Author's note: Another Tsubasa Chronicles one-shot that takes place in the world of Clow before Sakura lost her memories in the ruins. I was watching a movie, the name escapes me, in which the princess is miserable because she doesn't have friends, just subjects. And although Sakura loves her people dearly, we all know, she must have been very lonely sometimes. This isn't written in my usual style, I was reading another book written by an author I don't usually follow. The book I'm reading is unimportant of course, but since I don't have any practice in this style, it may not be very good.
Anyone else find that Syaoran's constant referral to Sakura as "Princess" is alot like Will Turner's constant referral to Elizabeth as "Miss Swan" in the first Pirates of the Carribean movie?
Oh, I don't own any of the italisized quotes I used. They just made the story more fun to write.
She was very little, maybe six or seven. There was a carnival in town that day, and according to her older brother they were required to make an appearance.
"I want you to stay by my side, alright? I don't want you to get lost in the crowd," he said. When Sakura nodded, her face staring at the carpeted floor he asked, "Is there someone else you'd rather go with?"
"Nuh-uh," Young Sakura replied, shaking her head vigorously so that strands of light brown hair fell into her eyes.
"Alright, we'll go at six this evening," Toya said kindly. He patted her on the head and she left to her room to get ready.
The carnival was beautiful. Lighted lanterns and fireworks illuminated the caried display of games and vendors and citizens of Clow laughing and having a good time. Sakura clung to her brother's hand, watching everyone play from a distance. She knew running off risked herself getting seperated, and there were sometimes people with not-so-innocent intentions at carnivals. Her brother bought her some new toys to keep her occupied, and some of the people smiled and said hello, but she had no one to share her new toys with.
Everyone sees her but nobody knows her. She screams into her pillow for a better tomorrow.
A year later, Sakura had just gotten in from a walk around the palace grounds. She was told King Toya, her older brother, was looking for her. She ran to the thrown room and curtseyed, mainly to mock her brother's formal attitude towards her lately. She was his sister after all. Surely being king didn't mean you weren't allowed to crack a smile at a joke.
"A researcher has moved into the country. We're to go meet him and his son and welcome them."
"A son? How old?" Sakura was excited. The other children in the kingdom had grown up being taught that the princess was special and to treat her with respect. And as much as she loved her people, their refusal to have some fun and get to know the real her instead of the royal her sometimes drove her near insane.
"I don't know," Toya answered, sounding a little annoyed. "Around your age, I presume."
"He's still one of our people now," Toya reminded her firmly. "And he's a commoner."
"Oh, nevermind. We ought to have left a haif an hour ago."
"I was only in the gardens," she muttered. "I wasn't hard to locate if you just tried."
"C'mon," he said, talking loudly to drown out her muttering. "Let's go."
"Alright," she beamed, running after her brother. Maybe I'll finally have a new friend.
Fate is what brought us together. I just hope love can keep us this way.
"Syaoran! Are you coming over today?" Sakura ran up to her friend she'd spotted in the market place. He smiled as she approached, and nodded in response.
"If you'd like. I just have some errands to run," he told her. "I'll be there in about two hours, alright?"
"Of course," she nodded, beaming. "I'll make sure Toya knows. He's been so grounchy lately."
"He has a lot on his plate," Syaoran said fairly. "I'm sure it's stressful."
"Well he's not left to entertain himself, so he shouldn't complain. And things have been peaceful here for almost fifty years. There's no wars breaking out or anything of that sort. Everyone's happy."
"More or less," Syaoran said blandly.
"Well, as happy as the government can make them. The rest is up to them."
"Yes," Sakura sighed. "I suppose that's true."
"Well, I've got to get going," Syaoran told her. "I'll see you later, Princess."
"Sakura," she corrected for the hundred millionth time. "You don't need to call me princess."
"My brother told me when you allow someone to just call you by your first name, then their closer to you than anyone." She beamed. "You and my brother are the only people in the entire world who can just call me Sakura."
"You let me just call you 'Syaoran', doncha?"
"Then it's fair. Now you have stuff to do, and I have a brother to warn, so I'll see you in two hours," she said, holding up two fingers. "Bye!"
