Disclaimer : Card Captor Sakura belongs to CLAMP. I don't own CCS.

Summary : "If you hate your life that much, why don't you just give it for free to me instead?"

Recap : 4 years had passed since Eriol last departed to England, and he was then back again to Tomoeda without finding the true purpose of his life. But it was before one fateful encounter with Tomoyo Daidouji, who suddenly ignited the deep passion and obsession inside him.

A/n : In order to get the ghosted feeling, I repeatedly listened to "Phantom of the Opera" soundtrack while writing the previous chapter and this current chapter 21. "The Music of the Night" by and Barbara Streisand really made it smoother for me to write. I recommend it as the soundtrack for those two mentioned chapters. Other suggested soundtrack: Siren by Tori Amos, Once Upon a December (Anastasia's soundtrack), and Bells of Notre Dame (Hunchback of the Notredame's soundtrack).

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Mnemosyne's Labyrinth

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Eriol's fingers danced eagerly across the ivory keys of the piano. The song was not something his mind could remember, but somehow, his fingers memorize the keys and notes on their own. The melody was beautiful –quirky, yet beautiful nonetheless. It felt good, he had never felt this alive for the last 4 years.

The door creaked opened and the Moon Guardian invited herself in to the room.

"Master?"

"Yes, Ruby?"

"I think they've moved out again. Suppi and I checked the hotel as you've ordered earlier, but the receptionist told us that they had left, again,"

He gave a small laugh.

"My Cute Descendant will never learn, won't he?" Eriol smiled pleasantly. "That no matter where they run, I'll always be able to get them,"

: : Chapter 21 : :

The Trade

"The 4th hotel for a week," Tomoyo commented as dropping her small bag to the hotel's bedroom. "Not that I complain a swift change of situation for refreshment, but I seriously think that you are a little too paranoid, Syaoran-kun,"

Syaoran paid no attention towards Tomoyo's words as he walked across the hotel room quickly to the big window. Smoothly, he untied the curtain and drew them close, cutting the lights –but Tomoyo had prevented the darkness by turning on the light. "I'll go to the mini market to get some food for you. You want anything?"

Smiling lightly, Tomoyo then replied. "No, you've fed me with enough food already,"

"Is there anything I can do for you?"

"Yes, give this to my secretary and tell my assistance my consent regarding this project," the raven-haired girl handed her friend a brown envelope. The whole week, Syaoran had been her messenger for her working duties. Oh, the Daidouji would love to just do her works behind her table on her original office, but she just loved her friend too much, and she trusted him equally as much –that she was willing not to work under normal circumstances.

"Okay," replied Syaoran. "Is there anything else?"

"Yes, actually," the girl replied as seating her tired body on the bed. "I would like you to give logical reasoning as for why you urge me on doing this thing. Why do you insist me on moving out every day? What are we avoiding? You never truly answer my question,"

"… You don't need to know the answer, Tomoyo,"

"Oh, I think I have the right to know, Syaoran. After all, I am the one being forced to move from one hotel to another hotel in less than a week," challenged the Heiress. "And why don't you just be honest? It's not as if I would hate you if –"

"It's for your own good,"

"But –"

"I need you to trust me, Tomoyo,"

Amber eyes practically almost begged for her. And who was she to deny? She had the weakest spot on the emerald eyes that belonged to his wife –and Tomoyo thought that maybe Syaoran had found his own way to weaken her defense.

"Just… don't treat me like a damsel in distress, all right?"

He gave a weak smile. "I… shall deliver this package to your secretary. Lock the door, okay?"

"Alright,"

The hotel room's door was closed.

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Syaoran knew that he was not the wisest person alive.

Moreover, who was he compared to the reincarnation of the greatest Sorcerer alive when it came to determine the genius? That psychotic bastard was much more thoughtful than him.

Or perhaps, it was only him who was too reckless.

Besides, what kind of plan was it?

It had been almost a week since the wedding of Chiharu and Takashi, it had been almost a week since that incident.

"Syaoran, finally… I've found what I've been looking for,"

But what Eriol thought he had found wasn't what he was looking for, Syaoran reasoned.

How could you be so sure?

Because his senses alarmed him, Hiiragizawa could hurt Tomoyo. She had screamed when she met him again after 4 years –who knew whatever dangerous mind craft he had performed for her?

