Disclaimer: Let's face it… If I owned Cardcaptor Sakura,

I would not be writing fanfics, I would be writing the 3rd movie!

Here it is, my first fanfic! Dedicated to all devoted fangirls everywhere, I give you:

From the Depths of Despair to the Heights of Love

By anjali-chan

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Sakura rollerbladed dangerously fast down the dreary street, raindrops pounding her back and tears stinging her cheeks. All she could think was, Why me? She tripped on the curb and tumbled hard, skinning her knees, and snapping a wheel off one rollerblade. Impatiently she yanked her blades off and left them there on the sidewalk. Unaware of anything but her own misery, Sakura pelted barefoot through the mist, wanting to do nothing but run against the wind, against the rain, against the world. She found herself in the Penguin Park, where Clow Card capturing memories bombarded her. Sobbing, she crawled under the Penguin slide and fell into a deep sleep wracked by nervous dreams.

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Li threw himself on his bed, head buried in his arms, the picture of hopeless dejection. He couldn't decide whether he was feeling joyful or morose, and it bothered him. All these conflicting feelings, all due to her. Li thought dreamily of her laughing emerald eyes, the way an innocent smile from her made him blush and stammer. But he had been taught never to let his feelings show, that the future leader of the most powerful clan in China needed a heart of stone. Then why did she make him feel this way? Why was love so complicated, that it could make his heart soar and sink without warning? Li stood up and paced the length of his room, then stopped. He gazed out the apartment window, watching the rippling rain run down the glass.

But there! A flash of pink aura streaked his mind and immediately drew his eyes to the street across from his apartment. A rollerblader… but he'd know those flyaway amber tresses anywhere! But… Sakura would kill herself going that fast! He leaped up, scrabbling for his jacket, and was out the door in thirty seconds flat.

Outside, Li's eyes darted around. It was impossible to tell where she had gone in all the mist. But she would of course be carrying the Cards… he pulled out his Lasin Board and muttered over it. A red ray pointed out Sakura's path. Holding the Board in front of him like a compass, he sprinted as fast as he could. There! In a puddle on the sidewalk lay her rollerblades. One had lost a wheel. Now he knew she was in trouble. Sakura would never abandon her trusty blades. He shoved the Lasin Board into his pocket. He knew where she was going. When he arrived at the Penguin Park, he immediately zoned in on the Penguin. He could feel Sakura's pink aura emanating weakly from it.

Sakura lay crumpled in a sodden pile under the slide. Li's mind immediately thought the worst, and fear stabbed his heart. But then he detected the faint rise and fall of her chest. She was still breathing, but her face was pinched and pale. How long had she been out in the elements? He turned suddenly, and gaped as the Cards poured from her pocket and began to circle around her. A pink glow filled the space under the Penguin. Slowly her breathing became more regular and her sleep less fitful. Li put his hand to her face, hesitating as she moaned softly. She was still very feverish. And he suspected that the warm damp of her face was not raindrops, but tears. Carefully he collected the cards and stowed them in their mistress' pocket. He wrapped Sakura in his jacket and lifted her up gently. Slowly he began the long walk home, picking up the rollerblades along the way. Halfway back to his apartment, Sakura exhaled softly and buried her face in his chest. Li was very glad no one was there to see him blush.

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The next morning Sakura woke to find herself in Li's bed.

"Hoe?"

Just then Li walked through the door with a bowl of soup. "Feeling better?" he asked her.

"Li! What am I doing here?" she exclaimed. He kneeled by her bed.

"I found you yesterday evening asleep in the Penguin Park. You seemed pretty sick, so I brought you here. I knew there was no one at your house." It was true. Touya and Yukito were away on a school trip and Mr. Kinomoto was on an excavation in Brazil.

"Your clothes are probably still damp," Li continued. He tossed a sweater and pair of pants on the bed. "Here are some of Meilin's old clothes."

