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.
“Yes. That’s great,” Syaoran said.
“Yes. That’s great!” Sakura repeated into the receiver, examining her cuticles. Tomoyo had been going on about her date with Eriol for about thirty minutes. After the first ten, Syaoran had taken up the position of listening and telling Sakura what to say so it would seem like she was paying attention. Surprisingly, he had offered to do this. He would never tell her, but it pained him to see her faking enthusiasm for something that was quite obviously eating her up inside.
Tomoyo’s voice was so excited and Sakura almost felt bad about blocking her out. She couldn’t help it though. Her thoughts wandered back to a scene that had transpired around the breakfast table with her father and brother that morning. They were both oddly quiet but she couldn’t gather the energy to inquire about it.
Finally her father had to say something and he did it with a smile on his face. “So, who’s Syaoran?”
Unluckily for her, Sakura had been taking a sip of orange juice at that precise moment and choked on it. Touya reached around the table and pounded on her back until her coughing subsided. “E-excuse me?”
“Syaoran. You know, ‘the smartest and cutest guy in the entire world’.”
Sakura could feel a bead of sweat trickle down the side of her face. “Huh?” she asked stupidly and hoping against hope that she was hearing things.
“You yelled it loud enough for the whole town to hear.” Her father still had a smile plastered on his face, finding the whole situation highly amusing. Whereas her father only found it simply ‘amusing’ Touya seemed to think it was ‘extremely entertaining’. Sakura, however, did not.
“I don’t think I want to know what was going on in your room,” Touya commented and snickered.
Sakura tried to hide her embarrassment with a witty quip. “More than you will ever experience, I’m sure.”
Up until that point Syaoran had chosen to remain silent. His familiar laughter rumbled though the kitchen and Sakura found it sad that she was the only one who could hear it. Then again, if Touya heard Syaoran laughing at his expense, Syaoran might end up castrated.
Tearing her attention away from her invisible companion, Sakura looked back at her brother (who was gaping at her) and father who still had a smile on his face.
“Syaoran is a figment of my imagination.” Syaoran let out another hoot of laughter at Sakura’s words. “He would have to be. Everyone knows that the cutest and smartest guy is a woman.”
The laughter stopped.
“What about me?” Touya asked, pointing at himself with his index finger.
“Are you a woman?”
“Then you must not be as cute as you think you are.” Sakura inwardly pattered herself on the back for that one. She would normally make a jab at his intelligence, but Touya was well aware of his own intellect and the joke would have fallen flat. Instead she decided to hit below the belt – the only way his ego could take a blow.
“And me?” Syaoran demanded, interrupting her thought process.
While her family wasn’t looking, Sakura pointed at her head and mouthed the words ‘not that smart’.
“So does that mean you think I’m cute?”
Sakura chose not to answer that question and pretended like she was concerned with getting caught talking to him. Syaoran would later forget the question completely.
“How corny.” Syaoran’s voice reminded her that she was still on the phone.
“How corny,” Sakura repeated. There was silence on the other end of the line.
“You think it’s corny that Eriol said I’m beautiful before giving me a peck on the cheek goodnight?”
Tomoyo’s voice sounded hurt and Sakura shot Syaoran a dirty look. “No! Not at all! I must have misheard you! I actually think that was very sweet of him.”
Syaoran arched a brow and since she couldn’t say anything for the time being, Sakura settled for flipping him the bird.
“Well, Tomoyo, I’d better go. I’ll talk to you later,” Sakura said, not wanting to stick her foot in her mouth again if it were at all possible. She had been doing that way too often lately.
Sakura set the phone in the cradle gently and slowly raised her face to glare at Syaoran. “I trusted you.”
“That was a stupid thing to do.” He grinned at her cheekily and she couldn’t help but return it. “Are you mad?”
“No,” Sakura admitted. “It was pretty corny.”
“I thought I was going to gag.” Syaoran put his finger in his mouth to emphasize his point.
“It wasn’t that bad! It really is kind of sweet.”
Syaoran just laughed again. It was starting to grate on her nerves.
“Oh, shut up.”
Syaoran drummed his fingers on the carpet silently, the sound of it drowned out by the blasting of music. He shifted his weight and when his bottom started to get numb he shifted again. Quickly tiring of that routine, he flipped over so that he was lying on his stomach and practically making out with the carpet. He took a deep breath and gagged. They needed to get their house steam cleaned!
“What the heck is taking you so long?” he finally shouted. For several moments there was only the sound of loud music as a reply until it cut off abruptly.
