Summary: He played with women to kill time. She was pure, innocent, and witty as well. Or so he thought. When he saw her, his whole world crumbled. How will he catch this fluttering angel? ExT, a bit of SxS. Warning: mature content. Completely OOC as well.
Shika: hey ya'll! I really, really apologize for this uber late update (it rhymes!). I was writing a dozen versions for this chapter since the past, well, months, but I feel like there was always something missing! This is my nth attempt, after all those deleted chapters. But anyway, I really appreciate you guys for looking for this story. I hope, even after the looooong delay, you'd still love what I wrote for you. After all, it took lots of erasures and deleted documents for this baby to be born. So there!
EuroCuttie: I don't know if this counts as something, well, "positive," but I hope you like this. Thanks for being such a loyal reviewer!
skybluescramble: I also applaud you for your loyalty to my stories. A bit cliché, yeah, I know. My Prof in writing told me that we can't stop clichés, after all, so many stories have been written already. It's how we create the angle and the feelings and everything else in between that makes it different. Happy reading!
Lexi1130: Here's another chapter for you! Not sure about the 'no cliffhanger' thing. But I promise to give justice to every cliffhanger to the best of my writing ability!
KyouyaxCloud: Here's an update! Hope you love it!
HD is not High Definition: I'm glad you think so, dear. Please read on. I hope this still matches your opinion.
cheng: Here it is! I'm sorry it took so loooong, please read my author's note for my reason. So, there! Read on! Thank you so much for reading!
XxThe-Crest-Of-AnubisxX: Hey! Thanks for taking time to read my stories, and as you guys asked for, here's chapter 5!
Shika: Scroll down, lovely ones!
Chapter V: Touch
He could not believe his luck (or lack of it) because Tomoyo had actually spent two hours with him (yes, he counted!), and they barely even touched. This was a record-breaker for Eriol Hiiragizawa to actually hang out with a woman for more than 5 minutes without attempting to rip her clothes off.
For the past week, he was actually having firsts. And it all involved the violet-haired maiden who was now telling the story of how she met Sakura. The past two hours, they had been having a civil conversation, like they had put behind the past incident in the park. Well, in Tomoyo's case, it looked like she had actually forgotten it. Eriol actually felt guilty, but he couldn't bring himself to apologize because Tomoyo just seemed so happy that day.
He didn't want to break up the mood, because he could find himself getting drawn to the brightness she emitted. Maybe it was one of the side effects of having a fever – not being able to think straight. Yeah, that was it. Nothing else.
"I mean, there were loads of people in the classroom, but I was drawn only to Sakura because she was so cute!" she clapped her hands together as she particularly remembered her first memory with her best friend. Her eyes sparkled as something inside her lit up.
"You know, I even videotaped her before, and I dressed her in all sorts of clothes I made!" she giggled good-naturedly as she smiled up at him. Eriol felt his fever going up ten notches. "She was so cute! I mean, she still is, but…"
Her eyes now darted to the floor. Eriol wanted to punch his pillow for her change in expression.
"But now, I've outgrown it. After all, she has Syaoran now. I can't actually force her to devote all her time to me," her lips began to move downward. She shook her heard slightly and her expression changed so suddenly, even Eriol was surprised. In a span of less than a second, her expression could exchange from lonely to bubbly?
How the hell could she do that?
"A-are you alright?" he stuttered, hating the way his voice was coated with concern.
"Yes, of course!" she straightened up, her bright smile never leaving her face. But Eriol somehow knew it was forced.
"Do you act?"
Tomoyo was taken aback by his question, and so was he, but she smiled knowingly and nodded. "For me, music and theatre go together. I'm part of the drama club."
That kind of explained for him her expertise in changing guises in the blink of an eye.
He remembered vaguely about the drama club asking, no, begging him to join their club because they were in need of members. The president explained that the star of their club went overseas, and she was left to deal with members who barely knew how to act. She even admitted that his face value was what she needed the most.
"You guys would actually look good together on stage," she commented, but he ignored her. He didn't even care who the girl was. He felt a bit angry at the girl for leaving, because the President seemed so broken.
