Summary: Wow, this is something I've been hoping to do for a while. If you've followed 'A Look Back at Days Gone By' faithfully, then you know that Ms. Mackenzie came back for Sakura's high school graduation. Of course…she hasn't left yet and Sakura begins to get a great idea.
Note: Taken from Sakura's perspective…unless stated otherwise
Matchmaker Sakura: Part 1
Scene: The Temple
It was another lovely day as the sun was shining down on Reedington. The eighteen-year old Sakura Avalon was still getting over the fact that she had just graduated high school. But there was something else that's had her ecstatic since that fateful day. Her favorite teacher, Ms. Mackenzie, came back to Japan on the day of Sakura's graduation and surprised her by showing up. Sakura never felt so happy about so many things. That special day was without a doubt the best day of her entire life. One she was extremely happy Madison got on tape. Sakura would look back at that day for a long time.
Sakura found herself becoming attached to Ms. Mackenzie again. She helped her work at the temple every morning, which meant getting up early. But Sakura didn't care about getting up early, which surprised a lot of people. She just wanted to be around her favorite teacher…much to the chagrin of her boyfriend and love of her life, Li Shoran. For some reason, he never liked Ms. Mackenzie. From the very beginning, Li hated her with a passion.
Sakura was never scared of her, though. Ms. Mackenzie always made her feel…happy. Sakura could never explain why. It was almost as if Ms. Mackenzie was like a second mother to her.
It was ten in the morning when someone came up to the temple. Sakura had just about finished for the day and that meant…
Sakura waved. "Hi, Dad!"
Aiden Avalon was ready to go off to work that morning and agreed to let Sakura tag along for the day. It had been a long time since Sakura had been to the university. In fact, she hadn't gone since…the Sleep Card incident. So Sakura eagerly ran up to her father.
"Are you ready to go, Sakura?"
"Just let me tell Ms. Mackenzie."
As soon as she said that, Leila Mackenzie came out and approached them. She had that ever present pair of shades and that seemingly mysterious aura that surrounded her. From day one, Ms. Mackenzie was probably more mysterious than anyone Sakura had ever met.
"I'm glad you could help me, Sakura," she said. "Thank you. It really means a lot to me."
"I'm just glad I could help, Ms. Mackenzie," Sakura blushed.
Ms. Mackenzie smiled. "Same time tomorrow?"
"I'll be here."
Sakura was about to lead her father out, but then she stopped. Ms. Mackenzie hadn't taken her eyes off of Aiden Avalon. She took off her sunglasses, revealing that warm expression.
"Hi there. Are you Sakura's father?"
Aiden was a little flustered. "Y-Yes I am. You must be…Ms. Mackenzie. I've heard a lot about you…in more ways than one."
"I'm surprised that we've never met. But it's very nice to meet you."
It was at that moment that Sakura looked into the eyes of Ms. Mackenzie as she was looking at her father. They looked so flushed. It almost looked like she was…blushing. That got Sakura wondering.
~* The way she's blushing…it's almost as if…she has a thing for my dad. *~
Then Sakura looked over at her father. His look was harder to make out. It was almost the same look...Li used to have around Sakura.
~* He probably doesn't feel the same way. But…I can't ignore this. Does Ms. Mackenzie…like my dad? This isn't something I can just push out of the way. It might be stupid, but I have to…find out. *~
Sakura then made a decision. She had to find out if Ms. Mackenzie really had a thing for her father.
Scene: Sakura's Room
The gears in Sakura's head were turning during the whole day at the university. When she got home, she finally decided on a way to find out just how Ms. Mackenzie felt. So she waited patiently for the door to open. Of course…that's when someone tapped on her window.
Sakura shook her head. She should have known that Li Shoran would come in through the window. He never came in through the door anymore. Not with big brother Tori lurking around. So Sakura calmly walked over to open the window and let her boyfriend inside.
"So what was so important?" he asked.
"Li, I need a favor from you," Sakura began. "Could you…swing by the temple and maybe…talk to Ms. Mackenzie for me?"
Li didn't like that one bit. "You know how I feel about her, Sakura."
"Oh, Li, please! I just need you to talk to her for me about…my dad."
Li blinked. "Your dad?"
Sakura sat down and sighed dreamily. "When my dad when to pick me up from the temple today, I saw a look in Ms. Mackenzie's eyes. It was like one of those…looks. The kind of look that says you're really interested in someone."
"You think Ms. Mackenzie is interested in your dad?" Li asked skeptically.
