Warnings: Language, of course, and some OOC on Syaoran's part.
Finally! I'm free! All my projects are done! *Dances around happily* God, I've missed having free time. I mean, sure, I had a little bit. But now I'm totally non-committed to anything and it feels great!
Also, thank you to all the kind reviewers. It's nice to know people still read this even though I took so long to start it up again. I hope you like this chapter; enjoy! ^^
Chapter Ten - Suppertime Squabbles
~ Meiling's POV ~
Well, it's that time of day again. That one time in every 24 hours that everyone in the household (everyone important anyway) would actually sit down at the same time and eat together, like an actual family. Or two families, in this case.
And usually I would be thrilled to be able to sit down and gossip about how wonderful my day was and all the people I found cool or were total losers. But that was before yesterday. That was before Syaoran and I had made complete asses of ourselves in front of the Japanese ambassador and her brat of a daughter.
That was before I got the longest and most boring lecture of my entire life from oba-san about proper table manners and not ruining the family name and blah, blah, blah. I really hadn't been listening at the time. But the fact is, I now absolutely *hate* and totally despise the idea of having to sit and eat my supper with these people. I wanted out!
Looking up from the spot that I had been staring at on my plate for the past ten minutes, I stared disinterestedly around the table. To my right, at one end of the table, was my oba-san.
Currently, she was preoccupied with her supper and seemed to have no interest in what Syaoran or I were doing. But I knew better. I could tell by the stiffness in her posture and the slight tension in her face that she was just waiting for the right moment to pounce.
If either of us so much as even breathed funny, she would be all over us and punishing us like there was no tomorrow. I'd seen her do it to some poor, unsuspecting kitchen worker before. It wasn't pretty.
But, surprisingly, both of us had managed to keep our behavior in check and oba-san hadn't had to glance at us even once all evening. Things were looking good for us so far.
Then, to the left of me, was Syaoran. Across from him sat the little bitch, Tomoyo, and at the other end of the table was the ambassador, Sonomi-sama. And aside from the ambassador, the other two were looking very tense indeed.
Tomoyo was currently glaring at Syaoran with a seemingly newfound hatred for him, while at the same time angrily shoving peas down her throat. Next to me, Syaoran was eating with the stiffness of a robot and refusing to look up, as if waiting for a bomb to be dropped on his head any moment now.
Noticing his discomfort and taking pity on him, I decided to take it upon myself to distract Tomoyo from Syaoran and put her attention on me. Also, it would give me a little bit of pleasure to get back at her for this morning. (A.N.: See chapter seven.)
After first making sure that no one else was watching, I took careful aim with my foot, tried to look as inconspicuous as possible and then sharply kicked out my leg and hit that bitch right in the shins.
" OW! " Tomoyo cried suddenly, breaking the long held silence that had been going on and causing everyone else to look up from their meals and look at Tomoyo strangely, while I tried my best not to start laughing. Sonomi raised a curious eyebrow at her daughter.
" Tomoyo, dear, are you all right? " she asked, sounding both worried and suspicious.
Flushing a shade of red, Tomoyo nodded and seemed to be resisting the urge to lean over and rub her injured shins." Of course, okaa-san " she said, giving her mother a weak, unconvincing smile." Everything's fine ".
Sonomi and my oba-san both glanced doubtfully at each other before shrugging and returning to their meals. As soon as their gazes were once again fixed on their food, Tomoyo's eyes narrowed into a death stare as she looked in Syaoran's direction, her eyes turning nearly black with her rage.
At this, Syaoran raised his hands in a defensive position and shook his head, telling her it wasn't him. Instantly her dark gaze landed on me and I couldn't but send a self-satisfied smirk back at her.
I could now tell that her hatred for me was now near rivaling that of her hatred for Syaoran and that I'd have to be on my guard from now on. But what happened next made it all worth it.
Once Tomoyo had turned her gaze back to her food and had started viciously stabbing at her meat, Syaoran turned to me and gave me the first genuine smile I'd seen him do since... well, a long time." Arigatou Meiling " he said softly, with a rare drop of the suffix.
I blinked in surprise and stared at him stupidly for a moment before swallowing and whispering back, " Uh, your welcome ". His smile seemed to brighten at little at my confusion before he wiped all of the emotion off his face and asked politely if he could be excused. Oba-san allowed him and with one more glance in my direction, he was gone.
By now the realization of what had just happened had sunk in and I was now sitting there staring off into space and grinning like an idiot. Tomoyo gave me an 'are you mental?' look but I could care less about what she thought. Syaoran had finally smiled again! And at me, no less! ' Maybe there's hope for us yet '.
~ Syaoran's POV ~
I cannot believe I just did that. For the time in like... God knows how many years, I actually smiled. And at Meiling, no less! Will wonders never cease?
