Chapter 14: The Winter Wonderland

The day after the Winter Concert, and the day before the long awaited Winter Wonderland at Tomoeda…

“Really? He asked you to the Winter Wonderland?” Sakura squealed.

Sheepishly, Tomoyo nodded. She had been certain that Eron would ask Sakura…

“Great! Now, you can get even closer to him in the New York trip.”

“Nah. I don’t think he’s interested in me.” Tomoyo fingered her long violet hair.

“Hey, great job Sakura!” Chiharu said as they flocked out of the girl’s locker room to the soccer field.

“Yeah, you played really well,” added Erika.

“Thanks!” Sakura smiled. Then she added, “Onii-chan said that it sounded a little better than when I practiced.”

“I guess I’ll meet your famous brother at the New York trip, won’t I?”

“Yup. But you’ll regret it.” Yet, Sakura knew that many girls feel head over heels for her tall, handsome, mysterious, and talented brother.

“Brothers are all annoying,” Erika inputted agreeably. “Don’t tell Eron ‘nii-chan though.”

“Cousins are annoying, too,” Meirin added, putting on a sports jacket.

“Who, Syaoran-kun? Yeah, it must be annoying to live with your cousin.” Erika tied back her wavy dark hair. “At least he does all the cooking for you.”

“But I think that he would make a pretty nice brother,” Sakura said, without much thought.

“You like him, don’t you?” Erika asked suddenly.

“L-like him? What do you mean by that?” Sakura laughed uneasily. “I don’t like anyone. Gosh, I can’t believe the PE teacher’s making us play soccer outside. It’s far too cold.”



“Pass!” Eron ran ahead. Swiftly, Syaoran ran to block him. Deftly, Eron kicked the soccer ball hard, and it entered the goal.

“Nice job!” Team member called. Girls cheered. Syaoran glared at Eron. Just because he helped Eron the previous day didn’t mean that they weren’t still rivals.

“Ha! Beat you this time, Li-san!” Eron flicked back his hair pulled back in a horsetail.

“You won’t next time!” Immediately, Syaoran started dribbling down the muddy field.”

“Those two actually enjoy their rivalry. But I can’t see how the boys can be so energetic in this weather.” Meirin drew her jacket closer to her.

“I know. At least you have a jacket.” Erika’s teeth were chattering in her think t-shirt.

“Girls! You’ve got to play too!” The PE teacher called. “Run!”

“C’mon you guys. If you run, it will be less cold,” Sakura said, slowly running towards the ball. They all groaned.

As Sakura ran down the field, despite the heaviness of her legs, she saw that someone had kicked the ball into the air. It headed straight up. And instead of booting towards the opposite end of the feel, it immediately crashed down with a BAM!

Instantaneously, Sakura covered her face with her hands and crumpled to the ground. The soccer ball trailed off to the side and everything went black for a second.


“Sakura, are you all right? Sakura… Sakura… Can you hear me? Sakura…” All around her, words and voices were blurred. Her mind was whirling round and round. She still buried her hands on her face, while the cold made her whole body throb as she crouched down.

One distinct voice asked, “Sakura, are you okay?” Someone was gently lifting her up from her crouching position. It seemed as if a thousand hammer were pounding on her head, while her eyes stung and watered.

“I can’t, see…” Sakura whispered, covering her face with her hands. Someone was helping her up and she gratefully supported her head on the smooth cotton cloth of his shirt. She wished everyone would just stay quiet for all the words were making her mind swim. All she wanted was to lean her head on his shoulder to keep it from pounding so hard and spinning so fast, although she had no sense of what was going around her. Her throbbing eyes felt like she was being blinded. Just let me lean on him… and I’ll be all right…

“Kinomoto-san. Are you all right? Go to the nurse.” The PE teacher urged. She wished that he would stay quiet.

“Sakura… Sakura… are you okay? Are you okay? Sakura…”

Her eyes watered, not because she wanted to cry, but because the burning in her eyes caused tears to drip out.

“Erika-san, help her to the nurse,” The teacher said. “Sakura-san, can you stand up and walk?”

Sakura tried to open her eyes then shut them again. It hurt all see was light and a great fuzziness. The supporting body slipped away from her.

“Here, Sakura-san, can you walk? I’ll help you.” Erika supported Sakura with her arms.

