Card Captor Sakura Fan Fiction ❯ Sakura's Christmas Surprise ❯ Sakura's Friends at Home ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Sakura's Christmas Surprise

Chapter 3: Sakura's Friends at Home

By Lord Archive

Characters are property of Clamp and are used without consent.


Naoko wasn't used to needing to be quiet in the morning. Her parents were usually long gone before she woke up and slept like the dead on Sundays. It was fun seeing the state that her friends were in while they slept. The immaculate hair they held during the day were tangled messes. Not to mention the odd positions their sleeping bodies contorted too, some suggesting unclean dreams. Particularly Tomoyo with her hand lost into the depths of her pajamas. While there was little doubt who Meiling, Rika and Chiharu would dream about, Tomoyo remained a mystery. Did she fancy someone at school, or were her thoughts on a movie star or some singer?

Shaking her head clear of her thoughts, Naoko left her room to tend to her morning rituals. She didn't want to wake her friends, and that somehow caused every sound she made seem louder than it could possibly be. It was almost amazing to her that after a half-hour of her moving about, not one of the other girls had awakened.

The sun greeted Naoko as she opened her front door. She smiled; noticing the threat of overnight flurries had amounted to nothing. Not a speck of snow could be seen, meaning Meiling's plans for the amusement park today did not have to be canceled. Though the wind of winter's chill meant they would need windbreaker jackets to stay warm. The water rides were certainly out.

The final morning task for the Yanagisawa household was grabbing the mail. While Christian families dominated Tomoeda, Japan was still a Buddhist and Shinto country. It was only commercially observed as it gave retail stores an excuse to sell more merchandise. Since the government didn't see the day as being a proper holiday, the mail was still delivered.

Naoko blinked as she pulled out a large, thick, orange envelope. Rarely had her parents received anything of that size, causing her to look at who it was addressed too. The various other letters, bills, and junk mail cascaded to the ground as she read that it was from 'Dragon' and addressed to 'Konagi Noa,' her penname. She immediately ripped it opened and the outside world ceased to matter.

"HOLY SHIT!!! OH, MY GOD!!!" Naoko screamed into the air, which was followed by demented laughter. She danced around her front yard. "I WON!!! OH, MY GOD, I WOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!"

There was no sleeping through the happy screeching. Meiling was half-tempted to smack the girl for waking her, and Chiharu shared the sentiment. Tomoyo, while interested in why Naoko was so happy, still wished she had gotten more sleep. Only Rika was purely interested in knowing what made the girl so happy, but she didn't even get the chance to ask.

"I got the grand prize! They published my story!" Naoko announced holding up the professional magazine.

"Congratulations," the girls replied, though a couple of them didn't sound like they meant it at the moment.

"What's the prize for it?" Rika questioned.

"They published my story and a check for a million yen," Naoko replied, though she was more interested in the former. She then blinked at what was attached to the prize money. Reading it over twice to be sure and then flipping to the papers beneath that. Her legs gave out and she plopped down to the cold concrete walkway.

"Something wrong?" Tomoyo asked.

Naoko held up the papers in her hand. "It's a contract. They... they want to add my series to their line up. They... they published 'The Slayers' novella and now they want to publish ME!"

No one was in any state to notice that Tomoyo's smile became extremely forced.

Chiharu slipped back into the house, and then promptly swore. "I'm fucking late! I got to go NOW!"

"My, you girls are growing up." Meiling chuckled. "Sasaki is getting laid, Yanagisawa has a job, and Mihara swears."

"I haven't gone THAT far," Rika protested.

"Guess we're the late bloomers, Meiling-chan," Tomoyo added to the joke.

"Not by choice," Meiling returned.

Tomoyo nodded. "It's a shame the ones we love don't love us that way."

"Really! I'm a virgin!" Rika protested to the deaf ears of her teasers.


Chiharu was quite thankful she had thought ahead and had everything packed and ready for her trip. She wished she had time to take a shower, but the Yamazaki family was waiting for her and their destination included hot springs. As it stood, the girl set herself with a marathon pace while she ran down the road burdened with a pair of suitcases and a toiletry bag for her ten day trip.

