Sakura Kinomoto glanced into the mirror

A/N: Well, another story by me. Yes, I'm also in the process of writing A NEW BEGINNING, but I needed to start something fresh and work on this for a while. Don't worry, I'll continue the other story. =) R+R, please! Pretty pretty please please? ^_^;; Oh, and BTW: The original characters for Card Captor Sakura, they're, well, eliminated. I mean, all except for Sakura and Syaoran, of course. So, why make this a fanfic for Card Captor Sakura? Aw, you'll see.

Strangers

Disclaimer: I don't own Card Captor Sakura…well, duh. =P

Sakura Kinomoto glanced into the mirror. She sighed at herself. She looked beautiful, but boring, in her opinion. Her long flowing gown shimmered in the sunlight. The glittering red gown had small sequins covering it from seam to seam. It was skin-tight and fit her curves perfectly. Her gown had no sleeves. Her shoulders caught the light, causing her to look like she was glowing. She wore white satin gloves that gently traveled up her arm, ending right above her elbow.

She cocked her head to the side. She picked up her dress with her right hand and twirled around a few times to give it the full effect, but it was still dull looking.

Why must I do this? Why me? Why me!? She thought to herself.

"Your highness?" A high-pitched voice asked. Sakura turned around to see a young girl standing at the door. Sakura's maid was about 15 years old, about 2 years younger than Sakura.

"Yes, Mayla?" Sakura replied.

"The people are waiting. Are you dressed?" Mayla asked.

"I'm not quite ready yet. I'll need about five more minutes." Sakura said, trying to put on her ruby necklace with her long fingernails.


"Yes, your highness." Mayla sighed and bowed.

Sakura smiled sadly at Mayla. She missed fitting the clasps together on the silver chain and dropped it to the floor.

"Let me get that for you, Princess." Mayla ran over to Sakura, fell to her knees, and searched with her hands for the necklace. She found it and walked behind Sakura. She reached over in front of her and pulled the clasp behind her neck and gently latched them together. She straightened Sakura's dress in the back and walked around to the front to adjust it.

"Thank you very much." Sakura said to Mayla, still looking at herself in the mirror.

"You're very welcome, your highness." Mayla replied. "Here. The final touch." Mayla walked over to a dresser and carefully picked up a sparkling silver crown. She walked over to Sakura and placed it on her head. Sakura smiled her thanks and adjusted the crown upon her head.

"You look wonderful, Princess Sakura." Mayla smiled at her.

"Thank you." She said without much enthusiasm. "You may go tell Mother and Father that I am ready." Sakura continued to adjust her gown.

Mayla bowed and walked out the door.

Sakura sighed and held up her gown with her right hand. She slowly walked out the door, dreading the night that lay before her.

^^^^^^

Syaoran Li walked steadily in the cool night air. He was dressed up in a tuxedo. It was a blackish-gray and very raggedy. He had to admit it was a rather ugly tuxedo. His family couldn't afford better. He sighed and shook his head.

He felt like ripping the scratchy monster into pieces, but he couldn't do that to his family. They were counting on him to go to the ball and win the princess's heart. If only they knew just how impossible that was. Nevertheless, they needed the money to buy medicine for his little sister. She had come down with a horrid fever that had already taken its toll for a few weeks, now. If they didn't get the money for medicine soon, she would die. He felt tears spring to his eyes, but he was quick to blink them back.

He was a strong, handsome young man. He had eyes that sometimes reflected anger, but most of the time a sense of understanding. His hair fell around his eyes, making his handsome figure even more noticeable.

He gave a low moan. He didn't want to go to the ball. It wasn't his kind of thing, with all the people, and the music, the princess… He groaned. A bunch of rich fools talking endlessly about how they made their first million. He still wasn't quite sure how his parents got up the money, not to mention the courage, to get him into the ball.

He sighed and continued walking. This is going to be a long night…

^^^^^^

The king and his wife stood. The crowd was watching intently. Young men from all over the world were watching, waiting to feast their eyes upon the young princess whose beauty not only enchanted the kingdom, but the whole world. For any man to take her hand in marriage, even only to touch her hand or even get a glimpse of her would make a man famous, which was pleasing to most.