“I’m fine. I can manage… I can play on…” Gradually, the blurry vision of her left eye returned. Yet, she grimaced as she kept her right eye closed. At that moment, she had no sense of balance and the vast soccer field seemed to be wobbling.


By the time they arrived to the infirmary, Sakura could see blearily through both eyes, though she felt the stinging mark of the hard soccer against her right eye and cheek.

“You must be glad,” Erika commented.

“Why?” Sakura asked pressing her fingers against her eye to stop the pain.

“The guy you liked helped you up and supported you and everything when you got hurt,” Erika said teasingly yet dryly.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t remember anything.” Sakura shook her head. Yet, her face turned rosy, not just because of the bruise and coldness.

As she lay down on the infirmary bed, she kept on thinking about the warm chest of the person she leaned against. Tomoyo and Meirin came to the room.

“Hey, Sakura-chan. Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I’m gonna have one big bruise around my eyes, though. And just when the Winter Wonderland’s tomorrow.” Sakura had been disgusted with her reflection in the mirror. Her right eye was all puffy and red, so that she looked like she was half-squinting. “It will be black and blue tomorrow and will last for weeks.”

“No. It will disappear quickly,” Meirin reassured.

Sighing, Sakura continued, “I feel so stupid, getting knocked by a soccer ball.”

“But it wasn’t your fault,” Tomoyo said. “Some boy from the other class kicked the ball weird. It went straight into the air and came back down with full force.”

“It’s all right.”

“Anyway, I thought it was really sweet how somebody helped you and you leaned against him and everything. I was just like ‘ohmygosh, that’s sooo sweet!’”

“I don’t remember what you’re talking about…” Sakura protested

Eventually, Sakura fell asleep, turning a nice shade of lobster-red.


“She’s sleeping,” the nurse said.

“It’s okay. I won’t wake her.” The boy in a navy blue Nike sports t-shirt and long training pants entered the room, rubbing his freezing arms. “Good. At least there’s heating in the infirmary.”

“Well, go in quietly.” The nurse peered at the boy suspiciously.

He softly walked to beside the bed and sat down on a chair. Glancing around, he flicked back his glossy brown hair then cracked his knuckles. Taking a deep breath, he stretched out a palm over Sakura’s eyes. Quietly, he murmured spells in Chinese. His finger tips tingled. His body felt restless. With a flick of his hand, he ended the spell. He nodded in approval when he saw that the swollen right eye had started to reduce in size. For a moment, he gazed at the peacefully sleeping Sakura. Then he left the room, gently shutting the door behind him. The nurse stared at him quizzically.

* * * * * *

“See, I told you. Your eyes aren’t as bad as you said that they would be,” Meirin said the next day.

“Yeah. It’s a miracle.” Sakura smiled. By the rate the healing was going, it would be fine by that night. At first, her eye and cheek had throbbed. Then, the swelling grew back to the normal size, while the reddish-purplish color diminished. For some reason, it didn’t seem right. It was such a hassle to have a bruised eye for the dance party, so she was grateful. And some things about getting hit by a soccer ball was all right…

Syaoran and Erika were talking to each other in a corner of the classroom. She could hear their conversation.

“Oh yeah, so what color flowers do you want for your corsage? White? Red? Violet? You like roses best though, right?” Syaoran asked casually.

Snuggling into Syaoran’s over sized sweatshirt, Erika answered, “Yeah. How’d’you know I like red roses?”

“You told me on the phone yesterday, stupid.”

“Oh… did I?”

Meirin laughed. “You leave it to Syaoran. He’s an expert at these kinda stuff. That is, unless he lets the flower wither because he puts it into a heated room by mistake, or forgets to pre-order them.”

“Sakura-san, how’s your eye today?” Erika asked.

“It’s okay. Much better than I thought it would be.”

“Yeah, you I hardly tell you have a bruise.”

“Oh yeah, you got hit by the soccer ball yesterday,” Syaoran said, as if he was just remembering. “I could hear the BOOM all they way from the opposite side of the field. I thought, ‘whoa, that must hurt.’”

Sakura felt a trifle hurt that he had forgotten about it so lightly. Yet, at least he had noticed that she got hurt. But…

“I’m glad it got better, though,” Eron commented. “You have endurance to get up so easily. If it was my darling sister, she would have been complaining in bed for the next month, making me do all the chores.”

“Hey! And if it were you, you would be putting on concealer and foundation to hide the dent on your face, Eron!” Erika retorted.