Even if tears sprung from her eyes, he refused her offer as kindly as he could. There was no way he would act. Now that he remembered it, he smacked himself mentally for forgetting to ask the name of the girl. Was it Tomoyo? He wouldn't be surprised if she was the "star" of the drama club. She looked beautiful enough. Scratch that, more than beautiful. And she could act, no doubt. Even off stage.
His cheeks reddened as he remembered the President's comment. She was just saying that to make her offer seem more enticing. She was just desperate, as was obviously stamped on her face. He shook his head, trying to clear his drowsy mind of his thoughts.
Tomoyo's phone suddenly rang, and she excused herself as she answered the call. Eriol sighed in relief as she turned her back to him, giving him time to loosen up. That's when he noticed his body was actually tensed. In other words, he was nervous around her?
He smacked himself indignantly as he looked up at the girl who bought a change in him in such a short span of time. A small smile was on his face as he watched Tomoyo rub the back of her head, her dark locks all piled up on one side as she tried to answer a question. She suddenly faced him, and his heart skipped a beat. In surprise, of course.
"Sakura's coming over, she said," she smiled at him warmly. "She's on the way with Syaoran. Is that OK?"
"Of course," he nodded curtly, trying to be a good host. "I'll ask Alena to bring up some more tea."
"Thanks," she said brightly, turning her back to him again to talk to Sakura once more.
Eriol used the time to reach for the phone on his bedside table and began to dial the number of the kitchen, asking the cooks to prepare for two more guests. They were surprised to have visitors in the Hiiragizawa mansion, but promptly answered their young master anyway. With the promises of bringing more tea and some chocolate cake (after the mention of Syaoran, since he loved chocolate), Eriol put down the phone and slumped tiredly on his bed. He wanted to bury himself beneath the covers, but he knew he had visitors. Besides, this was the better option than mooning alone in his room.
He could feel a headache coming to compliment the cold, but he tried his best to regain composure.
"Are you feeling alright?" Tomoyo put down the phone and seated herself on a chair beside Eriol.
"I-I—" Before he could finish his sentence, the door opened. Sakura and Syaoran came in, with a maid following suit, bringing a tray of the said food.
"You OK, Eriol?" Sakura stepped in front of him and placed a gentle hand on his forehead. "You're burning! We shouldn't have come!"
"It's alright," Eriol smiled warmly. "I'm gonna die of boredom here, anyway. Alena doesn't give me much to do."
The maid bowed as she laid the food on the table and left.
"Sakura!" Tomoyo wrapped her arms around her friend. Eriol noted that Sakura's hands stayed at her side. Sakura usually liked touching people, like her pat on his forehead. How could she not hug back her own best friend?
When Tomoyo pulled away, Sakura reached out her hand, but Tomoyo flinched. Sakura withdrew her hand and muttered an apology. Tomoyo smiled brightly like nothing happened.
What was that?
"Basketball practice is getting pretty boring without you."Syaoran noticed that Eriol saw the exchange, and decided to change the subject. He pulled up a chair for Sakura and for himself to distract his girl friend as well. He was used to visiting the Hiiragizawa mansion, so he didn't need any permission to make himself at home.
Eriol noticed Syaoran's attempt to break the mood, so he grinned. "I'll be at the match, I swear. Cold or no cold. We're gonna beat those bloody players to a pulp!"
He punched in the air but winced when he felt his forehead heating up. "Fuck."
"Take it easy, man," Syaoran smiled apologetically. "The match isn't until next week."
Syaoran helped himself to some cake. "Want some?" he offered a plate of cake to Sakura and Tomoyo. "This is good, Eriol!"
The host rolled his eyes, a grin on his pale face. Syaoran was definitely at home in his house. The said guest just continued, ignoring Eriol's reaction. "The boys are trying hard since you're not around. I bet they're trying to get your position, since you barely attend practice."
Eriol laughed. "As if. Especially that guy… what's his name? Kita—"
"A-anyway, we should leave soon, shouldn't we?" Sakura's voice piped up cheerfully, but it was laced with a bit of… fear? Eriol was about to say that they just arrived, but before he could open his mouth, Sakura cut him off again.
"You need to rest… especially if you want to be fever-free for the game," Sakura looped her arm around Syaoran's, who had to swallow his cake in one gulp. He was also about to cut him off, but Sakura got ahead of him. The chocolate cake he stuffed in his mouth took some time to swallow, after all.
