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.
Syaoran couldn’t believe it was already Tuesday. They hadn’t achieved anything on Monday and it had passed at a ridiculously slow pace. If being invisible weren’t bad enough, having Sakura in a gloomy mood was agony. She was extremely snappy and wouldn’t tease him like she used to. It left him feeling strangely empty. Still, he hadn’t bothered her since she her heart had been bruised and needed time to recover.
Needless to say, Syaoran had a lot of free time on his hands. Perhaps Monday hadn’t been a complete waste after all; he had finally thought of something.
“I’ve been thinking,” Syaoran started and then paused to take a bite of his breakfast. He was a little nervous to voice his thoughts aloud. There was a very high possibility that Sakura would take what he had to say as an insult, as was becoming a habit of hers lately.
“Don’t hurt yourself,” Sakura muttered under her breath.
Syaoran only allowed his eyes to narrow a fraction. He told himself to be nice – at least she was insulting him like normal. Of course, normal for her was a permanent state of PMS.
“Actually, I was thinking about my little problem.”
“Yea, you know, being invisible and all.” He spat out the word ‘invisible’ like it was a dirty word that shouldn’t be uttered in public.
“Oh yea.” The annoying girl flicked her wrist at him like it was nothing important. “THAT problem.”
“Right.” Syaoran ignored her implication that he had other problems worse than being invisible and sighed. She was awfully mean to him considering he had spent the majority of Sunday night and Monday comforting her.
“Well?” she drawled rudely.
Fine. If that was the way she was going to be, then he wasn’t going to tiptoe around her anymore.
“I was thinking that maybe I’m not invisible to help myself. Maybe I’m supposed to help you with your love life.”
There. He said it. Despite that, the look on her face made him wish he had softened his words a bit. “That is to say-”
“Meaning what?” she snapped. “That I’m so pathetic I need a stupid, clueless, egotistical BOY to give me love advice?”
“I didn’t say that!” It was probably fruitless for him to defend himself, but he was still going to try.
“You insinuated it!” Because of the way she was gnashing her teeth at him, he almost wanted to drop this topic completely. “And since when did this become all about me anyways? Madam Mirai didn’t even know me when she put this spell or whatever on you.”
Syaoran scratched his head, wondering how best to explain his thought process to her. “Well, she’s a psychic, right? Maybe she saw that you would be going through a hard time soon and would need someone to help you through it.”
“And you’re the best man for the job?” Sakura asked sarcastically.
“I was available to her and I pissed her off, so I guess she was trying to punish me or something.”
Sakura gave him a look. “So I’m a punishment now?”
Whoops. He was going to pay for that one.
Sakura sighed and it seemed like all the anger dissolved from her bones. “Maybe you’re right.”
“Maybe you’re right,” Sakura said again, completely missing her companion’s flabbergasted expression. “It seems a bit farfetched, but it could be me. It’s not like we have any other leads. We haven’t gotten anywhere with the assumption that it’s you with the problem.”
“Don’t think of it that way,” Syaoran murmured, feeling like an ass. “Everybody has problems.”
Syaoran looked like he wanted to say more, but stopped himself. Sakura couldn’t help her curiosity, even though it was liable to bite her in the butt.
“Was that it, or do you have a plan as well?”
“Um…” Open mouth, insert foot. “I kind of have a plan.”
And then Sakura asked a question that she would imminently regret. “What did you have in mind?”
“I can’t believe I let you drag me back here.” Sakura massaged her temples with the tips of her fingers and glared at the relatively crowded mall. “I really AM pathetic.”
“Stop saying that!” Syaoran grouched. Truth be told, he wasn’t happy about being there either. “Do you want to leave? I’m sure we can catch the bus if we hurry.” The way he said it reminded Sakura of a fed up parent lecturing a child.
“No!” Sakura said quickly and then added under her breath. “Stop acting like the adult.”
“Only if you stop acting like a child.”
Instead of getting angry like Syaoran thought she would, a smile spread across Sakura’s face. “Listen to us. Pretty soon we’ll be sticking our tongues out and blowing raspberries at each other.”
Syaoran smirked. “And then someone would whisk you away to the loony bin for arguing with the air.”
“Oh yea! I almost forgot!”
“That I’m invisible?” Syaoran asked incredulously. When she nodded, he took a step backwards. “Maybe you really do need to be locked away.”
Before she could say any more, Syaoran cut her off. “We’re getting off task.”