"Arigato…" she said, reaching for them, remembering a time that Meilin had had a fit because Sakura was wearing one of Li's shirts. That was a long time ago, when they were still engaged…

She looked up to see him frowning at her. I wonder if he knows how cute he is when he frowns? she thought absentmindedly.

"What happened, Sakura?"

Sakura looked embarrassed. "Ano… I guess I wasn't feeling well. And sort of lost track of time."

Li looked skeptical. "Well, if you don't trust me enough to tell me the truth, after all I did for you…" He turned to leave.

"No, Li, matte!" He turned back, an inquiring look on his face. "I'd trust you with my life," she told him sincerely. He flushed and exited quickly, leaving her to change

Later, at lunchtime, Li asked her, "Do you think you're ready to go home?"

"Hai, I think I am, and… oh no! Kero!" cried Sakura, aghast.

"Don't worry, I called and told him you were here."

"And he didn't protest?" Sakura asked with an impudent grin.

"Nah, he was too wrapped up in a new video game. He didn't even know you were gone."

"Just like Kero," she sighed. She looked up to see Li looking at her. She looked away quickly, feeling her cheeks grow warm. Why do I feel this way? She wondered.

"Won't you tell me what was going on last night?" she heard him whisper, almost to himself. She avoided his eyes, looking down at the steaming cup of tea in her hands.

"I would if I could, demo… I really don't know myself. It's just that lately I've been having these miserable moods. Tomoyo's in England with Eriol, and I've been sort of lonely lately. My grades are dropping, I've lost weight, and I just don't feel up to doing anything. Sunk down in the depths of despair, you could say."

Her voice dropped so Li barely caught her last sentence. "I've even been contemplating suicide." Sakura heard his sharp intake of breath, and a soft "Nani!?!" She flung up her head quickly. "No, Li, just thinking about it! I would never actually do it." But her voice was not very convincing. Li didn't even try to fake a reassuring smile, he knew how odd he would look, since he never really smiled anyway. Sakura had no idea how much she had shocked him. That happy-go-lucky, sunshine-smile Sakura would even think about suicide… it was appalling. Something was seriously wrong.

Later, as they were walking to Sakura's house, Li asked her, "Are you sure you'll be okay in that empty house?"

"Hai, I'll be fine. And Kero's there, he'll make enough noise for three Touyas!" Sakura seemed much better now, and Li was reluctant to leave her. The black mood might come back at anytime. Then he was struck by inspiration.

"Ano… Sakura, could you tell Kero that I have a message for him from Spinel? It came in Eriol's last letter. It probably has Spinel's latest video game scores. I would have given it to you but I forgot, so just send Kero over sometime."

"Sure thing," Sakura laughed, "Kero is dying to have some new high scores to beat." He felt a little guilty for telling her that lie about Spinel's message.

At Sakura's doorstep, Li abruptly gave her a quick hug, surprising himself as much as her.

"Take care."

"Bye, Li. Thanks for everything."

He walked back home slowly, lost in thought.

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Li's head jerked up as Kero came flying into the apartment from the balcony window.

"C'mon gaki, where's Spinel's message? Every minute wasted is 100 game points down the drain!"

Li flopped onto his bed, muttering, "There is no message."

Kero's eyes bulged out of his head. "Nani!?! I'm gonna kill you, gaki! You made me pause my game on the 34th level for nothing?"

"No, something much more important than any letter from Spinel. Sakura."

"What about Sakura?"

"Haven't noticed? She's so depressed! You're her guardian, so guard! What's wrong with her?"

Kero floated cross-legged in midair. "Hmmm, you may be right, she has been acting funny… she hasn't brought me any pudding for days!!"

"Can't you stop thinking about your stomach for a second?" growled Li. "There is something seriously wrong with her!"

Kero put his paw to his chin thoughtfully, then his eyes widened. "Wait, I might know. How old is she now?"

Li sighed. "Fifteen years, 87 days, 17 hours, 23 minutes…." he murmured dreamily.

Kero nodded solemnly. "Exactly, she's right in the middle of her teenage moods."

"This is no mere teenage mood, Kero!"

