Syaoran woke sometime late afternoon-he didn't realise he'd fallen asleep-or when. The girl, Sakura, was curled up under his arm against him, asleep. They were outside, beneath one of the large oak trees. It had been a few weeks since the girls had come to stay, and although he and Sakura were already quite close, his brother and Rena were facing complications for reasons unknown to him.
Rena was still unwell and didn't have enough strength to get up and walk around just yet, so she was still lying in bed feeling incredibly annoyed. All she wanted was to leave the bed and explore the gardens, but she was unable to. Whenever she did try, she was always caught and due to her little adventures, she was now babysat for most of her day, causing her to be in an extremely sour mood.
Sakura and Syaoran had left the group earlier, before lunch, to come outside and sit beneath the trees for fresh air because she was feeling uneasy with the group. She was still having trouble settling in, scared and fearful of what they might do if they betrayed her. At the current moment, she really only trusted Syaoran and probably Chii as she tended to her quite often throughout the day.
He stroked her cheek gently with the back of his finger, and her eyes fluttered open. Syaoran smiled at her, and surprisingly she smiled back. She had a beautiful smile, a smile that warmed the heart. She realised she was leaning against his body, and probably shouldn't be, and could feel his hand on her bare shoulder. She blushed intensely and looked away.
"Sorry," He apologised.
She shook her head and went to stand up, but fell back instead due to her injured leg. Syaoran caught her and took the brunt of the fall, landing hard on his back.
"Ow…" He groaned, feeling pain in his shoulder.
Distracting him from the pain was the weight pressing down over his hips, and the body against his. He opened his eyes, and Sakura's face was incredibly close to his.
"Sakura…" he murmured.
She seized up, her breathing becoming ragged. "No…don't hurt me…" She whispered.
"Sakura, it's me; I'm not going to hurt you." He said softly.
She suddenly snapped back to reality. She scrambled to get off of him, and he stood up.
"Sorry, I'm going to need to get my shoulder checked out; I hit it pretty hard." He said.
"I'm sorry, it's my fault." She whispered.
"No, you're injured. Now, let's get back up to the castle." He smiled.
Yuui took a look at his shoulder and sighed, "It'll be fine; chuck some ice on it for twenty minutes. It will bruise, but other than that like I said it will be fine." He said.
"Thanks," Syaoran replied.
Yuui turned to Sakura, "Now you, what's with that leg of yours?" He asked her as she sat on Syaoran's bed.
"Hm, you're far different from your sister. She gave me attitude. I went in about half an hour ago and she told me to shut my face-what a lovely guest you have your highness." Yuui said to Syaoran.
"Depends on what you said to her," the prince muttered.
"Anyway, are you going to tell me what happened or not? I can't help if I don't know." He muttered.
Sakura shrank back, but Syaoran smiled kindly. "He won't harm you." He said softly. Sakura relaxed a little.
"I…was tortured…and they twisted my leg at an odd angle…" she whispered.
Yuui looked at Syaoran who had a pained look on his face. "Can I get you to lie down please?" Yuui spoke much more calmly.
He hesitated for a moment, but did as she was asked. He examined her leg using magic, and then the other. "You've been walking on it, haven't you?" he asked.
"Yes…" She answered.
"Hmm…right now you shouldn't be able to. I'm amazed you even can. It's damaged considerably from what I can tell, but it should heal given time and rest. Spells can be used to help the process, but even they can't fix it in one shot." He said.
He then began to check the rest of her body, looking for more injuries. He found it strange though, that she didn't have any more injuries over her body. "Syaoran, can I speak with you for a moment?" He asked the prince who was busy icing his shoulder.
"Yes-I'll be back in a moment Sakura." Syaoran said softly to the girl who was lying down; he couldn't help but stare as her skirts were sprawled out over the bed, partly lifted over her knees. He quickly looked away and walked out of the room with Yuui, shutting the door behind him.
They stood out in the hall, and Yuui looked disturbed.
"What is it?" Syaoran asked seriously.
"That girl…her body is in worse condition than I could even imagine. Her womb is fine, thank god for that…but…I don't understand how she's alive!" The doctor spoke.
"Will she heal?" Syaoran asked, feeling himself panic.
"With a lot of bloody care," Yuui answered.
"That's a relief…" He murmured.
"Syaoron seems to have formed an attachment to the other girl, Rena. For now, at least those two are in safe hands." The blonde muttered.
"Thank you for your help; it will not go unpaid." Syaoran murmured.
"No problem I guess. I will cast the first of the eight healing spells so that she can start healing faster though." He sighed.
"I appreciate it," Syaoran said softly.
Yuui nodded, and they re-entered his room where Sakura was still lying. "I'm going to cast the first of the eight healing spells now." He told Sakura.
