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02: Sakura's Wonderful Friend

CCS
Episode # 2:
"Sakura's Wonderful Friend."
Story By: CLAMP
Summary Written By: Ichigo Kitty.

"Sakura!" called Keroberous hovering the air. "Sa-ku-ra!" Keroberous called again. Sakura turned over on her side still sleeping. "I can't eat anymore." said Sakura sleepily. "Who was it that set the alarm at 7? Weren't you gonna get up early?" asked Keroberous. Sakura opened her eyes but was still on her side. 'An Osaka accent? Nobody in my family has that accent.' thought Sakura to herslef.

She got up with sleepy eyes. "The TV isn't on, that means..." said Sakura sleepily. Then, Keroberous was right up in her face. "Aah!" Startled, she sat up and threw herself backward against the wall. Equally startled, he yelped and darted back. "What is it?" asked Keroberous. "A-A plush toy?" asked Sakura to herself with wide eyes surprised. "You're still not awake. Come on, get a grip!" Impatiently he rapped her on the head, and with a final click the memories settled in place. Sakura finally gasped. "That's right, the guardian of the Clow Cards." said Sakura. "Finally your awake." sighed Keroberous happily. "I am Keroberous, the guardian of the Clow Cards." said Keroberous with his paws on his hips.

'That's right, So it hadn't been all a dream after all.' thought Sakura as her mind replayed the scene: finding the book in the basement, opening it, and getting a couple of the biggest surprises of her life. Those magical cards had been scattered everywhere, and this creature hovering in front of her had asked her to collect them again. "It's a beautiful morning Cardcaptor Sakura." said Keroberous looking outside. Sakura sweatdropped and smilied a bit. "I told you I can't be a Cardcaptor." said Sakura almost laughing. "Humble, so humble." said Keroberous making the book float in the air with his powers, then he opened it. See? You got the Fly Card back too." Proudly he held it aloft. "See? See?" said Keroberous trying to show her "Although I got in something of a mess to get it back!" said Sakura looking kind of dissapointed as she looked away.

"Breakfast!" called her father from downstairs. "Hai!" Glad to escape, Sakura hurried to change and scramble downstairs. "Big Brother, Morning." Her brother regarded her with shocked eyes."You came down after I called only once! Is it gonna rain today?" "I had someone waking me up today!" Sakura huffed, then gulped at his puzzled expression. "I mean, the alarm clock." Flushing under his intense gaze, she turned slightly to address the framed photo of her mother. "Morning, Mother." said Sakura as she smilied. "Morning." said Fujitaka gretting them both. "Morning, Dad." said Sakura smiling brightly as she sat down at the table. "Mm, it looks delicious as usual today." "Well, it's better than the monster's," Touya observed cheerfully, then bit his lip to refrain from yelping out as she brought her foot down atop his. Perplexed, Fujitaka looked at his son's pained expression, and Sakura hurried to distract him. "Well Dad? We should eat." smilied Sakura.

Sakura soon finished her plate with her chopsticks, cleaning her plate as quickly as possible. "Thanks, I've had enough!" Hurriedly she jumped to her feet and crossed over to the sink."You really are in a hurry today." said her brother. "It's because I'm in charge of cleaning the classroom this morning," she answered blithely, then noticed an open tin of biscuits on the countertop. Neither Touya or her father were looking, and she grabbed a handful before scurrying to the stairs."Kaijou," Touya muttered under his breath.

Upstairs, Kerberos was curled up on top of the Clow book when she returned. "Welcome back." said Keroberous sitting up. "Here's a souvenir," Sakura offered, and handed him her contraband. "Wai!" Kerobeous cheered, and pounced upon the gift. It seemed he really did like sweets. "Well, I'm gonna go now." said Sakura "Kids nowadays are so busy," he lectured through a mouthful of food."My brother and dad will be leaving soon for school, so you can turn on the TV in my room after a while." "Your dad's still a student?" asked Keroberous. "He's a college professor." Sakura was rummaging through her dresser drawers now, searching for a handkerchief. "You can't leave the room when there are people in the house. Everyone would be too surprised." "Yeah." said Keroberous eating his candy. "Hoe!?" She'd turned back and found that she was addressing only an empty room. Where had he gone? Her eyes fell upon the clock and she forgot all about Kerberos. "It's this late already? I gotta go!" Quickly, she grabbed her hat and bag and ran for the door.

