Fire and Ice
Written by: ahnigurL
c", Wahahahaha! Hehe, sorry for the long inactiveness, I was thinking what kind of epilogue I would give. It's kinda hard to decide too, you know… with all the diverse tastes of the readers out there… but, well, I settled for this one. Besides, this is what my proofreader chose against the three others I made.
BUT first, I would like to say THANK YOU to all these reviewers:
sakura asakura hey, sis! miss ya nah! X3 thanks for supporting my stories!
Story Weaver1 you've been a loyal reviewer, so I thank you! XP
AznIllusion hey! hi! how's it going? keep it rockin', I'll be looking forward to the next time we can chat again!
crazypicciloplayer014 often your reviews are short, but it still counts, so thank you!
Shadowkeeper113 ahh, I love you! you review APA and Fire and Ice as well! Thank you so much! I updated APA, in case you don't know. Two chapters.
aPpLecHeRrY oi! thanks po sa mga review niong mahahaba! record keio lague, pinakamahahaba ung mga reviews nio! pero ok lng, nkakatuwa nmn basahin ehh!
psycho-pyro-shrink kick ass story, eih? thanks:D I'm glad you appreciate my story!
syaoran101 hehe, I did not put in ET here as you wished, but you can check out A Princess's Aspiration, my other CCS story, for EriolTomo scenes. There are lots there too.
dark angel you always review first when I update. how's that? XP thank you, nonetheless!
mrs. perfect thank you for reviewing constantly… and nah, it's not a special gift, lots of people have my writing gifts too!
Astra and Hoshi wow, you review always… and I remember you reviewing for my other stories too… or not? Hehe, sorry, faulty memory…
Sabriel Singh well, hi! thanks for constantly reviewing as well! I'm glad you enjoyed my story!
VcChick another loyal reviewer. I remember you from APA too… XP
eliza-morgan22 thanks for the reviews!
LadyAkina how can I forget? I read your stories too, and I often see you review mine… so thanks!
Destiny-dream loyal one, this one. :D thanks for the reviews and the troubles!
Courage Sun sorry if the suspense is killin' ya, but it's necessary! XP hehehehe…
Valentine Satiguss short reviews, but you count! still count! love ya, thanks!
demonic angel23 man, you always seem to say "I wanna know" in your reviews! XP well, bit excited about the next chapter, are we? X3
Princess Ren :D I'll keep the work up, don't worry:D as long as there are loyal reviewers at my side, urging me on, no problemo!
lil cherry blossom wolf you always remind me to update quickly!
halliwells ah, no need to worry, I will keep on working hard to please you readers out there!
Necromancer Gora always looking forward to the next update!
Particles of Sand :P you always ask what will happen to them… man, you'll see in the next!
Bipolar Penguins I am not evil! it's just that cliffies are needed.
BlueMeteorGirl the girl of many reactions! I always see a different reaction every review you leave!
darkazureblossoms wow, thanks, so you read APA too? thanks a lot!
Dark-Faerie409 chill, it's not over yet!
almosthere13 yes, there is more… -pouts back-
Higarashi oh, so you like fight scenes? read Twilight, my other story. you'll have all the fight scenes you want.
I'M PRETTY SURE THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE I FORGOT, AND I'M SO SORRY, GOMEN NE! But still, thank you to all of those who supported my story and took the trouble to review it!
Okay then… since all of you have been soooo good to me and reviewed a lot…
HERE'S THE EPILOGUE YOU ALL SO WISHED FOR!
Epilogue: The Brat Pack
When Sakura had accepted Xiao Lang's proposal for marriage, she had not expected that her life would take another surprising turn.
(And sometimes she is left pondering whether it is a turn for the better or for the worse.)
After their little exploits to save their lands, the two warring kingdoms had come to an understanding and a hopefully lasting truce. Fujitaka and Yelan discussed matters thoroughly and came to the decision that the two kingdoms were to stand as individuals, but were to be united under a truce for peace. They would now be known as the Union, consisting of two provinces: Li and Kinomoto. A peace truce was also struck with the Dragon Kingdom.