“You! From now on, I am not carrying your books for your! Make your wonderful boy friend do it!”

“Hey, we’re not going out or anything.”

“Yeah, we’re just going to the Winter Wonderland together,” Syaoran added casually.

* * * * * *

“Too bad. I don’t think Sakura’s going to enjoy the Christmas party much.” Erika swirled around, in front of the full-length mirror, admiring her long dress.

“Yeah. But after that is the New York trip.” Eron yawned. “Onee-san, dear, I think the mirror will break if you stand in front of it any longer.”

“Ooh I hate you, dear ‘nii-chan. We better not bother them in that trip, though, or they’ll suspect us.”

“Yeah. But there’ll be plenty of other trouble as well. Too bad it’s New York out of all places for them.”


Few hours before the Winter Wonderland…

“Where’s Sakura-chan? Wasn’t she on the decorating committee as well?” Chiharu asked, hanging up streamers.

Arranging the flowers and balloons, Tomoyo answered, “I don’t know… She’ll come any moment, I guess.”

“Anyway, we better get dressed and ready for the party soon,” Rika added.

“Boy, it’s gonna be fun tonight!” Chiharu squealed, hanging another silver snowflake on the wall.

“Well, after all, it will be one more dance with you and Yamazaki-kun, and one more dance when you will be pelting him, not dancing,” Naoko added.


Yawning, Sakura fingered her eye. Though it wasn’t completely healed, it didn’t look too obvious. Picking up the needle, she added another touch to the embroidered cloth with satisfaction, carefully running the floss in and out of the silk. She grinned. For once, that project looked at least acceptable. Then the news reached her ears from the radio. Frowning, she turned up the volume.

“There seems to be an unusual storm brewing in Tomoeda district, similar to the one last night. Specialists state it is almost like a hurricane, with similar twisting patterns. Due to this strange phenomenon, car transportation is hectic, with blocked roads and proves to be unpredictable…” Sakura turned off the voice of the weather broadcaster. Then she glanced at her watch. To her surprise, it was almost time for the Winter Wonderland.

“Hoe-e! I was on the decorating committee but now it’s all over.” Sighing, Sakura set her embroidery work on her desk. Slipping her thick coat over her party dress, she ran out of the house. For some reason, she had no particular desire to go to the party. Maybe it was since most of her friends had partners. Maybe it was because she didn’t want to see Syaoran and Erika together. Not that she cared, but…

“I have to stop that force!” Sakura was sure that the unnatural storm was no a storm, but the Twister. Last time at the concert, it had suddenly disappeared. Now, it seemed as if appeared stronger than ever.

At the Winter Wonderland, Christmas Eve…

“Oh my gosh, that’s so sweet!” Girls were squeaking at Erika’s bouquet of red roses and satin ribbons. “Your corsage is so pretty!”

Smiling, Erika slipped her arms into Syaoran’s, “Yup. He has great taste.”

“That’s why I feel so stupid.” Eron grumbled. He had bought Tomoyo the exact same thing, except in white roses.”

“Copy-cat!” Syaoran mumbled, tugging at his blue shirt color.

“Sakura-chan, here!” Tomoyo waved, from the round table of the banquet.

“Gosh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize the time, so I couldn’t help in the decorating committee.” Sakura straightened her simple white dress.
“It’s all right. We managed fine.”

“Yeah, it looks really nice today.” The further end of the room were round tables with flowers and balloons surrounding them. The food, including little cakes, cookies, and punch was laid out along a table by the wall for people to eat buffet style. The dance floor was surrounded by bunches of white, light blue, and silver balloons, streamers, ribbons, and glistening snowflakes. It really looked like a winter wonderland.

All the same, Sakura was spaced out throughout the banquet dinner. When the lights dimmed for the dance to start, Sakura was surprised. She had hardly eaten anything. Fingering her French braided hair, which passed over her shoulder, with a red ribbon plaited into it, she stood by the shadowed wall. All her friends were dancing… Erika with Syaoran, Tomoyo with Eron, Chiharu with Yamazaki—no those two were arguing again, and even Meirin was dancing with a popular upper class man. It’s Christmas Eve… I can’t believe it. I guess everyone is having fun. I would, too… They all look so happy.

Teachers supervising the party were whispering among themselves, “Did you hear about the unnatural storm?”

“I heard that if it gets worse, we would have to disassemble the party.”

“But we would disappoint so many students! They’ve been working so hard, they deserve this night.”