She nodded and her eyes slid shut, and all she felt was magic fill the room. A strange tingling sensation entered her body, and then pain. And then all pain was gone. The magic cast on her left behind a warm feeling, still working through her body.
"These spells will take days to complete, but it's started taking effect." Yuui explained.
"Thank you…" Sakura whispered.
"I better be leaving; that brother of mine wants me for something." He muttered, leaving.
"Have fun." Syaoran smiled.
The door shut, and once again, it was just the two of them. He sat on the edge of the bed, and she sat up, moving her hand over to hold the ice in place.
"Sakura, you don't have to…"
"Please, you've helped me out so much, and I cause your injury-this is the least I can do." She said quietly.
He looked away, and allowed her to hold the ice to his bare shoulder. "Sakura, are you alright?" he asked.
"Why do you ask…?" she asked.
"Because I'm worried." He replied.
"I don't…remember the last time someone worried about me…" She whispered.
He shifted his gaze to meet hers; he smiled, and placed his hand over hers on his shoulder, "You aren't hurt from the fall?" he asked.
"No…" She said quietly.
"That's good," He smiled.
She was shy, but she leant forward and pressed her soft pink lips against his cheek, and he turned his head so that the tip of their noses touched.
"Sakura…" He whispered, looking into her eyes. She leant in and he followed, their lips making contact. He slid his arm around her waist, pulling her closer. She licked his bottom lip timidly, and he granted her permission. He knew what he was doing, but if it was what she wanted…he wanted to as well. He wanted to kiss her. She tasted sweet, and her skin was smooth and soft beneath his fingers. He gently moved to push her down onto the bed, but she wasn't frightened. He pulled apart from her, both needing air, and gazed into her eyes. Perspiration from the ice pack beneath her hands had begun to roll down his back and chest, and some dripped onto her bare shoulders. She was blushing slightly, and her skin was pale.
"Syaoran…" She whispered.
"Will…you stay with me?" she asked.
"Yes." He said softly, lying down beside her. He had his arm around her, keeping her close. She closed her eyes, and so did he. It would be his secret about what they shared.
When Rena woke she realised she wasn't alone in the room. Although she had grown used to his presence, they hadn't been on the best of terms lately. She blushed as she remembered the kiss they had shared a couple weeks back, and then winced. Her wound was hurting again.
"Don't move, you'll only cause yourself more pain." Syaoron spoke.
She must have alerted him with her movement. He looked up from his book and looked at her; she was a bit pale, and didn't look too well. He leant over and placed his hand against her forehead, checking for a fever-sure enough she had one. He sighed, "I'll be back; I'll get you something for the pain and fever." He said.
"If I'm that much of a burden, then just kill me!" she hissed.
He laughed bitterly, "Is that what you think? You have a lot to learn." He said harshly before disappearing out of the room.
Rena was shocked. She didn't understand why she had said that to him, and she felt angry with herself. "Shit!" She swore under her breath, and buried her face in the soft pillows.
Similar thoughts were running through his head as Syaoron walked down the hall to where he knew Yuui and the others were. He didn't quite understand why he said that to her…or maybe he did. He'd apologise later-maybe. But why had she said that? It disturbed him. He punched the wall, hard, gaining the attention of several maids and a few guards. He looked up and they scattered like fish, and he continued walking until he found the room he was looking for. He slammed open the door and then slammed it shut again, receiving stares from his friends.
"What has you in such a foul mood?" Chii asked.
"What-get dumped by your girlfriend?" Yuui asked.
"You're looking for a good punch in the face." Syaoron muttered.
"Wow, he is in a foul mood." Fai laughed.
"I assume you're here because she's in pain?" Yuui sighed.
"Yes-also, she has a fever." He muttered.
"Sakura had a fever when she first arrived. Now her sister has one-lovely. Hopefully it won't turn too disastrous." Yuui said, standing up.
"Such concern for the girls you have, brother." Fai laughed.
"Oh yeah, complete concern." He muttered. "Soon it'll be the start of a massacre."
"Syaoron, is something on your mind?" Tomoyo asked.
"No, not really."
"Then why are you so pissed off?" Chii asked.
"Is everyone this annoying today?"
"Yes-your brother injured his shoulder. Why does everyone cause me more work?" Yuui complained.
"Oh shut it you! You're the one who took up the job!" Chii snapped.
"She's got a point," Fai said.
"How'd he do that?" Syaoron asked.
"You mean how'd he take up the job?" Tomoyo asked.
"Stopped the girl from falling; luckily it's only bruised, but will be sore for a few days. They're asleep for the moment." Yuui explained.
He nodded. He should probably tell his brother about what happened in the baths the other week, but he'd wait till later.
Yuui turned to him and handed him two different blends of herbs. "This one will help with the fever, that will stop the pain. Mix them in with tea and get her to drink it. She'll kill you for it, but it'll work." He said.