Between the Raffha and Rub Al Khali, they built a new capital city, to be called the Union City, where the new castle of the current royal family was built. It was a quick building, since both sides of the country cooperated. A city was easily instated around the castle, and as soon as it was finished, more and more residences started springing up around it, forming a large town.
The main royal family, consisting of the straight line only, were the ones who were to reside inside the main castle. It was Fujitaka and Yelan, along with Touya, Sakura, Xiao Lang, and the four Li sisters. The other cousins, elders and advisers were given manors around the city, to reserve the privacy of the royal family.
(Especially, as Yelan had kindly pointed out, as there was a pair of lovebirds constantly and heedlessly making out all over the place.)
It did not exactly help that Xiao Lang and Sakura were staying in one room, considering that they were already engaged. The two would only tease and cuddle with each other the whole day.
There had been a slight intrigue regarding who should take over after Fujitaka and Yelan's King and Queen-ship. Touya was older than Sakura, and so he was a likely candidate for the throne. But the Li had Xiao Lang, the youngest male of the family, and destined to be King. It had been a heated issue, until Touya simply decided to hand over the ruling to Xiao Lang and Sakura, seeing as the to were more capable of handling the responsibilities levelheadedly.
Touya had also pointed out that with the two of them, there would be no more problem of finding a Queen, since Sakura was already there. And he had also bluntly pointed out about his relationship with Yukito, which shocked most of them except Sakura, Fujitaka, and, surprisingly enough, Xiao Lang.
"I could feel it," he had shrugged.
The old castle in the Kinomoto lands was transformed into a School for Acolytes, Priests and Priestesses, a field of magic Sakura sported and taught. Meanwhile, the Li Empire Mansion was transformed as a martial arts school/moon sorcery, which Xiao Lang sported instead.
Everything had went along perfectly, and their country bloomed in all aspects.
Everything went along peacefully inside the castle too.
Xiao Lang and Sakura got married 5 months after the exploits and had their first babies—yes, babies, meaning plural—a year after. Their babies were fraternal twins, a boy and a girl. And then, more. And more. And more. Actually, they had… uhm, figure it out and count later.
Xiao Lang had been extremely apprehensive and afraid from holding the children, but the moment those small, stubby fingers closed around his large thumb, his chest swelled with fatherly pride he could not even explain in words.
(Sakura liked taunting him how the Mister High and Mighty Xiao Lang crumbled in front of his babies.)
Now, let us introduce the Li Brat Pack.
The boy, named Li Yuichi, was two minutes older than the girl, meaning they automatically had an heir apparent for the Union. He seemed to have taken from his father's appearance; the boy had chocolate brown hair with streaks of auburn here and there, and brilliant golden amber eyes. He also had a birthmark on his left temple. His calmed demeanor and his intelligent persona, as they had discovered as he grew up, seemed to come from his mother; while his instinctive fighting skills, resourcefulness and leadership came from his father.
The girl, Li Yukie, had straight auburn hair with streaks of chestnut brown, and darker amber eyes than his brother. She was noisier and more obnoxious than his brother, and more instinctive as well. She was definitely more cheerful and spoke a lot more than his apparently stoic brother did, but even though they were complete opposites, the two had this queer connection with each other.
But of course, the common fights always break out.
(Consider it doomsday if a fight didn't happen in a single day.)
A year after, they were followed by another.
Another boy, named Li Saichi, had messy chestnut hair with auburn streaks and looked exactly like Xiao Lang and Ryuukai, except for the eyes. Her mother's emerald green eyes had rubbed off on him. He had a birthmark like his elder brother, only on the right temple. This boy was more of a genius, silent type, with excellent fighting skills and interest in books and literary art. Often he would be seen hanging around his older brother. The two of them had become rather fond of each other.
A year later, the brat pack added two more members into the band.
(Man, Xiao Lang sure never gives it a rest, does he? He's… ehem, hardworking.)
Identical twin boys, named Li Ryuurei and Li Ryuukai, were born. Auburn hair, amber eyes, and naturally naughty personalities came with them as package. These two were good fighters as well, but not as good as their two elder brothers. They were inborn pranksters and set booby traps all over the palace, traps that made fun of whoever is unlucky to step in them.
