aoife_hime: ([trc] sakura & syaoran confusion)
aoife_hime ([personal profile] aoife_hime) wrote on November 10th, 2007 at 08:33 pm
More CCS Fic
And now that this is up, I really do need to exorcise the Yoruichi/Byakuya plotbunny that's been gnawing at my brain ALL FREAKING DAY.

Title: All That Remains - Chapter One
Author: [livejournal.com profile] aoife_hime
Fandom: Cardcaptor Sakura
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 5540
Summary: Six years after the beginning of Kinomoto Sakura's card capturing adventures, an old evil returns to Japan, seeking a return to power.
Notes: I've been bitten by some sort of verbosity bug or something, that's the only explanation. Also, there's a possibility I might be a bit of a fangirl for one of my OC's. *facepalm* He's just so damn awesome though!

All That Remains

Chapter One

“Sakura-chan. Sakura-chan! Wake up!” Daidouji Tomoyo hissed discretely at the girl who was currently slumped over at her desk. Her words didn’t seem to penetrate her friend’s restful state, however. Worriedly, Tomoyo glanced up at the teacher currently pacing around the front of the class, English textbook open and reading aloud from it. She didn’t seem to have noticed that one of her students was currently napping through the English lesson. Tomoyo breathed a small sigh of relief. Itamura-sensei was incredibly strict and didn’t take kindly to students not giving her their undivided attention during lessons. There was no other period during the day that class 1-4 of Seijuu High School was nearly so well behaved as they were during their English lesson.

Frustrated that nothing seemed to be working, Tomoyo finally resorted to prodding her friend in the back with her pencil. It was anything but subtle, but by this point Tomoyo was getting desperate. Sakura merely shifted slightly in response, however, unconsciously trying to escape the poking and ultimately refusing to awaken. Tomoyo bit her lip. Itamura-sensei only had two paragraphs left and then she’d undoubtedly realize her one student’s inattentiveness.

Tomoyo wouldn’t have been trying nearly so hard had this not been the third time that week that Sakura had fallen asleep during English class. The first two times had resulted in an extra worksheet or two, but Tomoyo had a feeling that any further offenses would result in something worse. And the last thing she wanted for her friend was the stress of extra work, what with summer break only a few days away. They’d all spent last summer studying hard just to get into high school and now that they were finally here, Tomoyo for one was more than ready to spend the long, hot days of summer doing something other than poring over her textbooks day in and day out.

As Itamura-sensei finished the last sentence of the passage she had been reading, Tomoyo decided to do the one last thing she could think of to do to wake Sakura up. Praying that Itamura-sensei would take the disruption with uncharacteristic good grace (Tomoyo was her favorite student, after all – that had to count for something), Daidouji Tomoyo discretely closed her textbook and pushed it off the side of her desk. It landed with a predictably loud bang on the floor, immediately drawing the eyes of each and every one of her startled classmates.

“Daidouji-san!” exclaimed Itamura-sensei, who had jumped a few inches off the ground at the sudden noise and had to adjust her glasses that had fallen off of one ear in the process.

“Excuse me, Itamura-sensei. It seems my book was resting too close to the end of my desk,” Tomoyo apologized, cheeks flushed a little in embarrassment. “I shall be more careful in the future.” She gave her most contrite look and watched with relief as Itamura-sensei’s severe expression relaxed into a vaguely displeased frown.

“Yes, you had better,” was all that the teacher said before moving onto the questions listed at the end of the passage. Tomoyo sat back with a deep sigh of relief, and re-opened her textbook to the questions Itamura-sensei was asking. In front of her, Sakura was most assuredly awake, and Tomoyo heard the pages of her friend’s textbook rustle as she rapidly skimmed the story through which she had just slept. Fortunately, the only time Itamura-sensei ever even looked at their side of the classroom was the couple of times she called on Tomoyo. Sakura, for all her feverish last-minute work, was never called on.

That was very much like Sakura, though, Tomoyo reflected as she finished answering question eight for Itamura-sensei. She had always had uncannily good luck.

