Disclaimer: I do not own Card Captor Sakura. If I did then the dub would be much, much better; I'd keep the names, keep the yaoi and erase that stupid tendency dubbers have to turn 'couple' into 'cousin'.
This is my first CCS fic, so don't expect a masterpiece. All I've seen is the English dub version of series one with the capture of the clow cards. Since I haven't written for this series before I'm also not too familiar with the characters. And I have never, ever done romance before, because until about a year-and-a-half ago even the mention of the word 'love' used to make me sick. I still can't stand fluff. Nevertheless, I'm having a shot. Point is it's Sakura and Syaoran's wedding day.
Oops! Forgot the warning, I've never had to do one before: This fic is containing shoujo ai, meaning girls liking girls. Tomoyo liking Sakura, namely, although it has heavy S+S overtones and a brief mention of E+T . If you don't like it, go read some fluff.
A glimpse of paradise
Of all the numerous outfits Tomoyo had made for Sakura, this was surely the most wonderful of all. She had spent weeks meticulously drafting designs, deciding on the fabric, stitching the whole thing by hand. Every little detail was checked and altered over and over again, so that everything was just right.
Maybe she'd found the perfect job at last. Daidouji Tomoyo, maker of the most glorious handcrafted wedding dresses ever seen.
Maybe she'd stick to her camera.
It was wonderful to see the delight on Sakura's face when she saw the dress. "Oh, Tomoyo, this is magnificent! It must have taken you ages to finish. You really shouldn't spend so much on me, you know."
"You know I don't have to worry about money, Sakura." Tomoyo muttered, smiling to herself.
"It's not just money, Tomoyo-chan." Sakura shook her head. "You always spend so much time doing things for me. You should have some time for yourself once in a while."
"Don't worry about it. It's a pleasure, honestly." Tomoyo grinned. "Now go try it on! You've got only an hour before you have to meet Syaoran." Tomoyo gritted her teeth at the boy's name. All these years and she still couldn't escape that gnawing jealousy she felt every time she heard it.
And she couldn't escape the twinge of pain she felt when she saw Sakura's face light up at the mention of him.
Just like she was now. Although Tomoyo had encouraged Sakura and Syaoran's relationship for years she couldn't help wishing she was in the boy's position. She'd thought that she could find someone else to love but after her relationship with Eriol fell through (partially because her mind was always elsewhere) she'd been terribly lonely and couldn't escape a longing for Sakura. She'd begun to think that she would never get over the beautiful card captor. The imminent wedding certainly wasn't helping.
Sakura giggled and dashed into Tomoyo's bedroom. Even though she'd travelled a lot Tomoyo still lived in her mother's house, finding it difficult to leave her old home. The girl had snagged a job with the media, her skills with the video camera a definite plus. Of course, her dressmaking talents were still quite handy at times.
"Don't you have other things you have to do, Tomoyo?" Sakura yelled from behind the door.
"No... but if you want me to go, that's fine." Tomoyo sighed.
"Oh no, please don't!" was the speedy rejoinder. "I just wondered if you needed to take care of Chiharu and everyone."
"Nope, they've got their dresses and stuff already." Tomoyo confirmed.
"I really do wish you could have been one of the bridesmaids too." Sakura said, wistfully.
"I know, but I prefer to watch from behind the camera." Tomoyo repeated told her friend for the hundredth time.
She had been the first girl Sakura had asked when the wedding was first announced, but she had refused. She didn't think she could stand sitting there in the front row watching her beloved with Syaoran. At least when she was there with her video camera she didn't have to think about what she was missing. Chiharu, Naoko and Rika had ended up going as bridesmaids instead. Tomoyo had made their dresses too, but they were nothing like Sakura's.
"This really is gorgeous, Tomoyo-chan." Sakura exclaimed from inside.
"Well, come on then, give us a look!"
Kinomoto Sakura shyly pulled open the door of Tomoyo's bedroom and stood there with an awkward smile on her face. Tomoyo was staring despite herself. Sure she had designed the thing, but she had never expected it - or Sakura - to look like this.
"S-sakura, you're... you're so... I don't believe this." she stammered.
"Is it really that bad?" Sakura looked crestfallen.
"No, no of course not!" Tomoyo babbled. "It's just look so beautiful, it's... I never... God, Syaoran's a lucky guy."
Damn, now she was blushing and Sakura was giving her one of those curious looks. Tomoyo quickly brushed past into her room, trying to cover her feelings. This was ridiculous. Now she really wished she had told Sakura how she felt years ago. At least then her friend would know why she was always putting her foot in her mouth. Why did she have to be so damn shy?
Tomoyo gestured for Sakura to sit down and grabbed a brush and some flowers, starting on Sakura's hair.
Sakura cleared her throat loudly. "Tomoyo, I can't thank you enough for everything you've done."
