Title:Visible To You
Author: Kitty Neko
Series: Card Captor Sakura
Summary: Syaoran unwittingly insults a psychic, resulting in him being invisible to everyone besides the psychic and… one girl…
Disclaimer: I don’t own Card Captor Sakura.
“This sucks,” Sakura moaned, burying her face in her hands and trying to ignore the trickling noise.
“Quit your bellyaching. I’m the one having to…” Syaoran paused to think of the most appropriate way to phrase the situation. “…PEE with you in the same room.”
“Oh ho!” Sakura let out a breath of irritation. “My bellyaching? You’re the one that just couldn’t wait 30 minutes for my dad and brother to go to work!” She was trying to keep her voice down but Syaoran was really testing her patience. It was bad enough that she had to stay in the bathroom with him so her family wouldn’t get suspicious of the toilet magically filling and flushing on its own, but now he was blaming it on her.
“Hey!” Syaoran snapped. “I tried! One minute longer and you’d have had a nice large puddle on your carpet.”
Sakura still had her hands over her face and her eyes squeezed shut tight. “I have a solution for this problem,” she declared and removed one hand from her face to rest it on the side of the tub she was sitting on.
“And what’s that?” Syaoran was slightly curious; maybe she was finally going to say something intelligent.
“I’ll just have to stop giving you liquids. That way you’ll just get dehydrated and shrivel up. Aren’t you done yet?”
Okay, perhaps not so intelligent.
“No. It really was an emergency. Just be happy it’s not number two.”
Sakura groaned loudly. “When will this nightmare end?”
“Sakura? Is everything all right?”
Sakura stopped mid-moan at her father’s voice. “Everything is FINE,” she answered.
It was obvious to her father that everything was not fine but he let the subject drop all the same. Perhaps he thought she was having girl problems or that her dislike of vegetables was finally catching up to her. She didn’t really care what he thought as long as he didn’t pry.
“I’m going to work now. I’ll see you later.”
“Bye.” Sakura listened for his footsteps to retreat before she allowed herself to relax. “One down, one to go.” She was stopped from saying more by the sound of the toilet flushing.
“All done,” Syaoran declared and watched as she slowly opened her eyes and tried to adjust to the light. She focused her attention on him.
“Don’t tempt me.”
“I thought your brother would never leave.”
Sakura laughed dryly. “Knowing him, he probably thinks something is up and wants to make things harder for me.”
“Sounds like something I would do to one of my sisters.”
The scary girl glared at him. “All older brothers should be thrown off a cliff.”
“I’m actually a younger brother,” Syaoran couldn’t help pointing out.
“And all younger brothers should be tortured before being led off a cliff.” She reached over and pulled a peeling knife off the knife rack and started to play with it.
“What is that for?” Syaoran asked, very proud of himself for being able to keep his voice from indicating how uncomfortable she was making him.
Sakura hid her evil grin. Messing with his head was so much fun. “Oh, I don’t know… things.”
Her answer was very ambiguous and he hadn’t liked that at all. Not one tiny little bit. Too many horrible images came to his overactive imagination. Sakura enjoyed the shudder her unspoken words had evoked from him.
“Nope, nothing at all. I was just wondering…” Syaoran racked his brain desperately for something to say. “…if I could take a shower! I feel really dirty.”
Sakura was slightly disappointed he had wriggled his way out of that one, and replaced the knife to its proper spot. “Sure, go ahead. Just leave your clothes outside the bathroom door.”
Sakura reached for the knife again. “Don’t ask questions. Just do it.”
Syaoran nodded curtly and scampered away.
Sakura watched him go. She may or may not have taken a peek at his caboose as he went.
When Syaoran finished his shower there were clean clothes including boxers folded in place of where he had thrown his dirty clothes earlier. Upon closer inspection he discovered that the clothes were too big for him. Obviously, Sakura’s brother was going to be missing another outfit.
