A WINTER'S TALE
A fiction by moondocc
The Re-written Version of A Winter's Tale
His words crossed his mind a million times, yet he could not get them out of his head. The horror on her face, her whitened, blanched face when he spat those hateful things to her could not be eradicated; her whitened, blanched face could not be effaced, or erased, or forgotten. He did not understand why he had said those spiteful things to her. Perhaps he was drunk. Perhaps he lost a little bit of control. He didn't know why. Why. Why. Why. Why did he say such spiteful things to her just to... spite her? She didn't do anything horrifyingly wrong…did she?
Oh yes. The lying. The lying that kept him from dating Tanako Hiroma. The lying that prevented him to dating Miyazaki Aoi. Yes. All the bullshit lying and the fake laughs and the disgusting façade that she awarded him daily was what she did wrong. Lying to the media. Lying and telling them that Sakura Kinomoto and Syaoran Li were in fact, dating, and that while he was confounded to her, she was allowed to flirt and sleep around as much as she wants.
Well, fuck that. Fuck it all. He wanted it all to be over. No, he's sure that he can get her hurt face out of his goddamn brain and fry it somewhere else. She's nothing to him. Nothing.
Like he said. He couldn't stand this anymore. He couldn't pretend to do something that he doesn't want to do. He couldn't pretend to like her when he doesn't give a damn about her. He couldn't pretend to kiss her when he doesn't want to kiss her. He couldn't pretend to hold her like he's in love with her when he's repulsed by her. He couldn't pretend to talk to her when he wants just to walk away from her.
Or maybe is it…
He couldn't pretend to like her…when he's in love with her?
He couldn't pretend to kiss her…when he wants to kill himself for feeling that way?
He couldn't pretend to hold her like he's in love with her…when he wants to give up every goddamn thing he has in this world just to be with her…because he's in love with her?
He couldn't pretend to talk to her…when he wants bestow her soft kisses… and whisper to her…that everything is going to be okay?
No. No. NO. It's not. No, he's pretty sure it's not like that.
He scoffed at his stupidity for even thinking that that was the reason why he intentionally hurt her so badly. For how could it be? How stupid can he be? How stupid can he be to fall in love with such a precocious girl that doesn't even know how to treasure a man that loves her?
Nah. He's not that stupid. He's sure of it.
The ice rink in the middle of nowhere seemed small but purposeful; family after family laughed on it, held each other's hands, skated across the icy lake with happy hearts. The young actress watched the cheerful people with an indescribable envy and a secret wish that somehow she could instill her spirit into one of these bodies, living their lives through vicissitude.
Sakura Kinomoto skirted the edges of the frozen lake, her gloved hands in her pocket, her face red from the cold. She had a heavy pink coat on and a woven hat. She had excused herself from her friends who were all staying at the log cabin just a mile up the flat, rolling hill that was now covered with snow. She needed some time to think. She hadn't had a chance to think in so long.
Upon the discovery of a bench by the exciting atmosphere, she sat down. She observed snowflakes, falling on her head and body one by one, each a tiny little miracle. Often she wondered about Nature. Snowflakes are the most wonderful things. Their white bodies grace the earth with a bittersweet love-hate kind of warm-cold. They create the most beautiful memories in the world...after all, memories are all humans have. Sakura sighed. She truly loved winter.
And what bothered her most (she couldn't concentrate enough to take in the beauty surrounding her) was that it almost annoyed her that that stupid potato didn't try to ruin her day. It was as if she missed his air, his haughty arrogance toward her unfaltering indignity.
Who the hell does he think he is, anyway, criticizing her like that? Pointing out that she's a cheap shot, when he couldn't even get a girl to lay? The more she thought about it, the angrier she became.
"Hey Poodle, enjoying the scenery?" A voice popped behind her back.
Sakura winced and turned around, fooling a happy face. "Daisuke! How nice to see you!" She knew he wasn't exactly the person she had wanted to see at the moment, but companionship was appreciated.
"Haha, yes. I was just looking out the window and I saw you! And I thought to myself, why is such a pretty girl like Sakura Kinomoto walking alone on the edge of a skating rink? So of course, I hope you don't mind if I join you?" Daisuke asked politely.
"No, of course not," Sakura mumbled.
Daisuke smiled. After a brief comfortable silence, he spoke again. "So, you and Syaoran are still at it, huh?"
"I expect he'll apologize soon," Daisuke smiled kindly.
Sakura scoffed. "Yeah right," she said angrily. "He's the kind that will never give up his blasted, ginormous ego."
Daisuke laughed. His laughter was lucid and clear.
"Although it's true, I kind of thought you guys were having a couple's fight," Daisuke said casually, peering over at Sakura.
