Summary: We've hit the last part. Sakura's ready to confront her brother…but will she also discover…her boyfriend?
Matchmaker Sakura: Part 4
Scene: A Few Inches From That Restaurant
Perspective: Sakura Avalon
Sakura was incensed when she saw the stunt her brother pulled. She wouldn't be surprised if Tori ruined the whole date between her father and Ms. Mackenzie by passing himself off as a violinist that Sakura hired. Sakura's father didn't see where the 'violinist' had gone, but Sakura did. And she made a beeline towards an abandoned alley.
Madison was desperately trying to calm Sakura down. "Sakura…I know that look. Maybe you two should talk first. I'm sure Tori had a good reason for doing this."
"There's NO excuse for what he did, Madison!" Sakura snapped. "I'm going to kill him!"
"But Sakura…what if somebody sees you?"
"I don't care! This night was supposed to be perfect! I'm not letting Tori get away with this! He's gone too far this time!"
Scene: That Abandoned Alley
Perspective: Tori Avalon
Tori laughed out loud as he took that fake wig off. He finished putting his own clothes back on and he handed the tuxedo back to the original violinist. Li had already paid his share to the man and now it was Tori's turn.
"That should be all of it," Tori told him. "Thanks. I owe you one."
The violinist grinned as he turned to leave. "No, thank YOU!"
Tori felt satisfied with himself as he looked at Julian, who was shaking his head. "I think I did pretty well. My work is done, Julian."
Julian sighed. "I can't believe you did that to your own father, Tori."
"I hated to do that," Tori admitted. "But it's like I said. I can't let that relationship happen."
Tori nearly turned white as the tone of that voice sent shivers down his spine. He saw Julian had sweatdropped. Tori knew who it was and he had never heard her THAT angry before. He turned around to see Sakura. Madison stood a couple of feet behind her, not wanting to stand near Sakura in the state she was in. Tori's enraged little sister stormed towards him and got right in his face.
"How COULD you?!"
In the face of his angered sister, Tori managed to keep his cool. "I did what I had to do."
Sakura didn't take that answer well. She slapped her brother across the face. "I wanted this night to be perfect. I wanted Dad and Ms. Mackenzie to hit it off. I even wanted…them to really like each other…maybe even love each other someday. But you couldn't even let them get through the first night. Why?"
Tori rubbed his cheek painfully. He had to admit that Sakura slapped hard. "You set up Dad and my ex. How did you think I'd take it, squirt? You didn't think I'd take that lying down, did you? You probably knew I'd do something, otherwise you would have told me. I had to find out from Julian."
Sakura looked behind Tori to see Julian waving sheepishly. "Um…hi, Sakura."
"You told him, Julian?" Sakura asked. She sounded like she was betrayed.
"I thought he knew," Julian replied. "I'm sorry. But he's my best friend and I have to stick by him…for better or worse. In this case, it was probably worse."
"That's right. He told me," Tori added. "But I had to practically beat it out of him. He told me how you manipulated him into going down to the temple. Did you really think I wouldn't find out?"
Sakura hesitated. "I thought that Ms. Mackenzie had a crush on Dad, so I wanted to find out for sure. So I asked Julian to go. When I found out she did, that's when I set them up, because Dad felt the same way. They like each other, Tori. Why did you ruin that?"
Tori could have given his real reason right there. He hadn't been completely truthful with Sakura. There was another reason that Tori was so desperate to see this potential relationship crash and burn. But he knew that if he blurted it out at that moment…it might hurt his sister deeply. And Tori didn't want to hurt Sakura on that night.
So he just said, "How would it look if our dad got married to my ex? What would that make ME look like?"
Sakura was in disbelief. "You mean that's it? You did all this for your ego? The Tori Avalon ego couldn't let Dad and Ms. Mackenzie have one date to see if there was something special? I can't believe you!"
It looked like Tori had hurt his sister. But he knew that if he gave his real reason, she might have been even more hurt. But still, having his little sister mad at him wasn't too good a feeling. So he decided to try and shift her focus…to Tori's worst enemy.
Tori walked over to Julian and whispered in his ear. "Where's the brat?"
Julian looked around. "He was here just a minute ago."