It was nice to be on her own, and not have to worry about keeping up with her brother. But it did mean that she wouldn't be seeing Yukito today. Unless...She was ahead of schedule. Maybe she could take a small detour. Before she'd even completed the decision, her skates were already gliding around the corner. His house wasn't far, and soon she was rolling to a stop outside his garden.

Yukito had a beautiful garden in front of his house, just full of flowers and artfully trimmed shrubbery. "This is Yukito's house." giggled Sakura. "But it is a early morning, and surely he wouldn't be out just now." said Sakura looking around. "What?" asked Yukito as he emerged from behind a large bush with a pair of clippers in his hand. "Ah! Oh, Y-Your here!" cried Sakura. Her cheeks went red and she looked down at her skates. How was she going to explain this? But he didn't inquire what she was doing, just stepped closer and smiled cheerfully.

"Good Morning, Sakura." said Yukito cheerfully. "Good Morning." blushed Sakura. "You're up early." said Yukito. "I'm in charge of cleaning up the classroom." "That's good of you." Her cheeks grew even hotter as he smiled, then an idea seemed to occur to him. "Oh, I know." Reaching down, he plucked three beautiful camellias from the low tree, and held them forward. "Do you want to have this for the classroom?" "Is it all right?" asked Sakura looking up at him. He nodded. Sakura took them, smilied and blushed. "Thank you, very much!" smilied Sakura happily. "Take care, and see you later." "I will! Thank you so much!" Sakura was skating backwards now, unwilling to take her eyes off him as he waved from his lawn. "Bye!" called Sakura as she alomost lost her balance. Finally, she had to turn the corner, and he disappeared from view. She clutched his gift to her chest and inhaled their delicate aroma, hardly able to believe her luck. "Today is a really good day!" smilied Sakura blushing.

It was a completely empty classroom that Sakura walked into that morning, and she bounced happily to her desk. It was extremely rare that she was first to arrive, and it was nice to enjoy the peace and quiet. She was about to open her bag when the door slid open again and Tomoyo walked through. "Your here early, Sakura." said Tomoyo closing the door in back of her. "Ohayo. You're here early too." smilied Sakura cheerfully as she ran over to her. "Ohayo gozaimas." There was an unreadable look in Tomoyo's eyes, but she was smiling as always as she approached her friend. "Are you in charge of something too?" asked Sakura. "No, I'm not. I just wanted to show you something." smilied Tomoyo. "Hoe?" asked Sakura as she blinked.

Tomoyo offered nothing more, but withdrew a camcorder from her bag and set it on Sakura's desk. " A Video?" asked Sakura. "I was able to film something extremely amusing last night." Tomoyo flicked a switch and pressed a button, and the tiny screen lit up with an image of the crescent moon. Sakura felt a tremor go through her when she recognized two tiny figures flying across the screen.

"Wha-What was that?" asked Sakura looking nervously as she sweatdropped. but Tomoyo only smiled and pressed another button. "This is an enlargement." The screen went snowy, then the sequence repeated itself. Only this time it was a perfect close-up shot. She could clearly see her face, alight with joy as she took her first flight, and she could clearly see Kerberos flying just ahead of her. She was so surprised that she squeaked and jumped out of her chair. "What's wrong, Sakura!" Kerberos burst out of her bag, baring his teeth and growling menacingly. "Clow Card? Where? I'll take it! Come on!" Both Sakura and Tomoyo regarded him with shocked expressions, and for a long moment nobody said anything. Overcoming her surprise, Tomoyo took the time to check her video screen again, then examine Kerberos more closely. "Oh... my," said Tomoyo as she then examined the image on the camera. She looked back at Keroberous again then, she finally said. "It's a striking resemblance!"

