She had her eyes closed. Her heart was pounding like mad inside her chest. She willed her heart to calm down. She had to calm down. She was strong. She told herself that she was strong. She couldn't afford to be weak. As she sat there, she closed her eyes, in an attempt to shut everything out. She didn't want to see and hear anything. But the moment she did, everything came flashing back at her and no matter how she tried to stop them, her mind wouldn't let her.
Unconsciously, her hand drifted to tightly grasp the pendant that was hanging around her neck. It reminded her of her mother and the last time she was in that kind of scenario. It reminded her of what she lost and what she gained. It reminded her of the unsettling reality that was beyond the smiles and sweet scent of innocence.
She clenched her teeth together, trying to stop the goose bumps that were currently running down her spine. The nightmare reality brought had her insides gather all the strength she could muster to keep herself together.
Suddenly, she felt a light hand on her shoulder. She couldn't help but flinch and jump in her seat a little bit. "Sakura?" She heard Yukito call her gently. At that moment when realization hit, she felt her body relax somewhat.
Sakura opened her eyes and looked at the man standing in front of her. She could see worry written all over his face. His eyes told her that he understood just like he had always had since she was a child. She was grateful that she still had him in her life. She wouldn't have known what to do if Yukito wasn't there at that very moment. She clung to her relationship with him like a lifeline. She was glad that she didn't need to say anything for him to understand. He had always known ever since she was younger. At that moment, she wanted to breakdown but held herself back.
"Are you alright?" He asked. All she could do was nod. He leveled himself to her. Sakura kept her eye contact. Yukito could tell all the conflicting emotions that she held. He laid his hand over hers to try to comfort her. "Listen, Sakura, I know this is difficult to believe right now but trust me when I tell you that things are going to be alright. I've already called Touya. He's on his way back here. He's taking the first flight out."
Sakura only smiled back at him and mouthed a thank you. Yukito smiled and gave her hand a squeeze before letting go and standing. He told her that he would be leaving her for awhile. She nodded and averted her eyes.
She wasn't sure how long time passed but pretty soon two men had approached her. When one spoke, she looked up and saw him smiling at her. She stood and gave a small bow in greeting and acknowledgement to them. The one with gentle blue eyes told her that it was alright to sit back down. She nodded and did as she was told. He got a chair and sat in front of her. Sakura wouldn't look directly at him.
"You must be Sakura. I'm Detective Hiiragizawa but you can call me Eriol. And this guy over here is Detective Li Shaoran." He said. Sakura looked back at him and allowed her eyes to meet his. She saw that gentleness innate in him. But she wouldn't say anything.
He smiled at her before continuing, "Do you mind if we ask you a few questions?" She closed her eyes and shook her head slowly.
"I know this is hard but I need to ask you…what did you see?" Eriol asked. Sakura opened her eyes and looked at him, almost horrified at the question that was thrown at her. He could see it clearly in her eyes. He could tell that she was frightened more than she was willing to show through her actions or her face.
His eyes softened. He knew that it was something really hard to answer for someone who had just encountered something that he or she shouldn't have. What made it worse was that, Eriol was sitting before a famous violinist. Kinomoto Sakura, the young talent quickly emerging in the classical music scene. She had started to become famous, a world renowned violinist. Her music was pure and heartfelt, something that drew listeners to her.
"I'm really sorry that you have to go through this but I really must ask you what you saw." Eriol explained. Sakura looked down at her intertwined hands and grasped a little harder. She closed her eyes and bit her lip.
"Look, we are not going to get the guys responsible for this if you don't say anything." Shaoran suddenly said. Eriol looked sharply back at Shaoran.
"She won't answer verbally." Came Yukito's voice from behind them. Both Shaoran and Eriol looked at him. Yukito kept his gaze at Sakura. He knelt beside her and said in a clear voice, "Sakura hasn't talked in years."
"What?" Both Eriol and Shaoran had to ask.