When English class ended and Itamura-sensei had taken her books and left, Sakura let out a groan and her head crashed gently onto her open book. A few moments later, she pulled herself upright once more and turned around in her seat to face her friend. “Thank you for waking me up again, Tomoyo-chan,” she said with no little embarrassment. “I don’t think Itamura-sensei would have liked it if she caught me napping again.”

“I don’t think so either,” Tomoyo agreed, glancing over the night’s homework briefly before filing it away neatly in her folder. “Are you feeling alright, Sakura-chan? This is the third English lesson you’ve fallen asleep in this week.” At this, Sakura grinned sheepishly, scratching her head.

“It’s just so hard to stay awake when Itamura-sensei reads those long stories…” While Tomoyo acknowledged there was more than a little bit of truth to that statement, the excuse wasn’t enough to wipe the worried look from her face. After a moment, Sakura continued, her brow furrowed slightly in vague confusion. “Honestly, I don’t think I’ve been sleeping well lately.”

“You don’t think?”

“Well, it’s strange,” Sakura defended. “It’s a little hard to explain, but I don’t remember anything odd happening. Then when I wake up in the morning, though, I feel as if I’ve been awake all night.” She yawned then, as if to punctuate her statement and rubbed a hand over her eyes. When Tomoyo looked closely, she could see dark circles under Sakura’s eyes, a tell-tale sign of not getting enough sleep.

“Have you talked to Kero-chan about this? Or Li-kun? ” As worried as she was for her friend, Tomoyo still was very much out of the loop as far as anything remotely magic-related was concerned, even after all these years. And from her cursory explanation, it sounded to Tomoyo very much as if something magic-related was occurring.

Sakura shook her head. “No, I don’t want to bother them. And besides, Kero-chan hasn’t mentioned sensing anything strange, and he sleeps in the same room as me!” She yawned again. “I think I’m just overreacting.”

While Tomoyo didn’t want to admit it, Sakura did have a point: if a magical creature like the mighty Keroberos didn’t notice anything wrong when he slept not three feet from Sakura, it was possible that Sakura was just suffering from a strange bout of insomnia. Still, Tomoyo didn’t feel entirely certain that the answer wasn’t something magic-related. “I don’t know, Sakura-chan… This could be something important.”

“What could be important?”

Tomoyo simply turned to face the new arrival while Sakura jumped in her seat, sending the notebook that had been sitting on her desk to the floor. “Syaoran-kun!” Sakura exclaimed, hastily picking up the notebook and pointedly not meeting his rather intense gaze. “It’s nothing, really, I’m just having a little trouble sleeping that’s all.”

“Bad dreams?” he asked, expression serious. Commandeering the vacant seat of the person who normally sat next to Sakura, Syaoran continued to fix Sakura with a stare.

“No,” Sakura replied quickly, almost defensively, and Tomoyo wondered if maybe she was right in thinking there was something unnatural to her friend’s lack of sleep. Obviously, Syaoran didn’t believe her entirely either because his stare didn’t relent. “Well, yes,” Sakura amended, and Syaoran nodded slowly, frowning. “Maybe, I don’t really know! I just… when I wake up in the morning it feels like I’ve been up all night, but I know I’ve been in bed, sleeping. It’s so strange, almost as if something is blocking my memories…”

Syaoran’s frown deepened. “It would take an extremely powerful sorcerer to be able to manipulate the dreams of someone like you. In fact, I’ve never even heard of anyone that powerful.”

“So it’s just a false alarm, right?” Sakura asked with cheer that was just a little forced. Tomoyo could tell she wasn’t really up for discussing the matter so intensely at the moment. “I’m just not sleeping well and this will all pass in a few days.”

Syaoran’s brow furrowed in frustration. “Just because I haven’t heard of anyone that powerful, doesn’t mean they don’t exist,” he pointed out.

“But they probably don’t, so there’s nothing to worry about, right?”