(Like for example, that one time when a soldier stepped into a trap, he was stripped naked and a sign was hung on his magically paralyzed body that said, "I love eating sausages!")
Two years later, another one was added, this time a girl.
Her name? Li Rika. She had beautiful curly chestnut hair and emerald eyes, and she had beauty that surpassed her elder sister's, though Yukie's charming personality won over. She was a beauty conscious girl, and was the "girliest" of them all. But she was kind-hearted and wanted to study medicine to help people.
A year later, another girl was added, much to Rika and Yukie's delight.
Li Rumi was the female counterpart of Saichi and Yuichi. She was silent, brooding and intelligent, and an extremely good fighter. She had insanely straight chestnut hair and amber eyes like Saichi and Yuichi and she also had a birthmark running from her forehead down across her left eye, much like Sakura's burn mark. She got along well with her two elder brothers and was considered "boyish" by the other two girls.
And then, lastly, five years later, Sakura conceived her last and eighth child.
It was a baby boy, and he was named Li Keichi after the two oldest brothers. He was the innocent type and smiled a lot. He was smart, and showed potential, but he was a bit naughty at times too. He was somewhere in between. He had chestnut hair and strange eyes. His eyes were green during day and amber during night, as if following the patterns of the sun star and the moon, which were Sakura and Xiao Lang's root of power.
It was a crazy family, really. Yuichi, Saichi and Rumi would often read in the library together or spar, or have some intelligent discussions and study sessions. Yukie and Rika would argue about who was more handsome between the Prince of Lathargia or the Duke of Eritrea. Ryuurei and Ryuukai would be running around causing absolute mayhem inside the castle, and baby Keichi would be floating in between them, playing innocently.
Sakura and Xiao Lang had consulted the elders and the advisers regarding Yuichi, Saichi and Rumi's marks and the strange dreams they were having that were always the same and happened at the same time. The elders had said that the marks may represent unprecedented power and talent in the children, and that it was nothing to worry about.
Indeed, a month later, Xiao Lang and Sakura found the three training together with the elements already.
Keichi, meanwhile, was a different matter. They said he was special, like he could start a new breed of magicians. He was a Seer. He could predict and he could prophesize. It was a new talent brought by the melding of two incredibly powerful celestial powers, the moon and star.
Yuki (Yukie's nickname) and Rika, it turned out, were the most normal of them all. Nevertheless, the two were happy that way. They did not want Rumi, Sai and Yui's freaky dreams, nor Kei's clairvoyance.
Kai and Rei, meanwhile, were far from normal. The two of them had a stronger bond than Yui and Yuki, and they could practically read each other's mind and feel each other's emotions because of so much similarity between them. It was a strength and at the same time a weakness. If one of them was hurt, the other one would feel the same pain.
But despite the differences of these siblings, they were admired for their strong bond.
Especially when it came to their baby brother.
Yuichi, Saichi and Rumi were prepared to practically kill whoever harms the boy. Yukie and Rika, those two would get into a catfight and destroy their nails just to stand up for Kei. Kei and Rei would go to the absolute extreme for the little boy. One example was when the twins had completely trap-rigged the room of a bratty bullying Prince from another country because the Prince had made Kei cry. When the sleeping Prince had woken up the next morning, he stepped into the wired traps. When he finally came out of the room, he was… well, to put it mildly, totally unrecognizable. (We don't want to elaborate, do we?)
They were very protective of the innocent little boy they had.
Xiao Lang and Sakura were very much proud of their kids, and Xiao Lang was relieved that even though they had married at an early age of 17, they managed to raise them properly.
Xiao Lang was especially proud of Yuichi and Saichi, who both constantly competed in continental martial arts competition side by side and always won. They were the 3-time champion already. They needed to celebrate their latest win last week.
(It had been 17 years since their marriage, and Yui and Yuki are now 16, Sai is 15, Kai and Rei are 14, Rika is 13, Rumi is 11 and Kei is 5.)
And speaking of celebrations…
"Saku, isn't the Sakura Fest within this week?" Xiao Lang asked one morning, while he ate his breakfast at the head of the table. He looked beside him at his wife, looking as young as ever. And as beautiful as heaven.
