*This fic is part of a rather weird dream sequence featuring Eriol
and Tomoyo. I guess I had too much to eat the other night ^^;;.
Anyway, as far as I can remember, the dream begins in a room on the
topmost floor of a high-rise condominium in Tokyo. This is sort of
part of what I have in mind for "The Final Gathering" (Version 3),
but I doubt if I'll actually include this in that story. It's too
surreal. Eriol and Tomoyo have some sort of understanding between
them in the dream, though I'm not sure about its nature exactly.
It's weird. My dreams are usually very vivid but I can't for the
life of me figure them out. The feeling is the same as when watching
a movie in a foreign language. I can see the images, understand
them somewhat, but I don't really know for sure just what the hell
is going on ^^. In this case, I have some vague idea of where
everything's heading off to (well, it's MY dream ^^).

Hmm... maybe this would suffice as an ending for "Turn?"

For Meg-oneechama since I promised :P.

EriolxTomoyo weirdness ahead.
And sappy angst *shrug*. I seem to thrive in the stuff.

Also partly inspired by "Falling Away From Me" (Korn). Don't ask.


Card Captor Sakura copyright CLAMP and other related enterprises. This fanfic
was written for entertainment purposes only.

Faux Naif (False Innocence)
by Tin Mandigma

*Very rough draft: November 10, 2000

Late afternoon sunlight streamed through the glass windows and into the
polished marble floors, creating a multitude of transparent white
shadows dancing at her feet with hot mincing movements. She could feel
the heat extending up to her neck like sensuous trailing fingers.

It shouldn't be long now.

She shifted on her seat, glancing at the flowers on the side table. They
had kept her company in her lonely hot vigil but unlike her, they didn't
wilt, or melt sluggishly into the brilliant afternoon. Steadfastly
beautiful, that was what they were.

She heard the key turn in the lock, and she tensed, knowing with a sudden
sense of urgency mingling with relief who it was. Soft footsteps resonated
in the uncarpeted hallway and came to a stop just in front of the living
room. She fought the almost overwhelming temptation to fling herself out
of the couch and into that dark mysterious alcove where he lingered, but
she knew that if she did, he would never come to her on his own volition
ever again.

And she wanted him to come to her because he wanted her, and needed her,
and not because he felt he had to, after everything that has happened.

It was just as Sakura-chan said. There was a distinct difference between
loving a person because you needed them, and needing a person because you
loved them.

He finally came into the room. She knew he had seen her; she could tell
by the arrested quality of his movements, but he gave no sign that he
had even noticed she was there. He placed his car keys on the table,
beside the phone, turning away from her as he did so.

She waited.

"You're still here," he said quietly, his back turned to her.

"I couldn't leave Sakura-chan," she answered. "At least not until
Li-kun returns..." She paused. "And--"

He finally looked at her then. "Xiao Lang hasn't come yet?" he asked

She nodded mutely, staring at him. He looked as elegant as ever, not a
hair out of place, clothes with nary the slightest crease. But there were
dark lines beneath his eyes, and his mouth looked unusually tense, without
that smile. His smile.

In fact, he looked terrifyingly unhappy. She wondered why she hadn't noticed
earlier, why she had been so blinded by external polish that she couldn't
see that terrible loneliness. It was true, maybe, that pretty things could
breed frightening artificiality, on the beholder and the beholden. She
looked again at her flowers. Hothouse flowers. Great and gaudy and
beautiful, but barren, too, and without fragrance. Souls are like that.
Forced to show all, they lose meaning.

She smiled.

"Won't you sit next to me?" she whispered.

He seemed on the verge of refusing her but she must have made some
warning gesture because he approached her instead, a resigned parody of a
smile twisting his pale features.

"About Li-kun," she began carefully as he sank beside her, "he just called,
telling us that he was all right and that he had found what you asked him to
look for. He'll be here soon."

He tipped his head back, staring up at the ceiling. "That's good. Maybe a
day or two more, and all this would finally be over and we could begin

"We," she murmured.

"For some of us," he answered hollowly. "We."

She rested her elbow atop the couch, cupping her chin with one hand,
looking down at him. "A strange choice of words. Only 'some?'"

He turned his head towards her. Sunlight struck sparks off his eyes, giving
them a molten quality, but she couldn't read their expression. "Not so
strange, given that all of us *have* made our choices."

"Just," she agreed.

He smiled again and made a move to stand up. "I should go. I still need
to make some calls."

She put a hand on his arm. "Maybe later."


"Tomoyo-chan, I've started dinner," Sakura poked her head into the doorway,
smiling widely when she saw him. "Oh, welcome back, Eriol-kun."

She felt him draw away from her touch. "Hello, Sakura-san."

