Hello minna-san! ^-^ I’ve wanted to write this story for a long time now. ^-^ I thought it would be fun to play on an old fairytale and force Sakura to figure out her feelings at the same time. If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions, please e-mail me. ^-^ Thanks for reading! *hugs*
By Amazoness Duo
Gazing down at her sleeping form in the dark, I smile gently, lifting the blanket to cover her. Its times like this that make me realize how lonely my room normally is. The spacious confines where I keep my things seems like a bare cavern without her here. The darkness surrounding my bed in the large room is almost intimidating on its own. I usually have a video of her playing while I sleep. My room is practically a shrine to her, a constant reminder of her to me. Having her here… I quell the sudden wave of dizziness that threatens to overwhelm me just by her presence. She could never know the joy I felt just by her accepting my offer to spend the night. My fingers ever so gently brush through her beautiful short hair. She’s sleeping so peacefully. Lying next to her, I can’t help but feel some anxiety building at the bottom of my stomach. She is so perfect. Why can’t anyone see that? Never mind that; Li-kun already seems to notice. So the real question is why can’t I be the one to be there for her? A soft sigh escapes my lips. Of course not. I already got lucky enough to have her as my best friend. What are the chances that I could get that lucky again? Still…
Sakura-chan looks like an angel. No, a goddess. Her gorgeous face looks up towards the heavens in its quiet slumber. It must have taken all of the artists in those same heavens to create such a beautiful creature as she. Dazedly, I find my fingers wandering across her warm cheek, pressing softly against it. There’s so much to say to her. But I already told her I’d explain when we were older. Anything I say would just confuse her. Or worse. So I’ll just let you sleep a little longer, Sakura-chan. When you’re older… My mind races for a moment, wondering if that day will ever come. Or maybe I was just fooling myself that I’d ever be able to truly explain to you how I feel. Leaning closer to her, I release another sigh. I can feel her breath against my face. You’re so wonderful, Sakura-chan. Oh, how I love you…
My lips are almost touching hers now. Just another inch. Those lips… I’ve dreamt about them, about her. Licking my suddenly dry lips, that anxious feeling increasing by leaps and bounds. So close… My hand gently strokes her soft cheek. Eyes flutter shut as I lean forward…
Sitting back up, I let out a frustrated cry. I can’t bring myself to do it. How can I steal her first kiss? No matter how much I want to, I can’t do that to her, even if she would never know. Just like how she’ll never know about how I feel. Shaking my head, I try to stop that line of thought before it gets any further.
Whenever she’s around, my world feels complete. Whenever she’s not there, she’s all I can think about. I need her to live. I need her to be there, just as I need her as my best friend. I couldn’t live without that. But I want… I want her to hold me. I want to fall asleep in her arms, to wake up by her side, to tell her everything with a smile.
Sitting on the edge of my bed, it seems like hours have passed. I’m not thinking about anything in particular. At least, nothing I can quite recall. My thoughts are on her. Its tempting to wake her up here and now and pour it all out to her, let her know once and for all exactly how I feel. Does she suspect it at all? Or does she just think I act strangely. A giggle almost surfaces at that. Maybe I do act a little strangely, but that’s just because no one understands to what extent Sakura-chan’s wonder lies. If they did, they’d do the same. She’s the most beautiful thing I could videotape. She dwarfs everything else I possibly could catch on film. She makes the costumes I sew look alive. They’re spectacular when they’re on her. She gives life to my designs. Everything about her touches me to the farthest reaches of my soul. How could I not treat her the way I do? How could I ever love someone else?
She looks so radiant lying there in the pale moonlight. So peaceful. I can’t disturb that. Tomorrow. I’ll tell her tomorrow. Or the next day…
I shift around under silky sheets, trying to get comfortable again so I can get back to sleep. The bright light filtering through curtained windows makes that almost impossible. Finally giving in to the inevitable, I yawn tiredly, sitting up in bed. A moment of disorientation hits me before I remember where I am. This is Tomoyo’s room and I’d been spending the night. I yawn again and stretch, wondering if maybe I should go back to sleep. Nah, that would be rude. And now that I’m up, I’m not that tired anyway.
Scooting over to the edge of the bed, I swing my legs over the side. My bare feet brush against the soft carpeting, feeling soft and warm under my toes. Glancing around, I notice that the only thing missing from Tomoyo’s room seems to be Tomoyo. She had been right here last night. Did she already go for breakfast? I finally spot her asleep at her desk, her head on her arms. How long has she been there? Not all night, I hope. Poor girl. Getting up, I pad along the soft carpet to her side, careful not to wake her. Her long white nightgown looks much more elegant than my pajamas, I note. But then, Tomoyo always has been more elegant. Sometimes I envied that. From her beautiful singing to the designs she made to the way she acted. Her mother made her keep her hair long, but that didn’t keep her from pulling off some ravishing hairstyles. The boys must be crazy for her.
Of course, there were rumors from time to time. I always tried to quash them, but Tomoyo never seemed to mind. ‘Scary Tomoyo’. I hate when schoolmates would say things like that about her. She’s just… unique. That’s all. When it comes down to it, she’s the most trustworthy, sweetest person I know. But that never protected anyone from nasty rumors.