Panting heavily, the girl arrived and gave a sigh of relief seeing Takashi's father still putting stuff into the car. "Sorry I'm late. I'm afraid I slept in."

"That's all right. We're running behind as well," Mr. Yamazaki replied, taking Chiharu's bags and adding them into the trunk of his car. He then noticed the girl fidgeting. "Something wrong?"

"Just feeling a bit anxious," Chiharu admitted.

Mr. Yamazaki raised an eyebrow. "Why? You've gone with us on this trip before."

"I hadn't gone there as Takashi's fiancee before," Chiharu reminded.

Mr. Yamazaki laughed and ruffled her hair with his hand. "We asked you to come with us before because we hoped you would marry Takashi some day. Though if it were to happen this early, we thought it would've been because of an 'accident.'"

Chiharu frowned, not missing what he had meant. She didn't know if she ever would've been planning to have sex with or marry Takashi if it wasn't for her father dying from cancer. The whole idea frightened her. Yet she didn't have a choice in the matter. No one had asked her if she wanted any of this.


Meiling had spent several months in Tomoeda years ago. She knew her way around town fairly well, yet the long walk across town to the amusement park left her looking at the scenery as if it she had never been there before. While most of the families weren't as rich as the Li clan, she now realized for the first time that none of the people who lived here could be considered poor. The fact that Yanagizawa was still fawning over being published and all-but-ignored her million-yen check highlighted that fact to her.

"You know, I never realized there wasn't a McWonder Burger in Tomoeda before," Meiling observed.

"The ward practically outlawed fast food restaurants like that, or almost any other chain store for that matter," Rika replied. "Aries Restaurant is about the only one."

Meiling let out a short laugh. "Have to keep up the high class image."

"Pretty much." Tomoyo nodded. "You seem to be more observant now."

Meiling smirked. "More like I had tunnel vision. Syaoran was my world, and anything that interfered with that, I hated. And believe me, I had hated Kinomoto the moment I met her."

"Really?" Rika questioned.

"Well, how would you react to seeing a girl wearing your boyfriend's shirt?" Meiling returned.

Rika and Naoko looked at Meiling with surprise. "Sakura-chan was wearing WHAT?!"

"Now, Meiling-chan, you know that was all a misunderstanding," Tomoyo commented. "Sakura-chan had fallen into water and Li-kun's home was a lot closer."

"I see." Rika nodded. "Still, a girl wearing a guy's shirt would lead anyone to jump to conclusions that she had done certain things with him."

"You would know," Meiling teased.

Rika flushed and hissed, "Meiling-chan, don't talk about THAT!"

"Sorry." Meiling flinched. She doubted anyone else had heard her comment, but they were in public now. "Anyway, needless to say I didn't start off on good terms with Kinomoto. I always thought she was a threat that could take Syaoran from me. I only took a chance to be her friend after I learned she loved someone else then. Unfortunately, Syaoran still fell in love with her and Tsukishiro didn't return her feelings."

"That must make things pretty rough for you," Rika commented sympathetically.

"At least I lost to Kinomoto. She's nice enough. I can accept her with Syaoran," Meiling replied with a shrug as if she didn't care anymore, yet her eyes casted a faraway look toward Hong Kong.


The long drive to Izumo seemed even longer to a pair of young teens sitting in the back of a car. Mr. Yamazaki smirked when both of the kids yawned at the same time.

Chiharu leaned against her fiance and shut her eyes.

Takashi took a whiff of her hair. "Didn't shower, huh?"

"Can say the same about you," Chiharu returned.

Takashi smirked. "Did you know that showers were first-"

Chiharu interrupted him by placing her hand over his mouth. "Shut it. I didn't get much sleep last night."

"Too much fun at Yanagisawa's slumber party?" Takashi questioned.

Chiharu shifted to make herself more comfortable. "Something like that."

"Fine. I'll be your pillow." Takashi smiled, placing his hand on top of hers. He gentle rubbed his fingers alongside her soft hand. Soon she fell asleep, and he followed soon after.