“I don’t think that’s the right logic-”

“You’re both coming to the choir competition on Saturday evening?” Tomoyo interrupted before her friends could start up an argument that would undoubtedly last the rest of the break time.

Sakura glanced quickly over at Syaoran. Their eyes met for a second before looking away again. Right. They had promised Tomoyo they would go to the choir’s summer competition, hadn’t they? “Of course we’re going, Tomoyo-chan. We wouldn’t miss it!”

Tomoyo laughed to herself. She had caught the split-second look shared between the two teens. They’d forgotten. It wasn’t entirely surprising, especially given what Sakura had just told her about not being able to sleep well at night and Tomoyo would be lying if she said that her friends’ forgetfulness had ruined her day. But still, it hurt a little that neither Sakura nor Syaoran had remembered that the big choral competition was this coming Saturday. Especially since she had a key solo in Seijuu choir’s program. She had been looking forward to having her friends hear her sing for weeks now. “Of course you wouldn’t. Don’t forget to show up early enough though; apparently the auditorium is sold out so you’ll want to make sure you can get a good enough seat. I could ask mother to save you both a spot if you would like?”

“Oh would you? That would be great.” Knowing Tomoyo’s mother, Sakura was fairly certain her aunt would be the first person to arrive at the auditorium and would undoubtedly stake out the best seats in the room that gave the most optimum view of her daughter on stage. “You’ll do amazing, Tomoyo-chan, just like always.” Syaoran nodded in agreement and Tomoyo smiled. It would be nice to have a few familiar faces out in the audience. Especially ones as supportive as her mother and Sakura, and even Li-kun.

“Thank you, I’ll try my hardest.”

~#~#~#~

The last few days of class dragged by slowly. By the time the end of term ceremonies took place, Sakura was more than ready for her vacation to start, if only because it would mean that she wouldn’t have to worry about falling asleep in class for a while. Things hadn’t improved as the week wore on: by the ceremonies, Sakura felt remarkably like one of the zombies Yamazaki-kun had told her about back in middle school. In fact, she was fairly certain she dozed off for a second while standing, packed in line in the gymnasium and listening to the principal drone on about the responsibilities of the students over the break. One minute he had been talking about staying healthy, and the next he had switched to talk of summer assignments and classes. However, as Principal Matsui was renowned for his interesting segues (or rather, lack thereof), Sakura couldn’t be entirely certain.

Despite her exhaustion, though, Sakura refused to let anything get in the way of her attending Tomoyo’s choral competition that weekend. So when Saturday afternoon rolled around, she was already dressed and ready, standing at the door to Syaoran’s apartment, completely ready to drag the reluctant boy all the way to the auditorium if the need arose. She had gone to bed extra early and woken up as late as she could manage and while she was still a little tired when the insistent morning sun forced her out of bed, she had to admit she felt a lot more awake than she had in days. As per Tomoyo’s instructions, Sakura made sure to show up to the concert half an hour earlier than she had originally planned to go, a predictably unenthusiastic Syaoran in tow. He had been making indistinct grumblings about how it was silly to show up to such a thing so far in advance especially when there was a soccer match on television, and secretly Sakura agreed with him (about the showing up early part, not necessarily about the soccer part) but Tomoyo was usually far more well-informed in these matters so she had heeded her friend’s advice and set out early. However, all complaints, both those voiced and those kept silent, were forgotten the moment the pair set foot in the auditorium.

In spite of the fact that there was still over an hour until the first group started performing, the cavernous room was at least half full, though it was hard to tell exactly as most people were weaving through the rows of seats, moving from conversation to conversation faster than either Sakura or Syaoran could process. Sakura rose up on the tips of her toes, scanning the crowd for the tell-tale signs of her aunt and her normal complement of body guards and wasn’t at all surprised to find Daidouji Sonomi had claimed the better part of a row just far enough away from the stage that she wouldn’t have to crane her neck to see the performers, but still close enough to make out every last detail of the performers’ attire.