Syaoran had, for a countless time, asked Tomoyo afterwards whether she remembered anything.

Tomoyo's response had always been unclear.

"I don't know, Syaoran. I can only remember flashes of words…that don't explain much actually. And…er… well…but I somehow remember the fear…"

Fear.

Was it possible that while Eriol remembered the dark obsession feeling, Tomoyo simultaneously remember the horror?

If that was so, then there would be drastic change of plan… Sakura had disappeared –he had nobody else to ask.

Sakura…

His wife had left him. He couldn't possibly lose her for nothing. He knew that normatively, he had to carry on for their original aim.

But would it be the wisest decision?

Because those eyes… those indigo, psychotic eyes.

"I might not remember anything that you assumed I do. But I remember the feeling… this feeling… this urge to own her…"

Syaoran shuddered.

Sakura had entrusted him to take care of Tomoyo.

He had to protect her.

Protect her from who?

From Hiiragizawa?

How could he need to protect her from the one destined to love her, to save her?

Because…

"Mr. Li, there's a package for you. Would you like to take it now?" asked the receptionist of the hotel kindly when she saw him walking pass the lobby.

His stomach stirred. "Ah, yes. Thank you," decided Syaoran as he turned his direction towards the reception table to get the brown thick envelope. He had a feeling of what the contents of this envelope. Grabbing inside, as expected, he found a dozen of photographs.

There were photographs of Tomoyo and him, taken just that same day, there were also photographs of the hotel's name, and even the photograph of Tomoyo who was alone in her room.

The photographs came along with a note.

You can't hide her from me forever, Descendant.

Syaoran crumpled the photographs in his hand.

This was exactly the reason he found it necessary to move from hotel to hotel, to a friend's house to another, to escape....

Because he couldn't let that crazy, obsessive bastard laid his hand on Tomoyo.

At least, not until he knocked some sense into him.

Judging from Eriol's stalker tendency, Syaoran supposed that he would need to continue the escaping ritual for a little more while.

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Tomoyo opened her eyes.

She gazed up at the ceiling of the hotel room –a room that had supposedly been foreign to her but funnily didn't give her the total foreign sensation. She knew it was not her home, but she could almost feel the alienated feeling was…common.

Besides, what had been her home? Her Daidouji Mansion? Her office? Sakura's house?

Where?

Where was her home?

There was this little truth she never dared to speak to any of her closest friend, not even Touya, not even Syaoran.

She couldn't find her real home. The sentiment that she did not belong anywhere had been building up each and every day for the past 4 years. It had not only begun to choke her, but also suffocate her. But she never had the intention to spill the truth to Syaoran or Touya. Despite the hole in her heart, she loved them, she truly did. Those two guys had protected her without question, had cared for her beyond words –she did not have the heart to return their kindness with such…blatant truth.

So, she thought that, for the sake of all, she would continue such life.

But that night…

"Daidouji-san…"

She felt her inner turmoil twisted. Those sapphire eyes... they were harsh and soft at the same time, cruel yet secretly sincere. The feelings from that night remained: she wanted to run away from him and yet she wished to run to him. Such contradiction never made any sense to her, but she felt like –


"Daidouji-san…"

Tomoyo's shoulder tensed a little and she darted his gaze around the room. It felt as if someone was whispering next to her ear, but in reality, she was still alone in the hotel room.

"Daidouji-san…"

There…the voice called for her again. She knew that nobody was really there, but the voice was real nonetheless. Instead of feeling alarmed, she found the funny feeling of being so calm and she relaxed her body on that bed and fluttered her eyes close again.


"Good girl…"

"Hiiragizawa-san,"

She didn't know how the word rolled out of her mouth, it just did.

"Yes… yes, it's me, Daidouji-san. Good that you remember,"

Tomoyo stayed awake, she knew that she was not dreaming. She made sure of it by continuously clench and unclench the material of the bed sheet –a remembrance that she still had connection to the real world. Knowing his nature as the once greatest Sorcerer, Tomoyo supposed it was not a hard task for him to communicate by telepathy. Her mind worked on what could he want from her? She was not someone with magical ability like Sakura, how could someone with such extravagant title in sorceries made through the obstacles to contact her like this?