Tomoyo felt herself relaxing. It was good to get into a conversation. "It's a pleasure, Sakura. I couldn't just sit around and do nothing on your wedding day. We've known each other for, what, 13 years?" Thirteen years of pining over her? Why do I do this to myself?
"You work so hard, though. This dress, and all the organising you've done - Syaoran and I have hardly seen you this past week."
"You and Syaoran have hardly been apart this past week." Tomoyo replied, tartly. She immediately regretted sounding so bitter about it. She was happy for them, she really was. She twisted Sakura's hair, which she had been growing longer for the occasion, into a knot behind her head and began weaving some very pink flowers through it. She'd ordered so many flowers for so many different things for this wedding. It had cost a fair bit, even for Tomoyo.
"I'm sorry if I've ever ignored you, Tomoyo-chan." Sakura said, quietly.
Tomoyo cursed herself again. Now she'd gotten Sakura all upset. Was this what it was like for her mother on Nadeshiko's wedding day?
"Forget I ever said it, Sakura." Tomoyo tucked a stray hair into place. "There, you're all done. Now, there should be a ridiculously overdecorated car waiting out the front right about now, so you should probably get your shoes on. I mean, the driver will wait for as long as you like but there's only forty-five minutes before the ceremony starts -"
"Tomoyo, calm down." Sakura urged, standing up. "I thought the bride was the one that's supposed to freak out."
Tomoyo tried not to flinch and the word 'bride'. "Sorry. I guess with everything I've been doing I get a bit hyped up. I just want this day to be perfect."
Sakura grinned. "Jeez, anyone would think you were the one getting married."
"I wish I was." the words were out of Tomoyo's mouth before she could think. Sakura looked up sharply and her friend dropped her eyes. "Um... look, I've got to go find... Kero-chan, that's it, so I... yeah. See you there."
She crossed the room to the door as quickly as she could. She just had to get out of there before she did something even dumber. Why did she have to said that? Why today? She could just feel Sakura's eyes boring into her as she hurried down the hall. But just as she reached the stairs she heard Sakura's voice behind her.
"I know how you feel about me, Tomoyo."
The girl in question stopped dead. She was frozen, couldn't get her body to do anything. Her mind seized up. Even her heart seemed to stop. In a moment that seemed to last a year the words echoed around in her head. How... didn't she... how could Sakura know?
"I know how you feel." Sakura repeated. She strode purposefully down the hallway towards her old friend and put a hand on her shoulder. Tomoyo flinched visibly at the contact but Sakura didn't move. "I'm sorry."
"I-it isn't y-your fault." Tomoyo stammered.
"I know, Tomoyo, but I feel so bad." Sakura whispered. "You never say anything but I can tell when you're hurting. I... I could hardly believe it when I first noticed, but now I see all the time."
"I always tried not to show it." Tomoyo sighed.
"I know. You try so hard." Sakura cleared her throat again. "That's why you've been working so hard organising the wedding, isn't it? You didn't want to have to think about whose wedding it was."
"I would have done all this anyway, Sakura." Tomoyo still had her back turned. "You know I'd do anything for you."
"Yes, I know, and I feel so guilty." Sakura replied. "You've done so much for me, Tomoyo, and I still can't give you the one thing you want."
Tomoyo took a deep breath and turned around. "How long has it been since you first realised, Sakura-chan?"
Sakura looked surprised at the question. "It must have been... oh, about five years ago, when we were finishing school. I was just wondering why you didn't want to come out to dinner with Syaoran and I and somehow it just... clicked."
Her friend nodded, but said nothing.
"How long have you loved me for, Tomoyo?" Sakura managed to say. "I mean, was it just then? Or back when Syaoran and I first started dating?"
Tomoyo hung her head but still remained silent.
"I... I honestly can't remember." Tomoyo admitted. "I feel like I've loved you forever, Sakura. I suppose I only really noticed when I got to know you... when you started capturing the clow cards..."
Sakura gasped in surprise. "Oh, I don't believe it. All these years... it must have been terrible for you."
Tomoyo just smiled sadly. "I get by." She shook her head. "I guess you'd better get going, huh."
"I guess so." Sakura agreed, but she didn't budge. "I'm sorry I didn't say anything earlier."
"I'm sorry I didn't either." Tomoyo shrugged. "It's a bit late now."
"Yes, I suppose it is." Sakura nodded and turned towards the stairs.
"Wait!" Tomoyo cried suddenly, when Sakura was about halfway down the stairs. "Just... just tell me one thing, Sakura."
"Yes, what is it?" Sakura asked, curiously.
"If... if I had told you how I felt all those years ago," Tomoyo gulped and willed herself to keep going. "If I'd told you, would you... could you... do you think you ever could have loved me?"
Sakura took a deep breath. "Tomoyo, I... I don't think so. I am so sorry."
