AN: This takes place during the second CCS movie *heart*, while Tomoyo and Meiling are trying to give Sakura and Syaoran enough time alone for Sakura to get up the nerve to confess.
Love in a Teacup
A Cardcaptor Sakura Fanfic
by Fushigi Kismet
"Are you really all right?" Li Meiling asked me, sipping at her cup of tea, dark eyes focused on the contents of her cup. "Can you really accept it? Is Sakura's happiness really more important than your own?"
I pondered the question as I drank my own tea, staring off into space. Was I really all right?
It was a hard question. I didn't even know what being "all right" was, it seemed. As far back as I could remember I had loved Sakura . . . loved her with all my heart. The first instant my eyes had alighted on her . . . on her sunlit chestnut hair and vivid green eyes . . . on her open, beautiful smile . . . I had felt it then. The feeling that was to last for the rest of my life . . . something deep. Soul-shakingly so. All encompassing . . . In that instant I wanted nothing more than to belong to her in every way. My breaths, the pounding of my heart . . . all of it was hers in a way that I didn't understand. My smiles and tears were only for her . . . but tears would make Sakura unhappy so I never cried . . . but even unshed, my tears were hers. Everything, everything . . . my life was hers.
But I came to realize, slowly, over the years . . . that she didn't want it. My life was a gift she could never accept. So, too, my love. She could not accept it . . . not in full. So I made my life revolve around her . . . Sakura was the shining center of my universe. The point from which I had truly been born and begun to live was the instant I met her. My life was a monument to hers . . . I realized, slowly, that what I sought from her was never to be. She sought my friendship, and we built up a camaraderie, a love closer than that of sisters . . . but it was not the kind of love I wanted . . . the love I sought from her. The kind of love my mother, too, had wanted from Nadeshiko, Sakura's mother. I wonder, sometimes, if my mother loved as deeply as I . . . if her heart shattered completely when Nadeshiko died. I think it cannot be so, however. Because she still had room in her heart to love me . . . to keep on living without Nadeshiko. But then I wonder if that was only because Nadeshiko had been content at her death . . . happy, even, surrounded by the love of her husband and children. Could I go on living without Sakura? If Sakura was happy? Even if she never knew how I felt?
She accepted what she could of my love, unknowingly . . . unquestioningly. But she did not understand . . . could not understand. She was content with the feeling of friendship between us. She could not conceive of anything beyond it . . . so I let it lie. I left it alone . . . Sakura's happiness was my happiness. Her joys my joys . . . And yet, sometimes . . . in the solitary confines of my own room, as I lay awake at night, staring at my ceiling in the darkness . . . the desire to cry would overwhelm me. Tears were something that Sakura hated - something that she despised - because, loving, tender heart that she was, seeing someone else cry hurt her heart as deeply as though the pain was her own.
So I could not permit myself to cry. Sakura's heart is fragile . . . like glass. Anything could shatter it into a million pieces . . . which is why I had feared Yukito-san's response to her confession so much. He is kind and cares for her as well, but his eyes seek out another when his heart is troubled. His most important person is not mine, for which, in part, I am grateful . . . and yet, as Sakura's happiness is my own, so to is her sadness. If her heart was to shatter I would surely shatter with her. But Sakura has grown so much stronger over the years - much more than I gave her credit for - her heart has become more resilient. She is, indeed, a remarkable girl.
However, it still pains me a little to think that when she was in pain, when her tears were falling, it was Li-kun who comforted her . . . not I.
I had known, however, that there would come a day when she would find what she was seeking and I would have to let another take my place. Someone whose love Sakura could accept and return without conditions or limits. Someone Sakura could love.
So even as Sakura sought to capture cards . . . I sought to capture her on film. Her every moment . . . everything about her . . . so that when she had moved beyond me . . . when she had found her own happiness, I would still have a part of her with me . . . a part of her life. Something I could keep and cherish . . . a token of my regard for her . . . of my undying love for her.
And now, it had come . . . that which I had thought on with a mixture of anxious dread for as long as I had been alive. She would declare her feelings to Li-kun, and find her happiness at last. I would be amused, if I had been born anyone else, since Meiling-chan and I were arranging it all . . . arranging the happiness of our two most important people.
But I had not been born anyone else. I had been born Daidouji Tomoyo. And I had been born to love Kinomoto Sakura . . . and lose her.
I suddenly noticed the salty taste of my tea . . . realized that I had been crying, that I had been drinking my own tears . . . The taste had not bothered me . . . like tea, it had been warm . . . soothing . . .
Dabbing at my eyes with a handkerchief, I replied, looking at Meiling-chan, who was still staring into her tea, "I can accept it. Sakura's happiness is my own, but mine is no longer dependent on hers . . . I am all right. For the first time in a very long time."
She set down her cup with a little sigh. "I'm glad."
"And you, Meiling-chan?" I asked her, softly. "Are you all right?"
Her dark eyes lifted to meet my own, and her lips formed a single word.