Chapter 33: Finding You

Feeling her neck crack, Sakura blinked. Her head felt dizzy sleeping in the moving train. She couldn’t have dozed for more than half an hour. It was around six in the morning now. Then she blushed hard. She didn’t realize she had fallen asleep with her head rested on Syaoran’s lap! Forcing herself to peer up at Syaoran’s face, she prayed that he was sleeping and that he didn’t notice.

With round emerald eyes, she peered up. Amber eyes were gazing straight back at her.

“KKKKKKYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!” Sakura jumped from their trains seat to the one at the other side of the train. Luckily there were hardly any people on at that time. Hanging her head, Sakura mumbled, “HOEE… I’ve never have been so embarrassed in my life!”

Yawning, Syaoran commented, “You’re finally awake. We’ll be arriving in Kusakou in around 15 minutes. Hmm… do you wanna drop by the snack bar and get something to eat?”

Sakura nodded. As they entered the train snack bar, Syaoran peered into his wallet and sighed. It was nearly empty. Then he stared at his credit card. His mother definitely will kill him when she saw the card bills.

Catching on, Sakura commented, “He he… Sorry. Because of me, you had to spend so much money in Tokyo… Will your mother be mad again?” Sakura clearly remembered last winter, when Syaoran passed his check limit. He was like a zombie after being scolded by his mother. Grinning, she added, “You can always get a part-time summer job!”

Syaoran stared back at her stonily.

“He he he… Just kidding. I can’t exactly imagine you working at a fast food restaurant, or picking up garbage, either, when you have so many other things to do.” As Sakura sipped her cool ice tea, which she bought, she asked, “Anyway, tell me what happened yesterday when you left me on the train and what kept you so long."

Smugly, Syaoran replied, “It wasn’t an easy job you know… First, I had to side track the police who were following my every move because of the TMI-305 microchip that was attached to the locket.”

“Oh yeah, what happened to that locket and the microchip?” Sakura interrupted.

“I was getting to it. After I sidetracked the police, (plus knocked a few out; hope they didn’t get hurt… ^_~)”


“ANYWAY… I broke into one of the library computer labs to examine the floppy disk program. (All the libraries were closed by that time.) At first, I had no idea how it worked and it took me a long time to just open the program. Then, the police found me again, and I had to run away to another place. This pattern continued several times and every time I thought I found the way to work the disk, the police came and interrupted. Finally, I found Tanemura-san’s house. (His family has a house in Tokyo as well.) With his help, I basically figured how to crack the code and detach the microchip. After thanking him, I ran off to the train station and took the express train to Kusakou. It’s faster than this train since it doesn’t stop by other stations. In the middle, I jumped off in the place that your train would be passing by.”

Pointing to the cut on the side of his head, which Sakura had bandaged with her handkerchief, she asked, “You got hurt, then?”

Nodding, Syaoran sighed. “I was supposed to use my wind ofuda to slow down the impact when I jumped, but I lost control because I guess I was being careless; I banged my head. Anyway, after jumping off the other train, I had to sneak into this one… didn’t have time to clean up the cut, even though I didn’t want you to see it.”

“Hmm… Poor Syaoran,” Sakura sympathized, patting his shoulder. Then she turned her head. “Humph. You promised you’ll be safe. Liar!”

“It’s just a little tiny cut. Nothing at all. And nothing could stop me from coming back to you. Plus, I did have a reward…” Then he continued grinning crookedly, “I learned that Sakura did worry for me the tiniest bit.”

“Worry for you the tiniest bit?” Sakura stuck out her tongue. Yet, inside she was thinking, Worry for you the tiniest bit? What an understatement! Stupid, you don’t know how much I worried for you! She fingered her lips. It was her first kiss. Deep in her heart, she had always wished it to be him, if ever it happened. Still, she wondered why he had kissed her? Why did she let him, in the first place? What did it mean? With Syaoran, there was always a different feeling than with anyone else. Her heart felt so fuzzy and light, yet warm and softly aching at the same time. It had been a different feeling than when she had been with Eron. With Eron, she had felt slightly nervous, self-conscious, and somehow cold, despite the fact that he was nice to her. Now she realized that with all her heart, she wished that Syaoran could always be with her. Yet, that may be only her wish, not reality. Finally, she asked, “So, what did you do with Kaitou-kun’s locket?”

“Here, I have it.” Slipping out from his pocket the white gold oval locket with the intricate dragon carvings and the ruby embedded in the center, he examined it. A sort of second instinct informed Syaoran that it wasn’t likely that the ruby was indeed one of the Five Force Treasures. Yet all the same, there was some sort of special power sealed into this locket. Then he stated as he handed it over to Sakura, “Man, that guy better be eternally grateful for me.”

As their fingers brushed, Sakura heart skipped a beat, and she dropped the locket onto the floor.

“I mean think about it. We both risked our necks trying to steal that disk and being followed by the police…” Syaoran stared at Sakura, hands on hips. “Hey, are you even listening to me?”

Paying no heed to him, Sakura had knelt on the floor to pick up the pretty white gold locket. To her surprise, it had opened in half, and inside, there was a tiny photo fitted inside the locket frame.

At that moment, the now too familiar noise of sirens sounded from the road facing the train track.

“Why are the police still following us if you dislocated the microchip?” Sakura asked flatly, staring at him suspiciously.

“How should I know—oh no!” Syaoran exclaimed aghast. He held out a tiny metallic bead-like thing, which he took out from his pocket.

“Don’t tell me you forgot to throw the TMI-305 microchip away after you detached it from the locket! No wonder the police can still locate it! How stupid can you get!” Sakura began pounding Syaoran’s head. “AHH! I really wish I enforced my grandfather and my uncle to drop the charge on Kaitou Magician immediately. Then the police wouldn’t bother chasing the microchip right now… Nooo! My grandfather said he’ll drop charges today, but that can be any time between morning… and evening! And I don’t even wanna imagine running till tonight and…” Sakura was already panicking.

Hanging his head guiltily, Syaoran reproached himself. Stupid stupid me… Finally I thought I did something to impress Sakura, and now I made such a stupid mistake. Mentally, he began to pound himself on his head with his fist.

Then, they both straightened up. Sakura stated, “Here, we can’t be found with the microchip when we land in the Kusakou Train Station.”

“We’ve got to leave the train before then.” Syaoran began heading towards the back of the train. Stuffing the locket into her pocket without further thought, Sakura followed. Opening the back door of the last compartment, they felt the blast of wind on their face.

“Wow, the view is so beautiful!” Sakura awed as she gazed at the grassy verdant meadows and the dazzling sapphire ocean in background.

