Disclaimer: CCS will never be owned by me unless I somehow figure out how to rule the world.
Author's Note: Hey, everyone! Oh my, that was a fast update. You know, this chapter's over 8000 words? I hope you'll enjoy it. I spent a lot of time writing it. Originally, I was going to post this in parts, but since I'm feeling generous today since it's my birthday, I'm posting it all. Guys! I'm fifteen! By the way, I didn't have time to edit this. I just finished writing it and I wanted to post it as soon as possible, so sorry if there are any errors.
To the reviewers: Well, good to know most of you liked the last omake. I'm very grateful to all of you for giving me your support. This one's DEFINITELY for you. I would never have finished without you guys! Also, I'm NEVER going to write a story this long again. Oh, that really hurt, finishing this. WOW, though! 400 reviews? THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE!
I feel I should give a special thank you to SnowCharms, the one reader and reviewer that has stuck with me since chapter one and reviewed for every chapter since. Thank you for always supporting me! Everyone else too!
Chapter 30 – Your Gaze
Before it might've been a simple irritation, something he hadn't need to pay attention to very much at all. All he had to do was scratch the itch and it would go away, but now, it had evolved. He couldn't ignore it any longer, because it had become a rash. It was a red-eyed and itchy, and it refused to leave unless he did something about it.
Sakaki, the indestructible rash!
Now that's rich.
"Uh, you're going to give me that back, right?" Syaoran inquired hopefully from his chair, reaching out feebly at his boss.
"Maybe later," the red-eyed female answered with the wave of a hand, "but if you want it now, you'll have to come and get it."
Syaoran stared helplessly at Sakaki—her face, not her…chest—and swallowed. "Won't you or your boyfriend murder me?"
"Of course—at least somewhat—and I'll also press charges for sexual harassment."
"That's low, Sakaki-sama. What you're doing now is harassment."
"Anything for the greater good,"
"And why is that?"
The woman snorted. "Believe it or not, I actually care for my worker," she informed him, fiddling with her nails.
"Oh," Syaoran snickered bitterly, "so this is care?"
"I guess you wouldn't understand," the raven-haired beauty drawled as she leaned against the wall beside him. "Anyway, that's not what I'm here to talk about. Enough of the idle chat! You are going to give me answers, or you're never getting out of that chair again."
"Are you threatening me?" he asked angrily. Syaoran involuntarily jerked at the woman in rage, but the cuffs pulled him back. He hissed at the pain when he felt the metal dig into his skin.
Raisin an eyebrow at his actions, she replied, "Yes, since it's the only way you'll talk."
"Tch, you're evil."
"Hmph, very perceptive,"
"You're not being angered as easily. Learning from your oh-so-hot boy toy?"
"Do you want a brand-new broken nose?"
Sakaki sighed and ran a hand through her ponytail. "Alright then, so spit it out. What's wrong with you?"
"How many times must I repeat myself?" Syaoran groaned, slamming his forehead on his desk. "There is nothing wrong or bother me, okay?"
"Oh, that is it!" The intimidating woman hit his desk with both hands, causing Syaoran to lift his head in surprise.
Unfortunately for him, his boss looked excessively scary at that moment. Syaoran was almost certain that he'd nearly wet his pants when he'd looked at her.
She's about to blow a gasket!
"SHUT UP! I've freaking had it with your stubborn smart-ass attitude!" she stormed furiously. "Here I am doing everything I can to try and help you with whatever God forsaken situation you're in, and you're being so impossible that all my effort's going to waste! Maybe you just think that I'm the type of person who will just threaten you for personal interest, but did you ever consider that I actually REALLY CARE? Jeez! You're acting like Sakura found a new boyfriend or something!"
Amidst a few guilty (and fearful) feelings he'd obtained from Sakaki's speech, the huge shock came pouncing. A sudden movement he hadn't meant to take came upon him, and once again Syaoran found himself nursing a sore wrist. "Ow…"
The boss blinked in surprise. "What, so you mean that was it?"
He bit his lip. Guilty or not, he wasn't about to admit it.
"Oh, um, well then… Just forget about that whole speech!" laughed Sakaki sheepishly, making Syaoran want to smash his face against the table again. "So, who's her boyfriend?"
"I don't know… Some guy from Kawasaki," the brown-haired male conceded stubbornly. Of course he knew the name, but…
Finally, the strong woman nodded in satisfaction. "Okay then! I'm going to get to the bottom of this! I'll figure out their relationship!"' she promised before quickly leaving the room.
He sighed at her antics. Thankfully, none of his furniture was broken.
Time to get back to moping…
Another sigh escaped from his mouth as he stood up and was promptly tugged back down. Damn it! He was still handcuffed!
"Sakaki-sama? Hello? Sakaki-sama! Oh my God, SOMEONE HELP ME!"
It was strange having someone bowing down to you, as if they were begging forgiveness from a God. It was even stranger to know that the person, whom was currently bowing to you, had despised you for at least half a year.
"Meilin…" Sakura began, though she had no words following.
"I'm sorry!" cried the girl on the floor, the carpet slightly muffling her sobbing words. "I don't know what else to say! You were right and I was wrong! I… I… I… He…"
The brunette stared at the miserable figure worriedly. She didn't notice the two friends behind her exchange glances of concern. Sakura knelt down next to Meilin, putting a hand on her shoulder. She knew exactly how it felt like.
"You caught him in the act, didn't you?" she asked. The question was entirely rhetorical. She already knew the answer.
Suddenly, Meilin threw her arms around her, sobbing uncontrollably and mumbling words incoherently.
