New Trials Special: Sakura's Birthday
Pink Ribbon Trees
April 1...

Today... Today's my birthday!!! Sakura thought excited. It was a sunny Sunday morning, no school, no work.

"ONII-CHAN!!! IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!" Sakura shouted, thumping down the stairs. She jumped into the kitchen, expecting her smiling father to be by the oven, cooking hotcakes, her brother by the table setting the dishes. But it was all empty.

Oh yeah. Both her father and brother were away. Oh well. Sighing she sat down on an empty chair. No Kero-chan to eat cakes and sweets with, either. Thinking about it, she had no plans for the day. Most of her friends were busy with various things, or they were away. Maybe she could spend the day with Tomoyo-chan.

As if on cue, the telephone rang. Sakura picked it up. "Hello? Kinomoto residence."

"Sakura-chan?" Came Tomoyo's enthusiastic voice. "Happy birthday!"

"Thanks! Hey, are you doing anything today?"

"Well, I called you to tell you some bad news. I'm really sorry, but I have to go to the city with Mother today. I was planning to spend the day with you, and everything. I'll call you back later, when I get back. Maybe we can do something then. I'll give you your present later all right? Again, I'm really sorry."

"It's all right, Tomoyo-chan. I'm just grateful that you thought of it," Sakura said.


Is this lame or what? Sakura muttered to herself, walking down the street, looking into the windows of various pretty stores. Though the weather was beautiful, it wasn't a pretty spring. Flowers and leaves hadn't blossomed, and this year, the cherry blossoms hadn't started blooming in the neighborhood yet. She was slightly disappointed, because her birthday always had come with cherry blossom festivals. It's my birthday and I'm walking around all by myself.

Was there really no one to spend the day with? Chiharu was away in the countryside. Rika had piano lessons. Naoko went to the dentist.

Syaoran? Sakura drew out her handphone, hesitating to call his home. Well, here goes nothing. After several rings, she sighed. No one recieved the phone call.

Then, a pretty outfit on display caught her eye. She entered the store.

The saleslady cooed, "It looks beautiful on you miss. Its suits you perfectly."

Sakura swirled around the mirror, wearing a pretty skirt with matching jacket made out of soft pink material, complete to a beret. She really liked it. It made her look bright and cheerful, matching with the spring weather. Yet, she had no place to wear it. Well, that didn't matter. "I'll take it.  I'll like to wear it right now."


"Carrots, onions, curry," Syaoran said to himself as he walked down the town street, carrying a list of materials.

Sakura's heart skipped a beat. Just the person she had been looking for! By any chance, did he...

Looking up, Syaoran called, "Hi!"

"Hey... So, what are you doing?" Sakura asked, nervously.

"Groceries. Ha, a fine thing to do on a nice sunny Sunday, isn't it?" Syaoran replied.

"No, it's fine." Sakura bit her lips. Better than spending a birthday like this.

"Well, see you around." Casually with one hand in his khaki pants pocket, Syaoran walked away.

Sakura wanted to call out "wait," but she couldn't.


In the afternoon, Tomoyo called Sakura again. "Sakura-chan, I'm really sorry, but I don't think I'll make it back until late tonight. I really wanted to spend the day with you."

"It's all right, Tomoyo-chan. I don't mind," Sakura replied.

"So, what have you been doing, today?" Tomoyo asked.

"Oh, not much," she answered.

"Oh. Well see you tomorrow, at school then. I'll give you your present then." Tomoyo hung up her cellular phone, then frowned. Wait a second. Sakura's father and brother were away. All their friends were busy... Oh no! I think Sakura's spending her birthday all alone! How awful! Quickly, Tomoyo dialed Syaoran's phone number.

"Li residence," came a gruff voice.

"Syaoran-kun?!" Tomoyo exclaimed.


"What are you doing right now?"

"Not much."

"Err, by any chance, do you have idea what day today is?" Tomoyo asked patiently.

"Not really. Why?" Syaoran was growing more baffled.

"Do you actually know when Sakura's birthday is?"

"Of course I do!" Syaoran stated in pretend offense. "April 1."

"I know. And what date is it today?"

"It's..." Syaoran pondered to think.

"April 1," Tomoyo prodded.

"WHA--" Syaoran exclaimed. He glanced at his calendar. Sunday. April 1. He could have sworn it read a different date before. Well, the fact remained that today was April 1.  Then he slapped his hand to his forehead. "Oh shit."

"Well, yeah. That's all I'm trying to say. Bye!" Tomoyo hung up the phone.

Syaoran paced up and down his living room. Of course he knew when Sakura's birthday was. Yet, how could he completely miss it? He wasn't prepared. What could he do for her? And earlier, that morning, he just walked past her with out second thought. How could I ever forget today's April 1, Sakura's birthday. Imagine how hurt she must be with no one there for her.