Explanations had to wait until lunch, when most of the class was involved in an intense game of dodgeball. Sakura and Tomoyo found a remote location behind the bushes, and settled down on a blanket to open their lunches. Kerberos was allowed out of her bookbag again, and he stretched and groaned before slumping down on the blanket."Oh, that was painful." sighed Keroberous. "Why did you tag along, then?" asked Sakura. "Well, I wanted to get a glimpse of how the Cardcaptor usually spends her day." said Keroberus as he floated in the air. Sakura groaned and focused solely on her food. What was it going to take to convince him that she didn't want to do it? "If you don't mind, would you like to introduce us?" asked Tomoyo. "His name is Kerberos." said Sakura looking at Keroberous. Keroberous smilied. Tomoyo fought to hide a grin as she regarded the tiny creature before her. "He sure looks different from his name." Sakura nodded. "He's more of a 'Kero'." smilied Sakura. "Really!" smilied Tomoyo as she clapped her hands together. "Hey, don't call me like I'm some frog!" he protested. "I'm Kerberos, the Beast of the Seal who guards the Clow Cards!" said Keroberous. "Clow Cards?" asked Tomoyo.

One of the boys playing darted around an opponent and lined up for the shot. Teammates cheering, he managed a solid wack on the head of another boy, and everyone laughed. His victim laughed too, and took off after his assailant with a cry for war. Nobody noticed that his shadow lingered for just a moment before catching up to the fleeing boy.

"And so," the now-more-aptly-named Kero concluded, thumping her nail file against the lid of her lunch box, "Sakura became Cardcaptor Sakura." That's wonderful!" Tomoyo enthused, paying no attention to the weary look in Sakura's eyes. "The Cardcaptor that protects the city from the catastrophe of the Clow Cards. That is so awesome!" "I can't do something that important!" smilied Sakura waving her hand up and down. "No, you can do it, Sakura! If you don't mind, can you show me how you use your magic?" asked Tomoyo grabing her hand.

Sakura cringed at her friend's pleading expression. Kero was no help at all, egging her on to show off. "Yeah, yeah, show her!" sweatdropped Kero. "But -" said Sakura. "It's all right, nobody's watching. Do a flashy little one!" said Kero. It was impossible to refuse. Sakura found the key in her pocket - she should really thread it onto something so she could wear it around her neck - and began the chant.

"O key that hides the power of the dark, reveal your true form before me! I, Sakura, command you under our contract. Release!" Just as it had the night before, it lengthened into a short staff, and Tomoyo clapped her hands with delight."You are able to use magic with a staff?" asked Tomoyo. "Yeah, although I need a Card." smilied Sakura holding onto her staff. "Like this." Kero suggested, holding up the Fly Card. Sakura bit back another groan."When did you -" asked Sakura surprised. "So, do you have a trademark pose yet?" asked Tomoyo. "What?" asked Sakura with a confused look. "Trademark poses and spells are the basic parts of being of a magical girl!" Tomoyo lectured enthusiastically, and Sakura whimpered. It seemed her friend was enjoying this more than anyone involved.

School ended, and students scattered in the courtyard to go home. The sun was low in the sky, their shadows stretching long across the ground below them. A shadow is such an integral subject; its presence taken for granted and completely ignored since the beginning of time. Thus no one even noticed when the shadows did not follow their owners home that evening, but chose instead to slide across the grounds and retreat back into the school.

(Eye Catch)

This time Sakura made sure Kero stayed at home before leaving for the day. After parting company with her brother and Yukito, she entered the courtyard of her school and rolled past the crowds of students. But there was an unusually large knot of them gathered under the archway of the building, and she found her passage blocked. "What's wrong?" she inquired of her friends, standing with the others and staring in shock. "Oh, Sakura-chan!" said Chiharu. "Look!" Rika directed her gaze forwards, and Sakura went pale when she saw what they were all ogling.

A mountain of desks and furniture had been piled up on the surface of the school track, too large and too high for anyone to even conceive of constructing. "W-what is this?" Sakura stammered. "I don't know it was like this when I arrived this morning," Rika murmured. It occurred to Sakura that this might not be the only mess, and the three of them ran upstairs to check on their own room. Sure enough, every desk in the room had been thrown into an awkward pile in the middle. "Who would pull a prank like this?" asked Chiharu. "But we're still the ones that have to clean up this mess, right?" said Rika. Everyone sighed, but they began the treacherous task of dismantling the mess. Tomoyo's eyebrows went up slightly when she walked through the door and saw their activities. "Morning, Tomoyo." sighed Sakura helping clean up the mess. "Good Morning. We seem to have a rather large predicament." Sakura nodded, and Tomoyo leaned in close. "Perhaps this is a Clow Card's doing?" suggested Tomoyo as she whisphered in Sakura's ear. Sakura quickly looked at Tomoyo worried.