I can’t help but sweatdrop when I see the half finished sketch peeking out from under her arms of me in another costume. It really does look beautiful from what I can see. She puts so much into them. Wearing them is the least I can do for all her help. Brushing some of her silky dark hair away from her face, I smile down at her. My smile fades immediately when I see her. Something’s wrong. Her normally serene face looks troubled, almost painfully so. That’s something I don’t really see much on her, and never this bad before. Her pale cheeks are red and puffy, as if she’d been crying. Did she cry herself to sleep? But why? And why didn’t she wake me up? She knows I’d try to help. “Tomoyo-chan…” I let out sadly. My hand goes to her shoulder, but I don’t know if I should wake her or just wait.
Tomoyo stirs against my touch, making the decision for me. Sitting up, her dark hair cascades down her back. She blinks sleepily, a hand going to her face as she brushes some hair from her eyes.
“Sakura-chan? I’m sorry. I wanted to wake up before you so I could get breakfast ready. I must have slept in,” she says in her normally soft voice. She attempts to stand up, but I keep my hand gently on her shoulder to make sure she stays put.
“Tomoyo-chan, what happened last night? Were you crying?” I ask quickly, urgently.
The dark haired girl blinks a few times, apparently caught off guard. Her fingers brush past her cheek as if she’s trying to recall the events of the night before. Her face sinks into an almost desperate look before her smile that I know so well returns. Tilting her head to the side, she flashes me that smile, her eyes closed and her hands on her lap. “I’m so happy Sakura-chan was concerned for me. Arigato, Sakura-chan.”
I shake my head, concern still gripping me. “But why, Tomoyo-chan? Why were you crying? Why didn’t you wake me? I’d have wanted to help,” I argue. “I’m your best friend. Whatever it is, I’m always here to help you. You’re very important to me. I don’t want to see you sad. You can always tell me anything.”
Tomoyo looks away for a long moment. Silence envelops us as I await her answer. When she looks back at me, she’s smiling again. “It was nothing. I was watching an old video I have of you that always gets to me. That’s why I didn’t wake you up, because I was watching you bravely capturing Clow Cards despite your life being in danger.” She sighs dreamily as she often does, a hand going to her cheek. I’d usually blush, but right now there are more important things to worry about. “Sakura-chan makes such a wonderful magical girl.”
“I’m serious, Tomoyo-chan. What’s going on? What aren’t you telling me? And don’t tell me that you were just crying over a videotape of me,” I say sternly, trying to force the point. I don’t want to, but I need to know. What’s she hiding from me? I thought I was her best friend.
I sit there, blinking uncomprehendingly at Sakura as my mind races to find a suitable explanation. Why isn’t she believing me? Whenever I pretend that I’m happy like this she’s fallen for it. Every single time. She never realizes that I’m hurting, that I’m masking how I truly feel. Because I don’t want to burden her with that. Because I don’t want her to have to deal with my problems. She’s my best friend. That’s good enough for me. If she knew when I was hurting inside, if she knew that it was always about her…. So why now? How did she all of the sudden see through my illusions this time? Sakura, this would be so much easier if you’d only let me pretend that everything was alright all the time. I do it for you. Why can’t you let me have that at least? Please, please don’t ask much further. I don’t know if I could ever say no to you.
What I’d told her wasn’t truly a lie. It was more a slight bending of the truth. I had watched one of my videos of her last night. My favorite one. I believe it truly shows how wonderful she is. But that wasn’t why I was crying. I’d been crying since a while before that as I’d watched her blissfully sleeping form. It was about whether I’ll ever be able to tell her how I really feel. And if it even matters. I used to be able to tell myself that as long as she was happy, I would be as well. But now… The thought of forever being forced to watch her from afar, to never be able to have what I so dream of almost tears me apart. The knowledge that all of my dreams are nothing more than that. Maybe I’d been fooling myself just as much as I’d been fooling her that I was happy.
I’d finally fallen asleep while trying to draw a new costume for her. I think it would have come out better if I’d been able to see through the tears. I’ll need to start it over again. Sakura deserves better than that. She deserves the best. How I wish I could be the one to give her the best. But I’ll always be there for her. I’ll help her through whatever I can, so I can make sure she winds up happy, no matter the results. I’ll be your guardian angel, Sakura.
Sakura’s still staring at me expectantly, a little worriedly. I smile a little more, hoping that she will believe in me this time. “Its nothing, Sakura-chan. I was thinking too much about the future is all. It was late and I hadn’t had much sleep from all the costumes I had been working on this week. I guess it was just too much for some reason.” She looks disappointed at my answer. Her shoulder’s slump as she rubs one of her arms.
“Tomoyo-chan…” Sakura pleads, her emerald green eyes begging me to be honest with her. Why are you doing this to me? I’m trying to protect you, Sakura. I don’t want to put you through this. At least not until you’re older. Don’t make me tell you now. Not now.
