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Konnichiwa Minna-san!! I'm taking a small break from writing 'The Forbidden Clow' to write a fic about denial (in Syaoran's point of view). This is just some little S+S idea I had and I felt that I ought to write it. I hope you like it, and I would be very grateful for a review! ^^ I live for feedback, it keeps me writing and feeling confident if people actually LIKE what I'm writing. If you don't like it, I would definitely like to know that too (criticism is helpful). If you like S+S, enjoy the fic! Arigato for taking the time! ~Manda-chan

They Told Me Warriors Don't Have Hearts

*Swish*

Six years.......

*Swish Swish*

I've been in Japan for a whole SIX YEARS already and I STILL don't have the Clow Cards. What would the elders think of me now?

*Clang*

Time for a breather. *whew* Practicing for five straight hours is really starting to tire me out. So much for stamina...

Not that it really matters. I can't possibly go back to Hong Kong with the few cards I've managed to catch. I would be disgracing my family, my precious blood line, the entire clan! The elders would never forgive me.

I'm the future leader of the Li Clan in Hong Kong, Li Syaoran. I'm a descendant of the great Clow Reed through a long line of magical blood. I've endured hard training my entire life, to prepare me for that place of honor. But...ever since I've come to Tomeda District Japan, things seem to have changed.

****************************************

It was a simple task, really. Come to Japan, find the book of Clow, and go back home.

I had no idea how difficult this baby task was going to be.

When I arrived here that late September night, my task became one hundred times more than I thought it would be.

The magical book of Clow Reed, the family heritage for generations, had been unsealed! I could feel the aura's of Clow Cards all around the small town, many of them in hiding. Now my task could take weeks, months, maybe even YEARS to find all the Clow Cards.

This angered me. Who could possibly have broken the magical seal of the book?

I desperately searched the town for any type of magic source other than the Clow Cards. When I was about to give up, I felt the flicker of light magical aura.

This had to be it.

Before taking on this new task, I enrolled in the local school. My mother and the elders had insisted I continue my studies in Japan after they heard the news of the Clow Cards escaping. Since I didn't really have a choice in the matter, I started going to Tomeda's school.

I'll never forget the moment I walked in room 4-2.

I was surprised I hadn't felt it sooner. The tiny flicker of magic I felt the night I arrived, was present in this room.

My eyes found her right away. Yes, HER. The person who had unsealed the book of Clow was a Japanese school girl.

I glared at her, finding it hard to believe that someone as weak and fragile as her could possibly possess any magic. She glanced at me fearfully, sensing my hard stare. It was kind of funny, this girl seemed to be petrified of me.

Tearing my gaze away momentarily, I turned to the teacher for further directions. He was talking about where to seat me, so I turned toward the class again, my cold amber-eyed stare finding her instantly.

The teacher spoke up, indicating for me to sit behind "Kinomoto Sakura". As he said this, I heard the petrified girl gasp.

I almost smirked. The teacher had placed me behind the only other source of magic in the room, the girl with the light pink aura.

I marched down the aisle, never taking my eyes off her. As I came to her desk, I stopped dead right in front of it. She stared straight forward shaking slightly, obviously nervous. I let my gaze travel over her, studying her. She was kind of short, possibly athletic by the looks of her, with short auburn hair in pigtails.

But one feature stood out above all the others. She had the brightest, most stunning green eyes I had ever seen. They were almost emerald in color, presently open wide in fear.

I stared at her from behind almost the entire class period, and by the looks of it, she could tell.

***************************************

At lunch period, I requested to have a word with her. Though still frightened, she followed me outside to the side fence near the school. I took out my compass and chanted a spell in Chinese. A light blue beam shot out from the edge of the board and flew directly to the confused girl.

Now I was certain she had the Clow Cards.

I demanded that she give them to me, expecting no resistance what so ever from the scared school girl. But to my surprise, she refused to give me the cards.

She explained to me how she had accidently let the cards out of the book and was now capturing them as a card captor appointed by Keroberus, Guardian Beast of the Seal. I was skeptical that Keroberus really appointed her card captor, but continued to ask her a few questions anyway.

As it turned out, she only had captured less than a dozen cards already. She asked me why I wanted the cards, but I found no reason to tell her. Instead, I tried to wrestle the cards away from her, which she was guarding in her right pocket. The struggle didn't go on long before a tall dark-haired high schooler jumped over the fence, causing me to refrain my assault. He ended up being Kinomoto's older brother. I could tell right from the start that him and I weren't going to get along at all.