Yui sat at his right, while Sakura sat at his left. Yukie and Rika squealed as the talked about the kimonos they were going to wear and the visiting dukes and princes for the fest, while Kai and Rei were sporting mischievous smiles on their faces, apparently talking via telepathy. Kei bounced eagerly in his seat, asking Rumi what was a Sakura fest.
Sai and Yui immediately discussed about the security measures around the perimeter of the castle and the regulations to be implored upon the town.
Sakura giggled and nodded at his husband, watching her two oldest sons converse seriously. Sai always backed Yui up in all the duties he needed to do, and vice versa.
"Yui-kun, Sai-kun, you two are acting like you're already King," sighed Sakura, smiling. "Relax, everything will be fine."
"Mother, if we relax our guards, the Trevelion forces will overtake us," Yui pointed out.
Sai nodded as back up. "That would be a catastrophe."
Xiao Lang raised a brow at his sons. "Just so you know, extra tight security is being implemented ever since yesterday. You don't have to worry about everything yet, Yui-kun, I'm still here as King."
Yui sighed and nodded, smiling slightly. "You know, dad, I don't think I can ever be as good and calm of a King as you are."
"That's because you have these two eggheads to worry about everyday," Rumi interjected, glaring at Kai and Rei, who were snickering and conversing in hushed tones, huddles together. "Who can relax and be calm with them plodding around?" snorted the girl.
"You've got a point," Sai nodded. "They're walking disasters."
"We heard that," the twins said at the same time, glaring at the three geniuses, before going back to their plots.
Sakura turned to Xiao Lang. "Your mother is suggesting that we spend a vacation at the Kinomoto castle or at the Li Mansion for a change. What do you say?"
Xiao Lang shrugged. "Not really my decision. If the kids can bear it, then I'm ok."
Yui, Sai and Rumi said yes. Yukie and Rika considered before nodding, but the twin boys were starting again.
"Kinomoto castle?" said Kai.
"Li Mansion?" said Rei.
"NO!" they shouted at the same time.
"We like this castle."
"We grew up here."
"We can live in here without killing each other!"
Sai snorted. "That would depend more on your mouth than any floor plan."
Xiao Lang looked at Sakura. "Maybe next time, Saku, the twins disagree."
Sakura nodded. "Okay then, everyone, get ready, we'll go down to the town to observe as tradition every year! Casual clothes please, and Rika, nothing shiny and too glam! We're gonna walk the streets."
"Yeah, we don't want to carry you back here when you complain your foot hurts because of your heels," added Kai, earning a glare.
Yui shuddered slightly. "I can't forget when she made me piggy-back ride her from the city gates back to the castle. It was pure torture."
"I experienced that too," Sai nodded. "Go on a diet, Rika, maybe you'll shed some fats."
"WHAT DID YOU SAY!"
"Children!" Rumi tried to amend the fight from breaking out completely. Yukie started laughing as Rika tried to wring the boys' necks. "Children, please!"
Xiao Lang rolled his eyes exasperatedly, raising his voice. "Stop it!" But it was useless. The kids continued bickering, while Yukie dissolved in laughter. Sakura mixed in with the mayhem as well, trying to amend the fights, but failing miserably. Kai and Rei were egging on Rika.
The servants of the table sweat dropped as another fight occurred. This was almost a normal morning routine for the crazy family. The two dragons outside in the open grounds peered through the wide arced windows and snorted playfully as they watched the family bicker. Frigga and Valgorn were still loyal to their master/mistress, and continued to serve the royal family.
But then there was a loud wailing sound, which made everybody stop in their tracks.
Kei was huddled in his high chair, clutching his stuffed dragon in his small, stubby hands. Tears were pouring from his eyes, which were screwed shut, and he was howling and wailing like mad.
That alone made the chaos stop and everybody look towards the forlorn child.
Yui was closest, so he quickly moved, getting into the 'model brother mode'. He stood up and stepped towards Kei, picking him up from the chair and hoisted him up, holding him close.
"Hush, Kei, it's okay," he muttered, placing a kiss on top of his baby brother's head. The baby silenced a bit but was still crying. To amend the child, all of the other six kids stood up from their seats and approached Yui and Kei.
