I just had to get this little one shot off my chest.

Shove this into the place when Sakura kissed Syaoran's eye in Ashura's world. Let's just pretend Mokona was with Kurogane and Fai because the little creature didn't do much for Syaoran in that arc anyway. Kurogane and Fai are the ones that need Mokona anyway or else they can't understand anything they say.

Alright, that's enough of this rambling.

X X X

Syaoran was beating himself up.

First of all, he had failed to get the feather.

And second, he hadn't been able to find Fai or Kurogane – just a pair of lookalikes that had done a better job of beating him up than he was doing to himself.

Third, well, he was beaten up and he couldn't hide all these wounds from the princess.

SO, resigning himself to his fate, he made his way to the room he was sharing with Sakura. The gossamer curtain revealed nothing though he knew if Sakura was awake, and he hoped that she wasn't, then she would be able to see his silhouette. If she was still sleeping, then he could change and scurry off before she knew how badly he was hurt.

But, luck was not on his side tonight.

Just as he was sweeping the curtain aside with one hand, he heard Sakura stir. She mumbled in her sleep and gave a little gasp that meant she was waking up. She lurched upright with a faint cry of: "Oh, no, have I slept through everything again?"

By then, he knew there was no way to escape and he was better of just facing the music now.

"Syaoran-kun!" Sakura exclaimed when her jade green eyes fell on him. She was still for a moment, just taking in the state of his clothes – the tear in his shoulder and across his chest and the overall grime of blood and dirt that covered him. Then, she shoved back the covers and scrambled to her feet. "You're hurt!" She held him by his shoulders and gazed up into his face.

The feel of her warm soft hands on the raw sore skin of his shoulder was heaven on earth, but he knew it would hurt too much to let himself believe that she loved him again. His heart always broke when the reality set in again. "No, no," he protested. "It's just a –"

"You've been hurt," Sakura insisted. She stepped back from him sadly. She fisted her hands in her skirt and looked so distressed that Syaoran felt his heart turn to putty in her hands even though she wasn't doing anything to make him feel that way.

"Ach! Well, it's just a little scratch, maybe," he said sheepishly.

"Please, don't hide your pain. I know I can't do anything to help, but at least let me worry about you," Sakura begged. She looked nothing short of dropping to her knees, pressing her face into his thigh, and sobbing her heart out. Her eyes glittered with tears.

Ashamed, Syaoran looked away. "Sorry…" And he was, because, though it killed him to have tears in her eyes over him, he would continue to hide from her. He would hide the pain in his body and the agony in his heart. It was just in his nature.

Men didn't cry, didn't break. Men were strong.

"Can I touch you?"

He had been so lost in his own thoughts that he almost missed her quiet question, but he was so attuned to her that he just caught it. She wasn't really looking at him, just staring at her feet with and slight dusting of nervousness on her cheeks.

Would he turn her away, deny her this one thing?

No, of course not.

Her fingers, smooth and small and tender, carefully cupped the wound on his shoulder. The skin burned in protest, aching raw and bloody like a burn. Sakura laid her fingertips on some unbeaten skin and soothed it with a touch that was feather-soft and gently.

"Um, back in Clow, my dad used to do this for me, too," she confessed though Syaoran already knew. "He called it 'medical treatment'."

Syaoran was glad her memories were returning to her, even if she would never remember him…

"Even if you have no special powers," Sakura continued, "as long as you put your heart into it, you can soothe the greatest pain." Then, she gazed at him and searched his face for the slightest sign of his approval. Did this help him? Make it hurt just a little bit less? Make him just a little less lonely?

Syaoran smiled faintly. "Thank you…" He almost said 'Sakura,' but stopped himself. To dull the pain that said he would never call her that again, he changed the subject. "I met two men who looked a lot like Kurogane-san and Fai-san in the castle of the moon."

Sakura stepped closer to him, so close that he could feel the heat coming off of her body. She was still holding him gently, touching the wound on his shoulder with the pads of her fingers. "Were they?" she whispered.

"That person who looked like Kurogane-san was carrying the sword that looked like the one we got in Outo, but when he saw me, it was though he didn't know who I was," Syaoran told her. Shame welled up like a knot in his throat, making his words strained and painful. How could he not have found them? "Besides," he continued, "both of them had black eyes."

He felt Sakura's eyes shift away from his face and glanced at her from the corner of his eye. "Kurogane-san has crimson eyes and Fai-san has beautiful eyes that are as blue as sapphires," she murmured quietly. She wasn't blaming him, not yet.

"This means they are the Kurogane-san and Fai-san of the country of Shara," Syaoran explained.

