Card Captor Sakura Fan Fiction ❯ Sakura's Christmas Surprise ❯ Sakura and Dreams of the Future ( Chapter 4 )

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

Chapter 4: Sakura and Dreams of the Future

By Lord Archive

Characters are property of CLAMP and are used without consent.

Warning, this chapter contains adult situations. There is no graphic depiction of anything beyond kissing, however it does hold implied acts done 'off screen' much as one would find in a Soap Opera on afternoon television or in evening shows (in particular a few episodes of 'Roseanne' has had similar implied content.)


Sakura pouted deeply as she tried to fall asleep in one of the Li clan's guestrooms. It wasn't the unfamiliar ceiling and walls with decorations that were a tad foreign to her that kept her up. It was the memory of her first kiss.

The young teenager sighed. She had dreamed of what her first kiss with Syaoran would be like. She had believed it would be a special moment. That it would excite her entire being. Yet her kiss fell far short of expectations. It was just a simple peck on the lips, nothing more. It was the type of kiss her brother would likely approve of, which made her feel even more disappointed about it.

What could she have done about it? Not kiss him when she was given such an opportunity? It would've been rude of her to have not done so. It was tradition after all to kiss the person under the mistletoe and he was her boyfriend. Yet being in front of his family, she couldn't have done it the way she wanted too, nor could he have been able to properly return it.

A smile crept on her face as she realized that she at least got a kiss from him. And now that they've had their first, it should be easier to do it again and again. It may not have been very special, but she could see to make up for it with their second one. To feel what it was really like to receive passion from a boy's lips.

The grin disappeared back into pouting lips. It's the first kiss that's supposed to be the special one, not the second one. And she had wasted it with mistletoe. It could've been so much better. There will never be another first kiss, and it was just a simple peck.

As the girl tried to decide whether she should be happy to have her first kiss or sad about how unspecial it was, exhaustion eventually won out, dragging her into a deep slumber.


Syaoran stared at his bedroom ceiling, his fingers touching the edge of his mouth. Sakura had kissed him today. Thanks to Meiling, it was hardly his first kiss, but he had never shared one with Sakura before. Despite all the stolen pecks on the lips Meiling had done, the brief contact from Sakura's lips still made him smile at the slightest memory of it.

Syaoran frowned, thinking how Meiling had taken something from him that should've been Sakura's. True, they had been only four when he first felt her lips, but the girl kissed him many times since then. It took him quite a bit to convince her to stop doing that. At least she never got it into head to try doing more than just kissing. That sort of stuff he would do with Sakura, first and only.

Again a slight smile touched his face. He had finally shared a kiss with Sakura. Then he frowned, wondering if she only kissed him because of the mistletoe. Did she really want to kiss him then? Or again at any time in the near future? Would it upset her if he stole a kiss from her? Would he ever feel her lips again? Sakura had initiated the kiss with him, that meant she wanted to be kissed. Didn't it? But it was under a mistletoe...

The boy was restless in his bed. His mind tearing him between being happy about progressing his relationship with Sakura and being worried that nothing had really changed and trying to kiss her would hurt their future.


The old and abused commercial bus flew down the street uncontrollably. Overused breaks squealed as the driver attempted to stop the hulking mass of metal, but to no avail as the tires slid down the steep hill even as the bus began to turn sideways against the street.

People fled from the massive vehicle, trying to get out of its way. A few cars were unfortunate to be at the base of hill stuck at a traffic light. The bus slammed into the stopped cars and steamrolled right over them until it finally came to a rest on its side in the middle of an intersection. Fire erupted from one of the crushed cars and threatened to ignite everything around it.

There would be little time to act, one of the observers of this horrid accident knew all too well. She immediately ran to the bus, and with a skilled kick took out the already broken front window. "Everyone, you've got to get out of here! The gas tank will explode soon!"

She began to guide the passengers out of the bus, helping them through the exit she created. She needed them to move faster, but knew that their injuries didn't allow for that. After most of the passengers had escaped, she moved into the bus. Towards the back was a trapped little girl that was being helped by a young man who had once sent her heart a flutter but now filled it with sadness. "You don't have much time. I'll save her."

The young man blinked at her. "If we work together..."

"Not enough time," she interrupted. "Go! I'll shield her." She watched as he reluctantly did as she commanded. She then crouched over the trapped little girl, summoning her magic to protect that tiny life.

"FANREN!" the man screamed, looking into the bus.

"Goodbye, beloved," Fanren whispered as hellfire erupted around her.

Sakura shot up out of bed with a jolt. "Wha... What was that dream?!" Dizzily, she left the guestroom and wandered the hallways of the Li estate. Eventually she found herself at the kitchen, but saw she was not alone.

"Bad dream?" Fanren questioned as she started to peel an orange.

Sakura fidgeted. "Ah, yeah. Though it was very strange."

"How strange?" Fanren prompted.

Sakura shook her head. "It's probably nothing to worry about."

"You know the power of dreams very well, don't you?" Fanren sighed. "I certainly can't escape them."

Sakura pouted. "I don't really know what to say about my dream. It's unlike any I've had before. It was like I was in someone else's dream."

Fanren paled. "Don't tell me you saw my dream!"

"I... ah...," Sakura stuttered.

Fanren turned away. "I'm sorry you had to see that. Try to forget it if you can. There's nothing you can do for me."

"But you died in my dream!" Sakura protested.

"I know I did. I've been dying in my dreams almost every night since I was four," Fanren stated coldly. "That is my fate. There is nothing I can do to prevent it."

"You could just not go to the bus!" Sakura yelled.

