Sakura, Syaoran, Tomoyo, etc. are about 14 years old right now. They go to Seijou Junior High… Touya and Yukito are in college, and they’re about 20-21.
(~~~~~~) = flashback, or the “past” (you’ll get it when you read on)
“Sakura, are you okay?” Eron asked, concerned. Sakura had tumbled, by the doorway of the music classroom.
“Yeah… I’m fine. I’m just tired. You know… all that camp trip things…”
“Right. You were injured. After all who wouldn’t be after almost falling off a cliff? How’s the cut on your head?”
“Uh… it’s better, thanks to Syaoran-kun’s medicine.” How does Eron know I almost fell off a cliff?
Erika joined in the conversation. “Really? Syaoran must be the healer.” She laughed. “My leg injury certainly feel better, now, thanks to him. He gave me some medicine, too.”
Sakura narrowed her eyes. “Too?” That meant that he gave Erika medicine, as well. It wasn’t just for her. He wasn’t just being especially nice to her. Wait, why do I feel so jealous?
“My, Kinomoto-san, your black stocking are absolutely hideous,” Erika scoffed.
Sakura blushed. Her legs were still scratched
and scabbed, so she had on woolen black stockings instead of their uniform’s
knee socks. Of course she was not looking her best.
Just then, Syaoran came in and walked to his desk. Takashi came along and slapped him on the back. Syaoran winced. Not all of his injuries were healed yet, though he tried not to show it. Then, Takashi asked, “Well, you know, I never really got the full story of what happened at the camping trip. What happened?”
This was echoed by a cheer from everyone else. Sakura glanced sideways. He refused to look at Sakura. “Nothing. We just got lost, that’s all.” That ended the conversation on that topic. There was a sort of sideway glance among all the class mates. Luckily, the music teacher just entered the room.
Syaoran is back to the usual, distant
person, different from the gentle, wistful guy that he had revealed for
a brief moment back when the sun rose. Biting her lips, Sakura tried
to stifle a groan as her head spun around. Sighing, Sakura sat down at
her desk with her knees trembling slightly. At first she did not see the
side effects of making new cards, but now, she was starting to get overworked.
The first few times had been tiring but she didn’t feel that affected because
her energy had been brimming after a year’s rest. Now that she was back
as Card Captor Sakura, her energy flow was getting weaker. Making new cards
left her exhausted since her own body supplied the power. I’ll never
be like Clow Reed; he was the greatest mage, after all. I hope I adjust
to this power as I did before. Yet, this new enemy might not be as caring
as Eriol-kun was. They wouldn’t be merciful if I make a mistake. I have
to be more aware and alert, yet…
The class began to sing the song that they were learning.
The sharp voice of the teacher sounded, “Li Syaoran! You are not singing!”
He answered coolly, “How do you know if I’m not?”
“Don’t get smart with me. You’re not even opening your mouth.”
“Well, I don’t like singing of performing in front of other people.”
“It is sad that you do not enjoy such a beautiful thing as music,” the music teacher clucked.
“Who say’s I don’t like music? I just said that I don’t like singing in front of other people. So leave me be.”
The music teacher was about to flare out at the impertinent boy, and the whole class was silent. Instead, she commented, “Well, it’s not a shame to try, even if you’re not good at it. Class, let’s move on to our music compositions.”
Frowning again, Syaoran muttered, “Who says that I don’t try? And certainly, who says that I’m ashamed, or that I’m not good?”
His ears turned pink as all the other students nudged each other, giggling, “Li-kun can’t sing!” Especially, he couldn’t stand Eron’s smirk, since Eron was one of the “most talented in everything” in Seijou Junior High.
Sakura sighed as she struggled to keep awake in class. All her books clattered to the ground as she started to doze. The whole class stopped their singing.
“Kinomoto Sakura!” The music teacher scolded. “You students are just impossible today. You don’t deserve to go to camping trips when you work less hard that ever. Then winter concert will be coming up in no time SAKURA!” Sakura had started to nod off again.
* * * * * *
“Your home early, oniichan.” Sakura said, as she grabbed the banister the staircase, trying to support herself from falling.
“Sakura?! Are you okay? You look like you’re going to fall over.”
“No, I’m fine. I just had a tiring day at school that’s all.” She wondered over to the living room, and picked up a violin, in its case. “What’s this doing here? Isn’t this your violin?”
“Yeah. I found it when I was cleaning the basement. It brought back old memories. Mother was very talented in music. Remember? I used to be quite good at playing it. Now, I don’t have time to practice anymore. I just brought it up, since maybe I can find time to practice, or maybe you want to practice.”
Sakura opened the case, taking out the beautiful polished wood violin with unique carvings on it. She fingered the strings carefully, in awe. Then, she opened a side pocket; inside were some old music compositions. To her surprise, there was a sprawling handwriting on the furthest right hand corner of the composition. To Nadeshiko, the one who taught me to learn… From Ryuuren. Who’s Ryuuren?
“Oniichan? This violin used to be mother’s, right?”
“Yeah. I remember that when she played the violin, the melody rang out so sweetly and everyone fell silent to hear it. That’s one of the things that she was good at. You should take after her. I think that someone gave her that violin; it’s one of those rare, one of the kind ones, see the unique design? And those music compositions… I wonder who Ryuuren was. I never got to play that piece. Try it out some time. Mother used to play it to me sometimes. It was so beautiful that it made me sad. But she always said that it was only half of the song… Don’t know what it means. But every time I try to play that song myself, it keeps me back.”
“Wow… Maybe I should start practicing.”
* * * * * *
“The surface area of a cylinder is… wait radius squared… times height, ahhh!” Sakura slammed down her pencil. “I’ve got a headache. This math problem makes no sense.” Then, she fingered the violin again… Ryuuren… should I know that person?
Tap tap. Tap tap. “Huh? Kero-chan, is that you?”
Kero replied, “It’s coming from the window.”
Gingerly, Sakura walked to the window. A boy’s face stared back at her with startling amber eyes. “Hoe-e--- Wait, is it Syaoran-kun?”