"Gee, you're so kind." Syaoron muttered, and left.
When Rena tried to sit up, tears sprang into her eyes. He was right when he said it would only cause her more pain. She felt dizzy and cold and shivery.
This is wrong.
What was so wrong about kissing her? Or maybe it was because of who she was… He did not yet know who she really was, but she'd already given away one of her biggest secrets about herself, about the true colour of her eyes. They were back to being blue now, both of them, and he'd gone back to wearing the black eye patch over his blue eye.
I hope Sakura can find happiness here… she thought to herself.
She heard the door open and then shut again, and she looked away. She knew she had pain written all over her face. "I thought I said not to sit up?" He muttered.
"Hmph." She grumbled.
"I apologise for my behaviour earlier…it was rude of me to speak in such a way to such a lady as yourself." He murmured.
She looked over to find him looking at the ground with a bit of a guilty look on his face. "I'm sorry too…" she whispered.
"What for?" He asked.
"I snapped at you…and you were only trying to help me…I'm sorry." She said.
He walked over and set a cup down beside her on the bedside table. "I don't know what happened in your past, and you don't have to tell me unless you want to. But if you ever do, I'll be ready to listen." He said.
"…Thank you." She said softly.
"Drink this-all of it-and it should help. Be warned, it will taste vile." He said.
"Ugh…" She groaned.
"I'm going to go find my brother and speak with him; do you mind?" He asked.
"No, please go." She said softly.
"I'll wait till you've drunk it all." He muttered.
She glared at him, and he smiled.
When Syaoran woke it was late afternoon; the sun was already setting. Sakura was snuggled against his chest, comfortable and still asleep. He smiled and gently kissed her forehead, careful not to wake her. She didn't wake, but she did press closer to him. He suddenly remembered when she fell on him; the weight over his hips…her weight…he blushed slightly, and distracted himself with other thoughts.
He felt movement, and Sakura's eyes opened. She ran her fingers over his chest, and his eyes slid closed at her touch. When he opened them again, she was looking up at him with her beautiful emerald green eyes. He smiled and leant in to kiss her. She happily responded, and pressed herself against him as they kissed. He ran his hand up her back over the silk of her dress and then came to bare skin. Suddenly clothes seemed like too much of a barrier between them.
He mentally slapped himself; Sakura had been through a lot, and she needed a lot of care and…
She needed love.
The love of someone who wasn't a family member. Someone she could grow to trust and have by her side always. Could he give her that?
By tradition, if kissed, you were engaged to be wed. But the girls didn't know of this tradition-they were foreign. But the two princes did-very well. By all means, they should have stopped themselves.
Sakura's hands wandered over his bare chest, and she suddenly wanted to feel his touch. Then she remembered when she'd been held captive:
"You'll never be loved! You're defiled, no longer pure-who could possibly want you?"
Those were her words, the words of her captor.
Their kiss ended, and they parted to breathe. She didn't realise that she was crying. "Sakura? Why are you crying?" He asked softly.
"You know…don't you…?" she whispered.
"About what?" He asked.
"That I've been…raped…" she whispered.
"I know…" he murmured, a sadness showing in his eyes.
"Then why would you want to touch someone who's…?" She whispered.
He suddenly hugged her closer to his body. "Don't say such things; it's harmful to the mind and body. Whoever said something so horrible to you, told you that you weren't good enough-they're wrong. You're simply you; that's all you can be." He said gently.
Her body trembled with tears, and she cried. "Shh, it's ok." He murmured, stroking her soft silken hair gently. He decided then that he would continue to help her, keep her safe and help her to heal. She had no home to return to, and the only family she had was her sister. If she stayed, Chii and the others would surely befriend her and Rena.
"Sakura," He murmured.
She looked up at him, her eyes red from crying.
"Won't you stay here?" He asked.
Her eyes widened. "Why do you…?" she whispered, unable to finish her sentence.
"The invitation is open to the both of you, of course. But if you stay, you'll have a home, and friends; people you can rely on." He said softly.
Her eyes brimmed with tears. "I'd like that…" She whispered.
"Talk to your sister about it," he smiled.
He sat up, and picked up his top from the chair beside the bed. He quickly pulled it on and then tied his sash around his waist.
"Dinner should be ready soon." He murmured.
Sakura sat up and her dress felt a little loose-it slipped from her chest, and she gave a squeak of surprise. Syaoran turned to find her holding her dress in place, more skin visible than should have been. Her eyes were squeezed tightly shut, and her face was red. He walked round and placed his hand over hers; she opened her eyes to find him looking at her with concern.
"I'm going to go find Chii to assist you." He said. She nodded, and he stood.