But something inside her heart told her the reason.

She felt like she knew the hidden desperation in his dark voice.

They were the same.

"What do you want, Hiiragizawa-san?"

"I want exactly what you want,"

"Then what I want, really?"

She supposed she heard a chuckle.


"Why, a life, of course. "

"…a life?"

"Yes,"

And he repeated the exact words that made her eyes jolted open.

"If you hate your life that much, why don't you give it to me instead?"

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Syaoran had a bad feeling about it.

Up until then, Hiiragizawa had never tried anything drastic like trying to get near to Tomoyo or to kidnap her. All Eriol did was only stalking by taking photos of her, making sure Syaoran knew that his movements were all for Eriol's eyes to see.

But now…

He had just received a short, curt message on his phone from him.

Thank you for taking care of her these past 4 years, Descendant.

He would take her, he would take her, he would take her! His mind screamed.

Syaoran sped up his run back towards the hotel.

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"Tomoyo!!"

Syaoran barged inside the hotel room. His eyes frantically darted around the room. No. She was not on her bed, she was not there! She wasn't in her room. Did Hiiragizawa prevail? Did he finally kidnap her?! Shit, where did he have to search? His manor? His –

"Why are you shouting like that, Syaoran? I heard you," announced a feminine voice from his left, from the walk-in closet built next to the bathroom.

"W-where have you been?"

Her violet eyes twinkled in amusement. "I was here all along, silly. I was just folding some of my clothes,"

After 5 seconds, the Li guy finally heaved a tired sigh. "I'm sorry. I thought you… I thought…he…"

"I am alright, Syaoran-kun," she told him earnestly. "I am alright. You don't have to worry,"

The brown-haired guy sighed again and gave a friendly pat on her shoulder. "I know. You are all alright. I was just being paranoid. I thought you he would take you away. I thought you would leave… Ah, forget my ramblings, Tomoyo, you shouldn't be –" he looked up to those amethyst eyes and his heart skipped a beat.

Those eyes.

That smile…

No.

"Tomoyo…" he pleaded. "You…you're not thinking of going, are you?"

She was silenced.

"Y-you're not thinking of going to his place, are you?"

She remained silent.

Until…

Finally…

"I thank you for all your kindness these years, Syaoran-kun. I know I can never pay you back enough,"

His arm reached out to stop her. "Why? H-have you possibly…remembered? Your lost memories?"

She shook her head. "I don't remember anything. Only pieces that I've told you. Only that,"

"Then why? Why are you going to him?!"

"He has the answer,"

"He hasn't got any answer! Trust me, Tomoyo, in his current state, he would not be able to give you what you need! He doesn't remember anything either!"

Her next words startled him.

"And we don't need those memories, Syaoran-kun,"

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He let go of her hand. And he took some steps back. "You… do you love him? Does he love you?"

"I don't know," her answer was simple. "But at the moment, for us, it doesn't matter,"

Us.

"It may not be love, it may be only illogical temporary sentiment, but I know, and he knows too, that we belong together. If we have to find the answers, then we will find them together,"

"Tomoyo –"

"Thank you for everything," she bowed then dragged the small suitcase that she had been previously preparing in the walk-in closet. "We may not meet again, but I want you to know how much I care about you. And… that you're free from your obligation and me," Tomoyo smiled as walking to the door. She kneaded the handle but momentarily paused when she heard his shouts.

"You don't understand, Tomoyo! S-Sakura… my wife… she told me to make sure you two find the way… to make you find your happiness…"

"Then thanks to you, you've already succeeded,"

"…"

Violet eyes glanced softly at him. "Because I think I have found my happiness,"

The door was closed with a soft click.

He was already alone in the hotel room.

"Good bye, and thank you, Syaoran-kun,"

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Syaoran slowly fell to his knees. "Then… what had I done?" he blankly stared at the closed door. He had failed… He had disappointed his wife…

"No, Syaoran-kun. Trust me, if it's not you, who else can be the Master of The Memory? Who else can conduct the 3rd trade? Who else can take care of Tomoyo until she's ready?"

Sakura…

But she was already… gone.

Do you really think people who have died really left you?

…No, it was not Sakura as the medium of the memory. It was Sakura, and as quizzically as it sounded, it was Sakura whom he always kept alive in his heart.