In all seriousness though, I have absolutely no idea what brought it on. Maybe it was the fact that I knew she'd done something nice for me or maybe that Tomoyo had gotten a little payback. Maybe both; I don't know.
All I know is that after having smiled for once, I was suddenly in a good mood. I even had this crazy idea of wanting to go out and actually do something! I mean, can you believe it? Me, Li Syaoran, the number one loner in all of Asia, actually wanted to go out and have fun!
' This is crazy! ' I thought to myself as I sat down on the bed. Where were all these sudden urges coming from? ' It must have been something I ate '. Yeah, that definitely sounded plausible.
But enough with the negative thinking. I needed a plan! I was suddenly on a fun kick for the first time in years and I was going to do this properly. But first, I needed someone to help me get this started. But who?
'Hmm…' I have to say, I was stumped there. Who could I get to come with me on this little experiment that wouldn't faint from shock or try to tear me into tiny, little pieces? I have to say, my options didn't look good.
" Shimatta! Why am I even doing this? " I cursed out loud, as I tried to sort out my plans. This is the most insane thing I'd ever heard of. One lousy smile and suddenly I'm off to start a fun club. ' I'm such a moron '.
But just as I was about to pull the plug on my not-so-brilliant plans, an idea struck me and I sat up suddenly." Of course! " Leaning over to the side table by the bed (I refuse to consider it mine), I grabbed the telephone off the stand and dialed the number for the operator. After about three rings, the operator picked up.
" Moshi moshi, this is the operating service. How may I help you? " came a female's voice over the phone.
I cleared my throat before I began to speak." Konban wa. I was wondering if you might be able to locate the address and telephone number of the Kinomoto residence, please? " There I go with all that 'proper' talk again. I'm so going to get back at my okaa-san for this one day. I sound like a total baka!
The operator told me to hold on for one minute while she searched for their name. I only had to wait a short time before she came back." Alright sir. I could only find one family with that name, so here's the information. Their address is 149 Cherrybrook Lane and their phone number is 597 - 4320 ".
(A.N.: A lame name for a street, I know. But I don't think they ever said the name of Sakura's street in the show and it was the first thing that popped into my head, so *shrugs*.)
Luckily there was a pad of paper and a pencil sitting on the desk so I didn't have to look very far. After I'd finished writing down the information, I smiled (even though she couldn't see it) and said, " Arigatou gozaimasu for your help ".
" Your welcome, sir " she replied and then hung up.
Now, looking down at the information in my hand, I was suddenly feeling really nervous. I mean, this whole thing had just gone from crazy to downright stupid.
What was I thinking? Getting this girl's number and trying to call her. I barely even knew anything about her! This was insane! I mean, I'd never done something like this before. What if everything went wrong?
' Goddamnit, Syaoran! What is wrong with you? She's only some small town girl who you barely even talked to. Who cares what she thinks? Just pick up the damn phone and ask her to show you around the place. It's not that hard! ' A voice suddenly went off in my head.
' What happened to the cocky, takes-what-he-wants, Syaoran we both know and love? '
' He took a boot in the ass when the happy guy rolled in ' I answered smartly, then cringed when I realized I'd just answered myself.
' Yeah? Well, bring him back in because I refuse to let you sit here and act like a wuss over calling some dumb girl. You can do this man! Pull yourself together! 'The voice told him.
' But what if she just laughs or hangs up? What if she thinks I'm some kind of weird stalker? ' I answered, throwing out random excuses just so I wouldn't have to call; while on the side wondering, ' How much sugar have I had today? '
' What? And miss a date with a gorgeous, strapping young man like yourself? Get real. She may be ditzy but she isn't blind 'the other voice told him confidently.
' You're so modest, ' I commented dryly but I was beginning to consider what he, or rather I, was saying. Sakura didn't seem like the person who would laugh at someone or just hang up. Nah, she was too nice for that.
And besides, it wasn't like I was going to be asking her on a date. I just needed her to show me the good places, if there were any, around the town. Next time this strange kick comes over me, I won't need her. And since when was Syaoran Li a coward?
' You know what? I think you're right. I am going to do this, ' I told the voice.' There's no way she could turn *me* down '.
' Damn straight! Go get her kid! 'the voice said happily, right before it disappeared. And that was that. But there was one more thing I had to do first.
Reaching over to my bag sitting on the floor, I stuck my hand in and pulled out a small handheld recorder. Holding it up, I sighed heavily before clicking it on." Note to self, cut back on caffeine product. I'm starting to develop different personalities in my head. Definitely a bad sign ".
*Sighs* Yeah, I know. You're probably all thinking, " What the hell? What was he smoking? " And believe me, I'm wondering the same thing here. This is definitely the weirdest chapter so far and I apologize for the obvious OOC factor.
It was just a weird, spur of the moment idea that I couldn't get rid of, so you'll have to bear with me. But believe me, by chapter thirteen at least, Syaoran will be back to his old, anti-social self. Please review ^~.