Tomoyo felt a little disappointed, but she had to put her emotions on hold. She could figure them out later. "That's okay. I'd always thought... that that might be the case. It's... it's why I never said anything, I guess."
Sakura was the one berating herself now. She couldn't stand seeing Tomoyo looking so... so crushed by this newest bit of information. Sakura felt so wretched after saying all these things. But she had to do something for Tomoyo, her most faithful friend of all.
"You'd better get going, Sakura." Tomoyo was saying. "There isn't much time, and the car's still waiting outside."
"Oh, I'll go." Sakura nodded, with a determined look on her face. "But there's something I have to do first."
Tomoyo felt confused and slightly annoyed as she saw Sakura climb back up the stairs. What was she doing now? Goodness, that girl was going to be late again. When they were at school Sakura had been late so many times the teachers gave up trying to convince her to get there on time. Sakura couldn't be late today, she just couldn't. Not after all the work Tomoyo had done to make this wedding just right. In some corner of her mind Tomoyo realised that despite the flowing dress and high-heeled shoes, Sakura was still graceful as she rushed up the staircase. She'd outgrown that childish clumsiness at last.
Sakura bit her lip and smiled shyly when she reached her friend. She reached out and placed both her hands on Tomoyo's shoulders. "Tomoyo-chan, you are the best friend I have ever had and you've done so much for me." Sakura began. Her friend opened her mouth to say something, but Sakura silenced her with a shake of her head. "No, just listen. You've shown me so many times that you would do anything for me and I know that you do it all out of love. I can't even begin to repay you for all the little ways you've helped me."
"Friends don't have any debts to pay." Tomoyo whispered.
"Oh, but you deserve some reward for all that you've done." Sakura smiled. "I'm very sorry that I could never give you what you want, and I really hope that someday you'll find someone who loves you as much as... as much as you love me."
"That's going to be awfully hard." Tomoyo replied, only half-joking.
"I know it is." Sakura agreed. "And I guess the truth is that maybe you won't be lucky."
What on earth was Sakura trying to say? Tomoyo had an idea, of course, but that was just wishful thinking. She didn't want to disappoint herself. And yet she couldn't help imagining what could happen here. Her entire body was tingling just with the thought of it.
Sakura took a deep breath. "So, just in case you never do find someone else... I want to give you something to remember me by."
Years afterwards, Tomoyo could still remember the next few minutes as though they had never ended. She remembered in tantalising detail the smooth, cool fabric of Sakura's dress under her fingers. Sakura's warm hands slipping up her neck. The scent of the flowers she had so carefully woven into the bride's hair. But most of all she remembered the explosion of disbelieving joy that seemed to bubble up from deep inside her the moment that Sakura's lips met her own.
The two stood there for what seemed to Tomoyo like an aeon, until she reluctantly pulled away from Sakura a little, gulping in air. The girl was reeling from happy shock, trying to come to terms with the fulfilment of the wish she never thought would be granted.
"Kinomoto Sakura, I think you have more than repaid any of your debts." she said, at last.
"That's good to know." Sakura dropped her arms to her sides, still with that same little smile. "Perhaps I was wrong, Tomoyo-chan. Maybe if things have been different... maybe then, I could have loved you too."
"Well, that's the way things go, Sakura." Tomoyo said, solemnly. "Now you really should get moving. I must have made you incredibly late."
Then her eyes widened with horror, and she suddenly dashed back into her bedroom, desperately scrambling through the chaos on her desk.
"Tomoyo?" Sakura asked, worriedly. "Tomoyo, is something the matter?"
"Oh, I'm so sorry, Sakura," her old friend sighed, "You'll be even later now; I've gone and messed up your lipstick!"
That day Tomoyo stood where she had her entire life: off to the side, behind the camera lens. But she wasn't hiding from an event she wished would never happen; wasn't trying to distract herself from what was really going on. Because although she knew now that Sakura would never be hers, she was happy. Tomoyo was happy because Sakura was happy, just as she was sad whenever Sakura was sad. She was incredibly glad now that Sakura knew how she really felt. Maybe one she would find someone else to love, but that didn't matter any more. Tomoyo would always love Sakura, whether she was hers or Syaoran's or someone else's completely, and she shared every joy with the girl who was her best friend and could have been so much more.
So the day that could have been the most miserable one of Tomoyo's life turned out to be the happiest one of all.
And so endeth that little item of self-indulgence written entirely for the pleasure of myself. That was also my first romance fic ever, so excuse me if it sucked. Please remember that I'm one of those poor, deprived idiots still living in the 'never been kissed' category (much to my friends' disgust) so that particular scene is somewhat lacking in detail as I am extremely lacking in experience. I've only seen the dubbed version of series one so please excuse any inaccuracies.
I think that's about all. Goodbye!