The Winter Concert is coming up very soon…
Chowing down popcorn, Meirin hit the rewind button on the VCR remote control for the tenth time. Frustrated, Syaoran’s eyebrows twitched as he tried to concentrate on his math homework. If I hear little stupid Syaoran call out “Sakura” one more time on that stupid Card Captor Sakura video that Tomoyo gave Meirin, I’m going to scream.
“SA KU RAAAAAAAAAA” The boy screamed from the video as little Sakura fell down the crack.
Snapping his pencil in two, Syaoran slammed his fists on the table and shouted, “Li Meirin! You stop watching that video this instant!”
With round reddish-amber eyes, Meirin dropped her popcorn. “No need to scream, Syaoran-kun. Anyway, that video is so fun. No wonder Tomoyo won first prize for it. Can’t believe we get to go to New York in a few weeks. Imagine the shopping!” Eyes glued to the T.V. screen, Meirin laughed as she watched 11 year old Syaoran turn several shades of purple when Eriol offered Sakura a flower. When the video ended for the 11th time, she sighed and glanced side ways at Syaoran. True, boyish features still remained in the grouchy teen Syaoran as he pouted while doing his homework. Yet, there were more mature sides as well. Already, he was somewhat past 170 centimeters (still growing rapidly for several more years!), and there was something about the way his glossy chestnut bang fell to his eyes, the strong, firmness of his aristocratic hands, his long, muscular barefoot legs stretched out beneath the table. These days, there was a constant brooding in his deep amber eyes that often appeared when he thought no one was watching. True, he did get more talkative than few years ago, yet he kept his private thoughts to himself, and it was impossible to guess what was truly in his mind.
Without bothering to turn around, Syaoran muttered, “Stop staring at me. It’s getting on my nerves.”
“Who says I’m staring at you?”
“Meirin, you forget that I have what you call ‘magic.’ I can sense things. Unlike you.”
Throwing a handful of popcorn at him, she shrieked, “You’re so mean. No need to always get on my weak point.”
“Hey! Now, I have to clean the floor all over again!”
“Well, it doesn’t matter since you can use your ‘magic.’” Sticking out her tongue, Meirin rewound the Card Captor Sakura video for the 12th time. Syaoran sighed.
* * * * * *
Looking over her lists, Sakura checked off all the names, then stared contentedly at the neat pile of presents wrapped in pretty papers and ribbons.
“There, all the shopping’s done.” Brushing her hands, Sakura flopped onto her bed.
Picking up Sakura’s list, Tomoyo, who was visiting commented, “You didn’t get anything for Li-kun yet.”
“Hoe?” Sitting back up, Sakura squealed, “Hoe-e! I have dinner duty tonight. Excuse me Tomoyo-chan, do you mind if we go downstairs?”
Sighing, Tomoyo followed Sakura. “It’s too bad there aren’t that many attacks this winter.”
“What do you mean?” Kero popped out. “We’re lucky!”
Grinning impishly, Sakura tied on an apron. “Maybe the enemy’s feeling the holiday spirit, and feels like giving me a break. That skating incident was quite enough for me, thank you.”
Tomoyo cast her amethyst eyes down. She remembered her conversation with Syaoran. Yet, then why did he carry Sakura so gently? Why was he so concerned about her? Why did he go hysterical when Sakura was trapped under the ice? Letting out another (happy) sigh, she grinned. But looking it at the comical side, it was funny to see “rivals” once more. The constant bickering, that skating race… Though those two may seem to be the opposites… Those two are really similar inside. “Sakura-chan. You know about the New York trip?”
“Yeah? Gosh, I can’t believe we’re going.” Sakura stirred the pot with a wooden spoon. Swiftly, she turned around and checked the oven, and then starting setting the dishes.
“I’ve been thinking who to invite, since it’s coming up really soon and we have 2 tickets left over. And I thought maybe we should ask Erika-chan and Eron-kun. You know. It seems as if we got awfully closer lately, and they’re fun to be with. Plus, none of our friends will get jealous, then, since they’re twins and everyone likes them. Also, they traveled a lot, so they know lots of things.”
“Yeah, invite them.” Sakura nodded. Eron was really nice, while Erika… well, she had gotten better. At that moment, Sakura wasn’t sure if she really like Erika… but all the same, she was a fun person to be with and had a great sense of humor. Yet, she was going to the Winter Wonderland with Syaoran. That scene in the music room replayed in her mind. Was she jealous of Erika? Nah…
“Great, I’ll tell them at school tomorrow!”