"There are times I wonder if we're doing the right thing agreeing to let Takashi marry Chiharu-chan," Mr. Yamazaki admitted. "Yet I can't imagine those two ever being apart."


Meiling pointed at the park's premier roller coaster. "Let's ride that next!"

"Looks like fun," Rika replied.

Naoko looked up from her magazine. "They won't let me ride that."

"Why not?" Meiling questioned.

Naoko hid her blushing face behind her magazine. "I threw up on it both times I rode it. I love the ride, my stomach hates it."

"Why don't you two go on ahead, while I'll stay with Naoko-chan," Tomoyo suggested.

"Are you sure?" Meiling questioned, but shrugged at the nod she got as a reply.

"Suit yourself. Meet at the Pavilion for lunch?" Meiling asked.

Tomoyo nodded again. "Sounds like a plan."

"You didn't have to stay with me," Naoko commented. "I'd be happy enough reading my story."

Tomoyo frowned at Naoko. Her bespectacled friend still had yet to pry her eyes off the magazine featuring her story for more than a few seconds. She didn't want to pull the proverbial cloud out from under her, making her crash back to Earth, but this was something the girl needed to know. "Did you know that my mother tried to get me a job as a clothing designer?"

Naoko shook her head. "You never mentioned that before."

"Unfortunately even sketching out an outfit for pay was considered work, and the school wouldn't give me a permit for it," Tomoyo informed. "Apparently the school felt my education was more important and didn't want to distract me with deadlines and other issues a job would entail. I could still sell my designs, but it had to be entirely freelanced. I could not, for example, create my own clothing line label."

Naoko froze, her arms dropping lifelessly and almost letting go of her magazine. Finally she found her voice, "You mean the school won't let me write for Dragon?!"

"As a career, I'm afraid not," Tomoyo replied.

"What could they do to me if I took the job anyway?" Naoko wondered nervously.

"Expel you," Tomoyo answered firmly.

Naoko made a strange sound mixing surprise and anguish. "But I WANT to write. Maybe I should quit school for this."

Tomoyo smirked ever so slightly. "I wouldn't be so hasty. It can't be a CAREER job, but you could still do it freelance."

Naoko fumbled through the contract. "That isn't what they're asking for. They want monthly installments and three-years commitment."

Tomoyo glanced at the document. "They would also want to meet with you and give you an editor."

"None of that would work!" Naoko cried out in distress.

"There is a way I can be of some help," Tomoyo announced. "I can let you borrow one of mother's lawyers and have her take care of the contractual details so you'd never have to meet them nor have it read as if it's a job, but something extra you do for them."

Naoko's face lit up and engulfed the girl in a fierce hug. "THANK YOU!"


"You," was heard in stereo at the counter of the park restaurant.

Meiling folded her arms. "What are you doing here? It's not like your sister is with us."

Touya scowled at the girl. "I still need to work part-time jobs."

"College tuition is rather expensive," Yukito added with smile.

"Whatever, just get me a hamburger with everything," Meiling growled out.

Tomoyo giggled at the exchange while Rika and Naoko had to wonder what the story was between those two.

Food ordered and received, the girls sat and talked about little things as they ate. Though the discussion was shallow, two girls held long piercing gazes to a far off city where their respective loves were.

After Rika and Naoko departed for the bathroom, Tomoyo politely took the dirty trays to the trashcan.

Yukito walked up to Tomoyo. "Letting go is hard, isn't it?"

"Am I that obvious?" Tomoyo replied with a frown.

Yukito shook his head. "I don't think even Toya has noticed."

"I want to say so much, but I can't," Tomoyo replied.

Yukito smiled sadly. "I know that feeling, though for different reasons. It was hard to say, 'I'm not human.' It was even harder to say 'I love you' to another guy." The platinum haired man smirked a little. "Toya has yet to say the words to me. Only nodded the one time I asked."

Tomoyo bowed her head, willing her long hair to obscure her face. "As hard as that may have been for you, it's not so easy for me."

