DISCLAIMER: I do not own CLAMP, Card Captor Sakura, or any of the characters expressed or used within this fanfiction.

Until You Do
By Ekai Ungson

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"You know. It's just art, right now, but really, it's the first thing that kept us together long enough to be friends."

"Yes, that's true."

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Prologue: Otomodachi

"Pass me the tangerine."

One swift movement, when shadow broke sunlight.

"Here. Can you pass me the charcoal?"

"Charcoal? What for?"

"I'm trying something out. Now please hand it over."

Easy companionship. Solid, stable.

Sun in shadow.

Shadow in sun.

And this was only a simple Art project on still-life.

Daidouji Tomoyo huffed audibly. "Art," she stated, "-is not one of my strong points. I believe I'm making a mess, Hiiragizawa-kun."

Hiiragizawa Eriol turned and looked over her work. It was a ballerina sketch, a ballerina on a stand, the kind that turned as it played music. Now he saw what she did with the charcoal. She used it first as a shadow, and then brushed water over it to create a smoky effect.

The problem was --she used too much water.

He grabbed a sponge and tried to salvage the artwork. She'd had a great idea, using the smoky effect. She just had to learn how to use it.

"It's fine, look," he said. "You just have to lessen the liquid a bit."

She let out a small whine. "Gomen nasai. You always have to be the one who rescues me from these mishaps."

He smiled gently. "It's my pleasure, Daidouji-san. We are partners, after all."

She smiled back. "Whenever I need help you're always there. Save for Sakura-chan, you are the person I'm most close to."

"I know you'd do it for me, too, if I had any problems."

"That's the thing. You never have problems, Hiiragizawa-kun. You're too good at everything you do." She looked at him. "Kedo. I want you to promise me, however, that when you need help you'll ask for mine, first and foremost."

He was a little taken aback. "Thanks for the offer, Daidouji-san. Maybe I will take you up on that someday."

She beamed.

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"They seem sad."

Eriol turned to Tomoyo, who had given the comment. Such a childlike, innocent comment. So simple in its deliverance.

And yet, it spoke volumes.

"Sad?" he repeated as he turned back to his finished painting, a landscape of violets against a still lake.

"They seem a little alone, you see? And gloomy, even though the painting expresses a season of happiness," she added. Then she turned to him. "I don't mean to intrude, Hiiragizawa-kun. But have you been lonely these past few days? Or sad?"

He turned to meet her eyes. "Where did you get the idea?"

She nodded toward the painting. "Summed up, it's like loneliness trying to pass itself off as happy in the false sense," she stated. "A tad philosophical. But that's what I see."

"It is also truth," he answered.

She paused. "So you HAVE been lonely. About what?"

He hesitated.

"I know you enough, Hiiragizawa-kun. And you did promise me you'd tell if you were bothered," she added. "I may not understand, but venting it out will do some good, believe me."

So much had stemmed from something so simple.

And if she saw what he put into a simple landscape who knew what else she could see?

Maybe she was right.

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"You were out awfully late today, Tomoyo-chan."

Tomoyo bowed. "Gomen nasai, okaa-sama," she said. "I had to help out otomodachi-kun."

"Otomodachi?" Daidouji Sonomi repeated. "Sakura-chan?"

"Iie," Tomoyo shook her head. "Hiiragizawa-kun."