"If I may have your attention," the king began. "I present to you…"

All the men waited anxiously. This was the moment they had been waiting for. The moment that some had traveled thousands of miles to experience…

"Princess Sakura."

Everyone gasped, including the king and queen. Down the long stairs came a young beauty, with sparkling emeralds for eyes, and a radiant smile upon her face.

It caught the attention of Mayla, her loyal servant, and probably best friend, that she was kindly faking her smile. Mayla was the only one who knew the princess's deepest secret. The secret she would not dare tell her parents.

She didn't want to be queen. The princess did not wish to be married.

At least not to one of those blind fools who didn't understand the meaning of love. Who didn't care about what was on the inside. If only everyone knew how much she wanted to run away. Find someone who would really care about her, and not be attracted to her 'radiant beauty' as it was so well described.

But that was impossible.

Her stomach started to twist and turn as wealthy men gathered at the bottom of the stairs to greet her as she made her way to the end of the stairwell.

"Good evening, Princess." One man smiled at her.

"You look divine, your highness." Another stated.

"Your beauty is that of a goddess." Another said as he got down onto one knee, took her hand and planted a small kiss on her glove.

Sakura felt nauseous. She had to do everything in her power to keep herself from gagging.

All she could do was hope and pray that the night would go by fast.


^^^^^^^

Syaoran entered the palace gates after the guards checked the list carefully, making sure he was invited. He was late, but he didn't care. He didn't want to go inside and meet the princess. He didn't want to dance with her. He didn't want to marry her. She most definitely wouldn't want to marry him, but that's not the point. He didn't want any of it. He just wanted to help his little sister and go home. He sighed and sat down on the ledge of the fountain. He couldn't believe he was actually doing this.

He also couldn't believe how much he didn't want to do this.

He put his feet up on the ledge and gently placed his fingers in the shimmering water. The moon reflected upon the water, making him feel the urge to jump in and try to catch the it. He chuckled slightly to himself at the thought.

What nonsense. He thought to himself. Maybe I can just stay out here tonight, until the ball is over…it's not like I was going to win her heart, anyway…

He yawned and lay down on the ledge (Which was rather thick, by the way. ~_^).

^^^^^^^

Sakura felt claustrophobic. All these men were surrounding her, wanting to dance with her. It had been this way ever since she had walked down those stairs, but she couldn't take it any longer. She pulled out of the mob of young men surrounding her, and ran up to the king and queen.

"Please, Mother, Father, I need to get out a bit. I need some fresh air. May I go outside for a while?" She looked quietly at the floor. She didn't want them to see the obvious displease in her eyes. Not for them, but for all the rich snobs whom would probably all go jump of a cliff to get her hand in marriage.

Her parents glanced at each other nervously. They were utterly confused by her request, but accepted.

The princess gave a small smile of thanks, bowed her head, and gracefully walked up the stairs and out the large doors.

^^^^^^^

Syaoran gazed up at the night sky. The stars sparkled like diamonds. He sighed and ran his fingers back and forth in the water.

Why is a princess getting a ball? I thought princes were the ones who chose the princesses…That's just strange…He thought to himself. Suddenly he heard footsteps. Shoot! He jumped of the ledge and crouched down low, not looking to see who was coming toward him.

^^^^^^

Sakura skipped outside. She was having trouble skipping in her high heels and fumbled a few times. She reached down and carefully took both of her shoes off. She set them down on the edge of the fountain, and continued her stroll through the courtyard. She slowed down and rubbed her shoulder gently with her hand. She gasped when she thought she heard a voice in the distance.

"Hello?" She scanned the area with her eyes, cautiously. "Is someone there?"

^^^^^^

Syaoran bumped his head on the side of the ledge of the fountain. (A/N: Does that make sense? 0.0'')

"Ow!" He covered his mouth, realizing he had most likely revealed his position. He heard someone call out. He froze in place.

^^^^^^

Sakura growled. "COME OUT AND SHOW YOURSELF, THIEF!"

Syaoran put a hand on the fountain ledge and stood up. "I am no thief."

Sakura turned around and gasped. "Who…who are you?"

"I am sorry to have startled you, miss." Syaoran took a small apologetic bow.

Sakura smiled at his apology. He doesn't realize I'm the princess, does he? She asked herself. She walked closer to where he was standing. "What are doing out here? Shouldn't you be inside, with everyone else?"

