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[table of contents]
The Calm Before the Storm
It's a lovely morning over at Sakura's house. She has managed to sleep well, and as she gazes at the loudly snoring Kero, she smiles. She goes over to the mirror, with no regrets. "Okay, Sakura. The start of a new day."

Dad notices Sakura sure got up early, as she's on classroom duty. She asks if he needs help with breakfast, but Dad's okay. He's noticed Sakura's feeling better lately, or at least she's looking a lot less tired. "Have I been acting strange?" No, to Dad, she just tried to do too much. She's totally not going out unsupervised to investigate magical mysteries, honest! Tori, however, is still feeling tired, so he has the day off. Get well soon!

And it's off to school! Amongst the midst of green trees and the strangely barren sakura trees, she sees *gasp* no one. Julian hasn't been showing up in his usual spot for a while. She dreamily reminisces about how nice he was in the Starland exhibit (while skating backwards!), then how nice Li was. She should do something special for Li. And what do you know, there's a festival this weekend! But Li doesn't like cold weather. Well, no need to worry! Sakura has a plan.

She meets up with the red-cheeked Li and quickly asks if he's busy. Awkwardly, he admits he's not. Yippee! Eli remarks that she sure is full of energy, and it's all thanks to Li. Immediately, he claims he didn't do anything! Honest! Sakura suddenly slips back into the conversation to invite Eli over as well! And Li just keeps getting more and more embarrassed.

Unfortunately, before Saturday, Sakura has to sit through a whole bunch of boring classes, getting increasingly tired as Li worries for her well-being. Finally, Friday arrives, and Sakura snoozes through the end of class. Madison wakes her up as Li yells at her for apparently hiding her over-exhaustion from him. But Sakura insists she's fine, honest! Madison suddenly reminds her that they had to go shopping. See ya!

Back home, Sakura puts the finishing touches on her knitting just twenty minutes before the festival starts. She thanks Kero for staying up with her for so long just before she gets the door. Kero would appreciate the compliment, but he's a little tied up at the moment. To her surprise, Li decided to stop by, embarrassed to speak. But Sakura's got a surprise for him. Heading back to her room, she invites Kero to go with them, but he's bushed. At least he can sample some of the dessert when she gets back.

Li asks if Sakura's feeling better. She is, now that she's finally finished. Wait, what? Sakura presents Li with a scarf, and he just stands for a while. As she begins to think he doesn't want it, he immediately grabs it from her hands and puts it on. "Um...thanks." Sakura insists she should be thanking him for listening to her after the film festival. Magically, Li's embarrassment evaporates. Guess they'd better get going.

Turns out Tori managed to make it too. Julian walks along with him, telling him about how Sakura blamed herself for everything he's been through recently, even though Julian insists it's not her fault. He thinks they should keep a close eye on her. "Then I guess we'd better hurry and get to the festival."

Madison's watchful camera observes the two lovebirds, and she thinks the scarf looks really good on Li. Tori and Julian arrive and Sakura takes Julian away to lead them all on a magical journey. And now Li knows why Sakura's been so tired. Madison informs him that she worked really hard on that scarf, and asks if he told her he liked it. Li says of course. "It was a thank-you gift, just for me."

Tori is pissed that he had to pay for the brat's ice cream. Julian wonders why he's so mean to Li all the time. "'Cause I don't like him." Tori can't quite put his finger on it, but he knows the hatred is mutual. "Oh yeah, who feels the same way, Tori?" Well now, someone has taken over Ruby's schtick. She mockingly asks for drinks for Julian, Madison, Li, and herself, and Tori begrudgingly asks if she expects him to get them. "Aww, thanks so much for offering to go get them, Tori." He then asks that it means the brat too, to which Sakura insists Li's not a brat. Julian de-fuses the sibling argument by offering to help Tori carry him. They'll meet back at the pond.

The kids arrive at the Mirror Pond, conspiciously fish-free. Sakura explains that fortune-telling by the lake uses the moon's reflection, and thus there is no wildlife. Not sure if anyone tried to do such a thing in real life, but I'd imagine it would be pretty difficult to keep the algae away. It turns out Sakura learned all about this fortune-telling from Ms. Mckenzie. She demonstrates. "First you walk to the edge of the pond, then put your hands together. Then you look at the moon's reflection and predict the future." And when she opens her eyes, she sees Eli's shadowy figure surrounded by the magic circle. "And moon predictions usually come true, Sakura."

Suddenly, the nearby image of a horse emanates waves to wash away the moon. The kelpie comes to life and rushes towards Sakura. She immediately summons Wood to bind the horse, but it easily breaks away, rushing right into a power line. A line breaks, causing a blackout all across the festival. Tori realizes that the power station is right by the pond, where Sakura is!

Li manages to slow down the kelpie with Element: Lightning and gazing at the shining lake, she suddenly gets an idea. First, Li uses Element: Wind to bind it at the lake surface. Sakura then calls Thunder to finish the job.

Sakura thanks Li for his help, but suddenly, she wonders where Madison went off to. And she's off in the bushes, recording the whole thing. Tori rushes over, wondering if Sakura is all right. Well, it's a relief that she is, but all the power went out. Julian laments the end of the festival, but Sakura suddenly runs away for a bit. She still can salvage this.

Phosphorescent green spheres fall like snow onto the world, bringing with it shock and amazement. Even without his powers, Tori realizes Sakura must have done this. Li catches a falling star with his hand and grasps it passionately as Madison looks on with a smile. It's enough for this restless warrior just to be with Sakura. Sakura marvels at the wondrous display she has created, the world for this moment in perfect harmony.
18th Nov '11 6:16:40 PM flag for mods
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