A/N: Hey guys, I know it's been forever, which sucks because I really didn't want to take this long on this story. I really am sorry, but summer got away from me . . . We authors all say "hey it's summer, school's out so I'll have more time to write!" etc. but then we update even less if at all. Sometimes I think we are actually busier during the summer than the school year! I was definitely pretty busy. Of course I was working at Target, I did end up having to put my darling cat Snowball to sleep on May 6th (absolutely broke my heart, but he was old (16 yrs) and sick (ended up having oral cancer) and very likely in pain so I had to do it. I held him even while they gave him the shot, it was one of the hardest things I've ever done but I figured I owed him at least that much. My fiancé did buy me a kitten from a the local shelter for my graduation present to help easy my sadness and it has helped, Calli (short for Calliope) is great, but I still cried for weeks over losing Snowball. I even paid extra to have him cremated and get his ashes back, he meant that much to me), my brother and his girlfriend had their baby, my boyfriend proposed (yeah, we're now engaged hehehe), I had a HUGE graduation party that took months of yard work and stuff to get my backyard in tip-top shape (or as my Target co-workers like to say "Cancun" as it reminds them of paradise lol), and I've had to start the extremely boring task of trying to find a "real job" now that I graduated for good from college (which I'm still doing now, grrrrr). Despite my high credentials, getting a good job right now is rather difficult since the U.S. economy is practically on the verge of the second great depression sigh so I have to spend a lot of time doing job searches. Plus I was having some serious writers block on how to wrap this up but I've finally come up with something so I'm back.
For those interested, my dad is still hanging in there (thank you for all your concerns and well wishes). He seems to be getting better surprisingly, but I don't know that for sure. He's gotten more mobile anyway. He did make it to see another birthday. He turned 59 on Oct. 3rd. It was a hard day for him though since it was his first birthday since his twin brother died . . . The anniversary of his death is coming up at the end of Oct too (as mentioned in the A/N of chapter 6, my cousin's and my Guinea Pig's are also in October. October's just not a good month for my family anymore it seems). But that's that I suppose, point is he's hanging in there. Although the dummy's been sneaking cigarettes even though that's what gave him cancer in the first place. Some people just never learn . . . Anyway enough of my ramblings, on with the final chapter!
Chapter Note: Most anime fans know what White Day is in Japan, but for those that might not be familiar with it, it is the Valentine's Day equivalent for girls. In Japan, Valentine's Day is for guys. Girls give the guys they like chocolates or some type of sweets and then a month later on March 14th (White Day) the guys give them chocolates in return if they reciprocate their feelings. People give chocolates to others on both holidays out of obligation too (for example, to your boss or some close friends etc.). It's called girichoco, or obligatory chocolate. Girls are double lucky because "Girl's Day" is March 3rd and they usually get little gifts from their boyfriends and stuff on that holiday too hahaha.
Disclaimer: "Cardcaptor Sakura belongs to CLAMP and Holiday in Handcuffs belongs to ABC Family. I made up Satoshi so I guess he belongs to me but there's not much to him lol"
" means spoken words
Italics means thoughts
( means insert A/N, etc.
Chapter 9: A Proposal at the Bell Tower?
Sakura felt ready to vomit, the news about her Grandfather made her feel physically ill. Syaoran still had his arms around her in an attempt to support her, but he wasn't doing so hot himself. He had only just met Masaki a week ago and yet he almost felt as if it was his own Grandfather who had a heart attack. He had felt a connection of sorts with the man; he liked him and felt genuinely liked in return. Truth be told, he felt that way about Sakura's whole family. Well, the feeling wasn't as strong with Toya, but it was still there a little . . .
Sakura suddenly pushed away from Syaoran almost violently. She didn't have time to waste here, she had to find her cousin and get to the hospital.
"I have to find Tomoyo," she cried out in urgency.
She began to push through the horde of people in her way. Syaoran followed closely behind her. Neither said a word as they searched for the fair-haired beauty related to Sakura. Upon finally finding her mingling with another group of her mother's clients, Sakura flung herself into Tomoyo's arms, crying hysterically.
"Sakura, what on Earth?!" Tomoyo squeaked in shock.
