Kuruizaku (to bloom out of season)
Content: Angst, humour, romance, etc…
Disclaimers: There's a reason I don't own Card Captor Sakura – all hell would break loose.
A/N: pure sap, to finish off.
Epilogue: Ameagari (after the rain)
Four months later…
Slender fingers danced over the keys with grace, bringing magic to the ears of those listening with each touch. A head of dark hair bent over the piano as the haunting melody filled the room – eyes closed, the figure smiled as they sensed another set of eyes watching nearby, but didn't stop playing. The soft glow of the lamplight caused the gem in the ring to sparkle, but the musician was oblivious and the song continued.
The figure leaning on the bookshelf moved towards the piano, watching with admiration. "I like this song better when you're singing along with it," he mused.
Tomoyo smiled, and stilled her fingers before looking up at him. "I know you do. I was playing for myself."
"How unfortunate," Eriol gave a mock sigh as he slid his arms around her. "I had hoped that being engaged to you would allow for your voice to be at my command."
She leaned back into him as she laughed softly. "Asking works just as well."
Eriol sat down on the bench next to her, taking her left hand and brushing his thumb over her ring. "You know, I dreamt about us long before 'we' even began," he smiled mysteriously, and kissed her knuckles.
Surprise was evident on her face. "A premonition?"
"Of sorts. It took me a while to figure it out." He chuckled. "I didn't even recognise it as being us, at first. It wasn't expected. But the dream lingered long after I woke, and the more I thought on it the more obvious it was that it was you."
She considered this for a moment, then, "So you knew, from the start, that we'd end up together?" At his sheepish grin, she shook her head and smiled. "Cheat."
"I didn't know for sure, Tomoyo. After all, nothing is set in stone. There are a million different possibilities – it's all about finding the right thread to lead you to where you want to be."
"So when did you know for sure that you had the right thread?"
A quirk of the lips. "You offered it to me the moment I saw you again." Tomoyo blushed at the memory.
"Did I now? You make it sound like it started there for me too."
"Did it not?" She smiled secretively and shook her head. "Then when did it start for you, dear?"
She touched a finger to her lips and looked thoughtful for a moment. "It would have to be the hot chocolate on the roof."
He gave a warm laugh. "So that's the way to your heart, then?"
"Oh, you'd reached me long before then, I just didn't realise it. And once I had, I had no idea that we would reach this point." She smiled and leaned into him, enjoying his warmth. "No, it wasn't until that day, when you offered me the drink and your company, that I realised you the one person that could read me like a book. And once I knew there was no one else for me."
"Even if I wasn't interested?"
Tomoyo looked at him, then laughed softly. "Baka. I could read you just as well, and you handed me your heart with that hot chocolate."
Thinking back to the moment, Eriol remembered with a chuckle that the mug he'd handed her was covered in little hearts with wings. "So I did."
Content in each other's embrace, they sat on the piano bench in silence for a small eternity. It was the clock that interrupted them, its loud chime sounding from the hall downstairs and echoing through the halls. Eriol sighed at the sound, shifting slightly. "Midnight," Tomoyo murmured, then looked up at him and smiled warmly. "Happy Birthday, Eriol." Reaching up, she brushed her thumb over the corner of his mouth before kissing him. She felt him smile against her lips, felt him say her name, and she wound her arms around him in bliss.
He drew back long moments later, and pressed his forehead to hers as he smiled. "Sing for me, Tomoyo?"
"You've but to ask," came his reply, and she brushed her nose to his before turning back to the piano and beginning to play again. Her voice sang out across the room, embracing him even as it soared and kissed the ceiling, the walls, the windows. It was the magic she wove, unmatched and beautiful, each time more enchanting than the last. And he watched her hands dance, her mouth smile; he engraved each detail into his memory as if this time was his last. Just as he always did.
When she finished playing and turned to him, he kissed the corner of her mouth and whispered, "Play for me again?"
And she did. Only this time, he sang.
That's it! I actually feel like crying that it's over, it is by far my best accomplishment in fanfiction. To think, this all started that rainy day in Nelson when I was bored stiff and homesick. Way over 2 years ago now. Phew.
If anyone is interested in the song that inspired this chapter, it was the Sarah McLachlan song "Possession" – the solo piano version, that is, rather than the original.
Anyway, thank you all for reading. You were great help, great support. I hope the hiatus period didn't piss you off too much. I'm going to start working on a bunch more E/T fics in the future, as I've had them planned for yonks. Not sure just yet whether I'll post them here or elsewhere, but if it's elsewhere I'll let you know. In the meantime, arigatou and…