Fanren glared at her. "You remember the last person who left that bus, right?"

Sakura nodded.

"He's the most important person in my life. He means everything to me. If I save myself from this fate, he dies. And that's something I just can't accept. He has another love waiting for him. He'll have a family with her. My death will allow him to realize that," Fanren explained coldly.

Sakura began to sob. "It's not fair. Why can't you have that life with him? Isn't there something I can do? This choice, it's not fair!"

Fanren placed her hands on the girl's shoulders. "How many people get to know when they'll die? How many get to realize what their destiny is before it's upon them? How many learn who their love is and get to act on it before it's too late?" Fanren smiled weakly. "I live each day to its fullest. I am proud to say that my death will save the life of my beloved and that the small, innocent girl will not face years of hospitalization. And when I was with my beloved, I got to fully treasure the time we had spent together."

Sakura tried to choke back her tears. "Why aren't you with him now?"

Fanren frowned deeply. "Because I do not want him to suffer. I have introduced him to the one who will be the mother of his children. He is dating her now and she will be able to help him when I die." She then smirked. "Besides, I remember the dreams I had of a possible future where I held onto him until my final days. I would've died as his wife and..."

Sakura blinked out a few of her tears. "And?"

Fanren shook her head. No need to compound the sorrow of the girl. "It's nothing. Just a life that could've been mine, but decided against it."

Sakura rubbed her eyes. "I guess I see why you liked the story of Minmei-chan so much."

Fanren nodded. "It helps me knowing that I'm not the only one who has been made to make such a hard decision."


Syaoran shambled his way to the back patio connected to the dinning room of his home, following the scent of strong tea. He grunted something sounding like 'good morning' as he plopped down at the patio table and served himself a cup of tea.

"I told you he sucks at waking up," Fanren mentioned with a chuckle.

Sakura giggled. "I'm not much better."

A blush crept over Syaoran's face, finally waking up enough to realize who was sitting at the patio table with him. "Ah, good morning, Sakura."

Fanren faked a pout. "And I don't deserve a 'good morning' as well?"

Syaoran gulped down his tea instead of replying, causing Sakura to laugh even more. He then set down his cup and got up from the table. "I'm going to start practicing."

"Practicing what?" Sakura inquired.

Fanren smirked. "Just watch."

"Um, I'll be practicing out back," Syaoran muttered nervously.

"Now, Syaoran, you know very well that you need to be able maintain focus even while being distracted," Fanren told him in pseudo-commanding tone.

"Fine," Syaoran grumbled out. He moved a fair distance from the table and began a martial arts kata. He attacked the air before him as if he was fighting an opponent. Though he was certain he was not performing the moves as well as he should with Sakura making sounds of delight as she watched him.

"I see you still need work on staying focused, Lord Syaoran," Wei said firmly.

Syaoran gulped. "Ah, good morning, Wei."

Wei folded his arms. "And paying attention to your surroundings as well. You didn't even realize I was here, did you?"

Syaoran slouched but otherwise gave no reply.

Wei laughed. "Well, I can hardly fault you from losing focus with this charming young girl distracting you."

Syaoran couldn't help but agree, especially when Sakura was blushing so cutely.

"Though I think we should save the lessons to correct that for another time." Wei then looked toward Sakura. "How would you like to learn how to protect yourself a little?"

Sakura blinked. "I can't do martial arts!"

"Sure you can. And I don't think there's a better teacher for you than Lord Syaoran," Wei told her kindly.

"What? ME?! I haven't taught anyone before!" Syaoran protested.

"Exactly," Wei returned. "This would be an excellent time to start. After all, every girl should know how to defend herself from one who would wish her harm. And I'm sure she could use other methods that don't rely on her magic."

"Well, if it's Syaoran-kun..." Sakura trailed off.

Syaoran looked from Wei to Sakura, then sighed. "I don't know how good I'll be, but I can give it a try." He steadied himself. "I guess the first thing to teach you is how to throw a punch."

Sakura blinked. "What do you mean? I know how to punch someone. My brother can attest to that."

Syaoran bit back the temptation to grin. "There is more to punching than just hitting something. By knowing how to punch correctly, you can put a lot more force behind the hit."


Taking a break from today's lessons, Syaoran laid along side Sakura on the ground in the middle of a lush garden at the Li estate. Together they watched the clouds drift by.

Sakura could hardly tell that it was the start of winter here, with warm breezes floating over Hong Kong from unseasonal breezes coming from the South China Sea. She enjoyed just being near the boy with her, half-debating to steal another kiss from him though trying to make this one more special. Then the memory of Fanren's dream would haunt her and she couldn't help but frown.

Syaoran had been gazing intently at her. "Sakura, is something wrong?"

Sakura blushed deeply, suddenly feeling his eyes on her. She turned her head away from him. "I don't know if it's my place to say anything."

Syaoran blinked in confusion. "What do you mean?"

Sakura pouted. "Last night I had someone else's dream."

Syaoran's eyes widened and his voice took a note of distress. "It wasn't Fanren's dream, was it?"

Sakura fidgeted while she failed to come up with any reply. She gave a small sound of surprise when she was suddenly pulled into a hug.

"Sakura, if you can, forget about that dream," Syaoran whispered into the girl's ear. "It is a cruel fate that awaits her, but at least she has been able to make the best of it."

"But why can't she live with her beloved? Why does she have to die so young?" Sakura protested.

"The world exists in balance. When it's time for someone to die, someone will die. Maybe not the intended person, but the balance must be kept," Syaoran explained.

"That's not fair!" Sakura cried out.