“Sakura-chan! Over here, Sakura-chan!” Sonomi waved with all the enthusiasm of a small child at an amusement park as soon as she spotted the two teens. It didn’t seem to matter that they were half an auditorium away from each other, for Sonomi was perfectly capable of making herself heard over crowds far larger than this one, and Syaoran for one found the extra attention drawn to them as they squished past clump after clump of people more than a little embarrassing. He was fairly sure his cheeks were a bright red by the time he and Sakura reached Daidouji Sonomi’s seats. Sakura, too, looked a little more red than usual. Syaoran smiled absently and gripped her hand a little tighter as they wound around another crowd of chatting middle-aged women blocking the aisle. She was even cuter than usual when she was embarrassed.

“Thank you for saving us seats, Aunt Sonomi,” Sakura thanked Sonomi as soon as she and Syaoran reached the row in question. Two dangerous-looking women in dark suits and glasses parted to let the two of them through, and as soon as they were close enough Sonomi pulled Sakura into a warm hug. Syaoran looked on, amused, hoping that the same fate wouldn’t befall him in a few seconds. Thankfully, all he received from Tomoyo’s mother was a look that in some way could possibly have been construed as approving, though there was a distinct possibility that she was still judging him, even after all these years.

Li Syaoran may have been the Chosen One of the prestigious Li clan and a skilled fighter in his own right, but there was something truly intimidating about Daidouji women that made him want to do as little as possible to upset them. He smiled politely in return, an expression he had worked hard on over the years he’d lived in Japan. Sonomi’s mouth turned up slightly at the corner before she returned her attentions to her niece. Well, Syaoran mused as he sat in the seat next to Sakura and started studying the glossy program he’d been handed at the entrance, it wasn’t a smile, but it would suffice.

A quick scan of the program revealed that Seijuu’s choir would be performing second to last. There were four other choirs before them. Syaoran cringed when he saw the one choir had seven songs listed under their set. Hopefully, they would be very short songs. Seijuu was performing a modest four songs, the last of which was listed as featuring Daidouji Tomoyo as a soloist. The piece was something Western, though even if it had been something from Hong Kong or Japan, Syaoran realized he probably still wouldn’t have known it. Music had never exactly been part of his training program, after all.

“Oh, look Syaoran-kun! Tomoyo-chan has a solo!” Sakura pointed out excitedly, accidentally shoving the glossy program booklet in his face in her enthusiasm. “Sorry,” she apologized, grinning sheepishly, and Syaoran tried to look annoyed but found that even after nearly six years he still couldn’t remain upset in the face of that smile.

“Yeah, yeah,” he compensated, attempting to sound grouchy. He could tell he failed, however, because more than anything else Sakura looked remarkably like she was trying not to laugh at him. Rolling his eyes, he sunk a little lower in the padded seat and went back to perusing the program book.

As the start of the concert approached, the auditorium became filled to what Syaoran assumed was maximum capacity. Looking around, he couldn’t see an empty seat anywhere, and though he couldn’t see all the way up into the balcony he assumed the same held for the seats there as well. Suddenly, he was just a little glad he had allowed Sakura to tear him away from the Japan vs. France match earlier than he’d planned; it would have been hell trying to find Daidouji Sonomi in this crowd. Speaking of which…

“How are we supposed to find Tomoyo-san after the concert?” he asked Sakura, tearing her away from whatever she was reading about the other choirs.

“Oh, that should be easy,” Sakura replied confidently. Syaoran raised a skeptical brow at this. Easy? He’d seen Sakura create labyrinths with the Maze card that were undoubtedly easier to navigate than this crowd. “Tomoyo-chan said she’d meet us by the backstage door where all the choirs stay after they perform.”

“And this backstage door would be where?”

“I… don’t know,” Sakura admitted, but she cut off Syaoran just as he was about to complain. “But Aunt Sonomi does! She’s been here before and knows her way around.”