Why is she lying to me? Tomoyo won’t tell me why she was crying. But she can tell me anything. She knows that, doesn’t she? Her stormy blue eyes betray her soft smile, the turmoil in them leaping out to me. I reach out to her, but for once she shies away. I swiftly bring my hand back as if singed. How could this be happening? Whatever it is, it must be pretty bad if she won’t tell me. If she won’t trust me. I feel tears of my own welling up, but I can’t let those fall. Tomoyo needs me, even if she won’t tell me what’s going on. I sigh, frustrated. “Alright, Tomoyo-chan. You don’t have to say anything. Maybe this is another one of those things I won’t understand till I’m older.”
Tomoyo blinks those stormy blue eyes of hers at me, watching me intently, quizzically. “Sakura- chan?” her soft voice ringing in my ears.
Even with that fragile look on her ivory face, I can’t help but ball my fists in anger. “I’m sure you’ll have a whole lot to tell me when I’m older, huh? I guess I’m still too much of a child to understand anything, huh? I’m just too immature for you to trust, is that it?” As soon as those words are out, I instantly regret them. I open my mouth to apologize, but the damage is already done. My heart breaks in two as I see those hurt blue eyes turned up at me as if asking how I could say such things. My heart catches in my throat as I take a step back, trying desperately to put right what had gone wrong.
How could she say that? I’m doing this for her. I don’t want to hurt her. Does she really think I don’t trust her? Oh, Sakura-chan, I just don’t want to hurt you… Hot tears roll down my face as Sakura stares at me from a few feet away, her mouth finally closing after trying to say something. Wiping at my stinging eyes, I bolt past her to my door. It surprises me that she doesn’t try to stop me from leaving. That just makes it hurt even more as I head barefoot down the stairs, my tears making everything a blur as I try desperately to get away. I love you. Don’t you know that? I’d do anything for you. I never want to hurt you…
What have I done? I slump back on Tomoyo’s bed, burying my face in my hands. What I’d give to take that back. The Time Card? No, I probably couldn’t just stop myself from saying something. It looks like I’m on my own this time. Why did that have to slip out? Of course she trusts me. Whatever they are, she has her reasons for keeping them from me. Lashing out at her like that must have hurt her terribly. I just… I wanted to know what she won’t tell me. What can it be that she’d go to the lengths of hiding it from me? And she was pretending to be happy so I wouldn’t know she was hurt. But why? We’re supposed to be there for each other. She’s always there for me. Why can’t I be there for her? Why won’t she let me?
I sigh as I sit up on the bed, trying to think of where Tomoyo may have gone. Her mom was way too overly protective of her, so I doubt she left the house without her bodyguards. So she was probably still here somewhere. But it’s such a big place. The thought of looking for her through the whole place seems daunting. I have to find her and apologize. I need to make things better between us. She means too much to me. I can’t lose her. Taking a quick glance around her room, I take in the many costume designs, videos, and unfinished costumes. All for me.
Kami-sama, what did I do?
Its cold out here. My feet are already numb from walking across the cold damp grass. I hug myself tightly, my body still wracked with sobs as her words come back to haunt me. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. She wasn’t supposed to know I hurt. She should have just waited until she was older and happy with someone else so I could watch her, be there for her, and completely forget about that little promise that I’d tell her that I love her.
Uncertainty crashes over me like a wave breaking against the shore. Should I have just stayed and told her? Get this out in the open once and for all? It would prove that I still trust her and once and for all she’d know exactly how I felt. But would she understand? Would she understand the depth of how I feel? Just how much she means to me? How much I love her? A moment with her is worth a thousand deaths. Her smile is worth all the pain and misery this world has to offer. She’s and angel that lights my life from the midnight darkness that encompasses me. I want her to know that, but I fear that it would ruin things. That my angel would be frightened of me, no longer shining her light upon me. If I put it off, told her when she was older, then I could hope she’d understand more fully how I felt, even if it was from her love for someone else. Then maybe it wouldn’t ruin everything. I can’t live without her friendship. Like a flower without water, I’d shrivel up and die. I need you, Sakura… Please…
Tears drip down off my chin. There’s so much to say, but its as if I can’t find my voice. I want to tell her with every piece of my soul, but I’m so afraid I’ll lose her. I’ve been paralyzed with indecision for so long and now I’ve ruined everything. If only I’d said something sooner. But then, would I still have lost her? Sakura-chan…
Sakura thinks I don’t trust her, that I won’t tell her because I can’t use her help. I have to prove to her that that’s not the case. I have to let her know. Will that make things better? Please let it make things better. I just want to be your friend again. Forever. Standing up slowly, I shiver in the cold morning air. I gather my resolve and turn back to the house. This is it. I’ll tell you everything, Sakura-chan. I’ll finally tell you just how much you mean to me.
For a long moment, I wonder if my tears are still blinding me. That can’t be her, can it? But it is. Sakura’s heading towards me, a worried expression etched on her face. I muster up a smile to try to convince her everything’s alright. I start running towards her. “Sakura-chan!”
