A/N: Here's another little one-shot that I threw out a while back … back when TRC was all fun and games. I actually think this is the first TRC fic I ever wrote, which is why it's not as good as 'Kissing It Better' (in my opinion). It's another sugary fluff-fest I'm afraid, but make the most of it … the next couple of one-shots I have in the works are considerably more angsty. I'm hoping to write something a little longer when I get the time, but 'til then, I leave you with this. Thank you to everyone who reviewed 'Kissing It Better', it's always good to hear reader feedback!

Disclaimer: I, parma-violets, do not own Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles. I can't draw for peanuts.

Summary: Princess Sakura of the Kingdom of Clow is on the verge of turning sixteen. The perfect opportunity to start introducing her to some nice, 'proper' boys – at least according to her brother, who's willing to do anything to keep her away from the gaki. But his plan backfires when Sakura decides to take refuge in Syaoran's bed …

Suitors

Some days were just doomed from the beginning.

Syaoran mused upon this briefly, pausing in scrutinising the maps of the excavation site. Today had started badly when he pulled open the curtains only to be greeted by the sight of rain, and then spilt coffee all over his favourite shirt (not that he had many). Things went from bad to worse – he'd missed the cart that took him and his colleagues to the ruins, and had to walk there. Three people went home sick at the site. He'd forgotten his lunch. And someone dropped a chisel on his right foot.

It had been around that point that Syaoran had decided he would have been better off staying in bed.

And now here he was, home alone, trying to make plans for tomorrow in order to rectify some of the disasters of the day. After all, things couldn't exactly get worse.

Suddenly, someone thumped on the door, and Syaoran remembered that the universe often got kicks out of proving him wrong.

Sighing, Syaoran got to his feet, knowing that he wasn't going to be getting any work done, or even get to make the dinner he needed to make up for missing lunch. He opened the door, ready to death-glare the visitor for daring to intrude upon his misery. But the visitor didn't give him a chance. All Syaoran saw was a flash of white as the figure pushed past him, streaked through the room and flung open the door to his bedroom, before disappearing inside.

Syaoran frowned. That had been weird. He was sure he knew the person – he'd recognise her anywhere, no matter how fast she was moving – but the person he knew would never ignore him like that.

He closed the door, before following the figure's tracks into his bedroom.

Peering around the doorframe, Syaoran couldn't help but smile softly as he saw a lump in his bed – she had jumped in and pulled the blanket over her head. He swallowed, not sure how to approach a situation where someone had run into his house unannounced and hidden in his bed.

"Um … hime?" Syaoran prompted nervously, waiting for an explanation.

None came.

Syaoran started to get worried – had someone hurt her? Or upset her? If they had, he vowed at that second to hunt them down and make them feel a million types of pain they never believed imaginable …

"Sakura-hime?" he tried again, moving to sit beside the lump in his bed.

"Don't call me that," a muffled voice scolded him from beneath the blanket.

Finally, Syaoran smiled – nothing too serious could have happened if Sakura was still telling him off for getting her name wrong.

"Sorry," he apologised.

They sat in silence for a while. Syaoran clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth and scrutinised the ceiling. He knew her, she would talk when she was ready –

"I hate my brother."

Syaoran frowned at this pronouncement – Sakura never hated anyone. Even her brother, who teased her constantly.

"Why?" he asked in confusion.

"He's trying to make me get married!" Sakura replied, spitting out the word in disgust.

Syaoran blanched. The idea of Sakura marrying another man made his heart beat faster and his palms sweat and the bile rise in his throat. "Uh … um …" he muttered vaguely, wondering what to say. Voicing his true feelings – something along the lines of hanging the king with his own belt – would probably be considered treason.

"Well, not married exactly," Sakura hurried to correct herself, her words muffled by the blanket. "But he keeps introducing me to all these stupid boys and going on about engagements, and …"

She let her sentence trail off, choosing not to divulge the other reason that her brother had started introducing her to the noblemen of Clow Kingdom, and any other kingdom within a three hundred mile radius. Namely that he was hoping she would become infatuated with one of them enough to take her attention away from Syaoran. The fact that Touya-ou of Clow (the most over-protective older brother in existence) was actually trying to get Sakura to spend time with a boy was a testament to how much he really hated Syaoran.

"Today when I came in from the gardens, there was a whole roomful of them," Sakura explained. "'Nii-sama said they were all paying a 'social visit' – but there wasn't one woman in there, and not a single man over thirty!"

Syaoran still didn't say anything. His throat was too dry.

"So 'nii-sama made me pass drinks round and be all nice," she said bitterly. "But they were all annoying and creepy, so I …"

"So you …" he prompted curiously.

"Jumped out of the bathroom window and came here."

Syaoran couldn't help but laugh. The idea of Sakura climbing out of a window in all her skirts and jewels was just too funny.

"Moiiiii … don't be mean!" Sakura whined, lowering the blanket enough to reveal her face so that she could throw him a meaningful pout.

Smiling, Syaoran tugged the blanket down a little further. "That's better," he grinned. "Now I can see your face."

"Hmmph," she huffed, pouting again just to prove that she hadn't yet forgiven his mocking of such a serious situation.

"So … what are your plans from here, hime?" Syaoran asked curiously.

"Mmm …" Sakura murmured, lowering her eyes. "Could I, maybe … stay here? With you?"

"W-What?" Syaoran exploded before he could help himself.

"Just for a few hours!" Sakura begged. "You won't even know I'm here! Please Syaoran, don't make me go back to them! They're dull and boring and they all want to talk to me because I'm a princess and nothing else!"