Tomoyo smiled, satisfied that the last two tickets were filled.
Later that night, Sakura yawned. Her fingers flew over a piece of cloth, the silver needle threading rich colors of embroidery floss in and out. Sakura’s eyes wandered to the music book that Syaoran had given her, when he told her… when he got things straight with her. That previous night at the mansion, he had almost been his former self. Whatever his former self was. “He confuses me so much!” She said out loud.
“Whatcha making?” Kero-chan asked, hovering next to her.
“It’s just an embroidery project.” Why did he tell her a glimpse of his childhood? I wish he never came back. But… had it been a dream? She could have sworn that someone had carried her with strong, warm arms when she escaped from the ice pond. “Ouch!” The sharp needle pricked her finger. She’d had nightmares about drowning. Drops of ruby red blood fell out. Sakura watched it well out. Erika and Syaoran…
“What confuses you?” Watching the blood dripping from Sakura’s finger, Kero asked, “Hey, are you all right?”
Sakura nodded her head. She was oblivious to the prickling. “Kero-chan,” she started solemnly. “You are getting fat because of holiday’s coming up. You have to go on a diet, or people would start thinking you’re a pig doll.”
“Hoe-e, I messed up again! Now the thread’s all tangled.”
* * * * * *
“Oww, my back still hurts from all the cleaning our teacher made us do for sleeping in class,” Meirin moaned, as she slammed out her fist. Meirin and Syaoran were practicing fighting moves against each other. Grinning, Meirin slammed her other fist up. When they practiced against each other, Syaoran was always careful not to use his full strength, but he always used his quickness and deftness to keep her from getting offended.
“You know, the only time you managed to look mysterious was your first appearance in Tomoyo’s video. But I still can’t get over how funny you and Sakura were at the beginning.” She backed off, expecting a quick retort. Instead, Syaoran remained silent.
Trying her luck, she continued, “You really were like sworn enemies or something. I wonder how you two got closer.”
Still, no response. The silence was deafening her.
“Do you have something on your mind?” She asked after rapid consecutive punches and blocks.
“Maybe.” Syaoran dodged and then kicked out his left leg.
“You know, I may not know much.” She flipped backwards, flinging out her legs. When she landed, she said, “But it helps if you talk. You can talk to me, if you feel like it.” She kicked her right leg. “I’m your cousin, after all.”
“Let’s stop practice today, all right?” Syaoran stood perfectly still and received a blow on his leg. Then he slumped down onto the coach, leaning his head against his hand.
Unable to hold back, Meirin shouted, “WHY IN THE WORLD ARE YOU GOING TO THE WINTER WONDERLAND WITH ERIKA?”
Falling off the coach, Syaoran straightened his shirt and asked flatly, “Why? Is there anything wrong with it?”
Counting to 10, she replied, “No, I just thought that I was a better choice.” She said this, sticking her head into the air. Then, getting serious, she murmured, “You know what I’m talking about.” She started to brush her silky jet black hair. “You must be wondering why I came back to Japan. I bet I still annoy you.”
“No, Meirin, you don’t!” Syaoran said, sincerely.
“I gave up on you, when I first came to Japan and met Sakura. I was reluctant, but I did. Strangely, in my twisted way, I was rooting for you two. Then you came back. I don’t know. I just saw other sides of you when you came back to our school in Hong Kong. That’s how much you learned in Japan. Look, you practiced sports, music, and even art, not to mention in official Li training. It was a happy year for me; I had another chance with you. When you went back to Japan, I forgot why I had given up on you, in the first place. I came here, wanting you back. But, when I saw everyone again, Sakura, Tomoyo, friends, the different, fun life, you… I remembered. You’re no longer the one for me,” her voice softened.
“Meirin,” Syaoran said, reaching out his hand.
“Shh. And NOW YOU GO TO THE DANCE WITH SOME NEW GIRL! IT JUST PISSES ME OFF!” Meirin smacked her hair brush at Syaoran, who whimpered in protest. “How can you do this to me? I’ve nothing against Erika, but when I see you with Sakura, I feel like going like this.” Meirin snapped Syaoran’s pencil into two. “What kind of mess do you always get your self into? I always knew your personality was crooked.” Then Meirin gazed at Syaoran. Her voice was soft and clear. “But, I know your heart is the straightest, truest one of all.”