"We have to go to Tokyo General now! Grandpa Masaki had a heart attack!"
Tomoyo's dainty hands flew to her mouth, trembling at the unfortunate news.
"I have to call mother and find Eriol." She turned to her current company with an apologetic look, "I'm sorry, we'll have to finish this conversation another time."
Sakura couldn't help but admire her cousin's ability to remain calm and professional in the face of such disheartening news. Without another word, Tomoyo hurried away in search of her boyfriend, her dress flaring out behind her in her haste. Sakura tried to follow after her, but quickly lost her in the crowd of party goers. She let out a cry of frustration.
"Great I lost Tomoyo and I have no idea where Satoshi is! I have to get to the hospital!"
Syaoran, who managed to keep up with her, laid a hand on her shoulder. "I'll take you to the hospital; we can meet Tomoyo and Eriol there. Come on."
He started to lead her towards the door.
"But what about Meilin?! You can't just leave her here!"
"Don't worry about Meilin; she's more than capable of taking care of herself. She can always call her chauffer. I'll explain it to her later, she'll understand. Now let's go."
Sakura and Syaoran zoomed into the parking lot at Tokyo General. The trip had been a short one, especially with Syaoran's hasty driving. Still, the trip felt agonizingly long to Sakura. It probably didn't help that it was filled with silence. Silence always seemed to make a trip feel longer than it really was. As soon as Syaoran had the car in park Sakura was out and racing for the doors. Syaoran stashed his keys in his pocket and dashed after her. The two college students were the targets of some scrutinizing stares due to the formal attire they were tearing down the hallway in, but they took no note of it. They stopped at the front desk to check in.
"I'm here to see Amamiya Masaki, I'm his great granddaughter, Kinomoto Sakura," she huffed out.
The orderly behind the desk handed her a pass before turning to Syaoran.
"And what is your relation to the patient?"
"Uh . . ."
"He's with me, he's my boyfriend. Now please direct me to my Grandfather!"
Syaoran couldn't help but smile at the title Sakura had used for him. She said it with such assurance and finality. It sounded so right to hear her call him her boyfriend.
The lady handed Syaoran a pass as well and said, "Third floor, operating room 360, west wing."
Sakura thanked her and the pair sprinted for the elevators. Upon reaching the waiting room, Sakura saw her parents huddled together in the corner holding hands. Nadeshiko was clearly crying while Fujitaka did his best to sooth his beloved wife. Toya sat next to them staring into space quietly. The tv was on, airing the New Year's celebrations taking place around Japan but no one was watching, their minds occupied by far greater things.
They looked up to see her and Syaoran heading towards them. Nadeshiko broke away from her husband and embraced her distraught daughter.
"Where's Grandpa?! How's he doing?!" Sakura asked immediately.
"They're working on him right now. That's all we know," Nadeshiko glanced around, "Where's Tomoyo?"
"She had to find Eriol and she'll be on her way."
Nothing left to say, the small group sat down to endure the painful task of waiting. Sakura was too nervous to sit still. She continued to fidget in her seat. Syaoran suddenly took her hand in his in an attempt to sooth her frayed nerves. She glanced up at him, surprised by the sudden, albeit not unwanted, contact. He smiled reassuringly and gave her hand a supportive squeeze. Before Sakura could say anything, her eyes snapped forward to find the source of the sudden clacking noise she was hearing. Tomoyo and Eriol were barreling down the hallway hand-in-hand. The clacking noise was the sound of Tomoyo's high heels slapping the linoleum tiled floor. Sakura absentmindedly made a mental note that she had never seen Tomoyo move so fast before. Not being very athletically inclined, Tomoyo had to stop to catch her breath once they reached the rest of the family before she could get any words out. Once she was no longer winded, she addressed Nadeshiko, but not before raising a questioning eyebrow at Sakura's and Syaoran's joined hands. Sakura had the grace to blush and look down at the floor, but she continued to clasp Syaoran's hand firmly.
"It took me a few tries but I was able to get a hold of Mom. She's on her way right now, she should be here shortly," Tomoyo informed.
Nadeshiko let out a sigh of relief. She hadn't been able to reach Sonomi yet and she knew there was no where else her favorite cousin would rather be then here with the rest of the family.