***************************************

That evening, I went out after a Clow Card. Shortly after coming back from my first day of school, I felt the aura of the Thunder Card lurking about. Dressed in my Chinese fighting robes, I set out to capture the card.

When I came to where the aura was strongest, I felt the familiar tingle of a pink magical aura. Sure enough, Kinomoto Sakura stood nearby, dressed in an outfit that resembled a cat.

I lectured her as we followed the card, adding "pathetic, baka, and hopeless" to my dialogue now and then. Finally, after I advised her to use the Shadow card, the Thunder card was captured.

After another rude comment and being bit on the finger, (thanks to Keroberus, or as I call him, "the stuffed animal") I left.

Back then, I didn't know that meeting Kinomoto Sakura would change my entire life.

***************************************

As time passed on, the rivalry between Kinomoto and I slowly died away. I found myself helping her and giving her advice. Even though I had been so mean to her when I met her, she was always kind and friendly toward me.

This aroused a funny feeling in me, one I can't really explain.

She smiled constantly. She always had a bright side to things and could make even the saddest person feel better. She always carried a ray of sunshine with her wherever she went and shared it with everyone. It was a gift of hers.

Although I hate to admit it, I...I like to...see her...smile. That doesn't mean I LIKE her or anything, I just...like how her eyes light up when she smiles.

Ugh! I must be going crazy! Warriors don't think like this. Sak-I mean, Kinomoto is still my rival, that's the way it will always be.

That's the way it has to be. Warrior's don't have feelings. The elders made it clear to me that nothing was to be on my mind besides my task. But she...

NO!! I won't let something like this happen!

Picking up my sword, I only get one complete swing before I drop it again with a larger clang than earlier. I need a nice long walk to regain my senses. A walk on a cool night like this always helps. Sighing inwardly, I get up and walk to the door. Locking it behind me, I set off for the park.

The light evening breeze that's blowing is slightly chilly, but comforting in a way. I close my eyes, silently renewing my purpose for coming to Japan. Clow cards...that was my purpose. How could I have let this girl get in my way for a six years? I'm not attracted to her. Well....maybe a little.......no...No...NO!!!!!!!!!!

I punch the fence to my right in some fake form of comfort, hoping that at least the pain will keep my mind from wandering like that again. How could someone so weak and helpless have that kind of affect on me? She's no Card Captor. I'M supposed to be the Card Captor! Kami knows I've thought of at least a hundred ways to get the Clow Cards away from the girl, but.....I never acted on any of them.

"What's WRONG with me!?!" I yell to know one in particular, slamming my fist against the fence again.

I pull my now-bleeding hand out of the splintered wreckage and walk on as though nothing happened. Hopefully, no one saw that. The last thing I need right now is for someone to sue me for breaking their fence.

Now, where was I heading again? Oh yeah, the park. Why the park? No specific reason. She goes to the park sometimes...What am I thinking? Can't I just keep my mind away from her?

I close my eyes, hoping to rid every suggestion and thought of Kinomoto. But it doesn't work. Even with my eyes completely shut, I can still see her stunning green eyes clear as day. This kind of vision seems to haunt my mind whenever I close my eyes. Sometimes it's her soft auburn hair, or her intoxicating scent of cherry blossoms, sometimes her cheery smile, but most often it's her bright, innocent-looking emerald eyes. They've recently acted almost like a drug to my mind, one that calmly lulls me to sleep at night.

What kind of stone-cold warrior am I turning out to be? I can't possibly imagine what would happen to me if the elders found me like this. It would be straight back to Hong Kong for me. Shortly after my arrival, relentless training and discipline until I became as hard as a rock.

...Is that perhaps what I need? To create a stone case that not even Kinomoto Sakura could hope to break? Wait a minute...who said she broke it in the first place?

That's one thing I can be proud of. I never smiled once. No, not even in the presence of the brighter-than-sunshine female Card Captor. ALMOST maybe, but I never actually let my lips curve up the whole way. The farthest I've gone is a slight smirk. I'm actually quite surprised she got even THAT out of me. If I had ever smiled back home, everyone would be devastated. Li Clan men don't smile, it's as simple as that. Elders banned smiling from me when I was a child, it was forbidden. It may sound like an unimaginable thing to forbid, but it's tradition from where I come from. Smiling is showing weakness. Weakness shows dishonor. Dishonor is rewarded with punishment.

Pain is something you can't ignore. You can pretend to, but you know when something hurts. The elders knew that, but that wasn't their intention. They considered pain as a weakness. Their intention was for me not to SHOW that I was in pain.