“This isn’t the time to admire the scenery. Okay now, in the count of three, we’re gonna jump.”

“WHAT?!” Sakura exclaimed, almost falling off the train. “Are you crazy? Oh yeah. I forgot. You are. After all, you already jumped off another train earlier this morning. However, I am not crazy, nor willing to risk my neck…”

“One… Two…” Syaoran grabbed tightly onto Sakura’s waist, preparing to jump.

“HOEEE! I hate it when you give me a five second warning before doing wild things!”

“THREE!” Holding onto Sakura with one arm and whipping out a ward paper with the other, he shouted, “FUU KA SHOU RAI!” Then, he leaped off the racing train.

They were swept in a gust of wind and landed with a soft thud on the grassy hillside.

The sound of the train distanced. Now, the salty smell of the ocean was fresh in the air. The seagull’s cries could be heard in between the rushing of the waves onto the sandy beach shores.

“Sakura? Are you all right? Sakura?” Slowly, Syaoran tried to get up, which was difficult because Sakura was unconscious on top of him. Despite using his wind ofuda, it still was not a light landing. Maybe he should have just left things to Sakura. But then, the Fly card would have been too noticeable in broad daylight.

Gently lying Sakura on the grass, Syaoran shook her again. “Sakura! Wake up! It’s all right now.”

“Try mouth to mouth resuscitation,” came a squeaky voice from behind him.

“Mouth to mouth resuscitation?” His heart skipped a beat. He really didn’t mean to kiss her earlier that moment. And if he ever did, he would never had imagined that it would have been in a running train, against the rising sun. Gravely, Syaoran stared down at Sakura’s closed eyes. He bent over her head.

Sakura’s eyes fluttered and she gazed straight up into Syaoran’s face. “HOE! What are you doing?!” She shoved his head away and bolted up and gazed around her brilliant surroundings.

“I was only trying to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation,” Syaoran stammered.

Sakura replied flatly. “Weirdo. I was just dazed for a moment, why would you perform mouth to mouth resuscitation?”

“Well, I thought you were unconscious so I got worried. Plus, someone said to do it.” Syaoran side to side, puzzled.

“Someone. Who?” Sakura glared at Syaoran unbelievingly. “There’s no one hear except the two of us.” She muttered, “Idiot.”

“No, I swear, someone with a squeaky voice…” Syaoran trailed off.

“Who me?” Came a bright yellow teddy bear with wings.

“Eh?/Hoe?” Syaoran/Sakura’s eyes turned round. “A STUFFED ANIMAL!/ KERO-CHAN!!!?”

“Sakura-chan!” Kero-chan exclaimed, flying right into Sakura’s outstretched arms. “I missed you sooooooooooooo much, soooooooooooo much, sooooooooooo much. Sakura-chan is my mistress, the best one ever. I’m never-ever gonna part from Sakura-chan again.”

“I missed you so much too, Kero-chan,” Sakura stated, rubbing her face against Kero-chan’s. “It’s really you, right? My darling Kero-chan!”

From his sitting position, Syaoran grumbled, “Seems even more touching than when I returned from peril. Humph.”

“Just jealous, spoilt brat,” Kero-chan pointed out.

“Why would I be jealous of a stuffed animal?” Syaoran retorted.

“You guys,” Sakura said, laughing weakly. “It’s only 5 minutes since we met!” A glaring contest between the two nemesis began. “Oh dear, here they go again. Hmm… What are you doing here, anyway, Kero-chan? Weren’t you in London?”

“Ah, well, it’s a long story.” Kero-chan shuffled uncomfortably. “Sob, sob… Everyone said I was useless.” He drooped his teddy bear head. An image of Eriol popped up in his mind. “Well, Cerberus, since you are absolutely no help here, why don’t you return to your Card Mistress and aid her in time of need,” Eriol had told him. Yue, Spinel Sun, Ruby Moon… everyone nodded gravely. Oh well. Brightly, Kero-chan continued, “So, I’ve returned to Sakura-chan’s side and will always be here to support her!”

“She doesn’t need a teddy-bear like you,” Syaoran retorted.

“Oh Syaoran, be nice to Kero-chan. He’s my friend so you must be nice to him, too,” Sakura reproached, cradling Kero-chan like a baby and began feeding him the remains of the cookie she had bought in the train snack bar. “I missed Kero-chan sooooooo much!”

Then Syaoran’s eye gleamed. “Well, I know how you can make yourself useful. Here.” Syaoran folded the microchip into Kero-chan’s paws. “Carry this and drop this far into the ocean, where the police will lose track of it. Bye-bye!” Syaoran took Kero-chan by his tail and then kicked him off towards the ocean with his MVP soccer player skills. Kero-chan went sailing away.

“Syaoran!” Sakura scolded.

“Ah, alone and bliss again. Come, let’s find the Akagi summer estate again. You have the address and keys, right?”

“You’re ignoring me,” Sakura muttered, then quickly caught up to Syaoran who had already begun walking.


Meanwhile, the police were in a hectic state…

One policeman panted, “Eh? Why is the microchip blinking in one of the trains now?”

“Ah, that devious Kaitou. First he lands us in a mad chase from the police station to the hotel, then the train station, and all through Tokyo libraries. Then he disappears and reappears far from the city and in the countryside…” another police sighed.

“Wait, the microchip indicator’s not blinking on the train anymore,” the third policeman shouted, staring at the portable computer screen. “Wait… It’s heading towards the ocean… No! It’s sinking into the ocean… Huh?”

“Ahh!!! Let’s give it up! I don’t care if Daidouji-san fires me! I give up! I admit it. Kaitou Magician has got the best of me. I can’t keep up with him anymore,” the chief officer wailed. Just then, his phone began to ring. “Yes sir! WHAT?! We don’t have to chase Kaitou Magician anymore? Kinomoto-san dropped charges on him? WHAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT!!! Daidouji-san, you can’t be serious. Man, we didn’t get no sleep for weeks ‘cause of this case. I—“

All the police were turning super-deformed, crying half because of relief, half because they felt taken advantage of. Daidouji-san heaved a sigh. How could he ever imagine these group of men would ever outsmart that Kaitou? Well, this was his first unsuccessful case. What kind of devil was this Thief of the Night, who appeared out of nowhere and then completely ashamed the police force with his almost magical and unbelievable skills?


“Now that I think of it, what are we doing here, anyway? We can return home now since that the Kaitou Magician business is taken care of,” Sakura commented. They had to walk a lot because they stopped a little short of Kusakou when they jumped off the train. “I wonder if grandfather dropped charges against Kaitou-kun yet. And I wonder if Kero-chan finished getting rid of the microchip.”

