By: Jaded Image
AN: This is a bit of a long one-shot. It's 12 a.m. and I'm posting it, just because I feel like it.
Disclaimer: It's too late for me to think about lawsuits.
Eleven-year-old Tomoyo watched as her cousin linked arms with the Li boy, an endearing smile gracing her features. She allowed a bittersweet smile to curve her own lips as Syaoran blushed to the roots of his hair. As much as she hated to admit it, those two really were cute together.
"Lovely couple, aren't they?" A voice asked lightly from beside her.
"Yes, lovely." She answered quietly. She didn't dare glance towards the English boy for fear of looking in his eyes.
Like they say, the eyes are the windows to the soul, and she was not comfortable baring her soul to anyone. Especially when that someone was as perceptive as Eriol Hiiragizawa. One look and he would be able to read her utmost secret thoughts and desires, her wishes and dreams, the hidden feelings and secret love she harbored for her cousin…all of that spread like a book.
She wasn't ready to be so open.
So she didn't look at him.
"And he asked me to visit him in Hong Kong! Ooh, I'm so excited!" Sakura couldn't stop herself from bouncing around her subdued cousin. "After all these years..."
Tomoyo wasted little effort in pasting on a happy grin. She had had plenty of practice over the years and had perfected the method for her façade. She carefully gave Sakura a hug so as to avoid her eyes and whispered, "I'm happy that you're happy."
Eriol watched the exchange from his seat behind the two girls. His azure eyes didn't miss the slight slip of her smile as Tomoyo leaned in for the embrace, or the frown that tried to break through her mask.
Tomoyo's amethyst eyes slid over in his direction, and Eriol tried to catch her gaze, but she quickly glanced away to a place outside the window. It was a habit, one that she couldn't and didn't want to break. Avoiding eye contact meant avoiding pain. This way, nobody could see the agony building inside of her, and in return, she couldn't see the happiness and adoration glimmering within her dear cousin's emerald orbs.
She wouldn't allow herself to be hurt even more.
Nobody else should know about her pain.
So she didn't look at him.
Eighteen-year-old Tomoyo smiled politely at the crowd gathered in the pews. Her gaze skimmed over members of the Li clan and relatives and friends of both Syaoran and Sakura before returning her eyes to the ceremony being performed.
At the young age of eighteen, two of the closest people to her heart were getting married. And here she was, dressed in a beautiful gown made of flowing plum colored silk, acting as the Maid of Honor.
As the bride and groom kissed to seal their bond, a cheer rose from the crowd of family and friends. Tomoyo applauded with the rest of them, yet her eyes shone with deep-rooted grief. This marriage meant more to her than they would ever know.
A tear slid down her powdered cheek and she hastily brushed it aside. She would not allow herself to shed tears of pain at her dearest cousin's wedding. Only joy should come from such a ceremony. Yet the tears would not stop coming and she searched for something to impede the flow.
"Here." A crème handkerchief was held out to her and she accepted it gratefully.
Glancing up at her other best friend, she offered a wavering smile. "Thank you, Eriol-kun."
In that moment when she looked up at him, Eriol saw a brief glimpse inside the pretty heiress' being.
Before he could say a word, she quickly excused herself for the restroom.
Later, he would try to talk to her, but he would never be able to catch her eyes.
Tomoyo avoided him and his azure gaze. She almost broke down when she saw the pity in his look, and she didn't want to submit herself to anymore probing eyes.
So she didn't look at him.
Over the years, Tomoyo started to smile again. Real smiles with actual happiness backing them up. Her love for her cousin did not fade, but the type of love was merely platonic. Instead, it was her feelings towards Eriol that was starting to change.
He was her best friend, and she was grateful for his support after Sakura moved to Hong Kong with Syaoran. He was the reason she managed to continue living, day after day.
In time, she felt a certain warmth flow through her body whenever he looked at her or whenever a situation called for physical contact. She valued his friendship and couldn't help herself as she slowly but surely fell for her best friend.
For the first time in years, she felt truly happy with her life. She was coming to terms with her feelings for Eriol and she felt nothing more than sisterly love for Sakura. Things were definitely looking up. That is, until he brought her home.
That was her name.
And Tomoyo felt that woman was infinitely more beautiful than she herself would ever be.
Still, she maintained a little ray of hope that it was only a temporary relationship. After all, the woman was at least ten years older than Eriol, and he had never pronounced any preference for older women. So she hoped and prayed, day after day, that Eriol would come to his senses. Tomoyo had no doubt that Mizuki-san was a nice woman, but she loved Eriol, and the idea of him being with another woman tore at her insides.
But he didn't change his mind. In fact, the bond between him and Kaho only strengthened over time.
"I love her." He declared to Tomoyo one night while they lounged in his backyard, watching the starry night sky.