"The whole thing was an act! It was all for my money!" the Chinese female wailed loudly. "I should have believed you, but I didn't! I believe him! I don't know what I was thinking! I was just so… jealous of you! Everything! I just…I was so angry at everything!"
She gently comforted her old friend. "It was my fault. I made a promise I couldn't keep."
"Over a stupid, silly crush! I don't even understand it anymore. I… I don't even understand my own logic anymore…"
Sakura nodded, having gone through the exact same experience in her life—except what she'd seen Lei do was probably worse. It had scarred her for life. "Let's take her back to my place," she suggested, looking to Keiko and Tomoyo. "She shouldn't be alone right now."
They nodded in agreement and pulled the girl to her feet.
Sayuri doubled-over in shock, almost choking on the ice cream she'd had in her mouth. She coughed wildly as she felt a soft hand on her back, rubbing it slowly.
I hate when things go down the wrong tube!
Cough… "T-thanks…" Cough… "Haku…" Cough…
"I said YOU!"
"Ack! What do you want? For me to cough myself to death?" she asked the screaming intruder, pouting as she whirled at her assaulter.
Of course, it was probably not the best idea.
"Ah—hah! Sakaki-sama! I'm sorry! I didn't know it was you!" Sayuri shrieked fearfully, watching, frozen, as the scary boss raced towards them—surprisingly, in heels. She was going to tackle them! She was going to kill them!
A gentle breeze blew passed Sayuri as she stood there stupidly with wide eyes. "YOU!" shouted the boss again. The brunette turned to look at the woman that had zoomed by her and saw that Sakaki had pinned her latest victim against the wall by the shoulders.
"Haku!" she screamed out in terror.
"W-what?" Haku stuttered.
"YOU," Sakaki repeated for the billionth time, frightening the wits out of everyone around. "ARE YOU GOING OUT WITH KINOMOTO SAKURA?"
His feared blue eyes shone, full of fear. "N-no! O-of c-c-course not!"
"ARE YOU SURE?"
"Definitely," he squeaked in horror, though he was telling the truth.
"GOOD!" she replied fiercely before letting Haku free and speeding off in another direction.
"She is scary," Sayuri shuddered.
"I feel sorry for Kamiya-sama," the blond breathed, still shaking slightly.
She wasn't sure what else she could do besides stay by Meilin. Sakura certainly always had her friends around to help, but the main recovery she'd initiated by herself. She'd woken up one day and realized that there were better things to do in life than angst over Lei—trillions of things better than that! She couldn't do that for Meilin. She would have to figure it out by herself.
Said person was curled up on the sofa, fast asleep with closed, red eyes and a tear-streaked face. Sakura glanced at her from across the room. How long would her recuperation take? She wouldn't even be there to help!
"Sakura, we need to talk," Keiko informed her, briefly acknowledging the sleeping person before roughly tugging the brunette into the kitchen.
She squeaked at the force, but obeyed anyway. It was surprising to see that Tomoyo was already in there too. However, Keiko was the one doing the talking.
"We're leaving tomorrow," the blunette stated bluntly.
"I know," she shot back. Did they think she was that stupid?
"I know you know, but that's not the point,"
"Then what is?"
"You're out of time tomorrow," Tomoyo cut in smoothly, "so you have to figure out what you're going to do."
Sakura had no answer for that. She hated it when they were right.
"Okay, so if she's not with that brat, then who…" Sakaki mumbled to herself. She had to get to the bottom of this! A grunt escaped her as she lightly kicked the ground, slowly scaling the corridor.
There has to be an answer.
That was the only guy who'd come from Kawasaki besides Kamiya, but Syaoran had said "some guy." Perhaps he was still in Kawasaki. Her watch beeped, much to her dismay. It was time for a meeting that she couldn't skip, and she'd been dreading this for months. Her investigation would have to wait. Answers could be found by asking the person most involved directly, but for now it was time to focus on work.
Sakaki yawned, lifting her arms and stretching out her muscles. She began at her destination, putting a thoughtful finger on her chin. She couldn't help but think she was forgetting something.
"Holy damn, finally someone comes!" said person groaned in agony, still tugging at the handcuffs. "Eriol, get in here and help me!"
As predicted, the door clicked open and Eriol's head poked in. "Whoa, dude, what's up?"
Calm, he told himself. Stay calm. "Sakaki cuffed me to my drawer, and it's locked so I can't pull the whole thing out."
"She took it."
"What, were you two up to something kinky?" asked the best friend slyly.
He blanched in response. "What the hell! Nasty, man! Like I ever would!"
"Okay, okay, just checking."
"Whatever! Hurry up and find a way to get this thing off me!"
Eriol didn't waste time, dashing to the desk and pulling out a small wire from his pocket before sticking one end into the cuff's lock, fiddling with it.
"Eriol, is that…a bobby pin?"
His companion paid him no mind. "I think so, why?"
"Why the heck do you have one of those?"
The wire continued to dig within the lock though the user's face became flushed. "It somehow got stuck in my hair when Tomoyo visited my office the other day…"
"Okay, I don't need the details," Syaoran stated quickly.
He grimaced and lifted his hands to his face.
Hold on a minute…
A double-take and…
"You did it! Holy crap, you freaking got me out of those cuffs! I love you! I love you, dude, but I'm not going to hug you!" Syaoran shrilled in joy.
"Er…right…" the dumbfounded boy-who-was-loved replied, glancing at his friend in fear.
"I'm getting out of this death-trap!" the free man declared in determination. "Tell Sakaki-sama that I went home early!" Yes, he was not about to let her do that again. Never, ever.
"But I thought we could—"
"No time! We'll do that later! Bye!"
Not wasting another second, Syaoran shot out the door.