There she is! She was in the backyard the whole time. Poor thing, its far too cold for that right now. I need to get her inside and apologize quickly. I just hope she’ll listen. Of course she will. This is Tomoyo, afterall. And she’s.. smiling? I can’t help but return the smile. Maybe I didn’t screw things up as badly as I’d thought. Maybe…
I stumble forward as I sense the Clow Card moments before it hits. The glow envelopes Tomoyo in a bright blue hue. It slowly fades away as Tomoyo drops to the cold grass in a jumble of ribbons and dark hair. “Tomoyo-chan!!” I yell as I run up beside her, falling to my knees. Grabbing her shoulder, I give her a shake, hoping she’ll open those pretty dark blue eyes of hers again, smile her usual smile at me and everything will be back to normal.
She lays there almost deathly still in front of me. My heart thunders in my chest as my hopes are dashed. “Tomoyo-chan, please get up. Please…” My arms go around her as I pull her close to me, tears spilling from my eyes onto her cold cheek. I sit up suddenly, wiping at my tears. I felt her breathing. Softly, almost sleepily. Is that… Is she asleep? Almost in answer, Tomoyo rolls over on her side. A sigh of relief escapes my lips. I was so worried that she’d been hurt. But what did the Clow Card do? Is she okay? Will she be alright?
I shake her again hoping she’ll wake up, but nothing happens. It figures. Clow Cards can never be simple. Neither can my life, it seems. Right when things looked like they would work out for the best, this had to jump in the way.
I softly brush my fingers through her dark hair. Don’t worry, Tomoyo-chan. I won’t let anything happen to you. I’ll find a way to help you. No matter what.
I can hear Kero yawn tiredly after he picks up the phone Tomoyo had given me to keep us in touch. She always seems to call when I’m feeling bad. I wonder how she does that. The irate voice of the Seal Beast calls me back from my wandering thoughts. “Sakura-chan, what is it? I was having the most wonderful dream. There was this giant cake and I…”
“A Clow Card got Tomoyo-chan,” I say quickly, cutting him off. I know that will just irritate him even more, but I don’t have time. Tomoyo needs my help.
“It had this giant strawberry on to…”
The Seal Beast finally stops relating his dream to me over the phone. I can hear him yawn tiredly again before answering. “A Clow Card? Which one? What’d it do?”
In a rush of words, I pour out what had happened to Kero, praying that he’ll know what I need to do to save Tomoyo. There has to be something to wake her up. I wait silently on my side of the phone, waiting anxiously for his answer. It takes me a long moment to realize that I’m holding my breath.
“Hmm…” I can see him scratching his chin on the other side of the phone in my mind. I almost smile for a moment before the gravity of the situation forces the thought away. “It sounds like the Sleep Card. It must have been drawn to her for some reason. I’d say it’s got its love spell on her.”
“What? What’s that supposed to mean?” I switch the phone to my other ear as I pace back and forth worriedly. Glancing down at Tomoyo, I sigh, closing my eyes.
“It put her to an eternal sleep to keep her from the pain of love. That’s its way of helping people that are being caused too much anguish by those sorts of things, ya know?” The Seal Beast yawns again on the other side of the phone.
“But… How could it… Why did…” I take a deep breath, trying to get a clear grasp on my thoughts. “So Tomoyo-chan was…..” My eyes go wide as realization dawns on me. “That’s why she was crying last night. It was over who she’s in love with.”
“Tomoyo-chan was crying over it? But she never seems to get affected by anything. Well, anything but you,” Kero corrects himself. “That must be it. It really must have been hurting her, so sleep thought her eternal slumber would be much more peaceful for her, where she could dream of her love and won’t get hurt.”
“Poor Tomoyo-chan,” I whisper softly. I had no idea she had been hurting so badly. My fingers gently brush past her pale cheek. She looks so peaceful lying there, dreaming sweet dreams. But I need to wake her up. Because I need her here with me. “But how do I help her, Kero-chan?” I demand, my voice quavering.
“Oh, that one’s easy,” the Seal Beast assures me.
“Yeah?” My voice nearly fails me as I hang on to his words.
“You just have to get her true love to kiss her. She’ll wake up as soon as that happens, her stormy heart finally calmed.”
Standing there, I stare at the phone. Her true love? How am I supposed to find that? She never talks about any of the boys at school, or anybody else for that matter. Who could it be? “But I have no idea who that is!”
Silence reigns over the phone for what seems like an eternity. “Can I go back to sleep then?”
I slump heavily back on Tomoyo’s bed after I finally reach her room, her body lying on top of me. Her long dark hair goes everywhere, some of it blinding me as it covers my face. I have Tomoyo’s pale, cold body in my arms. It had been a struggle getting her all the way here from outside, but I couldn’t leave her where she was. It just hits me as a lie here that I should have used the Power Card before attempting to carry her to her room. I gently try to push her off of me onto the bed but it proves more difficult than I thought it would be.
After a few tries, I finally roll her onto her back on the soft bed. As I sit up and catch my breath, I silently watch her peacefully sleeping form. My eyes start to blur, a tear trickling down my cheek. I just want her to wake up and be alright. But that won’t happen, will it? She’ll only wake up if I can help her. But I don’t know how. She’s never told me about anyone she likes, let alone loves. She’s hinted at it, sure. Like when she told me she’d be happy as long as the one she loved was happy, but she’s never told me who that was.