Syaoran let out a hollow chuckle. "Whoever said life was fair? But consider this: if one of your friends was to die tomorrow, wouldn't it be better than she knew ahead of time so she could pass on without regrets?"

Sakura turned her body around and buried her face into Syaoran's chest as she began to sob uncontrollably.


"What is it you wanted to teach me, Wei-san?" Sakura wondered.

"There are a few self-defense techniques that are surprisingly easy for the damage they can cause. What I am about to teach you here is to be of a last resort, and only against someone you want to permanently disable," Wei answered.

"Why should I learn such a thing?" Sakura questioned with a note of distress.

"Lady Sakura, if only this world didn't need such things. For a beautiful young lady, like yourself, there are those who would selfishly hurt you just because of your beauty," Wei explained. "In particular, I fear a depraved man may seek to rob you of your virtue, and it would be best to know how to deal with such a person without relying on your magic. Rather than permanently disabling him, you would likely have to kill him."

"Why would I ever be in such a situation?" Sakura protested.

Wei shook his head sadly. "My dear, no one asks to be in such a dreaded predicament. It is something that can happen to anyone at any time. If all young maidens knew of what I'm about to teach you, then maybe there would be no need to ever employ such moves as few would be stupid enough to try to hurt girls."

Sakura pouted. "Does Syaoran-kun or Meiling-chan know these moves?"

Wei casually walked over to a two-meter wooden figure of a man, and promptly punched a hole into its chest.

Sakura's eyes widened in shock and fright realizing if that had been a living person, he would be very dead with his heart crushed. She couldn't believe the implications before her. "Are you saying Syaoran-kun and Meiling-chan know how to KILL?!"

Wei smiled sadly at the young teenager. "Lady Sakura, the spells Lord Syaoran knew when he first met you could kill a man. And while the practice of martial arts should be to the betterment of oneself to find harmony of mind, body and soul, there comes a time when one needs to protect themselves and all they love with everything they have."

Sakura frowned deeply, never wanting to consider the lethal applications of Syaoran's skills, especially as she was supposed to be stronger than him. She did not like the entire conversation and wanted it to be over with as quickly as possible. "Are you going to teach ME how to kill?"

Wei smirked. "That would take a higher amount of learning than I can give you at present. These are techniques that, while effective, are relatively easy to perform."

Sakura gave a shallow nod. "Why don't we begin now?"

Wei bowed to her. "As you wish. The first technique I wish to show you is something that requires a specific target to be available on a man's body. This move, while simple, would permanently render the target infertile. So, please be absolutely certain you need to use the move, and never use it on Lord Syaoran. And if you do use it, run. Run as fast and hard as you can away from the person you did it to. Once the man recovers from the pain, he will most certainly try to kill you."

Sakura emitted a sound of distress.

Wei pointed at what looked like a hand-sized beanbag nailed to the wall at about waist height. "Now grab hold of that firmly, twist your wrist, and pull down with all your strength."

Sakura nervously fidgeted as she followed his instructions. She fell two small round balls in the sack as held it and then turned her wrist and pulled down. The bag failed to come loose from the wall, but the balls now felt like smashed takoyaki. She tugged at the sack a few more times. Slowly realization dawned on her just what the bag represented and what it would do to a guy. "HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?????? ??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" She jumped clear to the other side of the room, looking at her hand as if it was a bloody dagger.

"Are the balls still intact?" Wei questioned.

Sakura shivered violently. "No. They broke apart on the first tug."

Wei nodded. "Very good. That is the result you are looking for."

"It can't be THAT easy to do THAT, can it?" Sakura whined desperately.

Wei nodded gravely. "This specific move is frightfully easy for the effect it has. Just remember, NEVER use it on Lord Syaoran."

Sakura shook her head fiercely. "NEVER! I want to have children some day!"

Wei coughed. "Moving on to the next technique...."

"Tell me it's not like this one!" Sakura demanded.


Fanren entered the main room with flourished movements. "Sakura, I've got something to show you!"

"Oh?" Sakura wondered.

Fanren grinned dementedly. "It's just a little video tape."

Syaoran stared at the item his sister was holding as if it was a bomb. "You can't show her THAT!"

"Sure I can." Fanren waved the tape threateningly. "I'm sure Sakura would love to see you singing for your school."

Sakura clapped her hands together in joy. "You have that on tape? I'd love to see it!"

"Really it's nothing to see! There's no need to show it!" Syaoran protested.

Fuutie entered the room and placed her hands on her brother's shoulders. "It's too late now. She knows what's on it."

Syaoran sulked as Fanren skipped over to the VCR and television, and proceeded to turn both of them on. Somehow before even the tape began to play, all four Li sisters were in the room.

Sakura wondered why the sisters were paying more attention to her and Syaoran than the tape. The answer came quickly as the image of a nervous eight-year-old Syaoran stiffly walked to the center of the stage and attempted to sing. 'Attempted' being the appropriate word as the sounds the young boy was making came out more like a frog stuck in the throat of a cat, than actual music.

It was really like watching a train wreck. You just couldn't look away even though you know you should. Sakura was embarrassed watching this, mostly out of knowing sympathy for Syaoran. Many times she wanted to crawl under a rock and die when Tomoyo showed her videos, and he must be feeling much the same.


Sakura sighed. The past couple days had flown by, and she hadn't really done anything but hang around Syaoran and talk. Not that there was any problem with that, though the sheer amount of time her boyfriend spent training was a bit much. Not that she minded watching him. Why did he and his family put so much time into martial arts and magic? It was like never being able to get away from school.

"Is he even close to touching Feimei?" Kau asked, as he sat next to Sakura.