"But," Sakura whispered, "Then where are the Kurogane-san and Fai-san that traveled with us?"

Syaoran looked away from her because he couldn't bear her trust when he didn't know if he could find them. He was failing. Syaoran cleared his throat and changed the subject again. "I'll have to return to the battle field soon."

Sakura stared at him. He looked exhausted, beaten, a far cry from the Syaoran she knew. Deep in his beautiful amber eyes, there was shame. Did he blame himself because they couldn't find Kurogane-san and Fai-san? She was going to whisper his name and assure him otherwise, but…

Pain lanced through him. It stabbed through his mind, through his memories, and buried itself in the back of his right eye. The sensation tore through him until a cry was nearly in his throat. He stumbled and the world spun around him. Then, as quickly as it started, it subsided.

"Are you alright?" She scrambled, guiding him to sit on the bed and then quickly sat beside him.

Sakura's concerned face was inches from his own.

"It's nothing," he forced out. "My eye…"

"Does it hurt?"

"Just a little bit," he murmured.

One of her hands pulled his down away from his eye and then, her lips were on his face. The kiss was so soft, so tender, perfect. The first kiss she had ever given him, even before all of this had happened. The only sobering thought was that it was the only kiss she would ever give him.

That though alone tapped the heat of a blush from his cheeks, but he managed to squeak out, "Sa-Sakura-hime!"

Her lips were still melded to fit his face when he pulled away to look at her. Her eyes were closed and a dreamy expression had smoothed all traces of worry from her face. She hadn't really thought about what she was doing. It had just been spur of the moment. Her emerald eyes fluttered open and a faint smile curved her soft lips. "Does anything else hurt?" Was all she whispered, heedless of the way his eyes widened. Without thinking, he touched his shoulder, where the wound was still aching like a second heartbeat.

Sakura dipped her head and feathered her lips against his shoulder, against the sharp joint and his fragile collarbones. She even went as far as to carefully pull away the tattered edges of his shirt and kiss nearly to the racing pulse in his throat. Then, she pulled back and gazed into his eyes again. She was so close that he could feel her breath on his face, light and even and warm. He carefully touched his lips, still staring into her eyes.

She leaned toward him, bracing her hands on his biceps and then gently met her lips with his. Her eyes fluttered shut in bliss and the scent of blossoms surrounded Syaoran, filled his mind and heart to the brim. He felt dazed, drugged, like she was washing all the pain and insecurities and doubt from him with something as simple as the brush of her lips again his. But it wasn't just a touch. She was kissing him and for a moment, she was the Sakura he knew and loved – the one that loved him, too.

Syaoran closed his eyes and surrendered himself to her.

Sakura's arms were around him, pressing tight around his narrow waist, pulling him so close to her it was as if she wished to draw him into her body. He slipped his fingers into her hair and cradled the back of her head. She shyly licked his lower lip in a silent hesitant plea for entrance and sighed against him when he let his lips part for her. Finally, they broke apart for air and Syaoran wanted to gaze into Sakura's eyes, but he feared what he would find there.

He was happy for what she had given him – this one kiss.

Now, he could go on.

He could get her feathers back for her.

He could find Kurogane-san and Fai-san.

He could fight at the castle of the moon.

He could be the man she needed him to be.

"Syaoran-kun," she whispered.

He laid his finger against her lips. "Thank you," he murmured and was saved from having to say anything else by Ashura-ou calling to them for dinner. Syaoran stood up, helped Sakura to her feet as well, and hastily released her hand after that.

She had kissed him.

Maybe someday she would love him again.

X X X

A little more angsty than I was originally planning for, but…

First, drop a review and let me know what you think! Are the characters way out of character? Does everybody hate anything? Think I torture Syaoran way too much (but it's because he's so easy to be mean to, though I always make sure to give him a happy ending!)? Are permanently disgusted and can no longer even watch Tsubasa thanks to me? Loved it? Hated it? (Flames will be used to roast marshmallows and weenies!) Think I need to do more editing before I post chapters? Post to slow? Yada, yada, yada…

Second, check out my first ORIGINAL NOVEL! The Breaking of Poisonwood by Paradise Avenger. (Summary: People were dead. When Skye Davis bought me at a slave auction as a birthday present for his brother, I had no idea what my new life was going to be like, but I had never expected this. It all started when Venus de Luna was killed and I was to take her place, to become the new savior… Then, bad things happened and some people died. In the heart of the earth, we discovered the ancient being that Frank Davis had found and created and used to his advantage. The Poisonwood—)

Questions, comments, concerns?