"Everything all right?" Sakura asked cheerfully.

"I was just telling him that I was no longer in love with you," she
said calmly.

"Oh." Sakura's smile widened even more. "I see. I think I'd better go back to
the kitchen now. Syaoran-kun might come any time soon. Let's all eat
together, ne?"

She smiled as well, watched Sakura disappear off into the kitchen, humming
happily, and then turned expectantly towards him.

But he had, quite expectedly, gone.

"You can't be serious," he said. He was sitting on his bed, hands clasped
loosely in front of him. He had removed his jacket and flung it on a nearby
chair without his usual care. It lay forlorn, as if shivering at the freezing
blast of the air conditioner.

She raised an eyebrow at him. "Why ever not?"

"Because you couldn't just stop loving Sakura," he said, his tone
vehement, as if he was angry. She stirred in the doorway, and he looked
at her and she knew then by the strange fierce light in his eyes that
he _was_ angry. "Not now. Not ever."

She stepped into the room, careful to keep away from the bed, not to touch him,
and picked up his jacket. She sensed him watching her. "I'll be the judge
of that," she replied and sat down on the chair, smoothing the jacket on
her lap with caressing fingers.

"No," he snapped. "You will not. Don't do this."

She studied him for a few moments longer, weighing her words as she had
her heart all throughout the long afternoon spent waiting for him. She must
sound like she was joking, she acknowledged. It was unbelievable, perhaps,
that a person could throw away a lifetime's worth of memories and feelings
so easily, as one would hothouse flowers gone dry and ugly. But she wasn't
throwing anything away. She was giving it all to him.

She told him so.

He remained silent for so long she wondered with an acute pang of fear if
he had even heard her. And then he laughed, but his laughter was even
more painful than his silence. Slow and anguished, so utterly and completely
devoid of joy. "And what if I tell you I don't want that?" he whispered brokenly.
"That I would rather see you happily loving Sakura, than loving me in your
sorrow? I couldn't bear your sadness, Tomoyo-san. Don't ask me to, please."

Her fingers slowly clenched into fists. "But I--"

"If I had learned anything at all from being with you, even in so short
a time, it is that..." He took a deep breath. "It is that love doesn't
seek its own. You may take my happiness to make you happier, even though
you don't want it. It's enough for me, just to watch you watching Sakura,
to listen to you laugh with her, to know your joy in--in being with her.
Don't you understand? When I do that, when you do that, I feel worthy.
It is small consolation, perhaps, but then you've always given me such
courage, Tomoyo-san... Tomoyo-san... you..."

With one swift movement, she was kneeling in front of him, taking his hands
forcibly and clasping them between her own. He made no move to resist, and
she saw through her own tears that he was crying.

"And if *I* had learned anything at all from being with you..." she said
with quiet desperation. "Even a little... It is... Damn you, Hiiragizawa,
listen to me!" she shouted tearfully. She released his hands and put
hers on either side of his face, pulling him towards her until they were
so close she felt she could almost breathe in his tears. "It is this...
That you make me happy, happier than I have ever been in my whole life.
Happier even than when I loved her, and I knew I had no chance. So
happy I could forget that love, and find meaning in forgetting." She
gazed at him intently. "Don't *you* understand?"

He gently took her hand in his, kissed her palm with heartbreaking
tenderness. "Tomoyo-san, don't--"

"Don't interrupt me, Hiiragizawa-kun," she whispered. "Because I *want*
to make you happy, to listen to your laughter, to know joy in being with
*you* all alone, and then just the two of us. Oh, I know it won't be easy,
but I'm willing to take that chance now. *You* give me courage. More than
you would ever know."


"And that's what I'm telling you now," she continued, smiling through her
tears as she put her arms around him. She felt him tremble. "I love you.
And I want to do it happily. Don't ask me to bear the sorrow of having
to do it in sadness. I couldn't bear it." She burrowed her face into his
neck, breathing in his scent. "Please."

With an incoherent murmur, he drew her more tightly into his arms. Silence
stretched between them, profound and almost unfairly ethereal. She waited,
thinking that there couldn't be anything more lovely than falling in his
arms like this, more lovely than being close to him.

'Nothing, nothing, nothing...'

But then he whispered, laughingly, lovingly, "All right. I won't if you

And as he kissed her, their tears mingling with ferocious hungry intimacy
as did hungry lips, she realized she was wrong.

Finis (?)

Well, the dream shifted and suddenly I was standing atop a really tall
really wacky stepladder in a library as huge as the Notre Dame cathedral .
No Eriol or Tomoyo; just me swinging madly back and forth XD. Sorry for
the abrupt ending ^^;;;;;. Told you it was weird _