Sakura blinked out of her thoughts. "Not really."

"Huh?" Kau looked over with a startled look. "Can you see her?"

Sakura laughed sheepishly. "Actually I just noticed I can't see her with my eyes, but with my magic. Right now she looks a bit distorted to me, but if I shut my eyes I can see her clearly."

"You know magic? Could you teach me some?" Kau questioned.

Sakura frowned. "My magic is rather specific to me. It can't be taught."

Kau looked irritable. "Feimei told me the same about her invisibility. That it was her affinity with concealment that allowed her to learn the spell, and isn't a standard sort of spells that can be easily taught." He glanced over at the young girl. "So what kind of spell affinity you have?"

Sakura shook her head. "It's not an affinity like Feimei's concealment or Fanren's precognition. Um... have you played the newest Final Fantasy game?"

Kau nodded in confusion.

"My magic is like the summons in that game," Sakura informed.

Kau blinked repeatedly. "Are you saying you could summon Ifreet, Shiva, or Bahumut?"

"Not Bahumut and The Fiery and The Freeze don't look like Ifreet or Shiva," Sakura corrected.

Kau stared at the girl in shock and horror. "You could burn down this entire estate?"

"I'd NEVER do THAT!!" Sakura protested.

"I didn't say you WOULD, just that you COULD do it," Kau returned.

Sakura pouted. "I guess I could." She then glanced at Syaoran chasing after a frog Feimei had turned invisible. "Though I believe it's not all that different from them. They know how to kill efficiently... I'd just be more... effective with my greater power." She then gasped seeing Feimei sneaking up behind Syaoran, hands poised above his hips as if to pull down his shorts.

Syaoran whirled around and grabbed Feimei into a bear hug. "Got you."

"No fair! Your girlfriend spotted me, not you!" Feimei huffed as she turned visible. Her gaze switched to Sakura. "And you should've let me do it. You would've enjoyed the show even more."

Syaoran glared at his sister. "Using my surroundings was the key to finding you, even if it's using Sakura to spot you."


Syaoran's family and Sakura gathered at a gazebo towards the back of the house. The wooden structure looked normal enough, but those gathered knew better. Fanren chanted to one side while Syaoran stood in the center. As the young woman focused her magic through her fan, the young visitor was strongly reminded of her first visit here when Syaoran's mother looked into her dream and future.

The gazebo's floor began to glow with many colors, with many symbols and writings appearing inside the now active magic square. Illusionary images of some of the planets began to appear around Syaoran, along with what looked like two suns. Oddly, the Moon, Mars and the bright white star were the largest objects, much larger than yellow burning sphere.

Fanren's face scrunched up in thought.

"You see the problem I had in deciphering it?" Syaoran asked.

Fanren nodded. "It appears you are at a crossroads. However, your future is not yours to choose, but someone else's." She then looked over at Sakura. "Would you like your horoscope read?"

Sakura was a little worried at what she might be told. Seeing the future had always been a mixed blessing for her, especially after seeing Fanren's fate. Still, she moved to where Syaoran had been standing, hoping that she might be able to produce an answer to save Fanren from an early death.

Once again Fanren chanted and the floor glowed. Bright light flooded the area from the magical square. Fanren grunted as she tried to reign in her spell of reading. It felt to her as if she just opened a highly powerful and magical book. Never before had she felt such a reaction. When she finally managed to control it, her gasp of shock was added to those of her family.

A dozen planetary objects had appeared around Sakura, with the Sun and the Moon dwarfing them in size, yet the same white star in Syaoran's reading was by far the largest object.

"It's the star," Feimei breathed out.

Shiefa smirked. "I don't think we should really be surprised."

"What's going on?" Sakura asked.

"It's rare for a star to appear in a person's horoscope. Especially as strong as it is for Syaoran," Fanren commented. "We had all thought of it as 'Syaoran's star,' but apparently it truly belongs to you." She then paused. "You are by far the most complex reading I've ever had. For most people, you can discount the influence of a couple planets altogether. You've got celestial objects that aren't even counted as planets in yours, like the asteroid Ceres. Though at one time it was thought to be a planet."

Sakura shifted nervously. "So you can't read mine?"

"It's much harder to decipher and I can't be entirely accurate, but I can give you a probable reading. Actually it answers the question I had with Syaoran's horoscope." Fanren pointed at the girl. "You are the one that holds his future. The choices you make in the coming days will decide what is to come for him."

Sakura made a noise of panic, not wanting such a burden thrust at her. That not only would her decision affect herself, but Syaoran as well.

"There is more," Fanren added with a frown. "There is a challenge that waits for you. The decisions you make now will determine how soon it will happen. Whether it'll be within a year or years from now."

Sakura frowned at the proclamation. "I see. Anything else?"

"I believe that's it," Fanren lied.

"Sakura, why don't we go to my school? The guys usually play soccer today," Syaoran questioned.

Sakura brightened at the request. "Sure! Let's go!"

Fanren waited for the others to leave until she was left alone with her mother. "We've got to talk."

Yelan gave an even gaze at her daughter. "I already know what choice Sakura has ahead of her."

Fanren nodded, not surprised at all. "It's not about her possibly adding to our family. It's the challenge that awaits her that troubles me. Technically, it's already started. Unless I'm mistaken, the roller coaster incident was part of it."

Yelan turned her gaze to the gazebo floor. "So the target was her."

Fanren frowned. "Yes. However, the issue I have is when that challenge comes to a head. If she were to become pregnant and remain here, she will face it much sooner than she would if she returned home."

"Do you know when she'll make her decision?" Yelan questioned coldly.