"That's done by a Clow Card, all right," Kero evaluated later on, when they were having tea in Sakura's room. "That's what I thought." smilied Tomoyo as she clapped her hands together. "It was such a hassle to straighten things up," Sakura grouched. "But at least we didn't have any classes today." smilied Tomoyo. "Well, I was happy about that, but... but which Card would make a complete mess of our school?" asked Sakura as she looked at Kero.

"Well, I don't know," Kero admitted, and she blew her bangs out of her eyes in frustration. "But in any case, it's time for the Cardcaptor!" said Kero. "Why?" asked Sakura a bit nervous. "If it's a Clow Card's doing, you have to capture it!" ordered Kero. "I've been saying, that's impossible." smilied Sakura nervously. "And who was it that scattered the Cards away?" She flushed and looked away. "All right, we're going to the school tonight!" ordered Kero again. "Tonight?" Sakura's head jerked up at that, and she crossed her arms in an emphatic gesture. "No, not at night." "Why's that?" asked Kero.

"B-b-because the school at night..." She swallowed, picturing the pitch-black building and the nameless horrors that could be lurking there. What if there were ghosts? "No, no, no! I will not!" cried Sakura. "But there are some Cards that are only active at night." said Kero with his paws on his hips. "But it is true that the school at night can be a dangerous place," Tomoyo acknowledged. Sakura turned relieved eyes on her friend."Tomoyo!" smilied Sakura. "So I will come along with you!" Sakura fell over and hit the floor. Tomoyo's eyes were already gazing off into the distance, getting starry. "I must record Sakura-chan's bravery on video!" said Tomoyo. "W-Why?" whined Sakura getting off the floor. "Because it's my hobby!" smilied Tomoyo. "All right," Kero cheered. "The three of us are gonna go to the school tonight!" ordered Kero. "If that is the case, there is a bigger need for us to come up with a trademark pose." suggested Tomoyo. "Yeah! We'll start training now!" agreed Kero. "Hoeee!" cried Sakura.

The clock on the school tower read 9:00. Sakura shivered, although it was not particularly cold, as she gazed up at it through the bars of the school gate. It was so dark and quiet out here; even the moonlight was intermittent thanks to the clouds sailing across the sky. "I'm scared." whined Sakura. "It's all right, you're fine. I'm here with you!" laughed Kero coming from the flying stuffed animal, the words were not altogether reassuring. "I don't think I'll be fine." said Sakura. A set of headlights pierced the darkness, and Sakura turned to see a fancy black car coasting to a stop by the curb. It was followed shortly by an unmarked white van, and then both engines rumbled into silence.

"Did I keep you waiting?" Tomoyo inquired upon alighting from the car. "No, I just got here too. Hoe?" Three other ladies were getting out now, and a fourth from the driver's seat of the van. All were very tall and beautiful, dressed smartly in black suits and wearing sunglasses. "Allow me to introduce you. These are the family bodyguards." said Tomoyo. All four turned sharply towards Sakura and bowed. Dazed and nonplussed, Sakura returned it and they straightened. "Miss?" asked one of the body guards. "Yes. Please come pick me up when I call you." All of them nodded, and without another word they got in the car and drove off. Sakura could feel her jaw dropping as she watched them go. "Amazing, Amazing! There aren't many grade-schoolers that have bodyguards!" Tomoyo looked nonchalant. "Oh? Grade-schoolers that can use magic are even more rare." smilied Tomoyo. "I-I guess so." agreed Sakura sweatdropping.

"Anyway, please come with me." Eagerly Tomoyo pulled Sakura around to the back of the van and threw open the doors. Inside Sakura could see two rows of fabulously flamboyant and colorful costumes, decorated in every manner conceivable. Matching shoes and boots were arranged neatly beneath each, and she could see piles of hats on the upper shelves. "Hoe! What is all this?" asked Sakura looking surprised. "Now you should change." smilied Tomoyo. "W-Why?" asked Sakura scotting back from Tomoyo. "Sakura, you're going to go capture a Clow Card, right?" asked Tomoyo. "Uh-huh." nodded Sakura. "When you are doing special things, you must wear special clothes!" smilied Tomoyo. "Hoe?!" asked Sakura confused. "I totally agree!" Kero shouted, reemerging from her backpack. "If you don't go after them in clothes suitable for a Cardcaptor, you might lose the mental battle against the Card." said Kero. "I'm happy you understand how I feel," Tomoyo gushed, and took Kero's little paws in her hands. "So go change!" smilied Kero. "I also have hats for each outfit." smilied Tomoyo too. The decision seemed to have been made for her, and Sakura felt outnumbered as she looked at their adamant faces. "But -" whined Sakura. "Come on!" With surprising strength, Tomoyo snatched her wrist and pulled her in the van.