“Alright, as long as someone does,” he acquiesced just as the lights dimmed and he heard a mass of people rush for their seats behind him. A little man appeared on stage, lit up by a spotlight, welcoming everyone to the such and such annual Summer Choral Competition. Syaoran bit back a yawn and wondered just how long he would have to wait until the only choir he actually was half-interested in hearing would perform. His fingers tapped impatiently against the hard plastic arm rest until they were smothered by Sakura’s hand. Without ever taking her eyes off the choir who was now lining up on the risers on stage, their light yellow robes glowing bright under the stage lights, she threaded her fingers through his own.

He could almost hear her unspoken reprimand of ‘behave’, though really, if this was his punishment Li Syaoran would surely be recalcitrant until the bitter end.

~#~#~#~

In a room this full, there were very few places he could find to stand. The lighting platforms above the second floor balcony seats were the only spot he could be assured that he wouldn’t be bothered, so that was where he went. He perched on the edge of the metal grill with precision balance, careful not to disturb the delicate equilibrium of lights and pulleys the technicians had undoubtedly spent vast amounts of their time rigging.

Truth be told, he wasn’t entirely certain why he had even bothered attending. Every group of those children that had performed had been mediocre at best, though judging by their applause the audience was enjoying every minute of it. He rubbed his temple, attempting to sooth his fast encroaching headache. Apparently the only thing the centuries had changed was the venue – the quality of the performances was just as sub par as it had been before his exile.

Again the audience applauded loudly as the latest of the pathetic choirs left the stage. He felt a little tempted to add his own applause, if only because he was relieved to see the group leave. Holding out little hope for the quality of the next group, he was disappointed to be proved right: this blue and white clad choir was just as awful as the four that had preceded it. He would have left altogether had that not gone against his explicit instructions: keep an eye on the girl. As far as he was concerned, though, the girl was just as boring as every other person crammed into the room below. She was hardly worth babysitting, even though he could feel her aura pulsing against his skin from all the way up here, just as these choirs of humans were hardly worth listening to.

There was applause and the piano changed melodies once more when suddenly he found his eyes drawn down to the stage. The voice that floated up to his ears was pure and clear as polished glass. It handled the intricate pattern of runs with effortless ease and balanced perfectly with the group when they came in some time later. He at once found himself fascinated. More than fascinated – entranced. As the song ended and the girl acknowledged the applause, he found his own hands adding to the clamor. He followed the soloist for as long as he could see her until she had disappeared off stage with the rest of the choir. The platform creaked a little beneath him as he stood up and made his way hurriedly towards the stairs.

The girl could wait. Assignment or not, he had other business to attend to at the moment.

~#~#~#~

The room behind backstage was positively buzzing with the sort of excited, euphoric energy that only came after a successful performance. Tomoyo couldn’t stop a small grin from creeping onto her face as she mingled amongst her classmates still dressed in their blue and white choir robes: their performance had been nearly flawless and Tomoyo herself was relieved and a tad proud that her solo had come off without a hitch. Despite the partially blinding stage lights, she had still been able to make out her mother, Sakura, and Li-kun in the audience, all watching and listening attentively. Their presence had buoyed her like it always had in the past and she remembered feeling almost as if the notes she sang were floating out of her, as if singing the song was as easy as breathing.

“Daidouji-san, you sounded amazing!” squealed a group of upperclassmen girls as Tomoyo wandered in their direction. “We’ll get first place for sure, don’t you think?”

“We performed very well,” Tomoyo admitted, “but the other groups also sounded lovely.” Which was the truth, and being her diplomatic self it was a fact Tomoyo could not overlook. The girls nodded in assent, and promptly began muttering amongst themselves about what flaws they had picked out during the other choirs’ performances. Tomoyo used the chance to slip away, making her way to the exit where she had promised her mother and Sakura that she would be waiting afterwards. There was still one last choir performing at that very moment, so it would be a little while before the entire program was finished and the audience was free to leave, but Tomoyo saw nothing wrong with arriving early and waiting a little.