"I'm not sure," Fanren answered. "Though it would be best if she did not sleep with Syaoran yet. She's not ready for either motherhood nor the challenge awaiting her."

"That goes without saying." Yelan turned and walked away.


Sakura happily skipped down the road, with Syaoran walking beside her. He was finally taking her to see his school and possibly meet some of his friends. The trip was a bit different than her own trek to school each morning, needing to use the trolley to go down Mount Victoria before walking past many large homes with a decent amount of land around them. At least most of these homes were smaller than Tomoyo's house, but it was still a bit of a trip walking past them all.

The school itself wasn't as large as the collective buildings of her school, though this one served less grade levels and fewer students. The main school building was a large tan structure that didn't seem very welcoming to her for some reason. Then again it WAS a school.

Syaoran looked over the vacant field and wasn't sure he should be happy or upset that the guys weren't here. He then glanced up at the school as someone called out his name and saw one of his teachers waving at him. "Yes, Mrs. Yingfa?"

"Mr. Li, I could use your help for a moment, if you please?" Yingfa questioned.

Syaoran nodded. "Sure, I'll be right up." He then turned to Sakura. "Wait here, I'll be right back."

"Why can't I go with you? I'd love to see the inside of your school," Sakura protested.

Syaoran almost gave in. "School rules don't allow for visitors inside the building. It'll just be a moment." He turned and quickly moved to the closest door so he wouldn't have to see her pout at him. With a slash of a key card, he entered the school.

Sakura huffed as she wandered around the field. She wondered how often her boyfriend played soccer here, and what sort of other games he had participated in.

"Who do we have here?" was questioned in Cantonese.

Sakura turned to look to see who said that and saw four boys walking toward her. "Ah, hello," she greeted in English.

"Definitely not a native," a different boy stated in English as well.

"That should be obvious," the first boy groused toward his friends. "So, where are you from?"

"Japan," Sakura answered nervously. She was thankful the boys at least spoke English.

"So what brings you to our fair school?" another boy asked, leering at her openly. He then jumped back as someone jumped in front of the girl and glared harshly at him.

"Back off!" Syaoran barked angrily. Causing three of the boys to blurt out all at once:

"Hey, don't bite my head off, Li!"
"Geez, Li, where did you come from?"
"What's with you, Li? We were just talking to her."

"What is wrong, Syaoran-kun?" Sakura questioned, bringing the eyes of the four boys and the teacher who followed Syaoran onto her. She quickly became nervous under their collective gaze. "What?"

"Not even teachers can call Li by that name," the first boy stated.

"Well, I am his girlfriend," Sakura defended.

"Li, you've got a girlfriend?! Why didn't you tell us?" the second boy demanded.

Sakura folded her arms. "Yes, Syaoran-kun, why have you not told them?"

Syaoran scratched the back of his head nervously. "Well, they didn't need to know, so why tell them?"

"Because that's what friends do! They talk about their lives with each other," Sakura told him harshly in Japanese. She then presented herself to the others in English, "I am Kinomoto Sakura, pleased to meet you."

Yingfa blinked. "Kinomoto?"

Sakura looked at the teacher quizzically. "Yes?"

"Any relation to Kinomoto Fujitaka?" Yingfa wondered.

Sakura smiled and replied a bit too quickly, "His my otousan... He is my father."

"I see. So that's why Li told me to have you translate this." Yingfa presented a paper written in Japanese to her. "Could you tell me what it says?"

"Oh, this is one of my father's works." Sakura studied the paper, taking her time to figure out how to relate it to English. She then looked up when some more boys arrived, two of them kicking soccer balls. She glanced at her boyfriend and told him in Japanese, "Why don't you play with your friends, Syaoran-kun? This will take me a bit."

Syaoran frowned. "Sure."

"Not very familiar with English, are you?" Yingfa asked.

Sakura shook her head. "I've only had a few classes of it so far. Though I've had a good tutor." She then pouted. "Is everyone here speak English and Cantonese?"

Yingfa giggled a little. "For the most part. Beijing wants us to learn Mandarin instead of Cantonese, though that's unlikely to happen. If the British couldn't stop us from speaking it and Beijing never got the Canton region to stop using it, there's little chance of it happening now."

"I see." Sakura nodded, scrunching her brows in thought.

Yingfa gazed at the girl. "Are you staying in Hong Kong with your father?"

Sakura shook her head. "He is in Egypt on a dig. I staying with family of Syaoran."

Yingfa raised an eyebrow. "How long have you known Mr. Li?"

"Since fourth grade, over three year ago," Sakura informed her, wishing the teacher wouldn't distract her.

"Oh, really? How long have you two been dating?" Yingfa inquired.

Sakura set the paper down and stared off into space for a moment. "Well, never went on date with Syaoran-kun before. At least none we called 'date.' We went places together, but never alone. It was spring last year he told me he loves me. I did not get chance to reply until summer of last year. This is second time since then we spent time together during school vacation. We talk a lot over phone and letter."

Yingfa smiled. "I see. It must be difficult to keep your relationship with your distance."

"It can be, but we are in love very much. We made it work so far. Just have few more years to go before we can stay together always," Sakura vowed.

"I wish you luck with that," Yingfa encouraged.


Sakura grinned as she sat at the desk Syaoran used for most of his school day. Yingfa had given her permission to enter the building, as thanks for translating the article. Apparently the teacher was working on a Masters of Archaeology degree and often recruited Syaoran's help when dealing with research material written in languages she didn't understand. Sakura wasn't pleased at how much Yingfa monopolized her time, preventing her from watching more of Syaoran's game.