Her brother called from downstairs, “What’s the matter kaijou?”
“Umm… nothing. I just figured out my math problem…” Then she opened the window. “What are you doing here? And why didn’t you come through the door? This is the second floor!”
“Eh? Well, actually, your brother was there, so I didn’t want to bother him or anything. I only came to get my jacket, that’s all. My apartment key’s in there, and everyone is out today, so I can’t get in. Of course, I can always break into my house, but then, Wei set all these burglar alarms up, so I thought it was more convenient to get the keys.”
“Hmm, brat! What are you doing here? Invading a girl’s room… Are you trying to kidnap Sakura-chan or something?” Kero accused.
“You! Fuuka Shou--- woa,” Syaoran had let go of the windowsill as he got out his incantation papers.
“Watch out! Come in. I’m sorry I forgot to give your jacket back at school. My head’s awfully slow these days.”
“Isn’t it always slow?” Syaoran muttered.
“Just joking.” Suddenly, he became wary and jumped onto the window sill, and his sword appeared.
“What’s the matter?” Syaoran gazed around with keen eyes then let the sword disappear again. “Nothing. I guess I was mistaken. I could have sworn that I felt some sort of power. But, there’s nothing now.”
“Anyway, come in. I left your jacket downstairs. Stay here while I go get it.” Sakura then ran out of the room.
As Syaoran waited, he gazed around her room. He stifled a smile at the math homework, which the erased pencil marks had almost rubbed a hole into the paper. Then he noticed the violin and its beautiful craftsmanship. Without knowing it, he picked it up and fingered the polished wood and fine carvings.
“Here, Syaoran-kun,” Sakura had come back with the navy blue sports jacket. Embarrassed, Syaoran put the violin back down again.
“Hey, do you play it?” Sakura asked.
“Well… umm… kinda… sorta… I ummm…”
“Oh yeah. You don’t like music.”
“Who says I don’t like music?” He shot back quickly.
“Well. You’re mistaken. I just don’t like performing in front of others, that’s all.”
“Oh.” Sakura picked up the music composition and sighed. “Do you know anyone called Ryuuren?”
Syaoran froze for a moment. “Wh-what did you say?”
“Ryuuren. That person gave this music composition to my mother. This violin used to be my mothers. After she died, oniichan used it.”
“Ryuuren? It can’t be. That’s my father’s name… Actually, it may be possible.”
“Your father?” Sakura asked in surprise. “Then he must have given this piece to her. I think I would like to hear it. Oniichan said that mother played it beautifully.”
“I’ll play it for you, if you like.”
“You? You play the violin? But you suck at the recorder… Err I mean…” She squeaked.
Syaoran fingered the papers and looked over the music. His eyes looked painful for a moment, then he ran a finger along the strings of the delicate instrument. Quietly, he replied, “I learned how to play. I probably won’t be much good since I didn’t play for a long time… but if indeed this composition is one that my father gave your mother, I’ll like to try it.”
“Wow! Please do!”
Gently, he picked up the violin and placed it on his chin. He ran the bow along the strings to tune it. Then, taking a deep breath and drowning himself in the composition, he began, running the slender bow along the tight, smooth strings and moving his long, graceful fingers along the neck of the violin; the notes began to flow out and trickle smoothly around the whole room.
Sakura sat their, spellbound, as a rich, beautiful melody rang clearly through the house; the tune was like a lonely lark fluttering through the green woods, alone and seeking for love. The violin echoed the clear emotions of a misty morning and a yearning soul. With the flow of the music, Syaoran’s sinuous fingers moved along the instrument, true to every note. Even Kero was still as he listened intently, and the birds outside stopped their chirping. The beauty of the tune, so pensive and sad, along with Syaoran’s unfaltering grace as he unfolded the melody, brought glistening tears to Sakura’s bright eyes, as she felt the music emotionally moving her.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Nadeshiko, you’re going to be late for school!” Sonomi called out.
“You go ahead,” Nadeshiko said from up the tree.
“It’s not safe to climb up a tree with a sprained wrist. Hmph. And you still didn’t tell me what happened at that Cloud Reef or whatever…”
“Yeah, Clow Reed’s house, and why it took
so long, and where you got that bruise on your face, and why you sprained
your wrist. Anyway, I’m going first.”
“Oh boy, we’re drawn into the past again,” Kero muttered. Just then a chestnut brown haired boy came walking down the road. Sakura gasped out, ”Syaoran!”
From right beside her, Syaoran asked, “What’s the matter?”
She yelped, “Hoe-e! You’re beside me. Then, who’s that? Do I have double vision?” Sakura looked at the other person again, then back at Syaoran, then back and forth. Syaoran narrowed his eyes and muttered, “What?” Then she realized that as similar as the other boy looked to Syaoran, he was several years older, taller and more muscular. That’s probably what Syaoran’s going to look like in a few years. His hair color was similar to Syaoran’s, though slightly darker and the young man had similar eye shape, except that his eye color was a sparkling sapphire color, in contrast to Syaoran’s warm amber. Same dark eyebrows, though. Strange. He’s dressed all in black. Even his hairstyle with the dark chestnut hair falling to his eyes was the same. The Syaoran look-alike walked right through her. Sakura shivered. She still couldn’t get used to being a ghost-like being, with people walking right through her. Swerving around, she could catch a glance of his back. To her surprise, the back of his hair was tied back into a long tail, that came half way down his back. Wow, he looks like he just stepped out of a Chinese movie. He definitely stood out from all the people in Japan.
She glanced sideways at Syaoran to see
his face was deadly pale and his fists were clenched. Kero was raising
an eyebrow and looking over the mysterious young man.
“AHHH!” Just then, Nadeshiko’s foot slipped from the highest branch. Desperately, she grasped for a tree limb, but due to her hurt arm, she couldn’t hold on.
“Watch out!” The young man shouted. Quickly, he jumped over the fence and ran to the tree, arms out. Nadeshiko fell straight to his opened arms and together, they rolled over the grass, with her on top of the boy. They were dazed. After the mysterious boy gathered his wits, he muttered, “God, I thought I would get a hard attack. Little girls like you shouldn’t climb trees too high for them.”
