(A/N: This is my first piece of M rated fiction. Flame if you hate it, but tell me why. Sakura is an only child, for those of you who think I'm sticking to the original story line. Enjoy.)
Disclaimer: I do not own Card Captor Sakura. I own whatever their personalities are in this story and any character that I make up.
The shadow grew. Sakura walked faster. Footsteps, so close behind her. She stepped into a puddle. The splash echoed menacingly.
She felt a presence, just behind her. A strong hand clamped her mouth and another hand pulled her against the damp wall of the alley. She tried to yell, her eyes widening, but a sharp pain in her thigh and a strange numbing sensation stilled her, and she fell unonscious. The last thing she saw as her eyes fluttered shut was a pair of empty amber eyes.
Ever since she was little, Sakura Kinomoto had always had a fascination with knives.
Her earliest memory of her encounter with her favourite weapon was when she was almost one. She remembered it so clearly.
It was a sunny morning on a sunny day in the Kinomoto household. Young Sakura was sitting at breakfast with her parents. Everyone's heads were bowed as Mr. Kinomoto uttered a morning prayer. Sakura, who was too young to understand such complicated rituals, was looking around and wondering why everyone was so asleep.
A shiny strip made of a cold substance lay a foot away from her on the table. It attracted her gaze like flies to a bright light. How strange...yet...she was mesmerized. She reached forward and picked it up by the blade, holding it in her small clumsy fingers. She raised it to her eyes and looked at it closely. It was so shiny. So cold. So...beautiful. She saw her reflection in it, a small girl with pale skin and wide green eyes, with a soft mouth and a stubborn chin. But then the blade cut into the tender skin of her hand. She felt a strange sensation, as if something were seeping away from her. But it didn't hurt.
The next thing she knew, her mother was shrieking and wrenching the knife away from her grasp. Too late, though. A stream of red blood was running steadily down Sakura's tiny hand. But she didn't cry. She just looked at it, fascinated, then looked back at the knife, which was smeared with her crimson life. And she smiled.
Sakura woke in a dark room. In a flash, she took in her surroundings. It was gray and bare. Cold floors and slimy walls were natural, but this was beyond what she'd ever seen before. A door, dark and forboding, stood at the other end of the room. The small opening at the top was covered with a dirty mirror. A one-way mirror. Her brow furrowed. She hated people who were too cowardly to let their victims see them face-to-face. There was only one window in the room. It had long since been covered with black paint, not letting anyone see in or out. The only source of light in the room was a single flourescent lightbulb, swinging ominously from the ceiling, as if an invisible something had just disturbed its dusty existence. Dried blood stained a corner of the room and made her neck prickle. Even worse was the evil aura about the place. In all the years of her life, she'd never experienced anything like the coldness and fear that place radiated. She backed up against the wall, images from every horror movie she'd ever seen flooding her mind, until she had to bite her lip to stop the terror from overwhelming her.
Something wet trickled down her chin. She reached a hand up and touched blood. Her mouth curved up in a hesitantly dry smile. At least its better than home.
The year she turned five, which was old enough for any bright child to understand anything, she discovered that her father was an alcoholic. He would return home late every night, smelling of beer and body odour. Nobody dared speak to him when he was drunk; not the servants, not her mother, not even her old nana, who had looked after her father since he was a little boy. Every night, she huddled in bed, waiting for the door to slam and her father to stomp down the hall. Even with her door tightly shut, she thought she could still smell the alcohol when he walked by. She'd hear him walk to his room and shut the door there, and begin talking in a slurred voice to her mother, as if she were nothing but a whore, and he had an excuse to be behaving as he was. Usually, this exercise would be followed by curses, her mother's gasps and pleas for him to stop, drowned out by her father's drunken moans. After a while, all would be quiet, and Sakura would wrap the blankets tightly around her and try to sleep. For she knew that something was terribly, terribly wrong with her life.
As time went on, this became routine. It didn't even bother her so much anymore, until the day came that changed her life forever. She remembered the day...that day...when he came home smelling of sex. And another woman. Her mother, who had put up with his attitude for a considerable while, finally confronted him. The crashing and cursing and screams of pain still echoed in her mind.