"Hmm... was it too cruel to put a spell on Syaoran's calendar and mess it up so that he misses Sakura's birthday?" Erika asked.

"Yeah. The poor Cherry Blossom has to spend her birthday all by herself," Eron replied, his golden eyes flickering.

"But it's interesting watching her get hurt. She thinks that the Little Wolf completely forgot her birthday," Erika said.

"Ah, let's see what happens for the rest of the day." Eron smiled mysteriously.


It was growing dark. The Tomoeda neighborhood sky was tinted crimson and violet as the sun set. Ruefully, Sakura smiled as she slowly  walked down the sidewalk. Around her were busy people, running children, laughing couples. The night air was slightly chilly, and she drew her light rose colored jacket around her tighter. In ways, walking by herself, breathing in the cool night air and thinking soothed her as she sorted through the thoughts in her mind.

She thought of how she became a Card Captor, around five years ago. Meeting Kero-chan. Taking new responsibilities. Passing Yue's judgement. Encountering Eriol. Facing a new Dark Force.

And meeting Syaoran. Syaoran. She gazed up at the sky, with the steadily glowing Evening Star appearing. Why can't I be truthful to myself. Why am I so weary of the world? Why don't I just face my feelings, setting aside my cowardliness and hesitance?

This is the chance. Today is my birthday. Maybe I can accomplish something. Maybe I can talk to him.  Taking a deep breath, Sakura drew out her handphone and dialed Syaoran's number.

She gave a short laugh when no one answered. So much for that. Anyway, what would come from admitting her feelings to him? He told her, straight to her face that he had no feelings for her last winter.

To her suprise, someone tugged at her skirt. It was a little boy. Bending Sakura asked, "What's the matter?"

"Someone said to give this to you," the boy answered, handing her a pink heart shaped balloon.

"For me?" Sakura said, taking the balloon. "Wait, who?" But the little kid had already ran off.

Then, in her hands, the balloon popped, showering streamers and cherry blossom petals. A note floated down as well... Wait, who had used such techniques before?

Sakura read the note. "Come to King Penguin Park."

"Hoe?" Heedless, Sakura walked to the playground. She had nothing better to do, anyway. There was another pink heart balloon tied to the swing set.

The new note stated, "Follow the cherry blossoms."

Surprised, Sakura stared down to her feet. There was a trail of sakura petals carpeted across the ground, leading to behind the woods.


The little boy who gave Sakura the balloon came panting back to Syaoran. "I gave it to her," he said.

"Thanks. Here's your reward," Syaoran said, giving the kid money to buy cakes with.

The preparation was almost finished. Critically, he stepped back to observe his work with satisfaction. Then, he frowned. Tomoyo had said something about cherry blossoms always in bloom with Sakura's birthday. Yet, there was no sign of sakura trees, anywhere.


It was completely dark now. Cautiously, Sakura followed the flower petals which glowed in the blackness. Was this some kind of joke? Slightly shivering, Sakura gazed around her. Ever since she was little, she was slightly phobic about the forests. What if she was lost?

Then, she emerged in a clearing and was greeted by dozens of flickering lights glowing around her.

Someone came silently behind her, then covered her eyes with large, warm hands. "Guess who?"

Trying to peel away the hands, Sakura said, "Hey, what are you doing?"

"C'mon. Bet you don't know who this is," the person insisted, refusing to take his hands away from her eyes.

"Bet you I do, Li Syaoran," Sakura said, laughing.

"Charming! You knew who it was. Now, look around you, Sakura," Syaoran whispered into her ears, as he took his hands away from her eyes.

As Sakura's eyes focused, she saw that the luminent golden lights came from hundreds of candlesticks floating on the shallow pond in the forest.

Sakura blinked. It was like a fairytale setting. And around her were trees, rustling with beautiful pink blossoms. Cherry blossoms? She hadn't seen any yet, this year. It seemed as she tranferred from the bustling town of Tomoeda to a total twinkling fantasy setting in the middle of a fairy ball.

"How come you're not saying anything? It doesn't suit you?" Syaoran asked.

"No, it's not that. It's just it was so unexpected, I--"

"So, you don't like it?" Syaoran questioned, trying to keep the disappointment out of his voice.

"You're wrong. I love it." Sakura's emerald eyes brimmed with tears of joy.

"Really?" Syaoran looked up, eagerly.

"Really. It's so beautiful, like a dreamland. But one thing I don't get... The sakura trees..." Sakura trailed off as she saw the rose pink petals on the branches, blowing in the wind.

"Oh. Well, as you know, the sakura trees didn't blossom here yet. And I know that every year for your birthday, there's sakura blossoms. But, I didn't have the Flowery Card, and I really wanted you to have cherry blossoms."

"So, what did you use?" Sakura asked curiously, gazing at the dozens of trees all around them.

"Look closely," Syaoran said, pointing to the tree nearest to them.