Tori let out an evil grin as he heard that sneeze come from inside a dumpster. Tori pounded on the dumpster, signaling to his sister. "I wonder who's in here?"
Sakura was curious at this point. When she peered inside the dumpster, she became even more furious (as if that were possible). "Li?!"
Li Shoran waved nervously from inside the dumpster. "H-Hi, Sakura."
"You were a part of this, too?!" Sakura demanded. "Come out of there!!"
Li climbed out of the dumpster and stood nervously in front of Sakura. He was so nervous that he forgot to take a banana peel off his head. So Sakura helpfully removed it as she glared a hole right into him.
"I can't believe you," she muttered coldly. "Do you really hate Ms. Mackenzie THAT much? Do you hate her so much that you would stoop to this? It was bad enough that you didn't help me. But were you so determined to see any possible relationship between my father and Ms. Mackenzie fail that you actually…worked with my brother?"
Li was calm in giving his answer. "Yes."
Tori thought he saw a vein pop out of Sakura's forehead. He saw that she was desperately trying to restrain herself from slapping him across the face. She finally sighed.
"I…I don't know what to say," she finally said. "I…I'm honestly shocked. I'm shocked that you all went to such lengths to make sure that this went horribly."
"What about you?" Li shot back. "I'm shocked that you went to such lengths to make sure they hit it off. You sent flowers? You sent a violinist?"
"I wanted to see them get together!" Sakura wailed. "My dad likes Ms. Mackenzie and she's always made me happy! I just wanted my dad to see what I've known all along. I wanted Ms. Mackenzie to do for my dad what she's done for me for so many years."
Li's face remained stone cold. "I didn't. I didn't want to see anything happen. I didn't want to see Ms. Mackenzie as a future mother-in-law."
Tori shot Li a cold stare. "I told you not to say that!!"
"Yeah, too bad!" Li sneered. "Face it! Your sister and I are in love. Get over it!"
"You know, I'm glad I got you busted right now," Tori shot back.
"That's the last time I work with YOU!" Li retorted.
"STOP IT!" Sakura shouted. Then she tried to compose. "You know…I can't deal with both of you at once right now. If I try, then I'll explode. Li…let's talk over here."
Sakura dragged Li by the arm towards another part of the alley. Tori could see the angered expression on his sister's face and it was like nothing he had ever seen.
Julian sighed. "I've never seen Sakura like that. Well…it's pretty late. I'd better go home."
Tori smiled for the first time in a while. "I'll see you later. Thanks for helping, Julian."
Julian walked out and Tori was left alone…or so he thought. There was one more person there.
"There's more to this…isn't there?"
Tori had nearly forgotten that Madison Taylor was there, too. She had a concerned look on her face as she walked up to Tori. But Tori was shocked that she made such an accusation…such an accurate accusation.
"There's something you didn't tell her," she continued. "What else is there, Tori?"
Tori didn't want to say anything. He had kept this to himself during this whole thing, but he never pictured that he would be sharing it with his sister's best friend.
"I-I can't say anything," Tori said. "I don't want to say anything."
Madison wasn't giving up. "Please tell me, Tori. I know you pulled this stunt for another reason. There's another reason that you don't want your dad and Ms. Mackenzie together. What is it?"
Tori didn't know where to begin. But when he looked into Madison's eyes, he finally gave in and decided to come clean.
"Ok…maybe it isn't all about my ego. Maybe it isn't that she's just my ex. It's just that my dad hasn't dated…since my mom died. And I was happy it was like that. It showed that my dad still had a place in his heart for my mom. It was like he would never remarry…because the only one for him was my mother. That made me happy…because I love her very much.
"But then I overheard you and Sakura talking the other day. The way Sakura went on about how much she wanted my dad to get together with Ms. Mackenzie. The way she was so determined to see them hit it off. The way she went on about how good it would be if they fell in love. It was like she just…forgot about my mom.
"That's why I wanted to make sure this date was a disaster. Because if my dad falls in love with Ms. Mackenzie…then he might forget about my mom…the way Sakura has."
Tori didn't realize it…but a tear was rolling down his cheek. He didn't notice how emotional he got over talking about his late mother. He looked up and saw Madison's warm blue eyes gazing into his own.
