Rena, who was wide awake and feeling rather cheerful, sensed her sister's presence outside the door.
"Come in," Syaoron spoke.
The door opened, revealing Sakura in her rather regal attire with a prince Rena didn't recognise and hadn't been introduced to yet. Sakura saw her younger twin propped up against some pillows and wanted to rush to her side but her injured leg wouldn't allow that.
"Sakura, good morning." Rena smiled.
Syaoran assisted Sakura to her sister's side, and she hugged Rena tightly. "Rena, I'm so sorry…" She whispered.
Rena hugged her sister back tenderly, "My sister, there is nothing to apologise for, for you did nothing wrong." She smiled, stroking her sister's hair.
"I was there-I should have stopped it!" she cried.
"I don't know what happened afterwards, but we're both alive. I'm going to be fine, I promise." She said.
Sakura nodded into her sister's chest, which was covered by a thick blanket.
"Hey Sakura, I think we can trust these people-their aura is pure, untainted by lies and deceit." Rena told her.
It took a moment, but Sakura nodded.
"How…how is your leg…?" Rena asked softly.
"It should heal…" Sakura whispered.
"And yourself? Is the rest of you ok? Are you hurt anywhere else?" She panicked.
"I'm ok; I've been tended to…" She said softly.
Rena felt relieved to know that her sister was being looked after and cared for by the staff of the castle, and she smiled. She then looked to Syaoran, "Forgive me; I do not know your name." She said.
He seemed surprised by her manners, but smiled. "My name is Syaoran, and I am Syaoron's older brother." He spoke.
"Ah, thank you for taking care of my sister. Could you please continue to do so as I am currently in no condition to help her right now?" She asked.
"Of course." He replied.
"I warn you; she's pretty stubborn!" Rena laughed, and then winced.
"I'll be careful." He smiled.
"Thank you." She smiled, and then closed her eyes. She looked pretty tired.
"Rena!?" Sakura cried out.
"I'm just tired, let me rest…" she murmured.
"I'll stay with her; you can rest easy." Syaoron spoke.
"Well my lady, would you care to dine with me?" Syaoran asked with a smile.
She carefully shifted herself to her feet, a little wobbly, but he was careful to make sure she didn't fall. She took his hand and they walked slowly down the hall, receiving some stares, and they finally reached the gardens where they would be sitting for their meal. He pulled out a chair for her and she accepted it gratefully as her leg was aching and throbbing. He sat opposite her, so that he could see her properly. She was rather beautiful beneath the sun; she had pale skin and short light caramel hair that captured the sun's rays. Why anyone would want to hurt this delicate girl baffled him. There was something about her that made him want to look after her, bring her into his arms.
"My lord…" Sakura murmured, her voice quiet.
"Please, just Syaoran is fine." He smiled.
"Syaoran…why do you have me treated as a lady?" she asked quietly.
"Because you are a lady," He answered as if it were that simple.
"But…you have me treated as if I'm part of a higher class…" She said.
"Does it upset you?" He asked.
"Well…I'm just not…used to it…" She said quietly.
"Would you prefer it if I called you by your name?" He asked. She nodded. "Alright then, but you have to call me by mine." He said with a smile. She nodded again.
Plates of exotic fruits and a lovely scented drink were placed on the table in front of them. Sakura stared at the fruit, recognising some of them from her homeland… A place she could no longer return to.
"Are you alright? You look to be in pain." He said softly.
"I'm ok…I was just remembering something…" she whispered.
"Do you want to talk about it? Perhaps it may help ease what you are feeling." He said kindly.
She picked at her fruit with her fork, found a piece and stared at it for a moment. "My sister and I…we're all we have left…" She said softly, quietly.
"My mother died of an illness, and my father fell into a depression that caused him to waste away…eventually he passed away too. Rena and I were left alone…but it wasn't all that bad; we had some friends that were looking after us for a while. We were healing, and I hoped that maybe we could get on with our lives… All had seemed well, but when the two of us left to go out for a while, someone had attacked our home and our friends…word had gotten out about our magical abilities, and they'd come after us…I never understood why." She whispered.