"Couple's fight? Oh please. Syaoran can't land a woman if God lent him His Hand," Sakura smirked, knowing that this wasn't the case. Syaoran Li could easily land a woman, come on, he flicks most of them off like flies on a perfectly good piece of pumpkin pie. But insulting him is quite fun, Sakura decided.
"Really? I have my doubts." Daisuke continued. "But, as I was saying, the scenery sure is amazing, huh?"
Sakura paused in her thoughts and looked around, taking in the fresh air of Harbin. The graceful snow dancing across the soft wind and the bare wind standing melancholy against the white snow was more beautiful than she had noticed. "Yes, yes, I suppose."
Daisuke circled his head slowly around them. "I'm reminded of a pick-up line. D'you want to hear it?"
"Sure," Sakura smiled. She hasn't been able to smile heartily in so long.
"It goes like this: If there was a snowflake for every time I've thought of you, the world would be full of white." Daisuke stopped for a dramatic effect and looked Sakura squarely in the eye. For a moment she thought she might blush furiously. Then, out of nowhere, Daisuke began laughing. Feeling foolish, Sakura joined him too.
"I suppose it is rather ironic," she said helpfully. "Yes, yes, it is," Daisuke agreed, "It's full of white right now," God, why had she never noticed how handsome Daisuke is? His orange-brown hair and his ocean-green eyes and his fair snowy skin certainly was not the creation of man, it was as if God had painted Daisuke himself.
"Want to hear another one?" Daisuke turned around, resuming the silence he gave her. Sakura quickly turned her head.
"Y-Yes," she smiled shyly.
"Get ready for this one," he spoke with a whisper. "Sakura, look at me first." He lifted her chin upwards so she could look him directly in the eye. "Look at me, please," he said calmly, as Sakura reluctantly forced her emerald eyes to focus on him.
"There are about a million pick-up lines in the world I could use on you right now," Daisuke smiled; Sakura could feel his ocean-emerald eyes breathing into her; "but I don't want to use any of them. You know why?" He paused, looking expectantly at Sakura. She shook her head innocently.
"Because… I don't want you to fall in love with my pick-up lines; I just want you to fall in love with the me without all that sugared-glaze. Just fall in love with me."
Sakura froze for a moment. And then, she broke into a fit of giggles. "You're good, Daisuke, did I tell you that?"
Daisuke stared at her for a while before bursting into giggles with her. "It's only a pick-up line, Sakura. I'll get Syaoran to say it to you next time." He smiled again. "Shall we trek on?"
"Definitely," Sakura threw her tongue at him, secretly wishing that she would someday hear those same words from Syaoran's lips.
"Mr. Li, you look troubled," Tomoyo said worriedly as she placed a cup of coffee on the coffee table where Syaoran's feet rested.
"Well, I'm not," he said gruffly while flipping a page of Millionaire! How You Can Become One. Tomoyo sat down on the couch across from him. "Look, Mr. Li, I'm worried about you. Ever since your fight with Sakura, you've been having that look on your face."
"Look? What look?" Syaoran spat angrily, though he knew exactly what look Tomoyo was talking about.
"Your...angry look. You get absolutely frantic over the tiniest things!" Tomoyo pointed out.
Syaoran put his book down on his lap and reached out for the coffee. "What? When?"
Tomoyo hesitated before blurting out, "Just yesterday, you threw a tantrum because you lost a glove, and Eriol pointed out that you were wearing it."
"Tiny mishap, won't happen again," Syaoran turned the page of his guide book mindlessly.
"What about this morning when you complained about the pancakes being salty before me pointing out that you were eating salt?"
Syaoran rolled his eyes. "That, could happen to anyone," he pointed out squarely.
Tomoyo sighed. "Mr. Li, Syaoran, apologize to Sakura. Please? You haven't been yourself ever since."
"Oh look, dear me, there's the door!" Tomoyo turned around expectantly. "Ohhh!!!" Tomoyo screamed happily as the door opened, "Sakura! Daisuke!! How was the ice rink?"
"I taught Sakura how to skate!" Daisuke smiled.
"Sakura! I'm suprised, I thought you knew--"
"No I didn't," Sakura cut in, her eyes eyeing Tomoyo desperately, "I didn't know how to skate. And I saw those happy couples skating, and I said to Daisuke, why not?"
Syaoran's eyebrows narrowed in the background.
"Yeah, and she fell so many times!" Daisuke laughed. "You're so clumsy, Sakura," he poked Sakura's head playfully.
"Oh yes," Tomoyo smiled, "Sakura is a real klutz."
"Klutz? Klutz? That girl can't walk straight if she had good shoes on! It's as if she's got two left feet!" The voice from the back cut in.
Sakura suddenly became aware of a certain brat's presence. "Li? Li is here?" She whispered quickly to Tomoyo. Syaoran suddenly realized he shouldn't have talked, and put his two hands on his lips shamefully. "Sakura, he lives with us, remember?" Tomoyo whispered quickly back.