Yukito nodded shallowly. "My life is for them, and I will always be a part of it while they live."

"And mine was for her, yet little by little she moves away from me. All I wish for her is to be happy. I keep saying that makes me happy." Tomoyo's looked up to gaze toward Hong Kong. "But I keep wondering about the day when Sakura-chan leaves for Hong Kong... and doesn't come back. Where will that leave me?"

"Her most precious and beloved best friend. Nothing will ever change that," Yukito replied. "Though you should really consider something. You have spent so much time on Sakura-chan, I believe it's time you started to think about yourself. What do you enjoy that doesn't involve Sakura-chan? What do you want to do after you finish school? What do you want to make of yourself? And while trying to find yourself, you may find that special person who was meant for you and you alone. One who loves you the way you want to love them."

"Those words sound so simple, so easy," Tomoyo stated evenly.

"Yet they can be the hardest thing a person can be asked to do," Yukito added.

"I just keep thinking one more picnic, one more video of Sakura-chan. That's all I need to be happy forever." Tomoyo let out a false giggle. "It's like I'm addicted to her."

Yukito glanced across the sea of tables seeing Touya talk to Meiling. "Love makes us all fools."


Meiling glanced up with a glare as Touya wiped the table she was sitting at. "What are you doing?"

"My job," Touya replied curtly. "You know you never had a chance with the brat."

"Syaoran is not a brat! You don't even know him." Meiling huffed. "And he'd still be mine if you kept your sister away from him."

"I could say the same about you not keeping the brat away from my sister," Touya returned. He looked away. "There was nothing we could do about them."

"Says you." Meiling gritted her teeth. "Syaoran was mine first. Your stupid-faced sister stole him."

"You didn't do a good job holding on to him," Touya shot back.

"I tried to! I wanted to hold onto to him forever." Meiling's voice wavered. "But the tighter I held him, the more he slipped away from me."

Touya looked away. "I've tried not holding Sakura tightly. I let her have the freedom she needed to face her destiny. She still moved away from me more and more."

Meiling huffed. "You'll always be her brother. I'll never be Syaoran's wife. You may not see her everyday, but your relationship will never change. And neither will mine with him, even though I want it to. Damn it, I still love him."

Touya let out a shallow laugh. "My relationship with Sakura will change... No, it has changed. She doesn't look to me for help anymore. She doesn't need me. She has that brat now."

Meiling scowled. "Bullshit. Sure she's grown up and doesn't need you to tie her shoelaces, but when doesn't she need someone's help? This is your sister we're talking about. She may have power coming out of her ears, but she's still useless by herself. Syaoran may be great, but he can't possibly help her with everything. And what did you expect from her? To live with you all her life and never get married?"

"No. She should get married some day, after _college_. But the brat will make sure that doesn't happen." Touya growled angrily. "Sakura won't even graduate high school because of him."

"And why not?" Meiling challenged.

"She'll be expelled for being pregnant if she doesn't drop school for him altogether first," Touya hissed his reply.

Meiling's face quirked. "He... They're THAT close?"

"Not yet... At least I hope not yet." Touya shook his head. "But soon. Too soon for Sakura. She won't be out of her uniform when she becomes a mother."

"And how can you be so sure of that?" Meiling demanded.

"I see things that other people can't," Touya admitted. "I could see the bond between Sakura and the brat from the moment I first saw him. She was ten and there was this kid that she would marry. And as time passed that bond got stronger. She was to be his and there was nothing I could do about it. Neither could you."

Meiling glared angrily. "You're not even from a wizarding family yet both you and your sister have talent. Yet I couldn't cast a spell to save my life and I'm descended from countless generations of magicians. My grandfather was head of the clan before Aunt Yelan was."

Touya shrugged. "I'll have to ask Mom if she knows why the next time I see her."

Meiling looked at him with skepticism. "Your mother is dead."

Touya nodded. "I know." He then walked off, somehow a little less resentful of a certain Chinese boy.

