I'm going home, back to the place where I belong, where your love has always been enough for me...
Oh, hello! Sorry, I'm emo as I'm writing this (no, I don't have a penknife in my hand). Anyways, this is just a raw oneshot. The inspiration came to me in the bath. Ha. R&R!
"Kaijuu! Get UP this instant or you're going to be LATE!"
"Mmmh... Five more minutes..."
Crash. Bang. Whoosh.
"Anata wa BAKA!" Thud.
"OUCH! You f –"
"Ta! I'm gonna be late for the train!"
"I'M TELLING YUKITO! HE'S GONNA SPANK YOU –"
"... For being a mean fiancée," Touya shook his head and smiled to himself. "That kaijuu... She forgot her umbrella."
"Hoe..." Sakura mumbled to herself as she dashed down the street to the subway. "I'm gonna be late!"
She stumbled down the stairs, forced her way through the crowded ticket counter, and came to a halt on the platform.
"That was close," she sighed. Her eye wandered around the station. Where is...
She whipped her head around, her auburn tresses trailing behind her.
"You're later than usual," he commented.
"I... I overslept. Guess it was the late night yesterday."
He smiled softly and motioned to the rumbling track. "Well, you're just on time. The train's here."
Sakura smiled back. The doors opened, and they stepped into the crowded sub.
"I'm so hyped about today!" Sakura gushed as the doors slid closed. "I kept thinking about the ceremony last night."
"That's why you overslept then?" he chuckled softly. The train was packed, and noise level was deafening, yet his gentle voice managed its way into her reddened ears.
She nodded her head. For some reason, she felt flustered.
"Meiling called me last night."
He's had a crush on Meiling for years, she thought to herself. Lucky her.
"She asked me out on a date tonight."
What a straight shooter! she cried inwards, almost in anger and envy.
"So what did you say?" Sakura asked.
"I told her... I told her she isn't the right one for me."
"But why? I thought you..."
"I don't. Not anymore."
"And you didn't tell me!" Sakura huffed and pouted. "What are best friends for?"
"I believe I just told you, Cherry Blossom."
She blushed. Hard. Cherry Blossom was a nickname he had given her, and although she had always fantasized he would say it lovingly...
"... It will be nothing but a fantasy. Isn't that right, 'Kura?"
"No, nothing, sorry. I was just talking to myself."
"Aw, c'mon, you can tell me! I'm your best friend!" Sakura nudged him.
"I... I met this girl, and I think she's the one, 'Kura. Although we can never be together..."
"Why not?" Sakura retorted. "You practically have the entire female population in school bowing at your feet, begging you to take them."
"Really? That includes you then?"
"No – what I meant was – you know."
"Yeah, but..." her best friend sighed. "It's not enough."
"What, so now you want the entire female population in the world to bow at your feet?"
"That'll be cool, but I don't think it'd include her."
"Because she loves another."
The train halted to a stop, and the doors slid open in one sleek motion. The pair stepped out of the doors, only to be greeted by a roar outside the station.
"It's raining! We're gonna be late!" Sakura exclaimed as she dug around her bag for her umbrella. "Hoe, and I didn't bring my brolly!"
"Relax, you can share mine." He beckoned her towards the safety of his umbrella. "Squeeze in; it's gonna be a wet journey!"
"Are you sure? Then you'll get wet!"
"Anything for you, darling. If I have to get wet, we shall both get wet together!" he chuckled into the pouring rain.
Darling. He hasn't called me that in a long time.
"If it's fine by you," Sakura laughed in response. "Thanks, Syaoran."
"Yo, Li, whassup?"
"Man, you share your brolly with that hottie but not me? C'mon, where's the love?"
"In your heart. Dig it out and search until you fine it!" Syaoran remarked jokingly at the drenched jock who just ran past.
"That guy... He..."
"Amano Ryuu. Soccer player, midfield. Look familiar?"
"... He called me a hottie?"
"Yeah, it's about time people around here realised that," Syaoran said as they stepped into the school building. He smirked when he saw the expression on Sakura's face.
"Oh, don't worry, I'll get his number for you," he teased and ruffled her hair. "I gotta be off for training. See you!"
"Yeah, bye..." Sakura muttered as her best friend melted into the crowd. She saw a couple of hands fly up from the crowd in a group high-five, and then he was gone.
"Sakura, where have you been?" a voice shouted out from across the hall.
"Oh, hey, Tommy. I was caught in the rain."
"You're not drenched. But hey, whatever. Come on, we're gonna be late for photography!" Tomoyo rushed her as she waved her videocam about. "Quick, to the clubhouse! We're having our final briefing before the ceremony!"