Yukito let out an exasperated breath. Before he was going to answer, Sakura held on to his hand and looked at him pleadingly. He knew that she didn't want them to know. He knew that it was something that she never wanted to talk about or re-live again. He gave her a reassuring smile and squeezed her hand. "Sakura went through a very traumatic event years ago. Because of that, she sealed away her voice. Since that day, she hadn't spoken a word."
"This is turning out to be really easy then. Having a mute witness." Shaoran commented under his breath. He was waiting for this break for a long time. He had been waiting for them to slip up and this was the chance. But things weren't turning out the way he would want them to.
It was really frustrating for things to turn out like that. He and Eriol had been working on the mounting cases that they could relate to a drug syndicate. When they thought that they had a credible lead and witness, they just found out that he was killed. It was like every move forward they make, they are forced to take two steps back.
"Ok then. So how-" Eriol started to ask when Sakura looked back at him and gave him a small smile. She turned to Yukito and started to do a series of gestures. Yukito nodded and then turned to face Eriol and Shaoran.
"She said that she will tell you everything you need to know." Yukito said. He looked back at Sakura, waiting for her next statement but was suddenly called. He reassured her that he would be back.
It was awkward. Sakura wasn't sure how she was going to act now that Yukito had left her alone with the two detectives she had only met. She wasn't sure if she could give them her trust. The secret she had was very dangerous. She knew very well that she simply couldn't trust anybody.
She took out a piece of paper and started writing. After, she glanced up at Eriol and lifted the paper towards him.
I will tell you everything…but not here.
Eriol stared at the paper and then at her. He was confused and she could tell. Shaoran took the paper and crumpled the paper. He was frustrated with what was happening. He was about to tell Sakura off but immediately held his tongue when he saw the look of her eyes. He masked everything he was feeling…all the frustrations and confusions.
"Why?" Eriol signed.
Sakura seemed surprised but recovered quickly.
What I know can destroy a lot of lives…mine…and if we are not careful…even yours.
Grasping the weight of her words, Eriol got up and offered her a hand. "Shaoran, go get the car. Let's take her home." He said while glancing at Shaoran. He then looked back at Sakura, who was still apprehensive in taking his hand. "This lovely lady shouldn't stay in an office like ours 'til late."
Sakura still wouldn't take his hand. "Come on. Let's find Tsukihiro-san so that you could go home. It's better if you rest for tonight." Eriol said, smiling at her. She gave a nod and took his hand.
Yukito opened the door to his house and led the way inside. Walking the familiar steps, Sakura couldn't help but feel at ease. She knew her way around. She had been there thousands of times growing up. It was somehow like her second home, especially when her brother was away like he was at the moment.
"Sakura, it's best if you stay here for awhile. It goes without asking that I will be looking after you but your brother asked if you could stay here before he arrives." Yukito said, while Eriol and Shaoran followed and settled in the living room with the two.
Sakura only smiled. It was the way it had always been. Her eyes then drifted to the piano. It seemed ages since she last played. After her mother died, she didn't have the heart to play the piano again unlike her brother. Ever since, she had devoted her love for music to her violin.
Yukito followed her gaze. His eyes softened. He knew all too well that look. He approached her and laid a hand on her shoulder. She looked up to him. He smiled and said, "Whenever Touya would leave before his concerts, he would come here and ask me to watch over you while he is away." He then turned her a little to let her face the piano before he continued, "Will you play something for us?"
She looked up at him, almost questioningly. He smiled. "I know that you have devoted yourself to your violin but your love for music never forgot the piano. After what happened, it will help you feel lighter."
Her eyes showed understanding. She knew that he was right. Music had always been her outlet. She could always let herself go through her music without breaking down. It was her escape…her freedom. Slowly, she made her way towards the piano and sat. She lifted the cover and allowed her delicate hands touch, remember the keys. She could remember the last time she played. She had played with her mother before her death, with her brother and father looking on. It was one of those wonderful times that she would never forget.
Sakura took a deep breath and closed her eyes. It had been years since she last played the piano. She wasn't sure if she could even remember how to play. She started to play. The music was soft, reflecting her doubts.