"Of course not. The Sakura Cards will intensify the emotions of their master. Sakura has been content, so the Sakura Cards made her absolutely overjoyed with life all the time. Any normal teenage mood will be turned by the Sakura Cards into a dangerous phase."

Li thought hard. "All this time, if she hadn't been as happy as she naturally was, she might have sunk into depression a long time ago… her natural personality saved her. But what can we do now?"

"As much as I had to admit this, brat, it's what you can do now. She needs constant human companionship, and with all her family and friends out of town or busy, that leaves only you."

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Li opened the door to his apartment, and there was Sakura. "Hi Sakura." He had invited her over for the evening to help her with her math homework. She smiled weakly at him, and he couldn't help noticing her pale complexion. Kero had reported that she ate barely anything and he sometimes heard her sobbing in her room. Well, Li thought, I'm here to fix that.

They studied math for a while, and Li saw her slowly brightening as the evening went on. "C'mon, we can have dinner now."

"No, that's okay Li, I'm not really not that hungry. You go ahead."

Li knew better than to force her. He shrugged, and went into the kitchen. Soon delicious scents of Chinese food were wafting into the living room, where Sakura was. She followed them.

"That looks delicious, Li. I didn't know you could cook."

"Desperate times call for desperate measures. Try some? I'll be very insulted if you don't."

"Anything but that," she laughed, startling him. Her laugh tinkled like it had before her moods, if a little hoarse from lack of use.

Li stood over her, watching with satisfaction as vast quantities of food disappeared. His lips twitched with humor as he thought, She can pack it away as well as Yukito when she wants to.

Later, when leaving, Li helped Sakura on with her coat. "Want me to walk you home?"

"No, that's okay. Thanks for the math help and the dinner, Li. Somehow I don't feel as lonely leaving as I did when I came." She hugged him tight, and looked up to see him as red as a tomato, with a foolish grin on his face. The grin he sometimes would show her, and only her.

Man, I love her so, Li thought as he watched her walk away into the night.

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The next day was clear and sunny. School was fine, but Sakura seemed a little removed. He tried to talk to her during lunch but she seemed to be avoiding him. The whole day he worried about her, and both cursed and praised the love that bound his heart anonymously to her. That afternoon, he rang the doorbell to her house, but no one answered. "Sakura!" he yelled up at the house. He heard the sound of a window closing, and then nothing but silence. Even if Sakura wouldn't answer him, why wouldn't Kero? He went back home, very uneasy.

That night he lay on his bed, wide-awake. It was a very warm night, and he was clad only in a pair of boxers. He felt like something was very, very wrong, but he didn't know what it was. Li, you baka, he told himself. Everything is perfectly fine, you're just imagining things. He drifted off into a light doze.

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He stares into her emerald eyes, normally so full of life, and now eerily empty…

He brushes her pale, cold, translucent skin…

He strokes her limp locks of dull hair…

He sees her, a slender girl wielding a star-topped staff, summoning wings for her back and flying off into the lonely night…

He hears the soft sobs echoing, moaning a haunting song of death and finality…

He is there, at the place that had always disturbed her dreams, where she had received her judgment and where she would judge herself now…

He stands near her as she balances on the desolate railing high above the city, looking down, mustering her courage for the jump…

He listens to her whisper, "Good-bye…"

He watches her fall, and his ears roar with the sound of silence…

Hello, Darkness, my old friend

I've come to talk with you again…

He is mesmerized by her glistening tears, spinning around him in a teeming cloud…

He reaches out and the tears spin faster and darken, turning to blood…

He sees her face in the crimson glow, everywhere and yet nowhere…

His breath slows as the face wavers and finally fades forever…

He knows in his heart that he'll never see her again…

And then there is nothing.

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"SAKURA!" Li shouted. He sat up in his bed, soaked in sweat. Had he just visioned Sakura plunging to her death? No, it had to be a premonition, it couldn't have already happened. I won't let it happen to Sakura. I won't! He ran to his balcony, hand already on the charm he always wore about his neck. He quickly summoned his sword and called upon the power of the wind to lift him up and carry him to Tokyo. He knew where she was going. "I WON'T!" he yelled at the foreboding night.

