Fear of the Dark

A Ball to Remember

Rena was picking at her dinner as she was joined by Syaoron. "Stop picking at your food." He said as he sat down. "It's rude."

"Bite me." She muttered.

"It's hard to believe you're a princess with how you behave." He muttered in return.

"It's hard to believe you're a prince with how you talk." She retorted.

"Thanks." He said sarcastically.

"That's exactly what I mean." She said. "So how's my sister? She probably won't eat anything as she never does when she's unwell." Rena sighed.

"She's tired, I think. Did you know she hadn't been feeling well?" Syaoron asked.

Rena shrugged, "She may have mentioned it once or twice yesterday."

"Rena…" he groaned.

"She told me not to say anything, so I didn't." she snapped.

"We need to know so that we can organise the medication." He said.

"I've already let the annoying doctor know." Rena muttered. "I spoke with him before we left. Sakura got something." She rolled her eyes as he looked at her sharply.

After a moment of holding eye contact, he spoke. "Good."


Sakura shook her head, "I don't want anything." She said, pushing the plate away.

"Sakura please, you need to eat something." Syaoran urged.

"No…" she whispered, sweat forming on her skin. He wiped it from her skin with a damp cloth, "Please," he pleaded softly. Sakura gave in and ate something, but not much. She looked over at her small green drawstring bag resting on the table beside her. He followed her line of sight and reached out to pick it up. He looked to her and opened it, looking inside. "You knew…"

"I'm sorry, I didn't want to worry you."

He sighed and removed the vial of clear liquid, handing it to her. She looked at it for a minute and then took the medicine; she felt the pain slowly disappear from her chest and head, and he kissed her softly on the lips. "I'm going to go downstairs for a while; get some rest." He said softly. She nodded and allowed her eyes to close; he stood up and walked out of the room, closing the door behind him and heading downstairs. He walked over to where his brother and Rena were sitting. He sat down and sighed heavily, receiving a stare from his brother.

"What's up with you?"

He shook his head, "I'm just tired." He said.

"Riiight." Rena said as she sipped on her wine.

"How sick is she?" Syaoron asked.

"She's got a sore chest," he said, "And my guess is that she's probably feeling worse than she's letting on."

Rena placed her glass down and looked at her hands, "I know she never really tells anyone how she's feeling, but she's getting better…ever since we came to live with you, despite what she had been through, she opened up more." Rena said softly, sadness showing in her eyes. "You're helping her in a way that I can't."

He thought for a moment; it was true that she seemed to be opening up more, and she certainly trusted him a great deal. He smiled, "I'm sure she'll be ok." He said, looking to Rena.

She smiled back, "I know." She said.

After eating, Syaoran returned to Sakura's side; she was sound asleep, and her fever had finally gone down at least a little. He pulled his shirt off and laid it to rest on the chair, and then slipped in beside her. He watched her as she slept and hoped that by morning her fever will have broken. He pulled her close and closed his eyes, falling asleep quickly.


When morning came Sakura woke feeling fine and well rested. She stayed in bed for a while, waiting until Syaoran woke up. She looked out the window and noticed the darkening clouds; it appeared a storm was on its way. She watched as it began to rain heavily, smashing against the glass and pounding on the roof. It brought back horrible memories, and she did her best to block it all out-every single memory of her rotten past. Syaoran shifted beside her and she looked to him to see if he was awake; he was still asleep, it seemed. Her mind wondered back to her dream of the possible future waiting for them, and she smiled. She knew she was only eighteen, but right now that was all she wanted; a family with the person she loved dearly. By sixteen, girls of nobility were usually engaged or married, but some things had come up and neither herself nor her sister bothered looking for suitors. She remembered getting told off by those who were closest to her-almost a surrogate family-about not following tradition. She told them she didn't care as long as Rena was safe and she had them. She truly believed she didn't need anyone else back then. Now she was dependant on her fiancé for almost everything.

She was snapped away from her thoughts as Syaoran jolted awake, his rapid breathing slowing to a normal, regular pace. He fell back into the pillows and regained himself after a few minutes. "Syaoran, what's wrong?" Sakura asked worried. He shook his head, "It was just a dream." He said.

"What about…?" she asked softly.

