“We’re going to try an experiment,” Fye told Syaoran and Sakura one day.
Sakura cocked her head to one side. Her fingers were tangled up in string, in an attempt to try playing cat’s-cradle with Syaoran (which failed miserably, as he was doing his studious best to avoid brushing fingers with her, and tended to drop the strings whenever she tried to take them back). “An experiment?” she asked.
“Yes.” Fye beamed at them. Kurogane began to slink carefully towards the door, rain be damned. “Kuro-nyo, you should stay too.”
Kurogane froze in the act of turning the doorknob. “I don’t trust you,” he growled. “Why should I?”
“Because,” Fye said, “we need an audience, as a control.” He made a sweeping gesture with both hands. “After all! What we have here is a classic fairy tale, don’t you think? The lovely princess has forgotten herself, and wanders, depending upon the kindness of so many strangers –”
“Strangers, oooo,” Mokona echoed, like some demented sort of chorus.
Syaoran twitched. Looking for something to distract himself, he began to wrap the string around his fingers, so that it could be balled up and possibly saved for later.”
“And imagine!” If anything, Fye’s smile turned wider and more innocent. “What happens in a story like this, where the princess has a kind champion to watch over her?”
“… she gets her memories back, and they live happily ever after?” Sakura ventured, her voice small.
“Something like that, certainly.” Fye turned to her with a bright smile. “But what else does a happy ending like that need, other than restored memory and reunions?”
Sakura tipped her head to one side. It was easy to imagine question marks floating over her head, like physical things. Syaoran looked around for possible escape routes, and found the only one was blocked by Kurogane.
“What do you need?” Fye prompted again.
“A kiss! A kiss!” Mokona bounced on his shoulder, sounding inordinately pleased with itself. “Happy endings need a kiss!”
There was a long, long moment of silence. Even Kurogane straightened a bit, staring at Fye.
“We haven’t even gotten to the happy ending part yet,” Syaoran protested weakly after a moment. “You can’t just –”
Sakura blinked as Fye’s words slowly registered, then turned scarlet. “F– Fye-san!” she squeaked, pressing her fists to her mouth. “That’s, I mean, we can’t –”
“It’s not so hard, is it?” Fye asked her. “Syaoran-kun, after all, cares about Sakura-chan very much, if he can travel with her all this way to make sure she gets all her memories back.”
“I, er, I –”
“Unless you don’t want to,” Fye said. For a moment, he opened his eyes and looked straight at Sakura, his expression entirely serious. Sakura took a half-step back, looking surprised. “No one will force you, Sakura-chan, least of all Syaoran-kun, if you don’t want to kiss him.”
“It’s not that,” Sakura protested, then gasped, covering her mouth with both hands. “I mean! It’s! Oh, I, that is — Syaoran-kun!”
Syaoran gaped at her. He was turning a whole variety of different colors in slow progression, white to red to purple. His mouth opened and closed, but nothing came out, not even wheezing noises — it seemed he’d lost the ability to even breath properly.
Mokona sprang from Fye’s shoulder to Syaoran’s. “Hello?” it chirped, waving a paw before his eyes. “Hello? Hello?”
Fye’s smile returned, wide as before. “Ah, in that case,” he said, “it can’t just be a kiss on the cheek. For a happy ending to work, it has to be on the lips.”
“Lips!” Mokona agreed. “On the lips, for a happy ending!”
“B- but –” Sakura was beginning to turn red herself. “That’s not, I — ah, Syaoran-kun!”
“Whoops,” Fye said cheerfully, catching Mokona in his arms. “Syaoran-kun was the one who fell asleep this time.”
Sakura pressed both fists to her mouth, her eyes wide. “Do you think he’s okay?” she asked. “I mean, he hit his head really hard on the floor! Syaoran-kun!”
Fye unfolded himself from the wall and walked over to her, ruffling her hair cheerfully. “He’s got a harder head than you think, Syaoran-kun,” he said. “Maybe you need to kiss him. It may still work.”
“Fye-san!” Her hands flew to her cheeks. “I — !”
“At least keep it in mind,” he said. “All right?” He winked, then wandered out of the room, returning with a pillow and a light blanket. “These can be for Syaoran-kun, since he’s decided to nap in the middle of the floor.”
Sakura took the bedding, wide-eyed. “Fye-san …”
“I think I have errands to run,” he overrode her. “Kuro-rin, come and help me.”
“Ahhhhh?” One of Kurogane’s eyebrows twitched. “I’m not your servant, you know, you can carry your own damn bags –”
“Don’t be so cruel,” Fye told him, hooking his fingers in the back of Kurogane’s collar and dragging him along. “We’ll see you later, Sakura-chan.”
She opened her mouth to protest them leaving, and the door closed. Hugging the pillow to her chest, she looked down.
A kiss for a happy ending, she thought, then knelt, tucking the pillow under Syaoran’s head. She crouched beside him, studying his sleeping face. It was familiar, somehow, in a way that made her chest ache, and she reached out, taking his hand between both her own.
“Someday, maybe,” she said, and pressed his palm to her cheek. “When I remember you.”