“I wonder why Arima-san randomly gave us the key to her summer estate, though,” Syaoran pondered.

“I have no idea… yet, this place is really beautiful. It’s been a long time since I’ve been at the beach.”

Together, Syaoran and Sakura strolled across the beach side. They had taken off their shoes and walked with bare feet in the smooth white sand under the beating afternoon sun. While she had been in the train, Sakura had changed out of the black outfit that Tomoyo had provided for her the previous night for her so-called robbing of the disk. Now, she was dressed in a cool summer dress of light turquoise cotton, which caught the ocean breeze like a sail. Meanwhile, Syaoran hadn’t been so lucky and he was still dressed in the black outfit that Tomoyo had provided him, which absorbed the heat terrifically. In result, he had rolled up the black pants to his knees and taken off the black turtleneck, stuffing it into his bag. Yet, he was still boiling hot and looked absolutely miserable.

“Arf, arf! Arf Arf!” The barking of a puppy sounded from behind them.

Then from behind Syaoran, a little puppy leaped up and began clinging onto his legs. “Ahh! What is this?! Get off!” Syaoran protested, trying to move away from the little puppy with a shaggy coat. The puppy jumped around Syaoran, wagging its tail wildly and barking. Syaoran tried to distract it in vain.

Clapping her hands and laughing, Sakura commented, “I think that puppy took a liking to you Syaoran. He he… Though I don’t understand why.”

“Ugh, I’m hot enough already. Go away, dog,” Syaoran tried to push the puppy away. “Taken a liking to me? I don’t want something like this to bug me.”

“Aww, that’s too harsh. It’s really cute.” Sakura bent down to examine the puppy, stroking it’s back gently. Turning to Sakura, the puppy sat on its hind legs and thumped its tail on the sandy shore.

“Arf arf!” It seemed as if the puppy was saying greetings.

“What’s cute about that?” Syaoran asked, staring at the puppy in discontent.

“It’s adorable! Now that I think about it, sitting on it’s bottom and everything makes this puppy look like a little wolf. Gosh, it’s so cute!” Sakura squealed, picking up the puppy and squeezing it.

“Your suffocating that dog,” Syaoran commented.

“Hmm… He doesn’t have any name tag. I don’t think he belongs to anyone,” Sakura concluded, examining the puppy thoroughly. “Look how it’s gazing up at me with the most lovable amber eyes!” Then she looked up at Syaoran. “Do you think…”

“Don’t even think of keeping that,” Syaoran warned. “I’m not going to let you bring it back to my apartment.”

Sighing, Sakura let the puppy down and it scampered away. “Hmm… I think we’re in the town of Kusakou now. I wonder how we will be able to find the summer house that Akagi-san told us about,” Sakura pondered gazing around the beautiful ocean surroundings.

“I don’t think that will be a problem,” Syaoran commented, pointing straight ahead.

Their mouth dropped. There was a huge beautiful white mansion perched on a low cliff over looking the ocean, surrounded with lovely rose gardens and entwined with elegant vines. It almost looked like a castle over looking the sea.

“Wow,” Sakura said. It was time that she should stop being surprised at beautiful houses, but…

“Wow,” Syaoran replied. He also was stunned by the beautiful picture of the dazzling golden sunlight reflecting off the summer estate on the green, grassy cliff overlooking the wide turquoise blue ocean.


“I wonder if Kero-chan will be able to find us,” Sakura commented as walked alongside Syaoran. “Hey, are you sure you don’t want me to help with the grocery bags.”

“I’m fine,” Syaoran replied, struggling with four bags of groceries. The two had decided to buy some ingredients for dinner, before going up to the summerhouse. It was practically evening now, and the crimson sun was beginning to set down the glittering ocean horizon. “And I do hope the stuffed animal doesn’t find us.”

“Too bad, already found you two!” Kero-chan stated, popping out from a candy store. Glaring at Syaoran, he commented, “Ha, you think you’re such a man, carrying all the grocery, don’t you?”

“Shut up!” Syaoran swung the bag with the huge watermelon in it at Kero-chan. Sakura stared in awe for she never saw anyone swing a heavy watermelon so easily.

Kero-chan dodged expertly and added, “I dropped the microchip far, far away. I’m so smart!!!”

“Oh yeah, Kero-chan. What are you doing here anyway, and how did you find us when we’re so far from Tomoeda?” Sakura asked curiously.

They came up to the summer estate gate and walked up to the grand door of the house. It was wide open.

As they entered, Sakura was puzzled to see someone walk out.

Then she gawked, “Aki-kun? What are you doing here?”

Akagi Aki flicked back his white blond hair. He sported a summer tan now. “What do you mean, ‘what are you doing here?’ This is my summer estate, you know.”

“Hoe? Eh he he… Oh yeah. You’re an Akagi also…” Sakura commented, sweat-dropping. She kept forgetting that Aki was Arima’s little brother. Maybe it was the personality difference.

“Hmm, what are you doing here, Sakura-san? Especially with Li-kun out of all people?” Aki asked. Then he shrugged. “Well, that doesn’t matter.” Grasping her in a tight embrace he babbled, “Ah, good to see you again Sakura-san! Did you miss me? I didn’t know you were coming to see me also. Eh? How’d’you get the house keys? Anyway, I’m flattered that Sakura-san is here and….”

Before he could babble on, Syaoran punched off Aki, who was still embracing a puzzled Sakura.

“Well, here, come on in!” Aki invited. “Are the others here yet?”

“What others?” Sakura asked, tilting her head.

“US!” shouted Chiharu, Takashi, Rika, Eron, Erika, and Tomoyo, filing out of Tomoyo’s chauffeured mini-van with great duffel bags and beach gears.

“Hoe-e! What are you guys doing here?” Sakura exclaimed.

“Don’t forget me, also!” stated a high, confident voice. Out of the van stepped a pretty girl, slightly shorter than the other with chin length auburn hair framing her heart shaped face and setting off large and clear charcoal gray eyes.

“Miho-chan?” Sakura uttered in surprise.


Calmly sipping green tea, Sakura asked her friends, “Oh, so you guys are here for the Best Couple Contest?”

“Uh huh! Last year, it was held in Tokyo, capturing the exciting city life. This year, it’s being held in the beautiful tourist-attracting seaside town of Kusakou,” Chiharu stated.

“And Aki-kun was so nice to let us all stay at his family’s summer estate instead of staying across the town in various inns which are sponsored by the contest organizers. After all, it’s practically right next to the contest grounds,” Erika stated. “This house is wonderful! Aki-kun is wonderful!”

“I know,” Aki agreed from beside Erika.