Pacing frantically around her room, ignoring the cold in my own body, I search for anything that could provide me with a clue as to who she loves. I go through all the things on her desk, but there are just pictures of costumes for me and some cloth and things. Nothing. Part of me worries that I shouldn’t be digging through her things, but this situation calls for it. Besides, I know she trusts me. There’s nothing here she couldn’t tell me. ‘I’ll tell you when you’re older…’ I wince as that thought goes through my head. What had she meant? She doesn’t really think I’m immature enough that I won’t understand, does she? What did she want me to wait for? I push the thought away. Of course she trusts me. She’s always told me how important I was to her.
My search becomes more harried and desperate as everything I find turns out to be a dead end. Sifting through a neatly stacked pile of her tapes turns up nothing. All the titles are just about me. Sighing, I run both hands through my hair, trying to think of something, anything, that will show who Tomoyo’s love is. A diary? Does she keep a diary? Or maybe in her notebooks. I used to draw pictures of Yukito in my notebooks. Maybe she’s done the same. Could it be onii-chan? She used to blush around him.
No matter how hard I look, I can’t find a diary. I thought she might have a video diary, but all the titles for the videos I could find didn’t sound like it. When she told me I was the only thing she liked to videotape, I guess she was serious. I spent a while looking for it, but I’m not sure if she has one. I’ll have to ask her if she wakes up. When she wakes up. Because she will. I’ll find out who she loves if it kills me. And I’ll make him kiss her if I have to.
Her notebooks didn’t really help, either. They’re filled with her notes and pictures of me as Cardcaptor Sakura. I recognize some of the costumes I’m wearing in them, actually. Some of the ones I don’t recognize seem to be design sketches for when she finally does make the costume. I sweatdrop as I flip through the notebook, noticing some of the odd costumes she has in mind. Shaking my head, I try to be more serious. I promise I’ll wear ever single one of the costumes Tomoyo makes as long as she wakes up. The only thing left that I can think of is that its onii-chan. But that doesn’t feel right. And I know Touya doesn’t feel that way about Tomoyo. But if I figure out that he is the one she loves, I’ll make him. I shiver a little at the thought of someone else having to kiss Tomoyo to wake her up. I wish there was another way. But then, why should I feel bad about it if the person kissing her is the one she loves? Hoe… This is all so confusing.
Reaching out, I brush her dark hair away from her face, smiling tearfully at my best friend. She looks at rest this time, not the sad look on her face she had when I’d woken her up the first time this morning. The Sleep Card seems to think this is for the best, that she won’t hurt anymore this way, but it hurts me looking at her like this. The thought that I’ll never be able to have her with me again sends shivers down my spine. Am I being selfish? Is she really better off this way? Wiping my tears from my eyes with my pajama sleeve, I shake my head. I need her. I don’t want to go on without her like this. “Oh, Tomoyo- chan,” I whisper. “Please wake up. Please just open your eyes and tell me it’s alright like you do so often. I need to hear that. I need to know you’re there. I need you.” I bury my head against her side, hot tears rolling down my cheeks. Sobbing against my unconscious best friend, I wind up falling asleep myself.
What? Where am I? I feel disoriented. Blinking tiredly, I try to get a look around the room but I can’t see past the soft white cloth in front of me. For a moment I think it’s my pillow before its movement startles me. I stay deathly still, not quite awake enough to grasp what’s going on. The cloth keeps moving up and down in a soft, relaxing rhythm. Yawning, I almost allow the gentle motion to lull me back to sleep before a sense of urgency starts gnawing at me. There’s something I need to do, but what? And why is it so important. Trying to wake myself up, I stretch out with a yawn. My hand travel’s across the soft cloth before the texture changes. Its smoother, warmer now. Blinking curiously, I sit up, wiping some saliva from the edge of my mouth. It feels as if the whole world has come crashing down on me at the sight. Tomoyo- chan… She’s still asleep, breathing gently as if she doesn’t have a care in the world. Part of me clings to the idea that it was all a dream, that she’s really just fine, but after shaking her for over a minute with no response I have to give up on that hope.
My shoulder’s slump as I watch her sleeping peacefully. I should be out doing something to save her but all I’ve done for the past two hours was sleep. Two hours? I glance over at her clock and push the sleeve of a costume out of the way to make sure I hadn’t mistaken the time. I haven’t. How could I have been out for two hours? She needs me and I wasn’t even doing anything to help her. But she felt so nice, so warm. I was so sad and worried, but when I was lying there against her, it all seemed... peaceful. Warm. Like everything was perfect. She always makes me feel that way. That’s part of why I want her to wake up so badly. “Oh, Tomoyo-chan... What am I supposed to do? I usually have you here to help me when dealing with things like this. I don’t know if I can do it on my own.” Brushing back some of her long grayish black hair from her shoulder, I stop at the curls at the end of the lock of hair I’m holding. I move the soft hair around between my fingers as I take a deep breath.