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Sakura landed on the top of Tokyo Tower, folding her wings and feeling them disappear. She tucked the Fly Card away. Now she would end it, end her life, the only choice no one else could make for her. I don't need anyone, Sakura thought rebelliously.

She strode towards the railing, and began to climb onto it. Suddenly someone was behind her, restraining her. "Let go!" she screamed.

"No, Sakura." It was Li. She turned around to face him, but he kept a tight hold of her wrist.

"What are you doing here?" she asked him sullenly.

"I'm not going to let you do this."

"Li, let me go. This is what I want."

"I WON'T!"

"What do you know about it? You've never had to suffer like I do now! My life is empty, there's no one for me, I'm all alone." Li stared at her, he had never heard her speak like this.

"No, Sakura, there's so many of us who care for you! Your family, Tomoyo, Eriol, your friends, Kero and Yue…"

"My family? Touya and Yukito are happy without me, Touya never thought of me as anything more than a kaijuu anyway. Dad is fine, all he needs are his stupid tools and ancient artifacts to be happy. Tomoyo has Eriol, and I hated her and her obsession with me! Eriol would never had known me if it wasn't for the cards, so how could you say he cares about me for who I am? The rest of my friends won't even miss me. Kero only cares about what goes into his stomach. It was easy enough to get rid of him yesterday morning by telling him that Spinel wanted to see him in England. And Yue has always hated me." Li could tell that she didn't know what she saying, that in this black mood she could only lash out and viciously accuse everyone.

"What about me, Sakura? I care."

"You? You're my enemy, my rival, all you want are the cards. Well, here, take them! I never wanted them anyway, Kero just pushed them on me as another duty in this horrid life!" She threw the cards on the ground, distracting him enough to break his hold on her wrist. She climbed up on the railing.

Li jumped up after her, pulling her down onto the roof again. She struggled, sobbing. There's nothing for it, thought Li. I can think of only one way to get her complete attention. Roughly, he tipped her head up and kissed her hard.

She immediately stopped fighting, and leaned against him. He broke the kiss, their breathing ragged. He kissed her again and again, ever so softly. She opened her eyes, and he could see that they were glowing with life.

"Aishiteru, Li." She murmured, and then fell asleep on his shoulder.

"Aishiteru, Sakura."

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Sakura woke up very slowly. She looked around, and found herself in her pajamas on the roof on the Tokyo Tower in the morning. She was also lying on top of Li Syaoran's bare chest. "Hoeeeee…"

"Li, wake up." she whispered. "Hm?" he murmured half-asleep, wrapping his arms around her. "What are you wearing?" He looked down at himself, attired only in his boxers, and then at Sakura lying on top of him. That woke him up quick. They stood up, facing each other.

"Li, what happened? I have a really bad feeling about this."

"You don't remember anything?"

"Ano… No. Matte, I remember that I told you I love you."

"And I told you that I love you."

"Hai."

"Before I explain what happened, let's get a couple things straight. You told me that you didn't think I ever suffered. Well, since I came to Japan, I have suffered everyday." Sakura wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him close.

"Poor guy, are you homesick?"

"No, I'm wildly in love with you." Sakura blushed prettily, then retorted hotly, "Are you implying that it is bad to be in love with me?"

"It was until now." Li leaned forward and kissed her. She deepened the kiss, threading her fingers through his thick hair. He broke the kiss abruptly.

"You told me that you were sunken into the depths of despair. If you're not there now, where are you?"

"At the heights of love," she told him. He grinned.

"Promise that whenever you're in trouble you'll call for me, okay? Promise."

"I promise," she laughed, rubbing her nose to his. "We'll be together forever."

Warm sunlight danced around the happy couple on the top of the Tokyo Tower, where so many of Sakura's dreams had literally come true.

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Please, R&R!

*~CaRdCaPtOr SaKuRa~*

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