The Li Family Affairs
Chapter 5- All Over Again
Wow. I woke up this morning and figured out it was time for an update. By the looks of it this story has been on hold for way tooo long. 5 chapters in two years! Ack. But thanks so much to the readers and to people who continue to encourage and believe in me. I really appreciate it!
Syaoran staggered into Sakura's family room as Kero quickly slid the door shut behind them. Both were covered in crimson spatters, their clothes shredded, and both were struggling for breath. Syaoran lead Sakura to nearby sofa and she sank into it. Syaoran found a spot beside her. They said nothing.
Kero floated in with a few white towels from the kitchen. He handed a towel to each and they began to wipe away at their cuts. The rags were instantly reddened.
"So…you two look as though you had fun." remarked Kero as he watched them. His comment did not lighten the mood. Syaoran glared at him.
"There's nothing fun about almost getting killed," he snapped. Kero immediately backed off, muttering something about trying to break the ice.
Syaoran dabbed at the wound on his shoulder but figured it would be easier to access if he removed the remnants of the t-shirt he had been wearing. Gracefully, he slid it over his head and threw it onto the wooden floor nearby.
Sakura fumbled with the roll of bandages that Kero had just given her. She began to unravel them, trying hard not to stare at the man beside her. If she did, she knew that the rippling of muscles on his back and chest would be enough to take her to cloud nine. Well maybe a peek…
Glancing over she saw the nick on his shoulder where the metal star chip had grazed. A pang of guilt gripped her body as she instinctively reached for gauze and began to dab at the incision. She felt Syaoran tremble at her touch but he did not make any motion to stop it. She quickly withdrew her hand.
"I'm sorry…" she said softly while still continuing her work.
"No I'm sorry…" Syaoran said immediately, "I told you this was dangerous. I bet they're watching us right now…" His eyes darted around the room, making sure that all the blinds were shut. Sakura exhaled and he thought he heard her giggle.
"Dangerous?" she said laughing nervously, "Have you completely forgotten the danger we got ourselves into in fourth grade? We nearly died!"
"It's not the same," shot Syaoran abruptly, "This danger is different and plus back then, you had your powers but now-" Sakura stopped dabbing and looked at him. He stared back.
"I don't know why it isn't working…" began Sakura, a look of concern on her face, "It might have something to do with these strange dreams I've been having…"
Syaoran raised an eyebrow, waiting for her to continue. She told him about her dreams of some dark entity with tendrils that ensnared her. Then, she addressed her concern about her magic that appeared to have dwindled. Kero decided upon this moment to intervene with cups of tea and words of advice.
"Y'know, it could be a lack of faith." he began, immediately holding their attention. Sakura and Syaoran each took a china cup of the steamy, brown liquid.
"Lack of faith? But I do believe in my magic. I mean I haven't been using it per se but I don't think that's a reason for it to" she searched for a word, "stop."
"There are rare cases when a magical being spontaneously loses their abilities due to trauma, emotional damage, ect.," offered Syaoran although he did not believe the words coming from his mouth. Kero shook his head.
"Or maybe, someone's preventing you from being able to call on your powers…" suggested Kero, "Sakura has some of the strongest magic ever possessed by a human and if that is the case, then we're up against forces far beyond our powers." Sakura's eyes widened at the thought as Syaoran resisted the temptation to blurt "I told you so".
"So who? Who would do this?" Sakura asked. Kero shrugged and motioned to Syaoran.
"Syaoran…who…" Sakura repeated, glancing over at Syaoran who had made quite a task out of sipping tea.
At that precise moment, a knock came at the door followed by the ding of a bell. The whole room froze. Syaoran stood up to answer it but Sakura moved in front of him, motioning them to be quiet. She left the family room and proceeded down the hallway, grabbing a coat and beanie from the closet and donning it in order to conceal evidence of a fight. Glancing at the mirror on the wall, she was relieved to see that most of the blood had been wiped off. Peering cautiously through the peephole, Sakura was surprised to see who it was. She debated on whether or not to open the door. Half of her argued that this was indeed a bad time but the other reasoned that such a kind person should not be subject to such behavior. Sakura could feel Syaoran and Kero's eyes watching her intently. She motioned for them to let their guard down and twisted the door knob.