I endured training at age four that no one could even dream of. I hated them for the way they treated me. Any sign of weakness during the battles I faced with Clan members were treated with harsher training and more pain. I was forced to endure the gashes, burns, and various other markings I received during training.

No one ever helped me. My sisters would sometimes offer me kind words and encouragement behind the Clan's back, but that's all they could do before risking punishment themselves.

My life went on like that for at least six horrible years. But I eventually got used to it, to the point where the elders considered me for taking on the duties as head of the Clan. The honor of such a place was overwhelming to me and I graciously accepted to it, planning on spending the next years in more difficult training. But I'll never forget those first few years of misery.

They turned me into the cold sorcerer I am today. The truth is, I don't know whether to be grateful of resentful. Perhaps both. However, one question stands out boldly above the others.

Was it really worth it? Was all that training and hardship really worth sitting in some high chair of honor, discipling and leading the Clan?

I've had second thoughts about that since I've come to Japan. Kinomoto Sakura plays a large role in that notion. Her carefree, innocent appeal seemed to show me the brighter side of life.

The one I missed out on.

Is that why I seem to be so fond of her? That's the only reason I can come up with, anyway. She just seems to represent something I longed for.

Or something I am longing for...

Dammit! There come those thoughts again! It can't possibly be anything like THAT. Above all else, attraction and affection are completely forbidden. The Clan would lose their sanity if I ever told them about having an attraction to someone.

They told me warriors don't have hearts. And without a heart, there is no such thing as affection, attraction, or love. Those words are like curses to a warrior. Love isn't something the elders take into account. They betrothed me to my cousin Meilin when I was about five years old. There were no questions or complaining, what was decided was decided. Since I didn't have a choice in the matter, I accepted it. By Kami I regret it, but accepted it nonetheless. To refuse an order meant dishonor to my family, and that was unthinkable.

Eyes still closed, letting the cold wind wash over me, I venture ever-closer to the park. I don't know why, but it's just easier for me to think with my eyes closed.

But...Haven't I done enough thinking though? My purpose is renewed, (not that I really had a doubt) yet...something seems to be beckoning attention from my mind. It's always there. I ignore it, but it's always on the very edge of my mind no matter what I do. Quite frankly, I don't want to know what it is. Probably just another useless thought that will try to contradict my path.

Those kinds of thoughts are dangerous.

Even the slightest sway could start me down another path. But I'm too strong to let that sort of thing happen to me, much too proud. And yet.......

Maybe I DO want to know what it is. I mean, it's been bugging me since my first day of school in this town. If it didn't go away from being ignored for six years, why would it go away now?

Should I dare give it my attention?

"HOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEE!?!?!?!?!?!?!?"

My eyes snap open at the sudden cry of desperation, but it's too late to avoid the inevitable. Before my eyes can focus, a figure crashes head on into me, sending us both down on the shale-like pavement of the sidewalk. I feel a shock of pain go through my back, but I've learned to ignore such idle things. Instead, I reopen my eyes (not having realized that I closed them again) and let a tiny gasp escape my throat.

Laying on top of me in an un-orderly fashion was a startled Kinomoto Sakura.

When she finally opened her eyes, she too let out a rather large gasp. She scrambled off of me in hurry, stuttering apologies faster than I could register. I stand up almost instantly, as if the collision had absolutely no effect on me.

"Watch where you're going." I snap, giving her a cold glare.

"Gomen." she apologizes, slowly getting up on shaky knees.

She was about to topple over again, but a strange sensation took over my body at that moment. Without even realizing it, as if on instinct, I grabbed hold of her arm to prevent her from falling. She blinked at this, obviously not expecting ME of all people, to help her in such a way.

Neither did I, but it was a reaction I couldn't deny. I thought it was instinct at first, until my mind caught up with my actions. I had actually thought about catching her before she fell.

'Because you care about her baka.' my mind chided.

No, I DON'T. I don't care about her, not one lousy bit. And I never will.

"Ano..."

"WHAT?" I snapped, narrowing my eyes.

"C-C-Can I have my arm back?" she asked, obviously uneasy by this point.

Reality struck me like a lead pipe. I was still holding her arm in my grip. I felt something rather warm spread across my face and quickly let go of her arm as if it was burning my hand.

"Gomen!" I almost yelled.

We just stood there in awkward silence for awhile, eying each other now and then. She suddenly stepped toward me slowly and I raised my head slightly accidentally meeting her eyes.