Standing up from the couch, Meirin continued, “Don’t try to hide yourself inside. When you try to, at the best, you just feel lonely. At the worst, your emotions devour you and you rot from the inside out.” She turned her head half way around to face Syaoran. “I know. I’ve experienced it. Syaoran, you may not think much of me. But I’m your cousin.” Shaking her head ruefully, she continued, “All I’m trying to say is, you can talk to me if you want to.”
Staring at the Meirin that he rarely saw, Syaoran opened his mouth. Her words about life had knocked more sense into him than all those of the Elders of the Li clan. Yet, he had nothing to reveal. At that moment, he gazed at Meirin’s side profile. With her silky black hair, which she rarely untied from its buns, flowing down her back and her fiery amber eyes burning, she looked like an exotic, fiery, beautiful princess. Inside, he admired his cousin’s ability to say what she felt like, do whatever her impulse was. “Meirin? Thanks.”
She ignored him, absently putting her hair into buns again. He stood up, stretching and jokingly tugged at one of her pigtails. “I’m glad you’re here. Really. After all, we’re cousins and friends…” Patting her shoulder, Syaoran went to his room, calling out, “And who else but me would look after you to keep you out of trouble?”
“Hey! I’m not a child!”
“Sure. Then how come you already searched under my bed and in the closet for you Christmas present?”
“SYAORAN! I’M GOING TO TELL ON AUNT IERAN!”
The day of the concert…
“Too bad your father couldn’t come to the Seijou Junior High Winter Concert today,” Yukito said, taking a seat in the crowded auditorium.
“Yeah. Well, he heard enough practice. I’m pretty sick of Sakura’s number by now,” Touya replied.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Sakura! What in the world is this noise?” Touya shouted slamming down his economics book.
Rubbing her forehead as she sweat dropped, Sakura replied, “I’m practicing for our violin piece.”
“You call that MUSIC?” Touya asked.
“Hoe-e! That’s not nice!”
“I’m serious, it sounds more like someone scratching their nails down the chalkboard.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“But,” Touya paused exaggeratingly. “She’s practiced really hard and improved a lot over the past months. Something about the way she plays the instrument reminds me of mother. She’s still clumsy, but she has a touch.”
“I’m sure if Sakura’s anything like you, she’d be good at instruments, too.”
“She’s been really down lately. Actually, ever since that brat came back, she has been strange. She’s no longer the little baby of the house. But more often lately…”
“Well, I’m sure the New York trip would cheer her up considerably. It was very nice of Tomoyo-san.”
“Only, the brat is going as well. Did you hear? The some of the high schoolers hate him because the older girls swoon over him so much and he’s so arrogant…”
Yukito sweat dropped, wishing that Touya wouldn’t rant again.
* * * * * *
“Gosh, I hope we don’t mess up this concert,” fretted Rika, behind the stage.
“We’ll do fine, like always,” reassured Naoko. “Especially with Eron playing the violin and Tomoyo’s singing solo.”
“I still think I can sing as well as her!” stated Meirin.
“We believe you!” chorused the girls.
* * * * * *
“Shit” Eron exclaimed, drawing his hand back from his concoction.
“Are you all right?” Erika asked, looking up from a tattered book.
“This would never have happened if our full powers were awake. It annoys the crap out of me about how weak our powers are right now.” Eron tested his right hand, then winced at the stiffness. “Anyway, what do you exactly mean by asking Syaoran to the Winter Wonderland? We’ll be busy that night!”
“Spoil sport. Have some fun while you can. We won’t be busy. This force will keep the cherry blossom busy for the rest of Christmas,” Erika murmured, running a finger through her hair. “And let’s get the pace going.”
“Well, I advise you be nicer to Sakura. It’s a miracle we got ourselves on that New York trip.”
“But I don’t like that girl. And what New York trip?”
“Sister dear. What will you do without your twin to do all the spying?”
“Oh shut up. You’re getting on my nerves. We’re gonna be late for the concert. Don’t forget to grab a tie on the way. Hmm… It’s too mean of us to do this on the concert night.” With a look in the mirror, Erika dragged Eron out, who protested.
“I can walk too!”
* * * * * *
“Did you hear? There’s some sort of strange storm going outside. Several cars have crashed. I don’t know about the injuries yet!” Chiharu burst into the room, breathless.
“Are you serious?” Naoko asked.
“Yes! It’s causing a great commotion. I hope it doesn’t interfere with the concert.”