“Right. Don’t say anything till it gets extreme.”

Quietly, Sakura slipped out of the dance room. I won’t let the Twister escape this time. I won’t let it disappoint so many people and harm innocent ones. They deserve a peaceful, happy Christmas Eve. Just because of me, I won’t let it happen!


“Is this bad or what?” It had started to snow again on Christmas Eve. It was dark outside, and the clean fluffy snow felt crunchy underneath Sakura’s shoes. She was glad that she was sensible enough to bring a bag, with boots and gloves. Plus, her party dress proved to be quite comfortable and durable; after all, Tomoyo had made it (though she had intended it to be for less formal occasions.)

Taking a deep breath, Sakura focused. She threw her star staff into the air, and it landed on the soft snow, the head pointing to straight ahead of her. Dreading, Sakura eyes followed the line of the staff. To her horror, the force had been twisting up gallons of snow and wind, as well as bits of branches and rocks; it was heading towards to school! Without thinking, Sakura ran head long towards it.

Immediately, she was blown away to the side from the immense impact the Twister had drawn up. Since the Winter Concert last night, it had grown 10 times in size and that much more powerful. Vainly, she took out the Windy. Instead of stopping the ferocious swirling, the Twister engulfed the wind, feeding it into its power. A branch flayed at Sakura, whipping her arm. Tumbling back, Sakura brought out Watery, ignoring the stinging arm. Immediately, the water froze solid, turning into chunks of hard ice. Sakura used the staff to block out the pieces that pelted at her, unsuccessfully. She felt the purplish bruises form on her body. Crouching on the ground, Sakura groaned. “I can’t… give in. It’s not that bad… I’ve been in worse… situations.” Wisps of hair that escaped from her French braid flew around her cold face. Icy wetness had soaked through her coat. Her lungs felt like burning from the freezing weather. All around her, trees were swaying madly, and leaves swirled around fiercely. The great whirling of the wind screamed in her ears.

“The… school… everyone… in there… can’t… let them come to harm… cause of … me… They’re all enjoying themselves…” Sakura dragged her body up. The whirling form was rapidly heading towards the school, sweeping up anything in its way. “SHIELD! Protect the school and all my friends. Don’t let the Twister come near. Block it off.” Barely able to raise her arms over her head because of the pelting snow, Sakura forced out her power. “Fiery! Melt this dark force!”

The Fiery’s flames were too weak to melt even a quarter of the snow and ice that the Twister swallowed. To her horror, the demanding Force wallowed up a tiny gray bird. Twisting round and round, hit by rocks and chunks, the little bird fell to the road, lifeless, crushed to its bones.

“NOO!” Sakura’s eyes blurred. How could it hurt something so helpless? The poor bird had no reason to by tortured so. “Fiery!” Still the flame were to weak.

“The strength of a card depends on its master… I’m too weak to do anything. All my powers are spent on keeping the Twister off the school.” Sakura’s eyes were grave as she saw that the Shield was weakening against the heaving of the Twist. “I’ll try this method one more time. STONE!” Instead of clearly being trapped like last time, the Twister shattered the Stone and added it to it’s brewing collection of swirling items. “This… can’t be… happening. I feel… so helpless. Wish… I was strong.” A piece of twig grazed her cheek. She pulled herself up, slipping a dozen times on the slippery ground.

“Go, Sakura-chan! If you can’t, now one can!” An encouraging voice called through a megaphone, waving pompoms.

Straining her eyes through the blurring of the heavy snow, Sakura asked, “Tomoyo-chan? What are you doing here?”

“What else? I’ve got to video tape everything again. This will be ‘The Savior of the Winter Wonderland, or ‘the Saint of Christmas Eve.’”

“You should go in. It’s not safe. Inside, it’s shielded,” Sakura said.

“AHHHHHHHH!!!!!” POW WOW! BOOM POW. Meirin smashed out her fists, blocking the chunks of snow hurling at her.

“I told you to stay in!” Syaoran said reproachfully, handing her his coat.

“No. I want to be with you!” Meirin flung her arms around Syaoran, who turned red. “You see Sakura-chan, you disappeared, so we were wondering where you went. Syaoran said that there was a force out here, and that he was going to check it out. We followed… as usual.”

“Well, don’t blame me if you catch a cold,” Syaoran murmured.

“What about the dance?” Sakura asked.