"Finally! I thought we'd never pull through History alive!" Tomoyo exclaimed as she dragged Sakura to the cafeteria. "We need to discuss about our photography session at the Graduation Ceremony. We'll do it over lunch. Oh, look! They're having bacon today..."
Sakura was listening intently... Until they crossed the cafeteria queue. She saw him with the preps and jocks, laughing and fooling around. She managed to catch his eye for a bit, but just as he was about to throw back a smile, Li Meiling came by his side and started flirting with him.
"Are they together?" Tomoyo's voice suddenly piped up beside her.
"What? Hell no. Syaoran said that he's got... Someone else."
"Well yeah, so stop ogling at him. You can't have him, 'Kura."
"Because you're already engaged. So stop being so gloomy and grab a bacon set!"
Sakura shook her head in amusement as Tomoyo beamed with pride.
"I'm gonna hand the Chair over to her."
"Who, Ashura Mika?" Sakura glanced at the sophomore, who was operating the video camera with skilled precision. She didn't have a hard time imagining her being the new Chairperson of the Photography Society.
"Yup. She's really good. But not as good as me though, haha!" Tomoyo beamed again, more to herself this time. "I can't wait! Just a few more minutes and we won't have to touch a single book in our lives!"
"Yeah, it's great, isn't it..."
"And you're gonna get married! Remember to invite me to your wedding!"
"It's you! You're on the honour scroll!"
"Kinomoto Sakura, please step onto the stage."
She approached the podium, feeling all eyes in the hall digging into her. She blushed. I'm on the honour scroll? Hoe!
A certificate was thrust briefly into her hands by the Headmaster, and they turned to pose for a photo. As she pretended to take an immense interest in the camera lens and the blinding flash, her eyes scanned the crowd.
Sakura smiled at her friend, as she approached the stage in pride. His eyes caught hers on the way, and he smiled at her.
He smiled at me. In school. Meiling must be so mad!
A scowl from the jealous woman ensued.
She smiled back. Just for the kicks.
Take that, Li Meili –
"Kinomoto, daijoubu desu ka?"
I tripped on my robe!
"Ah, kaijuu, you're back! Come help me with these cookies."
"You heard me. Hurry, they're going to burn!"
"... What are they for?"
"Aren't you going to visit Yukito tonight? He's been so anxious to see you. Oh well, I'll just tell him you're busy..."
Yukito! I've forgotten all about him! Tonight was supposed to be a special night! He promised me a surprise...
"NO! I'm going. Give me those cookies!"
"Mmm, these are delish! Yukito's gonna love them! I'll say hi to him for you! Bye!"
"It's only 7 o'clock," Touya muttered to himself. "That kaijuu has no sense of time."
KNOCK KNO –
"Oh, forget it," Sakura muttered to herself as she pushed open the front door. "Trash the courtesy. When is he ever getting a decent doorbell, or even fix the lock?"
She stepped into the house.
"Yuki?" she called out.
This must be part of the surprise! I bet he's hiding in his room. I'll go burst in on him, and guess who's surprising whom!
She wandered into dining room, and noticed that there was a candle right smack in the middle of an elegant table. There weren't any plates, and beside the candle lay two stalks of roses. She picked one up. It smelled of the scent that Yukito always carried with him. How sweet of him... Wherever he is. Wonder if it's take-out tonight.
She made her way up the stairs, sneakily, silently. She didn't want any noises to ruin her surprise on Yuki's surprise on her. Right... Anyway.
The door to Yukito's room was slightly ajar. She didn't have to think twice. She pushed the door wide open, and there they were, as she had suspected. Her, and the unfaithful man.
"Darling, what's going on? I thought you said your little sister was coming home at nine?"
"Sakura, I can explain..."
"Which you don't have to." Sakura frowned menacingly and stepped out of the room. "Enjoy your fuck session, Tsukishiro."
She had suspected it all along. It all started when Yukito started wearing cologne. Yukito, cologne? Ha, right!
And yet, there he was, with that heavy smell of attar saturating the air. Sakura asked him why.
"What's wrong with cologne? The lady at the outlet seduced me into just taking this free sample, and when I did, she seduced me into buying the actual thing, so I did." Yukito glanced at Sakura briefly. "Why, you don't like it?"
Sakura didn't say anything after that. If he wanted to wear cologne that made him smell like a male prostitute, then so be it. She was, after all, only his fiancée.