“You say something?” Sakura’s voice sounded exhausted as if she had just run a marathon. Apparently the heat from the bath water had taken a lot out of her.
“I asked what’s taking you so long. You’ve been in the bathtub for almost thirty minutes!”
There was a splash as Sakura lowered herself back into the water and made a rude noise. “It takes girls longer to take baths,” she stated simply.
“Obviously.” Syaoran propped his head on his hands and stared at the door that was separating him from the brunette. “But why? Is it because you get dirtier than boys?”
Sakura snorted. “Yeah, right. It’s because our hair is longer and we have to shave our legs and stuff. That takes a while if you don’t want to cut yourself a million times.”
Syaoran couldn’t possibly care less at the moment. He thought he would die of boredom. “How much longer are you going to take?”
“Keep your panties on. I’m almost done.” There was more splashing and the distinctive thunk the bath drain made. “See? Now I’m just drying off.”
“Actually, I can’t see,” Syaoran pointed out, glaring at the door.
The door opened suddenly and Sakura stood with steam billowing around her, clad in only a towel. Well, a towel and underwear. Syaoran could tell from his position on the floor. He had to blink several times.
“Forgetting something?” he asked, pushing himself into the seated position.
“Perhaps,” Sakura answered, trying in vain to hide the flush that appeared on her cheeks. Quickening her pace, she moved towards her room to get dressed in the clothes she had stupidly left on her bed. “Stay there,” she commanded and turned her back to him once again.
“What if I don’t wanna?”
“Then do it anyways.”
Syaoran was beginning to feel like he wasn’t in control of himself anymore. Sakura was thinking something along the same lines but a little worse. She had always wanted a puppy that would follow her around and obey her commands.
When she was fully dressed, Sakura opened her door to see Syaoran sitting there and staring at her. It was kind of creepy. “I thought I told you to stay by the bathroom,” she said teasing, but it was really to hide her surprise. The way he was looking at her made it hard to breathe.
“Even trained dogs don’t always do what they’re told. What makes you think I will?” he asked and rose to his feet. Sakura’s eyes followed him and she had to crane her neck slightly.
“Puh.” her mouth was so dry she couldn’t have said anything else if she had wanted to.
“Something wrong?” Syaoran asked, sounding concerned all of a sudden. “You don’t look so good. Are you sure you’re up to this date? If it’s because of Tomoyo and Er-”
Sakura quickly cut him off. “No! I’m fine.” Truth be told, she wasn’t quite sure that was accurate. She knew the Eriol thing was still bothering her, but that wasn’t the problem at the moment. She couldn’t put her finger on the exact problem though.
Syaoran frowned slightly. “Are you sure you’re okay?” He brought his hand up and placed it on her forehead. Sakura jerked backwards and laughed nervously.
“Positive! I must just be getting butterflies. Akira was really nice and cute. I’m just afraid I’ll screw up tonight.” Where had that come from?
“Well…” Sakura eased past Syaoran slowly and smiled. “I’ve got things to do. You know, blow-dry my hair, curl it, put make-up on and… yea.” She practically ran out of the room.
“What was that all about?” Syaoran asked himself and shook his head slowly. She just kept on getting weirder.
Sakura flipped the switch to the blow-drier and started the long task of drying her hair. Her locks were still soaking wet and she knew it would take forever. Normally she would let it air-dry for a while but she needed an excuse for not talking to Syaoran at the moment. One question rolled around in her mind over and over:
What the heck was going on with her?
Ever since Syaoran had spent the night comforting her, her stomach felt funny when she looked at him. It was increasingly getting worse by the day, almost to the point where it was difficult to hide. It wasn’t what she thought it was, was it? But then again, she hadn’t felt like that about Eriol, so it had to be something else… but what?
Sakura swung her hair over her head and stayed in the bent over position so she could dry the underside. Her eyes slid closed so she could try and block out the world. It might have been her imagination, but she could almost hear a piercing sound.
When a hand placed itself on her upper back, Sakura’s eyes flew open in surprise and she jerked upwards, dropping the blow-dryer at the same time. It slammed into the back of her head, turning itself off, and a flash of white erupted in her vision. Falling to the ground, she grabbed her aching noggin and hissed in pain.
“Sakura!” Syaoran exclaimed and knelt by her side. “Are you okay?”
“Just be quiet,” Sakura grit out through her teeth. “I’ve got a headache.” Syaoran complied and the only sound left was the shrill ringing of the phone. It soon quit and she stayed in that position for several minutes.