Before changing into the clothes, another thought occurred to Syaoran. “Boxers?” They certainly weren’t his. He would never own boxers with pink hearts that read ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’. That would mean they belonged to her brother.
Making sure that the towel was secure around his waist, Syaoran marched into the living room. Sakura was sitting in on the couch, leaning against several pillows and reading a book. She glanced up and did a double take, apparently startled by his appearance.
“What is this?” Syaoran asked, lifting up the offending pair of undergarments.
Seemingly recovered from her initial shock, Sakura opted for sarcasm. “Boxers. Ever heard of them? I know you prefer thongs but-”
“I know what they are. Whose are they?”
“You should have just asked that the first time.” Sakura put a bookmark in her place and shut the novel. “They are my brother’s. You didn’t think they were mine, did you?”
Syaoran ignored her last question. “That’s gross. I’m not going to wear your brother’s underwear.”
“Because it’s unsanitary!”
“They’re clean,” she argued.
“It’s still wrong.”
“They haven’t ever been worn, you pansy.” Sakura stood up so she was eyelevel with him.
“How would you know that?” Syaoran challenged.
“Because they were at the bottom of his drawer. Speaking of which, I was really surprised that I didn’t find any of his porn. I wonder where he keeps it.”
Trying really hard to block out that unnecessary information, Syaoran focused on the task at hand. He still wasn’t convinced. “Look, just give me back my clothes.” He was beginning to feel a draft and didn’t want to argue with her.
Sakura jerked her thumb in the direction where a lot of noise was coming from. “I can’t. I’m washing them.” She continued with her argument about the heart boxers. “I know for a fact that he hasn’t worn them before.”
“Because he said he would never wear them the day that my grandma gave them to him. He doesn’t seem to consider it his style.”
“Now…” Sakura allowed herself a malicious smile. “I suggest you put on some clothes. You’re a little exposed. Nice areolas by the way.” She couldn’t resist. She’d been dying to get back at him for the locker room incident.
Syaoran had the decency to blush and walked away as fast as his legs would carry him.
“How long have we been sitting here?” Syaoran asked.
“Is that all?” He could barely believe it. “It seems like so much longer.”
Sakura massaged her temples. “Believe me, I know. I did not picture spending my Spring Break trying to come up with ways to help some idiot.”
“This isn’t exactly the way I imagined spending my break either. The next time my cousin tries to get me to do something I’m going to scream and run away.”
“Just say no,” Sakura quoted, grinning at Syaoran. He smiled back before getting serious again.
“Back to brainstorming.”
There was silence for almost a full five minutes before the phone rang. Sakura jumped to her feet, relieved. “I’ll get it!”
“No, I will,” Syaoran said sarcastically, but it lacked malice.
“Hello? Oh, hi Tomoyo! What are you doing?” There was a pause in which Sakura frowned. “Um, I don’t think I can… okay… I’ll talk to you later. Bye.” She hung up and sighed sadly.
“What was that all about?”
“It was Tomoyo. She’s at the mall and wanted to know if I could come.”
Syaoran was confused. “Why did you say you couldn’t?”
Sakura looked at him like he had a screw loose. “I promised that I would help you.”
Syaoran was surprised that she cared that much. It actually kind of made him feel bad for dragging her into this whole mess. “Uh, well, it’s not like we’re getting very far with this. I don’t mind if you go,” he finally was able to spit out. The reward was definitely worth it.
Sakura’s smile was huge. It didn’t last long though. “But I don’t want to leave you here alone.”
“Who said anything about me staying here? I’m going with you.” At her skeptical expression, he continued. “I promise I’ll be on my best behavior.”
That was obviously good enough for her because she snatched up the phone and started dialing some numbers. While it was ringing she said, “Why don’t you go get changed back into your clothes? We still don’t know if what you’re wearing now is invisible.”
He didn’t bother to respond, her friend had already answered the phone.
“One good thing about being invisible,” Syaoran said while stepping off the bus. “I don’t have to pay the bus fare.”