He didn't know if he should tell her or not. Her expression was worried and he knew he couldn't keep anything from her-not now and not ever. "The death of our son…"

Sakura felt the blood drain from her face. "No…" She whispered.

"Sakura; the future can be changed. It'll be ok." He said softly.

They held each other for a long time, holding on to each other's comfort and warmth. Finally, after about half an hour had passed, the two elected to get up and get dressed before heading down stairs for breakfast. Rena looked up and spotted the two walking over; she immediately sensed her sister's low emotions, despite the small smile she wore.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

Sakura smiled, "It's nothing, really."

"Alright…how are you feeling today?" she then asked.

"A lot better, to be honest." Sakura replied.

"That's good," Rena smiled. "Now sit." She ordered the two.

Sakura sat beside her sister while Syaoran sat with his brother, who was staring at him. "What?" He muttered unhappily.

"You look like hell." Syaoron replied.

"Dream." Syaoran said.

Syaoron looked back up at him, "That bad?"

Syaoran didn't say or do anything.

"Right…" Syaoron murmured, returning to eating his breakfast. Syaoran sat there for a moment or two, his dream stuck in his mind. He wouldn't let it happen-ever.

They were back on the road by late morning, stopping for lunch and then continuing the journey. The trip to the city was long and tiring, and by the time they got there on the night of the third day, Syaoran had to carry Sakura up to the room of where they were staying. It was a well kept inn, with neat furniture and velvet curtains which other inns lacked. The carpet was soft, and the beds comfortable. He placed her on the bed carefully, and proceeded to remove her cloak. He pulled the bed covers up over her to keep her safe from the chill of the night, and then proceeded to change before slipping in beside her. The coming day was going to be a busy one with preparations for the evening and running errands.

Sakura sat on the bed fidgeting with her hands the next morning, trying to calm herself down before they headed out to Sid's castle. She was dressed in her gown, and Syaoran was changing. He turned as he buttoned up his shirt, and noticed Sakura's anxiety. "Sakura?" he called her name, and she looked up and smiled.

"I'm ok," she said.

"No you aren't; you're freaked out."

She sighed, "You're right…" He walked over and sat beside her; he placed his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. "You'll be ok."

She didn't say anything, just rested her head against his chest. "I'm sure we don't have to be there for long; Sid won't expect that from you." Syaoran said softly. Sakura nodded and then stood with him, heading down to the carriages. It was a short ride to the castle, but when they got there it was easy to see the sunset from where they were. They were greeted by workers of the castle and allowed inside; the ballroom was made up of tall stone pillars around the edge of the room and tall arched windows with red velvet curtains pulled across. Gold chandeliers were lit throughout the hall, and the floor's tiles were arranged like a beautiful mosaic of a lotus. People were dancing and some talking, while others were standing around the tables of food or drinking wine.

"Syaoran."

They looked up to see Sid with a beautiful young girl with copper hair pulled back into a French bun. Her eyes were bright blue and her face soft and kind. She wore a delicate purple gown with crème lace and silver embroidery on the bodice, and the skirt fell from the hips down. Around her neck was a diamond choker and tear drop earrings hung from her ears. Her hands were delicate and her nails well taken care of, and on her wrists she wore two silver bangles each.

Syaoran smiled, "Sid, it's good to see you again."

"Likewise. Please meet my fiancée, Lady Alice." Sid introduced his fiancée, who smiled and nodded.

"Pleased to meet you, My Lady."

"Thank you, it's a pleasure to meet you and Princess Sakura." Alice said kindly.

Sakura smiled, "My apologies for my sister's lack of manners; I'm afraid she's gone looking for the wine."

Alice giggled, "I'm sure we'll meet up with them later." She said. Sakura smiled again.

"How have you been, Princess?" Sid asked.

"I've been much better lately, thank you for your concern." Sakura replied.

"That's good; what about you?" Sid turned his attention to Syaoran. "I'm doing fine. A lot of preparations for the wedding." He replied.

"So you mentioned in your letter." Sid laughed.

Sakura hugged Syaoran's arm as she felt an unpleasant presence within the room. "Sakura, what's wrong?" He asked.

"There's a cold presence in the room…" she whispered.