Nadeshiko replied hotly, “I’m not that little. I’m 14 and I don’t believe you’re any more than a few years older than me. It’s just that I’m a little hurt, that’s why I fell off the tree.”
He murmured, “Hmm, 3 years younger than me, with a very quick tongue.” Nadeshiko gazed up at him with her bright emerald eyes. Her heart pounded as she realized that she was half sitting on a stranger’s lap. Then she suddenly smiled brightly. (Kero-chan thought… will the brat look like that young man when he’s seventeen? If he will… ugh. He’ll be damn handsome.)
“Well, anyway, thank you for saving me from the fall. I would have broken my bones if you hadn’t. My name is Amamiya Nadeshiko. If you ever need something, come to me. I go to the Seijou High Junior High.”
“Where have I seen such vivid green eyes before?” He murmured to himself. Then he said, “Well, thank god your not any heavier. If you were, I would have been crushed by the impact. Get up now and go to school if you’re not hurt.”
“Thanks, again. Are you new here? I never saw you before, I believe. What’s your name? I want to know who I am in debt to, so I can pay back some day.”
“I don’t need the help of someone like you. It’s none of your business of who or what I am, little girl,” he said curtly.
“Fine! Still, I’m not little, and my name is Nadeshiko! But on a second hand, I don’t think I want someone as rude as you, even if you are my life saver, to call my name. Good day!” With her eyes flashing, she promptly tried to stand up, pulling herself up with her hands. Then she cringed, falling to the ground again.
The boy asked gently, “Are you hurt? Silly, you should be more careful.” His sapphire eyes directly met her emerald ones as she looked up. He said in awe, “Why, it’s the thief girl!”
“Uhh—nothing. I just realized something very interesting, that’s all.”
Nadeshiko held her hurt hand up with her other one. “Well. thanks. I’m fine. It’s just that I sprained my wrist from before, and I applied pressure to it.”
“How? I don’t think someone like you would be very violent and get hurt. Then again, maybe you will.” He noted with amusement a light bruise on her cheek, very similar to a hand mark.
Nadeshiko turned red at the reason why she sprained her wrist, and muttered, “Uhh, I was just clumsy as usual, that’s all. Nobody hurt me, nobody.”
“Did I ever say someone did?” Nadeshiko turned even redder at his remark. He asked bemused, “Do you hate the person who hurt your wrist and slapped you?”
“I—no. I was the stubborn one. He warned me but I wouldn’t do what he wanted to do. I don’t blame him at all. It was important for him I know; he did what was expected. But I just couldn’t let him have his way. It was all my fault I know, but still, I couldn’t give in and…” She looked up with her shining eyes that reflected the sunlight.
The boy put a forefinger over her lips and murmured, “Shhh. You don’t have to tell me all that. It has nothing to do with me, does it? But I think that the person who did it would regret his rash action, if nothing else, and would recommend an ice pack and compression. And some ointment for the bruise on the face. Little girls don’t look pretty with bruised faces.”
Nadeshiko fingered the bruise on her face and looked up, bewildered and asked, “Have I ever met you before? You seem very familiar.”
The strange boy stood up. “No, you never met me before, and if you are lucky, you never shall again. Good bye, Little Thief Girl. Hurry up. You’re already late for school. And don’t be so clumsy from now on, climbing trees when you’re hurt. Now go along and don’t draw anymore of my time. I’m a busy man.” He smiled a careless grin, flicking back his hair, and walked away.
She clenched her fists angrily and called out, “I’m not little, nor a thief! And the only reason I was climbing the tree was trying to put back a little baby bird which fell from its nest!”
The boy was already gone, but he smiled in rye amusement at the last remark. That’s the pretty, stubborn, hot-tempered Thief Girl. Too bad she crossed with me the first time she met me. Poor thing. Ahh, but she is an obstacle. Just an obstacle-- to get rid of.
Nadeshiko pouted muttering, “Little thief girl indeed. What is he? He’s only 3 years older and he acts like he’s so much wiser. I regret that he was the one who saved me. He’s so… wait… ‘You, Thief Girl. You will regret the day you met me. You will regret ever so much that you didn’t give the scroll to me. I’ll have things my way.’ The mysterious person I met last night that tried to take the scroll away… He called me Thief Girl. And this person called me Thief Girl, also. They have the same blue eyes, long hair tied back, same features, height, voice. And he knew about my injuries. Apply ice and compression. Ointment for the bruise on my face, which hardly shows. And he’s the same person that I bumped into, in the streets. The one who had felt similar to Clow-san. God, how can I be so stupid and not recognize him? Then, why did he say that we never met before?” She bolted up, her long hair blowing in the wind, calling out into the emptiness, “Wait! You, who are you!” Why does he always disappear like that?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The last sweet, melancholy yet rich note
lingered in the air. Touya leaned against the doorway, but didn’t enter.
Yet he was tempted to say, “You, what are you doing in my little
sister’s room?” Instead he stood silently nodding his head to the ringing
melody. All I can say is that he has talent. It’s almost like when mother
played. That’s a beautiful piece. There’s a second part to it. That composition
is meant for two people. I heard it played together once…he remembered
the past. Then, he walked away, muttering “Anyway, how did that little
brat get into this house?”
Sighing, Syaoran said, breaking the silence, “Whew, the thundercloud passed away without striking. Is there a second part to the composition?”
“Huh?” Sakura looked dazed as the music ended.
“Your brother was at the doorway.”
“Really? Yeah, there is a second part.” Sakura glanced over the music notes and saw the harmony. “Hoe! I wonder who that mysterious person was, who rescued my mother! And what does he have to do with my mother… Nadeshiko?”
“Have you still not figure out who Ryuuren is? Or that mysterious person in the past, who just saved Nadeshiko?”
“No… You already did?”
“Well, obviously, your mother and my father, who’s name happened to be Li Ryuuren met at some time.”