"Hi Andrew!" Sakura said cheerfully. She half-forced a smile. The tall, handsome, blonde smiled back at her.
"Evening Sakura. My don't you look warm for this whether?"
"Oh! Yeah just- uhhh about to go out actually. What brings you by?" she said.
Andrew sighed and dropped his cheerful smile. His tone deepened and became quite serious.
"Listen, about last night. I'm really sorry if I forced you to do anything you didn't want to."
There was a slight pause.
"Andrew- it's not you. It's me- I was just being stupid." Sakura said, not sure if she believed her own words. Andrew sighed again.
"It's just, you're the first girl I've fallen for in a really long time and I don't want to lose you… in fact, I was wondering if I could make it up to you." He finished. Sakura looked down at her feet, trying to think of something to say.
"Andrew…" she began slowly, "I don't know. I mean, I had a really great time with you the other night but…I don't know if it will work out." Sakura realized how cliché her response sounded but Andrew seemed devastated.
"Oh…" was all that he could manage. They stood in silence for a few minutes and then Andrew said he had some business back at the diner. As she watched him go off, Sakura tried to muster a bit of regret but oddly, felt only a little. Shutting the door behind her, she stripped off the coat and beanie and tossed them onto the stair banister. She reentered the family room to find Kero plopped on the couch.
"Where's Syaoran?" asked Sakura heading towards the kitchen in hopes that he would be there.
"He received a call and said he had to leave." replied Kero simply. Sakure stopped in her tracks.
"And you let him!?" Sakura cried. "We weren't finished with our conversation!" Then it struck her that Syaoran had heard everything that had gone on between her and Andrew.
"Oh my gosh…does he think that Andrew and I-" Sakura rushed to the phone and it dawned upon her that she didn't know his cell number. Kero floated over.
"Sakura. Just chill. I'm sure he understands." He gave her a reassuring pat that did little to lighten her mood.
"No! Me and Andrew are nothing! We never were! He was just a great guy and I needed something to take my mind of Syaoran." cried an exasperated Sakura.
"Well, you're telling it to the wrong person." Kero said pointedly. Sakura dashed into the laundry room and returned with black running shorts and a white t-shirt. She hastily scrambled into them and chucked the remnants of her previous outfit at Kero
"Hey! What the…Where are you going!?…." asked Kero who was now submerged by the scraps.
"To find Syaoran," said Sakura quickly slipping into tennis shoes, "I let him walk out of my life once. I'm not doing it again."
The door slammed behind her.
Syaoran pressed the phone hard against his ear, hoping that Meilin's voice would drown out this strange emotion he was feeling.
"So anyways, I discovered the originators of the tattoo. It's the symbol of the Hebi Clan." Meinlin said. He could hear a slight scraping noise on the other end and knew that she was filing her nails.
"Hebi clan?" he asked.
"Yeah. I'm still trying to find out more about them. But a lot of records have been destroyed. What I do know is that they are indeed a magical bloodline although their magic is…well lets just say their rituals involve a sufficient amount of sacrifice."
"Interesting. What kind of sacrifice?" Syaoran asked, although he was positive he knew the answer.
"Hmmm I would take a shot in the dark and say…human." Meilin replied casually, "Of course in this time and age, they can't just walk outside and snatch some newspaper boy off his bike. I suppose they've resorted to animal sacrifices as well. They probably sacrifice them at this one temple…let me find it (Syaoran heard a shuffling of papers)..oh here…the Heaven's Gate Temple in Osaka, Japan."
"Heaven's Gate. Hm. I'll bet they sacrifice snakes right, as their clan name indicates." Syaoran said, taking a mental note of the temple's name and location.
"You can't be sure," Meilin said, "It'd be wise to check out the temple. I'll try to find out more information. Just don't get yourself killed until then…is that traffic I hear? Where are you!?" It was obvious she had finished filing.
