Summary

He had just kicked his cousin out of his car and feeling mighty guilty about it. Than he meets a girl named Sakura with a flat tire. Feeling guilty about Meiling, Syaoran decides to help her out. What begins as mere simple acquaintance slowly travels down a road Syaoran's never ridden before. Trust and Love.

Disclaimer

I don't own CCS.

However, I do own this plot.

Author's Chapterly Comments

Okay, I'm just curious but.

WHAT DOES AU MEAN?

Sorry, I just need like to know. Because I see that on stories but I don't know what that means and that's driving me nuts. Lol. Right. Okay. Enjoy the story! It's 100 all me. Thank you.


Crossing Roads

"Guilt Trip"

Syaoran maneuvered between two parked cars next to an abandoned station. The black-haired girl sitting next to him had her manicured polished nails tightly wrapped around her knee and staring intently at his face.

"We just stopped five minutes ago Syaoran sweetie…" She said, her mouth moving faster than her anxiety.

Syaoran's jaw twitched slightly as he glued his eyes to his windshield. The car had stopped and the room under the hood was engulfed with tense silence.

The girl looked around her nervously, "Syaoran…why did we stop?"

"Get out," He said quietly, each word lingering in the space between them.

The girl looked over at him expectantly, "You don't mean it."

He faced her suddenly and looked down coldly, "Don't argue with me right now – I'm not in the mood for your excuses."

She fought for words under his hard eyes, "But – I'm – you're just throwing me out!"

His jaw jumped, "I will if you can't open the door on your own."

"You can't do that!" She cried, elaborately gesturing with open palms.

"I'm telling you to get out Meiling, I'm not giving you a choice." He said evenly.

She opened and closed her mouth trying to change his mind, "Syaoran! How am I supposed to get there then! Walk! You want me to walk a fucking two thousand miles!" She said, near hysterics.

Syaoran looked away and scowled out the window, "It's not two thousand miles Meiling – I'm sure you can sweet talk your way in to anything."

She quickly closed her mouth and just glared at him.

After a slow moment of digesting what he had said she answered, "What's that supposed to mean."

He looked back at her, this time his expression had darkened, "You know what I'm talking about – Get. Out. Of. My. Car." He spat.

They exchanged long identical glares before she bolted straight up, snatched her purse and threw open the door, "Fine!" She cried, pushing herself fiercely outside. She slammed the door near off the hinges and peered down the rolled window, "I can't believe you Syaoran – I'm telling your mother – "

"Like the hell I care," Syaoran muttered angrily, rolling up the window he started the car to the shocked look of the girl outside.

"You can't be serious! You really are leaving me here!" She cried with her mouth wide open.

As he pulled himself out of the tight space he rolled down the window and said, "I'll see you in Tomoeda – have fun hitch hiking."

All Meiling could do was sputter and gap as Syaoran turned smoothly on to the long endless country road without turning back once.


Maybe it was the guilt.

Yeah, it was pretty much the guilt.

Syaoran had driven for about half an hour and was feeling like turning around. He didn't know why he had just dumped his cousin back miles away. It was on impulse.

He was mad.

It was his temper.

Damnit.

What if she gets mugged? Or kidnapped?

Syaoran shook his head and tightened his grip on the wheel. Meiling's smarter than that. No.

Guilt.

He hated it when he would do something he'd regret.

What if she did tell mother.

Oh yeah…I'm dying young. Very young.

Syaoran lifted his hands off the wheel for two seconds so he could just hit his hands somewhere, "Damnit! You idiot!"

He knew there was absolutely no way he could turn back now. What the hell was up with these forever endless roads in the country anyways. There weren't any damn U-turns.

Syaoran pulled his hair back with a quick sweep of his sweaty hands. Summer was still clinging to the air. Or maybe it was just because he was worried. Maybe that's why the air was so thick and humid.