This is one hell of a long meeting.
Sakaki's legs felt like jelly from sitting so long. Why was such an important meeting so boring and stupid? Losses, profits, people who should be fired, and a billion breaks in the meantime, blah, blah, blah! That company big shot was the worst one. Even the boss was better! She pretty much hated this guy. At least she could talk back to him since only the big boss could fire her, but she still hadn't done that yet.
She barely listened as the man pushed the glasses up on his face. "We also thin that all romantic relationships in your agency should be forbidden. We believe—"
"Hold it!" the black-haired female interjected angrily. "I don't think so. Many of my employees are already involved that way. What exactly are you suggesting we do?" She couldn't allow this to happen! If it did, she'd never get Sakura back or get the happy couple together!
"You'll just have to—"
"Fire them? You should be fired for even suggesting that absurd idea!"
"Sakaki-san, I advise you to lower your voice before I—"
"What, call Yukino-sama? She like me more than she'll ever like you!"
"We have all discussed this rule, Sakaki-san,"
"Screw the rule, and get the hell out of my agency!"
"That is not—"
"Get out ore meet with my fist!"
The man gathered his things in one sweep and immediately left. Perfect, six hours of wasted time, half on six half-hour breaks for some foolish reason, and half listening to a rambling dumb ass. It was late now, and she was starving.
Might as well grab a bite to eat.
She'd wanted to head straight to Sakura's, but she was just so hungry. Her stomach would not stand for it to be ignored. Okay, food first, employee issues later. Food: top priority.
She sat on her bed in the dark, staring solemnly at the digital clock. Sleeping was entirely impossible. Sakura curled her knees up closer to her chest, now re-examining her light-pink pyjamas. Letting out another deep breath, she glanced at the clock again. It was nearing midnight as the numbers flashed 11:55. Syaoran, Syaoran, Syaoran.
Her head was throbbing. It was bad to think this much. How could someone fall in love the way she did? It made absolutely no sense! They hadn't gone on a date, out to lunch, anything that covered "falling in love." Heck, they'd practically never been alone in a room together! She knew that Syaoran had really liked her before, but she didn't know when her own feelings had begun. It wasn't the Christmas party. That had purely been physical pleasure, though she thought there might have been a few fuzzy feelings involved. It was attraction, but not anymore. Somewhere along the events, somewhere, it had happened without her even knowing. Frankly, it was quite annoying that she was thing so much. That was supposed to be over long ago.
Sakura jumped slightly when she heard a soft rap at the front door, sprawling her legs out on the mattress. Nobody else was up right now, and Meilin was still passed out from the drama along with her hysterical fit. Keiko, Sayuri, and Haku were all sleeping, and Rei was…God knew where. She was lucky, she decided, for a distraction.
Yes, a distraction.
The emerald-eyed woman stood up at the continuous knocking and opened the door.
Hmm, strange distraction.
"Sakaki-sama?" she yelped in surprise.
"Yeah," replied the boss dismissively, "and even though it's been nice weather lately, it's pretty cold at midnight,"
"Oh, um, would you like to come in?" Sakura asked, catching the hint.
"Hell, I'm glad you finally asked," answered the shivering woman. She stepped through the door and passed Sakura, examining her surroundings before whirling to Sakura's face.
She recoiled once the boss faced her, staring at her closely…literally. "Is there…something you need?" Sakura questioned nervously, edging back slowly.
"I do need to know if you're going out with someone. So, who is he?" demanded Sakaki, getting straight to the point.
"What boyfriend? I have no boyfriend!"
"Eh? You don't?" Sakaki blinked and backed off.
She shook her head for emphasis. Honestly, were rumours always spreading about her? Some truth might help a bit!
The raven-haired female blinked twice. Three times. "So why the heck aren't you with Syaoran?"
It was Sakura's turn to be surprised. "W-what do you mean?"
"He thinks you're going out with someone," she replied, rolling her eyes as she smacked her face with the palm of her hand. "You guys should be together by now! Holy crap, this is such a mess. Why did I even get myself involved?"
It felt like her heart was going to pound out of her chest from beating so hard with anticipation. "And why does he care?"
"Do I have to tell you? Jeez, you already know. You know better than I do."
Sakura knew. She wouldn't admit it to herself though. Her promise to Meilin though, it always haunted her and that's why she could allow it to happen. Sakura hadn't kept her promise and it was one of her biggest regrets in life.
Syaoran, Syaoran, Syaoran.
"Ah? Sakaki-sama?" she answered, finally paying attention again.
"You're leaving tomorrow. You understand that, right?" Sakaki asked seriously, now all frustration wiped from her face.
"Of course I know!" Sakura snapped angrily with a touch of irritation. This was the third time today! "I know, and I know it well, okay?"
As predicted, the woman snickered. "Looks like I'm not the only one who's on your case."
She glared, which she normally wouldn't do, but this visit was getting annoying.
"You have to consider your options," she lectured wisely, her piercing yet calm face back on. "I hope you realize that this is your last chance. You leave here tomorrow without telling him, you'll never get another chance. We gave you this chance, so don't waste it."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
Sakaki mumbled something that sounded like, "Stubborn fool." "He loves you, he thinks about you, he loses sleep over you, and he's damn useless without you around. I would've fired his ass nine times over in the last seven months while you were gone! Don't lose him! If you don't do it now, you'll never do it!"
"I broke a promise!" Sakura burst out, exhausted from everyone telling her what to do. She couldn't handle all this anymore! "I have to make it up somehow!"
"Breaking something means you fix it. It doesn't mean you isolate yourself from the person you're in love with. How the hell is torturing yourself and Syaoran going to make it any better?"