"What happened?" Tomoyo finally asked.
"We were over at Masaki's house keeping him company like we do every New Year's Eve," Fujitaka started, "And during a game of scrabble he got really excited over some of the tiles he picked up and then he suddenly fell off his chair clutching his heart. He said he thought he was having a heart attack and then he passed out."
"So now what?" Tomoyo cried, wiping her eyes.
"Now," Toya spoke up from his seat gruffly, trying to mask his own sadness, "We wait and hope for the best. It's all we can do."
A harrowing half an hour later the doctors emerged from Masaki's room. Nadeshiko and Sonomi, who had arrived 15 minutes earlier, swarmed them immediately.
"Doctor please, how's our Grandfather doing?" Nadeshiko asked, eyes pleading for good news.
The doctor adjusted his glasses before announcing, "We've done all we can do, the rest is up to him. The next twenty-four hours will be critical. We are moving him to a recovery room now. He will be down the hall in room 341 if you want to head over there. You can visit him but keep it short because he needs his rest. And only two or three people at a time." The doctor tried to smile reassuringly. "For what it's worth, he seems to be on his way to a good recovery. He's a tough one; I personally believe he'll pull through."
The two cousins hugged in relief and thanked the doctor before he went on his way. Nadeshiko explained Masaki's condition to Sakura, Syaoran, and Toya. Tomoyo and Eriol had gone down to the cafeteria for something to drink minutes before the doctors came out.
Once Nadeshiko finished Sakura said, "Go on Mom, we'll wait here and bring Tomoyo and Eriol to the new room when they get back."
Nadeshiko, Fujitaka, and Sonomi all headed for the new room. Shortly after they disappeared down the hall, Toya stretched and got up.
"I'm going to go use the washroom and call Nakuru to update her on Granddad's status."
Sakura watched her big brother's figure as he headed for the restrooms. She could tell from his body language that he was a little less tense now. Feeling a little of her own stress slip away, she gave a small sigh and slouched down in her chair. Syaoran eyed her hunched form for a minute.
Finally he asked, "Sakura, are you okay?"
She sat up and turned slightly in her chair at the sound of his voice.
"Uh, yeah. I mean, I'm still somewhat nervous, Grandpa Masaki isn't out of the woods yet, but at least he has a chance and a good one from the sound of it." An apologetic look entered her eyes. "I'm really sorry about tonight, Syaoran, about you having to leave the party to drive me to the hospital."
"No don't be. This isn't your fault, unfortunate things like this happen sometimes. And I go to that party ever year. It's always the same, a bunch of stuffy business people schmoozing and rubbing elbows. I only go because I'm obligated as a member of the Li family." Syaoran's face colored as he added, "Besides, there's no where else I'd rather be right now then here with you. I definitely didn't plan on seeing you tonight; that was a total surprise, but a good one . . ."
A small smile managed to spread over Sakura's glossy lips at his statement. "Really? You were glad to see me?"
The red of his cheeks darkened another shade. "Yeah . . ."
Suddenly there was a loud count down on the waiting room tv that had been left on. The New Year was fast approaching. Sakura and Syaoran turned to watch as the count down reached zero and the patrons of the current party being shown jumped around wildly shouting happy New Year and kissing.
They turned back to each other and stared for a moment before Sakura said, "Well, in the spirit of things . . ."
She quickly leaned in and pecked Syaoran on the lips for a New Years kiss. Just as she pulled back Syaoran caught her face in his hands and slowly pulled her lips back onto his. He took delight in the fact that Sakura didn't seem put-off by the idea, in fact she seemed to want it just as bad as he did, which simply encouraged him more to continue deepening their kiss. When she parted her lips to grant his searching tongue access his hands slid up and lost themselves in her soft, choppy hair while her arms wrapped around his neck comfortably.
"You son of a bitch!"
The angry shout broke the moment, startling the pair out of their intense lip lock. They looked across the room to see Satoshi standing their, seething with anger.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?!" he cried, his nostrils flaring.
It took Sakura a second to find her voice. "Satoshi what-how did you know I was here?"