When the pain had subsided to a dull ache, Sakura looked at Syaoran with irritation. “You make speak now.”
“Please tell me you had a reason for scaring the crap out of me and making me hurt myself.”
Syaoran winced. “I- you’re not going to like it.”
“I was going to tell you the phone was ringing.”
He was right – she didn’t like it. She was just having a lovely week. Hopefully it wasn’t anyone important on the other side of the line, because there was no way she was going to get up any time soon.
“I’ll be right back.” Syaoran muttered and she felt his presence disappear, leaving Sakura by herself to brood for a total of 71 seconds. And yes, she counted.
Syaoran reappeared and gently lifted her wrist off her head and replaced it with something cold.
“I couldn’t find any plastic bags,” he explained. “So I wrapped some ice in a paper towel.”
“Thanks,” Sakura murmured.
Syaoran continued to hold his makeshift ice pack to the forming lump on her head until Sakura realized she was supposed to take it from him. “Well.” Sakura rose to her feet unsteadily and half-smiled at him. “I’d better finish getting ready. I hope the blow-dryer didn’t break.”
Syaoran watched as she walked away, a smile absent from his features.
“I’m getting an annoying sense of déjà-vu,” Sakura whispered, barely moving her lips. They weren’t the only people on the bus and she didn’t want the others to think she was babbling to herself like a crazy person.
“Yes, I think we’ve been to the mall several times too many this week,” Syaoran agreed.
The bus came to a halt and most of the passengers got up and headed for the door, Sakura and Syaoran included. Together they made their way to the place Sakura and Akira had agreed to meet. It was getting close to six o’clock and he wasn’t there yet.
Sakura seated herself at a booth and Syaoran sat down opposite of her. He could tell she was nervous because of the way she was fidgeting. He had a strong desire to make conversation and ease her worry, but didn’t want her to be talking to him when Akira showed up. He didn’t want to get them off on the wrong foot.
Sakura continued to stare at her fingers so Syaoran took the opportunity to observe her. She looked really nice for the occasion. Her hair was tied half up and half down and she’d even decided to wear a skirt. It came down to just below her knees when she was standing but had ridden up a couple inches while she sat and Syaoran couldn’t help but stare at the smooth thigh it had revealed.
He shook his head to change the direction his line of thought had been creeping towards. As a distraction he glanced at his watch. It was ten minutes past six. Where the hell was that guy?
“Hey!” Akira walked up, grinning like a Cheshire cat. “I hope I didn’t make you wait long,” he said by way of greeting.
“Not at all,” Sakura replied, sliding out of the booth so she was closer to his eye level. There was something unnerving about having someone standing and talking to her when she was sitting.
“Are you ready?”
“Sure.” Sakura reached for her deposited purse and made quick eye contact with Syaoran to make sure he was following. She needn’t have. Syaoran hopped up and was a step behind them the entire walk to the theater located close to the exit of the mall.
Walking up to the ticket booth, Akira asked for two tickets to a movie neither Syaoran nor Sakura had ever heard of before.
“Eleven dollars,” The girl said, obviously bored. She leaned over, exposing a large amount of cleavage and waiting for the money.
Akira stared at her a little too long for Syaoran’s liking and finally reached into his pocket. A frown twitched at the corner of his mouth. “Oh shit!” he cursed. “I forgot my wallet.”
The girl in the booth rolled her eyes and retracted her hand before Sakura spoke up. “I brought enough money. I’ll pay.” She dug around in her purse for a second before pulling out a couple bills to exchange for the tickets. Akira took them from her hands and led her to the theater.
They sat near the back of the theater barely in time for the commercials to start. Syaoran made sure he was directly behind them so he could watch their progress.
The movie sucked.
Sakura and Syaoran had both lost interest long ago, but Akira was practically glued to the screen. As far as Sakura could tell the movie consisted of just a lot of profanity, violence, and sex. Normally those things didn’t bother her but this particular movie was ridiculous. There didn’t even seem to be a plot.
Sakura yawned hugely and glanced at the screen. At that moment things were really heating up between the two main characters… or was it the main character and some girl he had just met? Oh well. It didn’t really matter since she wasn’t paying attention either way. Pretending to stretch, Sakura twisted her body to look at Syaoran and gave him a distraught expression.
“Maybe it will get better,” the invisible boy said, quite unhelpfully in Sakura’s opinion.
Facing the front again, she let out a breath of air slowly and tried to fixate her attention on the screen again. Eh… what was this movie rated?