A few more people stopped to tell her how truly beautiful her voice had sounded on her solo and to each Tomoyo smiled and thanked them for their compliments, but she never stayed long to chat. Looking down at her watch, she estimated that the last choir should have been finishing up their set any minute. After that, it would probably take everybody at least five minutes to get around the crowds to the backstage area, though knowing her mother she would probably have a path cleared for her the second the applause stopped.

When she reached the door, Tomoyo realized she was still wearing her choir robe. The weight of the fabric over her clothes underneath, combined with the heat of so many students mingling in a relatively small space in summer was proving to be quite uncomfortable. A few beads of sweat trailed down her neck only to be lost under the collar of her white blouse. Reaching back, Tomoyo unzipped the zipper and pulled the robe over her head, her motions deliberate and meticulous.

A single white calla lily greeted her when her vision was no longer obscured by the layers of pale blue and white fabric. Tomoyo blinked in surprise.

“What…?”

“For you,” replied the person who was currently holding the flower out to her in a voice so smooth and melodious that she couldn’t help but look up. Tomoyo’s eyes trailed slowly from the long, pale fingers that lightly grasped the flower, up a darkly clothed arm and finally to the face of the stranger who had somehow managed to approach her without making a sound. For a moment, Tomoyo found herself completely transfixed; the young man who stood in front of her could only be described as flawless. Tall with a lean frame, he was neither too skinny nor too muscled. Perfectly straight dark hair fell across his brow and down past his chin and Tomoyo found it difficult not to give into the strange urge to tuck it behind his ears, if only so she could see the rest of his features more clearly. For what she saw was astounding: smooth, pale skin with no blemish in sight, an elegant nose, strong but somehow inquisitive brow, and his eyes… The moment Tomoyo looked into his eyes she found herself frozen. Their deep golden hue was at once the most unnatural and yet the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. A small part of her mind, the part that was still somehow functioning above the most basic level, insisted it must have been contact lenses, but there was something so inherently striking about them that she quickly decided they had to be natural.

The sound of a binder falling to the floor nearby snapped Tomoyo out of her daze, and she was mortified to find that somehow in the last few moments her hand had moved, apparently of its own volition, halfway up to the man’s face. It hung in midair for a few seconds longer before she retracted it hastily, an unavoidable flush creeping quickly up her neck and across her face.

“Excuse me, I don’t know what came over me,” Tomoyo apologized, keeping her eyes firmly fixed on the ground. But the ground apparently wasn’t safe either, because when she looked at the ground she could see just how close his feet seemed to be to her own and she wondered just when the space between them had gotten so small or if it had always been so.

“It is alright. Your behavior in this case is no more aberrant than I would have expected.” Despite herself, Tomoyo felt a warm wave of relief wash over her at his words, and more importantly at the sound of his voice. “Do you not find my gift acceptable?”

“Your gift?” Tomoyo wondered aloud, and when he gestured her eyes flew down from his face to the flower. Just when had her gaze moved back to his face? “Oh, it’s lovely,” she murmured, despite her confusion. Her hand brushed his as she took the lily – a perfect specimen, delicate and aromatic with the petals curled just right – and she wasn’t entirely sure why a little thrill ran up her spine at the contact. It was completely irrational to be so enchanted by someone she had only met just now, and yet… “Thank you very much.”

“It’s not nearly as lovely as the way you sang tonight, Daidouji Tomoyo.” Her name. He’d said her name even though she knew she hadn’t mentioned it in the space of the last few minutes, and she certain it had never sounded more beautiful than it did when he said it. But there was a part of her that was positively yelling at her to get out, to run as far away from this strange man as she could possibly manage, because she had learned as a child that strangers who knew your name were not to be trusted. The only problem was that Tomoyo couldn’t quite find it in herself to focus on anything besides the lily currently resting gently in her hand and the ethereally handsome man who had just presented her with it. Everything else seemed secondary, as if it could be dealt with later by someone else. “Would you do me the honor of accompanying me for a walk outside?”

