Summary: Sakura is a famous fanfiction author. Syaoran is the best beta she's ever had. They share a world made of the words and tales they weave and write. But they don't know that they know each other...in real life.
Full Summary: He promised he'd come back for her. She promised to wait for him. But a misunderstanding creates a giant rift between Sakura and Syaoran, enough to break the powerful friendship they once shared. To escape fate's blows, Sakura seeks solace in fanfiction and soon becomes a famous author on the busy Fanfiction Corner, under the alias Sayuri. She's lucky enough to meet Lang, and he becomes her greatest fan, faithful beta, and online buddy/soulmate. Wait until she finds out that "Lang" is really Syaoran, the cause of all her troubles...
It was a warm summer afternoon in Tomoeda, Japan. It would have been a perfect day to go out and buy ice creams, ten-year-old Sakura thought to herself sadly.
But no. Instead, she was at the airport, watching teary-eyed as a boy of about her age hauled his last suitcase onto the conveyor belt. He turned around to face her tear-stained face, an apologetic look on his face.
"Look, don't cry -" he began, but that just set her off. She began to bawl and sob and hiccup in that little-girl way of hers, and he winced as people looked at her curiously.
"Sakura-chan," he muttered, his face going red. "People are staring at you like you're weird. Please don't cry."
Sakura sniffed once or twice before obediently falling silent.
"I just can't believe it..." she said, her voice shaking. "You're leaving me and going away."
"I'm not leaving you!" Syaoran's hands shot out to grab her shoulders. His wide amber eyes, too big on his childish pudding of a face, were intense as he stared at her. "I'm going to Hong Kong to train. For a few years."
"Years?!" Sakura was taken aback. Such a long time?
"They'll go by like that." Syaoran snapped his fingers to prove his point. "Trust me."
She sniffled again.
"It's too long," she said, her bottom lip trembling alarmingly again. "I don't want to never see you again -"
A fresh bout of tears escaped from her eyes. She wrapped her arms around her best friend and cried into his shoulder. He stood there looking stunned for a moment before he patted the top of her head awkwardly.
"Stop acting like a baby," he said, which made her cry even harder. "You're going to have plenty to do in the next few years. You have to take care of Kero. You have to watch after the Sakura Cards. You're going to have to study like mad so that when I get back here, you can beat me in our next maths test."
He grinned at her, pulling her off of him and holding her at arms' length.
"Come on, stop crying," he said, more gently. "For me. Please?"
And Sakura could never refuse him. Because though they had only known each other for a little over a year, they were best friends. Friends in a way that even she and Tomoyo couldn't match. It was a glorious giving and taking of childhood innocence that gave birth to a relationship unable to be described in words.
She took a good look at him, trying to memorize every last detail. The round face, already starting to mature, though he was only ten years old. She could see the jaw and cheekbones growing more prominent. His nose, still too small for his face. His tiny mouth. His cheeks, which were now dusted with a faint red blush. God, he looked adorable when he blushed like that. And his eyes. His giant amber eyes that seemed far too big for his face. Amber, warm, lined with curiously effeminate eyelashes...
What would he look like when she saw him next, she wondered?
He scrutinized her carefully too, making a picture of her in his mind. Even though he didn't have to, because there was a picture of the two of them safely tucked away in his suitcase. But still, he made sure he remembered the pale white face, the soft dusting of freckles, the full pink lips...Her fine hair the shade of honey, cropped boyishly short. Her sparkling green eyes.
He didn't even want to think about what she would look like in a few years. He couldn't imagine her different. He didn't want her to be different. He wanted her to stay as the Sakura he'd befriended. Always cheerful, always carefree, always ready to pull a reluctant smile from his shy face.
Syaoran's guardian, Wei, interrupted them by gently placing a hand on Syaoran's shoulder.
"My apologies, young master," he said in his deep voice, "but it is time we boarded."
Syaoran's face darkened as he nodded quickly. Sakura had begun to tremble, though her eyes were thankfully dry. She hugged him to her in a last goodbye embrace.
"You'll write to me, right?" she asked quickly, to stop herself from crying again.
"Of course," Syaoran assured her. "You gave me your address and phone number, I have it written down. We'll keep in touch. Phone calls, letters, emails...it'll be as though I haven't gone anywhere."
