Author's Note: This is an Alternative Universe one-shot, a way of saying thank you to those who gave my writings support and loyalty. I made the one in the last part and it's a free-verse poem entitle with this one-shot's title. I especially want to thank those who continue to believe in me even when I am obviously not at par with many of the authors here. My heart-felt thanks. Please excuse any error or typo. Once again, thank you.
Standard Disclaimers Apply
The sky wept fiercely, drowning the world with its numerous tears. The cold atmosphere brought about the gloomy feeling of detachment, of loneliness. A flash of lightening graced the sky for a quick moment, providing light to the surroundings temporarily. Soon enough, the loud sound of thunder, rumbling from a distance, followed.
He took all these facts in as he watched from inside the dormitory, where it was warm and bright, its occupants seemingly undisturbed by the storm that raged on outside.
Plastering an arrogant smirk, he turned away from the window, the only line dividing him from the turbulent outdoors.
"Millerna," he drawled, causing the blonde girl before him to blush. "Is there anything I can help you with?" At the question, his surprisingly red eyes traveled from the girl's face to the rest of her body, seemingly undressing her with his eyes.
She blushed even more but did not walk away. Who would?
This was Dilandau Albatou, one of the boarding school's most sought-after male; he was tall, slender but nicely built, intelligent, and most of all, devastatingly handsome. His reputation as an arrogant and manipulative playboy did nothing to thwart the girls' affection for him. For them, it even added to his desirability.
"Do you," she began, shyly looking up to find him smirking knowingly. She became even more embarrassed, but, clearing her throat, began once more. "Do you want to join us?"
He raised a platinum brow, his red eyes darting beyond her shoulder for a moment, towards a group of boys and girls socializing. Smirking more, he looked back at the blushing female.
"I think the question here, Millerna, is if I want to join you."
She looked up at him with a mixture of nervousness and anticipation.
Releasing a low laugh, he slid an arm around her slender waist and led her away from the girl dormitory's receiving area. They walked towards the empty hallway at a lazy pace. Dilandau was not worried of being caught as this was an extended celebratory party for their recent soccer match win.
When the sounds of laughter and chitchats were but faint noises drowned out by the rumbling of thunder, Dilandau stopped walking, pushing the girl against the wall and kissing her with the smooth ease he had mastered since long ago.
His experienced tongue flicked across Millerna's lips, demanding entrance that she shyly gave. A few seconds more and she was moaning into his mouth, greatly enjoying the intimate attention she was receiving.
A particularly loud rumble sounded, echoing across the almost empty hallway they were in.
He pulled back, ending the kiss and smirking at the dreamy expression on the blonde's face. She was breathless from the kiss, something that he always managed to do to all the girls that he played with. When she opened her eyes, she blushed at his sexy smirk.
His smirk widened and he again started to kiss her, this time, his hands wandering her body. She was just too easy, so much like all the girls he knew…
Another rumble ensued after that conclusion and he stopped, pulling away as if burned.
She looked at him questioningly but he simply ran his long fingers through his soft, platinum locks. His red eyes were unreadable, no trace of lust whatsoever.
"Is there… something wrong?"
He looked at her casually, smirking and shrugging his shoulders casually. "Did you see Van at the party?"
Astonishment was evident on her face at the question, the query that had no remote connection to what they had just been engaging in. "Van?"
"Yes," was his curt answer. He sounded impatient but he didn't care.
Van Fanel was another one of those most desired guys in the school with his nicely-tanned skin and threateningly gorgeous appearance, he being the quiet and mysterious type. But everyone in the school knew how much Dilandau and Van hated each other. They had a bitter rivalry no one knew the beginnings of and many a time, it had been a source of tension in the school soccer team they were both playing for.
"Well?" His query cut through, not an ounce of emotion present in the rich voice.
Still with astonishment, she shook her head. What did Van have to do with them? Surely it was not about the hostile competition between the two boys. After all, Dilandau flaunting having another girl hopelessly in love with him would not achieve anything. Van would not care; he had some awkward girl named Hitomi Kanzaki who he loved so fervently for some reason or another.
"I see," he drawled and he closed the gap between them, only to whisper in her ear. "I give you a seven."
