Beautiful Alone
by Ekai Ungson

note: okay. if you are a rabid sxs fan, or in fact, any fan of sxs, stop right here. i mean it. click the 'back' button and forget you ever wanted to read this. i'm breaking them up. i'm breaking them up with a lot of blood and ceremony, and it's NOT going to be pretty. i'm not putting them back either, so don't hope. and if i get any reviews for this that are either flames or go 'why did you do this? it's so SAD!' well, guys, it AIN'T my fault. i told you not to read it.

it's a sad, sad fic. so if you don't have the stomach for sad then go read syaoran no hime and not me today. she's a real cheerer-upper. ^-^

and i did it because it could be done. simple,no?


i: awakening

Ice cold.

His hands were ice cold.

She wondered about that. Wondered about it day and night, why his hands were so, so, cold, why his skin was freezing. She found no more warmth in the depths of his eyes, no heat in his lips when she kissed him. He was like stone now, like marble, cold, distant, unreachable.

He couldn't talk to her now. He always had something to say but lately he had no words apart from empty greetings. He spoke to her in monosyllables and monotones. She didn't understand.

Had things changed, somewhat? Had she triggered something when she touched him that made him react this way?

Something was wrong. She wasn't the Card Mistress for nothing. Something was very, very wrong, but it had nothing to do with magic whatsoever.


Two slips of paper.

Two slips of paper had caused a full tumult of emotions within her to rise. Two slips of paper, scrawled with two different kinds of female handwriting. One said 'Aiko-- 8989545', and the other, 'Hanano-- 6599874'.

She sucked a breath in sharply. Two slips of paper in a pocket of his jeans. Two different women, phone numbers.

He used to throw these things away.

She tried to blink the tears away and succeeded. There was no reason to cry. Maybe he'd forgotten to dispose of them. Maybe he shoved them in his pocket so as not to embarass the ladies, then forgot about them. She wasn't going to cry about this. There wasn't anything to cry about.

And somehow, she sincerely doubted all that.

He was perfect in a lot of female-- and male--- opinions. It wasn't a surprise anymore when he was offered phone numbers and propositions and proposals for a hundred different things a hundred different times.

But he threw those numbers away. Always. Always.

She shook her head. Nothing was wrong.



She was slaving over calculus homework with him in his apartment when the phone rang.

She looked up to see his head turn sharply, as if he'd just glanced at her for some reason, before picking up the cordless.

And he walked out of the room.

She sat there alone, pen in right hand, clutching it with a grip so tight that it wouldn't be a surprise if it broke in two.

He never used to hide things from her. He didn't need to.

Yet he was doing so now.

Her senses went on overdrive.


She left her Physics book on his couch last night.

"Gimme your keys," she pleaded. "I need that book before next period."

He tossed the keychain to her without a second thought.

And when the cold metal hit her hands she felt a distinct sense of foreboding come on.

Something was about to transpire.


The instant she opened the door, she felt the aura around her scream.


She felt it with all the intensity of a wrecking ball.

She tossed the keys, heard it fall somewhere in the dark depths. She ran inside and gathered up what she needed. She turned to leave...

The phone rang.

The shrill sound broke the tense silence, then rendered it with even more pressure.

She was suddenly rooted to the spot.

It rang again.

She meant to move, but couldn't.

The machine kicked in.

"This is Li. Leave me a message." Beep.

"Hey Syaoran. This is Aiko."

Sakura whirled around.

"I miss you. Can I see you again tonight?"

Her eyes widened. Female. Sultry. The only words that registered, however, were 'again' and 'tonight'. Again. Meaning he'd done it before. And tonight. Meaning, of for God's sweet sake, what was there to do at night with a beautiful woman? DUH.

"Come over at around six if ever."

All the wind was knocked out of her. She couldn't move, couldn't breathe. Oxygen, she told herself. Life-support first. Deal later. She stood there, riveted, as the tape clicked.

"Bullshit," she murmured. "I..."

She was old enough to swear at this. She wasn't old enough to not cry.

And once the tears came pouring out, there would be no stopping them.


All the professors were asking about her.

"Is Kinomoto-san sick?"

"Is Kinomoto-san absent? Where is she?"

As far as he knew Sakura wasn't sick, and neither was she absent. She was just fine this morning. He looked for her at the Psych building, at the quad, at her father's office. Nothing.

He looked for her in the courtayard, the student union, her sorority house. Not there either.

He began to get worried.


The door to his dorm room was ajar. He stepped inside and found his keys strewn carelessly on the carpet. There wasn't a light on, and there wasn't a sound.

And there she was, sitting in the middle of his living room rug like a stone statue. Not moving.

"Sakura?" he asked. "What are you doing in here?"

No reply.

He knelt before her and clasped her hands. She drew away quickly.

He looked into her eyes. Blank, without light, devoid of emotion. "Sakura," he repeated. "What's wrong?"

"You have messages," she whispered.

His eyes narrowed as he turned to look at the answering machine. Sure enough, the red light was blinking rapidly. He straightened and went to the phone.

He pushed the button.

"Hey Syaoran, this is Aiko.... I miss you, can I see you again tonight? Come over around six if ever....."


He turned to her, horrified. "Sakura--"

She was beyond reason now, beyond grief, beyond everything. Her sorrow had given way to a white hot rage, coursing through her veins, with her blood.

"I have just one question," she began, standing up. "What can she give you that I can't? More fun? More spontaneity?"


She turned blazing green eyes at him, full of disdain. She looked him up and down contemptuously. "Oh," she said. "Sex?"

He gaped at her.

"Is that it?" Sakura persisted. "Chaste, baby kisses from wittle Sakura's not enough anymore? Is it because I refused?' she asked. "Then you should have said something, Syaoran. Because we could've fixed that." She took a step towards him.

"Sakura, no," he managed.

"What do you mean, 'Sakura, no'?" she repeated. "Are you afraid of me?"

He was. She could see it in his eyes, and she reveled in that fear, in this power. She rejoiced in it, wallowed in it, drowned in it.

"Well, Syaoran?" She took one more step.

He backed up. "Sakura--" he uttered, pained.

"Why not me, Syaoran?" she asked. "Aiko and Hanano and all those women. I can see the guilt in your eyes. Why them and not me, huh? Why them and not me?"

And she lunged.

Rage was fueling her; her thoughts, her movements, her emotions. Rage dictated her whole being and drove her to do the things she was doing.

She didn't know where she ended and he began, but she soon found herself pinned to the wall, her lips still on his.

And then he spoke.

"I... love you."

At that she pushed him off her fiercely, and he staggered back violently.

She met his dazed eyes.

"You lie."

And she ran out of the apartment.