“Um… If you haven’t realized it, the electricity’s out. They’re all in there with candles. Hopelessly romantic, but not bright enough to continue the party. Actually, we’re not supposed to go outside…” Meirin shrugged her shoulders as she buttoned Syaoran coat, which reached to her feet. “Hey, it looks like the coat is standing!”

”Watch your back!” Syaoran called. They all dodged. When Syaoran tried to use his incantation paper, Sakura shook her head.

“Nothing like that will work. We need a workable plan to destroy or trap that. Otherwise, we would just be wasting our energy.”

“Well, what are we gonna do then?”

With her gloved hand, she flattened out the snow on the ground. Then she drew a spiral with her finger. “This is the Twister.” Then she drew a square next to it. “This is the school. We’ve got to stop it from escaping this area, to the town, but we can’t let it destroy the school. I’m shielding it right now, but I have no idea how long it will last.”

“And the bad thing is, the longer it twists the more powerful it gets. Like a hurricane, it will continue twisting up everything, engulfing more and more power.” He placed his hand on his chin. “Maybe, we can trap it.” Syaoran drew an encasement around the spiral on the snow.

“No. If we trap it, it will just continue spinning and getting stronger, till it breaks away.” Sakura rubbed out the enclosing line around the spiral. “The only way to get things properly done is to destroy it properly. She crossed out the spiral.

“Well, it’s easier said than done. You can trap the Twister with the Earthy, or maybe with the Freeze. But you can’t destroy it so easily. The Windy would just get sucked into it, while the Fiery will be overpowered.”

To Tomoyo, Meirin whispered, “Do you get what they’re talking about? It’s so confusing.”

“Well, I guess that sets aside Card Captors and powerful magicians. Frankly, I don’t know what they’re going to do, drawing squiggles on the ground.”

“Do you think that we should tell them that the Twister is coming straight at them?” Meirin asked.

“Too late.” Tomoyo snatched out her video camera. In a way, she never had an idea how serious a situation was. After all, the Clow Cards and Yue had been manageable, while Eriol, had been an understanding, kind person.

“Oh no! The Twister is coming straight at us!” Sakura exclaimed, standing up, dragging Syaoran up as well. “Run!”

“Great. If you have a good idea of how to beat this thing, I’ll get you anything you want,” Syaoran said.

“And if you do, the same? Okay, deal. I’m going to ask for something expensive, so you better try hard at this.” Sakura gazed fiercely at the twisting force.

“Right. You too.” Briefly, they shook hands firmly, then started to run. A shower of ice rocks came. Some crashed into the school’s roof, breaking through the Shield and denting the roof. A shower of tiles shattered to the floor.

“The school! Everyone’s in it!” Tomoyo shouted.

Then a chunk of diamond hard ice swirled out and knocked Syaoran head.

Throwing out a card, Sakura called, “Earthy!” Immediately, great sections of the ground rose up, trapping the Twister in all sides. Sakura looked down the crack, watching the Twister whirl around swiftly, trying to escape. “Are you okay?” Sakura, asked, concerned.

“Yeah. Mother says my head is hard as a rock.” Syaoran rubbed his head, dazed.

“Now what? Oh no!” The Twister had escaped the Earthy, swelling into a size bigger than the large building of the school. It sprayed out hard hail, some as big as watermelons. Tomoyo and Meirin retreated to the steps of the school.

“Watch out!” Syaoran shouted.

“AHHHHHHHHHH!” Sakura screamed as her body was swept up with the wind and snow swirling round and round, like a doll’s. For some seconds, her body was thrown about roughly, as pieces of ice, rocks, and branches pelted and grazed at her. She sputtered out the mouthfuls of snow, which she swallowed as she screamed. Since her body was tossed around lightly, whirling and spinning, she lost all coordination as her head spun.

“STUPID!” Syaoran jumped into the Twister.

“SYAORAN!” Meirin tried to reach out.

“Don’t!” Tomoyo held Meirin back, who struggled.

“I’ve got to go to him.” Meirin protested.

Tomoyo shook her head, calmly. “They’ll manage. They’ll be fine. Just wait, and you’ll see.” Her level gaze with violet eyes met Meirin’s amber ones. She nodded.

Eventually, Sakura twisted from the top of the Twister, down to the bottom. To her surprise, she landed in the middle, which was perfectly calm, All around her was the swirling of a hurricane, but in the center, she was safe.

