to get his bearings. "Oh, um, I'm fine."
"Okay," Sakura said slowly. As soon as she said it, his gaze went back down. A light pink hue appeared on her cheeks. She may have had a crush on him when she was younger, but for him to so obviously be staring at her chest was a little too much! Besides, she hadn't thought he was that kind of guy.
"Uh, right." Sakura spun on her heel and went to the fridge to get a soda. "I need to get back to work, so, I'll, uh, see you later, I guess." Awkward as hell, but there was nothing she could do about it.
About to make a speedy exit, Sakura was stopped by Touya's voice. "By the way Sakura, you have paint on your shirt."
Sakura went ridged. She could almost hear her neck creak as she looked down to see two neat green circles on her boobs. Everything suddenly made sense. Her face turning beet red, she thanked her brother and made a hasty retreat.
The whole walk back to her room was filled with murderous intents for a certain cousin of hers.
It didn't take Sakura long to discover that the living room was hot and stuffy at night. So far she had spent the whole night tossing and turning on the sofa trying to get comfortable and somehow get some air circulation at the same time.
"Why is it so hot?" She whined, quickly losing her temper and kicking her covers to the floor. Her whole body was covered in sweat and it felt disgusting.
The painting project wasn't quite finished, but she wouldn't have been able to stay in her room anyways because of the unbearable paint fumes. Since Syaoran currently inhabited her house's guest room, she was left with the sofa. Thoughts of locking her dear cousin in her room with the paint fumes and sleeping in the guest room crept to the front of her mind.
"Not like he could damage any more brain cells."
Sakura groaned as the grandfather clock did its chimes for three in the morning. "That's it," she muttered, picking at her sticky tee shirt. "To survive this night, I'm either going to have to go naked or change into something smaller." No debate there.
That decided, she hopped off the couch and tiptoed up the stairs to her room. She passed Syaoran's door on the way and almost kicked it out of petulance.
Luckily, her dresser was within easy access and she quickly rummaged through it for something. After pulling her oversized shirt off, she slipped the silky black spaghetti strap undershirt that she had found. It helped a little bit, but she was still hot and all her pajama shorts were in the laundry.
"Guess it's the underwear and tank top look for me tonight." She quickly tugged off the flannel pants she was wearing and blanched at her new problem; she was wearing her most worn light blue and white cotton panties. "That won't do."
Sakura opened her top drawer and had to dig around for a while before finding what she was looking for: a pair of black silk panties that her mom and gotten for her and she usually never wore.
All done with her wardrobe change, she made her way back to her accommodations for the night.
"Ah, much better." She snuggled into her nest and started to doze off.
It couldn't have been more that thirty minutes later that she was roused from her sleep by someone banging around in the kitchen.
"You have got to be kidding me," Sakura said pathetically and stuffed a pillow over her face; it didn't work and she was suffocating. With a grunt of frustration, she rose to her feet and headed for the kitchen to find the perpetrator and tell them off.
"Hello," Syaoran said around his mouthful of sandwich.
"What the hell are you doing up this early?" Sakura demanded, arms akimbo.
"You don't waste any time on small talk do you?" Syaoran took a sip of water without removing his eyes from her. It was a little disconcerting.
"This is wasting my time. I want to sleep!" The last sentence came out pitiful.
"Then sleep," Syaoran muttered. "Don't let me and my midnight snack keep you from your rest."
"First of all, it's not midnight," Sakura said, just to argue, "and second, how am I supposed to sleep with you banging around in the kitchen? I'm a very light sleeper!"
"Oh, who are you trying to kid?" Syaoran stuffed another bite of sandwich in his mouth and continued to talk. "Your brother told me about the time you slept through tornado sirens. 'Just five more minutes, Touya'." This last part was said in an exaggerated falsetto.
"Oh, shut up."
"What are you going to do?" Syaoran said, standing up. "Shake up another one of my sodas?" That had been her form of retaliation for him letting her walk around with paint on her boobs. "It's not my fault you don't have any feeling in your boobs to tell you when they're pressing up against something. What were you trying to do, make out with the wall? Your boobs aren't big enough to just naturally stick out there."
Sakura frowned, a deep crease forming on her forehead. "My boobs have plenty of feeling and they're bigger than they look."
Syaoran didn't reply and instead moved so that he was almost pressed up against her. Sakura tried take a step backwards, but found a firm hand on her back holding her in place.
"What are you doing?" She seemed to be asking that question a lot lately.
Instead of answering, Syaoran raised his other hand and traced a straight line from her chin down to her belly button with his index finger. A shiver shot down her spine that she couldn't suppress. Her mind went numb for a minute and didn't focus again until she felt his finger tracing the curve under her breast. Their eyes met.
She could have stopped him if she wanted, but she didn't. For some strange reason that she would not be able to explain later, she didn't want him to stop. His touch disappeared, only to return a second later as he cupped the swell of her breast and squeezed gently.
The numb mind thingy came back, full force. She thought she might have let out a gasp but she wasn't sure.
'He's your cousin, for goodness sake!' Sakura mentally berated herself, while another part of her retorted, 'Not by blood.'
The warmth Syaoran's body brought moved away and Sakura opened her eyes, vaguely realizing that she had shut them at some point. Although she was breathing hard, Syaoran looked completely composed.
"You're right," he said, and then clarified because of her dumfounded expression. "They are bigger than they look."
And with that, he finished off his glass of water and left the kitchen, calling over his shoulder. "Nice pajamas, by the way. Pleasant dreams."
Yeah right, Sakura mused, feeling a migraine starting to form. There was no way she was going to be able to sleep.