"I know it sounds stupid," Sakura continued. "But I can't just let that go. If there's a possibility that Ms. Mackenzie likes my dad, then I just have to find out. Couldn't you just picture it, Li? What if she really DOES like him? Could you imagine Ms. Mackenzie…and my dad…together?"
"Yeah, I do," Li muttered. "And it scares me. No, Sakura. I won't do it."
"Oh, Li. Couldn't you do it…for me?" She gave him a puppy dog look. "Don't you love me?"
Li sighed. "Don't you understand? It's because I love you that I can't do it."
Sakura frowned. "That…doesn't make any sense."
"Ok, then I just don't want to do it. I don't like her. You know that!"
Sakura huffed angrily and pushed Li towards the window. "Fine! I don't need your help on this one, Li! I know someone who'll help me! So if you're not helping me, then GET OUT!!"
Sakura kept pushing Li until he finally took the hint and climbed out the window.
Then he looked up and grinned. "So are we still on for tonight?"
Sakura growled. "We'll talk."
Sakura shut the window and walked up to her phone. She knew just who to call on this one. Her best friend in the whole wide world. She would never say no to her.
Scene: Sakura's Living Room (An hour later)
Madison Taylor shook her head. "I'm sorry. I said no."
Sakura couldn't believe what she was hearing. "But Madison, what do you mean 'no'? We're best friends, I thought we did everything for each other."
"That's just it, Sakura," Madison clarified. "Ms. Mackenzie knows I'm your best friend. She'll see right through me.
As much as Sakura hated to admit it, she had a valid point. "I guess that's true. But what am I going to do? I really want to find out if she likes my dad. But how am I supposed to know without someone to talk to her?"
"You never know, Sakura," Madison said with that gleam of hope in her blue eyes. "I'm sure you can find someone."
Just then, Sakura heard the front door open. Sakura looked over to see…Julian.
"Sakura? Is Tori here yet? He said he'd be back from work by now."
Sakura grinned mischievously. She found her man. She glanced at Madison who only shrugged. So Sakura looked back at Julian and smiled.
"Julian…can I ask you for a favor?"
Scene: Sakura's Room (The next day)
Sakura was eagerly waiting by the door. She couldn't wait to hear those two feet coming up the stairs. There was nothing else she could do…but wait. She was anxious to find out everything and it showed.
Madison, on the other hand, was a little calmer. "Relax, Sakura. He'll be here. Julian's never let you down before."
Sakura plopped down on her bed. "You're right. I'm just so…excited, Madison. What if it's true? What if she really does like him? Could you imagine that?"
Madison blinked. "You really want this to happen, don't you, Sakura?"
Sakura just looked dreamily towards the ceiling. "You know how I feel about Ms. Mackenzie. You know how she makes me feel. And if she can make my dad feel the same way…then…I'd like her to be part of the family."
Madison shook her head. "Aren't you getting a little ahead of yourself? You're already talking about marriage."
Sakura shook it off. Her best friend was right. "Yeah…well…I guess I can take it one step at a time if I have to. Besides…I can dream, can't I?"
As she uttered those words, Sakura heard the front door open. It had to be Julian. Sakura eagerly awaited the moment. Then her bedroom door opened and Julian stepped inside.
"Well?" Sakura asked excitedly. "What'd she say?"
Julian took his time. "I think you're right, Sakura. She didn't come right out and say it. But from the look in her eyes when I mentioned your dad, it looks pretty obvious. I think Ms. Mackenzie really does like your dad."
Sakura ran up and hugged Julian. "Thank you, Julian. You don't know how much that means to me."
Julian smiled. "I'm just happy to help, I guess. I'd better go. Tori said he'd meet me by the park. I'll see you later, Sakura."
Julian walked out, but Sakura was still in her trance. She still couldn't get over it. Her favorite teacher had a crush on her father. It was like a wonderful dream.
Madison could see the hypnotic state Sakura was in. She tried waving her hand in front of her face and got no reaction. She tried snapping her fingers and got nothing. Finally, Sakura shook her head and snapped out of it.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I must have…spaced out."
"So what happens now?" Madison asked.
Sakura grinned at the thought. "Now I need my dad to ask her out. And…he might need a little…encouragement…if you know what I mean."
Madison smiled. She knew Sakura had a plan. "Need any help?"
"Not just yet," Sakura answered. "I just have to give my dad a gentle push and I'm sure he can handle the rest."
At this time, Aiden Avalon was at the university. He was due to be back in a few hours. And when he did come back…Sakura would be ready.