Immediately, Syaoran dropped inside, as well.

“You came, too?” Sakura asked.

“Yeah. When I heard that you weren’t screaming anymore, I decided that it was either safe or utterly dangerous. So, I dropped in.”

“It’s interesting, isn’t it? The center is perfectly fine. Just around, is all the twisting.” Sakura adjusted her coat over her dress, which was sopping wet.

“I should’ve known. In a hurricane, the nucleus of the storm, or the ‘eye’ is always calm.”

“So, we’re at the nucleus of the force—where the power is greatest. I was never good at science, either, same as math. Wish I was.” Sakura eyed the whirling around her. Snow, wind, rock, pieces of metal from car crashes, leaves, and anything else that the Twister picked up was swirling around her. “See? I was right. You can’t trap this thing. Long as the ‘eye’ is still strong, it will continue to fight back. You’ve got to seize the spinning, with a snap. Hoe-e! I’m getting dizzy just watching this thing.” She turned spiral eyed and wavered.

“Close your eyes, then.” Before she could protest, Syaoran drew out his handkerchief and tied it tightly around Sakura’s eyes. “If you can’t see, it, you’ll be able to concentrate better.”

“What? But…”

“Shh… Soften your breath and feel the spinning around you. Do you feel it? Good. Now think of the spinning, it twists round and round, getting bigger and bigger. Feel the center of this power. Concentrate on that.”

Syaoran’s calm voice soothed her, and Sakura felt the nucleus of the power. She pushed aside the tickling of Syaoran’s hand on her shoulders. She felt like screaming from the great impact of the whirling power, and felt as if her body was being torn to pieces.

“My ears hurt.” Sakura tried to block out the horrible noise of spinning and wailing.

Then she drew out the Windy and the Maze. “Maze, Windy! Trap this force into your winding powers and destroy it!” She forced the center of the Twister into the Maze, which was turned in shape of an anti-clockwise spiral, letting the Windy draw the Twister in. At first, the nucleus resisted against the opposite force. Persistently, Sakura fed her power into the Maze and Windy twisting in an opposite direction from the Twister. Her head felt dizzy. I’m so tired… No, I’ve got to do this. I’ll win the bet, all right.

 Syaoran nudged his power to the cards as well. Unable to resist, the nucleus was sucked into the trapping maze. For the last time, the Twister tried to escape, shrieking with all its power. Sakura drained her body’s powers. Once the center of its power was destroyed into the maze, the rest came naturally. With a flick of her hand, the spell ended, with the nucleus neatly trapped into the spiral Maze, and though it tried to spin its way out, Sakura had it neatly pinned.

“Now!” Syaoran called.

“Spirit of the dark forces. I, Sakura, command you. Return to a new shape under contract! Sakura Card!” Immediately, the enormous Twister dissolved and turned into a new card, which Sakura proudly held in her hands. The Twister card had a picture of a hurricane in the front.

Happily, Sakura and Syaoran exchanged high-fives, their hands meeting above their heads.

Defiantly, Syaoran said, “See, I told you trapping it would work!”

“No, destroying the nucleus was how I caught.”

Crossing his arms, Syaoran asked, “How come, these days, you contradict to everything?”

Tilting her head back, Sakura retorted, “It’s only since I’m with you.” Sakura grinned tilting her head, with her untied braid hanging loosely around her flushed face. She was almost used to the biting cold now.

“Me? Well, I guess you’ll say you won the bet. Name your prize, Card Mistress.”

“It’s okay. I’m satisfied knowing that my plan worked.” Sakura offered Syaoran the card, who refused it as usual.

“The Maze is a trap,” Syaoran grumbled.

“Neither of them like losing, you see,” Tomoyo informed Meirin. Loudly, she said, “Did I tell you about the badminton match? It was really sizzling hot, over Yukito-san’s affection. Why don’t we say, the Twister was trapped by the Maze, and with the Windy, the nucleus was destroyed?”

No one could protest against Tomoyo’s negotiation. Meirin grinned. “I guess you’ll have a hard time choosing to call your new video a ‘love story’ or a ‘rival story.’”

Shaking her head, Tomoyo asked, “Don’t you know the world’s best couples argue all the time? With an acceptation of Romeo and Juliet, that is.”

“Can you please untie this handkerchief, now?” Sakura asked. “I can’t see.” Sakura tried to walk towards her friends. Instead, she bumped into a tall tree, shaking snow off its branches to her head. “Ouch… Hoe-e. It’s cold.”