Bad move. She was unknowingly hypnotizing me again. That emerald green seemed to bore into my soul. How? How could she reduce me to a pile of rubble with a simple gaze?

"Arigato." she said softly, a tiny smile forming on her lips.

I opened my mouth to deny doing anything whatsoever to help her, but the words never came out. Instead, I felt my head nod at this, acknowledging her thanks. But, that wasn't what was bothering me at this particular moment...

If warriors don't have hearts, what in Kami's name is pounding so hard against my chest? Is it my imagination? No, I can feel it. It's making my breath quicken for some unknown reason. It feels so...new to me.

Is it...her?

I glance over at the lithe figure in silent question. In response, not only does the beating in my chest quicken, but I feel my knees go strangely weak as well.

What is this feeling?

As I debate the sudden rush of emotion, she gasps suddenly, taking hold of my right wrist. The warm feeling returns to my cheeks as I turn to see her examining my bleeding hand in what looks like worry.

"Gomen nasai!!" she pleads, a remorseful expression washing over her features, "I didn't mean to injure you! Please don't be angry with me, Li-kun! I'll be more careful from now on!"

My eyes opened wide at her apologies. She actually thought she caused that? I would have to correct her.

However, before a single sound could escape my mouth, she had begun bandaging my injured hand. I winced as she applied some clear substance to the wound, reluctantly letting out a tiny "ow".

"I know it stings, but it will help heal the wound." she told me, speaking in a tone that was strangely comforting.

I looked on in wonder as she expertly wrapped the gash in white gauze, keeping it tight, but not enough to be painful. She then placed the medical items back in her first aid box and placed it in her purse.

"Good thing I always carry that little kit with me."

After placing the purse back over her shoulder, she turned back to me. I greeted her by returning the scowl to my stone face.

"Gomen again!" she apologized, opening her eyes in fear, "I really didn't mean to do that! I'm sorry if you're angry, Li-kun! I promise it won't-"

"I'm not angry." I stated, unsure of who I was alarming more by the comment, myself or her.

She cocked her head at me in question. I didn't soften my facial features at all, but I think my eyes may have given some reassurance to the girl.

"I'm not angry." I repeated, a little more firmly.

I saw her expression seem to ponder this, as she studied my face. Was I giving something away?

As if in reply, she broke out in an ear-to-ear grin. One that almost seemed to light up the night sky. My breath caught in my throat.

Why was she having this effect on me? And why couldn't I do a darn thing to prevent it? Is this the feeling the elders were warning me of? Was this the feeling of attraction? No...it was strangely MORE than that, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was.

"So, where were you headed at this time of night?" she questioned, pulling me out of my thoughts.

"The park."

Wait a second...why did I bother telling her? It's not like it's her business where I'm going.

"Me too!" she replied cheerfully, "Would you mind if I walked there with you?"

"I don't mind."

Why am I opening up to her like this? Was that strange feeling having some unknown effect on me?

I let these questions flow through my mind over and over again, but I just couldn't come up with an answer. I was stumped.

"Anything special you plan on doing at the park?" she asked, sending a curious smile my way.

No. I wouldn't fall for it this time. She had no right to ask me such questions. What business of it was hers?

"It's none of your..."

It was no use. I couldn't finish the sentence. The sad gaze she cast at my stony, ever-frowning face made me lose the nerve.

I didn't want to see her sad.

Why? Did I care for her? As much as I didn't want to admit it, that was a big part it. But then I felt that feeling again...

"I mean...no special reason, really." I corrected, "I was just taking a walk."

She brightened a little, but only momentarily.

"Same here. I was just going blading for awhile, when I felt a strange urge to go to the park, as if something was almost...calling me there." she replied, frowning in concentration.

I cast her a quick glance.

She's actually kind of cute when she's in thought like that. Nani? Cute? I didn't even think that word was in my vocabulary! Something is definetly wrong here...

*BAM*

That's when I felt it. Something was calling out to me. But it wasn't the park as she had said. For me, it was something...magical.

I reached out with my aura, trying to get a clearer view of this strange attraction. My green aura then reached something calm and inviting. Closing my eyes in concentration, I searched more intently on the source. It had a color.

Pink.

There was no mistake, I knew that aura. I opened one eye in wonder, sneaking a peak at Kinomoto. She too seemed puzzled by the feeling. Now I was thoroughly confused. If her aura was reaching out for mine, why did she seem so...perplexed? It only took another few seconds for it to dawn on me.

My aura was also reaching out for hers.

But how? I don't remember doing such a thing. Was she aware that she reached out for me too? What was going on here?

