Near But Far Away

Author's Notes:
Thanks for everyone who read. I hope next time those who read will send a review though. Oh well, hits make me happy – alerts and faves as well. I'm on a writing streak today! Here's Chapter 2!

I don't own CCS.

Chapter 2: Slowly, slowly dying

If these two teenagers still had feelings for each other, why the hell are they not kissing and making up? Well, you see… it would be because of the big gap they created between them and both of them did not want to take the risk of making it bigger by taking another chance.

Stupid, stupid people.

Sakura did not know whether to be glad or be sad after hearing Syaoran's response. She was hoping he would tell her that but why could she not bring herself to say something back to him? She still had feelings for him as well – why was it so hard to tell him that?

They sat on the floor of the music room. The grand piano near the door was blocking their figures from the door. There were numerous instruments displayed idly in the room. Scores and practice records were neatly placed and piled up on the cabinets near the window.

They both did not take any Music classes that year so they were so familiar with the room. Tomoyo was the regular student in this room from their group.

Maybe another thirty minutes had passed ever since they had hidden there because the bell echoed throughout the school.

Sakura then anxiously looked at Syaoran. He seemed to be deep in thought and she knew it had nothing to do with what he had said earlier.

After the last note of the bell sounded off, a public announcement began. They looked curiously at each other – confused as to who would be announcing something at a time like this.

"We are well aware that there are still students in the building," a harsh voice spoke out. "We gave you an opportunity to leave the premises but you still stayed. You left us with no choice – we will find you. And if you still do not know… all your teachers are being held hostage in the faculty tower. Soon, you will join them."

Sakura looked absolutely terrified.

"Do you think there are others aside from us?" she asked him in a whisper, afraid that they would be found.

"I don't know," was all Syaoran could answer.

Sakura was about to say something else but another public announcement signaled its way through the speakers.

"This is Headmaster Yagami Keiichi," Sakura and Syaoran both recognized the voice. "Students who are still in the building, it is best to show yourselves as soon as possible before things can get worse. They will be waiting for you outside the faculty tower until the bell goes."

The voice sounded so horrified; Sakura and Syaoran could just imagine the headmaster's face.

Less than sixty minutes was all they had to decide whether or not to show themselves to the bad people. The number of the men was unknown to them. Most of all, they were unaware to what extent they would go to get what they were demanding for.

Out of all the places, why was their school chosen to be held up like this?

"Are we going?" Sakura asked him again.

"No, we're staying here," Syaoran replied. "For a while."

Sakura had no idea what Syaoran was planning but she hoped it would help them get out of the place, safe and sound. She also hoped the teachers were all safe.

Syaoran turned towards the window of the music room. They were in the ground floor so they did not need to worry about jumping from a very high place (if worse comes to worst). He looked over and saw the high school field stretched out in front of him.

If they would run across the field, they would reach the outdoor parking lot and would be outside the school walls if they reach the school gates. However, if they run across the field, they would surely be seen from the faculty tower.

He then looked at the only door of the room. They were steps away from the front doors where mostly everyone else had gone out. As soon as they would open those front doors, if they run quickly, they would reach the school gates in no time.

However, they were not sure if there were people watching the hallway. There surely would be since the front doors were one of the exits.

Syaoran knew that the kidnappers were not going to let them go now. They knew that they had made a phone call.

"Syaoran," Sakura called out to him, fear clear in her voice.

He held her gaze and his face softened when he saw how frightened she looked.

"Syaoran," she whispered his name once again. "I'm scared," she whimpered.

She didn't even care if she looked like a lost child in Syaoran's eyes. She was scared and she was a girl – wasn't it normal to feel sensitive in the current situation?

Syaoran moved closer to her.

"I'm here," he said soothingly. He gathered up the courage to hold her hand that was on the floor. "I won't let anything happen to you."

His words sounded nice in her ears but nothing could change the fact that they had a bad history together. Maybe just for a moment, they could savor it and forget everything that had gone wrong with their relationship.