“That mysterious person looked a lot like you Syaoran. Almost exactly alike except for the blue eyes and in the front the hair looked about the same, except that he had that long tied back tail. And he was seventeen. I don’t get it.” Sakura furrowed her eyebrows.
“You really don’t get who that mysterious person was?”
Finally, it hit home to Sakura. “Oh! That mysterious person was your father, and his name is Li Ryuuren and he was rivaled with my mother, Nadeshiko! Now I get it! He’s the mysterious person that we saw. I finally figured it out!”
Syaoran and Kero sweat dropped at the incredible long time it took Sakura to figure it out.
“Hoe-e! Don’t look at me like I’m so stupid. My head just doesn’t function well these days.”
She ignored Kero mumbling, “Like it ever does.”
“Wow, by the way, Syaoran-kun, you were so marvelous. And you read the music off, at one shot. And to think that I thought that you didn’t like music. You have real talent but even more, the way that you play it let’s the notes ring out emotion. It gave me a hanyaan sort of feeling… yet I felt sad at the same time. It was so beautiful that I wanted to cry.”
“Uh… ”Syaoran turned bashful.
“But, what I don’t understand is why you act like you don’t like music.”
“That’s none of your business.” Brief pain came into his eyes, then disappeared.
“And another thing I don’t understand is why you want to keep alone so much.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You continuously open and close up. Really, you continue to change every time I see you. Once, I really though I knew you…” Far back, before you went back to Hong Kong. ”You always say it’s none of my business, but you’re ever so wrong. It is my business. You see, you’re some one I count as a friend; someone who I care for and believe will always be there for me, and I will always stand by them. Why do you try to keep a barrier? Is it that bad for you to let yourself out?” Sakura turned around to face the wall to hide her emotions.
Syaoran replied coolly, “You don’t understand, do you? I am different. I was brought up differently, and I was brought up to be alone and count on myself, and not to trust. I was taught to not lean on others. That’s why I was named after the wolf. No matter what, to survive, a wolf has to be strong on its own. It runs in a pack, but all the same, a wolf is a lone dog, always gazing at the moon, wondering when it will get there. A lonely life is one that I take, and the one I choose to take. That’s my decision, now. So, if you don’t understand, don’t intrude. Let me be!”
“But what of the little wolf when it dies? Does it finally reach happiness then?” Sakura smiled wistfully as she turned to face him again. “Or can it find happiness in its forlorn search, during his lifetime? Does he find that there were others who did care, that he wasn’t alone, after all?” She then sat down on her chair and looked over the music composition, facing her back to Syaoran. Even Kero couldn’t comment because of the tension. Yet he was thinking, Humans. Why do they always twist words? Why don’t they just say what’s plain in their minds?
“Why would anyone care for me? It is better if they stay away! There’s no hurt, no confusion then. I tried and tried, but I can’t escape from this road, and I don’t care anymore!” Syaoran said with a strained voice. Don’t you know how hard it was for me to realize all this? I’m no longer the stupid boy I used to be. Now, there’s no escape.
“But I do care!” Sakura shouted. For a moment, a look of surprise masked over Syaoran’s face. The corner of his eyes softened, then hardened again with pain, pain from the bottom of his soul.
Finally, Kero said to change the topic, “I wonder why Li Ryuuren gave this to Nadeshiko.”
Sakura stood up, saying, “You know, I think that I would like to hear both parts, played together.”
“Why not? If you can play, I bet we can try harmonizing it together.” Syaoran said this strained yet Sakura was glad that he was still talking to her, after all that she said.
Fingering her golden brown hair, she said, suddenly, “Hey, you’re sitting on my teddy bear.”
“Eh?” Syaoran jumped up from Sakura’s bed, which till this time, he didn’t notice he was sitting on, then looked at the teddy bear. It’s the one I made… Two hearts joined in one… She still has it. Turning red he muttered, “Gotta go,” and he ran out the door (like he always ran off) whizzing past a confused Touya.
When he reached the gate, Sakura called out from her bed room window, “Syaoran-kun!!! I’ll practice the violin and try to get as good as you, and someday, let’s try harmonizing the piece that our parents once played together!”
Stopping for a moment, Syaoran nodded, then ran off. Two hearts joined into one. No longer.
* * * * * *
“Hanyaan! Li Ryuuren, Syaoran’s father is the best looking person I ever saw in my eyes. What gorgeous eyes!” Sakura exclaimed.
Tomoyo asked, “Better looking than Eron or Syaoran?”
“I don’t know. Eron has his own charm. But, somehow, Syaoran-kun looks very similar to his father but something is different. Then, thinking about it, they’re very similar. Even in their solitude attitude. Then again, Syaoran can be very nice, and it seemed as if Li-san could be nice to, but then he was very mean and sprained my mother’s wrist and slapped her, but still he saved her and…”
“Oh ho ho ho. Sakura getting all flabbergasted is so cute! But it’s cool how your mother met Li-san falling off a tree. That’s how your father first met your mother.”
Meirin walked towards them. “Hello Sakura-chan, Tomoyo-chan.”
“Meirin! Wow, I never knew that Syaoran-kun was an excellent violinist.”
“Oh. That. I almost forgot he knew how to play. How do you know that he is?” Meirin raised an eye.
“Uhh… I just heard him play once. He’s marvelous.”
“Yeah. He’s very talented. I think that he is good at everything. But he hasn’t practiced since he was nine. Actually, thinking about it, he started to resume his practice last year, after he came back from Japan.”
Tomoyo asked, “But why does he act like he doesn’t like music?”
Meirin cast her eyes, which were a similar shade to Syaoran’s, down. “Well, it’s a long story. I’m not sure about it myself. Well, you know how his father was good at violin? But he died when Syaoran was only three. Syaoran’s direct family consists of all females. So, his older cousin brother looked after him a lot and…”
She turned around. Syaoran was standing behind Meirin. He just said coldly, “It’s the past now. Don’t talk about it again. It doesn’t matter anymore.” Yet, Sakura caught a glimpse of a painful memory in his eyes. She wondered what it was.
To lighten the air, Meirin said loudly, “And you know how Syaoran is so jealous? He was so annoyed that Eriol was good at piano, that he started practicing music again when he came back. He hates it when others excel him.”