Sakura was brought out of her musings quite abruptly by a large hand resting on her knee. She stared at it for a long time, not really comprehending, before it dawned on her and she moved her leg away discreetly. It must have been a mistake. Her leg was awfully close to his after all.
Or at least that was what she thought at first.
Her heart accelerated (not in the good way) as his hand found her leg once more and slowly crept higher. His fingers reached the hem of the skirt – why hadn’t she worn jeans? – and slid under it. Sakura jerked away from his touch and hissed. “Stop it.” Akira scowled at her and retracted his hand.
Sakura glanced over her shoulder and was stunned to realize that Syaoran hadn’t noticed. He caught her eye and smiled. She tried to return it but couldn’t and turned her head away. Syaoran frowned. What had he missed? Deciding to completely abandon the movie, he kept his eyes glued to Sakura.
Not five minutes later and new steamy scene had started and Akira’s roaming hands found his date’s leg again. Sakura tensed and Syaoran could feel his face burn with anger. His fists were clenched on the armrests so tight that his knuckles had gone white. He was so angry he couldn’t even move.
Deciding she’d had enough, Sakura sprung to her feet and tried to pass Akira to get to the middle aisle. He used his legs to block her path. “Where are you going?” he asked.
With a sudden burst of strength, Sakura shoved his legs away and passed him with ease. She walked through the theater quickly, wanting to get out. She was feeling extremely claustrophobic at the moment. She was completely out of the theater before Akira or Syaoran were able to react.
A scowl in his face, Akira got up out of his seat to follow her. Syaoran got to the end of the row and waited for Akira to pass him. As the unsuspecting boy was doing so, Syaoran stuck out his foot and watched with no small amount of satisfaction as Akira landed on his face.
Not bothering to hide his snicker of contempt since no one could hear him anyway; Syaoran jumped over Akira’s body on the floor and went after Sakura. He took great pleasure in noticing that a lot of people were giving Akira dirty looks for disrupting their movie.
No longer in the theater, Syaoran caught a glimpse of Sakura walking out of the mall and quickened his pace to catch up with her.
The sun had already gone down and the air was slightly chilly. Sakura stood at the bus stop and waited impatiently, rubbing her hands up and down her arms to make them warm. Unbidden, the memory of Akira’s hand on her leg assaulted her and she shivered, wanting to be home. No one else was around so when Syaoran approached her, she could talk freely. Not that she was offering any conversation starters.
“Hi,” Syaoran muttered. She didn’t respond. “I’m sorry,” he added after a moment.
Sakura shot him a look of confusion. “For what?”
“If I hadn’t pushed you, you wouldn’t even be in this mess.” He also felt completely useless since he hadn’t been able to protect her.
“It’s not your fault,” Sakura muttered. She had to pause for a second because her throat closed up. “You can’t help it if I attract the wrong kind of person.”
Syaoran was about to reply but was interrupted by a pissed male voice.
“Hey!” Akira stomped up to Sakura, almost running into Syaoran who managed to jump out of the way in time. “What the hell was all that about?”
“I told you to stop it and you didn’t. I left.” Sakura stated the obvious, staring at the floor.
“What? Was I going too fast for you?” Akira sneered, grabbing her upper arm roughly and pulling her towards him. Sakura turned her face, but Akira’s hand shot up and grabbed her chin, holding it in place.
Syaoran was livid. He could feel his blood boiling and knew that nothing good could come of it, but not caring. Without a second thought, he jammed his knee into Akira’s side, causing him to release Sakura. Akira spun around to find the culprit but, of course, didn’t see anyone.
“What the f-”
The rest of his sentence was cut off as Syaoran landed another blow, this time making him fall to the ground. Sakura backed away from them instinctively. Syaoran placed his foot on the fallen guy’s head and pressed it against the pavement. Akira wriggled away and stood, whipping his head around frantically. Syaoran was on him again in a split second.
Sakura had never seen a fight so close before. Well, there had been that time in junior high, but that was a wussy fight. It seemed more like they were trying to hug each other that beat one another up. This was so much different than that. It seemed a little unfair for Akira since he couldn’t actually see his opponent, but it wasn’t like she cared. It was his turn to feel vulnerable, as far as she was concerned.
Akira held a hand up to his bloodied nose, looking up at Sakura with confused eyes. She met his stare stonily. He finally seemed to wise up and turned tail to retreat.
Despite wanting to chase after him, Syaoran remembered that Sakura shouldn’t be left alone and stayed put. She looked distraught and he couldn’t think of anything to say.