"Maybe it involved that person!" the Cherry Blossom retorted.
"Maybe it's time you think about yourself!" Sakaki shot back. "You're too kind to want to hurt another person, but whatever you choose will cause pain no matter what. It all comes down to what you want. Too bad that it's an ultimatum. Would you rather be with the guy you love or try to fix something that can't be repaired? I think the choice is obvious!"
"How do you know it can' t be fixed?" she asked hoarsely.
"I've got eyes and ears," the boss replied in a matter-of-factly voice. "Just think about it." She flew passed Sakura and out the door.
"Just think about it…"
She stood beside the door silently. That had been all she could think about, but she didn't want to think about it. She just wanted to sleep.
Sakaki could not even begin to describe the frustration she felt towards her employees. They just had to make everything so complicated. She wanted to scream or use her stress on beating up her boyfriend—the latter sounded so much better. Amidst her thoughts, she suddenly realized something very out of place. Something felt very uncomfortable…
Unlocking her car door and stepping in, the odd sensation's presence appeared again, except this time, she knew where it was. The red-eyed beauty reached into the top of her shirt and pulled out two keys. Her eyes widened, realizing what she'd forgotten.
His eyes opened again in restlessness. Apparently, sleeping wasn't something he was auspicious at. Syaoran swore he had bags under his eyes and cursed his insomnia. He was so freaking tired! Why couldn't he sleep?
She's leaving tomorrow…
Yeah, and there's nothing you can do to stop it.
It was exactly like those six months ago, except this time, he felt even more helpless. Last time he was allowed to plead, beg, or persuade all as much as he wanted, but now she had some. Sakura would have not intention of returned to Tokyo to stay with them.
Frankly, it felt like his heart was being kicked in the crotch ten times over, if it were to have one. He felt stupid, broken, useless—totally handicapped, and not just emotionally. Growling, Syaoran sat up indignantly and threw his pillow at the wall in annoyance, as if he were a child having a temper-tantrum.
"Screw it!" he groaned loudly as he rolled over and onto the floor, grunting when he hit it. The amber-eyed man lazily glanced at the digital clock that displayed the numbers 3:42. Damn it, was it that early already?
He flipped over onto the front side of his stomach and sprawled out within his fallen cover. Slowly, his eyes began to close…
It seemed like only minutes had passed when he awoke to the sound of someone yelling at his front door. He couldn't identify the person yet as the yelling was a bit muffled. Moaning in dismay, he pushed himself up and glanced at the clock. 3:56. It had only been a few minutes.
"HEY!" screamed the person again. "OPEN UP!"
Who in the friggin' world starts screaming at my door at four in the morning?
Cursing inwardly, Syaoran forced himself to his feet, wiping his extremely tired eyes with more agitation than anything. He stalked to the door in just his loose, grey sweatpants and then opened the door, fuming.
"What?" he demanded at the person the door.
He was a braver man early in the morning. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?"
Sakaki eyed him wearily, seemingly just as exhausted as him. "Wow, no wonder all those females throw themselves at you."
Syaoran shook his head in aggravation. "Look, I don't have time for this. I'm tired and I want to go to bed—not talk to the person who chained me to my desk for hours!"
"Sorry, jeez," she apologized as she scratched the back of her head nervously. "I forgot, and I had an important meeting. Hey, how'd you escape anyway?"
"Alright, alright! I'll get to the point!" the raven-haired woman quickly stated. "I would've come earlier, but I realized I left you locked, so I head back to the office and when I found you weren't there, I thought you might be at home. I was going to go there, but I fell asleep in my car before I turned it on, and that's why I'm here now!"
He glared at her relentlessly. "Are you done telling me your life story?"
"No, what I meant to say was that I went to see Sakura earlier," she explained, unfazed.
Syaoran flinched. Yeah, the one person he didn't want to think about.
"You know she's leaving tomorrow,"
"We've been over this. She's got a boyfriend."
Taking a deep breath, Sakaki smirked. "After extensive research, I've concluded that she doesn't."
"Yes, she does," he shot back, not wanting to be contradicted and completely certain of himself. "His name is Haku!"
"I thought you didn't know!" Sakaki hissed harshly, now trying to keep her voice down as to not wake his neighbours.
The brown-haired male heard her mutter something about wasted time. He still didn't understand why the woman was here, and really, he was grumpy, pissed, and thoroughly agitated. All she was doing was bringing feelings that he wanted to discard back to the surface. Thinking about it didn't help at all.
Suddenly, her eyes lit up dangerously. "Haku…you mean that guy with the blondish hair?"
"Yeah? What of it?" Syaoran asked cautiously, raising an eyebrow.
"I already asked him if he was going out with her," she explained proudly, making Syaoran wonder exactly what she was so proud of. "I swear, he nearly wet his pants when I was there. He couldn't have been lying."
Well, he's not the only one with wet pants.
"And he was with that happy, sugar girl, not Sakura."
"You're…sure?" he asked in uncertainty. Maybe his ears were lying to him.
"Yes! Get it through your unnaturally thick skull that Sakura had not boyfriend and freaking go after her!" Sakaki commanded urgently.
Syaoran didn't need to be told twice. He shut the door on his boss ignorantly and dashed through the house in search of something decent to wear.
About five minutes later, he was in his car getting ready to drive. Relief flooded though him faster than his own blood. Sakura had no boyfriend. Hallelujah! Seriously, hallelujah! Did she turn Haku don? Had it all been a mistake? Had he lost precious moments of teasing and flirting wither her? Had he made himself miserable? It was possible.
Sakura, Sakura, Sakura.