She strolled down the sidewalk. She didn't feel upset, for some reason. Maybe it was because she had seen this coming. Or maybe because she was the one who walked out on him, although she knew he probably didn't give a shit. But, for the illogical, but major, part of reasoning, she felt that way because she had never seen Yukito undressed before - God, they hadn't even kissed – and she didn't expect him to be so unfit on the inside. So... Hormones rule.
But no matter how un-upset she was at that point, she still needed to talk to someone to. She turned down the corner, but no. Tomoyo wouldn't take a bite out of it and compliment the dish. She would nibble a bit, maybe grind it between her teeth, and then spit it all out and say, "Why'd you even cook up that story? You're such a horrible liar."
So she made a detour and turned around another bend. At least Syaoran would swallow it down and congrats me on my improvement, even if my cooking is horrible. Even though I didn't cook up that story.
Sakura has known Li Syaoran ever since tenth grade. He was a transfer student from Hong Kong, and a lot of the boys didn't like him at first. Amano Ryuu – soccer player, midfield – told her that's because he was taller than most of the boys their grade. Even if it was by an inch. So she went over to Syaoran and said hi. He had called her some funny names, but they started talking, and that made Sakura happy.
By autumn that year, Syaoran was attacker of the school soccer team. He had wanted to go for rugby, but she told him that footballers usually date the cheerleaders, so he joined the soccer team instead. He didn't like this girl called Wan Ling. Ling's also from China, and she was a cheerleader.
When winter came and went, Sakura went back to school, only to see a totally different Syaoran. He told her that it was just a few sessions of workout, nothing extraordinary.
"Just five hours a day, every day," he had said, rather casually. "I've got pecs though, which is so cool. Look, I'll show you!"
That only gained him more disfavour from the boys, especially Amano Ryuu.
"I don't like him," he told her during Art one day. "Many people are avoiding him. They'll start avoiding you too."
She just shrugged it off. But by lunch, Syaoran had a crowd of girls flocking around him. And by the next day, Syaoran was asked out, ten times.
"Himiko's very pretty," Sakura teased. "Maybe you should buy her coffee. Oh, what about Ling? Yeah, you could buy her coffee too!"
"Sakura, I'm only 13," Syaoran replied. "There's no wayI'm dating. Especially not anyone from the cheerleading squad."
She reached the front gate of his mansion. She rang the intercom.
The gate slid open.
When she turned 15, her brother's bestie, Tsukishiro Yukito, asked her out on a date. She agreed. Yukito was handsome, in a smart and intelligent way. Besides being a scholar, Yukito was also very rich. They always went to proper places, like restaurants and theatres. Sakura loved him very much; just as much as she loved the people around her; just as much as she loved her best friend, Syaoran. She just never thought that 'love' was supposed to take a whole new level, when Yukito asked her for her hand, a few years later. She thought he had just wanted to hold it, so she let him.
Yukito took Sakura to a play. Swan Lake. Sakura almost fell asleep, but her phone bleeped, and she answered it. Syaoran had called to ask her if she was free to hang out, but she wasn't. She could meet him at around 10, though, after she's reached home. Sakura couldn't see it, but Yukito's face camouflaged like an iguana into the black of the theatre. As they were heading on the subway home, his face colour was still abnormal.
"I don't want you to see him anymore. It looks bad. You belong to me."
"But he's my best friend. I thought you were too. Now I think he's a better friend."
The train stopped at her station. The doors slid open effortlessly, and no more words were exchanged.
The butler, Wei, greeted Sakura at the door, and welcomed her in.
"Kinomoto-san, Master Li is having a guest now."
"Is it convenient for me to see him? Just for a while?"
"It wouldn't be very nice," he replied, but he nodded his head towards the grand stairs anyway. He's in his room.
She headed up to the landing, and strolled to his room. The door was closed, and as she approached it, she could hear muffled voices from inside.
There was just a woman's voice, and a few deep-throated groans.
"Syaoran, please... This is what I feel for you, from the depths of my heart..."
Sakura recognised that voice, more than any other bloody slut's voice in the world.
Sakura knew she shouldn't have done it. But she did. She probably would have been better off not doing it, but she did it anyway. She could have just let go, walked off, and pretended that she didn't hear anything. It wouldn't have to hurt so much that way.
But she felt that it was about time she found out for herself, and stopped being such a pushover. She wanted to know if the whole world was lying to her.
So she did it.
She grasped the doorknob, and opened the door.
"What the fuck, Kinomoto?" the woman spat.
There they was. She, straddled atop the liar, the traitor, the worst best friend in the world.