"She hasn't forgotten," she said gently. "Sakura has never forgotten about your mom. It wasn't even a few months ago when she went to visit her grave. It wasn't even a few months ago when she was crying on my shoulder…over her mom dying when she was just three. Tori, she'll never forget your mom. She loves her very much. She loves her just as much as you do.
"She just…didn't want to see your dad live a lonely existence. Face it, Tori. We're all moving on. Sakura's going off to college in a few months. And you and Julian are looking for an apartment. Your dad's going to be all alone. And Sakura just wanted him to live the rest of his life with someone. Instead of a perfect stranger, Sakura wanted him to be with someone she cared about as much as anyone. It's not because she forgot your mother.
"And Tori, your dad can never forget your mom. He loves her more than anyone. She will always be in his heart. She is the love of his life and that can never change. Even in death, his love for her remains strong and can never be broken. He realizes that. No matter how far your dad and Ms. Mackenzie go, he can never forget your mom…because he loves her. I know this might sound crazy, but I think your mom might want it this way. I don't think she wants your dad to be lonely and Sakura doesn't want that, either.
"But in her excitement, she might not have realized that you felt this way. Why didn't you tell her?"
Tori knew the answer to that. "I didn't want to hurt her. I knew that if I told her this, she'd start to feel guilty. I didn't want that."
Tori didn't expect anyone to believe that. It sounded so lame. But when he looked into Madison's eyes, he saw that she believed him.
"I understand," she said softly. "That's really sweet of you."
Through the majority of this night, Tori had felt conflicted. He had been filled with angst over this whole thing. He had been so desperate to see tonight's date fail because he kept thinking about his mother.
But a few minutes with Madison Taylor had put all his fears to rest. She was so understanding…so wise…and so willing to listen.
Tori smiled. "Thanks, Madison. I feel a lot better now."
Tori didn't know what happened next. He noticed that he was now hugging Madison. But soon…the hug broke and Tori slowly approached Madison…
…with a kiss.
After a few seconds, the kiss was broken. Tori was shocked when he realized that he had just kissed his sister's best friend…and enjoyed it. He liked it. He looked into Madison's eyes. She was blushing. She must have liked it, too. But suddenly…she gasped.
"I've got to go!"
Madison turned and ran, not waiting for Sakura or anybody else.
"Madison, wait!" Tori called out.
Madison didn't wait. She just kept running until she was out of sight. Tori couldn't understand what he had done. He realized that the kiss was so sudden. It might have scared her off.
Still, though. He enjoyed that kiss. Never had he seen Madison Taylor in such a light. He had been around her for so many years, but he never saw her in that way. He never knew how much he liked her…until this night. And from what he saw…she liked him, too. So why did she run away?
Tori wouldn't get the answer that night. He just decided that it would be a good time to go home and reflect on this.
He started to wonder what brought him out here in the first place.
Scene: Sakura's Street
Perspective: Sakura Avalon
Sakura was still arguing with Li as they walked down the street of Sakura's house. Actually, it wasn't much of an argument anymore. For the last few minutes, it was more like Sakura yelling at Li. Sakura had a lot of time to vent her frustration, especially after she stood in the alley waiting for Madison. But apparently…she had gone home, which was strange. Sakura wondered why Madison would leave without her.
Sakura just kept chiding Li. "And after all the hard work I put in! I really wanted to get them together! But, oh no, that wasn't good enough for Li Shoran! If I didn't love you so much, then I'd…"
Sakura stopped herself in her tracks. She saw her dad coming up to the front porch of her house. Sakura ran up to him.
"Dad? How was the date?"
~* As if I needed to ask? *~
Surprisingly, her dad had a smile on his face. "Well…other than a clumsy violinist, it all went fine. Ms. Mackenzie is really understanding. I'm surprised she didn't dump me after the fiasco at the restaurant. But she said she enjoyed her evening and…we're going out again next Friday."
"Really?" Sakura asked wide-eyed. She threw her arms around her dad. "Congratulations, Dad!"
"Sakura, relax," Aiden said calmly. "You act as if we were getting married."
~* I can dream, can't I? *~
Sakura broke the hug and sighed contentedly. "You see, Dad? All you had to do was ask. Didn't I say you two would like each other?"