Scene: Sakura's Kitchen (A few hours later)
An hour had passed since Sakura practically pushed Madison out of the house. It was obvious that she wanted to be alone with her father, who had just arrived and was in the kitchen fixing dinner. Sakura thought about the various ways to go about this. She knew she couldn't just bring it up out of the blue. She had to be subtle.
So Sakura grabbed a broom and started sweeping the kitchen floor…inching closer to her daddy. The atmosphere was silent for the moment, until that moment when Sakura finally spoke up.
"So…how was your day?"
~* Subtle. I have to be subtle. *~
Aiden Avalon just calmly sprinkled spices into the pot. "It was fine. As soon as I handed out the final test grades, the hard part was over. At least it's over for now. I have a few weeks to spend at home before summer classes start."
Sakura loved hearing that. That meant that nothing could tie up her father if something like…a date were to happen.
"So how was your day?" Sakura's father asked.
Sakura tried not to let out a giggle, because now it was ShowTime. "You know…just spent my morning helping out Ms. Mackenzie at the shrine. You know, she really is nice, isn't she, Dad?"
Aiden sighed. "Yeah."
Aiden suddenly stopped himself in his tracks and Sakura tried really hard not to grin. She was setting him up big time. It was all going perfectly.
Aiden finally said something again. "Attractive? Kinda funny you should just happen to mention that."
Sakura finally let out a grin. "Funnier that you should agree with me." She saw her father was blushing at this point. "You…like her, don't you, Dad?"
"Um…why would you say that?"
Sakura groaned in her mind. He wasn't willing to admit it up front, that much was for sure. She knew she had to be persistent.
"Well, I saw the way you were looking at her yesterday," Sakura continued. "And I can see the way you're blushing every time I mention her. You like Ms. Mackenzie, don't you?"
Aiden was clearly blushing at this point, but he wouldn't confess just yet. "I don't know…why you'd think such a thing, Sakura."
Sakura was ready to groan again. Her father was being stubborn with his feelings, like a certain other boy she knew. But that boy came around and so would he. Sakura would make sure of it.
So she walked up and hugged her father, leaning her head affectionately against his arm like she was ten again. "Dad…you wouldn't lie to me, would you? Please be honest with me. You like Ms. Mackenzie, don't you?"
It was all that Sakura had to do. Aiden Avalon had finally given in. "Well…maybe…"
Sakura gave an innocent gaze into her father's eyes. "You know…you two have a lot in common. You're both great teachers, you both haven't dated in years, and then there's…me. You both care about me very much. That's got to be worth something, doesn't it?"
Aiden looked inquisitively at his daughter. "What are you trying to say, Sakura?"
Sakura smiled. "I'm saying, why don't you ask Ms. Mackenzie out on a date? Get to know each other a little better."
There was hesitation. Sakura knew that this was the big moment. This was the moment she was striving for. She was awaiting that answer.
"Come on, Dad," Sakura continued. "You really need to start getting to know some new people. I'm going off to college in a few months and I know that Tori and Julian are looking for an apartment. Please, Dad. I don't want you to be lonely...and I don't want you to regret not asking Ms. Mackenzie out while you had the chance. I know you like her...won't you please ask her?"
There was still hesitation on Aiden's part. He was still unsure and it was making Sakura a little nervous.
"I don't know…what if she says 'no'?"
"You'll never know if you don't ask," Sakura responded. "Besides…I think that she will say 'yes'. I think…she feels the same way about you."
"How would you know?" Aiden asked curiously.
Sakura blinked, not wanting to say anything. "Um…call it an instinct. I'll tell you what. You can ask her tomorrow when you pick me up from the temple. You said you were on vacation now, didn't you?"
"Then it'll be perfect. Just walk up to her and ask her."
Sakura looked at her father and saw that he was still unsure. She knew she had to relax him if this was going to happen.
"Don't be nervous," she said soothingly. "I'm sure she'd love to go out with you, Dad. Trust me."
Sakura hugged her father, but when she looked up, she saw he was still flustered. She knew that this wouldn't be as easy as it looked. Sakura knew that she would have to help him out. She had to help this little crush become a relationship…no matter what stood in her way.
Next Time: Needless to say, Sakura's father is a little nervous about asking Ms. Mackenzie out. So Sakura has to give him…a little push. What'll happen if Ms. Mackenzie accepts? Will Sakura be able to leave well enough alone, or will she want to continue pushing them further? And will there be anyone…to stand in her way?
Any comments? I hope this goes as well as I think it will. It should get interesting soon, so come back for more. In the meantime, go ahead and review below.