“I never did get to cut your hair like you wanted me to after Yukito cut Touya’s hair. And there are a lot of costumes I haven’t been able to where for you. And you haven’t been able to videotape all those things you said you wanted to, like me getting married and all. If you wake up, I promise I’ll do it all for you. I’ll cut your hair, I’ll wear the costumes, I’ll let you videotape whatever you want. Just please wake up, Tomoyo-chan.” I clasp one of her snow white hands with both of my own and bring it up to my cheek, fighting back the tears that threaten to spill out anew. “There was so much you seemed to have planned. For me, for the both of us. You can’t just sleep forever. You can’t.” Part of me wants to demand to know who she loves so I can save her but the other part knows it would be pointless. I’ve wracked my brain over and over again and I can’t think of anyone. Except Touya, but she blushes that same way around me even more often, so I don’t have much hope in that. I lightly stroke her pale cheek, vowing to find out who it is. She smiles softly in her sleep, shifting around to get more comfortable. If only I knew what she was thinking.
This is like a fairy tale gone horribly wrong. Tomoyo’s been placed in a deep sleep until she gets kissed by her one true love. Unless I can find her prince charming, she’ll sleep forever. But every time I try to get myself to go looking, I can’t force myself to leave her side. I could always use the Mirror or the Illusion to stay here so her mother and her bodyguards won’t get suspicious, but I can’t even convince myself to do that. Fairy tale’s always have a happy ending, don’t they? So things should work out in the end, right? But what if this is like those one’s where it’s a painful lesson learned and it turns out horribly?
What if Tomoyo never wakes up? Taking a deep breath, I try to force back those thoughts, but it’s so hard. On the verge of tears, I grasp onto my sleeping best friend looking for the comfort she always manages to provide me. For a long moment, I just lie there holding onto her as I try to pull myself back together.
“Tomoyo-chan..” I whisper softly. “Come back to me.” Maybe it is selfish to want her back, but I don’t care anymore. It hurts too much inside. I just want her here with me. I’d do anything to have her back. Fairy tale... This is like a fairy tale... Sitting up on my knees on her bed, an idea starts to come to me. If this is like a fairy tale, why can’t I play along? Fumbling for the key around my neck, I can see Tomoyo holding up a new costume ready to videotape my escapades. Part of me is glad that she can’t record this because I feel pretty foolish that I’m actually going to go through with it. But right now I’m willing to try anything.
Holding my staff in front of me, I can’t shake the feeling that this is all just wrong. Tomoyo-chan should be over there videotaping me, not asleep on the bed. I should be in some extravagant costume for her, not in my pajamas. But I don’t really have much choice in any of that at the moment. I’ll let her tape whatever she wants with me in whatever costumes she wants when this is all over and done with, even if it all is embarrassing.
Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I bring down the staff onto the floating form of the Card I’ve chosen. “Mirror!” A small mirror appears floating in front of me. I sweatdrop and look around before getting closer to it. “Mirror, show me who Tomoyo loves the most.” Hey, it worked for the evil queen, it should work for me. The image in the mirror shifts for a long moment. I clutch the staff to my chest nervously as I await the results. Now I’ll just have to drag him here and get him to kiss Tomoyo. Well, at least the hard part’s done. Thought I can’t help but feel a little jealous at the thought. Why should anyone be kissing Tomoyo like that? I can’t see anyone who should be with her in my mind’s eye. It doesn’t feel right to be finding someone to kiss her. But I don’t have time to worry about that. The image is almost clear now. I push those thoughts out of my head as I prepare to catch a glimpse of this mystery man.
I can make out some of it, but it’s still not clear enough. Could it be Li-kun? No, it’s not him. The boy in the mirror has short brown hair and vibrant green eyes. It looks like he likes to smile. It’s most certainly not Touya. I allow myself a breath of relief at that. For some reason, I never did like it when she’d blush around him. Tomoyo had told me that it was only because he reminded her of me, but still… The boy in the mirror’s image begins to sharpen ever so slightly. He’s not quite as handsome as I thought he’d be.
I’d say he’s more pretty than handsome. I feel bad that I don't know Tomoyo as well as I’d hoped. Why wouldn’t she tell me something this important? Why don’t I know what taste in boys she has? I’ll have to make that all up to her later. The boy’s really starting to look familiar now, but he’s not fitting any of the boys I can think of right now. Maybe someone keeps slipping my mind. As the image finally becomes clear, I gasp in shock. The ‘boy’ in the mirror... It’s me...
My knees go weak at the sudden revelation. It can’t be, can it? But I’m a girl. She wouldn’t... How could she... I slump to the ground, sitting down hard. The world feels like its spinning around me. There’s no way that can be right. The Mirror must be wrong. Or maybe it’s trying to tell me something else. But what?
“Tomoyo-chan?” Looking at Tomoyo’s sleeping body, a nervous pit starts to form in my stomach as I try to figure out the odd answer that Mirror gave me. She knows the answer. I want to ask her to make sense of it for me, to tell me what it means. But she can’t. And won’t, unless I can figure it out on my own. And I think I already have.
Before I have a chance to figure out my feelings on the subject other than the shock and denial, a knock at the door frightens me worse than any ghost story Touya or Naoko-chan have ever told me. And I don’t have Tomoyo-chan to comfort me this time. Looking around the room, I try desperately to keep from panicking. Another knock at the door almost gives me a heart attack after I finally stand up. Licking my dry lips nervously, I open my mouth with an almost convincing lie to cover up the fact that its almost noon and Tomoyo’s still asleep but it dies before I can say anything as I see the doorknob moving.