Out of the corner of his eye he spotted a small blue car off the side of the road. A large truck was parked behind it. It looked as if they had hit some problems, he could see a spare wheel lying besides the two vehicles. But where were the drivers?

As he came closer towards the seemingly abandoned cars he finally found where the people were. A large burly man had his grip around the shoulders of a girl about his age.

Yeah it was the guilt, why else had he pulled over. It wasn't his damn business.

"The hell," Syaoran jumped out of the door lightly and didn't bother closing the door, "What's going on here!"

"None of your shit kid." The man spat. Syaoran heard a clink in his heavy jackets. This guy was drunk.

"He's trying to rob me!"

Syaoran looked over at the girl in his arms. She was putting up a rather big fight over what appeared to be a purse. He could clearly see visible nail marks on the man's arms.

"I don't know what you're talking about." He drawled than cried out as she stepped on his foot.

Syaoran decided this was about enough he wanted to see. He put a firm hand on the man's shoulder and observed that he was a head taller than he was.

"Whadya want?" He roared, turning on him with his arms spread open, "Wana fight kid?"

Syaoran spread his weight. He had taken lessons in martial arts from private trainers. Big guys with no brains weren't exactly his idea of a good fight. But hey. He did ask for it.

He was busy calculating how much he would have to punch him before the guy was knocked unconscious when the man was sent flying off in the air and landed with a sickening crunch on his side. He groaned and fell unconscious; a beer bottle rolled out of one his pockets.

Syaoran, mouth hanging, looked back where the man had just stood and saw the girl busy straightening out herself and grinning up at him, "Yeah, sorry for bothering you."

"You did that?" He said, still shocked. Unbelievable. That guy had to be three times her weight.

"Yeah…" She said with a hint of embarrassment, than she saw his look, "Don't think just because I'm a girl – I can't fight okay?"

He looked over at her, "What's wrong with your car?"

"Flat tire," She said easily, and twisted her fingers together behind her back, "I couldn't flag anyone down and when I finally did – well – he didn't really want to help with my car." She said lightly, pointing at the man off to the side.

Than she looked at him for what seemed to be the first time, "You don't happen to have a spare tire do you?"

"Um…no." Syaoran said nervously, "Sorry."

"Oh no really – you don't have to apologize – I mean I'm thankful that you stopped to help." She said, smiling.

This girl was either smiling too much.

Or creeping me out.

Either way, Syaoran had never felt this much discomfort with a conversation in his entire life.

Girls were really…never a problem. They would always come to him and he'd be the one running away.

Syaoran tried to see why she was so difficult to talk to. She was rather small. Everything about her wasn't very intimidating. Maybe until she actually talked to you and gave you that smile. She had short light brown hair that ran down her face until just below the chin. It seemed a bit messy, most likely due to the past struggle. She wore a light tan blouse that was draped across her shoulders and a simple pair of jeans. On her feet downed a pair of blue flip-flops. She was looking at the road besides them.

Her eyes were a rich green. After he started trailing towards her lips, Syaoran decided to stop looking at her.

He rubbed a hand across his forehead and noticed how much he was sweating. There wasn't one tree in the entire meadow and the road was bending and twisting to the heat.

Just then a car could be heard coming their way. The girl seemed to have sensed its arrival and hurried down towards the road.

"Hey! Over here! Hey!" She called, waving her arms. The car didn't show any signs of slowing. Syaoran felt a large anxiety come over him once the car was only feets away from her. If she didn't move out of the way, she was sure to be hit.

He just barely opened his mouth to shout maybe 'WATCH OUT' when she stepped a quick step back and the car rushed past without a single glance.

She sighed deeply and walked back towards Syaoran who quickly shut his mouth.

"Oh," She said, as if just noticing him and cocked her head, "You're still here."

Syaoran was struck with an idea, "Hey – why don't you ride in my car? And we can call a tow truck on the next pay phone?"

Her eyes lit up, "Really? You would do that for a complete stranger?"