“Where’s Eron-kun?” asked Tomoyo.
Sakura shook her head. She fiddled nervously at her violin. A strange storm…
“Speaking about it, where’s Syaoran-kun?”
Sakura shook her head again, her eyebrows twitching for a moment as she tugged at her black velvet dress.
“Great, and the fourth girl is not here yet, either, so you’re own Sakura, on stage,” Meirin said sourly.
Something created an uneasy feeling for Sakura. Setting down her violin, and grabbing her coat she said, “I’ll come right back.”
“But the concert’s gonna begin soon!” Rika exclaimed. But she was already gone.
With grave eyes, Syaoran gazed down at the chaos below him. There was a traffic jam, with cars turned over. People were cursing and BEEPING at each other. He sighed. The concert was about to begin, and there he was, perched on the school roof, his favorite place in the school, despite the fact that it was freezing outside. Then, he saw the unseen force take up chunks of snow and twist it around, creating upheaval with the cars. A major pile up of car crashes. Nimbly, he slid down the pipe running along the side of the building.
“FUUKA SHOU RAI!” Creating wind, he raised his gloved hand and with a flick of his hand motion, turned it counter clock-wise to the twisting snow. It worked—for a moment. Immediately, the Force engulfed the wind he created and started swirling it around, throwing Syaoran off balance. Picking himself up from the snow, Syaoran cursed and loosened his silver tie. Time to get back to work.
* * * * * *
How dare they harm innocent people? Furrowing her eyebrows as she observed the chaotic car crashes and upturned trees and trash cans, Sakura called out, “Key that hides forces of Stars, show your true self to me. I, Sakura command you under contract. RELEASE!” Gripping her staff, she shouted, “WINDY! Capture that dark force with a counter movement.”
That was a bad move. The Twister swirled up the wind with the snow and rebounded on her. Terrified, Sakura began to run, which was another bad move. Her thin concert shoes were definitely not meant for thick snow. Nor was her long skirt. She muttered to her self, “This is the last time I’ll wear long skirt when I run.” Her legs had absolutely no freedom in movement. She stumbled along. Then she used the Fly to sprout wings from her back, praying that no one was watching. Luckily, everyone was inside the school auditorium, watching the concert.
“FIERY!” Sakura melted away the Twister once she was above in the air.
“I did it!” Yet, the Twister began twisting more snow up from the ground. It hovered over her and enveloped her, spinning her inside. Choking out mouthfuls of snow, Sakura tried to stagger out. She tried to gulp in deep breaths of the icy air, clearing the clogging in her throat. Dirty, slushy snow clung to her legs, as she slightly shivered. Forcefully, she stretched out one of her legs, wading thought the mess. Just then, her long skirt ripped with a VVRIPP! along the seams to above her knees.
“I hate long skirts!” Sakura muttered, feeling her leg get numb as she swaggered through the heap of snow.
Someone from behind snickered then choked.
Defiantly, Sakura muttered, “Well, help then! The concert began and our number is coming up soon!”
“Ahh, I thought you were managing fine on your own, so I thought I’ll shouldn’t interrupt,” Syaoran drawled, not mentioning that he was handling things on the other side of the building.
Glaring, Sakura shouted, “I can manage things on my own! I’m the Sakura Card Mistress! No need to help if you don’t want to. You’re the last person I would turn to, anyway. It’s just that I need to get rid of this quick cuz we can’t disappoint the others by not showing up!” Sakura shouted up to the tree. “Go in. At least you and Eron-kun can do the piece.”
“If you concentrate as much as you talk, we’ll pin this down in no time.” Syaoran leaped down from the tree, slashing at the Twister with his gleaming sword.
Gathering up a big wad of snow, Sakura rolled it into a big ball and lobbed it at Syaoran's face. He sputtered, then glared at her. Sweetly, she created a V with her fingers and said, “Revenge.” Yet, she noticed he said, “we.”
“I’ll get you for that, once we get this thing captured and the concert is over.” Sakura grinned at Syaoran’s words. Glaring, Syaoran advised in an overly cool, crisp voice, “Elevate yourself vertically, 35 degrees from the radius of the Twister and penetrate the nucleus core, spinning 360 degrees counter-clockwise.”
“WHAT?! Hoe-e! Talk in human language! You know I hate math!”
“The next two pieces will be a piano piece, “Say You Love Me,” played by Sasaki Rika, followed by a violin quartet err triplet … “Pachabel’s Canon,” by Chang Eron, Kinomoto Sakura, and Li Syaoran!” said the student announcer.