Sid looked at Syaoran who looked back at him, and he swore under his breath. Alice looked to him with confusion and he shook his head, telling her not to ask. "I'm sorry; I tried to make sure there wouldn't be anyone who could be a threat." Sid apologised.

"It's ok; it's difficult to know for certain who could be a threat to anyone." Syaoran said.

Sakura looked around for her sister, but couldn't see her. "I can't see Rena." She said, frightened.

"Sakura, calm down; they're still in the room-can't you feel their presence?" Syaoran said softly. She took in a deep breath and focused on finding her sister's aura, and she was relieved to know that he was right. She was safe. He smiled, "See? They're ok." She nodded and he squeezed her hand comfortingly.

Sid nodded at the couple and passed on to the next family or couple while Syaoran walked with Sakura down the stairs and past the dancing couples. He spotted his brother and Rena arguing over something and rolled his eyes.

They walked over and he sighed, "What are you arguing about now?" he asked.

Syaoron turned around to find the two standing there. "Do you really want to know?" He asked.

"I'm curious." Syaoran shrugged.

"The fundamentals of physics." Rena replied.

"Rena, how much have you had to drink?" Sakura asked.

"Oh come on! I don't drink that much!" she protested.

"Oh really?" Sakura rolled her eyes.

"Ok, so maybe I do. But I've only had two."

"She's telling the truth." Syaoron said.

Sakura sighed, "Ok; just don't get drunk…" she mumbled.

"You worry too much!" Rena waved her hand at her sister. Sakura felt shocked for a minute; had her sister not noticed the cold aura just before? She looked to Syaoran who was murmuring something to his brother, so she said nothing. Syaoron looked slightly disturbed for a moment, and nodded. "I'll keep an eye out." He said.

Syaoran nodded, "Good." He said, "We'll be around if you need anything."

Syaoran and Sakura left them, and Rena looked to Syaoron with confusion. "What's going on?" she asked.

"I'll tell you later." He said.

"Is Sakura ok?" she asked.

"Sakura's fine; just a little upset at the moment."

"Ok…" she said, turning to look back at the dance crowd.

Sakura rested her head against Syaoran's chest as they danced; the song was slow moving and calm, suitable for ballroom dancing. Her own wedding wasn't too far off, and she was nervous but excited too. "What are you thinking about?" Syaoran asked.

She smiled, "That's a secret."

"Oh really? Why?" he asked curiously.

"Because it is," She giggled.

"If you say so." He laughed.

They continued to dance until the song came to an end, and they stopped. She parted from him, her hand still in his, and he looked to the front where Sid had come to stand. "I guess they've stopped the music so that Sid can make a speech." Syaoran said.

Sakura looked to the top of the stairs where Sid was standing, talking to Alice for a few moments. Then, he turned to the crowd and began speaking, "Good evening and thank you all for coming tonight; it means a lot to both Alice and I." He began. "Now we'd like to share-"

Cutting off his speech, someone came crashing through the glass in the roof, shards raining down on all of the guests. Rubble also came crashing down with pieces of rock and stone, crushing some of the guests and injuring others.

"Get down!"

Syaoran shielded Sakura from harm, receiving an injury in the process. He was hit in the back of the head hard with a piece of stone; his vision went blurry and black spotted his vision. Blood dripped onto the floor, but he refused to pass out in order to keep Sakura safe. Screams surrounded them and Sakura tried her best to keep herself calm.

"Don't look." He told her. She didn't.

Sid looked around for who had interrupted the ball; Alice had been knocked out, but she would be ok. He searched the crowd to find everyone crouching on the floor covering their heads or they had been knocked unconscious. He saw that some had been crushed to death beneath some of the rubble and felt a heavy weight of guilt and anger. He spotted a couple of men dressed in black standing in the middle of the dance floor beneath the hole in the roof, and then searched for his cousin.


Syaoron looked around; he immediately spotted the group of men dressed in black and Sid who was about to make his move. Rena looked to him with horror and fear in her eyes, "What happened!?" She cried.

"Stay down." He hissed, and got up to move carefully away from her.

"What are you doing?!" she screamed.

"Shut up for five minutes!"