"Write to me when you get there," Sakura pleaded, not wanting to let him go.
"The moment I set foot into my house," Syaoran said, fighting a grin. "Sakura, I really have to go or I'll miss my flight!"
Sakura was tempted to keep Syaoran by her side so that he would miss his flight. Then he wouldn't have to go to Hong Kong and leave her alone. But that wouldn't work, she thought with a frown. His mother in Hong Kong would probably get mad at him and at her, and just send Syaoran another plane ticket.
Feeling a part of her go numb, she let go of Syaoran. Face falling, he turned around and followed Wei to the door on the other side of the room. He was getting smaller and smaller...she could barely see him...
"Wait!" she cried, slipping and dashing to where Syaoran stood, just about to cross into the other room. She grabbed her knees and panted, while Syaoran looked at her, pain in his eyes.
Sakura ran her fingers through her hair and pulled one of her hairclips out. It was a pretty amber comb, with a curiously real-looking fabric blossom attached to it.
She pressed it into Syaoran's hand.
He glanced at it, dumbfounded.
"It's a cherry blossom," he said.
"To remember me by," she said simply.
They stared into each other's eyes for a moment. Neither of them pointed out the sheer and utter uselessness of her giving Syaoran a woman's hairclip.
"I'll come back," Syaoran said decisively, his fist closing tightly around Sakura's keepsake. "For you. I promise."
Sakura nodded, her eyes brimming once again.
"And I'll wait for you," she whispered. "No matter how long you take."
Syaoran felt his own eyes prickle dangerously before turning around for the last time. Sakura stood there, tears streaming down her cheeks, watching the back of Syaoran's head grow smaller and smaller into the distance. Until he disappeared and she couldn't see him at all.
She managed to save her tears until she reached her bedroom. Once she locked herself safely behind her door and closed the drapes around her windows, she flung herself onto her bed and sobbed uncontrollably into her pillow.
Kero watched Sakura sadly.
"Do you want to talk?" he asked, uncharacteristically serious as her sobs subsided into hesitant little sniffles.
She shook her head, wiping her eyes with the back of her palm.
"Not really," she said, pulling a face. She swung herself into a sitting position and glanced around her room. It already felt so boring without Syaoran here!
"Maybe you should do something to take your mind off of Sy – him," Kero suggested innocently.
"Like what?" she asked, tilting her head back to stare at the ceiling.
"Um -" Kero paused, trying to think of something. "Do something ridiculous like...uh..." Skinny dipping? No. Singing karaoke? ...definitely not. Movie making? No, Tomoyo's camera isn't with her...
"Writing fanfiction!" he burst out.
His words hovered on the air.
Where'd that come from? Kero asked himself, scratching his head with his right paw.
Sakura's blank look transformed into an incredulous stare.
"Yeah right!" she snorted. "Thanks for the idea though."
"No, no!" Kero said desperately, trying to convince her although he didn't really know what he was talking about. "Writing fanfiction is...awesome. You get to borrow your favourite characters from your favourite books and movies and stuff, and then you get to make them do funny things, and change around the endings, and even just change the whole storyline altogether! Plus, random people all over the world can read your stories and they even leave you reviews and -"
He paused in mid-rant as Sakura gazed at him, goggle-eyed.
"I'm not making this sound very appealling, am I?" he asked dryly.
Sakura shook her head, giggling a little.
"No, but you cheered me up," she said with a small smile. "Thanks, Kero."
"Ah...no problem," Kero said, relieved. He didn't know what was getting into him lately. Fanfiction writing. He couldn't imagine Sakura being one of those crazed, obsessive, cyberspace authors. Just the thought of it made him laugh. Fanfiction. What a truly ridiculous pastime.
"Maybe you could get the Cards out," he suggested. "I'm sure some of them are getting bored, being locked up all day. Why don't you take one of them out for a walk or something?"
Sakura gave him a stern glare.
"The Cards aren't my pets, Kero," she said reproachfully. "You know that."
"Ah..." Kero said, wincing a little When Sakura was depressed, it threw him off. He didn't know what to say or think anymore...
I know! He thought, eyes lighting up. I'll make her a nice big cake. That'll cheer her up for sure! Forget karaoke and movie making and fanfiction and all that crazy stuff. Chocolate's the way to go!
