Where You Are
by Ekai Ungson

DISCLAIMER: See previous chapters for full disclaimer. ^-^

DEDICATION: Hee hee. It's finished! Bwahahaha. And I would like to thank... syaoran no hime, Empress Sasami, Candz, An Kanghui, Luna-chan, Joyce-chan, and everybody! Arigatooooo!! ^^
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Chapter 13: Hitotsu Dake De

Kinomoto Touya stared as his sister absently spread butter on toast.

The girl appeared to be in some sortf of deep trance since she came back. That was three days ago.

And Touya had a feeling this wasn't just jet lag anymore.

"Kaijuu," he said.

Sakura looked up.

Okay, something was definitely up. She didn't even react to the 'monster' bit.

He looked into her eyes and saw that she'd been...

"You've been crying, imouto," he stated.

She blinked, looked up, and recovered. "Been watching... tearjerkers. Uh... Casablanca," she mumbled.

"Liar. I still have your DVD of Casablanca. What's wrong with you?" Touya asked. "Is this about that trip to Hong Kong?"

Sakura shook her head. "No."

Touya persisted. "This is something about the gaki, isn't it?" Touya already hated China Boy. But seeing his sister hurt was worse. He'd seen it before. He'd seen it every year since the idiot left. He couldn't understand what Sakura saw in the baka at all.

"Nandemo nai, 'nii-chan. Don't you have work today?" Sakura asked.

*Work? I have work all right. I'm going to China to personally black the Oriental Gaki's eyes out for him,* Touya thought. "Yeah. I'll be leaving in a few minutes."

"I'm taking this upstairs," Sakura announced softly. She walked out of the kitchen.

Touya raised his eyes heavenward. "Okaa-chan, your daughter's acting up again. Let me know if she's in pain-- she's not telling me. And then I'll go kill the idiot gaki that broke her heart. Again. Really, 'kaa-chan, I don't know why you let her go into those relationship stuff."

And although Touya didn't hear, Kinomoto Nadeshiko said, "Sakura-chan will be fine, Touya-kun. Go to work."

Touya then grabbed his coat and walked out of the house.

Sakura heard her brother's car rev up and leave.

Her father was at the university. She was all alone.

And so she felt the way she usually did when no one was around and she had nothing to do.

Empty.

She glanced at her dresser. On it lay three oriental hair ornaments, a stuffed wolf and a stuffed rabbit, and a star shaped candle. Birthday presents.

Syaoran's presents.

*Oh, man.*

If she kept it up she just KNEW she'd be crying nonstop again. She turn around and sat down on her bed.

One dark blue bear sat there. An old dark blue bear that held so many memories.

Her Syaoran-bear.

Suddenly anything and everything was reminding her of Syaoran.

*I just went seven thousand miles to get away and yet all I seem to remember is those of what I wish to forget...*

What did they call it? Oh. Withdrawal symptoms.

Tomoyo and Eriol were getting married in a whopping two weeks. Apparently Eriol didn't believe in long engagements and had insisted on getting married ASAP.

In a few months Syaoran would be married to Ming-na, too. Thanks to her.

And then she'd be truly, terribly alone.

*In a few years they'll discover that I can't act, that my top talent is to be a class-A coward, and all this surface beauty will fade away and turn gray. And what I'll be is a once-famous has-been that still lives with my father as a spinster with a thousand cats.*

How grim.

Or maybe she would get over Syaoran and marry some guy who loved her, who she loved. Maybe Syaoran wasn't the be-all and end-all of her entire existence.

*No, he's just the love of my life. That's basically it, really.*

The diamond necklace glittered.

Well, she regretted none of what she did. She did right, after all. And there was no use in sitting around moping.

She grabbed her wing knapsack and keys. She'd go to the daycare center and have some fun with the kids.

She went downstairs and passed the living room. She froze.

Syaoran was standing there with Tomoyo and Eriol.

All she managed was a small, strangled, "Hoee?"

Tomoyo rushed and led her back to her room.

Syaoran made a move to follow. Eriol stopped him.

"Let Tomoyo talk to her first."

Syaoran nodded.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Why is he here?" Sakura asked. "I just went over five thousand miles to get away so why-- in-- the-- world-- is he-- HERE?"

Tomoyo shook her head. "He just... arrived. This morning. Why are you so mad?"

"I'm not mad, Tomoyo-chan. I'm happy. That's what's wrong about it," she muttered.

"Well, he arrived totally unannounced and I had nothing to do with it. We went to your condo first but no one was there."

"You know I rarely stay in my condo for long periods of time. I get lonely," Sakura answered.

"Yeah, so we figured you'd be here at your dad's--"

"Tomoyo-chan--"

Eriol came in. "He wants to talk to you, Sakura-san."

Syaoran stood there and met her eyes. She gave an imperceptible nod.

Eriol and Tomoyo retreated.

....

"Why are you here?" Sakura asked softly. "-- What else? What else can I do to make you turn away from me?"

He smiled gently at her. "Why?"

What the heck was he trying to pull? "Damn it," she muttered softly. "You're engaged, Syaoran-kun."

"Why is it so easy for you to let me go because of that?"

"How can you even FATHOM that it's easy?" she returned. "It's the hardest, hardest thing ever for me..."

"So you admit that you do still care."

"No," she said, looking up. "I don't admit that I care. I do, however, admit that I still love you." She turned away. "But it doesn't matter now, does it? Whether you know the truth or not-- whether you know that I love you or not... it doesn't matter." She sighed. "I love you, Syaoran. Hitotsu dake de. My only one. And now that you know... maybe you and I can part in peace."

He moved forward, she looked up.

He looked into her green eyes and smiled. She blinked.

"Sakura," he whispered. "I'm free."

Her eyes narrowed in question.

You and I don't need to sacrifice anymore," he said. Then to her eternal surprise he knelt before her. "Marry me."

"Nanii?" she managed. "But--"

"Sakura, for ten years, I've loved no one but you. And I will never, ever, feel this way about anyone else. I'm sorry I couldn't keep my promise before... but it's you I love, Sakura. It's just you."

She stared at him.

"Marry me and I promise I will never let pain touch you again."

Silence.

Then she knelt to meet his eyes and put her arms around him. "Daijobu da yo. It's all right now."

"You mean...?"

"I mean."