Sakura's Strange Fortune
It's New Year's, and Sakura is preparing her kimono for the big day. "Even you can look ladylike when you're all dressed up like that, Sakura." Naturally, Sakura doesn't take kindly to the Stealth Insult
and threatens to deprive Kero of Dad's New Year's Eve dishes. Kero, trying to cover his butt, splurges an endless string of flattery to Sakura. Eventually, she breaks down in chuckles and lets Kero get the desserts after all.
Tori is blankly staring outside the window when Sakura arrives. Uncaring, he merely says she looks alright, and Sakura is not amused by his pet name "squirt". Dad arrives wishing everyone a Happy New Year, saying Sakura does look great. They're all going to the shrine soon.
Sakura sits down to look at the New Year's cards she received, chuckling at whatever awkward message Li sent. Tori hasn't warmed up to him, though. "I'll just call him the brat." Sakura retaliates by claiming he's always there to help when she needs him. "Yeah, that's what bugs me about him." Sakura is surprised at this reaction, but Tori brushes it off. And off we go!
Dad asks Sakura what she wishes for this year. Better math marks, better baton twirling, Madison winning the choir competition...well hopefully she brought enough coins for all that.
They arrive at the shrine, but there's someone missing. Where is Julian anyway? Tori goes off to investigate, and Sakura remembers that he's been late for school a lot too. Something's not right.
Madison and her mom (where's her dad, anyway?
) show up right on time for New Year's prayer. At the bridge, Madison tells Sakura that she wishes they could be friends forever. Her mom then calls the two friends over for pictures, and goes ahead with it even though she told them to say Cheese and they didn't even open their mouths. Sakura was nervous about it, but Madison assures her it will turn out just fine. Suddenly, her mom rushes to Sakura, frantically telling her to come over to their house someday soon. O-kay....
Dad has to go home to prepare dinner. Sakura wants to help too, but he informs her that she and Tori have already helped a bundle, and there's nothing more for them to do. And so Madison's mother tells them not to stay out too late, leaving the two to have fun without parental supervision.
And who do they find waiting for them at the fortune booth but *gasp* Eli! He's volunteering to cover for Ms. Mc Kenzie
. Giving a sinister look, he remarks that he knows one of the people running the shrine, but reverts quickly back to his closed-eye pretty boy face.
Fortune time! Sakura got number 75, while Madison got 42. Well now, someone sure got lucky. Eli has other plans, though, as he curses one of the generic fortune cookie platitudes blank. Madison's fortune says that all of her dreams will come true, but Sakura's says something more enigmatic: "The truth can be found in your first dream of the year." Sakura wonders why her fortune glitched up, but Eli informs her that it's a very special fortune (then why didn't she get 42?). As she walks away pondering the meaning of this, Eli does his brief sinister stare once again.
Meanwhile, Tori calls out for Julian, but to no avail. Opening the door to his house, he is shocked to find his unconscious body on the floor. After being shook a little, Julian finally awakens, wondering why Tori's here. Well, he did say he wanted to come to the shrine with them, but he never showed up even after a long time. They prepare to make up for lost time, but alas, Julian is just too exhausted to get up. Suddenly, Tori sees a horrifying sight: his hand becoming semitransparent. This can't be good. You know, this would be a good time to reveal the truth, since if that crazy girl showed up, it would be good grounds for a restraining order.
But no time to worry, it's back to Sakura and Madison. They greet an embarrassed Li at his apartment room, wishing him and Wei a Happy New Year. As the first visitors to their home this year, Wei invites them in, with Li following suit in an amusingly detached formal voice.
They sit down for tea (oh, now you call it tea) and dessert. The girls are really impressed by the coloured buns, and Wei reveals that Master Li made them. Well, he certainly doesn't look too proud of that fact.
Back at home, Kero gorges down on his New Year's feast as Sakura laments the lack of Julian at the shrine. Kero realizes that Sakura cannot sustain Yue for much longer, and if this keeps up...Kero loses his train of thought and, er, yeah, it's nice that he's coming over tomorrow.
Kero is suspicious about Sakura's strange fortune since it came from the teacher's shrine. Guess she'll just have to wait and dreams.
That night, the cursed fortune glows red and calls upon one of the untransformed Clow Cards. Sakura awakens to Clow Reed's voice beckoning her to release the staff. She is compelled to transform The Dream card floating in front of her, and instantly, she is taken to a great view of the city and random locations. Well, thanks, I guess. But as she sees the shrine off on the horizon, a black shadow engulfs the sun, the moon, and now the whole city. What a horrible night to have a curse.
She recognizes the sight of three shadowed figures standing atop the shrine gate. Clow Reed's voice resonates from the middle boyish figure, saying he has been the one behind all the disturbances, and somehow, this will help her in the end. Though she cannot get a clear view of her face, she knows this guy, and she seems to be coming closer to putting all those obvious hints together when...
...she sees Kero. Kero was just checking to make sure she didn't have a scary nightmare and suddenly, he trips over a hard protrusion in the blanket. Sakura finds the released staff in her lap and the transformed Dream card in her hand. That's one hell of a somnambulism spell.
Sakura recaps the entire scene back to Kero, up to the familiarity of that shadow guy. Kero realizes this dream was connected to all the disturbances occurring around town, and checks to make sure she didn't leave anything out. Well, there was that voice, but for some reason, she didn't recognize it as Clow Reed this time, and she shakes her head anyway. Kero reassures her that everything will work out in the end, and hey, she has him by her side. And so Sakura prepares for her encounter with the shadow figures at Final Destination 2: the shrine.