It was then that Syaoran once again became aware of his tiredness. The cause of his lack of sleep had just magically disappeared. He was feeling so happy, so relieved, so…tired and hopeful.
He pushed his keys into the ignition, blinking droopily to keep himself awake. He could feel his eyelids falling and his back slouching forward. Drowsily, his head slumped onto the steering wheel, narrowly missing the horn. Even sheer willpower couldn't keep him awake as sleep decided to step in at the worst possible time.
"Ready to go, Sakura? Sayuri asked cheerfully as she bounced about the sidewalk in front of the Tokyo Design Agency.
"Yeah," Sakura replied with a nod. Her thoughts were a complete contrast to her words. She was most definitely not ready to go, nor did she want to.
Syaoran, Syaoran, Syaoran.
Where was he anyway? The least he could do was come early to say goodbye to them. He was supposed to help, right? Okay, so maybe that was just the tiny portion of her mind that was selfish. Too bad. Sakura didn't even want to leave. She missed here. A week was not enough—not even close.
Besides, she needed sleep like crazy. She hadn't slept a wink last night, nor had she ever stopped thinking. She didn't want to leave. Sakura wanted to stay with everyone—with Tomoyo, Eriol, and…Syaoran. She'd thought leaving this time would be easier, but what she was feeling really contrasted with her theory. This was giving her an even harder time than she'd thought. This time, it would be so much harder.
Her feelings for Syaoran bubbled up within her. It was definitely going to be harder to leave.
Keiko turned to her with a piercing eye. "Sakura,"
The Cherry Blossom listened. Keiko had been oddly kind to her lately. She still couldn't believe the ice-queen had defended her. "Yes?"
"You're coming with us?" she asked, a very neutral tone in her voice.
"Y-yeah, of course," was Sakura's answer to the eerie question. She did work with them.
Keiko's eyes chilled her to the core, almost making her shudder visibly. It was scary, yet there was not a hint of malice or anger. She was simply looking at Sakura without emotion. It was passive even.
"You're so stupid," the blunette declared with her regular bored tone before she walked away from Sakura's side, leaving a fairly puzzled woman watching her back.
What was that supposed to mean?
At that moment, Kamiya exited the doors of the Tokyo agency as their ride pulled over at the curb.
"LIMO!" Sayuri shrieked in delight, grabbing onto Haku's hand and dragging him into the car eagerly.
"I presume everyone is here?" he asked with one breath. Her boss looked slightly dishevelled; his hair was messy, his shirt wrinkled, and his breaths short and ragged.
She did not want to know what his goodbye with Sakaki had been like.
"Rei hasn't come yet," Sakura pointed out, also recalling that the secretary had not come back to her house yesterday, or even when Meilin had left with a short "Thank you." All her bags were gone as well.
"Sakura!" Tomoyo called cheerfully, joining the group. "I'm glad I made it in time!"
She laughed quietly. Oh no. This was leaving all over again. "I wouldn't hold it against you if you didn't come."
Her friend frowned deeply. "I'm making this worse, aren't I?" she asked as she bit her lip. "I shouldn't have come at all."
"No! Tomoyo—I chose to leave half a year ago. I have to deal with the consequences, but I'm really grateful you came!" Sakura reasoned desperately. There was no way she was going to leave with her best friend feeling guilty.
"Sakura, you left because you were scared. You chose to leave because you couldn't deal with everything that happened! You chose to leave because of a stupid promise that totally clashed with your own feelings!" Tomoyo shouted suddenly. Her voice was loud and angry and her clenched fists were shaking uncontrollably. The grey-eyed designer was seething in fury, and Sakura didn't understand why.
"To-Tomoyo…?" she whispered nervously. The Cherry Blossom stared at her worriedly. Kamiya and Keiko had backed away at the distasteful yelling while Sayuri and Haku's heads were sticking out of the window in curiosity.
Her companion took a deep breath and shook her head. "I… I'm sorry," she apologized with a sigh. "It was just hard for me then. I lost my best friend with barely any notice."
"I didn't know…that you were so hurt," Sakura replied quietly as she comforted her friend with a hand on the shoulder.
"Well, now you know, and you're going again."
"There's not much I can do, but I really am sorry," she apologized sadly.
I don't want to go!
I want to stay!
Let me stay!
Screaming, screaming… She felt herself screaming inside. It was building up within her. She was going to die if she left.
"Are you prepared?" Kamiya questioned as he always did. "We are leaving as soon as Rei arrives."
Sakura swallowed. "Yes," the emerald-eyed beauty answered defiantly. She was not betraying her feelings. She had to go back—had to go back.
Yes, had to go back.
I don't want to go! I want to be here! I need to be here! Nevertheless, she still had to go back. "K-Kamiya-sama!" Rei gasped, yearning for air as she finally arrived. She looked absolutely horrible. Reddened scratches covered her face, a purple shiner was visible around her eye, her hair looked like a messy haystack, and her shirt and shirt were not only wet, but also ripped in various areas. "I—"
"I would prefer not to know," Kamiya interrupted swiftly, "and as long as you look as unprofessional as you do now, you will obey my orders, else you will not be going home."
Rei didn't respond to the cruel remark and simply ducked into the car. Haku, however, could not keep his mouth shut.
"Get around Tokyo too, Rei?" he asked snidely with a smirk. Sayuri grinned, Keiko bit her lip, Sakura snorted, and Kamiya shot him the most murderous death glare ever.
If looks could kill…
The clocked scrolled to another number.
It time for them to leave, and Syaoran had wisely fallen asleep in his car. He'd let himself down and now Sakura would never know. Stupid, idiot, fool—all words that were not strong enough to describe him. So close, yet so far. Screw it. He'd skip work and drink his liver to death at the bar.