Sakura coughed from right behind him. “Cheap.” She coughed again.
“How clever,” Syaoran retorted. Her response was to stick her tongue out.
It didn’t take them long to find Tomoyo. She was standing by a smoothie shop and looking at her watch. A large smile appeared on her face when she saw Sakura. “Finally! I was about to slit my wrists. Being at the mall alone is so boring.”
“Being at the mall is so boring,” Syaoran said.
The edges of Sakura’s mouth twitched upward slightly. “Yea.” Her answer was directed at both Syaoran and Tomoyo.
“Come on.” Tomoyo grabbed Sakura’s arm and dragged her into the nearest store. Syaoran almost had to jog to keep up; Tomoyo was fast. Sakura on the other hand was used to the pace and just let her best friend drag her everywhere.
Tomoyo stopped at several sections in the clothes store and picked up a few items. “I saw this while I was alone and thought it would be perfect for you!” She lifted up a yellow sundress before shoving it into Sakura’s arms and grabbing something else for herself.
By the time they made it to the dressing rooms, Sakura was panting slightly and Syaoran was gasping for air. Tomoyo’s cheeks were flushed an attractive pink and a silly grin was plastered on her face.
“Tomoyo loves to shop,” Sakura whispered to Syaoran when Tomoyo wasn’t paying attention.
“I didn’t notice.”
“Sakura!” Tomoyo waved a hand in front of her face at a gnat. “Go change.”
The two girls went into fitting rooms right next to each other and Syaoran sat down to watch. He almost fell out of his chair when Sakura opened the door.
“This definitely doesn’t fit,” Sakura growled at Tomoyo, who appeared seconds later. It certainly did not. In fact, she hadn’t even been able to button it all the way. Her glare went from Tomoyo to Syaoran when he burst into laughter. She would have said something, but Tomoyo was still there. Instead she settled for slamming the changing room door. Tomoyo looked confused but didn’t ask.
Several hundred outfits later they emerged from the shop with one dress each and a flabbergasted Syaoran trailing behind them.
“All of that for one stupid dress?” Now he knew why his sisters were always out for hours when they went clothes shopping. Whatever they bought had to be perfect.
“That’s why I hate shopping,” Sakura explained under her breath.
“Did you say something?” Tomoyo asked.
“No. What’s next?”
Sakura blanched. “Swimsuits?” She glanced over her shoulder at a smirking Syaoran.
“That’s what I said. Ya deaf?” Tomoyo teased and ducked into a different store.
“Great!” Syaoran mimicked with more enthusiasm.
Sakura started sweating when she saw what Tomoyo wanted her to try on. “That’s not a bathing suit!”
“Sure it is!”
“Barely!” Sakura really didn’t want Syaoran to see her in something like that. He was incorrigible enough as it was.
“Don’t be bashful,” Syaoran teased. “I’ve already seen you in your bra, remember?”
“Why?” Tomoyo asked, clearly confused.
Tomoyo won in the end, as always.
Sakura sipped her chocolate shake and tried not to let Syaoran see that her face was still bright red. She had to endure all of Syaoran’s catcalls as Tomoyo handed her more and more bikinis. Of course, Tomoyo had tried on her fair share, but she didn’t have to listen to Syaoran’s comments. Sakura was now very aware of how much more endowed her best friend was than herself.
“That won’t work,” Syaoran said slyly, referring to her attempt to hide her face. He would have kept teasing her, but nature was calling. “Is there a bathroom around here somewhere?
The thought of not answering him and letting him suffer was very tempting. Then again, if she didn’t tell him he would stay around and bother her more. Best behavior, he said. Puh! She hated to think of his worst.
She pointed to the mall bathrooms discreetly. “Thank you,” Syaoran said before standing up and walking away.
“Finally,” Sakura said when he was out of earshot.
“Finally what?” Tomoyo questioned. When Sakura waved her question off, Tomoyo said, “I’m really starting to worry about you. You never used to talk to yourself before… at least not this much. Is something wrong?”