Meiling huffed as he walked off and then sighed. Her eyes glanced toward the bathroom, waiting for Rika and Naoko to return. Her head echoed with Touya's words that she never stood a chance with Syaoran. That all her time chasing after him and loving him had meant nothing. Syaoran would have fallen in love with Kinomoto no matter what she could've done. Even if she had gotten to go with Syaoran to capture the Clow Cards from day one and stayed with him until he returned to Hong Kong, it still would've been a lost cause. He'd still love Kinomoto and not her. She would still lose him. Somehow she felt a little better acknowledging that.


Working as a maid for the Daidouji family certainly has its good and bad points. The good being that she got a place to live and nothing was ever made of what she did with her roommate at night. The job made hiding her preference from her parents rather easy. All she ever say to them was that she was too busy to get a boyfriend, so they wouldn't have to know about her girlfriend. But there was a bad part to it all. Any rules and requests were expected to be followed to the letter. While not as enforced by Tomoyo, there were still certain commands she gave that were absolute.

Now the maid stood at Tomoyo's door. She was under orders to not clean the room, despite that Tomoyo was away all day at the amusement park. At least that was what she had been told, but there was noises coming from the room. She feared there was a burglar, yet Tomoyo made it clear that under no circumstances was anyone to enter the room.

Perhaps it was just the television had been left on and it was some Kansai-comedian doing some joke bit with candies and cakes.

Was that a belch she just heard?


Rika was torn between being sad at having to leave her friends and happy at the reason why she was going. She fidgeted as she stared at the clock.

"It's time for your date, isn't it?" Tomoyo observed.

Rika nodded, but said nothing.

"No need to be nervous. It's not like it's your first date. We'll cover for you. You're with us at the park all day," Naoko encouraged with a smirk.

"Don't keep your boyfriend waiting. I certainly wouldn't if I had one," Meiling added.

"I'll see you all later," Rika finally managed to say.

The other girls waved her off.

"So what to do next?" Meiling asked.

"It's too bad Sakura-chan isn't here. It'd be fun taking her to the fun house," Naoko commented.

Meiling started laughing loudly. "Oh, if Syaoran's sisters dragged her to the haunted house at my uncle's amusement park, she would absolutely FREAK."

"Is it especially scary?" Naoko wondered.

"It can be if you get to see one part of it," Meiling answered.

"What is it?" Naoko pressed.

Meiling pouted. "I don't know. I've never been able to see that part. Though with Syaoran's sisters, I bet Kinomoto can."

Tomoyo frowned. "I do hope Sakura-chan misses that attraction then."


The long drive across Japan finally ended for the Yamazaki family. Stiff from hours on the long stretch of express roads, they exited the car slowly and looked at the resort hotel and hot springs that the head of their branch of the Yamazaki clan resided.

While Chiharu wasn't technically a member of the family yet, this was not her first trip here. Though in the past, she had thought being allowed to go with Takashi had more to do with the lack of kids his age. The closest was his cousin, Ayane, and she was four years older than him and she typically hung out with the elder cousins.

A tall, somewhat muscular man with a sun-induced dark complexion strutted up to them. "Well, look what the cat dragged in."

"Hello, Hiro-oniichan. Not going to wait before you start teasing me again?" Mr. Yamazaki groused with a smirk.

"What are big brothers for?" Hiro laughed. "I see you brought Takashi-chan's girlfriend again."

"More than his girlfriend now, though I'll save the full discussion on that when I talk with father," Mr. Yamazaki replied.

Hiro looked startled. "You're not trying to beat me at becoming a grandfather first?"

Mr. Yamazaki laughed. "I believe that's up to them. But as I said, it's something I need to talk about with father."

Hiro folded his arms. "I was going to ask you if you were sure about giving those two a room alone, but I see you are. Just don't come crying to me for money if she makes you a grandpa. I have enough worries about that from my own kids on top of their university studies."

Mr. Yamazaki grinned evilly. "Then I should be saying that to you. I cleared ten-billion-yen last year, and my investments are looking to make this year even better."

"Bah! This place makes that much in Golden Week alone," Hiro shot back. "Now lets get you to your rooms."

