Map the Soul

Chapter One

a/n: this is a new sort of story. Hopefully, it will be a good read, and be a bit different from what is out there in the fanfic world

Kinomoto Sakura did not think that killing one's self would be so difficult.

But we shall get to her a little later.

While Sakura is a very important character in this tale, this is all about a certain man. He is named Li Xiao Lang, but was often called Syaoran when he moved to Japan. Syaoran was a peculiar sort of man with a strange love of being right, and a fondness for being perceived as a rough "bad boy" character. Throughout his life, he prided himself on two things: one was that he read people very well and two, that he was not afraid of the dead.

Syaoran was immune to the fear of cadavers that make many squeamish due to his family's profession. Syaoran came from a very rich family, one that ran a sort of funeral home for the recently dead. When a funeral was in need, one went to the Li family. When a body needed to be stored until its cremation, it was left with the Li family. When he was young, Syaoran used to charge his classmates money to see a dead body, often time watching them scream from terror at first sight.

It was a shame that this was his family's job because it certainly affected him. Syaoran was always very handsome, with chiseled features and possessed athletic abilities that allowed his body to grow into a muscular one. He was also always very bright. However, he grew up much more cynical, and with a much more pessimistic view of things. In one day he managed to ostracize himself from his high school class because of this. When his homeroom teacher told them all of her deathly ill husband, the whole class cried in sympathy with her. Syaoran, however...

"Teacher, make sure to use my family services when your husband finally passes on."

Well, he did not cry like the others.

It could not be helped. Syaoran never cried. Even when his grandparents that he loved died, he did not cry, but only watched his parents and sisters and just about everyone else cry.

All in all, he was a very peculiar child.

When high school ended, one of his elder sisters married a man who was decided to take over his family's business. That meant that Syaoran was free to do whatever he felt like doing. Already promised with a fortune that was set aside especially for him, Syaoran decided to take up photography. The idea was new to his family, but he once saw the funeral of a very prominent photographer, and found that the man lived a very interesting life. So it was with this adventurous mindset that Syaoran's family bought him a very expensive camera, and he went off to see the world.

Along the way, he took very important pictures that moved others. Ironically, he excelled best at taking pictures of those nearing death. Soldiers dying from war wounds, children dying from starvation...those were the pictures he did best with.

However, somewhere along his journey, something had stopped him, and he took up an offer in Japan. He moved there, rented a huge and luxurious apartment, and took pictures of fashion models. At age twenty-five, he became one of the best fashion photographers. Famed for being able to read the models well and bring out their deepest emotions onto a photograph, Syaoran felt confident that his ability in reading people would make living life very simple.

It was not until he met Sakura that his very foundation was shaken.

Now Syaoran has always been strange, but Sakura was downright "out of the ordinary." There is not much known about her, except that Sakura also came from a wealthy upbringing, and that she loved to paint and draw. Most everything else known about her were rumors, drawn up from speculations and observations.

However, there is one more fact about Sakura. She was a girl who tried to kill herself over 100 times.

The first time was when she was three. The other times followed right after as she grew older. Her father was always very frantic, and finally sent her to a psychologist when she turned eighteen.

Her psychologist was no one other than Hiragizawa Eriol, who coincidentally, was Syaoran's roommate. For nearly two years, Eriol had seen to Sakura and her problems. She was his first serious client. Finally, at age twenty-seven, Eriol had come up with an idea. One that would most likely break his friend.

But he had faith that somehow, it would all work out.

Syaoran was twenty seven when he slept with top model Daidouji Tomoyo. He slept with her out of a habit, having obtained a "bad boy" label. She slept with him to forget a past lover. Neither were serious, neither disappointed.

"I wonder if one day, you will be able to feel your heart connect with your body," she told him as they were getting dressed.

"What do you mean?" he asked her. She turned her pretty head toward him, looking at him from an amethyst colored eye.

"The soul reacts to sex, you know." She smiled in a way that gave the impression she was holding onto a secret.

"Ha, you want me to fall in love with you?"Syaoran rolled his eyes at the thought.

"Goodness, no!" She flashed him her ring. "I'm married, after all."

"Such a good wife, your husband has."

She glared a bit, but let his comment slide. "I wonder when I will feel my soul react to another's. Such a feeling is almost like a luxury to me."

"Fantastic princess, but I don't believe in such things like soul. Everything dies, nothing is left from the human. Trust me, I've seen enough dead bodies to know."

It was silent for a long time. Finally, that pretty model turned to him and said just one thing that he did not take as seriously as he was supposed to.

"I feel so sorry for you."

What did she need to feel sorry for him for? His life was just fine. He didn't mind living life by cruising on whatever came about.

That was all he could ever want.

Syaoran was twenty seven years old when he met nineteen year old Sakura. She was walking steadily behind his friend as he was unlocking the door to his apartment. Eriol had lived with Syaoran for nearly two years and for that long, Eriol never brought his work home. But here was this girl with short auburn hair following him around the kitchen like a baby chick.

"Hey," Syaoran greeted. "You do realize there is a person following you, right?"

"Welcome back, and yes. Sakura-chan, this is my roommate, Li Syaoran. He's not too important, so feel free to call him Syaoran," he introduced his friend to the girl. Syaoran scoffed.

"Hilarious. But seriously, you can call me Syaoran," he assured her.

She said nothing but nodded. Syaoran could sense something familiar but odd in her. If she was not so peculiar, she would be considered a beauty. She was a small thing, but she had beautiful green eyes, but they were full of mysterious that almost tempted him. Her mouth was small, but her lips were thick enough in proportion to her face. But Syaoran, who was used to gorgeous models, was not at all affected by her outer appearance.

"Great conversationalists," Syaoran commented. Eriol smiled.

"She's one of my patients. She's a special girl, and her special needs have required her to stay here for the time being. She'll be staying in the guest room. Her father has agreed to pay some of the rent, along with her food and other needs."

"Oh," Syaoran nodded in comprehension. "Welcome to our home."

Still, the girl said nothing. She was different, he gave her that much.

"So what's this girl's deal?" Syaoran asked, deciding to help set the table.

"She wants to die," Eriol said as he sat her down. Syaoran looked at her again, that familiar sense hit him...

"Why do you want to die?" he asked her.

"Why do you want to live?" Those were her first words to him.

He laughed. "Fair enough."

"Sakura did promise me to not kill herself until her twentieth birthday. So I bought us some time, isn't that right Sakura-chan?"

As Sakura bit into her spaghetti (quite unladylike, Syaoran noted), she nodded. Syaoran just smirked, thinking of the interesting emotions she can produce when in front of his camera, and after answering a few of his questions.

"So, Sakura-chan—can I call you that? I can? Good—why do you have to die?"

"I have to free my soul."

She was interesting, Syaoran gave her that much.

ultra special blah blah blah: i like ducks and penguins.