“Tomoyo-chan? Sakura-chan? Are you two still in here?” Tomoyo’s mother, Sonomi, asks as she prepares to enter. Is that a playful note in her voice? Nah, that can’t be. Why would she have any clue about this whole thing with Tomoyo-chan? Touya told me that Tomoyo was just as eccentric as her mother, but I could never see it. Well, she does videotape me almost constantly and has had a costume ready for any conceivable occasion I may need one. Oh, and the unshakable faith she has in me. And the… Okay, maybe Touya was right. But I don’t have time for this right now.
Pulling up the sheet over Tomoyo-chan’s head, I whisper an apology to her before pulling out one of my Cards. “Illusion! Show Sonomi-san that Tomoyo-chan’s awake and just fine,” I say quickly, almost tripping over the words.
“Sakura-chan? I thought I heard you in there,” Sonomi says with a smile that only seems to show up when she’s talking about me or my mother. Or how much I’m like or not like my mother. My eyes go as wide as dinner plates as I see her standing there in Tomoyo’s bedroom doorway. Did she see me using the Card? Does she already know? How am I supposed to explain that her daughter’s going to sleep for an eternity and it’s all my fault? She’ll hate me for taking away her daughter the way she says my dad took away her Nadeshiko.
My fears start to lessen as she walks into the room, seemingly unconcerned about having possibly seen me doing any sort of magic. “I was wondering where the two of you were. You’ve been cooped up here all day. But that’s completely all right. I used to spend hours in dear Nadeshiko-chan’s room when we were your age, talking about all sorts of things.” The older woman sighs dreamily, brushing some of her oddly cut hair out of her eyes. She’s always so much happier when talking about my mother than any other time I see her.
For some reason something Tomoyo had once said about her mother’s preferences when I’d asked about her female bodyguards comes to mind for a brief instant, but I shrug it off.
“It’s so nice to see the two of you spending so much time together. Sakura-chan, you really do make Tomoyo-chan so happy whenever you visit. The house is always so much livelier when you’re here. You must come visit us more often. It’s like having a little bit of dear Nadeshiko-chan with us.”
Tomoyo smiles and nods to the left of me, scaring me senseless as it sets in that she’s there. A hand on my chest, I try to keep myself from being to obvious. It’s only Illusion doing just what I told it to.
“Hai.. Hai! I’m really happy to be here! I’m glad Tomoyo-chan’s happy to have me here!” I blurt out nervously, hoping Tomoyo’s mother doesn’t notice how nervous I am.
Sonomi laughs a little as she gives a conspiratorial wink to her ‘daughter’. “More than you know, Sakura-chan.” I blush deeply at that. No, I think I might know that. She must think I’m nervous because of some of Tomoyo’s weird stuff that I never have really gotten used to. For the most part, I just classify everything strange she does as that and ignore it. Her hobbies of videotaping me and making costumes for me, the chocolates on Valentine’s Day, the weird things she says that don’t make sense because they seem to suggest that she’s in love with me, all of it. Now I wish that I’d paid more attention to it all.
Sonomi’s voice cuts through my thoughts like a knife, bringing me back to reality. “Are either of you hungry? You haven’t had anything all morning and I’ve had the chef cook up something extra special sense you’re staying with us, Sakura-chan. And for after that there’s some cake, too. I don’t know if you’re watching your figure, but I sure am.”
As I’m about to explain why Tomoyo can’t come down for what sounds like a great lunch (and I’m sooooo hungry right now, too…), I hear a thud at the window. Glancing over at it, I see the familiar form of Kero-chan with his face pressed against the window. I yelp before I can help myself. Nearly stumbling through the illusion of Tomoyo, I pop up in front of the window, hoping that Sonomi didn’t see the Seal Beast. “It.. It sounds great, Sonomi-san, but I think... Umm… Tomoyo-chan and I had something we need to talk about before lunchtime. Thanks so much, though.” I smile widely, hoping she bought it. Tomoyo nods happily, still smiling. I have to admit, Illusion did a wonderful job of recreating her, even down to that beautiful nigh constant smile of hers.
Sonomi pouts a bit, looking disappointed. It seems that she really did want to have lunch with us. I know she doesn’t get to see Tomoyo-chan often with how busy she is with her job, and I seem to remind her of my mother because she always starts talking about her when I’m around. I feel bad about having to get out of it, but she’d probably be even more disappointed if her daughter never wakes up. Her expression quickly changes as she smiles at the image of Tomoyo-chan. “Alright. You two have fun then. Good luck, Tomoyo-chan.” What was she wishing her luck with? Maybe with.. me? Does she think this is about Tomoyo-chan telling me how she feels? She already has more times than I can count. I just never understood. “Remember to come down as soon as you’re done talking. Or as soon as you get hungry. Bye, girls!” With that, she leaves for the moment.