“No.” The word had barely left her mouth when she felt a finger jab her in the side, right on her most ticklish spot. Sakura jumped sky high, her stomach muscles contracting almost painfully in an effort to protect themselves. At the moment she didn’t care if Tomoyo thought she was crazy, she was going to give Syaoran a piece of her mind. That had hurt! “You stupid-”
The words died in her throat.
“Yep.” Eriol smiled, making the sides of his eyes crinkle. “Now, what were you about to call me? A stupid…?”
Sakura laughed nervously. “Oh, never mind that! I thought you were someone else.”
Tomoyo looked at her strangely, probably wondering who Sakura mistook Eriol for. Obviously deciding that it was a question to ask later, she turned her attention to Eriol. “Do you want to sit down with us?”
“Sure.” He gave her a smile again and plopped down on the chair that Syaoran had previously been occupying. Sakura chuckled inwardly. Syaoran would love that.
“What brings you here?” Tomoyo asked the newest member to their table.
“Looking for a new shirt.”
Sakura couldn’t help herself; she was watching Eriol’s every move like some sort of predator. Tomoyo and Eriol, of course, didn’t even notice.
“You’re very obvious about your feelings.” Syaoran’s deep voice in her ear shot shivers down her spine.
“Am not,” she mumbled.
“Sakura, what did I tell you about talking to yourself?” Eriol said jokingly, but Sakura was barely paying attention to his words. She was too busy watching Syaoran out of her peripheral vision as he sauntered up behind Eriol and stood with his hands on his hips. “Sakura?”
“Um, yea, don’t do it?”
Both Eriol and Tomoyo chuckled at that. Sakura forced one out but was still watching Syaoran.
“Hey, Buddy, you’re in my seat.” Although Sakura knew he was teasing, she couldn’t help but watch in morbid fascination. “Hmm… doesn’t look like he’s going to move. What do you think I should do, Sakura? Just tilt his chair over perhaps?”
“No!” Sakura cried without even thinking.
“You don’t want Eriol to stay and eat with us?” Tomoyo asked, confused once again. Sakura vowed to herself that she really needed to pay more attention to the conversation.
“No, no, no! That’s not what I meant! I-”
“That’s right, Sakura,” Syaoran taunted. “Think of an excuse fast.”
‘Shut up’ was on the tip of her tongue but she instead managed to say, “I must have misunderstood you.”
Tomoyo and Eriol accepted that explanation and went back to what they were talking about before Sakura interrupted them.
“I was just kidding you know,” Syaoran said and sat down next to Sakura. “I wouldn’t do that. After all, I did promise to be on my best behavior.”
Despite herself, Sakura smiled. She actually would have been very entertained to see Eriol and Tomoyo’s faces.
Syaoran quickly became bored while the other three engaged in pleasant conversation. Sakura was pretty much ignoring him and it wasn’t like he could talk to anyone else. Without much enthusiasm he watched Sakura, then Tomoyo, and finally Eriol.
What was it exactly that Sakura liked about that guy? Sure, he seemed nice enough and was probably good-looking from a girl’s perspective, but there had to be more to it than that, right? An idea slowly crept into his head and he had a hard time concealing his goofy smile.
Standing up, he leaned over the table to put his head between Sakura and the others. As he suspected, she jerked back and almost fell off her chair. “What are you doing?” she demanded.
“Um, talking?” Eriol offered. Sakura’s face heated up and she stammered an explanation. When Eriol’s attention was diverted, she glanced at Syaoran with a scowl on her face. He only smiled as an answer and sat back down.
Syaoran repeated his little game several times, making grotesque faces only inches away from Sakura’s. It was taking all her effort not to laugh and became evident that both Tomoyo and Eriol thought she was going insane. That was okay with her. Maybe she really was going insane; Syaoran now seemed more amusing than annoying. It was a strange revelation for her that he wasn’t as bad as his first impression had led her to believe.