“Darn.” Apparently Sakura wasn’t looking forward to the looming events of the day. “What’s the plan, Einstein?”
He didn’t exactly have a complete plan, but she didn’t need to know that. Besides, the best way to do things was to wing it. “Um…” Frantically, he looked at their surroundings and willed his imagination to come up with something good. His gaze landed on a long line by the coffee shop. Good enough. “Why don’t we get in line for some coffee?”
“My treat?” Sakura guessed.
“Yes, but this is for you. Do you see that guy at the end of the line?” Syaoran pointed and she turned her head to see a guy standing by himself.
“I want you to show me how you act around guys you’re interested in.”
“What if I’m not interested in him?”
Syaoran wondered if she was intentionally being difficult or if it was just natural for her. “You don’t have to actually be interested in a guy to flirt with him, do you?”
“I suppose not.” Realization dawned on Sakura at last. “Oh! You want to see my flirting techniques. Why didn’t you just say so?”
It took a lot of self control for Syaoran to restrain from rolling his eyes at Sakura. “Just go.” He placed a hand on her lower back and pushed her gently in the direction of the coffee shop. A light shade of pink tinged Sakura’s cheeks from the contact but she walked away before he could notice.
Luckily no one else had gotten in line so Sakura was right behind the formerly mentioned guy. He smiled at her as she approached and said, “Long line, huh?”
“Yea,” Sakura answered meekly.
Syaoran took a seat nearby so he could observe without actually getting in the way. He eagerly awaited more conversation but was sorely disappointed. Five minutes later and all Sakura had said was ‘yea’.
Deciding that she literally needed a shove in the right direction, Syaoran rose to his feet and went to do just that.
Sakura’s eyes followed him the whole way and widened considerably when she saw what he was going to do. “Wait!” she cried but it was too late. She stumbled forward and grabbed the stranger’s back to balance herself. She let go quickly and stared at the floor. “I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay,” he mumbled and turned his back to her.
They didn’t say anything else the rest of the time and Syaoran thought he was going to cry. It was going to be a long day.
“What do you call that?” Syaoran demanded.
“Flirting?” Sakura offered timidly and took a sip of her frappuccino; probably not a good idea since it only reminded Syaoran of the fact that she forgot to get him something.
“Flirting? You’re kidding, right? All you said was ‘yea’ and ‘I’m sorry’!”
“What was I supposed to do? Throw myself at him? You did that for me!”
A thought finally occurred to Syaoran’s dense and invisible skull. “Sakura, have you ever intentionally flirted with someone?”
“Not really.” Sakura’s answer was quiet and Syaoran couldn’t tell if it was because she didn’t want people to think she was talking to herself or if she was embarrassed. “I’ve never really made any effort anyways.”
He had had no idea. This made things awkward. “Okay, what do you think are your assets?”
“My assets?” she repeated dully.
“Yea, you know, what makes guys attracted to you?”
Obviously Sakura didn’t have any problems with rolling her eyes and making him feel like an idiot. “If I knew that, why would I need your help?”
“Point taken.” There was not way getting around this. “Well, I guess your assets are… your face and body-”
“Do try to mention things other than my physical appearance.”
“Let me finish!” Syaoran barked, already annoyed that he had to say this in the first place. “There’s also your sense of humor, wit, and definitely your smile.”
For a second Sakura was stunned into silence. However, all good things must come to an end. “Thanks.”
“I’m just being truthful,” Syaoran admitted. Now that the thought about it, it was very strange she was still single. Maybe the death glares she gave without even realizing she was doing them had something to do with it. Of course, he would never tell her that.
Sakura pretended that hell hadn’t just frozen over from Syaoran complimenting her, and tried to move the conversation along. “Okay, so what do I do with my assets?”
“Find a way to incorporate them into your flirting.”
Sakura blanched. “How?”
“Smile a lot, make jokes, blink deliberately but be careful not to make it obvious, and act like you think they’re really interesting.”
“You sure do know an awful lot about flirting with guys,” Sakura commented. Syaoran didn’t like the insinuation.
“That’s because I’m a guy. I know what we like.”
Oh, what he would have given to tickle her to death and wipe that smug smirk right off her face. His common sense told him that would be a bad thing to do in public. Maybe later.
“Let’s get started!” Sakura whined.
“Okay, but first…” Syaoran pointed to a department store. “We get you something to wear.”
“What’s wrong with my clothes?” the brunette asked defensively and picked at the bottom of her unflattering baggy shirt.
