(sigh) This didn't turn out as good as I wanted it too, but if you guys like it I might continue with a sequel…However, this is angsty, real angsty. I haven't written something this angsty in a long, long time. But I hope you like it…enjoy.
Warnings:Homosexuality, Heterosexuality, depressing thoughts and a bunch of other things that people might take offense too. And go get a Kleenex, if you're sensitive like that.
Disclaimer:I don't own Saint Seiya, Shun, Hyoga or anything, and am not planning to make money off this fic. And I did create Anna, but I don't care about her. I just made her up to avoid going to look up stuff I don't know about Hilda or whatever.
Shun smiled to himself, unfolding the thick layers of tissue paper that incased the tiny figurine. It had taken him endless part-time jobs, slipping secretly out of the mansion when the others weren't paying attention to his whereabouts, to get this one small, stone piece. It had taken three weeks of saving every bit of his money, but it had been worth it.
The dark red layers pulled away to reveal a small, white statue, a finely-carved swan. It was completely lifelike, down to the very last feathery detail, like a living bird made entirely out pure white marble. The very edge of its eyes, its beak, and the tips of its spread wings had been painted a delicate black by it's creators own hand.
It was perfect…for him.
The young Andromeda Saint felt his heart skip a beat at his last thought, his face stretching back into a giddy grin as he dropped back into the soft pillows of his bed. He squirmed like a flighty schoolgirl at the balloon of excitement that welled up inside of him.
Hyoga was coming home today.
Shun muffled an excited squeal against his pillows, very relived that the door was shut and locked so no one could walk in on him. Just thinking about the delightful half-Russian made his heart swoon. It had taken him forever to realize how he felt about his closest, dearest friend, but after much consultation with girl's comic books, questioning Seiya and watching a few romance movies with Saori, he'd figured it out.
He was in love with Hyoga.
Not just in love, he was head-over-heels, totally and completely enamored with the slightly older blonde Saint.
He'd known it for a while now, but he'd never been able to build up his courage and tell anyone. It wasn't that he was scared, no, he was sure Hyoga accepted him…or at least would consider it. They were too close for him not to. But he found it hard to express himself that way, to actually look into those amazing, clear blue eyes and tell the object of his affection exactly how he felt.
That was what the statue was for…A swan for the Swan. A gift, to help him say what he needed to say.
Hyoga had been in Siberia for the past two weeks, as he often did during their times of peace. He'd been going back a bit more often than usual, leaving Shun a bit disappointed, but his patience for this day had finally paid off.
He was just dreaming airily about his crush's standard 'Diamond Dust' routine when he heard a car door slam outside his window. Emerald green eyes snapped open and he rushed to the window, gazing down as Seiya took up Hyoga's familiar, dark blue duffle bag onto one shoulder and lead his blonde comrade in.
Shun's heart gave an excited, eager flutter. He took care to set the marble swan gently on the dresser table…he would give it to Hyoga later, when they were alone…and, with a quick glance in the mirror to make sure he looked okay, ran down the stairs to meet them.
He jumped down the last two steps and slid into the living room with a wide, excited smile. But upon getting a good look at the room's occupants he stopped…and almost frowned.
Everyone who should have been there was there, and in their usual places. Ikki was absent, as usual, choosing instead to remain in his quiet solitude and contact only his younger brother. But Seiya was perched on the edge of the windowsill, one leg pulled up and hands behind his head with a laughing grin, Shiryu had his spot against the wall near the fireplace, and Saori was sitting in her own armchair, Tatsumi standing over her left shoulder. Hyoga was there, too, on the left side the two-person 'loveseat' couch. Normally, Shun took the place beside him…but it was already occupied.
Said disruption in the normal routine was, of all things, a young woman. She seamed to be about their age…he himself was fifteen now… and about Saori's height and build. Her hair was a pale white-blonde and very slightly wavy, falling to her shoulders and partially hiding bright blue eyes. She was dressed in warm clothing, a heavy red dress with matching stockings, boots and a hand-warmer, so that she looked like an old-fashioned Christmas card. From her overall appearance, Shun could only assume that she was Russian or Siberian…like Hyoga.
Said blonde Saint turned his head back to grin at him. "Hey, Shun! You finally made it down!"
Andromeda couldn't think of anything to say, just nodded dumbly and sat in the only remaining place, the armchair opposite Saori, to the right of the unfamiliar girl. She looked up at him and smiled warmly, which he returned, not quite so warmly.