"I guess you're right," Aiden smiled. "Thank you, Sakura. I know I couldn't have even asked her out without you. Well, I see Li over there…so I guess I'll turn in. Good night."
"Good night, Dad!"
Sakura's father walked in the door…and when the door closed…he said one more thing. "Oh…and thanks for the flowers!"
Sakura sweatdropped. She realized that it must not have been too hard to figure out.
Li saw the whole thing and groaned. "I guess this will be harder than I thought. I'll have to think of something else."
Sakura scowled and grabbed Li by the ear. "No you won't! Li Shoran, you promise me that you won't interfere in this relationship! Promise me!"
"OW! Let go!"
Sakura let go of Li's ear and waited for him to make that promise. Unfortunately, he wasn't giving up that easily.
"I can't promise you that," he said.
Sakura looked in her pocket. "Kero?"
Kero knew just what to do and he loved it. He flew out of Sakura's pocket…and bit Li's finger.
"OW! Get him off! That hurts!"
"Promise me, Li!!"
"Ok, ok, just get him off!"
Sakura nodded in satisfaction. "Ok, Kero, you can let go now."
Kero released Li's finger and flew back into Sakura's pocket. "Um…you know, Sakura? You never gave me anything to eat back there. You think you could…"
Sakura could take a hint. She dropped a few French fries into her pocket and let Kero indulge himself. Then she focused on Li once more.
"So do you promise?"
"On one condition," Li replied. "You promise ME that YOU won't interfere in this relationship. That means no more sending flowers and no more trying to push them together. If they fall in love on their own, so be it. But if they break up, that's it! It'll be because they don't like each other and I don't want you trying to keep them together. If your dad and Ms. Mackenzie really like each other, then they'll stay together on their own and not because of your tricks."
Sakura frowned, but then she realized something. He was right. She was butting in way too much. She had to let this relationship grow on its own.
"It's a deal. We both stay out of it."
Sakura extended her hand, looking for a handshake. Li wouldn't have that, though. Instead, he stole a quick kiss.
"Stop that!" Sakura snapped. "I'm still mad at you!"
Li just smiled…and reached over for another kiss. Sakura wanted to scream. She was supposed to be mad at him. Instead, she found herself giggling.
"I hate you," Sakura said teasingly. "It's so hard to stay mad at you."
Sakura decided she shouldn't even bother anymore. It was impossible to stay angry when she got kissed like that. So she gave in and started kissing Li.
"You know…" Li began between kisses. "…you never got US flowers for our date."
Sakura smirked. "I'll keep that in mind. You should too…for when you least expect it."
Then she kept on kissing Li…under the night's sky.
Scene: Madison's Room
P.O.V.: Madison Taylor
Madison couldn't sleep that night. Not after what happened earlier. She felt something in the pit of her stomach. She didn't know if she felt sick…or something else. She couldn't get what happened out of her mind.
She didn't expect Tori to actually kiss her. From the look in his eyes, it was like he didn't expect it, either. But Madison couldn't deny that when his lips kissed her own…she felt something. And that's why she had to run. She didn't want to hurt Tori, especially now that she's had these new feelings. But Madison couldn't get over the fact that when she kissed Tori…she hadn't felt that way since she kissed…
She didn't know what to feel now. She started to remember what happened earlier in the year when she went off to England and found Eriol herself. She knew she was in love with him…or so she thought. Madison didn't know what she was feeling anymore. She felt so confused.
But she knew that she felt something when she kissed Tori…and she felt something when she kissed Eriol. But Madison had already declared her love for Eriol when she found him in England. She felt like she betrayed him by kissing Tori.
Madison looked out into the sky at the sparkling stars. She wondered where Eriol was. He promised to come back to her, but it was evident that now there was temptation. There was a temptation to stop waiting. There was someone out there who liked her…and that someone…was Tori Avalon.
Madison didn't know what to do.
Author's Note: Come on now! You know I can't leave things like THIS! I will address this in my next story…which I haven't started yet. I'll just leave you all with this. Madison WILL have a choice to make.
Any comments? Tell me what you thought, because I want to know what you thought, so tell me what you thought. You can tell me by reviewing below!