"The joys of sibling rivalry," Chiharu muttered, remembering her own troubles with her older sister.

Takashi followed behind her with a frown on his face.


"Is this seat taken?" Rika questioned at a darkened movie theater.

"Oh, hello there, Rika-chan." Terada smirked at his former student. "How have you been doing lately?"

Rika sat down next to him. "Everything has been going fine. My report card was better than I expected. Oh, and Sakura-chan is in Hong Kong visiting Li-kun. That's a pretty long date, don't you think?"

Terada blinked. "How serious are they?"

"Considering Sakura-chan and Li-kun, I doubt they're any farther than I am with my boyfriend. They've given promises of love, but I haven't heard of anything physical," Rika explained.

"It's amazing that they've done that much already and that their parents support the relationship," Terada commented.

Rika sighed. "If only I could say the same about my own relationship."

"Your parents will be more accepting when you're older," Terada encouraged.

Rika nodded. "Or wait until I'm sixteen."


Stretching in the naturally heated spring water, Chiharu soothed her stiff muscles. As relaxing as the water were supposed to be, it offered little help to the growing anxiety she held. She would be going to bed soon and, as she feared, there was only one bed in her room. A lone bed she was expected to share with Takashi.

Engaged by their parents, Chiharu did not have a voice to protest the arrangements. She had no choice. She would marry him in order to secure her inheritance and family home in the face of her father's impending death from cancer. The only reason she wasn't married yet was because of managing the small details, including gaining approval of the Yamazaki clan head and protecting her elder sister's university funds from inheritance taxation. However, being robbed of her ability to decide whom to marry came with another matter she could not fight against: the loss of her virginity.

While she appreciated Tomoyo-chan's advice, she doubted the value of the girl's words. She would be sharing a bed with a boy she had been promised to. If Takashi wanted to have sex with her, how could she refuse him without hurting him and being extremely rude in the process? Once she started kissing, there would be no turning back as the implied invitation already existed. She would need to express that she wasn't ready before they even got to that point. But how could she do that without hurting Takashi's feelings. She loved him dearly, she just wasn't certain about how she felt for him physically.

Chiharu wasn't sure if she wanted to laugh or cry as a memory sprang to mind of when they were younger. She was only five when she had her first kiss with him. It had more to do with curiosity and stubbornness than any attraction to him, though at the time she swore that she would marry him someday. And while that wish had been granted, she had thought it would by their own choice.

"Well, hiding here won't solve anything," Chiharu muttered to herself as she exited the hot spring. Apprehension lurked in her, but she wasn't about to avoid her fate.


Having a love for children was a requirement for being an elementary school teacher. The desire to nurture their minds and help them grow up to be productive and strong adults. Children are the promise of the future, and it's the job of teachers to help them realize that.

During the years of schooling to become a teacher, there had been warnings and training given to deal with issues that textbooks can't give. That there will come a time a student will cause so much anger, that the teacher would like nothing more than to throw the kid bodily out a third floor window. There was also the issue of how to deal with students that become overly infatuated, either with another student or towards the teacher. That was a delicate situation to be addressed, and unfortunately geared towards dealing with high school students in that situation.

Much of what Terada had been taught about dealing with students' love relations failed in the face of reality. When do you approach eleven-year-old cousins concerning their relationship when one claimed they were engaged to be married and the other didn't deny it? What do you tell a different eleven-year-old girl who seemed to have been dating said engaged boy? Who was he to tread on a different couple's relationship that had apparently been going on since they were in kindergarten? How are you supposed to deal with a girl crushing on you, when you find yourself falling in love with her as well?

Terada never planned to have these feelings of romantic love for any of his students. They were going to be just children. He had thought if he was involved in any relationship issues at an elementary school that it would've been with another teacher or a parent of a student, maybe even with a married woman. The idea that he would fall for a ten-year-old girl had simply never crossed his mind as being possible. Yet here he was walking through a secluded part of a park on a date with that same girl three years later. Perhaps he had been stupid to give her an engagement ring, but attached to the ring was a promise that was still going strong.