He smiled defeatedly. "Alright, you win. Bye Sakura."
She beamed as she walked away. Now to tell Toya.
"Toyyyyya," she called, running through the palace. She ran to the conference room, but it was empty. She frowned, certain there was supposed to be a conference with the councilmen today. She made her way to the throne room, smiling pleasantly to the guards and servants she met as she navigated the long corridors. "Well there you are," she exclaimed with a slight courtsey as she walked the way to the two thrones, in which her brother sat. He looked extremely agitated and bored. She assumed the councilmen hadn't even shown up. "I've been looking everywhere for you!"
"Well the old geezers of the council never showed, so I guess I'm making budgeting decisions with only the assistance of the high priest," he growled angrily. He added bitterly, "Well what did you want me for?"
"Well you don't have to be so rude," she pouted. "I just came to warn you Syaoran is coming to visit and I didn't want you to have the guards jump him in the corridor."
"I've told you a million times, I don't like that brat."
"You don't like anyone lately, Toya. And he's my friend, I'm not asking you to like him."
"Well why can't you meet outside the palace?"
"Because people come over every three seconds to say hello or happy somethingorother," she explained patiently. "And you don't like me over his house."
"Because he's a commoner, and princesses shouldn't mingle with commoners."
"Well Kings shouldn't be kings at only 21 years of age," Sakura countered, annoyed. "Now give me your word you'll tolerate, even if not approve."
"Your word," she repeated with emphasis.
"I give you my word I'll tolerate the brat, but I swear if something happens to you outside of the palace and he's around-"
"Nothing will ever happen to me when Syaoran is there," Sakura cut in crossly, confident in her friend. Her brother ignored her sentiments.
"-I will hold him to blame, as well as any others involved."
"Nothing will happen," she repeated. "I'd've thought you'd rather us under your supervision," she giggled. "Well, I'm off to my room."
"Where are you meeting him," Toya asked, suddenly curious.
"He knows the way," Sakura said vaguely, walking back out of the throne room. "I'll talk to you later, Toya. You have a budget to set!" Sakura beamed over her shoulder and shut the door behind her.
"Stupid brat," Toya muttered. He was annoyed by the closeness of the brat and his little sister. What had that brat done to win such trust anyways? Toya huffed. Nothing, nothing at all. He was nothing but a commoner, after all.
Sakura sat on the large canopy bed draped in white covers that was the centerpiece of her grand bedroom. Her fists were clenched on top of her knees, which were hidden by the skirt of her favorite outfit. She'd gotten several compliments on it that day in the market place, but even that could not ease the tension in her face.
Why couldn't Toya be happy she had a single friend in which she could confide? She didn't have anyone close within the palace like Toya did. He could confide in the head priest, and he was friends with some of the other servants. She got on well enough with the majority of them, but they weren't really her friends.
She sighed, and twisted her body so she was lying face down on her bed. Her face was buried in the fluff of her down blankets, and she felt tears leaking out of her eyes just to be absorbed by the bedding material. Why wasn't she allowed to have one friend? What was she expected to do, sit in her chambers all day waiting for meal times? She adjusted herself into a more comfortable lying position, sometimes pounding her fists on the covers above her head when crying didn't seem to be good enough.
She lost track of how much time had passed. All she could think of was the injustice of it all. She loved her country, very much so. And she loved her brother dearly, but he asked for things she could not do. How was she supposed to stop hanging out with Syaoran? It was stupid. She heard her door creak, but she supposed it was one of her maids and she didn't feel like getting up.
"Princ- I mean, Sakura?"
Sakura froze for a minute before slowly pushing herself up into a sitting position, wiping her eyes and pushing back her hair as she did so. She sniffed and smiled weakly.
"Hi Syoaran. Sorry, I think one of the maids said she'd send dinner up so we didn't have to deal with Toya."
"Oh, alright. Why, did you two get into a fight again?" Sakura shrugged, unsure of how to respond. Syaoran seemed to assume that the answer was yes because he sat down next to her on her bed and said, "Well, d'you want to talk about it?"
"It was the same old argument, nothing to talk about."