Syaoran held a slight smile as he leaned against Meiling's school desk. Before he met Sakura, he would've questioned why anyone would want to know what his classroom looked like and where he sat. Now he understood her desire. She didn't want to see this as much as she wanted to know him. Just as he wished he could learn everything about her as well.

"What sort of classes do you have?" Sakura wondered.

"They're not really any different from what you have but with Cantonese instead of Japanese," Syaoran replied. "Otherwise there are the usual maths, science, literature, gym and such."

"Are you in any clubs?" Sakura pressed.

Syaoran shook his head. "Too many obligations at home."

"You should at least see if you could join the Soccer team. I think it would be a help to you, especially if you make captain," Sakura encouraged.

Syaoran shrugged while turning away. "I'll think about it."

Sakura got up and pranced over to him. "Syaoran-kun, if you'd like to do something, you should go after it."

Syaoran's mind quickly shifted gears as the girl stood centimeters away from him. He took her up on her words, but not in the way she likely meant. His arms wrapped around her and pulled her in even closer as his lips latched on to hers.

Sakura was a little startled at his actions, but gave into his embrace. This was more like how she imagined her first kiss would be like, holding each other in a hug and taking the time to feel the other's passion. While she had never heard the term 'French kiss' before, she took his invading tongue into her mouth without issue. She could taste his breath, and he could taste hers.

Wrestling with Sakura's tongue was the most enjoyable experience Syaoran had since he first heard her words of love for him. Meiling had never kissed him like this, and he was rather thankful for that. The feeling of exploring her mouth, her body pressed tightly against his, and their hands stroking and caressing each other's backs was making this a moment he doubted he'd ever forget. No end to this seemed in sight, even as his hand drifted up and under the skirt she was wearing.

Sakura had never felt so much want before. She didn't mind where Syaoran's right hand was at all. In fact she wouldn't mind him touching her even more directly. Their passion was reaching a fevered pitch, and she didn't want it to end. Her tongue fought with his in the most enjoyable game she ever played.

Suddenly Sakura stiffened and pulled away from her beloved. Her hand went to the side of her mouth, while Syaoran's hand reached up to his own as he spit out a tooth, her tooth.

Sakura began laughing nervously. "It's finally out. Now I won't have to see a dentist to get that baby tooth pulled."

Syaoran stared at the small blood covered white object in his hand. The word 'baby' being a proverbial bucket of cold water dunked over his head. Were they really going to go that far?

"I'm going to the bathroom to rinse the blood out of my mouth," Sakura informed him, before dashing off.

Syaoran's eyes watched her leave, his focus on a place it shouldn't be. He wouldn't have stopped it, and she didn't show any signs of putting a line of how far either. Then again, Sakura was a rather instinctual girl. She probably didn't even realize what they were doing could lead too. Syaoran shook his head, trying to reign in his thoughts. He then slowly followed Sakura's footsteps so he could rinse off the blood from his newest treasure.


Sakura opened her eyes to a gray nothingness. She sighed, guessing she was dreaming. She never did like the prophetic images she got. Looking down, she saw two paths ahead of her, and she turned her gaze down the left path first.

Appearing in that direction was all the people she knew well. An image of herself stood in the center as she was surrounded by her family, Yukito, Tomoyo and Syaoran appearing much brighter than her friends who stood a short distance away. Furthest out stood Chiharu and Yamazaki practically hugging each other, and he looked rather faded. Next to everyone was a calendar. As the month flipped over, Syaoran grew even brighter and was hugging her, Meiling moved closer while everyone else moved farther away. It was repeated again with the following month, however Syaoran's family and a girl she didn't know began to fade into view. The next turn of the calendar had her friends disappear almost entirely, her family and Tomoyo had become rather dim and distant from her, while Syaoran's family were now standing brightly around her.

Sakura gasped as realization of what the dream was showing her. As time moved on, her waist was expanding. She was pregnant! Was this her future? To be Syaoran's child bride and a young mother?

Sakura shook her head, remembering there was a second path yet to look down. This didn't have to be her future. Continuing her gaze down that first path, she smiled as her image was now holding an infant boy wrapped in a dark green blanket tenderly in her arms. Perhaps this wasn't a 'wrong path' to choose.

Then a giant black claw reached from the sky tearing at her image. Looking up, Sakura saw a shadowy, serpentine dragon writhing angrily in the sky. Her attention was then brought to the path she had been traveling on and noticed numerous claw marks along the entire path.

The dragon's attacks became more vicious and frequent. The whole beast descended on top of her image and a flash of darkness and light filled her vision. When it subsided, her image cried into Syaoran's arms next to a shrine containing many urns. A tiny jar, much smaller than the rest of them, had been placed at the center.

Sakura tore her gaze away from the heart-wrenching scene, and focused her attention on the other path. Again her family and friends appeared as they did initially at the other trail. However, as the months ticked off, only Syaoran and Meiling grew dimmer and further away from her. The dragon remained in the air above her, clawing at the path but did little more than that. Years passed and suddenly Syaoran and Meiling grew brighter and closer to her. As the months passed then, the dragon's attacks increased in level while her boyfriend edged ever closer to her until he was practically hugging her like Chiharu and Yamazaki were. Then the dragon struck with all its might. Again a flash of light and darkness blinded her. When she could look again, she stood on a street with her staff towering in height, looking as it did when she converted Light and Dark with large wings flanking a star at its top. Tears flowed from her face, and there was a sense of loss that Sakura could not place.

Sakura sat up quickly. Her dilated eyes shook with the urge to cry. To stay as Syaoran's bride only to lose her baby or go home and continue to live as she had for a few more years? What sort of decision was this?! She didn't want to choose. She would be away from Syaoran for years, possibly risking losing him to distance. But he would return to her. They would become closer than they were now.