“It’s my revenge, finally for you lobbing a snowball into my face, yesterday.” Syaoran shoved his hands into his pants pocket.

“Come on. You’re still mad about that?” Sakura gathered another snowball, patting it tightly, aiming it straight at Syaoran’s head.

“Hey!” Syaoran glared at her, trying to brush off the snow from his eyes. Tomoyo helped Sakura untie the cloth around her eyes.

“That’s a pretty good aim with eyes closed, Sakura-chan,” Meirin commented. “You should teach me that.”

Smiling, Sakura said sweetly, “Oh, I learned it from Syaoran-kun. He told me to concentrate with my mind and power, not my sight.”
“Admit it. You’re finally beaten, Syaoran,” Meirin laughed as Syaoran groaned.


The party continued, after the electricity came back on. Miraculously, the phenomenal storm had seized.

Really, I should have just gone home, Sakura thought. Her dress was almost dry, and Tomoyo had done miracles with her hair, yet she was still beat and tired. Nothing more would she have liked than to snuggle in her bed. She tried to stifle a yawn. The song on was one of her favorites, yet it was putting her to sleep at that moment.

Tomoyo nudged her, then indicated to a guy approaching. With horror, Sakura tried to find some place to hide. Tomaki-kun considered himself to be good looking and popular, but Sakura hated his confident, condescending air. She was unsuccessful.

“Kinomoto-san, come dance with me.” he said, leaning against a table casually.

“Umm…” Sakura raked her brain for an excuse. Then it struck her, that it would not be so bad being partners with him, either, for he had striking golden bleached hair and gorgeous bluish-gray eyes. He kinda looked like Yukito-san, as well, only more arrogant. Tomoyo was busy with Eron, and stupid Syaoran was attentive to Erika. “Well…”

“Be a sport—whoa!” Just then, the table that Tomaki leaned against collapsed, sending flowers, streamers, and utensils flying everywhere. A glassful of punch spilled over Tomaki. Disgusted, he excused himself to the bathroom as a chorus of laughter ran through the dance floor.

“Hoe-e?” Sakura looked puzzled, for Tomaki was not a clumsy person; he was co-captain of the basketball team and class-president. Then she glanced around the room. Had she imagined it, or was there a satisfied gleam in Syaoran’s dazzling amber eyes? Somehow, he had managed to look dry and presentable, even after their encounter with the Twister. The bland, innocent look wasn’t like him either. For a second, their eyes met. Sakura had an accusing look on her face.

Unlike usual, Syaoran suddenly grinned boyishly, his white teeth flashing. It wasn’t a friendly smile, since his eyes had a glint to it, but more mischievous, like a little boy caught in misdoing. Yet, his golden amber eyes twinkled so merrily and his features seemed so bright, that Sakura couldn’t help reluctantly smiling back. But for a long time, she couldn’t decide whether Tomaki’s accident had been natural… or planned.

“Merry Christmas Eve!” People shouted to each other as they headed back home after the party was over, gossiping and laughing loudly.


“Finished!” Sakura finished framing her embroidery work at 3 AM. With bleary eyes, Sakura gave one last snip with her scissors at the thread.

“Is it something so important?” asked Kero-chan.

Shaking her head, Sakura answered, “I don’t know. There’s no reason to finish it but I guess it was just a natural impulse.” She then sniffed. “Hope I’m not getting a cold from running around in the snow… I’m so tired.”

“Well, I’ve never seen you work so diligently and patiently at something before. And you can hardly see the places you messed up.”

Snuggling into her bed, Sakura murmured, “G’nite, Kero-chan. Don’t open the Christmas presents until I wake up. And remember, only 20 cookies tomorrow. No more, or else you’ll have to diet till Valentines Day…”

Wish: The Winter Wonderland passed over safely! I bet many people want to kill me for not putting Sakura and Syaoran together for the dance. You may wonder why Erika and Syaoran went together, while Eron and Sakura didn’t. Maybe Eron knew that Sakura would be…. Occupied that night, who knows. And gee, I wonder why Sakura’s eyes were fine the next day after she got kicked by the ball (nudge nudge. Syao-chan: HEY! What? Whosaysitsme?) The next chapter will bet the CCS Crew’s White Christmas. Now, I leave you to solve the mystery of Tomaki’s accident yourself. ^_~.
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