“So Chiharu-chan and Takashi-kun plus Erika-chan and Aki-kun are entering as couples… uh, how about you three?” Sakura asked Eron, Rika, Tomoyo.

“Don’t ask me,” muttered Eron, shaking his head. “Erika dragged me here.” Then he switched on his charming grin and knelt down in front of Sakura, clasping her hand. “But if I knew you were coming as well, I would have come most willingly.”

“He he he…” Sakura sweat-dropped. “Get up, Eron-kun.”

“No, Sakura… See, we promised we will see each other a lot this summer, didn’t we? I’m so glad you kept your word, Sakura-san.” Eron flicked back his low violet ponytail.

Preventing further sparks to occur between Syaoran and Eron, Rika explained, “Actually I’m Chiharu-chan and Takashi-kun’s manager for the contest. And Eron is Erika-chan and Aki-kun’s manager.”

“How about you, Tomoyo-chan? “Sakura asked.

“Don’t tell me you’ve already forgotten!” Tomoyo exclaimed, clasping her hands together. “Of course, I am Syaoran-kun and Sakura-chan’s manager!”

“WHAT?!” Syaoran and Sakura jumped up.

With sparkling round eyes, Tomoyo asked, “Remember? You two also entered the ‘Japan Teen Best Couple Contest.’ He he… and you guys made it to the final 20, along with Erika, Aki, Chiharu, and Takashi. (Though I rewrote the application answer sheet myself because you two were hopeless, but never mind that.)Therefore, you two are entering the contest, which will be held by the Kusakou beach in two days!”

“TWO DAYS! How come it’s so sudden?” Sakura exclaimed.

“Well… actually the contestants were picked weeks ago, but…” Tomoyo trailed off.

“No way, I’m not doing it! Ha ha very funny. Us a couple, let alone the best couple in Japan? No way. That’s final,” Sakura and Syaoran protested together.

Speaking for the first time, Miho announced confidently, “If you don’t want to enter with Syaoran, Sakura, I’ll enter with him instead of you!”

“No thank you,” Syaoran refused.

“Well, Miho-chan hasn’t changed,” muttered Sakura, slightly chuckling. Also, she felt rather glad that Syaoran wouldn’t want to enter with anyone else, either.

Tomoyo muttered, “That’s why I didn’t tell you two before. I knew you guys wouldn’t agree to it unless it’s by force.”

“Exactly! We’re not doing it!” Sakura and Syaoran exclaimed in unison.

“But you guys are already entered in the final list,” Tomoyo exclaimed, pretending to be hurt. “And I was looking forward to this all summer! Why do you think I forced you to come shopping with me in Tokyo, few days ago, Sakura? To pick out new outfits for you to wear in the contest… Plus, I made some new ones, as well. I put sooooo much effort into it~”

To Syaoran, Sakura whispered, “Thinking about it, I think Akagi Arima gave us the key to this house because she knew the ‘Best Couple Contest’ was being held in Kusakou. It was a trap to make us enter.”

Nodding, Syaoran replied, “That explains everything.”

Both of them forcefully stated, “We’re not doing it, and that’s final!”

“Well, that’s better for us, “ Erika stated, shrugging. “One less rival ‘couple.’ Are you guys even couples, anyway?”

“Well, it’s not like you two are couples either,” Sakura pointed out to Erika and Aki.

“Hmm, but don’t you guys wanna win the prize?” Eron asked.

“I don’t wanna film in a movie in the first place,” Syaoran replied.

Slyly, Tomoyo went up to them and whispered, “Hey, don’t you know the other part of the prize? It’s money… Lotsa of money.” She whispered the sum into their ears.

“$$$ ?!” Sakura and Syaoran glanced at each other then told the others. “Wait a second.”

Together, they crouched behind the sofa, heads huddled in a deep conversation.

“That’s enough money to cover the sum we spend in Tokyo,” Sakura pointed out. “And you can pay back your Mother.”

“Yeah. Even if we split the money in half, I’ll still have more than enough to pay back Mother and she won’t scold me. I still can’t believe already used up the money from the modeling contract in New York in paying back Mother last winter,” Syaoran commented. “But if we win this contest…”

“I’ve almost used up the money in the bank account that Father left for me while he is away. And if onii-chan finds out I spent it all in Tokyo, he’ll kill me. But if we win this contest…”

Both of them agreed, “We definitely need the contest money!”

Then standing up again they announced to Tomoyo with full energy, “All right! We’re entering the contest and we’ll be the number one couple of Japan!”

Clapping, Tomoyo exclaimed, “That’s the spirit!”

“Humph.” Erika put her hands on her hips. “How annoying.” More couples to eliminate from the contest meant more work for her.


“Well, come, everyone! Let’s have a party celebrating everything!” Aki announced as the sun set.

The whole group had changed into beach wear as they gathered in a barbecue party on the beach sparkling like a dark sapphire under the star studded night sky.

Aki snuggled up to Miho. It was his first time meeting her, and he had taken a quick fancy to her as he did to any pretty girl. “Ah, and let’s celebrate having a pretty new friend from England here.”

Putting on his #1 girl attracting smile, Aki asked, “You said you’re name is Tanaka Miho, right? Can I call you Miho? It’s such a cute name.”

“Sure,” Miho replied. She was dressed in a preppy red tank top and a short matching skirt. Her short auburn hair was clipped up with matching red barrettes.

“Man, you’re really cute. Do you wanna go out with me—“ Aki began.

BONK! Erika slammed the barbecue grid onto Aki’s head. “Now get the hamburgers and sausages out and cook!”

“Hey, that’s not my responsibility!” Aki protested. Well, he had always been a very spoilt boy who never did any work, so…

“It’s okay, I’ll do it,” Syaoran interrupted.

Soon, everybody gathered around him, all the girls going ooh and ahh as Syaoran performed fancy tricks of flipping hamburger patties into the air and throwing them over exactly onto everyone’s bun.

“Ha, I can do that, too,” Aki announced, glaring jealously at Syaoran who was receiving admiring looks from every single girl in the whole crew.

“Yeah right,” Erika replied, flipping back her reddish violet hair. Her dark purple swimming suit matched perfectly with her hair. Over it, she wore a short bluish-violet skirt, setting off her perfect figure.

“Can too!” Aki retorted. He looked ridiculous in his brightly printed Hawaiian tropical flannel, which was unbuttoned over his swimming trunks and a tropical flower stuck behind his ear. And, he looked like the last thing from the basketball captain that everyone admired back at school

“You sure do have weird friends,” Miho commented to Sakura.