Sighing nervously, I lean back against the window. “Kero-chan!” I whirl around as I remember. Pulling Tomoyo’s window open, the Seal Beast flies in. “Where have you been!? I’ve been sitting here worried sick! I don’t know what to do about Tomoyo-chan and you leave me here all by myself. I don’t even have her to help me this time so I was all alone.” I lower my voice so Sonomi won’t accidentally hear us. Kero winces and floats over to the bed. “I’m sorry, Kero-chan. I’m just so worried about Tomoyo- chan.” With a thought, Illusion returns to her Card form.
Kero smiles and shrugs. “It’s okay, Sakura-chan. Just get me some of that cake later and I’ll be fine. Sonomi-san has the best cakes. I need to meet her chef.” He crosses his arms thoughtfully for a moment as he floats over Tomoyo-chan. I slip the sheets off of her and sit down on her bedside.
“I can’t get the cake if Tomoyo-chan doesn’t wake up. And what took you so long to get here?” I ask again. It doesn’t seem like him to wait that long.
“Actually, I thought you would have solved the problem by now,” Kero says matter-of-factly. “I thought this would be easier for you if I wasn’t here. But it’s a good thing I got here when I did. I’d hate to miss the cake when you do wake her up.”
I blush inwardly at the thought of waking her up. That’s right, isn’t it? In order to wake her up, she needs a kiss from me... I clutch my hands to my cheeks in embarrassment. “Hoe...”
“So did you figure out how to wake her up yet?” Kero asks anxiously.
I nod slowly. “Hai. But you knew I would, didn’t you.” He just smiles and crosses his small arms over his chest sagely. Taking a deep breath, I like my lips nervously. “Isn’t there another way? I never thought I’d be kissing her...” I blush again at that.
“What?!” Kero asks in shock. One of Kero’s eyes seems to be larger than the other. “You? But I thought...”
I cross my own arms as I stare at the floating bear. “And why not me? I’m not good enough for her?” He sure seemed shocked by the idea that I could be the one she was in love with. But now it seems completely obvious.
Kero shakes his head quickly. “No, it’s not that, it’s just…”
“Besides, I thought you knew. Right now it feels like I’m the only one who didn’t know about it.” A sigh escapes my lips as I look down at her. “I was mad that she wouldn’t tell me, but she kept telling me.
I just didn’t listen. She wanted to wait till I was older because she thought I wouldn’t understand. And I didn’t. It took this to show me.” My arms wrap around my peacefully sleeping best friend tightly as I hug her close to me. “I’m sorry it took me so long to figure it out, Tomoyo-chan.”
Sitting up next to her, I look down at her soft ivory skin and pale lips. She looks so sweet slumbering there. My fingers go to her forehead, brushing some of her dark hair from her face. I’ve never felt so nervous in my life. And I don’t have her to comfort me yet. But I will as soon as I manage to pull this off. Taking a deep breath, I close my eyes. “I love you, too,” I whisper softly. It sounds like Kero takes that even worse than finding out that she loves me. My lips press softly against hers a split second afterwards, nervously at first, but their warm inviting feel quickly draws me in. My heart starts pounding in my chest as I hold the kiss. It takes me a long moment before I realize that she’s kissing me back.
“Tomoyo-chan!” I yell excitedly as I throw my arms around her again, this time greeted by her own pulling me closer. Tears of joy start dripping down my cheeks as the realization that she’s back shatters all the grief that I’d been holding. She smiles gently at me, our faces inches from each other. “I’m so sorry…”
Tomoyo silences me with a soft kiss. “Don’t ever feel sorry, Sakura-chan. I knew you would rescue me in the end. I just thought it was a little too much to hope for that you could feel the same way.”
She smiles up at me, fat crystalline tears dripping down her cheeks from her perfect blue eyes. The turmoil of emotions flooding through her must be horrible. Yet I’ve never seen her this happy before. I can’t help but smile myself as I hug her closer. Her long dark hair smells wonderful even while it tickles my nose. “I love you, Sakura-chan,” she whispers happily in her wonderfully sweet voice, holding onto me as if she’s afraid that I’ll disappear as quickly as a dream. I can’t blame her. I’ve never felt like this before.
It’s all almost overwhelming. I blush as I feel her fingers gently brushing the hair from my teary eyes. My throat starts to swell as I look down at her, my best friend. She’s always been by my side, there to help me through anything. I always knew she was important to me, but I’d never figured out just how important. But now that I have, I’ll never let her go again.
“I love you, too, Tomoyo-chan.” I yawn tiredly as my eyes start to flutter closed. I try to keep them open on the blurry image of Tomoyo, but the fall shut again heavily. Leaning my head against her shoulder, I snuggle closer, her arms around me lulling me to sleep. “Hanya…”
Shaking my head sadly, I watch Sakura and Tomoyo pass out in each other’s arms. I wanted to warn Sakura to catch the Sleep Card, but I couldn’t interrupt. Besides, no one ever listens to me as it is.
Why would they? I’m just Keroberas, the Seal Beast. Ah well, they’ll wake up in a few hours now that they’ve both found their true love. Still, it gave Sleep a good getaway by putting them to sleep like that.
That just means more cake for me! Grinning to myself, I head for the door. It looks like today turned out pretty well after all. Daidouji-san always has great cake!