"He's still calling me a brat?"
Sakura laughed sourly and sighed. "Mhm."
"Well, I suppose that's his opinion," Syaoran shrugged. "But that's not all that's bothering you, is it?"
"Mm," Sakura shrugged. "Would you like to go to the gardens? We got some new plants in, they're really pretty."
"Sure, why not," Syaoran smiled. He stood up and held out his hand to help her up.
"Syaoran, you're all covered in dirt," Sakura exclaimed as she took his hand and stood up. He shrugged, blushing slightly.
"I fell while I was out," he said in a would- be casual voice as they made their way through the corridors leading to the gardens.
"In the market place," Sakura asked, frowning.
"I didn't say all my errands were in the market place," Syaoran muttered. Sakura stared at him, walking through the doors that had been opened by the guards beside them and stepping into the bright sunshine.
"You got into another fight, didn't you?"
"Well, they were picking fun at my father's work, and mine," Syaoran said angrily. "And opening their big mouths about stuff they don't know anything about."
"Like...?" She didn't like to see her friend this angry. He was usually very cool and detatched from arguments.
"Just stuff," he answered vaguely.
"Ooh, look! The birds have found the new section!" Sakura gave up on her interrogation, grabbing Syaoran's hand and pulling him towards the new plants.
"I've never seen some of these," he said in amazement.
"Told you they were pretty."
"I meant the birds, actually. But I haven't seen the plants either."
"Really?" Sakura giggled happily and brought him closer to the plants.
"Won't they fly away?"
"No, the seeds produced by these plants are like...a delicacy or something. And the birds that usually come by the palace are very tame and used to people, especially me. See? They'll let you pet them if you touch gently."
"N-no. I don't think that's a good-"
"I do it all the time, I've never been bitten." Sakura leaned in towards a bush covered in lavish turquoise flowers and held her finger out to a tiny ruby-colored bird. It hopped onto the offered finger and whistled gaily. "Come here, Syaoran. Hold out your hand."
"Sakura, no. I really don't need-"
"I know you don't need to. Just like I don't need to. But try." She took his hand slowly in hers and brought it up to his chest level, placing her hand with the bird near his. The bird chirped once and hopped onto Syaoran's hand. He stared as Sakura smiled and stroked the bird's breast with her finger. "See?"
Syaoran looked doubtful that the bird would behave for him as well as it did for Sakura, but he gently rubbed the bird's head, and it closed it's eyes lazily as though enjoying it.
"I told you, they're very well behaved," Sakura smiled. Syaoran shrugged, and she knew he'd never admit she'd been right. However, he allowed the bird to hop onto Sakura's shoulder before leaning over the bush himself and backing away with a sandy brown bird on his hand.
"So what're these birds' names, Sakura?"
Sometimes all it takes to cheer you up is the smile of someone you love.
Toya looked out over the gardens from the window in his chamber that covered one entire wall. He watched with a slightly sour expression as his sister laughed, and his eyes narrowed slightly when he saw Syaoran laugh with her.
"C'mon now, Your Majesty. Are you jealous or something," the high priest laughed.
"I told you not to call me that in private," Toya muttered. "And of course I'm not."
"Then what's wrong?"
"I just don't like him, is that a crime?"
"It should be, you're putting an awful lot of strain on Sakura."
"Seriously. Now why would you hate someone that puts a genuine smile on your sister's face?"
"I just do, okay?"
"Hm, if you say so, my friend," the royal high priest sighed. "But I think you're making a big mistake."
"Oh really? And why is that?"
"Because sometimes you yourself do things and go places you oughtn't just to prove to yourself you're just as human as everyone else." Toya stared at him incredulously, and he just smiled. "What? You're only royalty, after all. That doesn't make you a God, does it?"
"No," Toya sighed, turning back to the window. "I don't suppose it does."
Author's note: Not sure what the heck was up with that ending, it wasn't really intened. Oh well, if it works, it works. I'm not one of those people who likes stories that make you think of what happened next. I like stories with definite endings, but that you can still speculate life after that story. Hm, I dunno. Well, tell me whatcha think. It's the readers' opinions that matter, not the author's.