The next day, for the first time in her life, her father struck her. His big golden ring tore a gash across her face, and he had stormed out of the house without a backwards glance. She remembered sinking down on the floor, the feeling of despair drowning out all physical pain. Her mother had wrapped her bruised arms around her small body, and cried silently into her daughters hair. Sakura had let the tears flow. They cascaded out from under her eyelids, down her cheeks, which were still round with the clear innocence of youth, into her stinging wound, and dripped silently down her chin into her mother's lap.
Her mother could do nothing but whisper small comforts into her ear, and kiss her gently. Sakura cried till she fell asleep. When she awoke, she was in her bed, and a strong smell of alcohol lingered about the room. Fear made her open her eyes. She saw the dark profile of her father sitting in a chair near her bed. His eyes were downcast, distant, shining with tears. He must have noticed she was awake, and turned to look at her. She kept her eyes hooded, and looked up at him through her eyelashes. Silence followed. Finally,
"Sakura," he whispered. "I'm sorry."
She'd turned away from him then, and pretended to sleep. But she couldn't sleep. So she lay there, wide awake, until he left the room. She allowed herself to cry then, just a little. The pillow dried her tears, and she slept.
The next day, she awoke to find fresh bruises on her mother's face, and renewed sadness in her eyes.
Why did I ever believe he was truly sorry?
Yes, she had let the tears flow then. But never again. Never in front of anyone else.
Something creaked. A step outside the room. Heavy breathing, and someone trying to keep it quiet. The door clicked, swung open slowly. The shadow that had pursued her down the alleyway returned, striding silently across the room towards her.
Sakura struggled to her feet, terror arising again. But she kept her face placid, void of all emotion.
In a second, the man had crossed to her, and stared her down. The lightbulb swayed, and threw the shadow from his face, if only for a moment. She kept her face blank, not voicing the surprise in her. Here stood a lean boy, who couldn't have been much older than herself, looking her full in the face, holding a gleaming knife in his hand. His eyes were empty, lifeless. But his body radiated coldness, and strength, and no fear. Sakura had no doubt he could overpower her without even trying. Nevertheless, she had to fight, or at least die fighting, for she doubted anyone who kept her in this hellhole had good intentions.
She took up a stance that she'd learned on the street, which had saved her life on more than one occasion. However, she was still shaky from the drug he'd injected into her earlier, and her vision swayed as she stood upright. Against her will, her hand went out against the wall.
In a flash, the boy moved. He dug his elbow into her ribs, knocking the air out of her lungs. As she struggled to breathe and reorient herself, she felt his foot kick her feet out from under her. She fell, still gasping for air. He caught her just before she hit the cold concrete, and held the knife up to her throat. Despite the situation, Sakura smiled. Knives were part of her, as natural as an arm or a leg. Nobody could hurt her with one. Besides, who would? Stupid question. He'd already hurt her. Not much, but he had. What did it matter if he hurt her with her favourite thing in the world or her least?
As she thought, she breathed in, and smelled the stranger's metallic scent. But yes, of course. He would. This man, boy really, would hurt her without a thought. Yet, there was something about him, something exotic, dangerous. He had attacked when she'd least expected it, forcing her to bend to his will. It was her own legacy: submit or die. Apparently, he followed the same one. He was cold, heartless, sharp and cruel. Like a knife.
But then she looked into his empty amber eyes, and saw herself there, reflected in them. She knew he saw the same in hers. There they stayed, locked in the moment. A flicker of life kindled in his eyes, and he drew in a shaky breath. The knife lowered slowly. He moved closer.
"Wha...?" her voice trailed off as all her resolve melted away. He was so close, his eyes now burning into her own, scorching her with their heat. What was happening? The closeness of him wouldn't allow her to think straight. She felt the heat of his body, the lean muscle of his chest, the knife just touching her arm. Against her will, she moved closer too.
Suddenly, a loud crack echoed through the room. The boy flinched, his eyes stretched wide, and his mouth opened in a surpressed cry of pain.
Sakura looked around him in alarm, and saw a blurry shadow standing at the doorway, holding a long, thin whip. Suddenly, she felt the same pain that she had in the alleyway, only this time in her arm. She looked at the boy again, her face for once betraying her fear. Right before she fell unconscious, she realized that his eyes were empty and hollow once more.
(A/N: Well what did you think? If I don't get at least 7 reviews I won't continue. Yes, it's a threat.)