"Oh, oh that's right. Bratface lives with us." Sakura murmured in defeat.
"I don't think Sakura's a klutz," Daisuke cut in cheerfully, "in fact, she got pretty good at ice-skating in the end, after I held her hand and couple-skated a few times."
Syaoran's heart tightened. Held hands? Couple skated? What kind of R-rated activity was this? They might as well have sex right in front of my freakin' face!
Sakura laughed nervously. "Let's go sit in the back, shall we?" She said as she led Daisuke to another room, leaving Syaoran alone, deep in his thoughts.
What is she doing with Daisuke anyway? That slut, Syaoran thought, and then involuntarily slapped himself for awarding her such a demeaning title. What is this...that he feels inside... this strange new feeling...could it be...jealousy?
Syaoran stood up from his position on the couch and edged toward the room that Sakura and Daisuke were now lodged in. He leaned against the wall, ear pressed to it, hoping to glean any information regarding their escapade at the ice rink.
"Sakura, thank you for today. It was really rather great," Daisuke said appreciatively. Sakura laughed and waved her hand. "No problem, Daisuke. Any time. I didn't know that spending time with you would be so fun!" she complimented; Daisuke blushed.
"Well, you looked so sad, I just had to do something to cheer you up!" said Daisuke. Syaoran put his hand on his mouth, suggesting a gagging noise. These two are so...gross! They might as well lick each other's face while muttering Thank-you's!
"Yes, something has been bothering me." Sakura admitted.
"What is it?" Daisuke asked, concerned. Sakura shifted in her seat. "It's something that Syaoran said..."
Daisuke rubbed Sakura's arm with his gentle hand. "Don't pay attention to what Syaoran said. It's what you think is important."
"Yes..." Sakura hesitated. She has never opened up to anyone except Tomoyo before. Could she trust this man that she has only gotten to know well today? "I feel that...there is a certain truth behind his words…"
Syaoran's jaws dropped. He leaned closer to the door frame, hoping to catch more.
"He said that I was cheap and that I have innocent sleepovers and that I don't know what love is." Sakura admitted sadly, "On a certain degree, I think he's right."
Daisuke remained silent for a moment. "Well," he said shortly, "you're only twenty-one. You've practically got your whole life ahead of you. You can still change your ways. Still put the effort in to love someone completely, with all your heart." He smiled. "I know I sound completely cheesy but that's what you gotta do, sometimes. Change is a good thing, although sometimes it is hard to do."
Sakura nodded. "I know, but it's just that...I've been looking at myself lately, and if I had to change something about myself, I would change..." Sakura gulped, "…everything."
"What?" Daisuke asked, surprised.
"I have so many flaws..." Sakura lowered her head in shame. "I hate the way I act around men. I'm always like a fan girl, not like a mature adult that I am physically."
"Well, you're not a fan girl with me," Daisuke laughed.
Sakura stopped and looked at Daisuke. "Well, you're different," she waved her hand away and lowered her head again. "You're not like all the men I've met in my life."
Daisuke gazed at her, waiting for an explanation.
"For starters, you're actually very nice. I mean, you are good-looking, but all the good-looking men are such stuck-ups and jerks."
Daisuke laughed. "Well, maybe I am a stuck-up and a jerk. I just don't act like that around you."
Sakura studied his emerald eyes closely. "Nah," she said after a while, "you're nice to every one. You're perfect. There's nothing wrong with you, unlike some people in this house."
"You mean Syaoran?"
Syaoran raised his head in alarm. Sakura thinks he's...a jerk and a stuck-up? That's harsh, but expected. Syaoran shrugged and peered into the room again.
"He's not all that bad, I guess," Sakura admitted. "Sometimes he gets very caring and sensitive and things, but he just won't admit that there is a soft side to him. A good side. It's like he refuses to accept the angel in him, but keeps cruising with the devil."
Daisuke thought for a moment before speaking, "Sometimes."
"Whatever. Syaoran will burn in hell for the rest of eternity. That man is helpless." Sakura said determinedly and stood up from the couch. Syaoran took this opportunity to escape before the hostess discovers that she had been eavesdropped upon. "I think I'll go to bed," she said kindly to Daisuke. "Good night, Daisuke, and thanks again for today."
"Any time," Daisuke replied. "Wanna go out tomorrow before the photo shoot?"
"It's a promise," Sakura smiled. Then she thought to herself quietly, is there such a thing as perfection?
"Kinomoto?" the door creaked. Syaoran walked in. Sakura lay on her bed, hugging a stuffed animal that resembled a bear. His name is Kero, Syaoran learned. He is Sakura's very best friend, even a better friend than Tomoyo, sometimes.