Syaoran felt a strong rumbling in his stomach and groaned inwardly. It couldn’t be helped; his body wouldn’t wait any longer. He tugged on Sakura’s shirt to get her attention. “I hate to rain on you parade, but I’m starving.”
Sakura nodded her head a fraction and stood up, getting her friends’ awareness. “Well, I should probably try to catch the bus home. I would eat here, but I’m in charge of making dinner for my family tonight.”
“Oh.” Tomoyo smiled sadly and handed Sakura her bags. “Here you go. I’ll call you later.”
“Bye, Sakura. Maybe I’ll see you later this week,” Eriol added.
“Later!” Sakura called over her shoulder and walked towards the mall exit.
“Sorry I made you leave,” Syaoran apologized. “But I might have disintegrated before your very eyes.”
“That hungry, huh?” Sakura teased. “It’s okay. I was thinking about leaving soon anyways.” She sighed and shifted her shopping bags to her other arm.
“I can help you carry those, you know.”
Sakura smiled at him and laughed good naturedly. “Thanks, but I don’t think these people,” she gestured at everyone around them, “are accustomed to floating bags.”
“Oh, that’s right,” Syaoran said sheepishly. “I guess I forgot.”
“Let’s just get to the bus,” Sakura said, effectively ending the conversation for the time being.
“Thanks again for dinner,” Syaoran said and dried the dish Sakura handed to him.
“You had to eat,” she answered with a teasing smile. “Otherwise I would have made you watch me eat dinner with my family with an empty stomach.”
“Speaking of family…” Syaoran started drying the last plate. “When do they get home?
The female brunette glanced at the stove clock. “About and hour, I guess. Thanks,” she added, referring to his help with the dishes.
“You’re welcome. I thought I might as well, if I ever want you to cook for me again.”
“Finally!” Sakura put her hand to her forehead in a gesture of fake lightheadedness. “Someone who understands! I swear my brother is going to starve one of these days for not helping me clean up.” She was spared Syaoran’s response by the phone ringing. Without missing a beat, she bounded over and plucked up the receiver. “Hello?”
Syaoran chuckled at her childishness. She looked like a little girl waiting for a call from her mommy or daddy. Sadly, he found it endearing. It was nice that she kept some of her childish enthusiasm.
It was hard not to eavesdrop. Trying to be polite, Syaoran moved father away so that he could only hear her side of the conversation.
“Hi, Tomoyo!” Sakura chirped with a big smile on her face. Apparently, she was in a very good mood. “Did you have a good time after I left? … Oh really? What is it? … There’s no way I’ll be able to guess. Just tell me.”
Syaoran watched as the smile slowly slid off her face. There was a long pause of silence before Sakura smiled again, but this time her heart wasn’t in it. “That’s great!”
He definitely was staring now. What was going on? The two continued to talk for a while before finally saying their goodbyes. When Sakura hung up the phone, she let out a deep sigh. Syaoran was afraid to ask, so he didn’t.
“Ah, I have to go to the bathroom.” Sakura glanced up at him quickly. “Be back in a second.”
“Okay,” Syaoran answered. She walked away.
What was that all about? He didn’t really want to ask her about it because who knew what it could be? It wasn’t like it was any of his business anyways. “Right,” he said out loud to himself as reassurance, and tried to push it out of his mind.
For about ten minutes he was there doing nothing. Sakura sure had been in the bathroom a long time. He was fighting an inner battle of whether or not to check on her. There was always the embarrassing possibility that she was constipated or something and he wasn’t sure he wanted to know, if that were the case.
“I’m being stupid,” Syaoran finally concluded and headed for the bathroom. He just wanted to make sure she was alright.
Syaoran could see the bathroom light through the crack in the door. Carefully, he rapped his knuckles on the door. “Sakura?” There was no response. He knocked a little louder. “Sakura, are you okay?” Still nothing.