He looked at her with a sadness she had never seen before. It wasn't pity, but something more…deeper. Like he could relate. "I'm sorry for your loss…" He said softly.
She looked shocked, "I'm sorry-I shouldn't have spoken…" she whispered.
"There is no need to apologise, you've done nothing wrong." He smiled.
She looked up and made eye contact with him. He was a gentle, kind hearted young man-that much she could tell. He wouldn't harm her. She wondered how long it would be until she became a burden on him.
The two ate in silence; the fruit was sweet, suitable for her tastes, and she wondered if he had requested that on purpose. The drink was sweet wine, and it took her a while to finish. She never drank much, it just wasn't her thing. Rena on the other hand-oh geez. Give her alcohol and she'll happily get drunk without thinking of the consequences.
"Twit…" she muttered under her breath whilst turning the glass in her hand.
"Hmm?" Syaoran looked at Sakura with interest, wondering what her annoyance was all about.
Realising what she had just said, she panicked. She placed the glass on the table and stood up to run, but he was faster. He already had his arm around her waist and had pulled her against him so she didn't fall-she'd forgotten about her injured leg, but he hadn't.
"What are you in a panic for?" He asked softly, looking into her eyes with confusion.
"I-I'm sorry-I had not aimed that at you…" She whispered.
"Aimed what?" He asked.
She blinked. Had he not heard her? "I...umm…I'm sorry…" she looked away, blushing with embarrassment.
"You have nothing to be sorry for," He smiled again.
She relaxed her shoulders, and then found herself relaxing into his hold once again. Her eyes slid closed against his chest, and he smiled. He had heard her, but he knew she had not insulted him. He was curious though, but did not ask. For now, he was simply enjoying having this girl in his arms. Though…he wasn't too sure why. He felt like he could relate to her, because he too had lost his parents in a similar way.
Sakura realised what she was doing and quickly stepped away. "I'm sorry…" She whispered.
"No, it's ok." He said. "Would you like to meet some of the others?" He asked politely with a smile.
She looked uncomfortable for a moment, but nodded anyway.
They walked back up a stepping stone path into the palace halls, and he walked very patiently by her side as she couldn't move very fast with her injured leg. They soon came to a room where they could sense several presences and a lot of arguing and laughter coming from inside.
"Oh my…" Chii's voice came from inside.
"Why you creepy bastard!" A much grumpier, gruffer voice came along with a laugh and then a very loud crash.
Syaoran sighed and turned to Sakura, "I am so terribly sorry for their attitude." He said softly.
She was a little nervous about going in after hearing what she had heard, and let out a slight whimper. "They won't hurt you, I promise." He said, taking her hand gently in his.
She calmed some, and he opened the door. Up against the wall was a tall lanky blonde with a wide grin on his face, holding his hands up in defence while he had the tip of a sword being pointed at his face by a man much taller than him who had a large muscular build, and was dressed in black. His hair was black and spiky, while his eyes piercing red.
Chii was standing next to a girl with long straight black hair, and from her temples fell the same long black strands, both sides tied with purple ribbon around them. She was wearing a purple dress similar to the one Sakura was wearing, and her eyes were a deep shade of violet.
"Oh my, it seems we have guests. Good morning Prince Syaoran." The girl smiled.
"Good morning Princess Tomoyo." He replied, "What did Fai do this time?"
"The same as usual of course!" she laughed.
He sighed, helping Sakura into a seat. Tomoyo stepped forward in her long gown with a bright smile on her face, "Ignoring the violent mass over there, how about you introduce the beautiful girl?" Tomoyo asked.
"This is Sakura." He answered.
"That's a lovely name; pleased to meet you. My name is Tomoyo." She smiled.
Sakura smiled back timidly, but she was afraid she might be hurt.
"So what country are you from? What was the kingdom like there?" Tomoyo asked.
Sakura suddenly realised that what she was wearing was something that only royalty wore. She panicked for a moment, her grip on Syaoran's hand tightening for a minute, but he didn't seem to care. He gave her hand a comforting squeeze and she suddenly relaxed.