The end result was worse than anything Sakura could have wished for. By the time Tomoyo had raised her camera and started taping, Sakura was in a dark blue leotard that left her legs extremely bare, minus the knee high blue stockings. A vivid scarlet cape fastened around her neck, cloaking most of her body and covering her hair in a hood as well. "You look lovely, Sakura." said Tomoyo sweetly as she smilied as she kept recording. "This is embarassing!" cried Sakura. "There's nothing to be embarrassed about," Kero informed her, as Tomoyo nodded."Oh, that's right, I have something for you as well, Kero." said Tomoyo as she turned to Kero and stopped video taping Sakura. "For me?" asked Kero. Sure enough, she produced a bow to be tied around his little neck, in a material that matched Sakura's cape perfectly. "You match Sakura's outfit. Very cute." smilied Tomoyo as she taped Kero.

"You think so?" Unashamedly he posed before the camera while Sakura fidgeted nervously. Neither seemed to be in the least frightened, laughing and smiling like there was nothing to be scared of. Not like her. She was very aware of the darkness around them, and the first to jump and whirl around with her staff out. "What was that?" asked Sakura frighted. "Something wrong?" Kero hovered closer, following the direction of her rigid gaze, then stiffened. "This is the presence of a Clow Card." Hardly had the words left his mouth when the statue of the front courtyard came sailing around the corner of a building, barreling directly for them. Sakura shrieked and leapt back just in time, before it crashed into the pavement. "Calm down!" Kero shouted. "But-- It's floating, it's floating!" Sure enough, the statue was levitating again, floating up above them. "Sakura, Look!" Tomoyo whispered, and pointed to the ground. She had noticed what Sakura had not. In the pale and weak moonlight, the shadow of the statue fell limply across the concrete underneath it. Far more important, they could see the shadow of person holding the statue aloft. There was no person, but there was a shadow, and its arms flexed slightly as it prepared to throw. "A shadow!" Kero shouted. "Look out!" Sakura pushed herself and Tomoyo out of the way before the statue crashed down again. "Kero, is that a Clow Card?" asked Sakura. "That's -" started out Kero. All around them now, the ownerless shadows were sliding out of the school, snaking their way across the track grounds toward them. "-the doings of the Shadow Card!" yelled Kero. They were about to be surrounded completely, and Sakura made a decision. "Kero, stay with Tomoyo!." ordered Sakura.

"Leave it to me!" Sakura turned on her heels and sprinted away, making for the far side of the track. As she'd hoped, they turned to follow her, but that in itself was not a good thing. As quickly as she could she reached for her key and began to chant. "O key that hides the power of the dark...I Sakura, command you with our contract..."said Sakura. Tomoyo, safely hidden now behind the bushes of the schoolgrounds, zoomed in for a better shot. "She looks lovely!" whisphered Tomoyo lovingly. "... Release! Wind, become a binding chain. Windy!" It had worked for Fly, and she was hoping it would work here too. But to her despair, Windy merely passed through the dark masses of shadows writhing around her. Trying to wrap them up was useless; they merely parted and then reformed again. "Use the Fly Card and escape them for now!" Kero shouted from across the grounds, and Sakura ducked to avoid a shadow lunging for her. He was right; she had to escape for the moment. "Fly!" cried Sakura then, wings appeared on her staff and she began to fly. "It looks like the Shadow Card has collected the shadows of every student in this school," Kero observed. "It's impossible for Sakura to fight this many shadows." said Kero worried. "Is there any way around that?" asked Tomoyo still recording Sakura. Sakura was flying up ever higher, but the shadows were piling up high beneath her, reaching up with long dark fingers. "The students' shadows would disappear if there was a light shining on them.