“Nothing at all if you’re sitting at home and watching television.” Syaoran ignored Sakura’s offended look. “But to get you noticed more, you need to wear something else.”
“Fine.” Sakura sniffed and latched onto her purse protectively. “But nothing too expensive. I’m not made of money, you know.”
Unfortunately for her, Syaoran was letting her words go in one ear and out the other and had long since started browsing the racks – the clothes racks, you perverts. He pointed at certain things, instructing Sakura to pick them up. One particular shirt with a low cut made her blanch.
“There’s no way I’m buying that.”
“Who said anything about buying it?” he asked innocently, a little too innocently. “I just want you to try in on.”
“You’re such a pervert.” Nevertheless, Sakura grabbed the shirt. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were enjoying this.”
“Of course I am!” He paused to point at some shorts. “I get to see you model again. Too bad we’re not doing bikinis this time.”
“You are so lucky I don’t feel the need to pummel you today.” Sakura smiled and Syaoran did the same, only his smile was a little more devilish.
“Stop acting masochistic.”
She knew he was kidding and decided to play along, “Oh goody. I’m a sadist you know.”
“Perfect. It’s my lucky day.”
This conversation was getting a little too suggestive for Sakura, so she grabbed one last pair of shorts and went to the fitting rooms. At least then she wouldn’t have to look at him.
The shirt turned out not to have as low a cut as they originally thought it did, much to Syaoran’s disappointment. In fact, it flattered Sakura’s figure nicely and she ended up wearing it out of the store along with a pair of shorts.
Purse considerably lighter, Sakura grumbled the whole way to their destination, a store very popular with teenagers.
“Strut,” Syaoran commanded when they were at the entrance of the store.
“Excuse me?” Her ears must have been deceiving her.
“Strut,” Syaoran repeated like it was the most obvious thing in the world. “You know, kind of sway your hips and hold your stomach in. That’s not to say you’re fat,” he added quickly before she could get insulted. “It just makes your breasts seem bigger.”
“You must be very brave to talk about my breasts that casually. Hi!” Sakura smiled and waved at an old lady who was staring at her. Said woman looked at Sakura like she was a diseased rodent and walked away quickly.
“If you don’t watch it, we’re going to have security following us around.” Not that they could do much anyways.
“Shut your trap,” Sakura commanded and entered the store. Syaoran followed right behind her.
“Who should our first victim be?” Syaoran asked.
“Don’t make it sound like we’re going to torture the guy,” Sakura mumbled.
“My apologies,” he said sarcastically. “Who’s the first lucky contestant?”
Sakura ignored the game show slur and glanced around the store. “I don’t know. You tell me.”
“Don’t you have a mind of your own?”
“Not when it comes to this. I’ve never picked a guy out of a crowd to flirt with.”
“Well, neither have I.” Syaoran pointed out but looked around nevertheless. He wasn’t really too sure about her taste in guys (seeing as he only had Eriol to go by), but he chose a guy that looked halfway decent. “How about that guy?”
Sakura sighed. “I guess I have to get started somewhere.”
When she sauntered up to the boy, Syaoran noticed several male heads turn in her direction. He smiled smugly. Now he was positive they had a wide selection of prey and plenty of opportunities for Sakura to mess up.
Once there, Sakura wondered what to say as an opening line. She supposed the traditional greeting would do.
“Hello,” she said and got his attention.
He looked her up and down and gave a cocky smile. “Hey girl. You here alone?”
Something Syaoran said about her wit and sense of humor popped in her mind and she couldn’t help herself from saying, “No, I’m here with an invisible friend.”
He looked at her weirdly before walking away without saying another word.
“I thought it was funny,” Syaoran said after a minute of uncomfortable silence.
“Yes. Yes, you are.”
“Now this time try not to say anything embarrassing.” It was funny the first few times, but Syaoran was beginning to wonder if he would ever be visible again. “Go!”
Sakura groaned in protest but went anyway. This was certainly an ego-deflating trip to the mall for her. The newest guy smiled as she approached and they exchanged the normal greetings. So far, so good. No horrible screw-ups and they were even walking together.
It happened in a matter of seconds. One moment Sakura was turning on the charm, and the next she was tripping over her own feet and waving her arms around in the air comically trying to regain her balance, before landing flat on her face.
Her current male companion burst into hysterical laughter and bent down to help her up. “Are you okay?”
“Truthfully?” Sakura asked while moving her nose around to see if it was broken.
“I’d probably be crying if it were me.”