It was the guilt. How and what had just happened. Syaoran blamed it on the guilt.

"Yeah…sure." He said, now suddenly not very sure.

She stopped celebrating and looked at him with an expression so serious that he felt a chill run down his spine, "If you're not sure…I can always walk to the next phone…it's okay…I mean…I have a lot of stuff…"

The guilt. Oh yes the guilt made him talk.

"No, It's okay – get your stuff – you can ride – I'm not letting you walk twenty miles – it's a one way road anyways – it's not like I have to go anywhere else."

The girl smiled brightly and headed for her trunk. Syaoran followed.

A little voice said rather spitefully in his head.

Oh yes…you tell Meiling she has to walk two thousand miles…but you offer a ride to a girl you just met when she only needs to walk twenty…shame shame shame.

Syaoran scowled, "It's not two thousand miles damn it."

"Did you say something?"

"What?" Syaoran looked up to see the girl walking in step with him and quickly looked away, "No – no…nothing…"

"Alright." She inserted a key and popped open the trunk.

"Moving away?" Syaoran said the first thing that came out of his mouth. Inside were three big duffel bags all crammed to its fullest.

"Um no…college." The girl gave him a side-ways grin and wrapped her hands around one particularly large bright pink bag.

"Okay yeah…" She dumped it on the ground with a satisfying crash and turned for the other two just to notice that they were already out of the trunk and in Syaoran's hands, "Um…Thank you." She laughed, "I'll lock up my car – and I'll catch up with you."

Syaoran shrugged and started his way through the tumbleweeds.

He was relieved when he saw that the car was still safely parked where he had left it. Throwing open the trunk he threw her two large packed bags in. Good thing he had put his entire luggage in the back row. At least he had room to accommodate her things, just temporarily.

"Here we are," Her voice popping up next to him, she lifted the last bag she clung with her small hands and pulled it into the trunk with a large heave.

"All set?" Syaoran asked inquiringly.

"Yep, let's go!"

Syaoran ducked underneath the hood and shut the door just as she sat down. Before rolling up his half opened window he stole a look at the poor man still sprawled out in the yellowing brown grass. He hadn't moved an inch. That girl could do some serious damage. He awoke from his thoughts to a small noise to his right. He turned in his seat.

"Sorry – it's a little messy." Syaoran apologized and scooped a can of coke off the floor. Meiling's…And dumped it in the back seat. Sakura watched him carefully.

"You've got a lot of stuff too," She observed the one black bag in the back seat.

"College." Syaoran answered despite his usual cold self.

It was the guilt. Now he was being nice to a complete stranger. Guilt could do strange things. Maybe if I turn back now – I can still get Meiling.

"Really!" She said, "Which one!"

"…Tomoeda – " He had barely finished his sentence when she cut him off excitedly.

"Me too!" She laughed, "Wow! This is really weird! Hi – I'm Kinomoto Sakura – this is my last year in Tomoeda." She said swiftly, extending a hand to him.

Syaoran had half expected for her to jump on him after her excitement. A hand seemed…suspicious. He took it hesitantly and shook with his new passenger, "Li Syaoran – same." He said stiffly.

She smiled at him after he let go of the shake.

Right. Okay. Syaoran tore his gaze off of her addicting green eyes and on to the gray road ahead. After the first pay phone…off she goes. This was way off his charts to be giving a ride to a complete stranger. A girl stranger.
But if she went to the same school. If he did happen to leave her…she'd haunt him in class forever.

After they had pulled back on to the main road Syaoran was suddenly reminded of something, "You do have money right? For the tow fee?"

She looked over at him, "Yeah…I'm pretty sure." Her hand went to her purse and dug around inside. Syaoran kept his eyes firmly glued to the road. The country was rather peaceful and pleasing. It was early afternoon, the sun was barely half way up the sky. Syaroan had expected to reach the city by the next morning. He had a long way to go. A long way and boring with the same things passing him over and over again. There were hardly any road signs, just a couple broken fences and an endless amount of wheat fields and yellow pastures. After a couple quiet moments she went rigid in her seat, "Oh no…my wallet's not here…I didn't check the purse after I got it back!"