“Yeah… Well, they’re fun and really nice though,” Sakura replied, smiling. Off the corner, Chiharu was dunking Takashi’s head into the ocean for telling weird stories again. Kero-chan, who was hiding from view and trying to sneak some food was being was being tortured by Syaoran. Wickedly, Syaoran held coal chunks to Kero-chan’s tail with tongs. Aki was trying to copy Syaoran’s cooking skills, ending up landing hamburger patties flat on his handsome face. Erika was laughing at him, and in revenge, Aki landed another one on her face, making her shriek. Rika was off in the corner, calmly sewing. Meanwhile, Tomoyo was taping everything. And Eron was staring at everyone calmly with an “I’m more superior than thee” expression.

By the time it was pitch black and around ten, they were all exhausted. Sitting in a beach chair, Erika groaned, “Ah, I feel like I’m going to be sick. I ate too much.”

“Pig,” Eron muttered. “I told you not to eat five hamburgers then jump into the water.”

“Takashi, hamburgers are not made out of ground up bits of beetles, cockroaches, and spiders!” Chiharu scolded. “Why do you always lie?”

Slowly, Yamazaki Takashi opened one eye. “It’s fun making you mad.”

“What?” Chiharu pounded him on the head. “Sheesh, open your eyes when you talk to me! You’re so inconsiderate of my feelings!”

Meanwhile, Miho had dozed off on one of the beach chairs since she was so jet-lagged from coming from England.

At that moment, Erika shrieked. “AHHHHHHH!!! There’s something in the bushes! A monster!”

Everyone gathered together, gazing suspiciously at the bush. Sakura approached the bushes with the steel chopsticks used from cooking grasped in one hand.

Sweat-dropping, Syaoran asked, “Now, how can that be a weapon?”

“Can too!” Sakura retorted. “My favorite character from TV uses chopsticks and he looks so cool!*” Stubbornly, she held out her chopsticks in a martial arts position.

Then from the bushes, out leaped a black shadow.


“How cute!” Sakura exclaimed, holding something to her face. “It’s only a puppy! It’s the one we saw at the beach earlier today, Syaoran. It found us, probably because the smell of food.”

Staring at Erika we half-shut golden eyes, Eron asked, “So, is this supposed to be the monster?”

“Well, I heard something in the bushes, so… Humph. It’s only an ugly stray dog.”

“This puppy has no where to go, it seems like. Poor thing.” Looking up at Aki with sparkly eyes, Sakura asked, holding the puppy out to him, “Do you mind if I keep the puppy while we’re staying here? Please?”

Shrugging his shoulders, Aki replied, “Sure, anything to make Sakura-san happy.”

“Yay! Thank you so much!” Sakura let the puppy jump up onto Aki and lick his face.

“EWWWW!” Aki patted his face gently with a towel. “It licked me! Disgusting.”

“Prince syndrome,” muttered Miho, who was fully awake by now. She stared at the puppy with her observant gray eyes. She commented, “His eyes look sad.”

“I think we all better go in now,” Rika said, yawning.

Inside, the summerhouse was as impressive as outside. The mansion was four stories high including the attic. The first floor consisted of the kitchen, dining hall (literally meaning hall, not room,) library, fitness room, indoor swimming pool, living room, recreation room, and parlor. The second floor held guest rooms. On that floor alone, there were around twenty large and fully furnished rooms and plenty of large windows everywhere, overlooking the ocean. The third floor consisted of even more rooms, but they all decided to stay in one clump on the second floor.

As they walked down the hallway, Aki pointed out the various room. To the two largest rooms, Aki told them that one was his parents’ room and the other one was Tamemura-san’s parents’ room. The Akagi and Tamemura family always came together to their beach estate every summer to rest by the seaside. Except this summer, they were both busy to come, so they allowed their children to do whatever they wanted with it. So, Aki got full control of the vast estate.

“And that one decorated with horse posters, Shakespeare play posters, and more horse posters is my sister’s room.”

“Wow…” Sakura awed. It was only a summerhouse, yet it was decorated in such a “friendly” way. “ It was so welcoming and had a sunny, comfortable feel to it.

“You have a sister?” Rika asked. “I thought you were an only child.”

“No. Unfortunately, I have as sister. Akagi Arima. You probably heard of—“

“Akagi Arima! You mean the popular and beautiful actress! The top female Japan idol!” Miho screeched. “Oh my gosh, that’s so cool! Can you get me her signature?”

“Ah, sure… But she’s coming down here in a few days anyway for summer break, with Asuma-san. Our parents are away however, so they won’t be coming down this summer. Oh, speaking of Asuma-san, the one next to my sister’s is his.”

Everyone sweat-dropped. Both of the couple’s room were so ‘horsey’ with horse artifacts everywhere. Posters of stallions. Racing awards and trophies. Photos of purebreds. They even had matching black stallion alarm clocks. And pictures of them together at the stable, in their riding outfits and on their horses.

“Oh yeah, Akagi-san’s boyfriend is Tanemura Asuma, right? The dashing young racing champion?” Chiharu asked. “They came out on an interview on TV. Sigh,
so lucky. I wish I can have a life like that… Being a glamorous actress with a handsome, awesome, super star boyfriend.”

“You have Takashi-kun,” Rika reminded, smiling.

“Who, him?” Chiharu asked with a discontent expression.

“Oh yeah!” Takashi popped up behind them with a scary expression. “Did you hear about the story of this town?”
“Don’t tell me it’s a ghost story!” Sakura exclaimed, cowering and almost suffocating the puppy, which she had washed outside and now carried in.

“Nah,” Takashi comforted.

“Whew—“ Sakura was about to sigh.

“It’s only a werewolf story.” Before anyone could interrupt, he continued, “Every midsummer, in Kusakou, during the full moon…”

“Hoe-e! Let’s go to bed now!” Sakura stated. “Aki-kun, can you show us our bedrooms?”

“Okay.” Grinning, Aki pointed to the next bedroom down the hallway. It had mirrors, posters of glamorous models, and pictures of himself with various girls. Plus, there was a basketball hoop off in one side and a NBA poster on the door. “That’s my room. Since we have so many rooms in this house, each person can have their own room. I already got the butler to put away our luggage in each person’s room. The one next to mine is Sakura-san’s room, across is Miho-san’s, then Erika-san’s, Tomoyo-san’s, Rika-san’s and Chiharu-san’s.”

“Wait a second, how about our rooms,” Syaoran asked, pointing to the guys.

Shrugging his shoulder, Aki pointed to the far end of the hallway. “You guys can have rooms way over there.”

“Hmm… that doesn’t seem right. How come you have the room surrounded by girls while our rooms are way over there?” Eron asked flatly.