At backstage, Chiharu whispered, “Sakura-chan and Li-kun aren’t even here yet! And the other girl is sick today. What are we gonna do?”
Eron frowned. At that moment, his hand was so stiff and stinging from the concoction he had spilt on it, he was doubtful that he would be able to play. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea sending out a force during the concert.
“Our parts gonna come up soon.” Sakura swerved around on her wings, above reach from the Twister. It swirled around her legs, dragging her down. The snow twirled around her.
Immediately, Syaoran sent out a blast of fire, melting away the force.
“Thanks… I think.” Sakura fingered the edge of her sleeve, slightly scorched. “Did you plan to burn me up as well?”
Sweatdropping, Syaoran defended, “No! Of course not! If I was going to punish you for throwing a snowball into my face, when you know that I hate coldness out of all things, I would have burnt you more thoroughly—“
“Hey!” They had no more time to bicker. Leaping up, Syaoran barely missed out the continuously twisting figure. Sakura’s head spun round and round when she watched if for a while.
“We better just stall this a moment and go to the concert. We can come back afterwards.” Sakura drew out more cards.
Nodding, Syaoran, whipped out another incantation paper, slapping the flat of his sword to it, and blasted out more fire. As the twisting snow melted, Sakura drew out another card.
“STONE! Freeze this force into a statue for as long as it will hold!” Immediately, the Twister shaped into an uncanny whirling rock statue.
“C’mon.” Rubbing her hands, Sakura ran to the auditorium. Taking an uneasy glance at the statue, Syaoran followed.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he muttered.
“Well, what can we do? We’re gonna let our grade down if we mess up the concert. Everyone’s watching.” They entered the back stage without saying another word. Their shoes made a dirty slush down the hallway. Nervously, Sakura tried moving her fingers. They were so numb from the cold, she could hardly move them, let alone probably play violin. As she trudged along, half stepping on the hem of her skirt, she was conscious that Syaoran was following her. At that moment, she was feeling awfully annoyed at him, though she did not know why.
“You’ll be dripping all over the stage,” Syaoran said reproachfully.
Drip. Drip. Melted snow did drip off her dress and shoes. She narrowed her green eyes. “What can I do then?” Reaching out for the door to the backstage, she grasped the knob, at the same time as Syaoran did. To her surprise, Syaoran large hands were warm as they covered hers. Quickly, she turned the knob, shaking off Syaoran’s hand.
“Hey you!” Syaoran called, grabbing her other hand.
“What?” Sakura was about to take away her hand and enter.
“You’re cold and numb. How’re you gonna play?”
“I can manage.” She slipped out of his grasp and walked in. Then, she realized that she was clutching something. To her surprise, Syaoran had slipped something in her hand. She opened her fist. There was a ward paper, spelled so that it gave out a certain warmth; not burning, but warm enough to make her body tingle and drain out the chill. She stared at the scratchy, warm paper and the Chinese characters scrawled in black ink, then looked up, smiling genuinely for the first time in days. Already, her fingers felt agile again. “Thanks.”
“I just didn’t want to mess up our piece. You hardly can play when you’re in the best condition…” Syaoran muttered, straightening his tie and running a finger through his damp chestnut hair.
She pouted at him.
“Hey, you better do something about your dress.” Syaoran’s bright eyes were filled with mirth.
“Huh?” Sakura asked quizzically then glanced down at ripped seams at the side of her dress all the way up her leg, blushing furiously.
“Where have you been?” Meirin whispered, vexed. “It’s your turn next! Just in time.”
“Tomoyo-chan!!! Help me?” Sakura begged pleadingly.
“What happened to you dress?” Meirin asked, giggling.
“I—I was clumsy when I sewed it…” Sakura searching around for pins.
Tomoyo came to the rescue with a bunch of pins. Deftly, she pinned up the side of Sakura’s dress. “Be careful when you sit,” she warned. “These pins will prick you.”
“Okay.” Sakura picked up her violin. Then her eyes widened. “Eron-kun, what happened to your hand?”
“I umm… hurt it during Chemistry. During an experiment.” Eron fingered his clumsily bandaged hand.
“You don’t even take Chemistry,” Syaoran muttered.
“I hurt it in an experiment.”
“Great. Now we don’t have first violin,” Syaoran said. “How are we ever going to play our piece then?”