Sakura shambled her way out of her bed and stared at the vanity mirror. "What should I do? What can I do?" She sagged, knowing her answer. She wasn't ready. Neither magically for this threat, nor emotionally for what would be expected of her. With heavy feet and heart, she scuffed her way out of the room and down the hallway. She soon found Syaoran's mother on the back gazebo.

"You know the choice ahead of you?" Yelan questioned.

Sakura nodded, tears leaking from her eyes. "I don't want to be away from Syaoran-kun, but I... but I have to be. I can't bring a baby into this world only to have him die. I just can't. In a few years he will return to me in Tomoeda and we'll be closer than ever there." She choked back a sob. "Send me home in two days so temptation won't grip me."

Yelan nodded, a slight smile on her face. "I understand."

Sakura turned away and started to walk away. She then stopped and pulled out a card, holding it tenderly. "You'll have to tell me I'll be going home. I won't remember this conversation nor my dream."

"Sakura..." Yelan called out, but it was too late. The girl had said but a single word, Erase, and then collapsed to the ground as the magic washed over her.

Yelan walked over and picked up the now slumbering yet still crying girl. "Whatever shall I do with you, my new daughter?"


Sakura awoke to her mind feeling especially clouded and her pillow damp. Rubbing her tired eyes, she felt moist tears. She wondered what had happened. She then blinked noticing The Erase card in her left hand. Had she removed some of her own memories?

Taking a moment to sort through her thoughts, Sakura noticed she had utterly forgotten the content of Fanren's dream. She knew the result from talking to the girl and Syaoran about it, but what happened in the dream itself now eluded her. Had she dreamt of that horrid situation again and decided to forcibly forget about what she could not change? It seemed the most logical conclusion.

Sakura shrugged and slipped out of the bed. She went over to the vanity mirror and gazed into it with blurry eyes. She rubbed her eyes clear after seeing two distorted images of herself. She then shook her head and gathered up some clothes to wear for the day before leaving the guestroom to take a bath.

Down the hallway she saw Syaoran shambling his way towards the kitchen and dining areas of the home, likely hunting for some tea. Her 'good morning' was much more cheerful than his. As they were about to pass each other, both look around nervously before giving each other a quick kiss. They pulled away with scrunched up faces.

"Blah, morning breath," Sakura complained. "Got to remember to brush teeth first."

Syaoran nodded in agreement before both of them broke into nervous laughter and giggles.

"Got you!" Feimei's disembodied voice cheered, causing the couple to freeze in shock and fright. "You didn't notice me, did you?"

Syaoran looked around with a growl in his throat.

Sakura quickly pinpointed the invisible girl's magic. "It's not nice to spy."

Feimei didn't listen. She pranced off singing, "Sakura and Syaoran sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage."

Both young teens were left blushing madly and stomped their way to their respective destinations. Syaoran then paused and called out, "Sakura, since tomorrow is New Year's day, we'll be going to the Li Clan Shrine. I can introduce you to father there."

Sakura had stopped when she heard her name. "Okay," she agreed to his statement, though she shivered slightly.


Yelan led her children along with Sakura, Henry, Wulong, and Kau down a hidden path behind the gazebo. If it was not for the worn path, the uneven terrain of the mountainside would've made it a little difficult to navigate.

"The Li estate is actually made up of four homes," Fuutie began for the first time visitors. "The active head of the clan always resides in the eastern home of Zhuqiao. Meiling's family currently lives in the northern home, Baihu. The western house, Qinglong, and the southern house, Xaunwu, are currently vacant. Though before Uncle Hou took over the amusement park, he lived in the western house."

"Vacant until one of us gets married and decides to move in to one of those homes, that is," Feimei corrected.

Kau's mouth hung open in shock. "Talk about a dowry. How can you possibly own an entire block on Mount Victoria? The real-estate prices must be unreal!"

"Our family has lived on this mountain for centuries. Long before 'real-estate' was even a word," Fanren answered. "This area is magically attuned, and our ancestors claimed this land for that reason. As you might realize, the Xaunwu house, named for the protector god of the sea, is actually the highest home and the furthest from water. However, there is a natural pond that the house was built around. Each of the houses have a similar feature that reflects one of the guardian gods set in perfect distance from each other."

Kau rubbed his chin in thought. "How do you determine who gets what house?"

Shiefa smirked at him, not missing that he wouldn't mind getting one of the homes even if it meant marrying into the family. "That is up to the head of the clan to decide. Though, I suspect Fuutie will be gaining the southern home, and Feimei the western one."

Syaoran blinked. "What about you?"

Shiefa looked away. "I have no desire to continue family tradition."

"You don't?" Syaoran wondered.

Shiefa ruffled her little brother's hair. "I've seen some things I don't agree with. Besides, Henry isn't comfortable with magic. I'd rather give up what little talent I have than lose him."

"I'd have you exiled for saying that, but that would seem to be what you want," a firm voice stated.

They all turned toward the ornate building and saw three people standing at the door. An elegant woman held a regal image, yet somehow seemed rather plain compared to the two men with her. The man about the woman's age was well dressed, with a respectable aura that reminded those with magic strongly of Meiling. The elderly man with them had the strongest and most imposing presence despite the grandfatherly smile lighting his face.

"It is not your place to do such a thing, Uncle," Yelan replied stoically.

"Why do you always talk so seriously to him, Mom? Great Uncle Li was just joking as usual," Feimei groused.

Yelan's even demeanor didn't change and did not offer a reply.