Drawing away, he gave her a teasing wink before walking away, leaving a confused Millerna in that deserted hallway.
With sure steps, he exited the girl's dormitory, heading straight to the open garden of the school.
It was still raining hard, the violent winds blowing harshly at everything in its wake. But he kept on walking, determination burning in his fiery eyes. A flash of lightning brightened the sky and he stopped, the large tree near him hiding him furthermore in the darkness that followed next.
Minutes passed and still he stood there, the rain and winds beating down on him, each flash of lightening illuminating his pale skin, and each loud rumbling of thunder seemingly shouting on his ears.
His red eyes, usually conveying nothing but mocking amusement or apparent disgust, were overflowing with resentment and longing; his red lips, usually either smirking with knowing seductiveness or sneering with undiluted hate, were drawn in a thin line of suppressed anger; and his countenance, usually exuding with arrogance and confidence, was showing blatant signs of defeat and helplessness.
Another flash of lightening and his eyes narrowed, their sharp sight fixed on a lone figure standing many feet away from him. He watched silently for many more minutes, a sense of familiarity weaving through him as he stood there. But he ignored the feeling, knowing how uselessly true it was, and kept his silent vigil while the storm continued on around him. He was chilled to the bone but his heart felt colder.
It was only when the figure far from him moved and walked away that he headed back to the boys' dormitory.
The next day was blessed with a clear, blue sky, a common occurrence after a storm had blown over.
Dilandau walked casually down the school's main hallway, his eyes conveying mocking amusement, his lips smirking with knowing seductiveness, and his countenance exuding with arrogance and confidence.
Most of the girls gave him either shy smiles or inviting and appreciative looks. He smirked even more and yet moved on, pausing only by a nearly empty classroom where the two sole occupants were hugging with relief and renewed bond.
For a very brief moment, his eyes overflowed with resentment and longing. But then it changed to accommodate apparent disgust as he locked eyes with the maroon eyes of one of the occupants of the room. Sneering with undiluted hate, he walked away, inwardly seething.
Many days passed with the usual desperate competition of different girls for his attention. He would flirt back, outwardly flaunting how irresistible he was. Yet when a certain couple would be in his vicinity, laughing and exchanging loving gestures, he would resist the brewing irritation he felt. But there was no change at all with everything that went on in that boarding school and soon, the days became weeks, and the weeks progressed to months and before long, another year had gone by.
The rainy months came once again and as if symbolizing many problems, it brought him over and over again to the place he came to for certain times since before last year. And each time he came there, he would watch noiselessly the same lone figure with the same Dilandau that defied the image of what everyone in school knew of.
But as time passed by, he grew tired of his silence, his distance. And one day, pushing away his doubts, he walked away from the large tree that loyally obscured him for countless times in the past. Braving the steady rain, his inaudible footfalls took him to stand behind the lone figure he had watched for timeless moments in the numerous instances of the bygone days. Not bothering to speak, he brought his hands on an impossibly thin waist, slowly spinning the person around to face him.
Her stormy green eyes looked up at him, obvious astonishment clearly surfacing upon its unfathomable depths. She moved to speak, but only managed to smile awkwardly at him. Shaking her head with disbelief, she tried once more to speak.
"What are you doing here?"
He gave her a somewhat conceited smile tinged slightly with an almost perfectly concealed hurt. "I came to substitute Van for a bit. I hope you don't mind," he answered in a blithe tone, his smile softening, imploring.
She regarded him seriously, ignoring the cold droplets that plastered her usually bouncy, honey-brown hair to her head. But there was no hint of deception in him and her desperate yearning for a shoulder to cry on was telling her that she needed a friend, someone who was strong enough to give her strength. Her usually trusting nature took side with her desperate and hurt feelings and finally, she allowed his contagious smile to persuade her own lips to lift into a genuine beam.
"That's more like it," he said softly, smiling sincerely as he lifted one hand to brush away the dripping hair from her forehead. "Crying would never suit you, remember that."
At his words, her smile gave way to her disbelieving laughter. Despite the pouring rain, they stood there, perfectly at ease while talking about many things, even things about his rivalry with Van. In the end, she thanked him for being there and he returned it with a carefree shrug.