“I can’t play any of the fancy stuff, but I think I can manage some of the small, harmonizing part, like yours, Li-san with this stiff hand. If someone would play my part.” Eron looked questioningly at Sakura.
“I don’t know your part.” Sakura looked up at Syaoran. She knew he would hate to help his nemesis.
The announcer read off, “And lastly, the violin quartet… err triplet… Chang Eron, Li Syaoran, and Kinomoto Sakura, playing Pachabel’s Canon!”
There was cheering in the audience. Half the girls shouted, “LI-SAN!” The other half, “CHANG-SAN!”
“Great. Now it’s our turn and our piece is ruined.” Eron groaned.
“Just go on. I’ll take your part. You do mine.” Syaoran gripped his violin and stood up.
“But…” Eron was about to say, “You can’t even play the easiest part, and the teacher was going to make you the page turner,” but he refrained. Knowingly, Sakura shot Syaoran a grateful look. She knew what he was doing to help their group, and also doing Eron a favor, though no one else knew Syaoran’s skill.
Syaoran said, “Oh yeah, you. You’ve got to play the solo.”
“M-me!” Sakura squeaked.
“Don’t tell me you don’t know the part. I know you do.”
Without a moment to hesitate, they were pushed onto the stage. Sitting down on top of the broad wooden stage, they adjusted their stands and brought their violins to their chins. Eron shot a nervous look at Syaoran, who just shot a stubborn, yet reassuring look. Soon, the murmur of the auditorium quieted to a dead silence. The first note of the Canon drifted through the large auditorium and the harmonizing blended delightfully with each true note. With unwavering arms, Syaoran lightly ran the bow over the strings, as his long fingers moved gracefully over the violin neck. Sakura would have giggled if she saw how Eron’s gold speckled eyes bulged out at the easy grace in which Syaoran played the melodious piece. Only she knew. Yet, she was too wrapped in her part to pay attention to anything else except for the flowing of the music. Her solo was coming up. For a second, her hands shook. Was it from nervousness or did she just feel the Force escape from the Stone card?
A voice from a distant, unknown place rasped, “Dear ancestor of the powerful forgotten Five, do you wonder who we are?” Sakura’s heart began thumping, as the other two violins were silent. Suddenly, she felt frozen, and couldn’t remember how to use her fingers and what notes to play. I can’t play. I don’t remember how to. I’m going to mess up…
Her eyes met Syaoran’s blazing ones, which gazed at her with a fierce look. At that moment, the months of practice, the wish to be like her mother took over. Her notes rang to the true to the note as she played the climax, floating through the auditorium. She let the beautiful melody of the “Canon” drift through her, overwhelming the Twister. Her powers flowed out, and though the Twister struggled outside to break free and cause more chaos, her music ceased its whirling fury. She had cleanly trapped it from doing any more harm for that moment.
Eron was amused at the method Sakura used to trap the Dark Force. It was one he had never thought of; using music to twist it anti-clockwise. Yet, he had to say he was impressed.
The three violins joined once more. As
Syaoran and Sakura harmonized, the Twister gave one last struggle and then
gave in. With the last lingering true note, they sighed in relief. At least
they passed through safely. A tingle went down the audiences’ spines. The
sound of wind outside might have been heard.
Then, there was a roar in the audience, with clapping and cheering.
“Bow!” Sakura whispered, standing up, nudging Eron and Syaoran. Together, they bowed off time and off balance. Sakura screeched “ouch” when a pin poked her, making her bow lopsided. Syaoran’s face started turning purple to hold back amusement.
“Don’t you dare laugh at me, at this moment, here!” Sakura glared.
Backstage, everyone was congratulating them. For a moment, Sakura, Syaoran and Eron set aside all other feelings and gave thumbs up to each other.
“Sakura-chan, your violin solo section was wonderful!” Rika exclaimed.
“Eron-kun, you were such a marvelous first violin. It sounded like a professional!” Someone else added.
Turning an uncomfortable shade of red, Eron gazed at Syaoran. Everybody still thought that Syaoran was a dunce at music. And from backstage, no one could see who was playing what part so… He opened his mouth to speak. Syaoran shook his head, clearly stating that he did not want the credit.