Her mind was veritably screaming ‘NO!’, so it came as a great surprise to Tomoyo that she suddenly found herself being guided expertly through the mingling crowds in the back hallways and out a small side door. The man’s hand was chill in her own, though she wasn’t certain if that was because his was too cold or hers was too warm. The young man didn’t seem to notice anything, however, and Tomoyo was content to leave things at that.

She walked along side him in silence for a few minutes, evening dew coating her shoes and the only noises the sounds of cicada chirping in the nearby trees and the gentle swish of her skirt over her legs as she matched the young man step for step. He seemed to move with a grace equal to his physical beauty; there was a sort of fluid strength to his step that Tomoyo hadn’t thought possible for any person. A cat, maybe, could be capable of such effortless motion, but certainly not a human.

Tomoyo was vaguely aware that she was, in all likelihood, staring, but as with before, she couldn’t bring herself to care or to stop for that matter.

As they passed out of the pool of yellow-orange light cast by one of the safety lights above a side door, the rational part of Tomoyo’s brain finally took over, if only for a second.

“What is your name?”

It was a logical question; once the words passed from her lips, Tomoyo realized just how absurd she was for walking around in the dark with a man she didn’t even know the name of yet. The young man stopped, and turned to face her. His face was unreadable, which made it all the more fascinating. The way the corners of his mouth curved down at the edges, the way a little line formed between his brows when they furrowed ever so slightly, the way he cocked his head slightly as if he was only just now truly looking at her and seeing her for her true value, all these things served to hold her attention and drown out any remotely rational thoughts.

“I am Hayato,” he answered eventually. She waited for more, another name – a family name – but he remained silent, his pale skin seeming to glow in the darkness of the evening.

“Ha… ya… to…” she repeated slowly. Tomoyo couldn’t help but think that each syllable sounded almost bastardized when she said it. “Hayato.” Again, it sounded wrong, like she was saying it as the worst curse instead of a mere name.

“It sounds beautiful when you say it, Daidouji Tomoyo,” Hayato’s voice whispered in her ear, and Tomoyo wondered just when he had moved around behind her. But his hands were trailing lightly across her shoulders and through her hair, and she could still feel his nose brush over her ear so she was too distracted to truly worry over such an inconsequential detail as that. “Has anyone ever told you just how lovely you are?” Before Tomoyo could find the words to reply, he continued. “So lovely…”

His too-cold fingers moved softly across the exposed skin of her neck now and his touch made Tomoyo shiver. But she didn’t back away. Couldn’t back away, really, for she realized she was reveling in the sensation of his feather-light touches and the anticipation. Though what she was anticipating, she remained unsure. Then she felt a slight itch on her neck. As if in a dream, her free hand – the hand not still holding onto the long stem of the calla lily – rose to scratch it, only to encounter Hayato’s hand already over the spot. Tomoyo pulled her hand back immediately, her head suddenly feeling remarkably light. She almost felt as if it would float from her shoulders were it not already connected by her neck.

“Tomoyo-chan! Tomoyo-chan!” The voice calling her name sounded as if were coming from far away, over the distance of half a city or the like. Even though it sounded urgent, try as she could, Tomoyo couldn’t bring herself to respond. At the moment, she wanted nothing more than to sit down and figure out a way to stop her head from soaring off into the night sky. She placed a hand to her temple to steady herself, the same hand that had just moments ago covered Hayato’s, and was surprised when her fingers left a sticky wet spot on her skin.

Looking down at her fingers, it took Tomoyo a few moments to realize that the dark stain on her skin was her own blood. She turned, far too quickly, and nearly lost her balance as her world spun around itself. Through the dizzy haze, however, she could somehow still make out Hayato’s now-smiling face as clear as day.

He raised one elegantly long finger to his mouth and ran his tongue over it. What blood had been there seconds before vanished. “So lovely…”

--------
((Note: Besides the fact that I personally love lilies, and that I think lilies are a very Tomoyo-esque flower, AND that Tomoyo herself loves lilies (according to her profile in the manga), calla lilies carry the connotation of beauty. Which I thought was incredibly appropriate in this case ^_^))
 
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