He shifted his gaze to her. "It's all over the party! How Tomoyo had to leave early because her Grandfather was hospitalized! I looked all over for you and when I couldn't find you I figured you had come to the hospital with Tomoyo but not this jerk!"
Syaoran ignored his comment and asked, "Where's Meilin?"
"How the hell should I know?! Shortly after we went to get a drink, she ran off with some guy she called Tai and I haven't seen her since."
Syaoran was glad to hear that. He knew Meilin was doing him a favor by distracting Satoshi from Sakura, but he didn't want her to waste her whole evening with him. Plus he had a feeling he knew who the guy Satoshi spoke of was. If it was Tai Nagaoka then Meilin was in good hands, the guy had been in love with her for years and he was known for being quite the gentlemen. The only thing that had stopped him from making a move was her engagement to him.
"I can't believe you, Sakura!" Satoshi went on, not bothering to keep his voice down despite being in a hospital at midnight, "How could you leave me there and go off with him?!"
"I tried to find you," she argued back, "but I couldn't and I didn't have time to waste!"
"And then you start making out with this chump!"
There was a tiny, feminine gasp from behind Satoshi but no one really took notice of it. Tomoyo and Eriol had just returned from the cafeteria and heard Satoshi's statement. Not wanting to intrude, the couple said nothing and tried to blend into the background, although Tomoyo was listening with vapid interest.
"Satoshi this isn't the time or the place to talk about this!"
He ground his teeth together in anger. "But it's the time and place to make out with someone!?"
Satoshi took a menacing step forward but Syaoran walked towards him, cutting him off from Sakura.
"You heard her; it's time for you to go. You'll have to talk to her about this later."
"Don't order me around asshole," Satoshi growled before shoving Syaoran back a few paces. "I'm not about to lose to someone like you!"
Syaoran sent him an icy glare and moved forward again. "Too late, it looks like you already did," he replied cockily.
Before anyone could move Satoshi swung his left fist and sucker punched Syaoran in the jaw, eliciting a surprised scream from Sakura. Syaoran's head swung back but he recovered quickly and clobbered Satoshi with a right hook of his own. Satoshi rammed into Syaoran and the two broke out into a serious brawl, over turning chairs and tables in the process, all the while ignoring Sakura's pleas for them to stop. Eriol grabbed Tomoyo and pulled her a safe distance away where they watched the fight unravel before their eyes. Finally two security guards came in and broke up the rumble, although if it was because they could hear it at their station or because someone reported the noise, no one was sure. Syaoran had a smatter of blood leaking from his nose and the bow and collar of his tuxedo was torn while Satoshi had a busted lip to match the ripped up cuff of his left sleeve.
As the guards pulled the boys apart Sakura cried, "I can't believe you two! My Grandfather is around the corner in critical condition and you two are gonna fight over who's the better man, over who won me and who lost!?" tears began to wind their way down Sakura's flushed cheeks, "Did you hear me?! My Grandpa might die tonight! How dare you two fight over your own pride at a time like this!! This isn't a game! Get out!"
"But Sakura-" Satoshi began.
"Sakura please-" Syaoran tried.
"Out, both of you! I don't want to see or speak to either of you!"
"You heard the lady," the guard holding Syaoran said, "let's go. You two are out of here."
The two young men were escorted out without another word. Satoshi's eyes were burning with rage while Syaoran's were brimming with guilt and remorse.
He screwed up big time, and he knew it.
The days went by and, try as he might, Syaoran could not get a hold of Sakura. He called her phone daily and never received an answer. He left many messages but a return call was never made. Once school was back in session he hoped that he would run into Sakura around campus like he did that fateful day in December that started this whole thing. But with 21,000 students and two miles worth of campus, he was starting to believe that wasn't going to happen. Aside from calling Sakura, Syaoran had been calling the hospital in Tokyo that Masaki had been at regularly to check up on him. Despite his sudden falling out with Sakura he still did care for the elderly man's health. Syaoran was happy to hear later that week that Masaki did indeed recover from his heart attack and had been released from the hospital. It was the only thing he had to be happy about.