Syaoran's head came down to rest on the horn on the steering wheel and a long "beeeeep" came screeching out. Many "Shut the heck up!" s came his way, so he lazily stopped the noise long enough to hear his cell phone ring.
"Hello?" he groaned into the speaker of the phone.
"Why the heck is Sakura leaving and where are you?" demanded his bossy boss.
"I fell asleep in my car," Syaoran admitted ashamedly. This was a sad conversation.
"Well, uh, ahem, I guess I did too, so who's blaming you? Just hurry up and get your ass here!"
Wow, Sakaki hadn't threatened to kill him. So some progress had been made today. "A popular habit these days? And why do you want me there?"
"Sakura's still here, you lucky dumb ass."
"WHAT?" the shocked male shouted, a new thread of hope forming in his mind.
"Yeah, one of the employees is late, so they had to postpone the ride," she informed him hurriedly. "That person could show up any second, so you'd better get here fast. I can't stop them."
He paused momentarily before screaming, "THANK YOU, SAKAKI-SAMA!"
Sakaki didn't take the gratitude too well: "What the he—" Cue the shutting of the cell phone.
Syaoran turned his keys and slammed on the gas pedal with renewed determination.
Sakura, Sakura, Sakura.
Their chauffeur was apparently too jolly for his own good, and the connecting window to the front was broken. Sakura was immediately filled with remorse as soon as she stepped into the car.
"Morning, ride mates! Ready to get to Kawasaki?" he inquired optimistically.
The man received four glares (Kamiya, Keiko, Sakura, and Rei) and two smiles (Sayuri and Haku).
"Yeah! We're ready!" Sayuri shouted, oblivious to the fact that practically no one else shared her enthusiasm. The car's mood was extremely dark… "I'm eating cheese when I get back!"
"Good choice," the chauffeur agreed. "Today's a good day for cheese."
"Drive," Kamiya ordered coldly, glaring hard at the cheery driver. He did not have time for this foolish conversation. "I do not care about what sort of…dairy products you discuss, but you will drive, and you will drive now."
"Yes, sir!" he replied with a happy-to-oblige salute. Still smiling, the man pushed a pair of keys into the ignition and turned. The engine immediately started up. "Alrighto! Let's go!"
The care moved just a tiny bit before stopping again and the engine was shut off. The employees glanced at each other in confusion and Kamiya looked as if he was going to boil the poor driver in hot water.
"What are you doing?" the angry boss asked, almost blowing up in rage.
"Sir, we can't drive like this," he informed him, looking behind his front seat. "I've just realized that there appears to be a flat tire. Everyone has to get out."
Kamiya shot him a death glare as he opened the car door and stepped out. The underlings followed suit.
Sakura took in a breath. This was killing her. Why couldn't it be done and over with? She watched as their chauffeur busily pulled a tire pump out of the trunk and inserted it into the rubber object.
"S-sw…eet," someone gasped in exhaustion. "I…" wheeze, "made it,"
She turned around at the familiar voice and her eyes met amber orbs that were owned by the man in front of her who was desperately sucking in air.
"Syao…ran?" she spoke in astonishment. Sakura had not seen this coming.
"Hey…" said person greeted in fatigue, hesitantly standing up straight. "…Sakura."
(A/N: Haha, I could've stopped it right there, but you guys would've killed me.)
Here he was, standing right in front of the woman he'd been chasing for the past year. Finally, finally, he had her at arm's length with a chance—a real chance. All the hardships he'd gone through, all the stupid things he'd done (like falling asleep in his car), and all the torture he'd endured might have been for something if this worked out. Syaoran was not going to let her leave. Not his time, no. He wasn't going down without a fight—no, he refused to go down at all. The truth would be revealed, and the brown-haired male would force her to acknowledge it. If she didn't care, if she didn't feel for him, if she didn't want him at all, then Sakura could go, but even if her eyes didn't match her hateful words, he'd still fight. Syaoran would be the most annoyingly persistent person ever if she denied her feelings.
I love her.
I won't let her go like this.
"What are you doing here?" she asked finally, her tone a mix of spite and excitement. Now that he hadn't expected. She was acting awfully icy.
"I came all this way and that's all I get?" Syaoran complained, feigning pain as he teased her. It felt good. This was something he was capable of.
"You work here," Sakura pointed out curtly as a scowled touched her features.
"So do you," he countered.
"No, I don't,"
"Well, you should still be working here."
"But I don't."
"You belong here," the amber-eyed man stated seriously, "with me." He could wait any long. He'd already waited too long. This was it. It was either all or nothing.
"Just stop it, Syaoran. I'm tired of this," Sakura replied firmly. Still, she wouldn't meet his eyes and he didn't understand why.
Fortunately, he was just as tired with her charade as she was. Syaoran knew he had do it. There were too many wasted opportunities and he wasn't about to waste another. She kept pushing him away for reasons he didn't know, which was all the more confusing, but he was going to get through to her.
Why was she trying so hard to hate him?
"Sakura, please, just hear me out," he requested softly. The moment of truth had arrived.
"About what?" she snapped viciously, almost making Syaoran retreat. Sakura was acting. She was acting…
"You know what? I'm not going to wait for your permission!" Syaoran concluded, more to himself than anyone else. No more waiting, no more stalling!
"Permission for what?"
It was just so tiring…
"Screw it," he muttered as he hand flew around her waist, pulling her into a deep kiss.
Warm lips covered her own, and Sakura's wall totally crumbled. She had tried so hard to keep him away, to keep him from her heart. The Cherry Blossom knew it would be impossible to leave if she gave into her emotion, but he had done it. He had broken her shield.