Laughing, Aki stated, “Well, looks like it turned out that way. Sleep well everyone and see you all tomorrow morning! Don’t get eaten by the Kusakou legendary werewolf in the meanwhile!” To the girls, he winked. “You girls can come visit my room any time if you’re scared.” With this, he yawned and entered his room.


“I forgot to ask how come Miho is here,” Sakura commented as she prepared to go to bed. She set a cushion on the floor for the puppy to sleep on. Brushing out her hair and tying it back loosely, Sakura swirled around in her pale pink summer pajamas. It was the first time in several days that she would actual sleep in pajamas. Once more, she silently thanked Tomoyo for being thoughtful as to pack her and Syaoran’s stuff and bring over to the summer estate. “Thinking about it, how did you pack Syaoran and my stuff?” she asked Tomoyo, who had come to hand her the Best Couple Contest rules handbook.

“Oh. I stopped by your house before leaving to come here. The door wasn’t locked,” Tomoyo replied. “So, I just went in and packed your stuff, as well as Syaoran’s.”

“Wait, I didn’t leave the door unlocked, though… Never mind. It could have slipped from my mind. I think I better sleep now. I’m pooped. I better ask how everyone is back in England to Miho, tomorrow. She said she’s jet-lagged and she’s already asleep. Sigh. I would have liked to talk to her again. How did she come on this trip again?”

“Oh, you know how I arrived back at home late yesterday night, right? After telling wild lies to the police officers and saying good bye to father in Tokyo, I returned to Tomoeda. There I got a phone call from Eriol, saying that Miho and Kero-chan were coming to visit Japan, and he asked me to keep an eye out for her. She arrived early this morning and when I told her about the Best Couple Contest, she was all excited. And then, Aki-kun called me and said that we could all stay at his family’s summer estate in Kusakou for the contest. Plus, he said that I could bring Miho along, so… things turned out this way. We all got into my van and came down to Aki’s Kusakou summerhouse. Oh I forgot; Akagi Arima called also, saying that you two were coming to Kusakou, also. Perfect for me!” Tomoyo looked bedazzled. “Well, g’nite!”

“Good night Tomoyo-chan,” mumbled Sakura, already half-asleep. Kero-chan was already asleep on her pillow.


In the middle of the night, Sakura wakened by the puppy’s barking. Drowsily, Sakura stared around the moonlit room. Against the large window was a black silhouette. Her hand felt clammy as she reached for the first thing that came to grasp. Was it Kusakou’s legendary werewolf? The shadow moved, jumping into the room.

Not able to even scream, Sakura flung out the first objet she grasped with full force at the black figure.

“Ouch!” came a familiar voice. Taking off his sunglasses to rub his nose, he picked up the object that Sakura flung at him. “What is this?”

“Kaitou Magician?” Sakura inquired. Then flatly, she asked, “What are you doing, stalking into a lady’s room in the middle of the night?”

“What kinda question is that? How many times to I have to tell you? I’m a thief.” Grinning, Kaitou Magician said, “What a warm welcome I get. Anyway, don’t tell me you flung your precious Syaoran-bear at me.” Mischievously, he held up a small black teddy bear by the ear.

“Give it back to me!” Sakura snatched the teddy bear back, hugging it protectively to her. “I didn’t get to sleep with it for days because I left it at home. But Tomoyo-chan packed it for me. Okay now, don’t put on your sunglasses again. I mean, who wears sunglasses during nighttime? It’s not cool! Oh yeah, you can take your locket back. The microchip’s off; we threw it into the sea. Gosh, you don’t know what trouble Syaoran and I went through. And—“

“Ha ha… I didn’t come here to hear your chattering.” Kaitou’s eyes glimmered seriously. Formally, he walked up to Sakura, then bowed his head down past 90 degrees. “Thank you, Sakura. Sorry for causing all the trouble. Such a thing will never happen again.”

Trying to get Kaitou to lift up his head again, Sakura stammered, “Ah, don’t do that! It’s not like you. C’mon. Lift your head up. Here’s your locket. See, pretty and not damaged a bit! You can take it back now. The police won’t be able to track you anymore… Kaitou-kun?”

Kaitou Magician had buried his head onto her shoulder. He seemed to tremble the slightest bit, before lifting his head again. “Sorry.”

“Stop saying that! Now here, take your precious treasure. I know what it is like to lose something dear. Here, now take good care of it.” Sakura pressed the white-gold locket into Kaitou’s hand. She noticed that Kaitou wasn’t dressed in this Kaitou Magician outfit with a cloak and all, but in a simple sleeveless black vest with a zipper in the front over black pants.** His lean and sinuous magician’s hand was bare, and she noticed how cold it felt against hers.

Silently, he stared at the locket and traced the dragon engravings and the ruby in the center with his fingertips. “The microchips gone… How’d’you guys ever manage it?” Fumbling inside his pocket, he drew out a late afternoon newspaper and handed it to Sakura. “Plus, Kinomoto Fujishinta officially dropped charges against me. For the while, I’m free. This is all your doing, too, isn’t it? Why? I never thought that you will go through the trouble to do all this. I didn’t want you to find out about the Kinomoto family of the Hoshi Enterprise, either… You know, because it’s your family and all, and you might feel bad. If I knew all fuss this will be, I would never have left the locket in your hands…”

“Shh… It’s all right. It’s my choice, okay. Plus, I could only do it with Syaoran. If you want to thank someone, thank him,” Sakura said.

Wrinkling his nose, Kaitou Magician replied, “Him? I don’t really want to, but… oh fine.” Then he stared at the puppy, who was sniffing him with interested. “What’s that? A new pet?”

“Seems like it.” Sakura scooped up the animal into her arms.

Together, plus the puppy, they crept down the hallway to Syaoran’s room. They were careful not to wake the people in other rooms.

When they tried to open Syaoran’s room, they found the door was locked.

“He he, just like Syaoran to lock his bedroom,” Sakura muttered. “Should I knock— Never mind.” Kaitou Magician had already unlocked the door with a picklock.

Alert and wide awake a second after he heard a creaking, Syaoran instantaneously slipped his hand under his pillow out of natural instincts. Drawing out a golden hilted pocketknife, he flung it straight towards the door.

“GAH!” Sakura and Kaitou ducked. The knife sailed over, posting onto the wooden door behind them.

“Humph. I never saw any teenage boy besides myself sleep with a knife under his pillow,” grumbled Kaitou. “It’s just not my day. First getting attacked by Syaoran-bear, then getting attacked by the bearish personality boy himself.” Removing the knife from the door and flicking the blade back in, he examined the dragon engravings on the hilt of the golden pocketknife with mild interest.