Rika skipped a few steps ahead and twirled around to face her one-time gym teacher. "What are you thinking about?"

Terada blinked, snapping out of his thoughts. "Just thinking about how unlikely we are."

Rika smiled sweetly. "Love knows no boundaries."

Terada smirked. "Though people would disagree."

"They just don't know any better," Rika replied seriously. "They say kindergarten sweethearts are impossible to last, yet Yamazaki-kun and Chiharu-chan are still together. Long distance relationships never work out, yet Sakura-chan is in Hong Kong on a long date with Li-kun. That children don't have serious romantic relationships." The girl smiled knowingly. "You know better than that."

Terada laughed. "I've learned that the hard way."

Rika nodded, but then sighed as her cellphone rang. She pulled it out and answered it. "Hello, Sasaki speaking." She then frowned. "Yes, Mother. I'm on my way home from the amusement park. I'll be home soon." A scowl formed on her face. "Sure, I'll pick that up from the store."

"All good things will eventually end," Terada observed.

"Unfortunately, but we can always try to make the good times last as long as possible." Rika grabbed the teacher by the tie he was wearing and pulled him down into a deep kiss. Time didn't matter to her enjoying the sensual contact of his lips and tasting his tongue with her own. Though the kiss did have to end, and with a reluctant, but content, sigh she broke away from him. "I'll see you soon."

"I'll be counting the minutes," Terada promised.

The pair slowly drifted apart, each taking a different path out of the park. She gave a passing glance to the teacher's direction while touching her lips. She then shook her head while pouting. She found herself blaming Meiling for her flushed body, though knew that was an excuse. She finally whispered what she had been longing to say to her beloved, "I don't want to wait until I'm sixteen."


Silence hung in the room as two young teenagers shifted nervously in each other's presence. Neither knew how to say what was on their respective minds. That both had yet to change into their sleepwear and that there was no where for them to do it in their room privately didn't help matters.

"Takashi..." Chiharu trailed off.

"Yeah, Chiharu?" the boy prompted.

"I, er, well, that is... How do you feel about our engagement?" Chiharu blurted out. Though it was a question she wanted to know, it was not what she had wanted to say.

Takashi pouted. "Well, I was kind of hoping that it would've happened later, like in high school. I certainly didn't object to it when my parents asked me if I wanted to marry you."

Chiharu stared at him, mouth agape. "They asked you?!"

Takashi blinked in confusion. "They didn't ask you?"

Chiharu slowly shook her head. "No, they didn't. Mother told me one day I would marry you and inherit the house."

Takashi frowned and looked away. "Do you want to be engaged to me? If you don't want to be, I can go to Dad and tell him we changed our minds."

Chiharu closed her eyes and tried to fight the tears that were forming. She didn't know what to say to him. She didn't know the answer. She didn't want to hurt him, but telling him she didn't want to be engaged yet would hurt him. She was broken out of her jumbled thoughts when she felt his hands holding hers.

Kneeling before the girl, Takashi asked, "Chiharu, will you marry me?"

"Yes," slipped from her lips, despite her uncertainty of that answer.

Takashi smiled at her before standing up and kissing her soundly on the lips. There was a little hesitation from the girl before she returned the action. Slowly he broke away from her. "Chiharu, I love you."

Chiharu hugged him tightly. "I... I love you, too."

Takashi let his hands caress her back, enjoying the feeling of her body pressed against his own. "Chiharu..."

She didn't need him to finish his words. She pulled out of the hug and quickly found his lips on her own once again. His hands began to wander to other places and her clothes began to fall to floor.



Kero-chan leapt from where it had been sleeping and nearly latched onto the ceiling of Tomoyo's bedroom at the impossibly loud scream. It then scowled darkly at the girl holding a megaphone. "You think that's funny, eh wench?"

Meiling answered with laughter, but that was short lived as the card guardian's wings engulfed its form. With a brief flash of light, the Chinese girl found herself pinned to the ground by the now large mystical winged-mountain lion.

"I'm not a plush toy for your amusement," Cerberus growled.