She didn't have to say anything. She didn't have to ask any questions. It was all there, the answers all lay clearly before her eyes, and all she had to do was choose to believe it. She took a deep breath, and slammed the door shut. She ran around the landing and clambered down the stairs. She sprinted across the hall and could not bear to meet the expression on Wei's face. The door was open, and she disappeared into the chilling blackness of the night.
She stared at the departure board. Kyoto, 22:05. It was now 9:55pm. She fished out a card and handed it to the man behind the counter in the subway.
"Lovely night it is, ne, kiiro-chan?" he remarked, and handed her the ticket. She knew he had called her that because she was wearing a bright yellow top.
"hai," she replied back, a faint smile all she could muster, and let the grumbling couple behind take her place.
It was 10:00pm, and already the tracks were rumbling with anticipation. Just as she managed to snag a seat, the crowds dissipated from the cool, marble benches, and approached the railway track.
10:02pm. The train had arrived, earlier than expected.
Sakura sat and watched as hundreds of people milled in and out of the train doors, which would stay open until the last punctual, sensible person strolled through them. There were people everywhere, speaking to each other, yelling into cellphones, bustling and shoving each other to get past the ticketing counter. She wasn't all alone, yet she felt so, so lonely, in this warm yet desolate place. The announcement came on, and Sakura picked up her meagre luggage. She cast a last glance back at her hometown, and slowly, but surely, set her feet through the train doors.
She still remembered the first time he had given her chocolate. It was Valentine's, and although he already had plans, he still managed to take time off for his best friend.
"Here you are, darling," he chuckled as she squealed and hugged him. "Happy Valentine's."
There was no more time. The doors slid closed, swiftly, effortlessly, and not another word was heard from Kinomoto Sakura from Yokohama.
It's been a year.
Syaoran looked up at the clock.
It's seemed like a thousand...
He got off from the soft cushioned seat and wandered about the waiting area.
"First-class passengers in the VIP lounge, we will begin boarding at 3.30pm. Please have your passports and tickets ready for inspection. Thank you, and we wish you an enjoyable flight."
"Syaoran, hurry and join the queue," his mother urged.
He glanced ruefully at Li Yelan, and clutched his passport tightly. If I leave now, I may never...
His forehead creased in a frown as his cellphone churned for his attention. He reached into his pocket and flipped it open.
"baka Li, where do you think you're going?"
"Touya?" he growled back into the phone. "I am going back to Hong Kong, not that it's any business of yours!"
"If you're considering the fact that my kaijuu sister is homesick as none of your business, then so be it," Touya sniffed.
"What?" Syaoran's eyes opened wide.
"She's on her way home, not that it concerns you. If she comes back crying, anorexic, or by any means torn and broken, get ready to usher hell, baka Li."
The joyful crackling of the line died an instant death.
"Syaoran, where do you think you -"
He had sprinted out of the lounge as fast as his legs could carry him, leaving a fuming Yelan in his wake.
"Wei, I need you to drive me to the subway now," Syaoran spoke frantically into his cellphone.
"Yes, Master Li," the loyal servant responded as he turned around the bend and swerved into the waiting lot of Narita Airport.
The subway was under the siege of a human tsunami as train after train arrived.
Kinomoto Sakura tried her best to pry her way through the crowded doors of the shinkansen, pulling her meagre luggage behind her.
Kyoto was a nice place – she had spent half a year of sightseeing and taking in the natural beauty, and another half a year of actually living there – but she got bored. Sure, they had yatsuhachi there, as promised, but food wasn't everything. She couldn't find anyone who wanted to take her in, either. There was this old man whose eyes were permanently fixated on the area below her neck as she explained her parody. By the time he was ready to let her stay, she was ready to say no.
She had finally made it out of the train, when she realised she had nowhere to go. She couldn't go home, of course not, or she'll be prepared to 'usher hell' from Touya. When she decided to play good little sister before leaving Kyoto and call him, she ended up getting a huge lashing from him.
"You're on your way home? Would that concern me? If you come back crying, anorexic, or by any means torn and broken, get ready to usher hell, because you shouldn't have left in the first place, kaijuu."
She couldn't go to Syaoran's – duh.
And she couldn't go to Tommy's, either, because she was sure that there was something going on in the house right about now that she didn't want to interrupt.
So she parked her butt on one of the cold marble seats in the station and watched the hundreds of people milling by. What a lonely place the subway was.
