DISCLAIMER: I do not own CLAMP, Card Captor Sakura, nor any of its characters.

DEDICATION: To my dear Luna-chan. Eriol and Tomoyo, ne? They rule! ^-^

Twenty-Four Hours
an E+T oneshot by Ekai Ungson

It all began as a dare.

One lazy summer day in Tomoeda, Japan, was particularly lazy. There was absolutely nothing to do. No cards to catch, no silly stuffed animals to defeat. Even the Great Brain, Daidouji Tomoyo herself, had run fresh out of ideas for new costumes and amateur home movies.

It was at this event that Kinomoto Sakura's mind went to cracking. Maybe it was some secret rage she felt that needed to be unleashed. Or maybe she really was bored, or maybe the heat was getting to her.

But as the sun rose higher and the hours drew on, as her group of friends downed pitcher after pitcher of iced tea, the longer she sat, the better the plan looked to her.

"Guys," she began. "I have a proposition."

Three pairs of eyes turned to her.

"Anything that will get us out of this funk is worth hearing," Li Syaoran said. "Propose."

"Well, actually, it's just for Tomoyo-chan and Eriol-kun," Sakura said.

The mentioned couple blinked at her.

"What, Sakura-chan?" Tomoyo asked.

"I mean, it's all for the purpose of amusement, ne? And you have to keep an open mind," Sakura continued. "Okay, otomodachi-san? Eriol-kun?"

Hiiragizawa eriol shrugged. "Agreed."

Tomoyo nodded. "All right. So what is this proposal?"

Sakura grinned menacingly. Syaoran took a step back, and Eriol and Tomoyo began to doubt their readily-given agreement.

"I propose," Sakura began. "That for exactly twenty-four hours, Eriol-kun and Tomoyo-chan become... boyfriend and girlfriend."

Eriol audibly choked on his iced tea. Tomoyo let out a "hwaa?" reminiscent of Sakura's "hooe". Syaoran turned to look disbelievingly at his girlfriend.

"Sakura," the befuddled Oriental began. "You're kidding, right?"

Sakura beamed at him. "Absolutely not, koishii."

Syaoran turned to look at the couple that was put on-the-spot. He began contemplating the idea.

It was more something that Hiiragizawa would think up instead of Sakura. The concept was simply malevolent. Now he understood why his girlfriend calmly said nothing as either Tomoyo or Eriol submitted her to their machinations. he never figured Sakura would exact payback.

And apparently, neither did they.

"Sa-Sakura-chan--" Tomoyo stuttered.

"Sakura-san--" Eriol choked.

Syaoran grinned. Yes, this _was_ perfect.

"Come now, Tomoyo-chan, Eriol-kun," Sakura wheedled. "It's just for fun! And besides, you do owe me, you know, after everything YOU put me through..."

Tomoyo winced. She figured Sakura would play the "you-owe-me-big" card sooner or later. Whatever happened to loyalty between friends?

Eriol tried to keep his composure. His heir was right on the money. He _did_ do enough to ruin her life, even if it was for a good cause.

"Agreed?" Sakura asked. "Please?"

"All right," the blue-haired Englishman sighed.

The songstress agreed, blushing to the tips of her raven hair.

And the victim-turned-perpetrator smiled victoriously. "Yes!"

~~ :)

The rules were simple, completely simple.

From eight a.m. Saturday to ten a.m. Sunday, Tomoyo and Eriol had to act like a true couple dating, with all the definitive mush included. To ensure this, Sakura and Syaoran were to double date with them.

~8 a.m.~
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?" Syaoran commented as they watched the Unflappable Duo fidget.

"Immensely," Sakura confirmed.

Syaoran made a mental note never to cross Sakura for his future safety.

"But what exactly do you hope to achieve with this little scheme, other than vengeance?" he asked.

"I don't know. If something happens, then it happens. If not, I can always commit to memory that I've done this to them," she replied. "Come on."

~~~~

"So..." Eriol began. "I'm... really sorry. It IS my fault Sakura-san put us into this situation, Daidouji-san."

"Please, it really is MY fault," Tomoyo replied, shaking her head. "I forced her into all those outlandish costumes. Gomen nasai, Hiiragizawa-kun."

He smiled at her. She smiled back.

"Shall we?" he offered.

"We shall," she answered.

~~~~

Sakura grinned winningly. "Yes, things will be just _perfect_."

~~ :)

~2 p.m.~
"You know..." Sakura said. "This just won't do."

Tomoyo's spoon of ice cream froze in mid air. "What just won't do, Sakura-chan?"

Sakura stood up.

Three persons wondered what she was planning EXACTLY.

The girl took a menacing step toward Eriol and Tomoyo.

Eriol shrank back against his seat. "What, Sakura-san?"

In two quick motions, Sakura took their hands-- and clasped them together.

Eriol mused absently that maybe he rubbed off too much of himself into his heir.

Tomoyo began thinking that maybe Sakura really was very, very mad at her.

"That looks a lot better," Sakura said triumphantly. "Don't ever let go of each other, ne?"

If they were blushing before, they were BURNING now.

Tomoyo sneaked a look at Eriol, who was, she figured, as red as her.

It wasn't just the humiliation for her, now.

She was also aware of the English boy's closeness.

And that was very, very, VERY bad.

Eriol turned to look at the girl beside him, who was now staring at the tablecloth as if it held the very meaning of life.