Tomoyo's body stiffened at his announcement, and she felt her carefully constructed world crash down around her. This was like a remake of the whole Sakura and Syaoran ordeal that she had to go through before. She wasn't sure if she could handle it a second time.
"Y-you do? Are you sure?" Her voice trembled with each word.
"I'm positive. I love Kaho Mizuki." Eriol's voice held warmth and love, the kind that Tomoyo strained for, yet it was directed at another.
Her chest twisted painfully and Tomoyo gasped for breath. His declaration had affected her emotionally and physically. The pain nearly caused tears to course down her cheeks, and she worked to keep the grief from her voice. "I-I'm happy for you."
Or at least, she will be happy for him. Even if she had to force herself to believe it, she would be happy for him simply because he was happy. The love of her life loved another, and she will support his decision to the end, even if it meant inflicting more pain upon her. Because that was who she was, Daidouji Tomoyo, the one who always gives out love, but was never loved in return.
Eriol smiled as he heard her simple reply, not noticing the incredible restraint she had trying to stop herself from bursting into tears. He was happy that he had the support of his best friend, but he didn't know the effort it took for her to not break down.
Tomoyo blinked furiously, her tears were clouding her vision of the velvety sky. Finally she gave up and stood up from her position next to her secret love. "I-I should be going now, Eriol-kun. It's getting late. I'll see you tomorrow."
And she left without looking back at the bewildered Englishman.
Because she knew that if she did, then he would see all the pain and jealousy in her eyes, and she would see all the love and devotion in his, and she couldn't take another blow like that to her soul.
So she didn't look at him.
She heard they got married. Married in a nice white chapel in London surrounded by caring family members and close friends. She had been invited to the wedding, of course, but she couldn't bring herself to go. Enduring one wedding had been hell, but back then she had Eriol to help her through. Now, she had no one. No one to hold her hand while walking through the church doors and no one to lend her a handkerchief when she cried.
But that had been years ago. She didn't know how they were doing now. They probably lived in a nice house with 2.5 kids and a dog, or most likely a cat. Maybe even a white picket fence, although she didn't think Eriol was into such cliché lifestyles.
Tomoyo Daidouji, on the other hand, was all alone in the world, her soul calling out for its mate and getting no answer in return.
She had turned into a stoic businesswoman with no life outside of her work. Sometimes she would plan tentative meetings with old friends, but seeing them happily living their dream lives depressed her spirits.
As she walked the gray, cemented sidewalk towards the Daidouji Inc. building, her attention wallowed in the past, and she didn't notice until it was too late that she was headed straight for another person on the sidewalk.
"Oh…oh, I'm so sorry." She fumbled with her balance only to be saved by a hand around her waist.
"Daidouji-san, nice to see you again." Said a soft familiar voice.
Tomoyo's amethyst eyes widened, "Hiiragizawa-kun?"
The man smiled cheekily. "I see you haven't forgotten me."
"I...I…no, of course not." She stumbled over her words as she glanced towards the ground.
Eriol's azure eyes softened at the woman dressed in a chic business suit before him. She had changed since he'd last seen her. Her whole demeanor was not the same Tomoyo he had known, had loved.
"I'm sorry…that I couldn't be at the wedding and that I haven't been in touch." She murmured, still not looking at him. Old scars not fully healed were being bared again.
Eriol waved her apologies aside. "I was disappointed, yes, but you didn't really miss much." He said lightly.
"So, how have you been Hiiragizawa-kun?" Tomoyo asked.
He hated using such formalities with her. They use to be so close. "I've been fine, great actually, especially after Kaho and I split."
Tomoyo glanced up startled, and Eriol saw another glimpse into her soul. After Sakura's marriage, the two of them had gotten closer and closer, and Eriol was sometimes treated to rare glimpses into her soul. He carefully searched her gaze before she looked away and he broke into a smile.
"Would you like to get some coffee with me?" He asked, indicating a nearby café.
Surprised again, Tomoyo looked him straight in the eyes, trying to understand what he meant. And Eriol laid it out for her, his thoughts, feelings, fears were all easily read in his eyes.
Tomoyo felt the familiar sting of tears as she understood his meaning. Smiling for the first time in a long time, she whispered, "Yes…I would like that."
AN: Ugh…it's late…and I'm having trouble seeing straight, so I'm sorry if the ending is a little iffy. It's been incredibly busy for me so I'd like to apologize for the lack of updates.
This fic was my attempt at some drama. I'm all for happy endings…so of course, Eriol and Tomoyo had to get together again. Wheeee,hearts tosuch a cute couple.
I'd just like to mention that even though Tomoyo was afraid of meeting people's eyes, that doesn't mean it never happened. It's not like she talked to the ground while having a conversation. Let's just pretend she couldn't hold a person's gaze for long…or something.
Now, push that review button and tell me how much I suck!