Syaoran crossed the room. His feet stopped at the bedpost. His eyes cast a glance at the peaceful woman whose eyes were shut tightly. He sighed.
He pulled a chair and sat down. After a moment he got up again, and pulled Sakura's covers up to her shoulders because she had kicked it off. He smiled. "You're such a klutz, Kinomoto."
He received no answer. "I guess you really are asleep, aren't you?"
"I know you're awake, Kinomoto," he said pointedly. "But I guess it doesn't matter. What I say here today will never be repeated anyway. I'll never admit what happened tonight, ok, kiddo?"
"Anyway, I'm sorry I called you a cheap shot, kid. I didn't mean it, really I didn't. It's just that sometimes I get so frustrated with you that I blab everything out all at once, without considering anybody's feelings. That's me, I know," Syaoran chuckled, "I am a real fool."
"I didn't really sell all your furniture and clothes for a mere thirteen dollars, you know? I already had my people put your belongings in your closet. I think you won't find anything missing. They should have done it today while you were out with Daisuke."
Sakura flipped onto the other side. She opened her eyes, listening intently to Syaoran's words.
"Anyway, you're not a cheap shot, not ever. I actually don't know your regular activities," Syaoran admitted. "But I guess I didn't come here to say that."
"Sakura, I came to say…gah. I can't do this," Syaoran grunted and pulled his hair, "I don't know how to say this without you jumping up and throwing up on me or calling me a big fat liar."
Sakura wanted to chuckle.
"Lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking. And honestly, I've kind of found myself…a bit attached to you, you know? Not that we have known each other personally for that long, but sometimes I just feel like… I don't know how to explain it. Like…I need you, I guess. I was kind of mad to see Daisuke with you this evening. In fact I felt so bad I wanted to smack the shit out of that little fucker."
"But I didn't do that. I thought to myself, Syaoran, are you jealous? The truth is, I was. I really was. I wished that that was me standing next to you instead of that stupid Daisuke. But you'd never believe me if I said that. Which is probably good, because you know I'll never admit this to you ever. And I mean…ever."
"I don't know why I am even doing this. I don't know what I am feeling right now, about you. Something is different. Something…is very different."
Syaoran paused for a moment, recollecting himself. He is debating whether or not to keep talking. He knew Sakura is awake, listening to his every word. Should he confide in her?
"The reason, Kinomoto, that I am so messed up when it comes to relationships and sex is because of Asako."
"Asako broke my heart. After that I could never look at another woman again. She didn't give me any reason for our breakup. She merely smiled painfully at me and walked out of my life forever."
"There is a saying in traditional Korean culture. It goes something like this: you will meet everybody you meet in your life a hundred thousand years later. Because every a hundred thousand years, all the same souls that once walked the earth will reunite again and live their lives again. And…Asako, she is the woman that, if this Korean legacy came true, I'd still choose to meet in my next life. I'd still choose to meet her and fall in love with her and have my heart broken by her all over again. Asako…that's the kind of woman she is to me."
Sakura felt a sting in her heart.
"I don't know if I know that much about love, but Asako was definitely the epitome of my love life. I guess you can say she broke my heart and took away the pieces. After that I was never the same about serious relationships. Everything in my life just came down between Asako and then…everyone else."
"I'm sorry for calling you a cheap shot and all those ugly nicknames I gave you. I guess I was just bitter that you could date so many men at the same time and still find time to devote to each one your whole heart. I knew you never feel the way I did about Asako with them, and that was mainly why I was mad at you for being so easy, but you have to understand where I'm coming from."
"But today…when I saw you with Daisuke, I completely and utterly forgot about Asako. It was as if she never even existed. My jealousy overcame my feelings about Asako…and that's the moment when I realized that something changed between you and me. In a split second I understood what you meant to me. But I guess you'll never know, will you?" Syaoran looked at Sakura's back with a bitter smile.
He climbed onto the bed and flipped Sakura over. Her eyes stared at him with a soft glaze, orbs that mixed with tears. Syaoran leaned down and touched her lips gently with his. "Will you open my heart again, Kinomoto?"
"You don't have a heart," Sakura smiled coyly.
Syaoran smirked. "Why poopiehead, that's because I already gave my heart to you."
To be continued…
a/n: ARGH sorry for the late late super late update!!! I've been very busy with school and I kind of got lazy when summer came around… I kind of had trouble with writing this chapter because I had no idea what I was gonna do next… and I rewrote this chapter three times throughout the months to make the –best- chapter possible:) I hope you guys enjoyed it… well see you guys again soon! And have a greaatttt summer!
Please review!!! I know you guys got sick and tired of waiting for this chapter and probably forgot what happened… (like I did)… but pleaseeee tell you what you think! and sorry so much for updating so late... :(