Sakura was livid with both Satoshi and Syaoran. Satoshi had tried to get in touch with her for a week after the incident before giving up. Syaoran, however, wasn't as easily deterred. He continued to call weeks after the hospital incident and he was much harder to ignore than Satoshi. She was still furious with Syaoran but at the same time she missed him. Every time he called it got harder to ignore him . . .
March 13th . . .
Sakura was lying on her bed staring at the quickly darkening ceiling. Today she had decided that she would answer Syaoran's phone call if he called. After all, it had been over two months since New Year's Eve and he was still calling her. The calls were fewer and farther between but he was still trying to get back in touch with her so she figured she owed him that much.
Now if he'd just call . . .
Just as she thought that her pink flip phone started to vibrate in her pocket. She sprung up and answered it immediately, assuming it was Syaoran.
"Hey, Sakura, it's Takashi."
The mixture of nervousness and excitement immediately left upon hearing the voice on the other end. It was her roommate Chiharu's boyfriend.
"Oh, hey Takashi," Sakura finally replied, not being able to hide some of the disappointment that laced her voice. "If you're trying to reach Chiharu she's not here."
"No, actually, I wanted to ask you for a favor."
"Okay sure, what do you need?"
"Could you meet me under the bell tower in the middle of campus?"
"Um, alright when?" Sakura asked, slightly puzzled by his request.
"In the next 15 minutes."
Sakura agreed and left her apartment as soon as they hung up since it would take her that long to walk there from her campus apartment. The bell tower Takashi spoke of was on a big island in the middle of the main street that ran down campus commonly known as "the strip." One lane ran on each side of the tower island in only one direction. The island was paved with bricks, and flower beds surrounded the tower which was made up of the same bricks. Pedestrians could walk under the tower from any direction as it was open on all four ends. At night, iridescent lights lit the whole thing up. It was an infamous spot on campus, most notorious for the kissing legend. It was rumored that kissing under the tower was good luck for a relationship, double the luck if a couple kissed while the bells were ringing.
As Sakura approached the bell tower, her hands stuck in her pockets, she saw Takashi already standing under it leaning against one of the thick, brick legs patiently.
"I'm here," she called out to alert him to her presence. "So what did you need to see me for?"
"Well," he began, scratching the back of his neck nervously, "I'm sure you know that tomorrow is White Day."
"What girl doesn't?"
"And I've decided what to get Chiharu."
Sakura's head tilted to the side in curiosity. "You mean you aren't gonna just give her chocolates as usual?"
Takashi shook his head. "Nope."
"Then what are you giving her?"
Hei held up an index figure matter-of-factly as he said, "This particular gift is rather special so everything has to be perfect and since you are one of Chiharu's closest friends I wanted to see what you think of it first, and not just the gift but the location too."
"Uh, okay . . ." Sakura responded, more confused than before.
Takashi took a deep breath before emulating his whole plan in front of Sakura. He got down on one knee, took out a velvet box, and opened it, revealing a sparkling diamond ring set in a white gold band.
Sakura stared at the beautiful trinket dumbfounded before squealing in delight and jumping up and down, hugging Takashi all the while.
Syaoran was riding on a campus shuttle bus, on his way home from an evening class. He had decided that yesterday would be the last day he would call Sakura. As much as he wanted to talk to her, she clearly was not interested and he had to accept that, no matter how much it pained him to do so. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other, trying to steady himself on the moving vehicle. The shuttle ran the whole length of campus in a loop and was always packed at night, so it was usually standing room only by the time Syaoran got on. He watched the campus buildings careen by absentmindedly through the windows. As the shuttle rounded the island that the fabled bell tower stood tall on, he saw a scene that made his blood run cold. There, under the bell tower stood Sakura with another man on one knee. Right before the bell tower passed out of view, Syaoran saw Sakura jump up and down ecstatically and hug the man she was with.
No, that's impossible! There's no way that Sakura could be getting . . . married?
Driven by the sheer need to know the truth and his desire to see Sakura again, Syaoran pushed to the front of the shuttle roughly, forgetting his decision to let her go. The next stop was only a few yards down the street from the bell tower and he was determined to get off there and rush over before Sakura and the mystery man accompanying her could take off.