Many people in the audience dabbed the
corners of their eyes with handkerchiefs and neckties. The music teacher
blew her nose and snorted loudly from the audience. “Eron-san did it. He
was explicit tonight!” If she hadn’t been nearsighted, she might have known
that Syaoran played the first violin with the perfect coordination of arm
and fingers. Yet she didn’t. After all, she had been planning on making
him page turner, but the “Canon” required more parts. Sakura was okay,
too. She said in a shrill voice, “Personally, I was dreading that solo,
but since the other girl backed out, I had no choice, but she pulled off!”
Of course, no one was listening to her.
“Sakura was great, To-ya. I call that music.” Yukito took out another roll of film.
“Yeah, she was good tonight. Practice really pulled off, I guess. But there’s more to what that music did tonight.” Touya knew that somehow, the music had conquered an evil power.
“I never knew that boy could play violin.”
“What. The Brat?”
“I think he’s popular among the girls…” Yukito eyed the flock of girls crowding to the backstage with bouquets of flowers and stuffed animals, shouting “Li-san! Li-san!” Others were shouting “Chang-san, Chang-san!”
“Didn’t you know? Li’s assistant captain of the Seijou Junior Soccer Team. It definitely added to his fame.” Yet, Touya scowled at the empty-headed girls shoving at each other. He knew that Sakura was scowling, too.
“Really? Wow… That other guy’s pretty striking, too. Chang Eron?”
“And that’s where the other half of the girls are flocking to.” Sighing Touya tried to block out the voices of middle school girls shouting, “Li-san’s mine! No he’s mine! No, Chang-san is much more charming! What are you little 1st year girls talking about? Leave the guys to us, older girls. Hey, did you hear that Li-san’s going to the Winter Wonderland with Chang-san’s sister? Squeal, no! Isn’t she that beautiful girl in 3-2? Really? I thought Li-san would go with Kinomoto-san! Nah… Don’t you know? They broke up before he left to Hong Kong. What? He came from Hong Kong? Yup. You know what I think? I think Chang-san has something for Kinomoto-san. You’re kidding! He’s mine! Hey, did you hear? Chang-san asked Daidouji-san to the Winter Wonderland. I was sure he would ask Kinomoto-san. You mean the Daidouji-san who sang the solo? She has such a beautiful voice. Yeah, and she’s really pretty, too.”
* * * * * *
“Hey, good job!” Syaoran gave a thumbs up after the concert was over.
“Thanks,” Sakura smiled, wiping off the sweat from her brows, which revealed how nervous she must have been. “But, I say, you were amazing.”
“I know,” Syaoran said with ease. Eyeing Sakura’s expression of outrage, he quickly added, “Hey, I’m joking, I’m joking. I just liked the look of surprise on that guy, Chang.”
“Well, I’m surprised that you did anything to help Eron-kun.”
“Hmmph. Maybe it’s the Christmas spirit in the air.”
“You?” Sakura giggled.
“I’m only human! A perfectly normal Junior High student.” Syaoran shrugged his shoulders with ease.
“Very hard to believe sometimes.” Sakura gazed at his carefree joking air. “Then again, maybe not.”
“I say, that was interesting.”
“You know.” Syaoran made a twisting motion with his forefinger. “Trapping the Twister with the music. It’s original. Bet our parents couldn’t’ve done better.”
“But what worries me is that I haven’t been able to seal it. Those kinda thing, strong mixtures of elemental magic always brew stronger over time.”
“Oh, you’ll manage as usual.”
“Manage what?” Erika burst through the door.
“Getting passing grades on the report card, Erika,” Syaoran said, jokingly. “Hey are you going home now?”
“Yeah. I’ll call you later, all right?
Don’t leave your handphone in lying around, though. Last time, Meirin-chan
got it and wouldn’t let me talk to you.” Erika laughed her tingling laugh.
“Well, good night Sakura-san. I’m sure you’ll do well on your report cards.”
“Of course.” Syaoran nodded in agreement.
“I will,” Sakura answered. I will, Syaoran.
Continued Chapter 14: The Winter Wonderland
Wish: Well, finally the Winter Concert
is over. Syaoran displayed his violin skills, though most people still
thinks he sucks at music. Eron, for once is under gratitude to Syaoran.
Ha ha… enemies hate it the worst when they get help from their nemesis.
It seems creepy that Syaoran and Erika are going to the Winter Wonderland,
huh? Not to mention Tomoyo and Eron. And Eron and Erika are now invited
to the New York trip. What can I say? Watch out. Comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My new website is at www.geocities.com/wishluv. It is still from the scratch
and I'm working on it, but my fanfics will be up.