"I'm so proud of you, Syaoran-kun,"

"But they don't even –"

"It's their happy ending. Trust them, and eventually things will work out,"

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Ruby Moon knocked on her Master's room. "Master, you have a guest,"

Eriol fluttered his eyes opened and stood up. He didn't remember the detail of how he got out of his room, walked down the stairs and met his guest –but he felt like he remembered everything about those clear violet eyes.

For the first time since 4 years, he finally found his missing puzzle.

"Good afternoon, Daidouji-san,"

"Good afternoon, Hiiragizawa-san,"

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"What do you want, Hiiragizawa-san?"

"I want exactly what you want,"

"Then what I want, really?"

She supposed she heard a chuckle.

"Why, a life, of course. "

"…a life?"

"Yes,"

And he repeated the exact words that made her eyes jolted open.

"If you hate your life that much, why don't you give it to me instead?"

"…"

"Because in return, if I hate my life that much, why don't I just give it to you instead?"

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Syaoran took out the precious thing that he had kept all along from his pocket.

The Memory Card.

He might not understand Tomoyo's logic, or Eriol's logic, or even his wife's logic…

But…

Somehow…

Eventually he knew he would understand.

That it would take only little time before The Memory would vanish forever from this world. That it wouldn't take long before the two would fall in love again, passed The Memory's judgment, remembered everything, and broke the curse.

He knew he would not need to wait long.

But…

"That's not what matters the most, is it, Sakura?"

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"Yes, Syaoran-kun. Didn't I tell you that night? Their happy ending is theirs to decide, not me, not you…"

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Tomoyo placed the tea cup carefully back on the table. The taste of tea familiarly suited her likings –Eriol always knew how to make the exact one.

"More tea, Daidouji-san?" he smiled warmly.

She returned the soft, content smile. "Yes, please, Hiiragizawa-san."

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"If it's you, I don't need to remember to love you,"

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It's obsession.

It's something that surpasses memory.

Moreover, maybe it's love.

One that kept you alive.

One that kept you wounded… but alive, at least.

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"Love, isn't it the darkest thing in this world, Daidouji-san?"

"Indeed it is, Hiiragizawa-san"

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The End.

Finished on: January 2, 2010. 10.15 AM.

Edited on : February 2, 2010.

A/n:

It's The End. No epilogue, and I don't plan for any sequels. I know that maybe not all is answered, but I intend to leave it that way. I only give implications there and there what may happen to their life, but I will leave the conclusion up to your imaginations. For those who crave for romance…. I know I can not grant you much. I know that most of you will probably disappointed with this ending I chose for them, but…well, I think that it suits the whole story the best. The original endings (note the plural reference) are much much much sappier and has more romance in it. But the writer side of me simply can't take those as the real endings. I started "Mnemosyne's Labyrinth" as a really dark and depressing fiction. I have written at least 2 other alternate endings, but they make me depressed with the unsatisfactory lack of depth in it. I don't mean to say that this version I finally submit has the 'depth', but seriously, if you read those 2 alternate cheesy endings… you will find the big difference.

Announcement … for those interested.

I will now start another Eriol/Tomoyo fanfic. I simply can't get enough of this pairing! I've posted the 1st chapter, and I will continue it. Again, if you expect heavy plotline, do not expect to get it in my newest fanfic. I will be back to my natural romance genre. The fanfiction is titled "The Misfortunate Tale : Beauty and the Beast (Not)". You'll cheer me even more if you're willing to read it!

Last notes..

It is so hard to part with this story. This is my ever first attempt of a very dark chaptered fan fiction. This is the longest fanfiction I've ever worked on. This is the fanfiction where I pour my dark, twisted mind into, I love it. I love Mnemosyne's Labyrinth. The sensation of writing dark fanfiction is sooo different from writing the casual romance that I usually work on. I'm going to miss writing a fanfic this dark. I hope someday I'll be able to make another dark fic for Eriol and Tomoyo…

And, last but never the least, mountains of thanks for those who have stick with me until the end of this story. Thank you for all your patience, endurance, critics, reviews, flames, comments, and times. This fiction is dedicated to all of you. Thank you very much. Hiiragizawa x Daidouji all the way!