“Trust me, I am so close.”
He laughed again and Sakura wanted to crawl into a hole and die. “Listen,” he said, glancing at his watch. “I have to go now. It was nice meeting you.”
“Yea, you too.”
Sakura and Syaoran watched sadly as he walked away.
“At least you didn’t say anything to run him off,” Syaoran said, attempting to crack a joke. Sakura was not in the mood.
Seeing how things weren’t going great, Syaoran decided it was time for a break. “Why don’t you get a large icy for us to split?”
“Sure,” Sakura said dejectedly and dragged her feet to a place that sold icies without even griping about having to spend more money.
Armed with a large cherry flavored consolation, Sakura sat at an empty booth and Syaoran plopped down next to her so she could let him drink from her straw without looking suspicious. All she had to do was hold it loosely in her left hand and he would do the rest, which consisted of him practically crawling on the table to get above the straw.
“A large icy all for yourself?”
The voice startled Sakura so bad she almost dumped the icy on Syaoran’s lap. That would have made him happy.
“And me too,” another voice added. Sakura’s heart pounded in her chest at the sight of Eriol.
“Eriol? What are you two doing here?”
Great, Syaoran thought, this wasn’t what they needed at the moment.
“We’re on our first date,” Tomoyo declared happily and the invisible boy had the sudden urge to clamp his hands over Sakura’s ears.
“That’s great!” Sakura said, convincingly enough.
“What are you doing here all by yourself?” Eriol asked, polite as always. Still, Syaoran found it rude. The new couple always had a way of making Sakura sound like a little kid who couldn’t take care of herself. And while he himself had mentally compared her to a small child, he didn’t really think of her as incapable of doing things on her own.
“I…” Sakura trailed off to stall for time. “I had a huge craving for an icy and, since I have plenty of time to kill, I thought I would come and get one.”
Syaoran found it simply amazing how she could act so normal when she was obviously in pain being in their presence. He really hoped they wouldn’t stay long.
“Sounds like you, Sakura.”
Syaoran wanted so badly to rip that guy’s head off. How dare he assume he knew Sakura! Eriol had no idea what she was really like and probably never would!
Syaoran was startled out of his malicious thoughts when the icy was moved in his vision. Sakura wasn’t looking at him, but he was pretty sure she was aware of what was going on in his mind. This was her way of telling him to calm down without actually saying anything.
He put his mouth over the straw and began drinking rather quickly to let out his frustrations. Still, he watched her out of the corner of his eye and could tell she was upset. If Tomoyo and Eriol didn’t leave in the next five minutes, an invisible force would be making them.
“Maybe we can do something together tomorrow,” Tomoyo said, blissfully unaware.
“Sorry, I already have plans,” Sakura said without missing a beat. “Maybe some other time.”
“Yea.” Tomoyo sounded a little disappointed but let it go. Suddenly her eyes lit up. “You should really get a boyfriend! That way we could double date.”
Syaoran sipped faster, trying to keep occupied. He wondered how it was possible for Tomoyo to say something that hurt Sakura every time she opened her mouth without even realizing it. He had to stop suddenly when he was hit suddenly by an excruciating brain freeze.
“Uh, yea.” That time Sakura didn’t even bother pretending to be enthusiastic. Neither of the newcomers noticed. Syaoran was still clutching his head in pain.
Feeling frustrated, Sakura pulled the icy toward herself and took a big sip of nothing.
“You really were craving an icy,” Eriol commented at the gurgling noise the straw made.
Sakura glared at Syaoran quickly before putting the empty foam cup back on the table. The pain had finally let up and he was able to meet her gaze. “Yea.” She was a woman of few words at the moment.
“Well…” Tomoyo glanced at her watch. “We gotta go. Our movie is almost about to start. I’ll call you later.”
The girl without a boyfriend plastered a fake smile on her face and waved as her best friend and former crush walked away, hand in hand. “Sickening,” she muttered.
“Sakura,” Syaoran said timidly.
“One more,” Sakura whispered, her voice strained. “One more try and I’m done for the day.”
It took Syaoran a while to figure out she was talking about their original intention for coming to the mall. “Okay.” He was surprised that she was even willing to do that much. If he were her, he would have run the whole way home and never looked back. This time he would pick the guy out a little more carefully.
His gaze swept over the room and almost missed a guy who was openly staring at Sakura. She was a little busy staring at the tile to notice.
“Him,” Syaoran said firmly.