"Now, Kero-chan, it was just a joke," Tomoyo admonished.

"He's the joke," Meiling quipped despite her precarious position under the beast.

"Why do you insist on mocking me, wench?" Cerberus demanded.

"Because you have no claws," Meiling returned.

"That's enough fun for now, don't you think?" Tomoyo asked them calmly.

"What's the wench doing here anyway?" Cerberus questioned, moving off of Meiling but remaining in his true form.

Meiling scowled at the beast. "I switched places with Kinomoto. She's in Hong Kong while I'll stay here."

"WHAT?!" Cerberus screeched. "Why didn't she take me with her?!"

Meiling poke the beast's nose. "Because, stupid plushy, Kinomoto is there as a long date with Syaoran. She doesn't want any unnecessary annoyances taking time away from him."

Cerberus took a mock-swipe at the girl with its paw. "That explains why YOU got sent here, but I'm her guardian. I should be there to protect her!"

"Then why were you here stuffing your face when she left?" Meiling shot back.

Tomoyo shook her head at the pair. There wasn't much she could do to stop the two from clashing, each treasuring their own pride a tad too much for their own good.


Chiharu stared at the ceiling as she laid in the bed next to her fiance. Their clothes discarded on the floor while their sleepwear was still packed away. Only the blankets kept her modesty from anyone who might enter the room.

She wasn't sure what to make of this night. Her virginity had come to an end, as she had expected it would. Kissing and hugging had been fine for her, but as things advanced beyond that point she increasingly wanted it all to end. Whether he would be satisfied with just that, or that he would quickly finish the deed. She knew he loved her. That he had made love to her. However, she felt hollow about it all. That what she had done was a task or a duty, rather than an act of affection from her.

Chiharu let out a long sigh. She didn't hate what happened tonight. She would treasure the memory of him proposing to her. That she had finally been asked if she wanted to be married. She just wasn't entirely happy with it all. Perhaps part of her issues stemmed from his obvious lack of experience and that the act held little pleasure for her. She could endure his touch easily enough. She would not stop future encounters with him.

"Yamazaki Chiharu," she whispered. "I'm just going to have to get used to that." She shifted her body, trying to get more comfortable and felt reminders of what she had done with Takashi in the process. "And possibly being called 'Mommy' as well." And that thought strangely held more anticipation than dread for the young teenager. After all, that had been her fantasy since kindergarten, to be the mother of Takashi's children. Too bad that reality and the process of becoming that wasn't as perfect as she had once imagined it would be.


Author's Notes:

Coming next: Chapter 4 - Sakura and Dreams of the Future
The story returns to Hong Kong. Lamenting over how 'not special' her first kiss was, takes a back seat as Sakura dreams of impossible choices that must be made.

As the sexual content was off screen, this remains viewable to teenagers, just as references of sex in Soap Operas and evening programs can do so in public broadcast. If you object to that and believe any reference of sex should warrant a higher rating, then speak to your congressman to pass legislation to take any mention of sex from public broadcast: including Soap Opera's, after school specials warning of teenage pregnancy, sitcoms, dramas, reality television, news, etc...

Why the parental consent for Yamazaki and Chiharu?
A) Japan has a much lower value of virginity than most Western cultures. A twenty-year-old, of either gender, is not expected to be a virgin regardless of marital status.
B) Parents believed they were already sexually active, so they weren't 'encouraging them.' Even if the two were still virgins, having them become intimate will help them accept their marriage.
C) Chiharu becoming pregnant would either be used to solidify the marriage if the girl choose to keep the baby. If not, the fetus would be aborted with the expectation she would have a baby when she is older and wants one. This is the Japanese mindset. In Japan abortion is treated as birth control, being second only to condoms in practice of preventing motherhood.

Why have them married so young?
Japan has one of the harshest taxation laws of any country. Inheritances can be taxed up to fifty percent, while wedding gifts from parents and grandparents are not taxed at all. As such, when a parent or grandparent has only a short time left to live, it is common for quick marriages to occur to secure the inheritance without it being taxed.