Hate has a Song

I feel sooooo bad for abandoning you all. Forgive me, please?

I decided to continue some of my older fics, and I think this one might have potential. So. Here we go.

She was no longer the young, naïve girl of ten, relying only on her size to receive mercy. She didn't need mercy. She didn't want mercy. She believed in justice only; power. If someone was stronger than she was, he had every right to kill her.

She had a strange mind, for a sixteen-year-old.

"No…" murmured Sakura as she tossed and turned. Eyes clicking open suddenly, she stopped moving and looked around her.

All was quiet in the top boughs of the tree, but below, she could hear voices. She stretched her long legs out on the branch for balance, hooking one below it, and leaned over to see the speakers.

"Yes, the camp is only a few miles away. I dunno how many guards it has, idiot."

"Yeah, well, you were kinda supposed to go there," said the other person. "We kind of need to, like, invade?"

Sakura crept headfirst down the tree, balancing uncannily on the branches. Her green eyes blazed with fire as she noticed their uniforms. They were trespassers, murderers. Once she was mere feet above their heads, she realized how young they were. They must have been her age. The swords and daggers at their sides, however, soon erased any sympathy she had.

"Look, Eriol, if you want to know exactly how many bricks are on the eastern-facing wall, then you can do it. We only need bare minimum to get in."

"No, Syaoran, you only need bare minimum. That's how you've always gotten by on life, by doing the bare minimum. But this is people's lives. We can't just barge into a camp full of soldiers!" The one speaking was slightly shorter than the other, with dark hair and darker blue eyes. Both their uniforms were dappled with camouflage.

"You know what? You can do it, if you're so fussy," the other snapped. He had brown-gold hair, and his strong jaw jutted forwards in defiance.

The two just stared at each other for a minute. Sakura slowly unsheathed her knife, making sure not to make too much noise. However, when she popped the cork on a tiny bottle of poison, there was an instant reaction.

The one with the brown hair drew his dagger like lightning, and with a flick of the wrist, sent it flying towards her. Sakura's eyes widened before the large stone at the base of the knife struck her on the side of the head. Her eyes rolled for a second, and she slipped sideways off the branch, landing in a crumpled heap before the two boys.

"Er," said Eriol. "Who is that?"

"Not a soldier," replied Syaoran, and turned Sakura over with one foot. "Poison," he said, holding up the bottle and her dagger.

"Maybe she's a mercenary. You never know," said Eriol.

"Maybe," agreed Syaoran, and hoisted her onto his shoulder. "Let's get back to camp. What I got'll have to do."

"I still think you should've gotten the number of guards."

"Oh, shut up."

Sakura awoke and felt like one side of her head was heavier than the other. She touched a large bump right behind her left ear ruefully, her jade eyes flicking from side to side, taking in the surroundings before announcing her wakefulness. This announcement came in the form of a leap out of the cave she was in into the rain. Unfortunately, the cave was a little under a hundred feet over the ground, carved out of the side of the mountain.

"Jeez, what are you?" said a male voice, grabbing her by the wrist just as she started to fall. He grunted and lifted her up. It was the boy with the blue eyes. Sakura's face snarled in a hideous grimace. Eriol looked affronted and dumped her back in the cave, by the fire. "I'm Eriol, that's Syaoran," he said, pointing. "That's Yamazaki, that's Touya."

Sakura nodded. "Sakura," she said in a quiet, musical voice.

"So. Trying to kill us why?" said Syaoran suspiciously, his deep voice's chill tone sending shivers up her spine.

"You're the enemy," she spat.

"But you're not a soldier," Eriol countered.

"I'm not. Just Sakura. Just Sakura," she growled through gritted teeth.

The guys looked at each other with varying levels of disturbance.

"Where's your family?" said Yamazaki, and could instantly see he'd made a mistake. Sakura turned towards them on all fours, eyes gleaming, and reached for her dagger. Her eyes widened as she patted blank space.

"This?" said Eriol, holding up her dagger.

"Yes! Mine!" she snarled, snatching for it. He pushed her away, eyebrows raised.

"Here. Have something to eat," said Touya gently, holding out a bowl of steaming noodles. The rain poured outside. Sakura was chilled to the bone, far away from the fire as she was. Warily, she crawled closer to the fire. The young men were reminded of a scared animal. Touya put down the bowl on the stone floor, and she snatched it, immediately slipping over to the outside of the cave again to munch.

"Ooookay…" murmured Syaoran to Eriol.

"Yeah. She's basically insane. We should tie her up. For her own good and all that."

Just then, a cry came from outside. A pigeon swooped into the cave, shaking itself off. Sakura shrank away, but Eriol took it in his hands, unwrapping a tiny note from its leg.

"What the hell," Eriol said, his voice filled with disgust.


"We're being called home. After two weeks. They said we 'didn't complete the operation with enough alacrity'. What morons, using a word like 'alacrity' in a freaking pigeon note. We're being replaced by troop 18."

"No way," said Syaoran, snatching the note. After scanning it, he rolled his eyes and crumpled it into a ball, tossing it into the fire. Eriol patted the pigeon, sending it back. "They even said 'leave immediately', like we were doing harm or something."

Yamazaki blew out the fire. "We'll leave tomorrow."

"No, that was from the general. He meant, like, literally. Now."

"Well, dammit."
"You can say that again."