Sai petted the young boy's head. "It's okay, Kei, don't cry anymore."
"Yeah, nii-chan and me are not fighting anymore, see?" she said, slinging an arm around Sai's waist. "We were only joking," she added.
Yukie approached. "Oh our poor baby," she cooed. "You were upset, weren't you?" she said, wiping away Kei's tears. The child nodded mutely, sniffling.
Rumi sighed. "Don't worry, we won't fight anymore, ne?" she said, smiling at his little brother and pinching his cheek. "And I promise we'll play in the beach later, ok?"
"Don't be sad anymore!"
Kai and Rei stepped in, shoving Rumi and Rika aside, who both huffed. Kai and Rei started making funny faces, making Kei giggle in his big brother's arms.
"We won't fight anymore, Kei-chan," Yui smiled, cradling his little brother.
Kei sniffled. "Weawwy?"
"Of course!" nodded Yui, placing another kiss on Kei's forehead. "So you stop crying now, ok?"
The kid sniffled and nodded, snuggling deeper into his nii-chan's arms.
On the table, Xiao Lang and Sakura watched the siblings take care of their baby brother, both smiling. Sakura giggled and held Xiao Lang's hand.
"We didn't even need to do anything," Sakura said proudly.
Xiao Lang nodded, kissing his wife's hand. "We did a good job, didn't we? They can take care of themselves already."
Sakura nodded, smiling at the little boy in Yui's arms, who was now mimicking the funny faces Kai and Rei were making, to the amusement and laughter of the other siblings watching. "We certainly did."
Xiao Lang reached over and placed a finger under Sakura's chin, turning her surprised face towards his and leaned in for a sound kiss. Sakura smiled into the kiss and reached up, caressing Xiao Lang's cheek lightly.
Rika gasped as she saw their parents. "Yui, Kei's eyes, quick!"
Yui's head snapped around, seeing Rika's reason for anxiety, and quickly covered Kei's eyes, who struggled. "Kei," Yui sternly said. "This is not for you to see, okay? You're too young."
Kei pouted cutely, before stopping the struggling.
Yuki and Rika squealed like schoolgirls and Rumi sighed exasperatedly, rolling her eyes. Kai and Rei whooped and cheered, while Yui just smirked. Sai smirked along, slinging an arm around Yui's shoulders.
"Get a room, will you?" snickered Yui and Sai.
"Aniki…" Kei whimpered, wiggling against Yui's hand. All of them called Yui 'aniki' because he was oldest. Well, all of them, except Sai. Sai called Yui by name. He was the only one who called Yui by name, except for their parents. It just meant that they were really close.
Xiao Lang and Sakura hesitantly broke up. Xiao Lang raised an eyebrow at Yui and Sai, while Sakura blushed prettily under the gazes she was receiving.
"Yui-kun, it's nothing to be shy about," Xiao Lang smirked. "Or maybe you are shy because you're inexperienced?"
Yui rolled his eyes, while Sai continued to snicker. "Come on, dad, even you got your first kiss when you were 16."
"Well, you are 16, aren't you, Yui?" snickered Xiao Lang. "Go and get yourself a girlfriend."
Sai laughed and patted his older brother on the back. "Yui, he's got a point, man, go get yourself a girlfriend."
"Sai, you speak as if you have a girlfriend yourself," snorted Yui, removing his hand from the writhing Kei's face.
"What's a girlfriend?" Kei asked up at Yui with wide, innocent and irresistible eyes.
Yuki giggled. "You wouldn't understand yet, Kei-chan," she cooed. She motioned for Yui to let go, and Yui transferred the boy to the eldest girl's arms. Kei pouted cutely but clung nevertheless.
Xiao Lang sighed and stood up, placing an arm around Sai and Yui's shoulders and inserting his head in between theirs. "You two are grown up now, and you can make decisions for yourselves," he said. "Me and your mother trust you and we will support you in whatever decision you will make. Just make sure it is a sane one, and be careful, okay?"
Sai and Yui both nodded. "Thanks, dad."
Xiao Lang nodded and patted their shoulders, before directing her gaze to Yuki, who was still cradling Kei. "Now, you, young lady," he started. Yuki and Rika's breath hitched, expecting the worst. "…are allowed to have boyfriends, but you have to introduce him to Yui and Sai first and they have to approve."