Sakura continued to crush Takashi in a hug as she said, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe it! You're going to propose to Chiharu!"
"So you think it's good then? My proposal I mean. I want it to be memorable," Takashi said, his cheeks a little red from embarrassment. "Chiharu's a great girl, she deserves it."
Sakura finally let the boy go and clasped her hands together near her bosom. "Oh Takashi I think it's wonderful. You're gonna sweep Chiharu off her feet! It's so romantic, "she finished with a wistful sigh. "And the ring is beautiful."
"You think so? I don't have a ton of money to throw around right now being a full time college student and all, but I've been saving up for 2 years now so I could get her something worth looking at," Takashi smiled with pride.
"Well it definitely shows it's lovely. When do you plan on actually tying the knot?"
"Not until after we graduate, I mean we have enough on our plate with school and stuff, but sometime shortly after that would be nice. Of course Chiharu has a say in it too. It will be a semi long engagement since we don't graduate for another year but I figured, since we've been dating since high school and everyone knows we're gonna get married eventually, that we might as well take it to the next step and become affianced," he finished with his eyes closed and a cheeky smile on his face.
Not able to contain the happiness she felt for her friend, she leaned over and hugged him again.
"I am so happy for you Taka-"
"I don't believe this!"
Sakura stiffened in Takashi's arms at the sound of that voice. It was familiar, it was-
"Syaoran!" she said in surprise as she broke away from Chiharu's soon-to-be fiancé.
Syaoran was running towards them, a green backpack slung over one shoulder.
Takashi looked on curiously. "You mean that guy from Christmas break?"
Sakura's eye brows arched at his sentence. "How did you know about him?"
He shrugged indifferently. "You told Chiharu and she told me, duh."
She turned back to Syaoran just as he reached them.
"Syaoran, what-" she started but he didn't let her finish.
"Sakura, how could you be getting engaged?! You've only been single since Christmas! Who is this loser anyway?!"
"Uh . . ." was all Takashi had to say in return. He was a lover not a fighter and this was clearly a misunderstanding anyway.
"Syaoran stop it, you're making a fool of yourself!" Sakura argued.
"You should listen to her," Takashi added.
Syaoran sent him a nasty glare. "You stay out of this!"
"Okay then," Takashi said and proceeded to take a step back. This guy was clearly upset.
"Sakura you can't have known this guy for long, how can you know already that you want to marry him?!" Syaoran demanded. In the heat of the moment he couldn't help but ask, "And what about us?!"
"Syaoran there is no us!" Sakura shouted back caught up in the argument.
"Well what if I want there to be!?"
Everything fell silent underneath the bell tower at Syaoran's declaration and he tore his eyes away from Sakura. The only sounds to be heard were those of the traffic passing by on both sides, and Syaoran's labored breathing from the run over. Neither knew what to say next. Sakura wasn't sure what to think of the bold statement he just made. She was definitely surprised, and kind of confused. But she was also elated . . .
"Syaoran . . ." she finally whispered softly.
He finally worked up the courage to look her in the eye. "Look, I miss seeing you okay? And I hate that we haven't talked in two months. And . . . well, I can't stand the thought of you marrying this random guy."
Sakura let out a small sigh. "Syaoran, I'm not marrying Takashi."
She shook her head. "No, he's my roommate and friend Chiharu's boyfriend. He wants to propose to her tomorrow for White Day and he wanted my opinion of his proposal, that's all."
"I got a couple of picture of Chiharu in my wallet if ya need more proof," Takashi threw in.
"Oh, well now I feel kind of stupid," Syaoran said lamely, a blush burning his face from embarrassment.
"Yeah I probably would too if I were you," Sakura said lightly.
Syaoran turned towards the other guy apologetically. "Hey man I'm sorry for yelling at you, and for the loser comment."
Takashi put his hands up. "Nah don't worry about it, no hard feelings," he re-directed his gaze at Sakura, "I'm gonna head out of here and leave you two to talk. Thanks for your help, Sakura. I'll see ya later."
Sakura gave a small wave as Takashi left the sanctity of the bell tower and crossed the street to head home. She turned back to look at Syaoran but he was staring at his shoes intently.