Glaring at her, Syaoran said, “No I don’t.” He then stalked away.
“Well, I guess the only reason that he doesn’t like music class is because he can’t sing, then,” Tomoyo commented.
Meirin looked surprised at this. So, Sakura asked, “Did you ever hear him sing?”
“Well, to tell you the truth, he doesn’t sing. He really doesn’t like to perform in front of others. Especially after that Sleeping Beauty play, we did back in 5th grade. Sigh. He was a cute princess. And Sakura-chan, I still don’t forgive you for getting to be the prince. But, I did hear him sing at a school concert last year, and I say that he was good!” Meirin stated.
Tomoyo and Sakura laughed nervously. They both knew how high Meirin’s opinion of herself and Syaoran was. It was hard to believe everything that she said.
* * * * * *
“Why did you come and shut me up?” Meirin asked during lunch time.
“Don’t go around blurting family business. Don’t talk about him,” Syaoran said, looking down at his sandwiches.
“It doesn’t matter anyway, does it. It’s over. He’s been dead for almost 5 years.”
“Shut up, will you? You don’t understand anything. Just don’t talk about it at all, neither to me or anyone else.”
“What do you know about judging people? He was my cousin too. I know you were close with him, but I was hurt when he died, also. What’s wrong with talking about him? Does it matter if Sakura knows about him? Or your past? You used to LIKE her! Do you have to hide yourself so much?”
“I’ll talk about my past when I want to. It’s not yet. I’ll tell her by my self. And what I felt for her then, was then.”
A sly voice came from behind. Erika asked, “Are you two actually arguing? I never heard you guys argue before. Who does he like?”
“Meirin thinks the world of her ‘fiancee,’ so they never argue… or so I thought,” Tomoyo said.
“And, who’s dead?” Erika inquired.
“No one’s dead. No one!” Syaoran got up,
leaving his lunch and ran off. Old, almost memories flashed back into his
mind. A swirling of people, people bending over him, contorted, saying
‘he’s dead, your cousin’s dead.’ Flying of sharp glass pieces everywhere,
and blood splattering. A distant cracked shout of despair. Hot tears of
pain and anger, mingled with the salty blood. The kind, brotherly face,
smiling warmly, ready to lend a hand, playing the violin. Even before that,
when he was three… Someone drew the white cloth over his father’s body.
A little boy with amber eyes screamed out in despair. Shaking his head
abruptly, Syaoran halted. Forget it! The past is the past. If you don’t
care for anyone, you won’t get hurt again.
* * * * * *
“It’s gone!” Sakura exclaimed. She rummaged through her bags.
“What’s gone?” Syaoran inquired, raising his eyebrow.
“The Five Force Scroll.”
“What do you mean that the it’s is gone?”
“I don’t know. It was in my bag, but now, it’s gone.”
“Well, then you better find it.”
“The worst thing is that it is very important because it is a vital link to the past. But then this morning, there were new writings in the Five Force Scroll, and it said, ‘Play the harmony of the piece to find out the last key.’ Not that I know what it means, but…”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Not again!” Sakura groaned. Half of her body was out of one side of the wall, while the other half was inside.
With a sigh, Syaoran added, “It gives me
a heart attack every time.”
“Hey, Nadeshiko-chan! Did you hear about the new transfer student in Seijou High?” Called a girl with short auburn hair.
“No. Why? Does it matter? We’re in junior high, anyway. It doesn’t affect us, does it?” Nadeshiko asked, puzzled.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about. He’s the most handsome guy I’ve ever seen in my life, though I only caught a glimpse of him. He has the most beautiful blue eyes under dark eyebrows, plus the most gorgeous dark chestnut brown hair, which he tied back! He is amazing, like a romantic hero from a movie! Plus, he’s tall and well built. All the girls, ranging from his grade, older girls, and middle school and elementary are wild over him.” She paused for a breath.
Another girl continued, “And he transferred from Hong Kong.”
Nadeshiko paled. “Hong Kong? Wh-what’s his name?”
“Let’s see. Li Ryuuren. Isn’t that the most romantic name? Right now, he’s in the music room, practicing violin. Everyone is crowding around it right now. I heard that he is awesome at it. I’m on the way there. Do you want to come with me?”
The girl with the auburn hair commented, “Fat chance we’d get anywhere near that floor. All the upper class girls already hogged up the space. Hey, Nadeshiko-chan where are you going?”
Li Ryuuren. That’s his name. It must be him. The description of the blue eyes, long hair, and well built. From Hong Kong. I must meet him and make sure. And I’ll finally get to ask why. Nadeshiko ran to Seijou High. When she got to the floor where the music room was, she gasped. A mob of high school girls were pushing and shoving each other, just to get near the door. Her friends caught up with her.
“Nadeshiko, there is no way that you will get through. Why are you so desperate to see him, anyway? Well, I must say you do have good taste for guys…”
Before she could finish, Nadeshiko had
already run off to the floor above. When she reached the room straight
above the practice room, she opened the window and climbing out of it,
she lowered herself on the sill of the room below. She saw a solitary figure
playing a beautiful, melancholy tune which echoed through the hallways.
All the high school girls were shoving each other, trying to peek in through
the crack of the door. Nadeshiko flung open the windows.
“Are you sure that your mother wasn’t a thief?” Syaoran remarked wryly.
“Yes. She’s supposed to be very clumsy,” Sakura replied, perplexed.
Ryuuren had put down the violin and went up to the window. This surprised Nadeshiko, and she nearly fell back, but he caught her hands to balance her, just in time.
He hid the shock in this eyes and said, “You! What are you doing here?”
“Before you ask questions, you better answer mine, Li Ryuuren!”
Shrugging his shoulders, Ryuuren stretched out his hands, and immediately, the door closed and the windows shut with the shades pulled down. Then, he threw out ward papers, which stuck all four walls. Answering Nadeshiko’s questioning look, he said, “I just warded and sealed this room, that’s all. So things are confidential. Don’t look so scared. I don’t plan on killing you or anything.” Nadeshiko’s rigid look relaxed. “Yet.” A tremor ran up her spine at that icy word.