Syaoran sighed and sat down on the ledge. "I…don't want to go in there."

Sakura walked over to where he was sitting and sat down beside him. "May I ask why?"

Syaoran shrugged his shoulders and looked down at the paved ground. "Let's just say, that kind of thing is not my kind of thing." He looked over to her, her eyes twinkling slightly in confusion. He chuckled. "Understand?"

"Not…really." She lightly kicked the side of the ledge and shook her head. "…But I think I know what you mean."

"Then…you understand?"

"No, I just know what you mean." She looked over at HIS confused look and giggled. "I just don't know how a handsome young man like you would think he wouldn't have a shot with the princess."

Syaoran was taken aback by this and looked at her, startled. "How…how did you know…?"

Sakura smiled up at him. "I know these things."

Syaoran gave a slight grin. "So what about you? Why aren't you in there? You don't think you have a shot with the princess either?" Syaoran joked.

She giggled. Soon, a sudden sense of sadness soon washed over face. "It's so…dull…in there."

"Really? I haven't been inside, yet. I'm not planning on going inside, either." He said, triumphantly.

Sakura looked a bit hurt. "You're not going to come in…Not even for a little while?"

Syaoran shook his head. "I'm not going in."

The princess studied him carefully. A blush crept up her neck into her cheeks.

Syaoran noticed her staring at him and turned to her. "Is something wrong?"

Sakura shook her head. "No!" She shouted. "I mean…no, I'm fine."

Syaoran raised an eyebrow. "You're not like other girls I've met before."

She looked up at him. "Oh…I'm sorry."

"Sorry? That's a good thing. I didn't like the other girls I've met before." He crimsoned and looked away from her.

"You like…me?" She asked, her blush returning.

"Yeah. You're…sweet. And pretty. You're boyfriend is a very lucky guy."

She giggled. "What boyfriend?"

"No way…Don't tell me you don't have a boyfriend!" He turned to face her.

"You want me to lie?"

He shook his head. "I don't believe it!" He shook his head. "I can't believe how dense some men are."

Sakura smiled at him. She agreed completely. She was surprised at his words. He wasn't like men she had met before either, which was saying a lot, because she had met a LOT of men.

"Well, excuse me, but I must be going back now." She stood up.

Syaoran stood up and turned to face her. "Yes, and I should probably be getting back home."

Sakura smiled. "Home?"

"Yes, just beyond this forest."

"Oh, I'm guessing it's wonderful back where you live." She smiled up at him.

"I wouldn't say that, exactly." His eyes clouded over with sadness, and Sakura sensed it.

"You all right?" She asked, concerned.

Syaoran snapped out of it and nodded. "I'm fine."

"Perhaps we will meet again." Sakura stated, feeling heat rising up her neck.

He bowed and stepped back to let her in front of him. "I will be forever waiting for that day to come."

Sakura walked towards the palace doors as Syaoran walked in the other direction. She suddenly stopped and turned around.

"Tell me your name." She asked him.

He turned around. "I beg your pardon?"

"Please, tell me your name." She repeated.

"Syaoran Li."

Sakura smiled. "Syaoran. It suits you perfectly. May I call you by that name?"

He nodded, his face showed a slight hint of a blush. "And yours?"

Sakura cocked her head. "My what?"

"Your name. What is it?"

"Sakura Ki…" She almost gave her last name to him, but decided against it, as it would give away her identity as a member of the royal family. She wasn't ready to reveal this just yet. "Sakura Kimonopo." She mentally slapped herself. Great job hiding your true identity, Sakura…pick a last name that sounds almost identical to your true name…

"Sakura?" The name was familiar, but he pushed it aside as just a false feeling. He gulped. "M…may I call you by that name?"

Her eyes glittering, she smiled. "Of course." She waved good bye, picked up her dress, and ran out of sight.

Syaoran watched until she was gone. He shook his head. Why couldn't she be the princess? I wouldn't mind dancing with her…

^^^^^^^

Well? So?

Yes, I know.

*whacks herself*

I should finish my other story before starting a new one…

So? Sue me.

=P

Just kidding.

Just tell me what ya think.

chiparoo101@yahoo.com

Thanks for reading!

^_^;;

~Chiparoo