The bus appeared soon after and they piled on, Sakura pausing momentarily to pay her fee. As soon as they reached her stop, Sakura practically flew from the public vehicle and sprinted the rest of the way to her house, Syaoran not too far behind.
The house was empty, but that fact barely registered on either of their minds. Without waiting for Syaoran, Sakura ran the rest of the way to her room and slammed the door behind her. It was an obvious hint to stay out, but Syaoran had never been much for taking hints.
Trying not a make a sound, he gently pried the door open and was surprised at the sight that greeted him. Sakura was sprawled on the bed, her face buried in a pillow, and shoulders shaking violently. “Sakura?”
She replied with something that sounded suspiciously like ‘go away’. Alas, he was not easily deterred and shut the door before sitting next to her on the bed.
For the second time that week, he watched as she cried. This time was much more violent, seemingly amplified by her pain. A sob escaped her pillow and the shaking got worse. It scared Syaoran that such a small body could be wracked with such violent sobs. She was no longer trying to muffle her cries and was gasping for air before too long. The effort was almost too much, but she still cried.
She wouldn’t stop and he didn’t know what to do. His arms ached to hold her but he wasn’t sure if it would be a good idea. After some serious debating, he lay down next to her and pulled her back to his chest. Sakura’s sobs halted, her breath catching in her throat. The stiffness left her shoulders and she relaxed, once again crying, but a lot less violently.
When it got to the point where the hot tears were just sliding down her cheeks, she wiggled around until she was facing Syaoran. Surprisingly, he didn’t remove his arms from around her waist.
“I’m sorry.” Her voice was raw from crying and she tired to swallow saliva to sooth it.
“It’s not your fault.”
“I’m such a loser,” Sakura rasped, the tears welling up again, much to Syaoran’s dismay. “First with Eriol and now with Akira.”
“You are not a loser,” Syaoran said firmly. Sakura just ignored him.
“I’m so sorry Syaoran. Because of me, you’re probably going to be invisible forever. There’s no way that anyone will ever love me.” Her voice was hysterical again. “They’ll either see me as just a sex object or they’ll notice that my best friend it much more attractive.” She scrunched his shirt in her hands and buried her face, most likely trying to smother herself.
“Sakura!” Syaoran said sharply, shoving her away and forcing her to look at him. “That is complete bullshit! You’re beautiful, nice when you want to be, and fun to be around! You will find someone who loves you, I’m sure. And as for me being invisible, we weren’t even one hundred percent certain that it has anything to do with your love life. That was just a theory. Most likely, the problem is me. And-” His voice faltered looking into those amazingly green eyes, a brighter shade than usual because she was crying. When he spoke again, his voice was much quieter, barely above a whisper.
“And I wouldn’t mind being invisible for the rest of my life as long as you could see me.”
They stayed in that position for the longest time, Syaoran’s arms wrapped around her and both of them staring.
“W-what?” Sakura tried to swallow the lump in her throat that felt like it would be lodged there permanently.
“It’s true. As long as you’re with me, I’ll be okay.”
Sakura blinked slowly and deliberately, trying to decipher what exactly was going on. Just when exactly had this conversation taken a turn like this? “What do you mean?”
And then he was kissing her.
Mostly from shock, Sakura’s mouth opened slightly. He didn’t take advantage of that and pressed his mouth against hers gently, not demanding anything. He wouldn’t ever force her to do anything she didn’t want to.
With a start, Sakura realized that this was what she wanted and she closed her eyes, pressing firmly against his mouth. She could feel the tension drain from his body and his mouth slowly part open. It was strange at first, tasting of salty tears and both of them unsure of what to do, until Syaoran finally took charge and deepened the kiss. Their hot breath mingled together, his tongue stroking the inside of her mouth and her gladly responding to the gesture. Sakura moved closer to him, molding her body to his and melting into the kiss. Her hands snaked around and up his back, coming to rest on his upper arm. She squeezed her fingers into his flesh, not wanting to let go.
They broke apart for air and Sakura leaned against his chest, breathing much harder than usual.
“I meant,” Syaoran started. It took Sakura a moment to figure out that he was answering her earlier question. “That I certainly like you and could definitely grow to love you, if I don’t already.”
“Fair enough.” Sakura snuggled as close to him as possible, smiling genuinely. “You know,” she added, almost as an afterthought. “That was my first kiss.”
“Mine too.” Syaoran answered honestly and inhaled deeply. Sakura couldn’t contain the evil little smirk that popped on her face, almost on its own.
“I could tell.”
To Be Continued.