Why did I come here? What would he do to me now? Even if I scream, no one will hear. Yet, I want to clear things up. He can’t be that bad, can he? Yes, he can. Nadeshiko asked boldly. “Why did you lie to me?”
“What do you mean?”
“You know what I mean!”
“Well, I didn’t realize that you would find me so quick. And why should I go around, telling people who I am? Besides, I don’t think you would be very grateful of someone who twists your arm, then saves you from falling off a tree, don’t you think so? Too bad we meet again so soon, Thief Girl.”
“Stop calling me that! I have a name; it’s Nadeshiko.”
“Well, you just climbed into this room. You stalked right into Clow Reed’s house, too. So, a Thief Girl you are. Not that it matter, anyway. Didn’t I tell you to stay out of my way? But, how’d’you find me? And how do you know my name?”
“Rumors. And I can’t believe you go to this school! And you tried to act like you’re so much more older and mature than me. And you’re only a school boy!”
“I am older and more mature than you. In mind. I’m surprised that you go to school. You should find a better career as a thief, with that empty headed brain of yours.”
Instead of replying, Ryuuren picked up
the violin again, and burst into a melody of yearning beauty, with the
grace and lightness of a flying lark. To her surprise, the touching tune
brought tears to her eyes and all her anger died down to an aching sadness.
It was surprising how such lovely music could come from the same person,
who’s tongue was so sharp and harsh. She examined the intense face, with
the fierce eyebrows, cold blue eyes, and the firm set mouth, which was
curved in a mocking way. Yet, she looked again and she could swear the
ocean blue eyes had a wistful loneliness, and his smirking lips were covering
a hurt. The melody pierced into her heart and settled into her the yearning
and solitude, despite its beautiful tune.
“Why, it’s the same tune that you played for me, Syaoran-kun,” Sakura exclaimed.
“It’s been a long time since I heard him play,” was all Syaoran could say, in a choked voice.
“Oh yeah. He’s your father…”
When the music ended, Nadeshiko clapped and said, “Wow, that was the most beautiful and saddest piece I’ve ever heard. You are very talented, for I can feel the emotions poured into the tune. I can’t believe you’re so good.”
“Why don’t you go now. And I just want to say this. If you know what is good for you, you would just get out of this whole business now, before it is too late.”
“I don’t understand why we can’t work together, like the scroll says to.”
“We can’t. That’s all I would say. I have worked hard to reach this position, and I wouldn’t loose the Clow to a little girl like you.”
“Will you stop condescending on me? You don’t know how hard things are for me! I try my best at least. Do you think I like having this kind of power, to speak with the dead, have the second sight, thrown on responsibility that most teenagers don’t even dream of?”
Suddenly, Ryuuren picked up his violin and asked, “Do you know why I like this tune? Because it cries out loneliness, the beauty of the solitude. It fits me well. I accomplish things well on my own. I don’t need anyone else interfering with me.”
Nadeshiko walked over to the table and picked up a spare violin. She brought it to her chin, then tried tuning it. She asked, “Can you try playing that tune again?”
“Why?” Ryuuren looked doubtful.
“Because. Please, it’s very important.”
Hesitantly, Ryuuren picked up his violin and began the beautiful yearning
melody again. After the first measure, Nadeshiko took a deep breath, then
brought the bow to the strings of her violin. Then, she began playing a
sweet, light harmony, like the trickling brook. Alone, each tune sounded
lonely, but once the harmonies were combined, it was like a waterfall with
the glimmering rainbow and spring birds chirping happily together. At first,
Ryuuren looked surprised, yet he continued on. Together, they played the
beautiful tune as the melodies complemented each other to create unison.
“Wow, the two melodies correspond to each other. They go together and it sounds even more beautiful,” Sakura awed.
“Yeah. I wonder how she knew the harmony,” Syaoran pondered.
“Listen. It sounds as if it is one. It
really hurts me because of its flowing grace.” At that moment, the music
was at a climax as the two bows ran over the violin to produce the richest,
most lingering notes, that rung out happiness and warmth. “Together, the
tune doesn’t sound lonely anymore. It’s just as beautiful, but now, the
music gives me a sense of belonging and homesickness. It gives me a yearning
happiness, as if I am found after being lost in a mist, that I’m one of
the stars amongst all the celestial beauty of the sky.” Sakura clasped
her magic key. I feel just like I did when I was so confused, and then,
I finally found out who the one I loved was… Two hearts joined in one.
Together, the music was brought to a ringing, graceful end. At first, Ryuuren gazed at Nadeshiko, in awe and surprise. She just smiled back. Finally, he said, “I never knew that there was a harmony to this piece. How do you know it?”
“Maybe I heard that tune in a dream. This is the first time I’m playing it, and it’s the first time I heard it.”
“You’re very musically talented, then,” Ryuuren admitted grudgingly.
“No. You’re very good, yourself.”
“What are you talking about? This is the first time you ever played this piece, and you can remember it straight off from a dream. That is something different. But anyway, what is your point?”
“You still don’t get it? Alone, these to melodies echo yearning and forlorn sadness. It sings the loneliness of a wistful lark. Yet played together, the larks have found each other. They are alone no longer. They are together and happy. That is all I wanted to show. That being alone is not always the best choice. That is the double beauty of this harmony.”
“So, what? Don’t you get it yet?”
“You don’t understand, do you?”
Suddenly, Ryuuren walked over to her. “No. You don’t understand. But, it would be much better for both of us if you would give up the other half of the Five Force Scroll to me. Then, you can wipe your hands clean of all things. Before you are hurt. ”
For a moment Nadeshiko’s heart thumped hard, since his head was so near hers. Then, she turned around and took out the scroll from her bag. This is all for the best. There’s nothing more I can do. “Here, you can have it then. I’ve tried my best, but you’re the one who doesn’t understand. I guess I’ll be more of a hassle for you, anyway. Now, you’re satisfied, right?” She placed the scroll on his hand, and Ryuuren looked surprised.