"I'll be right back," Kero said, getting up and making his way to the door. "Oh, and don't do anything ridiculous while I'm gone."
"Like write fanfiction?" Sakura teased, and Kero disappeared with a nervous giggle.
Sakura shook her head, smiling to herself. Kero and his ideas! Okay, sometimes he got a little bit farfetched, but fanfiction?
Actually, she thought to herself, I don't think that's too bad at all.
She glanced sadly at the framed picture propped upright on her bedstand. It was of her and Syaoran, taken just two weeks ago. Syaoran had invited them over to his mansion, and he, Sakura, Tomoyo, Eriol and Meiling spent the entire afternoon in his giant basement watching movies on his enormous home theatre. Tomoyo had snapped a picture of the two right in the middle of the first Lord of the Rings movie. A giant troll had just appeared out of nowhere, and Sakura had screamed and grabbed the closest thing to her, which in that case happened to be Syaoran. Seconds later...snap! Bright white flashing lights.
Sakura smiled wistfully at the identical shocked expressions on her and Syaoran. What a happy time. The best part had been when Tomoyo had snapped a picture of them laughing together after recovering from the double shock of the big ugly troll, and then Tomoyo's camera. Sakura loved that picture. Syaoran had kept that one. Maybe he'd keep it by his bedstand in Hong Kong and stare at it every night, wishing he was in Tomoeda...
Kero's right, she thought to herself suddenly. You need to do something. How about fanfiction? It's probably ridiculous enough to get my mind off of all this.
With that thought in her mind, she got out of her bed and seated herself in front of the desktop in her room. She was glad that she had closed the drapes, because her window had a perfect view of the mansion where Syaoran used to live. She giggled, remembering the times she'd be awake in the middle of the night and so would Syaoran, and they'd communicate by flicking their light switches on and off -
She abruptly opened up an Internet browser, and got to a search engine.
Now, she thought to herself, where's a good fanfiction site?
She typed in her query and her mouse found thousands of results. She scanned the page, her eyes hitting a number.
804 567 results found.
Wow, Sakura thought to herself. A lot of people out there write fanfiction. I guess I'm not the only crazy one here for wanting to write.
She began to search through the pages, not knowing what she was looking for, but searching nonetheless.
A homely looking site loaded onto her screen. The header read, The Fanfiction Corner.
There were nearly 6 million authors registered on that site, writing under almost a million different works. Sakura's jaw dropped as she saw the titles of familiar books, movies, TV shows, video games...
This is insane, she thought to herself. There must be a fanfiction out for every media piece released!
And curious words jumped out at her. Canon, fanon, fluff, ship, AU, Mary Sue, OC, R&R...
Okay, Sakura told herself. Fanfiction is crazier than I am.
It was like learning a different language. Being part of a completely different world. And she welcomed the change. It was in fact, as Kero had suggested, enough to get her mind off of her previous depression.
Sakura didn't have to think twice before opening up an empty Word document and typing away at something. She didn't care if it was badly written or not. All she knew was that the pain inside of her needed to come out, and this was an excellent way of doing it. She wrote about partings and endings and friends who could never see each other again. She wrote it entirely in the first person perspective. And of course, she chose to write in the Lord of the Rings fandom, simply because of the memories the movies brought her. As she finished her first chapter (barely five hundred words long), she turned around to face the picture of herself and Syaoran, and gave it a very small smile.
"Wish me luck," she said to the terrified-looking Syaoran in the picture before signing up for an account at Fanfiction Corner. She chose her penname as Cherry Blossom, the English translation of her name. Her account was made, she uploaded her first chapter onto the site and set about making her first story.
She titled it The Parting of Ways and within moments, it was published. One of the forty thousand fanfictions based on Lord of the Rings. She wondered if anyone would read it or post a review.
To her annoyance, she saw that, in her hurry to create an account, she had typoed her penname. She was not Cherry Blossom. Instead, she was Cheery Blossom.
She groaned, burying her head into her arms. Well, Cheery Blossom was better than nothing at all. Besides, penname Cherry Blossom was already taken, she observed.
...she still couldn't believe she'd followed Kero's advice and gotten into fanfiction. And what was worse, she was actually enjoying herself.
This was getting addicting.
"Ta-da!" Kero sang, pushing the door open. "Feast your eyes on this!"