Then he peeked at their hands clasped together.

Was he holding on because of Sakura's enforced commands?

Or because of something else, something completely different?

"Guys, come on! We've a festival to go to!" Sakura yelled.

~~ :)

~5 p.m.~
The annual summer festival held at the local shrine was crawling with people when they arrived.

Sakura's enthusiasm was infectious, and even Tomoyo, in her awkward situation, was smiling.

The usual boyfriend-y things were dealt with. This involved treats to food and sightseeing and winning the essential stuffed toy or two at the gaming booths.

This resulted in an amusing situation of a shooting competition between Syaoran and Eriol. Because, as good as a marksman Syaoran was, Eriol was proving better. And Syaoran hated to lose.

"Grr..." he growled as Eriol smiled at him.

"Oh, it's all right, koishii. Thanks for winning me all this stuff," Sakura beamed. She then planted a kiss on her boyfriend's cheek and Syaoran's tension diminished enormously.

"Domo arigato, Hiiragizawa-kun," Tomoyo said. Then she kissed Eriol's cheek, too.

The reaction could be described as "electric".

Sakura was feeling particularly proud of herself by this time.

"I still think you're delivering your best friend right into the hands of evil incarnate," Syaoran hissed.

"Well, she did the same thing with me when she pushed us together," Sakura replied coyly.

Her boyfriend gaped at her. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"If you don't know," Sakura said saucily. "Then there's no point in my telling you."

"WHAT?!"

Sakura sauntered away lazily, a smirk on her face.

~7:30 p.m.~
Tomoyo giggled quietly at her best friend and Syaoran. Then she turned her eyes around the surroundings.

A small bear caught her eye. Golden brown with a blue ribbon tied around its neck. She smiled.

"You want me to get you that one?"

She looked up and met Eriol's gentle smile. "Umm... no.. it's all right. You've given me so much already." She held up her armful of toys to prove her point.

But her "boyfriend" was already paying the keeper.

"Eriol--" she began. Then she clamped her mouth shut, surprised. She never called him by his first name before. First names were for people really close to each other. Best friends.

Couples.

This was getting scary.

But Eriol only smiled brilliantly at her. "It's all right," her said. "This one is special." He then raised the airgun and fired.

Now she understood exactly what 'blushing wildly' meant.

"A.. Arigato gozaimas..." she stammered as he handed her the bear. The heat on her face wasn't letting up.

"In exchange.." Eriol began.

Tomoyo looked up.

"...I want you to call me Eriol all the time."

"Then call me Tomoyo," she replied.

He grinned. "Let's go," he said, taking her hand. "The fireworks are about to start."

Tomoyo smiled wistfully as Eriol led her into the throng of people. This wasn't so bad after all.

~~ :)

~8:50 p.m.~
Eriol followed Sakura and Syaoran to a spot beside the pond, the place with the best view.

He watched as his "girlfriend" went on her knees and touched the water's surface with one finger.

"What'd you do that for?" he asked when she straightened.

"Tradition," the girl replied softly. "I told the spirits to let us intrude here for a few minutes."

He smiled. "Surely they would not refuse such beauty as yours."

She smiled back. "I hope so."

"Hey, hey guys!" Sakura said urgently. "It's starting!"

Tomoyo raised her eyes to the sky as brilliant flashes of lightwent up to break the darkness of the night sky.

Eriol took in the smile of wonder on her face and forgot the fireworks entirely.

"Beautiful.." he murmured.

Tomoyo turned to him. "The fireworks?"

"No," he replied. "You."

~~ :)

~10:15 p.m.~

"That was really fun, wasn't it, otomodachi?" Sakura asked as they walked home.

Tomoyo nodded. "Yes, it really was."

They arrived at a fork in the road. To Sakura's would mean left and Tomoyo's meant going straight.

"You take Sakura-san home, Li," Eriol said. "I'll bring Tomoyo-san."

Sakura's grin widened. First names! "Are you sure?" she asked.

"Positive," Tomoyo replied. "Go on, it's late. I'll go pick up my stuff in your house tomorrow morning."

And so Sakura and Syaoran went left and Eriol and Tomoyo went on.

"Are you sure it's all right to leave them alone?" Syaoran asked. "I mean, won't Hiiragizawa cheat on the deal?"

"I doubt he'll want to, Syaoran-kun," Sakura replied.

Syaoran looked at her, confused.

She smiled. "It's amazing what can change in only twenty-four hours, isn't it?"

~~~~

Eriol kept his word and delivered Tomoyo safely to the doorstep of the Daidouji mansion.

"Ne..." Tomoyo began. "Thank you for a wonderful day, Eriol-kun."

He smiled. She was still holding that bear he'd won for her, the 'special' one. All the others had been tucked safely away and given to Sakura's brother, Touya, to be picked up tomorrow.

"It was my pleasure," he replied gallantly. "Sometimes Sakura-san's plans do work out for the best." He took her hand and raised it to his lips. "Oyasumi nasai, beautiful Tomoyo."

"O.. oyasumi," she replied softly.

With one last smile he walked out of the estate and into the streets.

She went inside and leaned against the grand doors, her eyes closed and her mouth curved in a satisfied smile.

Yes, sometimes Sakura-chan's plans DO work out for the best

--End--

Author's Note: anyone wants a sequel, gimme an idea through hikari_yagami20@yahoo.com. sa, minna! ja ne!!!

--kai, 123001