Her grip on his hand tightened and she tugged on it. Syaoran got the point and moved even closer to her, closing the physical gap between. Their shoulders were touching; their backs against the wall. Their legs were stretched out in front of them and their joined hands were resting on the small gap between her left leg and his right leg.

It felt so right.

"Sakura," he said softly but did not look at her. He stared on straight ahead. They did not switch on the lights in the room. The only light they had was the sunlight coming from the window on the other side of the room.

"What is it?"

"If we have no choice, we have to run across the field to the school gates," he explained to her. "No matter what happens, you just run, okay? You keep running, you got that?"

She sunk in his words.

"What do you mean 'no matter what happens'?" she demanded, turning to face him. "So it includes if you fall behind? You want me to leave you?" His expression was telling her that it was what he meant. "I will never leave you!"

"Sakura…" he drawled on. "That way at least one of us gets out of here," he tried to make his point to her but she was not listening.

"No!" she snapped but her voice was still low as to not attract any unwanted attention from outside the room. "If someone would get out of here, it will be the two of us!"

Syaoran only shook his head and decided to drop the matter for the meantime. Sakura was stubborn, indeed.

Minutes ticked by and they waited for the bell to ring. They had only less than twenty minutes now. What would happen if they don't show up? Would the kidnappers hunt for them? Would they search each room?

Sakura and Syaoran sat there, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder. Waiting and waiting until finally, the bell rang. They waited until the last note sounded off. Ten to fifteen minutes had passed and yet there was no disturbance around them.

As if they were waiting for the harsh voice again, the signal for a public announcement resonated in their ears.

"Two students just surrendered to us," the voice said over the microphone. "But we still believe that there are still students in the building. We know you made a phone call at 12:36pm today. You really left us with no other choice. We would search for you and if you don't get your ass in here before the last bell goes… Nikamura Ayu would die in front of her teachers."

Sakura gasped as she heard the last statement made.

"Do you know her?" Syaoran asked her.

"We don't talk," Sakura replied. "I know what she looks like, though – she's a freshman. Syaoran, she's only a freshman – top of her class, too. She would always hang out in the Chemistry classroom…" She stopped babbling and looked at Syaoran. "Do you think they would really kill her?"

Syaoran thought about it for a second. "I don't know," he admitted. "I don't even know what their demands are. I don't even know if they have negotiated with the people outside."

Their conversation was stopped short again. Another public announcement was about to be made.

The voice was laughing maniacally as if he had just devised a very evil plan. Well, maybe he did. The two shivered hearing his laughter.

It was deadly scary.

They heard him take a deep breath, stopping himself from laughing. "Li Syaoran! Kinomoto Sakura!" the voice paused to laugh again. "Great names you have, lovely seniors of this school! You see, the police just slipped a tiny little bit of information that you are still here. I am to believe that one of you made the phone call." He was laughing harder now. "I also believe that you are together right now… cutest couple last year!" After that, it seemed that he was not talking straight to the microphone. "What are you still doing here? Look for them! Start at the first floor of the first building. Work your way from there!" He turned towards the microphone again. "See you soon, Li-san, Kinomoto-san."

They could still hear his laughter even though there was silence once again.

Sakura pushed herself against the wall but she could no longer stay farther away from the door. She had let go of Syaoran's hand while listening to the announcement.

Syaoran clutched her shoulders to calm her down.


"They know our names!" Sakura said. She was freaking out and that was the last thing Syaoran wanted to happen. "They know our names, Syaoran! They're searching for us right now. They are probably on the other side of the hallway. This is the last room in the hallway. They are just there."

She held onto his shirt and was taking sharp intakes of breath.

"Syaoran," she cried out helplessly but still not in her normal volume.

"Sakura, stop it!" he shook her shoulders gently. "We're going to be—"

It was too late. They could hear someone shuffling keys outside the door. They could also hear hushed whispers and eager mumblings.

Sakura's eyes held nothing but fear. In a quick instant, Syaoran managed to hide Sakura's body behind a row of double basses near them before two men blasted open the door with their guns held up. It took them a few seconds to discover Syaoran standing by the window, a few meters away where Sakura was hiding.

