First of all, how can I start to apologise for taking so long with this last chapter? But I really wanted this story to end well, so I took some time polishing it up! Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed and urged me to post this last one. Also, the last scene for the story echos the last scene of the first chapter, so I would suggest refreshing your memory if you can't quite remember. I had a wonderful time with this story and I hope you did too. (: My apologies once again.
Kaho would breathe a sigh a relief every time Eriol awoke from one of his dreams. But he always looked so lost and disappointed when he woke up that she sometimes half wished that he could stay in his dreams forever. At least there, he was happy.
Seating almost perpetually by his bedside, she busied herself with pouring him water, adjusting his pillows and rearranging his photo frames on his bedside table. Eriol had too many photos, Kaho sometimes thought. His bedside table had space for little else. But she never complained, because at least continuously rearranging his photo frames gave her something to do while Eriol was drifting back into unconsciousness, even if she always had to make sure his photos with Tomoyo occupied the place of honour, nearest to the bed where he could see them easily.
"Kaho, can you make sure to send Tomoyo a card for her birthday, every year if possible?" He asked from under his covers.
"Of course Eriol." She answered him.
"And one on Christmas as well?"
"Of course Eriol."
"Don't forget to sign for Ruby Moon and Spinel."
And he drifted off to sleep again.
He is looking through photo albums with her. As he turns the page, she provides a colourful narrative of everything that had happened when the photo was taken. Most of the photos were of children. He doesn't know them, although he recognises their parents in their faces. As he surveys a photo of the scowling kid, he remembers the father and mother, and wishes he could have been there.
"What happened to yours?"
She looked up from the album, a quizzical expression on her face, "I never had kids silly."
He knows why. But he wants to hear her say it.
"Because you weren't there to have them with me."
"Where's Ruby Moon and Spinel?"
Kaho smiled sadly back at him, and he remembered he had asked the same question before. He also remembered her answer although he wished he hadn't.
In an effort to distract him, Kaho said, "Li Syaoran called again today. To check up on you I'm assuming, because I don't see why he would call me just to ask about the weather in England."
Eriol chuckled with much effort, "Yes, he really is just a big old teddy bear under all that defend one's honour nonsense."
Kaho's eyes crinkled as she recalled their conversation, "He said he was going to propose to Sakura soon."
Eriol beamed, "Really?"
Kaho nodded, smiling as well, "I think he wanted to get your blessing."
Eriol laughed, and Kaho's body tingled because she hadn't heard him do so in a while, "Syaoran would never do something like ask for my blessing. Anyway, I've already given it long ago."
"I suppose you're right," Kaho continued, "Apparently Tomoyo is helping him plan some extravagant romantic cruise to the Fiji Islands."
Eriol smiled fondly, "Yes, Tomoyo-chan has always had a flair for these sort of festivities."
And Kaho watched as Eriol got lost in his memories.
Eriol had requested for his window to be open, despite the chilling winds that sometimes blew in England.
"Are you sure that's a good idea Eriol?" Kaho asked worriedly, "You know your constitution has been pretty poor lately."
"Oh come on Kaho," Eriol whispered, looking out his window, "Don't deny the poor man what little pleasure he has left."
Kaho sighed, but gave in. She always did with Eriol. "Fine, I'll go get an extra blanket though, and you will use it." A note of finality in her voice.
"I will." He agreed, then as she was leaving the room, she heard him say, "Thank you Kaho." And she knew Eriol was not talking about the blanket.
He watched her leave and thought he should have said sorry as well. Because he couldn't love her like she deserved, and because she had to sit there watching him fade away, pining for someone else. He noticed a moth fly in through his open window and land on his lamp.
"Hello there," he whispered to it and Eriol contemplated why he thought them scary in the first place.
"I wonder," he said aloud to the room, "how she's doing right now," the image of a raven haired beauty flash across his mind and he closed his eyes, content for it to be the final thing he thought about as he fell asleep for the last time.
He finds himself waking up and recognising the familiar crack in the ceiling. The sounds of pots and pans clanging downstairs in the kitchen and shrieks of 'sugar!' and 'murder!' alert him to the fact that he might be needed to settle another brawl soon. His door swings open and she walks in, a plate piled high with pancakes.
She smiles in reply and announces, "Pancakes!"
He laughs as she crawls under the covers with him and perches the stack of pancakes precariously on a pile of books, creating some sort of improvised table.
She forcefully stuffs a pancake into his mouth and laughs gleefully at his expression.
He nods, then swallows.
"Care to give me more than one word sentences?"
Her smile is radiant. Her eyes, soft.
"Promise you won't ever leave me again."
He pulls her closer, "I promise."
And they hook pinkys.
Tomoyo woke up, half expecting to find pancakes at the foot of her bed. It seemed so real, her dream. She held a hand to her face, and realised she had been crying. Finding her pocket watch, she saw that she had only a while more to sunrise so she slipped out of bed and into her kitchen. She pulled out the flour and sugar and tried to remember if they had enough chocolate in the house for a chocolate cake.
Oh look, it's Tomoyo Daidouji!
Alone? That's strange.
I know, didn't she get together with that Hiiragizawa guy? You know, English, tall and handsome?
Don't think so, I heard he went back to England.
What, really? But the two of them would have made such a perfect couple.
I know right, they would have totally given Kinomoto and Li a run for their money.
High school reunions were spent more or less in the same fashion. Tomoyo Daidouji was still beautiful, rich and successful but she never got married. She dated, mostly to keep her mother and friends happy but never got serious with anybody. She protested to Sakura and Syaoran that she didn't need anyone else with them around, and their children kept her hands full most of the time, she really saw no need to have any of her own.
"I wish Tomoyo would find someone, she looks so lonely sometimes." Sakura would often remark to her husband.
And his reply always was, "She already did."
Although his name was never mentioned, Syaoran and Sakura knew who they both were talking about and Syaoran frequently wondered if Sakura knew more than she let on about Eriol's predicament. His Sakura was dense, that was a well known fact, but she was one of the most powerful magicians in the world after all. The couple took care not to bring up their old friend too much, especially in front of Tomoyo although Sakura and Syaoran suspected he always lingered on in her memories.
Finally, after many, many years, when her once raven hair had all turned to white and when her once flawless face registered many wrinkles, her beloved nieces and nephews found that they couldn't wake her. She still looked beautiful though, as she clutched onto a pocket watch that had long since stopped ticking.
Tomoyo finds herself wandering the hallways of a once familiar looking house. She doesn't remember how she got here. She looks down at her hands and finds them like they were when she was 18, soft and pale. She hears a fire crackling and sees soft orange light streaming out from under the doors of one of the rooms. Feeling her heartbeat increase with every step, she leans slightly on the door, and watches as it creaks open. She steps timidly into the room and freezes as she sees a familiar face.
He smiles at her.
"Hello beautiful, welcome home."
She beams at him and runs the short distance separating them, basically hurling herself at the man that have been occupying her thoughts for far too long. He chuckles in that deep mesmerising baritone voice of his and asks in a mock serious voice, "What took you so long?"
The pocket watch in her nightgown pocket starts ticking again.
Thank you for reading, it's been awesome. And look, a happy ending!