Syaoran immediately fought to remain calm and keep with the road. By her meaning of "he" she must mean the man who had tried to take her purse. They were too far now to go back, "Are you absolutely sure!" He said desperately, glancing in to the rearview mirror; her car and the truck was nowhere to be seen. What had he expected?

"Yes!" She said nervously. Syaoran could see she had turned her whole bag upside down and spilled all the contents in her lap.

Syaoran fought another urge to let go of the steering wheel and hit himself across the forehead. He hadn't brought cash with him, his mother wouldn't allow it – but he had a card.

Suddenly she let out a cry, "Li! You passed the last pay phone!"

Yeah well. Naturally. Syaoran hit the brakes. The two jerked violently against their seat belts that had locked with the sudden weight change.

The car shuddered to a tight halt. Syaoran swore under his breath and caught his heart in a half skip.

Twisting his head to look at the girl besides him he muttered, "You okay?"

"Yeah I'm fine – that was fun." She laughed and tugged at her seatbelt.

Fun?

Syaoran looked away quickly. At least she wasn't hurt or anything.

"Shouldn't you park first? We are still in the middle of a one lane road." She suggested to his turned back. Syaoran's finger stopped in front of the door. Great point.

"Right." He grumbled. Turning once again to the wheel he maneuvered the vehicle to a safer point on a small stretch of dirt away from the main road.


"I'm sorry but the number you've dialed does not exist in your area or has been disconnected. Please check your number and dial again…I'm sorry but the number you've dialed does not – "

"Damnit." Syaoran shoved the black phone back on its hook and slumped against the booth, "We're in the middle of a country road and they don't have a damn tow number."

Sakura stood besides him with her hands folded together in front of her body, biting her lip. Her expression clearly read 'what should we do now?'

They had walked a whole fifteen minutes back to where Sakura had seen the payphone. Now it seemed as if it had been a waste. Syaoran was whole heartily already regretting the fact of bringing the girl along.

And he hated regretting things he did. Like Meiling for instance.

Forget about her. She can damn well take care of herself.

"So…we can't get your car towed…" Syaoran's mind was turning, there wasn't another option. One guilt trip was enough. He couldn't leave this girl on her own. That would be too much. He stuffed his hands in his jeans pockets and looked straight at her worried expression, "I'm not going to leave you out on the road okay? Since we're going to the same place – I might as well take you all the way there."

Oh yeah. The weather had definitely been affecting his good judgment.

Her eyes lit up.

"Thank you thank you thank you!" She cried and spread her arms.

Syaoran took a hasty step back, "Sorry . I don't do. hugging." He said nervously, a wave of sweat passed over him. Maybe I should've taken off my sweater and left it in the car…

"Oh." She laughed and dropped her arms, "Habit – but really - thank you so much…how can I repay you! I know – I'll buy you dinner once we get there – oh but wait – I don't have money – well then – maybe I could – " She put a finger to her lips and looked up at the sky.

As she continued on how grateful she was Syaoran looked past her shoulder and down the long road they had ahead. He had planned on going the whole trip with Meiling.

Yeah well.

After he had kicked her out of the car.

He had planned to go alone.

Either way. He had never expected to go on a three daylong trip to Tomoeda with an absolute stranger.

As she talked breathlessly, Syaoran felt her words swirl around him like the hot wind that tickled the endless fields surrounding them. It was only early morning on the second day of the journey. He had about a day and half left to go before he had planned to reach the city. No stops. No detours.

But now.

He had a new passenger…Sakura Kinomoto

And as she smiled at him through words Syaoran was barely hearing, he couldn't help but think.

This was going to be one hell of a long trip…