Euphoria spread within her, and before she knew it, her arms had clutched onto Syaoran's shirt, pulling her body closer. He was too much to resist.
What seemed like an eternity, though it was likely only a few minutes, ended with both participants very satisfied. However, now that Sakura had come back to her senses, panic and embarrassment had taken over. Her grip on his shirt loosened and she turned away, but Syaoran didn't let her go.
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no…
She erased the blessed kiss from her mind and ignored the increasingly fuzzy feeling building inside.
"S-Syaoran, let me go," she ordered quietly, her voice just a shaky as her confidence. She swallowed nervously.
His face was buried in her hair, inhaling deeply. "No,"
"Syaoran…" she repeated as menacingly as she could at the moment. Threats were the only thing she could think of at the time.
"I won't let you go," he mumbled stubbornly, his mouth lowering closer to her ear, "ever."
"Syaoran," Sakura whispered harshly, attempting to push him away though her arms were weak and his own held her tightly.
"I'm so in love with you," he admitted timidly, "so I'm not letting you go."
"S-Syaoran," the brunette repeated a third time, her mind and voice unstable from his confession.
He loves me…
He…really loves me…
She couldn't handle this anymore. Her brain turned into mush and she didn't even know what she was doing anymore.
"I can't do this," Sakura managed to force out her mouth, tears ready to fall from her eyes. Why did he have to make this so hard? "This is my way…of making it up to her."
"Meilin? You can't keep everyone happy, Sakura," Syaoran told her, pressing her closer to his chest.
"You can't. No one can. Don't blame yourself."
"It's not that easy."
"That's because you won't let it be easy."
"Sakura," he started firmly, "let it go. You may not realize it, but you hurt more people when you're gone. Me, Tomoyo—heck, even Sakaki-sama, we all need you."
She swallowed again. "I…didn't think about it that way…"
"Don't think about it then. Just stay with me, Sakura. I can't function without you,"
She let him hold her as their conversation continued in silence. Sakura closed her eyes and felt the burning of hot liquid in her eyes melt away. She didn't need to cry. Tears were useless in this situation. Everything was all mixed up inside of her. Her emotions didn't even matter at the moment. However, there was one thing she was completely sure of, and her decision was finally solid.
"I'm going to stay," the emerald-eyed female announced quietly, "indefinitely."
She didn't see Syaoran grin.
"Has it happened? Has it finally happened after all these thousands of years?" asked the approaching boss with a very tired look upon her face as they broke their embrace with furious blushes. The woman was still wearing the attire she'd worn the day before. It looked like she'd had a busy night.
"I believe it has," Kamiya answered neutrally. "You should know. You were spying out your window."
"And, Sakaki-san, perhaps you should…clean yourself up."
A fist was raised. "You wanna say that again?"
"I…did not intend to offend you."
The red-eyed male gave Syaoran a bone-chilling stare. "Furthermore, we must be leaving soon."
The two were slightly taken aback, not ready to face the next obstacle.
"I'm not letting Sakura go," he growled possessively, grabbing her hand and squeezing it lightly in reassurance. She suppressed a blush.
"You will," Kamiya corrected darkly, "or there will be consequences."
Sayuri stomped her feet like a child throwing a tantrum. "No fair! Sakura should get to stay!"
Suddenly, Sakura was painfully aware of the fact that everyone had seen the show between her and Syaoran. That. Was. So. EMBARRASSING.
"Agreed," Keiko broke in, "At least, I do after that sickeningly melodramatic display of affection."
Both girls shot a glance and Haku and he backed away quickly. The dirty blond waved his hands wildly. "Hey! Hey! If it's what Sakura wants, then it's fine with me!"
"Yeah, leave the animal woman here," a very messy Rei nodded nastily as she continued to try and fix her broken nails.
Frankly, Sakura was pretty surprised that that evil witch had even said anything. Then again, making her go back to Tokyo was probably within the slut's best interests.
"You knew the consequences when you transferred," Kamiya said sternly.
"Oh, let Sakura stay!" Sakaki shouted at her boyfriend.
"I will not leave without my fifth employee," he shot back, unyielding.
"Then I'll go,"
Sakura did not expect this. Never in a million years did she ever think this would happen.
"I'll go," Meilin repeated softly, "in Sakura's place."
Tomoyo hummed optimistically as she dropped her completed works on Sakaki's desk. Her boss had left her door wide open while she'd gone on her lunch break, so the room was empty of any other human presence. Her voice went up to a higher note as she mimicked the song perfectly, twirling gracefully out of the room.
"The voice of an angel," her boyfriend whispered sweetly as he caught her from the behind.
"And who would that angel be?" Tomoyo giggled flirtatiously.
"Why, you, of course, my love," Eriol replied, and she could sense his grin.
"Oh, so you love me?"
"I'm offended you'd even have to ask. Besides, she loves me too."
"What if she said she didn't?"
"Then I'd call her a liar."
"And what if she meant it?"
"Then I'd cry,"
The two laughed and Tomoyo brought her head back to kiss him innocently on the lips, teasing him. He pouted and snuck in a peck of his own.
"You're in an awfully good mood today," he commented observantly.
"Isn't it obvious why?" Tomoyo countered cheerfully.
"…and so I had some cheese and it was really yummy and stuff, and then when I got home I… Keikii? Are you even listening?"
"Spare me the details," "Keikii" groaned in despair. She'd finally given up on trying to get the sugar-high female to call her by her given name.
"Keikii's such a meanie!" Sayuri complain, scowling as she stuck out her bottom lip. "She would be much nicer to me if she were still here!"