Sakura closed her eyes, wishing herself to sleep.

"Oh, yeah. What're we gonna do with her?" said Syaoran carelessly.

"We have to bring her back, I guess," said Touya uneasily. They looked at each other. Each of the four disguised groans as small coughs.

Eriol took heavy rope and bound her hands and feet. Then he gagged her. The group gathered up their belongings and bundled them into a bag.

Touya, being the strongest, carried Sakura down the mountain, where they put her in a cart under some sacks, disguised themselves as civilians, and trundled out of the country.

Sakura's eyes shot open wide. Were they going to torture her? Kill her? Make her suffocate under these strange-smelling burlap things? She started to 'mmgh' as loudly as she could, but they didn't seem to care. They hit a bump in the road, and her wrists chafed painfully against the rope.

"Oh, joy. She's awake," Yamazaki said wryly. Eriol chuckled.

"Just a few more minutes," said Touya to the sacks, which wriggled.

"There it is," called Syaoran from the front of the cart, pointing. On a hill was a large mansion, the training center.

They rolled up the gray streak of road among the grass to halt behind the mansion.

"Well, at least we get to eat real food again," said Eriol brightly.

"Ahh, real food…" Yamazaki said, as if in remembrance of an old friend who had moved years ago.

Sakura sat up, catapulting some sacks off the cart.

"Did you know she could do that?" said Syaoran, frowning.

"Erm, well, I suppose technically, it was possible…" said Touya sheepishly. Syaoran narrowed his eyes at him.

Touya threw Sakura over his shoulder once again, her struggling form creating some discomfort of his neck.

"Stop!" he yelled at her suddenly, and her efforts merely doubled.

As they walked into the mansion, their leather shoes squeaked against the marble floors.

"Let's take her to the training room," said Syaoran. "Maybe someone's there."

"I'm, uh, just gonna unpack the stuff really quick," Touya said, and dumped Sakura on Syaoran before zooming outside, closely followed by Yamazaki.

"Wonderful," said Eriol.

Syaoran grunted as he lugged Sakura down three corridors.

Sakura's fevered eyes quickly drank in the surroundings. Dark, except for torches. Loud floors. Quiet ceilings. Paneled walls. Long legs of that mean guy carrying her.

She saw, upside down, a large oak door creak open.

Several other men, both young and old, were fighting inside. Sakura longed to join in, to punch their faces until they bled like water from a fountain. With that lovely thought, she was dumped onto a mat, facing upwards.

"Uh, yeah. She overheard us talking," said Eriol awkwardly to an old man.

"So you captured her?" said the man in disbelief. "She's a girl!"

"Well, yes, but she could tell people," argued Syaoran. "And she can fight."

"She can what?" yelped the man. "A girl? Fight?" Syaoran nodded.

"Where will she stay?" asked Eriol.

"In one of your rooms, I suppose," spat the man. "She's your responsibility now."

The two boys nodded, their filthy hair spattering the old man with mud.

"Ew," said the man. "Take a bath."

"Yes, master," said the two simultaneously.

With a groan, Syaoran lifted Sakura again, and they walked out, down more ever-turning corridors, up two flights of stairs.

"She can stay in your room," said Syaoran. "You can stand her."

Sakura's eyes narrowed. With her bound hands, she reached around him for the knife hidden in her boot and cut her bonds.

"I can hear, bastard," she hissed, and strode into Eriol's room, then slammed the door.

"What a refined young lady," said Eriol dryly, and followed her inside.

Sakura was sitting next to the window, her filthy clothing rippling in the wind flowing through it. She did not turn as Eriol shut the door, nor did she make a sound as he turned on the tap and pulled the bathing curtain in the corner.

The room was quite large, with a high ceiling that Sakura liked. The bed was small, but looked comfortable, and the sofa was plushy and cozy. The floor was stone, but had a large fur rug in the middle. In the corner was a large basin for bathing, with two taps, one for cold water and the other for semi-lukewarm water. There was even a large dresser. Judging by the way Eriol's things were slung across the room in every direction, this was where he lived.

Eriol stepped out from behind the curtain. Sakura was no longer at the window. He looked around the room, and then noticed a thin, strong cord tied to the windowsill. Even as he ran over to the window, it snapped free. He looked down. Sakura was running across the courtyard at full sprint.

Sakura recoiled her string, speed blessing her feet. She did not see Yamazaki in front of her, pulling some of the luggage from the car. She also did not see how he stuck out his foot, tripping her.

Tears cut through the grime on her face and dripped, dirty, onto the ground. She had been to hell and back the last few hours, torn from the solitude she loved and thrust into this comfortable-looking prison.

Slowly she looked up at Yamazaki. He was not there. Too late, she turned around to stop him from pressing her pressure points. She collapsed onto the ground, motionless.

Yamazaki sighed and carried her back inside.

"What did she do?" said the old man from the training room.

"Climbed out the window when Eriol was bathing," said Yamazaki.

The man wrinkled his nose and waved at Yamazaki to take her away.

That night, the windows were locked. Sakura's mind reeled. The sofa engulfed her comfortably, but she needed to stay awake, think of ways to get out of the mansion's ancient walls. She needed to analyze, to think. She needed to…

Eriol looked over. Sakura was sleeping. He shook his head and pulled the covers over himself.

No, don't worry, it's not ES. It's SS.