"In case you were wondering, Grandfather Masaki is doing well," she finally said, in an attempt to break the awkward silence.
Syaoran looked up at that and smiled. "Is he? I'm glad to hear that. I knew he was released from the hospital but I had no way of knowing how he's been doing since."
Syaoran gave a small nod. "Yeah I called the hospital periodically to see if he had been released or not back in January."
Sakura felt his words tug at her heart strings. He really is a decent guy, isn't he?
"That was, a, nice of you."
"I'm really sorry about fighting with Satoshi in the hospital, really sorry," Syaoran whispered.
"I know you are." Sakura cleared her throat and got back to the point. "Look, Syaoran, about you and me . . . that was just a farce, you know, pretend."
"Yeah well my feelings for you now aren't," he let out a heavy sigh, "I don't know when it happened, but somewhere along the line, I wasn't pretending to love you anymore," he looked her directly in the eyes, searching for the answer he desperately wanted, "and I think at some point you stopped pretending too."
Sakura blushed slightly at the seriousness of his conviction. Then she shook the blush away as quickly as it had appeared. "Maybe you're right, but that doesn't change anything. You're already engaged to someone else."
Syaoran looked at her, puzzlement filtering across his face. "What Meilin?" At Sakura's nod he smiled. "I broke off our engagement at the end of December."
Sakura blinked. "What??"
"Yeah. She took it pretty well too. In fact, she's been dating Tai Nagaoka since the New Year's Ball we were all at. She seems pretty happy now and I'm glad," Syaoran sent a serious look at her, "But now I wanna know about our happiness."
He took two steps to close the distance between them and gently took hold of her shoulders.
"If you really don't want to be with me then tell me."
Sakura said nothing, so Syaoran gave her one last chance.
"Just say it, Sakura, and I'll leave you alone for good."
Again she said nothing nor did she try to push him away. Syaoran smiled softly at Sakura's silence and swiftly leaned down to kiss her.
When he pulled away Sakura couldn't stop the grin that spread across her own face as she said, "You really want to be with me, Syaoran?"
"Yeah, I do. I love you," he said in a husky voice, his eyes conveying the truth behind his words. The look in his eyes was identical to the one they held after the dance they shared on New Year's Eve. Sakura finally understood what that look was: one of adoration and deep, intense, true love.
"I love you too."
Syaoran held Sakura tighter and proceeded to kiss her again passionately. Above their heads the giant bells began to chime as they kissed, blessing their new relationship with the luck of a campus legend that had managed to transcend time.
A/N: Well everybody, there you have it, the official end to Holiday Hoax. Once again I'm sorry it took me so long to finish this but I hope it lived up to your expectations. I'm not completely happy with it but I'm happy enough lol Thank you so much for all your support and reviews (NileyLover, if you are still reading this I hope you were happy about Meilin ending up with a guy named Tai as you had requested in a previous review. I couldn't really work them in, but I did put her with a Tai per your request lol), you guys are the best! If you could spare a few minutes, please review one more time and let me know what you thought of the chapter or the story as a whole or both. I'd love to hear from you all one more time and it'd be great to reach over 200 reviews too lol. I pretty much swiped the bell tower design and such from my very own campus along with the legend. My fiancé and I kiss under it every time we walk pass it together, although we've never managed to catch it when it's ringing (we have come close though!) lol In fact, he pinned me with his fraternity's sweetheart pin underneath Ball State's bell tower on Valentine's Day a couple of years ago sigh So cute! Hanyan!! lol
For anyone interested, though I don't have any sequels planned for this story, I have been contemplating a prequel showing how Toya and Nakuru got together. I really like those two together, I just think they are so cute and there aren't nearly enough fanfics out there about them, especially multi-chapter fics . . . So I was thinking of trying my hand at it. If I do write this fic it won't be for a while since I have others floating around in my mind to write first but I thought I'd let those who might be interested know. Although reviews requesting it would definitely help encourage me to do it! Lol
Well that's enough out of me, sorry about the super long author's notes, but I always feel compelled to explain my absence to my readers, you guys deserve to know what was up if you are interested. Thanks for reading and thanks for review! Maybe I'll see some of you again in future fics or at your own! :)