“You still carry this around?” Sakura questioned, staring at Syaoran’s knife which his father had given him. She probably last saw it in New York.

“Well, be careful where you aim next time,” Kaitou commented, throwing the knife back at Syaoran, who seemed in rather a shock state. “Who’d’you think we were? Monsters? Werewolves?”

“No,” Syaoran replied, slipping out of bed. “Just a phantom…” As if sensing that Syaoran seemed slightly unsettled, the puppy leaped up to Syaoran’s bed and began snuggling against him. Syaoran complained, “Hey, get off my bed! I bet you have fleas.”

“Eh? Man, if that puppy likes you, it has bad taste.” Kaitou Magician ran a hand through his spiked hair. “Anyway, Sakura said to thank you for all you guys have done for me. So, here it well. I’m only saying this once to you. Thank you. There. I’m going now.”

“Kaitou-kun?” Sakura said, gripping his arm before he could jump out the window.

Sighing, Kaitou Magician said, “I wish you would stop calling me that name. What now?”

“Did you go to the hospital. Is your injury okay?” Sakura asked, concerned.

Smiling grimly, he returned, “Yeah, it’s fine. It was really nothing, you know.”

“Hoe…” Sakura didn’t know if she called a bullet shot barely missing your heart ‘really nothing.’

“I’ll be staying around for a several more days, before leaving Japan,” Kaitou Magician stated. “You probably won’t see me in the meantime though.”

“You’re leaving Japan? To steal again?” Syaoran inquired.

Shaking his head, Kaitou Magician stated, “My stealing days are over now.”

“I don’t believe you,” Sakura commented flatly.

“Yeah, give Sakura back her diamond necklace,” Syaoran said. “You stole it off those thugs in Tokyo, right? Now give it back.”

“He he. Why should I give it back to someone who was careless enough to lose it in the first place?” Kaitou asked, holding out the round crystal like pendant with the star like glimmer from inside.

Syaoran punched him in the face. “Good thing to say to your life saver and heroes!”

“Ouch, that hurt! Oh fine. Let me just borrow these two treasures, okay?” Kaitou said, holding up the diamond necklace and the sapphire ring.

“When did you take that?” Syaoran asked, feeling his neck for the chain, which usually held the ring. “I thought you said your stealing days are over.”

“I’m borrowing it, all right? It’s important. I need to find the last remaining treasure, the ruby earrings of the Dark Ones. You may have figured out that the ruby on my locket is not the right one. It will help if I can locate the earrings by using the power of the four Treasures that I have found so far. I’ll return these right after, I swear!” Kaitou Magician stared at them pleadingly.

Smiling warmly, Sakura said, “Okay then. I’m fine with it. I trust you. But you must promise you must return, okay? No for the treasures only, but because you are our friend. You can come visit us in Tomoeda, any time.”

“I don’t agree to that,” Syaoran grumbled. “You know how many hours of sleep I lost for that fool?”

Nodding, Kaitou Magician opened the window. The salty, cool night ocean breeze swept in. He stared down at the silvery locket, which gleamed in the moonlight.

“Kaitou-kun?” Sakura said.

With slit eyes, Kaitou muttered, “Don’t call me that…”

“Well, what’s your real name then?” Sakura asked impatiently.

“It doesn’t matter. Kaitou Magician. Thief of the Night. Voleur de la Nuit. Lucifer’s Magician. Or the Devil of Darkness.” Kaitou shrugged. He sounded almost mocking and bitter. “Feel free to take your pick.”

“I don’t mean titles. I mean your real name. Who you were born as,” Sakura protested. She could see that his knuckles were white as he gripped the locket. “The real you.”

“Just because I’m in your debt doesn’t mean I’m not still a nasty, underhand, twisted criminal,” Kaitou Magician laughed. “That’s who I am. A soul lost in darkness. Nothing left in his mind but how to survive day after day and accomplish the one goal in mind. One who has left behind all traces off the haunting past, pushing it away and embracing the night. Au revoir!”

Finally, Sakura blurted out, “Really, why is that locket so important to you?”

Sadly smiling as he turned around and leaped off the windowsill. “I’ll pay back the debt someday! This I swear!”


The next day, everyone lazed around in the beach, soaking in the warm sun rays.

“Wow, Sakura, you look amazing,” Eron complimented. “Like a tropical marine princess.”

Blushing, Sakura replied, “Thanks…” Over her greenish-blue swimming suit, she had wrapped around her slim waist a cloth, which was a colorful swirl of ocean colors. Her long golden brown hair was piled up and pinned with a butterfly clip. Several stray wisps hung naturally down her back. On her feet were strappy high heel sandals. Actually, the reason she was dressed like this was because Tomoyo insisted that she had to practice walking for the “Best Couple Contest walk-in,” to make a good impression.

Sighing, Sakura practicing walking on the white patio with a book on her head.

Just then, the puppy jumped out to her, making her lose her balance. Sakura sighed. “My mother was a model. I wonder why I can’t even do this.”

“It’s all right. You’ll do fine,” Eron reassured.

“You can rest now,” Tomoyo said. She picked up the puppy and began tying a ribbon around its neck. “Did you name him yet?”

“Well,” Sakura began. “Don’t laugh, but then I thought this puppy kinda looked like a small wolf when it sat on its hind legs and gazed up at the moon. See it’s pointed ears and sharp incisors? He looks like an adorable miniature wolf.”

“Thinking about it, he looks a lot like that pretty wolf embroidery you made for Syaoran last winter,” Tomoyo commented.

“Yeah,” Sakura stroked the puppy’s light colored fur fondly. “I thought so, too. That’s what first made me think he looked like a tiny wolf.”

“Since it looks like a small wolf, why don’t you call him Syaoran-chan?” Miho suggested. “And you can hug him tightly, thinking of Syaoran-kun!”

“Don’t you dare,” Syaoran warned, coming out of the swimming pool in which he had swum a 100 laps to relieve stress. As usual, seeing Eron more than 24 hours was starting to get on his nerves. “Imagine having a dog named after you.”

“Hmm… I’ll just call him ‘Wolfie-chan,’” Sakura stated, rubbing her face to the puppy, who barked happily.

“I don’t like the idea,” grumbled Syaoran, before diving into the swimming pool again.

Everyone else was outside by the beach and only Tomoyo, Sakura, and Miho were inside now. Plus Syaoran, who was on his 176th lap.

“He he… Can’t think of a better vacation,” Miho sighed. “Seeing Syaoran-kun’s gorgeous body at the beach is more than I ever wished for. I’m glad I came back to Japan for a visit. It’s my first time in more than two years, I think.”