After that, it's just the main body of Shadow. So we'd be done if we bind that with magic. But it's night right now." said Kero. "Leave things like that to me," Tomoyo assured him with a conspiratorial wink. The shadows were inside the school too, and Sakura frantically tried to dodge the desks they were throwing out the windows. "This is why I said it was impossible! What can I do?" asked Sakura focusing on the broken windows before her, she didn't see the shadows snake up from below and wrap a tendril around her staff. But she did feel the sharp tug downward, and let out a startled shriek. "Let go of me! Help! Help!" yelled Sakura. She didn't know who she was screaming out to, but she only felt a rush of terror as she was pulled inexorably downward, and put every ounce of effort into flying upward. But the shadows were strong, and it was a losing battle. Then, suddenly, all the lights surrounding the track snapped on. Everywhere, the classroom windows were lighting up, one after another. Sakura blinked at the sudden shift, her pupils contracting rapidly to adjust. It was only after her vision cleared that she realized the blob of darkness beneath her had vanished. She was free.

"Hoe? All the shadows are gone?" asked Sakura. "Sakura!" called out a voice, then Sakura saw Kero and Tomoyo were waving at her from one of the windows and she soared closer. "The shadows all disappeared." smilied Sakura. "Everything but the main body disappears when you throw light on it." said Kero. "It's impossible to turn on the sun," Tomoyo added modestly, "Thank you, Tomoyo." smilied Sakura brightly. "Sakura!" Kero extended a short arm to point back down to the surface of the track. A furtive and cloaked figure was traveling quickly over the exposed ground, hastening out of the range of lights. "That's the main body!" pointed Kero. "All right!" Sakura nerved herself and zoomed forward, accelerating even as she had to take evasive action to avoid its thrusts of dark attacks. "Now, Sakura!" Tomoyo cried. "Show em the result of your special training!" Kero called out. Sakura's shoes scraped over the earth and she skidded to a halt, flicking out her first Card. "Windy!" summoned Sakura. This time the force of wind was able to ensnare the tangible form of Shadow, squeezing it and trapping it while Sakura raised her staff. "Return to the guise you were meant to be in. Clow Card!" called out Sakura as she slashed her staff down. The hooded figure writhed for a moment, then reluctantly dissolved and materialized in the Card under the beak of her staff. "All right! She did it! Nothing less from Cardcaptor Sakura!" Kero's voice was thin and distant in her ears as she bent over to pick it up. Her second capture in as many days. She had done it. With a little help from her friend, she had done it. Maybe she could handle this after all. Tomoyo continued to film Sakura from the window with a hint of satisfaction in her smile. "This is splendid." blushed Tomoyo.

--------------------------------------------------------

"Chiharu, have you seen Tomoyo?" Chiharu paused to point behind her. "I saw her going into the Audio/Visual room.""Arigatou." Sakura nodded and skipped down the hall, pausing just before opening the door to pull the pink-wrapped gift from her pocket.

"Tomoyo-chan? Thanks for everything last night. I brought this as a thank you -" Her words died on her lips as she saw herself on the giant screen opposite, struggling to escape the clutches of Shadow on her winged staff. "I'm glad this film came out so well," was all Tomoyo had to say. Sakura fell over on the floor and got back up. "Y-you were even filming that?" she wailed looking down at her feet.

"Of course. I cannot miss even one second of your bravery, Sakura." She took her hands, eyes pleading. "From now on, please call me anytime you're going to go capture Cards! We must record the wonderful job of the Cardcaptor on film!" smilied Tomoyo. "T-tomoyo..." said Sakura embarrassed. "And furthermore, leave it to me for all the costumes. Next time, I'll have more frills, and add a ribbon!" smilied Tomoyo. "HOEEEE!" wailed Sakura.

Tomoyo was not even looking at her anymore, she realized, nor listening to her. Her violet eyes had an enraptured look to them, and she was gazing off into the future. And Sakura realized right then that she had absolutely no chance of interfering with Tomoyo's plans. The pattern had been set, and this was how things were going to be. On screen, Sakura finished examining her newest Card and turned her face up to flash a grin at the camera. And then, on a whim, she displayed the Card and opened her fingers into a V. A sign for victory.

-Ending Credits.