Just then, a bunny like thing appeared and slapped his hand. Ryuuren dropped the scroll. “Hey, what did ya do that for!” He glared at Moonstone, who appeared from nowhere.
“Give the half of the scroll back to Nadeshiko-chan.”
“Why? She gave it to me. It’s mine now.”
“NOW!” Moonstone, as stuffed animal like as he was, was very forceful.
“Hmmph. Okay. You bunny headed doll.”
“You!” Moonstone sent out an electric shock wave, electrocuting Ryuuren.
“He he he…” Nadeshiko sweat dropped.
“Wait a second. We have important business.” All of a sudden, Moonstone because serious. Everyone halted mid air.
“Hey, don’t get all serious like that. It’s scary,” Ryuuren complained.
“Put the scroll together and read it,” Moonstone folded his arms and frowned.
Gingerly, Nadeshiko tried putting them together, and Ryuuren bent over her shoulders. “The enemy has reached the Clow first. The chosen ones have tarried too long. Now, it is in the legendary foes’ hands. Taking a harder path… the chosen ones will have to recover it before destruction occurs.” There was a horrified expression on everyone’s faces (including Syaoran and Sakura’s.)
Ryuuren exclaimed, “What the heck (^_^) does this mean?”
“The chosen ones… I guess that mean us… but who are the enemies?” Nadeshiko clasped the scroll tight. “Does this mean that they have found the Clow, before us? Have we failed in our mission?”
“These legendary enemies have found it first. Now, things are harder for you two. You must find it, before they cause anymore harm. You two have waited too long. Get a grip now, and work somehow to retrieve it.”
Slamming his fist on the table, Ryuuren said, “It doesn’t make sense. Who, who got it first? And what does it mean by destruction?”
“Dunno. Figure it out yourself. I am just your advisor. And what I do advise is, you better watch out from now. You two just brought a lot of trouble on yourselves with all that bickering and conflict. Don’t disappoint your ancestors. Prevent the destruction before it is too late. Bye now.”
“That bunny thing disappeared, again!” Ryuuren exclaimed. Then he turned serious. “The enemies have gotten the Clow, first. Things are getting more serious than it seems. If only I started searching for it sooner. I might have found it by now.”
“Enemies have found it first. The chosen ones… tarried too long. Destruction…” Nadeshiko fell to the floor, facing the ground, with her emerald eyes wide. In a strained whisper she said, “It’s all my fault, isn’t it? If I didn’t interfere, you would have found the Clow by now. I was just an obstacle and a nuisance. Because of me, everything went wrong.” A bitter warm tear plopped onto the ground.
A surprised Ryuuren bent down and lifted up her chin, gently. With large, glistening eyes she looked back at him. He said kindly, “Don’t blame yourself. It wasn’t you fault. I’m just as much to blame. Now, we just have to work twice as hard to recover the Clow from the enemies.”
“No… I shouldn’t have interfered. I should
just have let you have your own way. Now, I made things harder for you.
You told me to give it up, but I was just stubborn. I’m so sorry. If it
weren’t for me, you would have found the Clow by now. Forgive me, I’m so
sorry.” She sobbed harder, leaning against Ryuuren’s chest. Hesitantly,
he flicked away the tears on her face with his forefinger.
“Don’t be silly. You’re one of the bravest, hot tempered, determined girl I’ve ever seen in my life. In some ways, I admire you for that. Even though it does exasperate me at times. Now don’t cry. You look prettier smiling. I don’t believe I ever saw you cry, even at the worst situations. You didn’t cry when I slapped you, nor when I broke your arm. You didn’t even cry when you fell of the tree, or when I was mean to you. This is nothing, there’s no reason to cry, at all.”
“Then, you’re not mad at me?” Nadeshiko asked, between a sob.
“Of course I’m not mad at you. Exasperated, yes, but only because of your stubborn determined, attitude. Come now, cheer up.” Ryuuren tried to get up, then failed. To his amusement, Nadeshiko was clasping his school shirt tightly with her hands. He thought, ‘So, this girl does have weaknesses and a faltering strength. But all the same, I like her more for this.’
Still grasping his shirt, she asked, “Why are you suddenly being so nice to me? I am your rival and obstacle. You’ve always hated me.”
Then the gentleness in his sapphire eyes disappeared as quickly as it came, replaced by a glinting coldness. “Hate? I’m not so sure. Yeah, you’re my obstacle and rival. You are a nuisance, too. But above all, an interesting, emotional nuisance.”
The school bell began to ring. Quickly, Nadeshiko wiped her face, then picked up her half of the scroll. “Don’t you want it?” she asked, holding it out.
“You can keep it for now. This doesn’t mean that I accept you. It’s just that under these circumstances, we seem to have greater enemies against us. You will always be my rival and my obstacle.”
An obstacle, rival, and nuisance. So, that’s all I am to him? After he was being so nice, all of a sudden. Yet, he doesn’t hate me. Strange. But I don’t hate him, either. Not even after he tried his best to tear my soul apart. In a way, I almost… like him. But, he only thinks me as an annoying little Thief Girl. Things will just get worse, now that the enemies, who ever they may be, has the Clow.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“I wonder how everything got so twisted. I have a very bad feeling about all this,” Sakura pondered, leaning her head against her hand, as she sat down on a desk.
“Our parents’ enemy is the one that we are fighting now,” Syaoran replied.
“Isn’t it scary to think that the enemy—or enemies had their hands on the Clow Cards, as well?”
“Well, at least it’s in safe hands now. Anyway, what are you going to do about the scroll?”
“We have to find it. But Syaoran-kun?” Sakura twiddled with her school tie, nervously.
“I… Do you… I mean… It’s kinda too late to ask, but then…”
“Get on with it…”
“Never mind. It’s nothing.”
* * * * * *
“How can you have lost it?” Tomoyo asked.
“I don’t know. Don’t rub it in. It just—disappeared.” Sakura frowned. “I better find it or else Kero-chan would kill me. Also it is a vital link to the past.”