Amidst the many heads bobbing up and down in the crowd, she thought she saw an all-too-familiar chocolate brown mane. She grabbed her luggage, shot up from the comfort of the seat (which was warm by now), and dashed into the crowd. People everywhere were pushing and shoving her, deviating her from the original direction, but she didn't care. She wanted to see him, to feel him, to hear him, to tell him how much she...
But he wasn't there.
She was sure, so sure that she had seen him here. At this exact spot. But he wasn't here, and she felt her heart sink to her toes.
The crowd had cleared out by then, and a few people were left wandering about the station, awaiting the next train.
She decided to head back to her seat and stay there until someone noticed. Which seat was it? She couldn't tell; they were all occupied now. And don't tell me to take that miserable seat at the far end, she thought bitterly to herself. I liked my seat. It had a good view of the train track.
So she was set on finding back that very seat. Hey, it was a very no-life thing to do, but Sakura wasn't exactly full of life.
She remembered that seat was near a pillar with the words Yami loves Kaoru scrawled across it. It was at that same seat where they always met, talked, and left to board the train. Sometimes, when the station got really crowded, and there were no two free seats next to each other, Syaoran let her share the seat with him. Which meant that they sat really close.
Sakura knew she didn't have much time to find her seat. More and more people were filling up the station, as the next train was due in ten minutes.
"Hoe!" she cried as her cellphone tumbled to the floor. She bent down to pick it up, but some ruffian shoved into her as she got up, and she stumbled backwards into a pillar.
It was a white pillar. It was whiter than any of the other pillars in the station, and there was just one tiny line of scribbling across it. Was it a sign from Yami and Kaoru? Sakura squinted for a better look.
"Ohmygoodness!" she gasped to herself. Oh. My. God.
"Would you like to share a seat? It feels really empty without you," a voice came from behind the pillar.
She walked around the support and her eyes grew wide. There he was. He was there. Was he there? Yes. Yes. It was...
"Syaoran!" she cried and broke down in his arms. "Syaoran..."
"Hello, my Cherry Blossom," he chuckled and ruffled her hair. She was sobbing into his shirt. "You looked lost, so I thought I'd help you find your seat. They whitewashed all the pillars."
She looked up at him, tears glimmering in her beautiful emerald eyes. He grinned back, and embraced her.
"I missed you," he whispered. "Why did you leave?"
She couldn't say anything. She didn't want to remember.
"Was it... Meiling?"
She didn't say anything. So she just nodded.
"And you were jealous, then?" he chuckled again.
She shouldn't have said anything. But she did.
"I thought you said you didn't love her anymore."
"I didn't, I still don't, and I never will."
"But you – she –"
"My darling..." he laughed. "I was begging her to stop talking about how only her feelings mattered, but she wouldn't. She just kept going on and on, whining like this whole thing cost her life, but whatever. I told her the truth, I pleaded with her, but she said that her love for me was savage. Then she lunged herself on me. That's when you came in."
She wiped her tears away. "So what happened after that?"
"I threw her out of the house."
"And what about that woman you loved?"
"I never got to tell her, so we never got together."
"Why?" Sakura titled her head.
"Because she ran away," Syaoran grinned.
"That's stupid. Anyone in their right mind wouldn't run away from a hot guy like Syaoran," she commented bluntly and rolled her eyes.
He was staring at her.
When she realised what she had just said, and what he said, she blushed and blushed and blushed.
"Sakura, look at me," Syaoran's voice soothed her face from red – but not totally; she was still pink – and he said, "I love you."
She never managed to complete her sentence. He had placed his lips against hers, and his arms around her.
The old couple beside them shook their heads and snorted.
"Young people these days. They can never keep their hands to themselves."
"Darn right, Reece. Vandals, they are! Look at what he wrote on the pillar. Cowardly declaration!"
On the pillar in front of them, someone had written across it with immaculate writing:
Syaoran loves Sakura!
The subway is a lonely place, devoid of any feelings. People inside it are busy rushing about, never having enough time to think about happiness. It can be sweltering hot in the subway, but it can also be cold and cheerless.
Yet, once or twice, in the unfeeling subway, you can spot a couple smiling to themselves, shedding sun onto the grey-patched crowd, because to that lucky pair, the subway can be a lonely place, but they will never be alone.
If you didn't realise, why I called this oneshot The Subway holds a plethora of reasons. Firstly, it's the only place (almost) Sakura and Syaoran exchange words and moments of friendship. Secondly, it's where the story begins, climaxes (kind of), and ends. Thirdly, because the subway's usually a sad place. There are so many people in the subway, but you're lonely. Yeah. So, anyways, tell me what you think of it. Cheers!