Yuki froze for a moment, before squealing and startling Kei, who yelped and then giggled. "I LOVE YOU, DADDY, THANKS SO MUCH!"
"Oh don't suck up to me, suck up to these two," Xiao Lang smirked widely, patting Sai and Yui's shoulders again.
Yuki blanched considerably.
Yui and Sai snickered before calming down. "No need to be alarmed, sis, as long as the guy's trustworthy, you won't have anything to worry about," smiled Yui. "Trust me."
Yuki sighed a breath of relief. "Thanks, Yui. Sai."
"Anytime," Sai shrugged.
"Okay, then, since that's over with, please get moving," Sakura ushered them. "Dress up, we have a schedule to follow, children! Yui, Sai, help Kei into his clothes, will you? It's on his bed, I put it there this morning."
Sai nodded and pulled Kei from Yuki. The kids started walking away from Xiao Lang and Sakura, chatting along the way out the dining room and into the grand hallway.
Sakura jumped when Xiao Lang suddenly wrapped his arms around her from behind, planting a soft kiss below her ear. She shivered slightly, giggling.
"Xiao Lang…" she warningly said. Xiao Lang just smirked at her from behind and continued kissing down her neck, sucking and nipping at the skin lightly. Sakura moaned, involuntarily rolling her head back to give him more access. "Naughty boy," she laughed as he tickled her slightly when he kissed her at her nape.
"What we're doing is completely legal, Sakura," Xiao Lang stated as-a-matter-of-factly, dipping his head again to deliver the same treatment on the other side of her neck.
"But we're not reallysupposed to beinclined to do it in a public place like this, are we?"
"We own this place, Sakura."
"But there are other people here. Can't we at least get a room or something?"
Xiao Lang smirked. "I thought you didn't want it."
Xiao Lang spun her around and crashed his lips on hers, working magic with his own. He gently licked her upper lip, before sucking on her bottom lip tantalizingly slow. He wrapped his right left arm around her small, petite waist, pulling her ever closer to him. As his tongue engaged in a sweet tango with hers, he slid his right hand into her hair, massaging her scalp and making her moan into the kiss.
He pulled on his right hand, sliding it through Sakura's now long hair. He loved playing with her hair and did so every time he got the chance. He loved the silky, magnificent feel, almost not believing that something could be so soft if it weren't for the fact that he was touching and seeing it for himself.
He gently pulled away from her lips, smirking. "Liked that, didn't you?"
"When did I ever not?" Sakura breathily sighed. She relaxed against his arms and laid her head against the crook of his neck, wanting to stay in their warm embrace. Xiao Lang cradled her against him.
It was a miracle, actually.
An unprecedented turn of events that had led to their meeting.
It was almost the end back then.
But nevertheless, they had managed.
They made it through, and now, they were here, cherishing a family life. Living with each other.
Something they could not have dreamed about back when they were innocent sixteen-year-olds.
That time seemed so long ago to both of them, and yet it seemed just like yesterday. They could remember every event. It was… extraordinary. It was a once in a lifetime experience, a story among the best.
"Mom, Dad?" called a masculine voice from the hallway. "You can stop cuddling now. We have a schedule to follow."
Xiao Lang and Sakura both chuckled.
"Coming, Yui-kun," Xiao Lang replied. He turned to Sakura and gave her a peck on the lips. "Ready?"
Sakura smiled and nodded. "Ready. Let's go, Mister High and Mighty!"
They walked hand in hand, meeting their children in the hallway.
"Who farted?" asked Rika, swatting the air in front of her.
Kai and Rei snickered from behind.
"Kai, Rei, manners!" Sai frowned, plugging his nose. "Damn."
Yui shook his head and slung an arm around Sai, pulling him ahead. "C'mon, let's go."
The whole family walked out into the bright sunlight, a bright new morning, facing a new tomorrow.
As they say…
…all's well that ends well.
c":D I think I'm having fun with Yui and Sai, but I don't have time to make a sidestory. Too bad.
Again, sorry for the delay, and thank you all for your appreciation and cooperation!