“Oh yeah. Miho-chan, I forgot to ask yesterday because you fell asleep so early because of jet lag. Why did you come to Japan so suddenly?” Sakura asked.

“Why, you didn’t miss me?” Miho asked, putting on round, innocent gray eyes. “Actually, I was sent to accompany Kero-chan.”

“Yeah right. I can take care of myself,” Kero-chan protested. “It’s vice versa. I was sent to look after you. Eriol was reluctant in sending you to Japan by yourself. But he and Mizuki-sensei were tied up with important business back in England. And Yukito and Touya still didn’t finish their semester there. Plus, Miho was determined to go to Japan, so…”

“I took the plane and arrived all by myself!” Miho stated, as if very proud of herself. “It’s my first time traveling alone, you know. Ha ha… I’m all grown up now.”

“I was with you…” protested Kero-chan.

“Yeah. Eriol called to ask me to have someone pick you up at the airport,” Tomoyo commented. “But why did you come so suddenly? Eriol and the others would have been free if you waited a little more.”

“Well, I missed my friends. (Sparkle eyes~) Plus, I was bored,” Miho added, tossing her short auburn hair back. Then she sat up, turning more serious. Her smoke gray eyes were solemn. “Do you remember what Eriol told you about my family, back in New York?”

“Huh? Yes.” Sakura was quiet. She still remembered the grievous story as if she had seen it herself. Eriol’s grave words still echoed in her ears.


Flashback of Miho’s past…***

For the earlier part of her life, Miho lived the life of a happy, regular girl with her mother, father, and older brother in Japan. Quite like you, Sakura-san… Then one fatal day, Miho’s father passed away in a car accident. That was when things started to fall apart for her. Miho’s older brother ran away from home, soon after, never to be heard of again. This left a lasting impact on her, for she always counted on and relied on her brother, who was supposed to support and help her through the crisis. Meanwhile, her mother grew fatally ill.

A young girl with her auburn hair flying wildly around her had tears streaming down her queer grayish eyes.

“Onii-channnn! Onii-channnnnnnnnn! Come baaackk!” Her desperate voice cracked as she shouted into the empty road. Trudging onto the sidewalk, she whispered, “Come back, onii-chan. Otou-san, why? Why is this happening to me! Why is life so unfair, mother?” The salty tears trickling down her face soon dried, leaving dirty streaky stain marks on her round cheeks.

“Who are you? Don’t come near me!” Mizuki Miara, Miho’s mother screamed, her gray eyes wild and unfocused as her daughter approached her bed.

“It’s me, mother, Miho. Your daughter. Mother! Don’t leave me too!”

“Where’s Tanaka-san? Where’s my husband and son?”

“They’re gone, mother, gone.”

“Don’t lie to me, you little brat! Don’t call me mother! Get away from me!”

“MOTHER!!! Listen to me! I’m your daughter! Don’t leave me, too!” Her charcoal gray eyes burned with a fiery glow as her anger, hurt, and confusion rebelled inside her, growing and growing. Till it blew out of her control.
Their house burned. Burned to ashes, not leaving a single trace of Miho’s
long gone carefree childhood. At that time, she did not know about her special powers. People were scared of that queer, uncontrollable girl, with the look of hatred in her deep eyes.

The heat of the burning, roaring fire scorched the angry girl’s skin. It rose higher and higher above her head, devouring her large, once beautiful white Victorian style house as she stood defiantly in front of it. Not even the firemen or her relatives could move her away from it. It raged for days, until only black dusts remained. The ends of the girl’s glossy auburn hair were singed. And to everyone’s horror, she laughed a cruel, lifeless laugh when nothing was left.
Someone murmured, “Thank goodness her mother’s at the hospital and didn’t see this.”

“What will we do with that girl?”

“She finally went insane.”

“Not that I blame her, after losing her whole family.”

“But she still has her mother.”

“Who’s as good as dead at this state. Tanaka Miara-san will either die soon or remain in the delirious hospital for the rest of her life.”

“STOP IT! Stop talking about me as if I am nothing! Doesn’t anyone care what I think!” The girl shouted.

“See, she’s impossible to handle,” concluded the last person.

The girl’s eyes blazed with hatred at the clucking observers. “I’m not a thing! I’m not impossible! Just go away, all of you and leave me alone!” However, with exhaustion, everything blacked out before she could shout anymore. ***


Soon afterwards, Miho was rescued by her cousin from her mother’s side, Mizuki Kaho and was brought under Eriol’s protection. She could start a new life, leaving behind the painful memories, which ended in ashes.

However, she had never forgotten the life behind. Though she moved on, accepting new powers and learning to open her mind to new friends, she had never forgotten the father who had passed away, her mother, who was still gravely ill in the hospital… and most of all, her loved brother who ran away from home so many years ago.

There was a silence in the indoor swimming pool area. The only sound was the splashing of the water from Syaoran’s constant strokes.

Finally, Miho looked up with determined level gray eyes, blazing from her pretty pale face. “I came to Japan to find my brother.”

Wish: Well, now everyone's by the seaside... Several notes...

*  Sakura was referring to Aogiri Yuuhi, a character from Ayashi no Ceres, who fights using steel chopsticks. It may sound strang, but it's really cool!!! Drool... He's soooooooo cool; he's caring, kind, great sense of humor, will do anything to protect Aya (his love), he's great at cooking, he's handsome, he's good at fighting, and he is willing to give up his love for Aya's happiness. Sigh, what more can you ask for? Anyway, he's us there on my list with Syaoran, so you may understand how cool he is. Oh yeah, and Ayashi no Ceres is a manga by Yuu Watase (Fushigi Yuugi.) Enclosed pic of Yuuhi... (Holding his cool chopsticks.) Was gonna enclose one of him in action, but this one is colored, so...


** The outfit Kaitou-kun's wearing is the one I drew in my picture of him.

***Refer back to Chapter 20: Picture the Past about Miho's past.

He he... I separated this chapter into two chapters cuz it was too long... Oh yeah, Miho's back~ And so is Kero-chan.  Missed him??? And ended with kind of a cliff hanger...

Comments welcome at Visit my site at!

Random thing, but depending on what TV, music, and books I've most recently watched, listened, read, the mood of my stories change. When I have the Fushigi Yuugi ending theme playing in my head, I usually have cliffhangers and drama/suspense. When something like the Phantom of the Opera is in my head, my writing turns rather dark and morbid. When I read light and fluffy shoujo manga with kissy kiss sweet scenes, my writing turns light and fluffy. When I watch super-deformed characters in anime, my characters all turn super-deformed. ^_^. He he.. so sorry for the inconsistancy!!!