“I’m coming in.” Slowly, Syaoran cracked the door open and pushed a little. When she didn’t scream at him for being a pervert, he really started getting worried. “Sakura?” He opened the door the rest of the way.
Sakura was sitting on the floor, her head resting on her arms which were crossed over the rim of the tub, and she was on her knees. She didn’t say anything or even look at him until he put his hand on her shoulder. Green eyes clashed with brown.
“What?” Sakura asked.
Syaoran stared at her, not quite sure what to say. “You were in here a long time. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” Sakura said, her expression blank.
Syaoran looked at her, not quite believing what he was hearing. Did she really think he would believe that? “Sakura.” The way he said it let her know that he wanted to hear the truth.
Sakura remained in a staring contest of sorts with him for several moments before giving in. She sighed dejectedly and flipped around so she was sitting on her bottom. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I feel ridiculous.”
“Just tell me,” Syaoran said, plopping down next to her. Having four sisters, he knew the signs of when a girl needed to get something off her chest. All Sakura needed from him at that moment was a willing ear.
Sakura dragged her hands over her face, pulling on the flesh. “Eriol… asked Tomoyo to go out with him,” she finally spit out. “And she said yes.”
Syaoran was surprised. He really didn’t know what to say. They hadn’t known each other very long after all. “I… see,” he said after a while. “But… what are you doing in the bathroom?”
Sakura turned her face toward him and he noticed with a pang that her eyes were glossy, almost watery. “I was afraid I was going to cry and I didn’t want to do it in front of you.” Sakura gave him a weak smile and turned away. A single tear escaped the corner of her eye and traveled down her cheek. “I’m sorry for laying this on you. You must think it’s stupid.”
“It’s not stupid,” Syaoran answered quietly. He debated with himself heatedly before putting his arm behind her on the side of the tub. To his surprise, Sakura bit her lip and leaned into him. Her tear soaked through the cotton of his shirt, but she didn’t let any more fall.
“I really like him,” Sakura said quietly. “I’ve liked him for a long time. I’m really surprised that Tomoyo didn’t realize it. She usually notices those kinds of things.”
Syaoran wasn’t really sure that she wanted him to say anything, but decided to risk it. “My bet is that she liked him too and was too busy trying to impress him that she wasn’t paying that much attention to you.”
Sakura grunted an agreement. “Probably the reason I didn’t notice she liked him either,” she muttered.
In the silence, Syaoran noticed how odd the situation was. A day ago he had thought she hated his guts and now here she was, allowing him to comfort her. It was probably only because he was the only one she could talk to, since her best friend was part of the problem. If his past experience with his sisters was anything to go by, Sakura was probably feeling pretty down about herself and needed some reassurance.
“There’s going to be lots of guys that are going to like you. In fact, I’m pretty sure that there are several that already do. I spent the entire day following you around at your school. I noticed the way some of them looked at you.”
Sakura snorted at his obvious attempt to cheer her up. “Can you read my mind? Or am I that pathetically obvious? Well, thanks for trying to make me feel better.”
“I’m not lying!” Syaoran protested. “You’re a very,” he felt odd saying this, “pretty girl and really nice.” Sakura snorted with humor. Syaoran backtracked a little. “Well, nice enough. I’m not going to lie – you have some sharp edges. But I personally think the edges are fun.”
Sakura pulled away from him slightly to look at his face. The tear had dried on her cheek. “Thanks,” she said and put her head back on his shoulder. “I’ll get over this soon.” Syaoran didn’t say anything. “Because I’m really glad for Tomoyo. She just sounded so happy over the phone.”
“You’re a good friend.” Syaoran squeezed her arm lightly.
“So are you,” Sakura answered.
The duo sat in comfortable silence until Sakura giggled.
“What is it this time?” Syaoran asked.
It took her a moment to answer, but when she did there was a bit of that teasing air she usually had behind her voice. “I just find it amusing that the only one who can comfort me right now is invisible to the rest of the world.”
To Be Continued.