Sakura certainly did not know what was going on. She wanted to come out of her hiding place but she knew that any abrupt actions could surprise the captors and they might pull the trigger at Syaoran.

One man switched on the lights which immediately illuminated the room. When Syaoran was sure the captors' attention was not fully on him, he glanced where Sakura was and was glad that she could not be seen with the lights on.

"It's him," one man said. "It's the Li kid."

The man sneered at his direction, still studying the room. "The girl should be here," he stated.

While one guy was still searching with his eyes around the room, the other guy spoke to Syaoran, "hand me your phone."

Syaoran took out his phone from his pocket and threw it at the guy who asked for it. With ease, the man caught it. Syaoran was actually hoping he would drop it.

"Last call made was 12:34pm," the man said, after checking Syaoran's phone.

"Where's the girl?" the other man demanded. Syaoran figured out that this guy was more violent than the other. He could also tell that the other guy was the techie – he was probably just there to deal with the gadgets. He looked like he was not built for physical confrontations.

"She's not with me," Syaoran said. He held no other tone in his voice. He answered plainly, as if a robot.

"Liar," the man growled and stepped closer towards him, still a gun pointed at Syaoran's head. "Search the place, Takemoto."

Takemoto put his gun on the case around his belt and walked around the room. He went to the trumpets section first then opened and closed the cabinets. Basically, he was on the other side of the room where Sakura was.

"We know you guys are together," the man said. "You wouldn't be the cutest couple for nothing."

"We broke up," Syaoran blurted out. "Three months ago."

The man laughed at the revelation. "Oh? Why was that?" the man asked, as if interested. "You were too pretty for each other?"

Syaoran decided not to answer.

"You had the same class after lunch," the man continued saying. "A call was made. You were probably told that the school was being hijacked then you two set off to hide here. It was pretty close to the front doors. Too bad you didn't make it, eh?"

Syaoran was merely sending daggers at the man. If he had no gun in his hand, Syaoran could have easily knocked him down.

The Takemoto guy was slowly reaching where Sakura was hiding. Syaoran was clenching his fists tightly, gritting his teeth as he patiently assessed the situation.

"Your girlfriend looked lovely in her yearbook picture," the man taunted. "I mean, your ex girlfriend. Say, since you guys are no longer together, you think you can give her to me?"

Syaoran growled and made a move to pounce on the guy but the guy warningly rose up his gun higher.

"Why so angry?" the man continued on. "I thought you already broke up. Why do you still care?"

"You're too old for her," Syaoran said, his eyes seething with hatred.

The man laughed loudly. "Too old? Kid, age doesn't matter," his eyes looked Syaoran from his head to toe. "I wonder how she liked someone like you. Ha! Let me guess, she broke up with you, didn't she?" The man smiled in triumph as he knew he was getting on Syaoran's nerves. "Said she could no longer be with you because you bore her."

"Shut up!" Syaoran shouted.

Seriously, if it wasn't for the gun he was holding.

As Syaoran's attention was on the man taunting him, he did not notice that the other guy had reached the place where Sakura was hiding. Everything that happened after that was a flash.

Syaoran saw Takemoto turn around to his partner to tell him that he had found Sakura. Before his sentence could be finished, Syaoran quickly ran where Sakura was.

Sakura was still lying down on the floor. Syaoran's sudden movement to get to her knocked down two double basses. This surprised the man who had a gun out and shot towards where Syaoran was.

Syaoran successfully hugged her in his arms before the bullet was shot at them. Sakura was sure the man had hit one of the instruments. But Syaoran's weight was falling upon her. He was pressing onto her so much.

She placed her hands on his shoulders and slowly pushed him up but his body gave in and fell completely on top of her. His breathing was slowing down, she could feel it.

"Syaoran," she whispered his name but she received no reply from him.

He had lost his consciousness, she realized, and she wondered why. Her hand then landed on his back. That was when she felt blood. She stared at her now bloody hand and let her tears suddenly fall down from her eyes.

She did not even care what the two men were arguing about. She tried to wake Syaoran up again but ended up in vain.

No, no, no!

She could not stand this. Syaoran was slowly, slowly dying in her arms.

To be continued…