While he was gone, she was left to think of how when he had kissed her, he wasn't harsh and he hadn't hurt her. Instead, the first kiss he'd allowed her to take control. His kisses, she found, were gentle and passionate. She'd been kissed before, and she'd found it frightening-like all they wanted was her and didn't care for her comfort. But he did.
She was distracted from her thoughts as there was a knock at the door. She jumped and let out a cry, and they looked in. It was Syaoron, Syaoran's brother.
"Is everything ok?" He asked.
"Sorry, you startled me…" She replied.
"Ah sorry, I'll wait outside. I assume he's gone to get Chii." He muttered, closing the door.
Chii and the rest of the group were sitting in their usual lounge, just chatting away. Tomoyo was quite happily sitting next to her friend, amused by the entire conversation.
"So, I bet you five gold that they'll get together." Chii said casually.
"Who?" Fai asked.
"Sakura and Syaoran-who else? They're obviously close." Chii replied.
"Nah-they'll get together, but what're the chances of them getting married? Couple of kids?"
"Two kids?" Chii wondered.
"Alright, we have a bet."
Tomoyo giggled, "And what about the other two?" she asked.
"Ooh, that's a difficult one. They fight-a lot." Chii said.
"Yes, they do. But I'm sure they'll come around eventually-well?" Tomoyo asked.
"Hmm, five for Sakura and Syaoran, but for the other two I'd have to say at least seven." Chii decided.
"Then it is decided." Tomoyo smiled.
"Yeah, but how many kids-" Chii hissed.
"What's decided, exactly?" Syaoran asked as he entered the room.
Chii jumped from her seat and turned around to find the prince standing there with a smile on his face. "Oh-hello my lord," She greeted.
"Speak of the devil…" Tomoyo murmured.
"Yes, hello Chii. May I ask what you were doing just now?"
"Merely talking as usual?" She laughed awkwardly.
Syaoran rolled his eyes, "Whatever. Sakura requires your assistance; can you spare some time?" he asked.
"Of course," Chii smiled and stood, following Syaoran out of the room.
Once they left, the entire room burst into a fit of laughter.
Syaoran looked up to find his brother standing outside his room.
"Oh it's Syaoron-you talk to him while I tend to Lady Sakura." Chii smiled, and disappeared into the room.
His brother looked at him with a curious stare.
"What happened to her dress?" Syaoron asked.
"She fell asleep in it." Syaoran replied.
"Oh, yeah those types of dresses are a pain in the arse." He said.
"They sure are. What did you want to talk about?" Syaoran asked.
"Quick aren't you? Did you feel a strange presence the other week, sometime in the morning?" Syaoron asked.
"I did." He answered.
"Yes well, Rena was attacked while taking a bath." He murmured.
Syaoran looked at him with alarm.
"She wasn't hurt, but she could have been." Syaoron growled.
"…Yes. Did either of you see anyone?" Syaoran asked.
"I didn't, but it's possible that Rena may have." He murmured.
"So you were with her?"
"Only so she didn't pass out and drown."
"Fair enough. Lately you've been very annoyed about something; what are you feeling guilty about? Did something happen between you two?" Syaoran asked.
"Ok." He smiled, sensing the lie.
"Do you have something planned?" Syaoron asked suspiciously.
He shook his head, "I was talking with Sakura. Perhaps we should allow them to stay." He said.
"What about their own home?"
"They no longer have one." Syaoran murmured.
"Their mother died from an illness, and their father passed away from grief. They were taken in by friends of family, but after a while someone learned of their magic and came after them. Their friends were murdered and they were taken." Syaoran explained.
"Why does that sound…"
"Similar circumstances with our parents I guess. But it was our sister that was murdered." Syaoran said.
"They can stay; it's alright by me." He murmured.
"By the way, how old do you think they are?" Syaoran asked.
"You think I know?" Syaoron retorted.
"I'd guess around our age, maybe a little younger." Syaoran said.
"Whatever." Syaoron groaned.
"Why do I have to ask!?"
"Sakura's timid, Rena's straight forward." Syaoran said.
Syaoran smiled, "Don't forget to feed her dinner." He said.
His brother glared at him and walked away, but still he continued to smile. Even so, Syaoran wondered what was on his mind, why guilt plagued him. He was distracted from his thoughts as he heard a lot of giggling from Chii.
"Goodness Sakura, you'd make a great stripper!" She laughed hysterically.
What the fuck? He wondered. But then, knowing Chii, she'd probably gotten Sakura into some kind of pose. He shook his head and knocked on the door.
"Are you finished?" He asked.
"Yes!" Chii called out.
He entered his room and sure enough, Sakura was tied well back into her dress, but her face was bright red.
"What did you do to her?" He asked.
"Nothing much," She laughed.
He sighed and turned to Sakura. "Shall we go eat then?" He asked.
Sakura nodded, and he assisted her as usual around the castle.