"I…Um…" Sakura looked away. She couldn't tell lies.
"Oh, forgive me; that was rude. Don't answer." Tomoyo said with a bit of a shocked smile, shocked with herself for asking such a question.
The blonde male walked over and bowed, "Fai D. Fluorite, if it pleases you my lady." He smiled. "And this grumpy guy here is Kurgy!" He beamed.
"Kurogane you idiot, Kurogane!"
"Sakura backed up against the couch, scared. "Aww, seems you scared the poor young lady." Fai said.
"Humph." Kurogane muttered.
"Do try not to destroy the room please." Syaoran smiled.
"Sorry," Fai laughed, "Is there anything we can help you with?" He asked.
"No, not really. I just thought I'd introduce Sakura to some other people around the castle." Syaoran replied. "So where is your brother?"
"He's gone to speak to Syaoron, if I remember correctly." Chii piped up.
"Ah, I see." Syaoran murmured. "That could be a disaster."
When Rena woke she heard another voice in the room…one that she didn't recognise. Someone was inspecting her wound, probing and poking around it.
"What the fuck did she do-get stabbed half to death!? It won't get infected, but it will need stitches." They spoke.
"Thank you." Syaoron answered slightly irritably.
"I'll go get the tools needed. It won't take long."
"Thank you, Yuui."
"You two sure run me ragged over a pair of girls. Whatever happened to them, they've been through hell. The other can hardly walk." He muttered.
"Go join the others after this." Syaoron murmured almost irritably.
The door shut, and Rena opened her eyes. She moved to lie on her back, and realised she was exposed to him. "Oh crap…" she groaned.
"Sorry, it was the best way to get to the wound without interruption." He apologised.
"I understand…" She sighed.
"After you've had your stitches done, you can have a bath if you like. You'll be given fresh clothes." He said, looking away.
"Really?" She asked with a hint of happiness.
"Yes, if that's what you want." He said.
"Oh I haven't had a bath in forever…" she sighed. Then she stopped for a minute. "That makes me sound absolutely disgusting." She muttered.
He burst into laughter.
"Don't laugh at me!" She puffed out her cheeks in annoyance.
"Sorry, but you're amusing." He replied.
"Is that so?" she muttered.
"Yes." He answered.
The door opened and in walked a tall blonde with sapphire blue eyes. He was thin, but not too thin, and his slightly long hair was tied to the side and hanging over his shoulder. "Well it seems the patient has woken up. I haven't heard him laugh like that in years. Whatever you did must have been hilarious." The blonde said sarcastically as he set his tools down.
"I don't see how." She muttered irritably, already taking a disliking to him.
"Oh, she's certainly an interesting one your highness." He said. "Could you roll on your side please?" he asked her.
She did so, and then he began stitching up her wound. She felt tears sting her eyes as the needle pierced her skin, and she hated every moment of it.
"Done." He said.
"Is she able to get up and have a bath?" Syaoron asked.
"Yes, I don't see why not; As long as there's someone with her to keep her from fainting." He answered.
"Good. Try not to drown. I don't want to have to perform CPR on anyone today." The blonde told Rena.
Feeling pissed off, she automatically bit back. "I'll try my best to make everything as hard as possible for you!" She beamed.
"Oh good god," He muttered, and then left the room.
Syaoron stood and walked to her side, gently lifting her from the sheets. She never realised how filthy she was until she saw the blood all over her skirt and side.
"Eww…" She muttered.
He carried her down to the baths where he had to assist her with sitting, and then looked to see if any of the maids were available. He couldn't see any, and he couldn't leave her alone. "I'll stay with you; don't worry-I won't look." He said.
"Ok." She said, not particularly bothered.
"First I'll go find some clothes that you can change into afterwards." He said, standing up.
"Okidoke." She replied casually.
He left and she felt his presence disappear from the area, but she felt a strange eerie presence. It felt…familiar. A few moments later Syaoron returned with a mass of deep red clothing.