Sakura whirled around in her chair. Her eyes went perfectly round as she saw the gigantic, three-tiered cake he had baked for her. A masterpiece of chocolate, whipped cream and glazed strawberries. Piped icing spelled the words, Feel better soon, Sakura.
Sakura's face split into a grin as she ran from her desk to grab the cake, placed it carefully on her desk, and then grab Kero in her arms.
"Aww," she said, squeezing him tightly. "You're so sweet. Did you know that?"
Kero felt himself turning purple.
"That's – that's nice -" he gasped, choking. "You can let go of me now!"
Sakura promptly let go of him with an "oh! Right!" and a murmured stream of apologies. The two of them then proceeded to work their way through the giant cake, which was absolutely delicious.
"Oh yum," Sakura said happily. "I'm going to be so sick tomorrow..."
"It's worth every bite," Kero said dramatically, popping a giant slice into his mouth and chewing slowly with his eyes closed.
"Anyway," he said after swallowing, "what were you doing all this time? You're in such a good mood now."
Sakura grinned at him.
"Writing fanfiction," she said brightly.
Kero fell onto the ground in disbelief.
The next day, Sakura scrambled to her computer and checked her story on the Fanfiction Corner. Her eyes flitted across her stats.
17 hits. 1 review.
Sakura's face lit up.
"Hey Kero!" she said, her face splitting into a wide grin. "Someone actually reviewed!"
Kero grunted before perching on her shoulder.
"I still can't believe you actually started writing -" he began, but Sakura cut him off with an innocent blink.
"I think the only reason I did it was because you told me not to," she replied and chuckled to herself.
Kero opened his mouth to retort and then realized what he was seeing. Here was Sakura, smiling and laughing to herself. Being her normal cheery self. And if it was all because of this fanfiction stuff, then maybe it couldn't be too bad that she'd started writing.
As long as it kept her mind off the Syaoran kid...
"Ha ha, very funny," Kero grunted noncommitally. "So what did your reviewer write?"
Sakura clicked on the button and the review appeared. It was posted by Leader of Plums, whoever that was.
She read it eagerly.
Overall it was good. You need to check your grammar at times. But I liked your characters, they were really realistic.
Not bad for a first attempt though. If you keep writing, I think you can become a really good author.
Kero read the comments over Sakura's shoulder.
"That wasn't too bad," he said. "They said you could be a really good author."
"Yeah..." Sakura trailed off, eyes scanning the review as if trying to memorize it. It was nice of Leader of Plums to give criticism. Even if it hurt a bit.
"Well, I guess I'll have to work more on my grammar," she said lightly, closing the browser. She got up from her desk and flopped back onto her bed, staring at the picture of her and Syaoran.
He'd sent her a quick email the night before, true to his word. And she'd sent a reply. Now she was just waiting for him to write back. She didn't know when he'd send another one back. He said that he was already so busy with training, he barely had time to write to her.
Sakura sighed. What was a girl to do in the meantime?
She gazed at her computer screen. A small smile flitted across her face.
Time to start chapter two...
Disclaimer: Me no own. You no sue.
a/n: I'm hesitant on whether I want to continue this or not. This went smoothly up until the second chapter, after which, the characters started becoming stubborn. I'm not sure whether I want to go through the trouble of fighting with them unless it's really worth it.
To put it bluntly, if this doesn't get a lot of reviews, it'll probably be coming down in a few days. Yeah, I hate demanding readers to review, but I feel even worse when I see that 800 people have hit the page and only 12 have bothered leaving reviews. That hurts even more than begging for reviews.
The next chapter will fast forward seven years, to when SxS are in their teenage years, which is when the plot starts rolling. The entire mood and style of the story does a 180 after the prologue. This is not a cutesy story. It's going to have a lot of deep angst in it. I'm trying to incorporate a bit of humour here and there, but this is going to be a pretty serious story. I've turned the rating up to M because...Sakura and Syaoran are going to be swearing a lot.
Anyway, please do review. Length isn't an issue for me. I'm open to ideas and suggestions and scene requests, even.
Next Chapter: A typical day in seventeen-year-old Sakura's life is interrupted by a...rather heartbreaking encounter with a certain amber-eyed boy from Hong Kong. Look for it in Free Fall.
Please do review!