As the music started to fill the room, Yukito turned to both Eriol and Shaoran. "Tell me," Both men looked at the older man. "What happened earlier and how did you find her?"
Yukito went straight to the point. He wanted to know everything that was happening. It was probably wrong, he knew, but something told him that he needed to know everything. He could remember his conversation with Touya just a few hours ago. It sent a chill run down his spine. Is this what he was warning him for? Touya's instincts are right on the mark as usual. This only means that this wasn't good.
As Sakura started playing the piano, Eriol and Shaoran looked back at her and started to think about a few hours back. It was a little hard to believe that it was only a few hours back since they met Sakura Kinomoto.
Eriol had admired her for her music, her innocent music. He never imagined that he would be meeting her the way he did. He wished it could have been different.
Shaoran could only close his eyes. He was starting to feel all the frustrations he was feeling earlier again. He couldn't help but clench his fists. This case wasn't personal like all the others but it was something that had a personal effect as it held more secrets, from what he could tell, that connected to his past...to his reason for becoming a detective.
That man that was killed and found earlier was the only witness brave enough to come forth and tell the truth. He and Eriol had done much to protect the man including help him assume another identity to get away but it seemed that it was a useless effort. Shaoran wanted to know how the protective custody secrecy and operation was breeched.
Shaoran knew that their sole witness was enough to open a lot of doors for them to start getting answers. He already knew that this case, as well as the others, involved the same people that were responsible for unsolved cases back at Hong Kong and across Asia.
He clenched his fists feeling that once again, the truth was slipping from their…his grasps again.
Yukito watched both men contemplate on what had happened earlier. He watched as nothing of their emotions reached the two men's faces but it did reach their eyes somehow. He had learned to read the two men a little bit as they have worked on countless cases together already. He waited patiently for one of them to start explaining. As the mood of the music shifted, Yukito couldn't help but look up and directly at Sakura. His eyes softened as he looked at her. He knew she was suffering more than what she was telling him.
He expected this. Sakura had always been a gentle but sensitive person. She would not say anything if it had hurt her but her music would say otherwise. Her music always reflected her soul. Yukito had known this for years. It brought him a new reason for wanting to solve this case sooner. She didn't deserve to suffer or live in fear. He wanted her so badly to live happily. He wanted to see her bubbly and always happy like she was years ago before she stopped talking. She still smiled a lot, a smile ready for just about anyone but still...
"Yukito-san, you do know that you cannot be involved in this case, right?" Eriol said.
Yukito looked back at Eriol and gave him a nod. "I won't get involved with the investigation but I would like to know what happened. Until her brother arrives on Japanese soil, I am Sakura's guardian."
"Guardian?" Shaoran commented.
"Yes. When Touya leaves Japan, he leaves me responsible for Sakura, especially her safety. She doesn't stay with me, yes, but I always have her check on me before she sleeps and leaves in the morning. Her cousin's bodyguards, Daidouji Tomoyo's, are enough for protection during the day."
"Bodyguards? There weren't any bodyguards in the area when we got there."
"There are times when Tomoyo opts to leave them. She usually does it when she knows that she wouldn't be long and would have them meet her somewhere afterwards."
"Wait and you let them?" Shaoran asked.
Yukito smiled and took something out of his pocket. He then handed it to Shaoran. "I never said I let them." Shaoran took it from the older man without saying anything. "Keep this between the three of us at the moment. Those are surveillance from Asturias that I sort of secretly got from the moment they were on their way there. No one knows of it since I set it up on my personal laptop. I won't go on the detail how I did it but here. I'm not sure what it contains. I haven't checked it out. I don't want to. You guys understand that if I did, it will not be admissible in court."
"The defense might argue that it was gotten illegally." Eriol commented.
Yukito smirked again. He glanced slightly at Sakura before returning his gaze at Eriol. "No, they won't be able to assume that. Just leave it to me. I will take full responsibility for that. Your job will be to investigate this case."