"I'm crossing the street to get back to my hotel."
"You're staying in a hotel!? They could slaughter you at any moment!" cried Meilin.
"They won't do anything in public. They probably live under aliases and uphold reputations in society. Like our family. You know, members of magical clans mingle among common folk everyday."
"Just be careful- wait why are you walking? Didn't I give you my baby?" By baby, Syaoran assumed she meant her Mercedes. He rolled his eyes.
"I was running at the park."
"At 6 in the evening?"
"No, this morning."
"So where have you been since then?"
An awkward silence caved in on the conversation. Syaoran held his breath. It wouldn't be long…
"Oh my god! You saw SAKURA!" Meilin shrieked from the other end. Syaoran entered the hotel lobby which was thankfully crowded. The noise would drown out his current conversation.
"Kind of. We were attacked." Syaoran said, trying to shift away from the sensitive areas of his relationship with Sakura. Syaoran didn't have to be standing next to Meilin to know that the woman was smirking.
"God Syaoran. Why do you make things so damn hard? Just TELL HER!" Syaoran imagined Meilin rolling her eyes.
"Tell her what?"
"You know what."
"It won't matter. While I was at her house her boyfriend dropped by." Syaoran tried not to sound too worked up. The effort failed. He fumbled with the key to his room.
"What?! She has a boyfriend?"
"I guess so. They went out. He came by to apologize for his behavior. They probably got into a fight or something. Probably going to kiss and make up later." Syaoran added hastily. The sinking feeling in his stomach would not disappear. Syaoran flicked on the lights; everything seemed to be in place.
"Awwww is my baby cousin jealousss?" Meilin simpered in a playful tone. It was Syaoran's turn to roll his eyes.
"Why would I be jealous? I'm happy that she's found someone." He forced himself to say.
"What is it with men and denying their feelings. Honestly if you don't get your ass over there and tell her, I'ma have to fly over and tell her mys-"
The line abruptly ended. Syaoran froze.
Nothing. Syaoran snapped his phone shut. Probably just bad connection. He redialed her number. Again nothing. His heart began to pound. What if something happened to her? Plopping down on the bed, he figured that she would be fine. In any case, that girl had one hell of a punch.
Sakura leaned against the building debating whether to turn left or right. For the past two hours, she had scaled the city and the fact that she had not a single clue as to Syaoran's whereabouts was biting her in the ass. She stood there and pondered.
Tokyo was a bustling city at night and hoards of people were everywhere, tending to their own affairs. A girl and her boyfriend passed Sakura, hand in hand, laughing and enjoying each other's company. Why can't my life be so simple and perfect, thought Sakura. She watched them until they disappeared into a restaurant.
Sakure straightened up and caught her reflection in a glass window pane. Her hair was disheveled, she was sweating from the summer heat, and her makeup had smeared. All for some guy who was too thick to let her in on anything. It's odd, thought Sakura, I thought that he had taken down those walls a long time ago. Back then, we trusted each other. Now he's shutting me out. Yet again.
She thought more. What am I doing here? I spent years dawdling over him and when we finally meet, he just doesn't seem to care enough. Perhaps he really doesn't feel the same way. This thought weighed heavily in Sakura's heart. She thought back to Tomoyo's advice about moving on. It sounded good at the moment. She was tired and hungry and still stuck on a boy who seemingly didn't give a shit and worst of all, didn't trust her. Maybe it wasn't meant to be. Yet seeing him again, his voice ringing in her ears, his brown eyes gazing upon her…
Sakura mentally slapped herself. Inside her mind, a war had raged and thinking about it gave her migraines. Pushing those thoughts aside, she realized that tomorrow was Monday. She had a job she needed to do in order to support the life that Syaoran obviously wanted no part in. But Andrew did. For the rest of the night, she pondered giving him another try. After all, everyone deserves a second chance. Right?
Yay! Finisheedddd. Finally. Pleaseee reviewwwww! I'm also updating my other fics so don't forget to check them out! Love always. JoocieFruit