Set several years after the end of CCS. Li is now 19, and Eriol is the same physical age (but older in soul as we know). This makes Touya and Yukito around 28ish. I could stop to work it out exactly, but I only have an hour so deal.
"Whose moronic idea was this?" Syaoran grumbled. He regarded his cards. They were no help. Briefly he wondered if he could transform them into "Li Cards" the same way Sakura had transformed hers. Then maybe he could save himself.
"Oh dear, I believe it was mine," Yukito confessed. He shivered slightly, his pale skin coming up in goosebumps as he sat, clad only in his jeans.
Syaoran blushed. "Uhhh... when I say moronic, I didn't really mean..."
Touya glared at his sisters boyfriend. "What DID you mean then?"
"Aw come on, give the kid a break." Kero said. "You know darn well whose fault this really is."
Everyone looked at Hiiragizawa, who smiled at them and put his cards down. "Read them and weep."
There was a mass groan and everyone threw their cards down in disgust.
Eriol snickered. "Now... Li-kun, I believe I shall require your shirt."
It was raining.
This was a slight exageration. It wasn't raining. It was deluging down in an unbroken sheet of water. Sakura's men sat around the living room of the rented beach house and stared out the window at the typhoon that had apparently decided to park itself directly above them and moped.
The men didn't really all _belong_ to Sakura. Not legally anyway (ties of the heart are a different matter). But all of them considered a part of themselves invested in her. Her older brother Touya and his "friend" Yuki sat on the sofa together, in quiet companionship. Li Syaoran and Eriol Hiiragizawa sat quietly, but more nervously on another sofa. Sitting on Eriol's knee was his companion and servant Akizuki, and sitting on "her" knee was his other servant, Spinel Sun (AKA Suppi). And finally, Kerberos, the awesome and mighty guardian of the Clow cards, sat on Li's shoulder in his plushie form and nibbled pensively at the ends of Li's hair.
Where, one might ask, was Sakura herself? Not to mention her friend Tomoyo and the rest of the cast. Well, they had gone out "shopping" for fabrics and in their last phone call had explained that they had taken refuge from the waterfall/storm outside in a bar in town. There had been a lot of giggling involved in their explanation and many of the men present were beginning to experience fear. But it was nothing compared to how they would feel in a minute or two.
Everyone ignored Kero. It wasn't as if this was a major announcement. The tiny plushie had been complaining for the last hour.
"I, also, am bored."
Everyone paid attention and turned to stare at Eriol. A bored Hiiragizawa was a dangerous Hiiragizawa.
"Why don't you go for a walk or something then?" Syaoran suggested. "A nice long walk. A VERY nice looooooong long walk."
"Off a nice short pier," Touya mumbled. Yuki elbowed him gently but firmly in the ribs.
"Why Li-kun, anyone would think you wanted to get rid of me!" Eriol said, smiling all the while.
"You could..." Touya floundered. "Write a letter or something."
"Cook some sweets!" Akizuki suggested.
"Paint a picture?" Syaoran offered.
"Paint a picture?!" Touya repeated.
Syaoran lowered his voice and leaned towards Touya. "I don't want him bored around me. He thinks I'm fun to play tricks on. If he needs entertainment that badly I'll set something on fire! Anything to keep him away from me!"
"How about a game of cards?" Eriol suggested innocently.
"That sounds like fun!" Yukito beamed. "What shall we play?"
"We?!" Touya squawked.
"Well, it's not as if we have anything else to do." Yuki pointed out.
"I guess." Touya grumbled.
"Shall we all play then?" Eriol held up a deck of cards.
There was muttered assent from all present and they moved over to the table. Eriol expertly began to deal.
"So what are we playing?" Touya asked.
Touya sighed and wondered if it was too late to set something on fire. Probably. It didn't look as though Eriol was planning to get bored with his new game.
Especially since it turned out that out of the entire group only Touya and Eriol already knew how to play poker.
So far Syaoran was down a shirt and his socks, Yuki was down sweater, t-shirt AND socks, Akizuki had "volunteered" to strip some time earlier and been overruled, and Kero and Suppi had each lost their bow ties. Touya wasn't overly worried about them though. It wasn't as if they HAD clothes.
He was however concerned about the fact that he had only managed to win one round so far. The rest of the triumphs had been Eriol's, and Touya was starting to wish he'd demanded HIS socks, instead of Li's. While he wouldn't mind seeing his sister's boyfriend embarrassed, he was beginning to get worried.
"This isn't going well," he murmured.
"Don't worry, I think I'm getting the hang of this game," Li said.
Five minutes later.
"Oh my, I seem to have won again." Eriol smiled. "Let me see... Li-kun, I believe I am going to require your jeans."
Touya gritted his teeth, and won the next round.
"Hiiragizawa - jacket."
"Delighted," Eriol smiled and slipped out of it.
"I'm getting the hang of the game, honest!" Syaoran assured him.
Touya proceeded to destroy everyone in the following round. He looked at Li's pathetic cards.
"Li - t-shirt."
There was a certain amount of wolf whistling as Li struggled out of his t-shirt and sat shivering in his boxers.
Touya smiled briefly and then caught the look in Eriol's eyes and wished he hadn't given in to that impulse. He was worried now. He couldn't get lucky like that all the time.
Fortunately (?) however, the other players were starting to get the hang of the game.
Kero-chan won the next round. "Niichan, jersey!"
Touya ground his teeth and decided to do something unpleasant to the plushie the next time noone was looking.
Eriol won the next two rounds and Touya found himself discarding his socks and t-shirt and wishing he'd thrown on more clothes this morning.
Then Akizuki won and Touya tensed.
"Yukito!" 'She' said, with a vengeful gleam. "Jeans please!"
Yukito flushed and began to undo his jeans. He bent over to take them off and as he straightened up there was a brief flash of light and Yue sat down. The Guardian looked quite haughty, which especially impressive since he seemed to have decided to be fair and was therefore only wearing briefs.
"I believe it is MY turn to deal." He said, taking the cards.
"No fair!" Kero squeaked. "You weren't in this!"
"I am now." Yue shuffled the cards effortlessly. "I will see justice done."
An hour later Touya and Yue had managed to strip Eriol of his shirt, two pairs of jeans and three t-shirts.
"I smell a rat." Syaoran growled.
Eriol merely smiled and proceeded to win the next hand. Touya joined the other three men as he was forced to give up his jeans. There was a tenseness in the air. Eriol, Yue, Touya and Li were all down to underwear (briefs, briefs, boxers and boxers if anyone's interested). This last hand would be the final humiliation...
"Why doesn't anyone want ME to strip?" Akizuki demanded.
Unless someone felt merciful. Or not.
The cards were dealt. Sweat formed. In every head, thoughts, guesses, calculations all bounced against each other. The hands were played.
Li Syaoran grinned. "Well well well... looks like I win. Now, let's see..."
(59 minutes, YES!)
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