Her mouth dropped as she peered closely. "They're pink ribbons!" Each tree had their branches tied with many pale rose pink ribbons, creating the effect of blossoms waving in the evening breeze.

"Did you do this all for me?" She could imagine Syaoran carefully tying each ribbon onto the branches of all the trees around the pond, lighting and setting afloat each candle onto the pond, sighing with exasperating when the candle tipped over and the light was put out.

Sakura said in a choked voice, "You went through all this trouble, just for my birthday? You didn't have to."

"I didn't have to, but I wanted to," Syaoran said, looking directly into her eyes. "I wanted to do at least this much for you."

Sakura stared into his amber eyes, reflecting the dazzling candlelight. Syaoran... All this for me...  He turned away announcing, "Cakes! No birthday is complete without a cake."

Sakura saw that a little table had been set up next to the pond lit with hundreds of candles. When she saw the cake, she burst out laughing. It was a strawberries and cream cake in the shape of Kero-chan's head. "Did you make it?"

"Well yeah. I wanted you to laugh, so..." Syaoran blushed.

"It's adorable! I bet it tastes good, too, since you made it."

"Blow the candles and make a wish," Syaoran urged.

"Okay." Taking a large breath, Sakura blew out all the candles in one go.

After making her wish, Syaoran and Sakura resumed in eating the cake, though they reflected it was a shame to mess up the duplicate of Kero's face. Finally, they were too full to eat and a good portion of the cake still remained.

Grinning wickedly, Syaoran said, "Look down at the cake. I have something to show you."

Unknowingly, Sakura bent down.

"Ha!" Syaroan shoved Sakura down, shoving her face right into the cake.

"WHAT!!!" Sakura shrieked, her face covered with whipped cream. "How care you!" Taking a handful of cake, she lobbed it at Syaoran's face. "I'm wearing a new outifit today, too!"

"I noticed," Syaoran said, carefully wiping away the cream that Sakura had thrown at him. The pale rose color of the soft jacket and short skirt set out her slim body and bright emerald eyes, not to mention the hat which was now lopsided, half falling off her head. After a while, he commented, "It looks cute."

"Hoe?" Sakura stopped midair from throwing the cake. Had he just complimented her? She blushed. "Err... Thank you so much for such a great birthday."

"No problem. It was worth it to see your face covered with cream." Syaoran grinned.

"That's not nice. But, well, I can't express in words how I loved all this."

"Don't try to, then," Syaoran answered, more seriously. "There are some things better unsaid."

It was too dark to see him carefully. Sakura smiled. Yet, the night had been perfect.

"So, what did you wish for when you blew out the candles?" Syaoran asked.

"I can't tell you that. It's a secret."

"C'mon. I'll tell you what I wished in my last birthday, then," Syaoran prodded.

"What did you wish for?" Sakura asked, curiously.

"I can't tell you that, either."


"Fine. Go home and look into the mirror," Syaoran said.

"Eh?" Sakura tilted her head, her golden brown falling down her back.

"Okay, so what did you wish?" Syaoran questioned again.

"It's still a secret," Sakura stated.

"CHEAP!" Syaoran retorted.

"Sorry," Sakura said, sheepishly. But she couldn't tell him the truth of her heart, yet.


At home, Sakura changed into her pajamas. She had a giddy, fuzzy, warm feeling inside her. Hmm... I wonder what Syaoran had wished for. It doesn't seem like Syaoran's type of thing to make wishes while blowing out candles.

Following Syaoran's advise,  Sakura carefully looked in the mirror. What was his wish? She was greeted with her own reflection, her sea green eyes bright, cheeks rosy, hair silky and windblown. Several times she blinked.

"Hoe? I don't get it. Syaoran wanted a mirror for his birthday? Why would anyone want a mirror?"


On a side note, at Syaoran's birthday...

"Eh? What'd'you give me a mirror for?" Syaoran asked, confused during his birthday. He held up a large oval mirror.

"Hoe? You said you wished for a mirror at your last birthday," Sakura replied, cluelessly.

"When did I ever say that?" Syaoran retorted, sweat-dropping.

"You did!" Sakura stated stubbornly. "At my birthday, you said, 'go home and look into the mirror to find out what I wish for.' "

Syaoran fell head over heels. "Please tell me she's joking!"

"Oh ho ho... Is Sakura-chan hopeless, or what?" Tomoyo said, laughing.

"Hoe-e! What are you laughing about," Sakura asked, hurt since her birthday present was being laughed at.


Wish-chan: Yeah, pure fluff for Sakura's birthday. Just finished it in time for Sakura's birthday. Sorry, it's not that good since I typed it up in a few hours. I just realized today that it was April 1, Sakura's birthday. And I needed to give her a b-day present. This is still a part of New Trials and happens in the "Second Arc" of New Trials.