Toying with her hair, Meirin came over to the desks and sat down. “It’s just like you to lose it, Sakura. Always, absent-minded. You weren’t like that long ago.”
“Hoe-e. It’s not my fault, is it?” Sakura didn’t take any offense from the insult.
“Then who’s is it?” Syaoran asked wryly.
“Fine, I’ll find it!” Bolting out of her chair, Sakura grabbed her necklace “Key that—“
Just then, Erika burst into the room. “Oh there you are Syaoran-kun. The soccer coach is finding you. Why aren’t you down at practice?”
Slapping his forehead, Syaoran exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, it was a Thursday. I almost forgot that we had practice today. Thanks.” Grabbing his sports bag, he ran out of the room.
“Did you lose anything, Sakura?” Erika asked sweetly.
“Oh. I could swear that I heard you say that you need to find something. Maybe I was mistaken. Also, we have cheerleading practice, if you remember.”
“Hoe-e, I’m late! Thank you for reminding me. I gotta go!” Sakura ran out of the room, also, leaving her bags.
Clucking sympathetically, Erika went to the cheerleading practice. With a sigh, Tomoyo picked up the stuff that Sakura left and went to her chorus meeting. She said to Meirin, “I really worry about Sakura-chan these days. She is so scatter minded. It’s because of all the energy drawn into making new cards. Still…”
With reflective mahogany eyes, Meirin replied, “I know that it is hard for her. It is hard for Syaoran as well. He changed since he came back from Hong Kong. I can’t explain how. He has changed mostly during 3 parts of his life. The first time was when he was three, and his father died. I don’t exactly remember him at that point, since I was only a baby, but then I do hear that he was more cheerful, sociable and bright, more like ordinary boys. Not that he ever had a chance to be completely ordinary. You don’t if you are born into the Li clan. The next time he changed was when he was around 9 years old, before he moved to Japan. That’s when our cousin, the one who looked after him the most, as an older brother, died. He took care of Syaoran’s training, discipline, and life, and was as close to him as an older brother. Syaoran was never the sociable, amiable type, yet after the death, he closed up even more. His face took a mask, with the deep frown and cold, defying eyes. He never smiled or laughed, and his voice was cool and short. The kind, caring side that I knew he possessed was hidden more than ever. But then, he came to Japan, and he changed again. He changed back more to someone that he might be, if he did not have to face so much tragedy. His hurt was starting to get healed again. He learned to open up his heart and love again. Thanks to… Sakura.”
“I never knew. You do know a lot about Syaoran, don’t you Meirin-chan.”
“No. There’s so much more to him than can ever be deciphered. He’s going through another change. I don’t understand him. He is like the fickle river, always changing it’s course of direction. Yet, I still will watch him flow any direction, whether it is towards me or away.”
* * * * * *
“Sakura-chan, are you okay?” asked Chiharu.
“Ha ha. Ha ha.” Sakura rubbed her forehead, where she had dropped her baton. She hadn’t done that in a long time. “It’s nothing new, is is?”
“But you’ve improved so much during the past few years,” she protested.
I’m so tired. I want to just sleep. But, I’m so worried about the lost Scroll. How will I find it? Who has it? Looking at the soccer field, Sakura spotted Eron with the ball, dribbling. Syaoran was chasing after him, running quickly with his agile legs. Suddenly, he looked up from the ball, up at her. Despite all the distance, their eyes met. Standing still, Syaoran frowned, indicating that he was worried.
Just then, the ball came flying from the air
“Hey! Watch out Li-kun,” someone called.
Quickly, Syaoran sensed where the ball was coming from with his Sight and kicked it hard to escape being knocked out. It swung into the goal on the other side of the field. He sighed in relief since he barely missed out getting bonked on the head and collapsed on the ground panting.
Everyone laughed at him for taking his eyes off the ball, yet awed as well, even though Syaoran had succeeded in getting a point for the opposite team. Putting his hand to the back of his head, Syaoran tried to cover up his embarrassment. Yet, when no one was looking, he glanced back at Sakura with troubled eyes.
“Nice going,” Eron remarked dryly. “I hope
you don’t do that in the actual game. I was passing to you to score for
* * * * * *
“Now we have the Five Force Scroll. Sakura is so stupid to let it slip from her like that,” Erika said.
“Poor cherry blossom. She is not faring
well from the new attacks. She’ll be half dead if she continues like that.”
Eron fingered the weathered scroll.
Wish-chan: Weee! I’m so glad that
I got over with the last 3 chapters. Okay! Now on with the action. He he…
Remember the picture with Touya playing the violin (one of my fave of him)
Part of the idea that Nadeshiko played the violin came from that… Also,
there was the anime episode “Sakura and the Calendar of Memories” or something
like that, where CUTE little Touya plays piano w/Nadeshiko, and they say
that Nadeshiko was good at composing music. Touya played a beautiful piece
(which Nadeshiko composed…gasp!). Yup, I fall for guys who are musically
talented. Syaoran… good at violin? He he… Doesn’t he look like he will
be? Though he sux at the recorder. Oh yeah… Ryuuren. Sorry Nuriko (from
Fushigi Yuugi) Just took his real name (Chou Ryuuen) and stuck an “r” in
the middle, to make it 7 letters like “Syaoran” and, one of Syaoran’s sister’s
name is Fan*ren.* I was gonna change the name, but got to lazy. Is my interpretation
of Nadeshiko kind of “different” from the gentle, beautiful, clumsy, women
she is? You’ll see… Oh yeah. No more flash backs to the past… for a while
(I think.) What’s with the harmony thing? I don’t know. Somewhere, I heard
this piece where by itself, it sounded rather gloomy. Yet, played with
the harmony to it, it was a really beautiful piece. Just to get the point
across, in this chapter, “loneliness might seem beautiful, yet together,
you can find true happiness and even greater beauty.”
Oh yeah! Sorry chapters are so long. I’ll “TRY” to make them shorter from now on. Comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. One more thing… he he… confusing flashbacks to Syaoran’s childhood, right? I’m making a fanfic about his past life… called “The Voice of the Wolf.” Just references to that.