Eriol shot Syaoran a look that was basically asking the change in atmosphere, but he just shrugged. His eyes looked wary, so Eriol suspected something was up, and Syaoran was not telling his own best friend. It must be something serious.
Tomoyo, on the other hand, was still smiling, but her lips looked a bit strained?
Was he imagining things?
"Tomo—" Syaoran started, but winced out in pain as Sakura pinched his shoulder and whispered something in his ear. Syaoran looked like he wanted to retort, but said nothing. After all, he was putty in the hands of his girl friend. With a last pinch for good measure, Sakura lowered her head to whisper to Eriol.
"Be nice," she said as quietly as she could. "She considers you a friend. You know what to do. You're a good person," Eriol wanted to barf at her words, but she shot him a Look, and he crumbled, just like Syaoran did moments ago. Girls.
"Tomoyo," Sakura stood as near as she could, but did not touch her. "We just need to finish some stuff. We just came to see how Eriol is. Take care of him for me, OK?"
Eriol caught Sakura wink at her best friend, who blushed. He felt himself getter hotter as well. Maybe it was just his fever acting up again. Who knew his temperature could go up multiple times at such a short time?
"I'm sorry about a while ago," Sakura added in an undertone. Unfortunately, Eiol had some pretty keen senses, so he heard her. He wondered why she was apologizing, but before he could piece things together, Sakura waved goodbye as she dragged Syaoran at the door, who grabbed another slice of cake along the way.
Before they left, however, Syaoran shot Eriol a look that said 'behave yourself'. Eriol didn't know why, so he answered him with a confused one. Sakura shut the door.
"So…" Tomoyo inched closer to him, "you OK?"
It was the millionth time anyone asked him if he were fine, but since it was Tomoyo asking, he was surprised didn't mind. He honestly didn't know how to answer her, after everything that had happened in the span of half an hour. He felt like there was more to Tomoyo than just her smiles, but his headache could not make him comprehend anything.
His eyes shot open as he felt a warm hand on his forehead. He didn't even realize he closed his eyes. He looked at Tomoyo, who was leaning down at him in concern.
"You're burning," she whispered, her brows knitted in alarm. Tomoyo was so close - too fucking close - that something inside him burned. Perhaps she was right about her statement, but he certainly wasn't pertaining to his fever.
Her amethyst eyes peeked innocently from her long, dark lashes, and Eriol fought the urge to wipe the concern from her eyes. He would do anything to change her expression. Beneath her milky skin was a tinge of pink, highlighting her cheekbones without the need for make-up. Her lips… oh her pink lips… his erection strained painfully in his pajamas.
But it wasn't just the need to be inside her, he knew. It was something else. He didn't want to fuck Tomoyo. She didn't deserve something like that. She deserved… well… what? It was like the answer was on the tip of his tongue, but he just couldn't reach it.
He felt something foreign inside his body, something he had never ever felt before…
Without even thinking, Eriol lifted a hand to touch her cheek, but Tomoyo suddenly yelped and jumped away as if she had seen a ghost. Her blushing face was now as white as the walls she rested on, and she was breathing heavily.
"I-I'm sorry," she mumbled as she composed herself. Eriol didn't know what to say as he withdrew his hand and lay it on his side. He dragged his arm as far away from Tomoyo as he could like it was some sort of weapon. Something ached for him to touch her, to hold her, to bring color to her cheeks, but he composed himself as well. He didn't want to truly scare her and have her screaming out the room.
He had to admit, he was a bit hurt with her reaction. What was so scary about him? Didn't she consider him his friend? Did her view of him change? It wasn't like she was wrong, but… his heart pounded heavily in his chest, and he knew it was no side effect of his condition.
"I-I have to go," she gathered her bags and ran out the door, leaving a very confused Eriol in his bed.
Shika: I just wanted to write one scene, since I believe (and my Prof said so as well) that even the simplest of scenes can provide a lot of material for the story. I hope I've given you some food for thought. I also hope I satisfied some of your calls for a new chapter. Will be writing one soon, yeah?
Thanks for reading and God bless!