"She's not, so please," the ice-queen started in exhaustion, "no more sob stories."
Sayuri, frowning again, glared at her friend in annoyance. She was such a meanie-head. Keiko was the meanest meanie-head ever, and that's what she decided.
"You're boring," she declared, pointed at said boring person as she jumped from her seat.
"At least I'm not you," Keiko retorted with a roll of her eyes.
She was bewildered. "Why would you be me?"
"Excuse me while I go wall smashing with my face," the opposing woman replied as she left the room, shaking her head in exasperation.
Sayuri, still completely confused, watched her very lame friend leave the room. It felt…empty somehow.
"It's lonelier without her," she sighed sadly.
"Yeah, it is," Haku responded as he appeared at her side.
She looked down again, and then decided there was no point in being depressed. "Hey, Haku! Let's go to the arcade! I wanna compare the smell to Tokyo's!"
"Uh…Okay…" he answered, dumbfounded.
Sayuri grabbed his hand and grinned when she saw him blush from the corner of her eye.
"Three, six," Sakaki said into the phone, glaring at the Go board in front of her. She could tell that she was getting her ass handed to her, but still…
A chuckle came from the other side. "Isn't it time you resigned, Sakaki? I'm already winning by fifteen moku,"
"Shut up," she growled defiantly. She could make a comeback, and she would!
"Four, six," Kamiya said through the line and a clack sounded as both of them placed a stone on their board, marking his move.
Sakaki groaned as another one of her precious black stones was taken away from the board. Never mind… There was no way she could win. "…I resign," she said bitterly.
"Thank you for the game," he replied wisely He knew her limits. "Don't be angry, dear maiden."
She snorted and rearranged the stones on her board, smirking though he couldn't see her. "Now I win,"
"I think not,"
"Well, on my board I did," the red-eyed boss cackled evilly.
"You've taken up cheating now?" he questioned.
"It's not cheating," she protested cleverly, "it's improvising."
"You're temper has cooled," Kamiya commented randomly.
He was lucky they were only on the phone. "Shut up. It's just nice that she's back is all."
"I see," was all the man said.
"Thanks for showing me around," Meilin smiled and bowed politely.
"It was not problem, but I do think I'll have to get used to this being your office," replied her new co-worker. His name was Tamaki. Black hair and green eyes complimented him, and he was very kind to boot.
"Why?" she asked curiously. "Whose office was this before?"
He opened his mouth to respond, but stopped himself, head shaking. "Nah, it's not important. I really liked her though."
Meilin nodded in comprehension. "I…think I know who you're talking about. She was the one who gave me this chance to start over."
Tamaki cracked a grin. "Well, Mei-chan, I wouldn't worry so much. I think I'll like you too."
She rested contentedly on his chest, listening to the calm beat of his heart. She was finally back. The corners of her lips lifted gently as she thought of her currently situation. That was one good situation. It wasn't at all like the past. The brunette felt the need to tell him suddenly as a burst of courage erupted within her.
"Neh, Li," she quietly began.
"What is it?" her new boyfriend asked, peering down at her questioningly.
"Can I tell you something?"
"Anything," Syaoran prompted, smiling at her.
"I…" Sakura nearly swallowed her words, regretting even bringing up a conversation. She breathed. "I love you,"
Shockingly, he didn't look at all stunned. She twitched as he continued to smile at her. Now he was getting really frustrating.
"Say something," she urged in need of breaking the silence.
"I know," the playful man said with a laugh. "And I love you too. I knew that you could resist my manly charms."
Sakura raised an eyebrow as they maintained their position on the couch in her house. Part of her wanted to whack him for being so laid back at her very serious confession, but she only reacted as she usually did. He had said that he loved her too. She'd let him off for now. "Your manly charms? More like feminine charms."
"No way!" he shouted defensively.
"Heck yes!" Sakura shot back, giggling. "You're such a sap! Honestly, revealing your undying love for me in front of all our friends?"
"Eriol wasn't there!"
"Most of them, then!"
He groaned. "Aw man, I'll never live it down. I'm a cheese master now!"
The Cherry Blossom laughed and pinched his cheek. "It's okay. I love my cheese master."
Syaoran's grin returned as his face was released by his girlfriend. "This…is good. Everyone gets a fresh start,"
"Yeah," she agreed softly. "What Meilin did was… I was really grateful."
"I think she felt like she owed it to you," he told her. "Plus, it was her chance to start over."
"I'm…happy," she admitted with a nod. The drama was finally at an end.
He didn't answer, and Sakura felt his piercing amber-eyes on her. Emerald met amber as their eyes gazed into each other.
"Stop staring," she ordered curtly, now glaring at him. "It freaks me out."
"What?" Syaoran asked in surprise, apparently still entranced by her.
"Your gaze," the Cherry Blossom informed him, "is creepy."
"So hurtful," he pouted cutely before he pulled her closer.
Their lips connected. They didn't need anything else. This was enough. The world was separated from their own for the few moments they lost reality. Eventually, though, they pulled apart for the air required.
"Bliss is so fleeting," he remarked with a sigh as his eyes dug into her again.
"Still, your gaze is creepy," Sakura pointed out when she noticed him staring intensely at her face.
Syaoran grinned characteristically. "So mean."
Author's Note: We finally reach the end! I hope it was good for you! I'm very sorry if that was unsatisfying. I did my best. I have to say that I hope all my readers review this time around. I really want to know what you all thought. What was your favourite chapter (excluding this one)? Did the ending suck? What was your favourite moment?
Yup, so please review (Yes, constructive criticism is good too!).
And for one final time, THANK YOU FOR READING! :)