After that, though they both ended up with the worst colds, they became friends, shocking everyone in school especially Van Fanel. Many thought that Dilandau was plotting something that would ruin Van through Hitomi. But both he and she, even Van, knew it was not the case. Nobody knew how their friendship began except the two of them. Van, although he disliked Dilandau immensely, respected Hitomi more than enough to refrain from further questioning her after she told him Dilandau helped her with something important.
Dilandau was more than pleased with the arrangement, though he would never admit it to anyone, even to Hitomi. He had always liked her, even before she and Van got together. Since the time he first saw her, a transferee defending a girl from a big boy, he came to reluctantly be curious about her. She didn't know and he made sure that she wouldn't know, of how surreptitiously he watched her since then. He noticed many little things he liked about her, from the way her emerald eyes would brighten up as she smiled to the way she tried to contaminate the people around her with her cheerful optimism.
As time flew by, he found himself feeling for her, wanting her, needing her. But he didn't dare approach her, didn't dare ruin his reputation. He was one of the fantasized-about people in the entire school and she was nothing but a simple girl, who, even her classmates paid not much attention to. And so he was stuck to secretly admiring her from afar; it was enough, he was happy.
But then, Van began to hang around her and soon, the raven-haired youth even began dating her. And that marked the turn of a healthy competition to a malevolent rivalry in everything. He had hated Van then, not only for having Hitomi, but also for having the courage that he, Dilandau Albatou, did not have, so much so that he lost her.
He waited then for a messy break-up where he could whisk Hitomi away from Van and into his own arms. But his waiting was in vain as he watched with a sinking feeling as both Van and Hitomi fell more in love with each other.
A long time of watching her had taught him things though.
Every time she felt so sad, she would stand in the garden amidst the silent presence of the night, crying all alone, trying desperately to comfort herself. He would just stand by the large tree, watching her whether it was raining or not. Those occurrences did not stop, even when she began dating Van and even took place more often, no doubt because of that dreaded lovers' quarrel.
That time during the storm had not been the first one therefore, and his night many months later, wherein he personally comforted her, had not been the last either. Many more nights, much like the rainy night that he first made her smile and laugh, came.
When school years had gone by and they were all grown up to make a name for themselves, nothing much changed except the fact that Hitomi and Van got engaged and eventually got married, and that Dilandau never really settled down.
She would still turn to him when she was pushed to her limits; no one understood her better than him…
"Dilandau," she said softly, her stunning emerald eyes releasing salty droplets of hurt emotions.
He gave her a smile and drew her into his arms, shielding her somewhat from the raging rain they were standing in at that moment. He spoke softly to her, showing her the sincere tenderness he had only ever felt for her.
As she calmed down and relaxed in his arms, wet from the rain and yet warmed by his body, he looked up at the dark, stormy night sky and welcomed the freefalling water…
So many years passed and by accident, a teenage girl, with bright green eyes, found an old notebook inside a small trunk in the attic; it was where her great grandmother's prized gifts and possessions were kept after she had died years ago. Curious, she opened it, discovering it belonged to Albatou Dilandau.
She vaguely remembered him, her mother always telling her about this dear family friend who had always been there for them all their lives until he passed away. Her curiosity peaking, the teen read through it. By the end of the memento, her beautiful green eyes, that were so much like a certain honey-brown-haired girl's, filled with tears and she clutched the journal so close to her heart, her impeccable memory repeating what was written in the last page…
"I watched you silently
From far away I could feel your pain
How many times have I seen you like this—
Crying silently as the heavens wept for you?
The one you love will never see this side of you
For you showed him nothing but sunshine
But I knew, and I hurt as you do
And so I reached out for you
Surprise in your eyes, a wistful smile on your lips
But I didn't mind that I wasn't the one you hoped for
For if I could bring you a smile and stop your tears
Then I could somehow bring you the sunshine you bring him
Time passed us by and it was always like this
The heavens cried and your sad eyes looked at me for comfort
You said after the first night
That my smile makes you smile
And now, many years later, as the rain fell down on us
I looked in your eyes and gave you a smile
Even when inside I was dying, I had to pretend
That the droplets on my cheeks
Are nothing but the rain…"