"Hope you don't mind the colour." He said.
His expression suddenly changed, and he turned his head to look around the room. He seemed…disturbed. "Is something wrong?" She asked.
"…No. Let's get moving." He murmured.
Rena sat in the warm water, enjoying the feeling of being able to relax and enjoy herself in a bath once again. She sighed in contentment; she'd already washed the blood and filth from her skin, and all she wanted was to relax. She looked over to find Syaoron sitting with his back to her, not ever looking. And then she sensed the presence again. She stood up, gaining his attention by accident.
"Shit." He muttered, quickly looking away so as to not anger her.
And then he noticed the presence as well.
"Who's there!?" He demanded.
Rena screamed and there was a loud splash, and he felt his eye patch fall from his face. Rena resurfaced the water at the edge of the bath where Syaoron was kneeling looking worried. The first thing she noticed was his blue eye, the eye that had been hidden.
"Are you alright?" He asked immediately without any concern for himself.
"I'm fine! What about you?" She asked.
Neither of them could sense the strange presence anymore.
"I'm fine, but your wound-is it alright?" He asked.
"It's ok, something knocked me over…I don't know what it was…" she said.
He seemed concerned for her wellbeing and picked up the towel. "Here, I think it's time to get out." He said.
"Alright…" She replied, standing up and taking the towel from him.
He averted his eyes, waiting until she'd wrapped the towel around herself, and then helped her out of the bath. He seemed uncomfortable. They walked out into the foyer so she could change, and she got dressed quickly. He could feel her stare, and shifted uncomfortably.
"Could you please stop staring, it's making me uncomfortable…" He murmured, looking the other way.
"Why do you hide it? It's such a pretty colour…" She said softly, placing her hand against his cheek.
He allowed her to turn his head so that he made eye contact with her. "It's not a normal thing…here in this country…" he said quietly.
"Will you be ridiculed for it…?" She asked.
"No…it's just strange is all. Most of our people just believe that I have an injury." He said.
She smiled. "I haven't been telling the truth about my left eye…" she said quietly.
He blinked in surprise as her eyes slid shut and then opened again; her left eye was emerald green. "These are my natural eyes." She smiled.
He looked at her, surprised. His gaze softened, and he smiled. "You have beautiful eyes," He said.
"Thank you." She smiled. His eyes travelled down to her new attire; a burgundy coloured robe with a black sash to tie it together. It seemed to suit her. Her smile fell, and she held her head in her hands. She was looking incredibly pale.
"I'm starting to feel dizzy…can you carry me back…?" she asked.
"Oh, yes." He said.
"Thank you." She smiled.
He picked her up carefully, and she couldn't help but look into his eyes. She rested her head against his chest, and she could hear his heartbeat beating strongly. She felt at ease with him holding her despite what she had been through, and she was sure-no, positive that she would be safe under his care. Her eyes slid closed, enjoying the moment she had with him. He looked down at her, and her eyes opened again. She smiled up at him softly, and he smiled back.
Suddenly they were back at his room, and he'd placed her in his bed. "I'll leave you to rest." He murmured.
"Wait-I don't want to be alone; not with what happened back there." She said.
"I understand." He said softly.
"You're tired…" She murmured.
"No, no, I'm fine." He said.
She shifted to make room on the bed, and he shook his head. "I can't." he said.
"You're tired…You need your rest." She said.
"Please…" she pleaded.
"Ok…" He sighed, moving to sit on the edge of the bed, he didn't seem comfortable with what he was about to do, but he hadn't fallen asleep till late. He lay down beside her, finding himself face to face with her. They were so close their lips were almost touching. She blushed slightly, and he did as well. Rena slid her eyes shut and he kissed her; she responded, parting her lips for him. His tongue slid into her mouth, enticing hers to dance with his. She was shy with her response, but pressed closer to him as they kissed.
Suddenly, he pulled away.
"This is wrong." He said.
"I'm sorry…" She whispered.
"No, it's my fault." He said, placing his back to her and closing his eyes. What had he done?