She stayed quiet and watched as he carefully navigated the room, ensuring he wasn't seen. He looked for his brother, and once he spotted him he quickly made his way over. "Hey-what's going on?" he asked Syaoran.

"I don't know-I'm about to pass out; I think they're after the girls." Syaoran replied as he continued to lose consciousness.

"Shit." Syaoron left reluctantly and moved in on his target. He looked over at Sid who made eye contact with him, and they launched an attack with magic; ice and lightning flew towards the group of men. It bounced off an invisible barrier and their attention was immediately drawn to the two. A smile crossed the man's face who was standing at the front; his arms were covered in tattoos and his eyes were ice cold, full of cruelty and malice and the intent for murder.


Sakura felt Syaoran lose consciousness as his body pressed hers to the cold tiles. "Syaoran?" she whispered. He didn't answer. She wriggled around until she was on her back, only to find that he was unconscious. She couldn't breathe properly and she began to panic. Tears slid down her face and she held him. Sid swore as his attack didn't reach his opponent, and was forced into defence by the enemy. Syaoron had the same problem, and he wasn't happy. He looked behind him to see if Rena was ok, but she wasn't anywhere to be seen. Panic settled in and he turned to look for her, no longer paying attention to his enemy and making his greatest mistake. He turned back as he sensed magic and was hit in the chest with a spell which sent him flying back into one of the marble pillars, knocking him unconscious. Distracted by his cousin, Sid was hit and thrown into the floor. His chest felt tight for a few minutes and his vision went black.

"Find the girls." The leader of the group ordered. They spread through the room like black birds, looking for Sakura and Rena.

Rena crouched behind the banisters of the upper floor, looking down at the scene before her. She moved, not paying attention to who was in front of her.

"Hello."

She looked up to find a man with black hair and cold dark eyes looking at her with a cruel smile. He was dressed in black, like the rest of the men below. He reached out to grab her arm, but she punched him hard in the nose and heard a satisfying crack. Blood dripped to the floor and he snarled at her. "You bitch."

"You started it." She hissed.

He went to hit her and she rolled to the side, missing his blow. She jumped to her feet and began fighting him, skilfully dodging each of his punches.

Sakura looked around and spotted her sister fighting at the top of the stairs. Everyone was either knocked out or dead. Men were walking around the floor, looking for her and Rena. She panicked; would they kill Syaoran if they found her? She couldn't stand the thought of losing him. She looked back over to Rena and watched as she was punched in the jaw and then punched again; she fell to the floor and tears filled Sakura's eyes.

"No…" She whispered.

"Oh Princess, where are you?" The man called out. "If you don't come out your sister dies." He said a bit more viciously.

Sakura lay there for a bit, frightened. She didn't know what to do. Syaoran regained consciousness for a brief moment and noticed that Sakura was crying. He heard what the men said, and was confused for a minute. He felt Sakura moving to get out from beneath him, and he tried to stop her. "Sakura, no…" He whispered before losing consciousness again.

She hugged him tightly. "I can't lose you." She whispered, and pulled herself out from beneath him. She took a deep breath and lifted herself up off the floor to stand. "You're looking for me?" she called.

They immediately turned their attention to Sakura, and her enemy smiled. "So you finally decided to come out." He laughed.

"And not for your benefit." She spat, and cast a powerful attack spell; she targeted all of them at once, only missing the leader of the group. For most it was difficult to even target two targets at once as it took a lot of mental concentration, but she had been trained and taught how to use the full potential of her magic. Normally she'd have hit all of her targets, but ever since she'd been held captive she had lost some of her usual capabilities. He looked around at his men, finding that they had all been completely obliterated. There was no way that they were going to be coming back from the dead.

"So this is your famed magic." He said with a smile. "Powerful."

"I wouldn't move if I were you." She warned.

He laughed, "And what are you going to do? You're weak." He took a step forward.

She smiled and he looked down; he was caught in her web, and was finished off with one quick blow to the chest. Another thing she had been taught was that you always had a back-up strategy in place.

"Is that so?" she murmured as she stared at the last remaining pieces of his body. She turned around and headed back to where Syaoran lay; he was just barely breathing. "Syaoran, don't leave me…" She whispered.

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