FAMILY TIES

By JustAkiko

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, but the story is all mine. >

Setting: At the end of the anime… and the almost end of the manga.

Notes: This fic is mostly canon, focusing more on the manga than the anime. HOWEVER, I wrote this BEFORE I saw the first or second movie, so they have no relevance to this story. Hence the Li family etc are entirely characterised from my imagination.

This is the first fic I've managed for CCS which is longer than a chapter > squee

I hope you enjoy! And please leave feedback.

Ja.


CHAPTER 1

On The Horizon

Family has forever been a large part of human culture, on the Eastern side of this world even more so. Your family share your home, your mealsm your space. Sometimes they're the only ones who can correctly call you by just your first name. Family will always take priority in your heart of hearts.

Li Syaoran, just out of Elementary School, had returned to his family two years ago. Having studied a while in Tomoeda, Japan, his mother had finally called him back to her side at their home in Hong Kong; but despite rejoining his family, his heart had not been happy.

He had left her behind; the one he loved the most; a girl his own age with auburn hair and emerald eyes. He'd found her as an enemy, made her a friend, and then almost more than that, before a phone call stripped him suddenly from her side and he had realised over their two-year separation that letters and phone calls just weren't as effective at keeping you together as tearing you apart. It was hard. It wasn't homesickness he felt anymore, it was worse, heartsickness; an ailment only her dancing eyes and bell like laughter would cure.

So now, as term ended and a new school year flickered on the horizon, Syaoran waited impatiently outside his Mother's study, about to sacrifice the importance of family for a small Japanese town and the flower it had waiting for him.

That was of course, if they'd let him go.

"Late again kaiju?"

"Onii-chan!"

Kinomoto Sakura settled heavily in her seat, aimed her slippered foot under the dining table and crunched it painfully against her elder brother's toes. She smiled as he almost squealed before chocking on the rice he'd just tried to swallow. His eyes watered with a murderous glare as he coughed awkwardly, but Sakura knew she was safe and smiled back sweetly. One thing she could always count on was an amnesty from the Wrath of Touya whenever Yukito-san was around.

Her brother's boyfriend was currently seated by his side, calmly offering his partner water, while his blue eyes danced with hidden amusement. Sakura grinned broadly at him before finally greeting the table as a whole.

"Konbanwa Yukito-san, Otou-san. Touya, it's good to see you too."

She deftly avoided the foot flying towards her shin by reaching over to embrace her father, sitting beside her.

"Why are you late Sakura-san?" he asked smiling at his quarrelling children.

"Tomoyo-chan had a choir recital," Sakura explained, "To end the school year, and I promised I'd go cheer her on. She was asked for so many encores that the concert ran a little late."

Her father nodded calmly as he brought her dinner through from the kitchen. "Well Tomoeda Elementary will certainly miss a voice as sweet as Tomoyo-san's. They are lucky she's staying on at Seijou High School instead of taking up a music scholarship somewhere."

Sakura grinned, around a mouthful of fried shrimp.

"Tomoyo-chan won't leave. She loves Tomoeda too much."

The group ate in silence for a while, each enjoying the sumptuous food and familiar comfort only a family could provide. Sakura eyed what she considered to be her two brothers across the table and her heart warmed as she recognised the contentment in both their eyes. They'd been officially a couple for almost a year now and had lived together away from the Kinomoto residence for most of that. Despite his constant torture, Sakura had missed the unwavering presence of her hard working older brother and the constant visits of the quietly confident Yukito-san. Still here they were, sitting happily together at the family table, and Sakura's heart swelled further at the rightness of it all.

Her father bringing out dessert was just the icing on the cake.

"Itadakimasu!"

A spoonful in, Touya spoke up for the first time since her entrance. "So kaiju how was your last day at Elementary School."

Sakura's jaw tightened reflexively at the teasing, but the sight of Yukito's hand clasped lightly over her brothers softened her tongue. Instead she smiled at Touya's smirking face before thinking carefully about his question. She answered slowly.

"Strange, I think. Although the whole class is moving to Seijou High, we don't know if we'll be split into new classes. It was kind of… sad."

Touya nodded sagely and Yukito smiled encouragingly. She continued, "Tomoyo-chan is worried we'll be split up by the move and Rika-chan seemed upset when she was saying goodbye to Terada-sensei. Even Chihura-chan and Yamizaki-kun looked afraid that they'd end up apart. They've been a couple since they were small you know."

"Well at least you don't have that problem anymore," muttered Touya quietly.

The silence that followed was as stunning as a brick wall. Any anger Sakura might have felt at the mindless comment evaporated quickly in a wave of sickening worry and loss. Suddenly her eyes stung and her throat ached dully.

"How is Li-kun, Sakura-chan?"

Yukito's soft voice broke through her reverie and drew her glittering eyes across the table. Yukito's gaze was gentle and considerate but what surprised her most was the apology shining openly on her brother's face. With that measure of kindness Sakura struggled back atop her feelings.

"I haven't heard from Syaoran-kun in a while. We've both been busy with school, entrance exams and he's busy training too."

Yukito nodded encouragingly and her father placed a second slice of cake onto her empty plate. The gestures lightened her heart and Sakura smiled.

"But I'm sure he's fine. He should even be able to visit soon; after all it's Summer Break. Ne?"

"You're right Sakura-san, it's the end of another school year." her father replied warmly, "And so I think we all deserve a toast."

With that he raised his glass to the centre of the table, everyone quickly following suit. Sakura's emerald eyes scanned the three male faces surrounding her. None were the face her heart longed for most, but the sight of her family, and her mother's picture sitting proudly at the head of the dining table, dulled the pain of distance. She smiled.

"To new beginnings." Her father proclaimed.

"To new beginnings. Kanpai!"


Well there it is! Short and sweet... for now! Please do leave a review and let me know what you thought... then hopefully I can continue this story. Thanks for reading!

Translations: kaiju - monster , itadakimasu - blessing before eating "Let's eat!"/"Thanks for the food!" . kanpai - cheers

Ja.