Sakura looked up and made eye contact with the stranger staring at her. Neither looked away. When he stood and moved in their direction, Syaoran couldn’t contain his glee. Finally there was a guy who made the first move!
“Hi,” the guy said to Sakura. “I’m Akira. What’s your name?”
Akira slipped into the seat facing Sakura and flashed his pearly whites. “So, Sakura, are you here alone?” Syaoran found it amazing how all the guys had the same opening lines.
Sakura had to bite her tongue so she wouldn’t make the same mistake as she had earlier that day. “Yea.”
“That’s a shame.”
“Well, my friends just left, so…” It occurred to her that it probably wasn’t a good idea to let him know no one else was with her. “I just have to wait until my brother comes to pick me up.” Not a perfect save, but it would do.
“Ah. I couldn’t help overhearing your friend say that you need a boyfriend.”
Syaoran was taken aback. This guy certainly didn’t waste any time.
Sakura just grunted. She was going to beat Tomoyo to a bloody pulp the next time she saw her. Maybe she would beat up Eriol too, just for good measure.
“I wish I could keep you company longer, but I need to go.” Syaoran started bristling at the fact he had wasted their time until Akira continued what he was saying. “But if you’re not doing anything tomorrow, we could go to the movies or something. If you want to, that is.”
“That would be great!” Sakura said and smiled genuinely.
“How about I meet you here at six tomorrow?”
“See you then.” He winked as he walked off and Syaoran really did bristle. He was about to say something tacky, but the words died in his throat when he saw Sakura’s happy expression.
He just couldn’t bring himself to say it.
“Stop breathing on my feet. It tickles,” Sakura demanded and jerked her foot, almost catching the tip of Syaoran’s nose. He jerked his head back in time but ended up banging it on the foot of the bed. Sakura snickered.
In retaliation, Syaoran grabbed her right ankle and started tickling the padding. He had been waiting to do that all day. It was time for her to suffer for her insolence!
“Stop!” Sakura gasped out before bursting into another round of hysterical laughter.
“What’s the magic word?” Syaoran teased.
He didn’t ease up in the slightest. “Wrong magic word.”
“Pretty please?” Sakura attempted pitifully.
“Pretty please with sugar on top?”
“No. What makes you think ‘please’ is any part of it?”
The door to Sakura’s room flew open and the pair on the bed froze.
“What are you doing?” Touya asked, looking at his sister like she was a freak. A lot of people had been looking at her that way lately. Should she be offended?
“Nothing?” Sakura offered pathetically, barely realizing that Syaoran was holding her foot in the air. She tried to get it free by giving a vicious kick, but Syaoran’s grip held fast.
“What? Can’t a girl hold her leg in the air and laugh hysterically without being harassed by her older brother? It’s a new abs exercise, alright?”
It was a little freaky the way both Touya and Syaoran quirked their eyebrows at her. Syaoran slowly ran his thumb down the padding of her foot and Sakura had to bite her bottom lip to keep from laughing. If Touya didn’t leave soon he would be witness to her laughing for no apparent reason.
Realizing she had no other choice, Sakura grabbed the pillow from under her head and chucked it at her door with all her might. “Get out!”
Touya reacted on reflex and slammed the door. He didn’t bother reopening it.
“You’re such a jerk!” Sakura screeched at Syaoran in a whisper, defying physics.
“Just getting back at you. Now, what’s the magic word?
Instead of letting her go like Sakura had hoped, Syaoran just dropped her foot and attacked her sensitive sides instead.
“NOO!” she wailed.
“Say it then.”
“Fine! Syaoran is the smartest and cutest guy in the entire world!” Sakura yelled at the top of her lungs, hoping it would blow out Syaoran’s eardrums.
“Close enough.” Syaoran conceded, finally releasing her and settling back into bed.
Sakura rolled out of the bed to retrieve her pillow and hit Syaoran over the head with it on her way back. “You’re lucky I’m too tired to do more.”
As she crawled back into the covers, she accidentally kicked him. After a little more shuffling around, they both were comfortable and ready to go to sleep.
Syaoran smiled into the darkness. “You’re welcome.” The room became quiet again until Syaoran just had to break it. “What? Nothing else to say?”
“What are you babbling about?” Sakura replied, sleep laced in her voice.
“Well, you always have to have the last word. I was waiting for it.”
Sakura rolled her eyes and smirked into her pillow. “Fine. I can’t believe I’m still letting a stinky, bad mannered, invisible boy sleep in my bed. Happy?”
To Be Continued.