"So, who have you brought to see our ancestors?" Great Uncle Li questioned.

Yelan first motioned to the eldest young man. "This is Henry, Fuutie's fiance. They plan to marry this spring, as I've told you before." She then moved to the next oldest. "Wulong is now Shiefa's fiance and they shall marry later this year. Then there's Kau, Feimei's intended." The woman paused. "They will marry after Feimei promises to add to the family."

Feimei and Kau both made choking sounds at the implications of those words.

Yelan then moved, placing her hands on the young teenage girl. "And this is Sakura."

The elegant woman floated toward Sakura. "So this is the girl who broke my daughter's heart by stealing Syaoran's love."

"I, ah, didn't mean to... I, ah..." Sakura stammered.

Meiling's father laughed. "Don't worry about it, dear. We never expected Meiling's little crush to carry on so far or get anywhere. You've just helped make her stronger and better able to handle her next relationship."

Meiling's mother nodded to her husband's statement. "I'd say welcome to the family, but that may be a bit premature."

Sakura blushed and nodded shallowly.

"Do take you time, girl. You only get to be a child once. Best not to rush into becoming an adult," Great Uncle Li advised.

Meiling's father let out a dry chuckle. "So says the man who had me training from dawn to dusk when I was her age."

Great Uncle Li smirked. "That was my responsibility as your father. Now that I'm a grandfather, I get to spoil kids rotten."

"You've certainly spoiled my daughter," Meiling's mother groused.

Great Uncle Li smiled defenselessly. "Guilty as charged." He then extended his arm toward the ornate building. "We've delayed them long enough. They shouldn't keep our ancestors waiting on this dawning of a fresh new year."

With a round of 'good-byes,' Meiling's parents and grandfather went down a path leading toward the northern home. Yelan then led everyone inside the ornate building.

Sakura marveled at the morbid beauty of the place. It was a shrine to the Li family. Generation upon generation of the Li clan had their ashes stored here. Each one placed in unique urns that gave some indication as to what the person had been like in life.

Syaoran bowed his head as he approached the center of the room, where the ashes of the most recent deceased were placed. He noticed Sakura had moved next to him. He then pointed at the center-most urn. "That is my father." He then moved his hand over to the right. "And that's my grandfather."

Sakura smiled sadly. The urn that held his father gave her the impression of a samurai warrior, one who would fight for love and what was right. His grandfather, on the other hand, gave her more the feeling of a wanderer; someone who could not be tied down to one spot. Her eyes drifted over the other urns at the central altar. She shivered at the urn that felt of flowers and ponies, the resting-place for Syaoran's Aunt Meiling. The ghostly warning suddenly echoed in her mind.

Syaoran noticed the girl become pale and shivering. He grabbed her hand and held it tightly. "I'm sorry. I should've warned you about this place."

Sakura shook her head, yet held his hand tightly. "I'm the one who should be sorry. These are the spirits of your and Clow Reed's family. I should not be afraid of them as I know they will not hurt me."

Syaoran smiled slightly at her. He wished he knew what he could say to comfort her. He decided it would be best to get through this quickly so Sakura could leave sooner. "Father, grandfather, ancestors... I'd like to introduce you to Kinomoto Sakura, heir to legacy of Clow Reed." He suddenly grew nervous as the energy of the room increased and Sakura's hand became a death-grip within his grasp. "She is the girl I love most and hope to one day make her my wife," he blurted out quickly. While the room took a welcoming air, there was an edge to it as well. With his ancestor's general acceptance, he guided Sakura out of the building. When they were a respectable distance away, she turned and latched on to him with a fierce hug.

Sakura fought the urge to cry and fall into hysterics. Yes, there were ghosts in that building. But they did not threaten her, would not hurt her. Yet she was scared. The mere presence making her want to run all the way home and hide in her bed. The damn phobia had held her back. Kept her senses from being as open as they could be. Kept her from seeing her departed mother. And that thought broke her will, as her tears began to soak Syaoran's shirt.

Syaoran held her tenderly, letting her cry as she needed. He whispered comforting words into her ear. Eventually her tears lessened and she pulled away from him. She gave him a sweet smile, and then gave him her thanks in both words and in a quick kiss.

"That's sooooo cute!" the Li sisters chorused.

Sakura immediately blushed and hid behind Syaoran only to notice that Wei was also present now and he had a video camera pointed at her. "Oh, no."

"I'm sorry, but Daidouji-sama would never forgive me if I didn't record that," Wei 'apologized.'

"I take it preparations are complete?" Yelan questioned.

"Indeed they are." Wei then smiled sadly at Sakura. "It's time to go. Your flight leaves in a couple hours."

"Already?" Sakura pouted. She then turned toward Syaoran. "I guess this is good-bye."

Syaoran nodded sadly. "I guess it is. We'll see each other again soon."

Sakura tried to smile as she nodded firmly. "Yes. This spring when I'll be one of Fuutie's bridesmaid."

Syaoran took her hands into his. He wanted to say so many things, but could only find one thing to say, "I'll see you then."

They had already been seen doing this and held no objection to it, Sakura quickly rationalized before kissing Syaoran soundly on the lips. "Until spring."

"Until spring," Syaoran agreed, waving Sakura off. He stayed there until Sakura had disappeared from sight. He then turned around and returned to the Li Clan Shrine in order to participate in the family's New Year's traditions.


Author's notes:

In the final chapter:
Chapter 5 - Sakura's Return to a Normal Life
Sakura may have decided to return home to be as normal as she can be for a few more years; however, her friends have to come to terms with the life changing decisions they have made.