Almost in unison, we turned to each other, searching for any signs of comprehension from the other party.

"Did you...?"

"I thought you...?"

We both shut our mouths as we felt a pleasurable warmth come over us. I would say just "I", but I could tell that she felt it too. My eyes opened wide at the sight before me.

Our auras were entwining in an almost gentle caress.

...But I didn't pull back. I LIKED this feeling of being so magically close to her. There was no use in trying to shove it away or deny it this time. For the first time, I didn't want to.

Suddenly the world didn't matter anymore. The elders, my family, the Clan...it just didn't matter. All that mattered was the sweet gentle warmth radiating from the green-eyed beauty.

The feeling finally caught up with me. Yes, that ever-present feeling in the back of my mind, the one that would constantly try to coax me. Now I knew what that feeling was. It was love.

I loved her.

I loved Sakura.

So what if the Clan called it a "weakness". To me, it's the most amazing, wonderful feeling on earth! I closed my eyes, becoming infatuated and engrossed by this new feeling. Before I could even realize it, the warmth was gone. I opened my eyes in question.

Sakura was gone as well.

With this new feeling as my guidance, I took off after her, following her retreating form into the park. She came to a stop under a tree, a full-bloom cherry blossom tree. I hesitated at first, but slowly gained more momentum as I approached the lone figure. About ten feet away, I froze.

She was shaking quite noticeably.

Did I cause that? Oh Kami-sama I hope not!

Taking a few more bold steps forward, I stood in front of her.

"I'M SORRY!" she burst suddenly, fear written all over her face, "I didn't know what I was doing...I just felt...I don't know...I'm sorry, Li-kun!!"

"There's nothing to apologize for." I told her gently, wiping a tear from her eye before it was shed.

She looked up at me in bewilderment.

"But you..."

"Even if it wasn't apparent right away, I realized something just now."

She raised in eyebrow at me in silent questioning. I, in turn, pulled her into an embrace. She jerked a little in surprise at the action, (especially because it came from someone like me), but didn't pull away. Ever so slowly, I leaned my head down to her ear level. I'll bet a thousand dragons that she wasn't expecting this.

"I love you." I whispered, letting my tone deepen.

I pulled back, letting my eyes take in her reaction.

Pure shock was written all over her face.

I expected as much, it was almost amusing in a way. Wasting no more time, I did something my Clan would kill me for.

I kissed her.

As spontaneous as it was, I put all my hidden passion and longing into it. This was what I had been longing for. I longed for her. She was what brought me here. It wasn't the Clow Cards, it was the silent secret beckoning of her soft pinkish aura.

She responded to the kiss by wrapping her delicate arms around my neck. It didn't really startle me, but I was certainly surprised.

Could it be that she felt the same way?

I deepened the sweet kiss just a little more, before we finally broke away. Her forever-stunning emerald jewels met my love-struck amber ones and she leaned up close to my face.

"I love you too, Syaoran." she said softly, letting a fleeting smile touch her cherry lips.

That caused my very first real smile. I made no attempt to stop it. Why would I? She had called me by my first name, something I had secretly wanted for a long time. More importantly, I loved her and she loved me back.

"You're...you're really smiling!" she realized, a pleasantly shocked expression crossing her face.

"I can't think of anyone in the world who deserved that smile more than you." I told her sweetly.

She then threw her arms around my back, leaning her head against my chest.

"Syaoran..." the word died on her lips as she sighed blissfully into the night. I buried my face in her hair, ever perfumed by the flowers that were gently falling around us. I had endured those years of training just for this. And by Kami, it was worth it.

I don't care if the Clan said warriors didn't have hearts. They were only trying to hide the truth.

They didn't want me to find mine.

I sighed, playing with a few locks of her honey-auburn hair.

Too bad for them. My heart had found the way to its desire. It was simply inevitable. And there wasn't a darn thing they could do about it. Not now, not ever.

So.........how did you like it? I always thought Syaoran would be in a deep denial like that. Refusing to believe that his heart was slowly moving toward Sakura. If you liked it, or if you didn't, I would like to know!^^ I'll keep on writing stories as long as people WANT me to. I'm not a good judge at my own work though, so I leave it up to you. I don't even mind flames (At least it's feedback!)! Arigato for taking the time to read it though! ~Manda-chan

Japanese Vocabulary: gomen-sorry arigato-thank you kami-god hoe-Sakura's made up word/expression nani-what gomen nasai-please forgive me konnichiwa minna-san-hello everyone