He wondered why he even bothered to protest. They both knew that when it came to Sakura, there was nothing he wouldn't do.

"But, Sakura-hime …" Syaoran began weakly, trying to give it one last shot.

"I don't want to get you in trouble," she interrupted in a small voice. "And I know 'nii-sama will be mad if he finds me here …"

'Mad' was an understatement. If Touya found out that his sister had run out on his friends to see Syaoran, he would no doubt take great pleasure in personally disembowelling the archaeologist. Really, he should send her back. That way Touya wouldn't get mad and Syaoran would be able to keep his head attached to his body.

And Sakura could get to know all those rich, eligible bachelors …

Syaoran sighed, seeing the pout and the wide emerald eyes. He didn't stand a chance in hell.

"Of course you can stay …"

"Yatta!" Sakura cried, flinging her arms around him. "Arigatou, Syaoran!"

"Yeah, yeah …" he grumbled, pretending to be put out. But truthfully, nothing else could have made his up-to-now abysmal day worth getting out of bed for.

Now satisfied that her friend wasn't going to turn her out into the cold (well, not really) streets of Clow, Sakura climbed off the bed and wandered into the main room, poking at things curiously. "What's this?" she asked, holding up one of Syaoran's maps. Before he could answer, she'd moved on. "Want me to wash up for you? You look like you haven't done it in days …"

"I've been busy!" he defended himself.

"So I'll do it for you," Sakura shrugged, hurrying into the kitchen because she knew he would never let her.

Sure enough … "Sakura-hime, you can't wash my dishes!"

"I just want to help," she pouted again. "I can help you clean the rest of this place up if you want. And then we could read a book or go for a walk or … Oooh! Can we go to the marketplace?"

Syaoran sighed, wishing he could bang his head against a wall. Obviously the incident with her brother had put Sakura into one of her, 'I want to do everything a princess isn't supposed to so because I'm sick of being a princess, and plus I can get Syaoran to do whatever I want just by smiling at him!' moods.

He wouldn't have it any other way.

xxx

Sure enough, two hours later, Syaoran was sitting in a relatively clean house (purely because he'd redone every single chore Sakura had tried her hand at – she had the best of intentions, but wasn't too skilled at housework. She thought his mop was a type of puppet), sprawled on the sofa withone of his historical tomes in front of him and several containers of food from the market (and Sakura) on his lap.

He dreaded to think what Touya would do to him if he found Sakura here like this. A princess with a mouthful of incredibly cheap chicken, soy sauce stains down her pristine white dress and giggling her head off at a decidedly risqué picture in his book, would not be deemed appropriate by the king.

And the fact that she was lounging over Syaoran's lap with her skirts hiked up to her knees would no doubt land him with the death penalty.

Sakura must have seen the frown on his face, because suddenly she shifted her attention away from the book. "Syaoran? What's wrong?"

He shook his head, his eyes glued to the pages.

She sighed, wrapping an arm around his waist. "If you don't tell me, I can't fix it."

"I'm fine, hime."

"Are you worried about 'nii-sama?" Sakura asked anxiously, biting her lower lip. "Maybe I should go …"

Against his better judgement, Syaoran caught her shoulder as she sat up, and pulled her back down next to him. "No," he insisted. "At least stay for a few more minutes. Otherwise the next time you come over here you'll be sporting an engagement ring big enough to sink a ship."

"No I won't," she said softly. "'Nii-sama's wasting his time. I don't think I'll ever get married."

Syaoran raised his eyebrows. "And why's that?"

"Think about it," Sakura replied, tilting her head up to look at him. "If I got married, my husband wouldn't let me come and see you like this."

"You can't not get married for my sake, Sakura," Syaoran sighed in exasperation, though his heart was thumping in his chest.

"I'm the princess – I can do what I want," she grinned cheekily. "And I want to be with you."

"I – you'll change your mind," he said sadly.

"I won't," Sakura insisted. "I'd rather be here with you than in all the rich, lavishly decorated palaces of those stupid suitors. At least you have a sense of humour … somewhere."

"Forgive me," Syaoran grinned. "I'm too distracted listening out for the battle cries of your enraged brother to have a sense of humour at the minute."

She giggled, but asked worriedly, "What'll we do if he comes here?"

"Jump out of the bathroom window," Syaoran replied without hesitation. "Or hide in the bed."

Sakura laughed this time, throwing her arms around him and hugging him tightly. "Arigatou, Syaoran!"

"For what?" he asked in confusion.

"For being you," she said firmly … before leaning over and stealing one of his prawns. "And for buying me food."

"And what gives you the right to steal my prawns, Your Highness?"

Sakura narrowed her eyes at him dangerously. "Tell you what. I'll steal some of your food every time you call me 'hime' or 'Your Highness'."

"Hai, hai … Syaoran sighed wearily, but he couldn't help smiling. Maybe days couldn't be doomed from the beginning. Not if Sakura was around. After all, two hours with her was enough to erase an entire day's worth of misery.

Suddenly, the food war was interrupted by a thumping at the door.

"GAKI! I know you're in there! Where's my sister? Kaijuu, get out here right now! I'm gonna kill that gaki … Sakura!"

Sakura and Syaoran turned to each other, wide eyed.

Syaoran swallowed nervously. "Bathroom window or bed?"

"Bed."

And with that, the two jumped to their feet and sprinted into Syaoran's bedroom, diving into the bed and pulling the blankets up right over their heads.

A/N: I don't think Touya's actually used 'kaijuu' in Tsubasa. I can so imagine him doing it, though …