"So, Hyoga." Seiya grinned widely. "Are you going to introduce us or what? She must be pretty important to you, if you'd drag her all the way out here from Siberia."
The young woman blushed a light pink, but Hyoga just laughed and slipped an arm over her slim shoulders. Shun bristled slightly in uncharacteristic possession, suddenly disliking the woman profusely.
"You could say that." the ice saint smiled at his companion warmly. "This is Anna…my fiancé."
The word hit Shun straight through the chest with the crude roughness of a dull blade. He his limbs went suddenly numb, his mind stopped working, and his heart simply stopped…just stopped.
The others were reacting extremely. "You're kidding!" Seiya exclaimed, nearly falling off his perch.
"Oh, Hyoga, that's wonderful!" Saori gushed, excited in a way she usually was not.
"Congratulations to you both." Shiryu smiled warmly at the couple. Hyoga grinned and pulled the girl, who was blushing profusely, a bit closer.
Shun came out of his daze enough to hear Seiya ask where they'd met. Hyoga motioned slightly to Anna, urging her to speak. She shifted slightly, adjusting her dress, then looked up at the group with a soft smile.
"We were…friends…in Siberia." she whispered slowly, stumbling a bit as the unfamiliar Japanese syllables stuck strangely in her heavy accent. "When we were… children…Hyoga promised to come back after his training…and marry me."
Seiya whistled, which made Saori laugh just a bit. Hyoga chuckled. "You know, just silly childhood promises." he sighed, brushing his cheek against the top of her head. "But sometimes they make good even after ten years…"
Shun couldn't listen anymore. He slipped out of his seat and out the door, but not before Shiryu noticed him. "Shun? Is something wrong?"
Shun forced his normal smile onto his face, covering his emotions like a female saint's mask. "Nothing. I'm just a bit…tired, that's all. I think I'm going to rest up just a bit before dinner."
Shiryu raised a confused eyebrow, but said no more. Dropping the mask as soon as he was out of range, Shun forced himself to take the stairs carefully and keep his body calm until he reached his room.
He shut the door behind him, locking it with one small move of his hand. He leaned against the hard wood a moment, then a heart-retching sob croaked past his lips. He slid down the door until he was sitting on the floor, put his head on his knees, and cried.
Fiancé…She was his fiancé. Hyoga…Hyoga was…getting married. But…he'd thought…he'd been so sure…
Dull blades of pain shot through his body with every heartbeat, as though his blood itself had been laced with poison. His heart itself was unwilling to keep up the rhythm, feeling wounded and ill, shattered like a thin pane of glass. He didn't even try to stop the tears that streaked down his soft, pale cheeks in rivers of saltwater, the tiny droplets that fell off his face catching in his hair.
Even after twenty minutes, it took all his willpower to pull himself off the floor and stumble to the dresser table. He leaned on it a moment, staring at his distraught reflection in the mirror. His eyes were already red and puffy from the tears, a strange contrast to their natural green color, and his cheeks glistened with the salty tears.
They fell sorely on the marble statue he'd set there barely half an hour before. Then, it had been the second most beautiful thing he'd ever seen, its only greater being the one it represented. Now it was a piece of untouchable ice, painful to even look at…a sign of a broken heart.
He stumbled to his bed and fell face-first into the pillows, trying desperately to find some sort of comfort in their warmth. His childhood friend…probably his first love… a girl he'd promised to marry when they'd hardly learned what the word meant. How could he…How could he ever compete with that?
Someone knocked on his door, making him jump. "Shun?" Hyoga's voice called from the other side. "You in there?"
Shun sat up, rubbing his face liberally with the blankets to clean away the tears. "Yes…Just a minute!" he called hastily, hiding the swan statue just before standing to answer the door.
Hyoga was alone, thankfully, Shun didn't know how he'd react if he saw that woman holding on to his arm or something. He couldn't help but glance at the blonde's bare arms, nicely tanned despite his usually cold climate choice, then up into a concerned, almost brotherly face.
"Shun, are you all right?" he asked, brow furling slightly. "You seamed upset…and your eyes are all red."
Shun blushed a bit and rubbed his left eye subconsciously. "It's…It's nothing. It's just…allergies. They've been bothering me a bit lately."
Hyoga seamed a little suspicious, but seamed to buy his excuse more or less. He sighed, rubbing one hand against the back of his head contemplatively. "Well, just making sure…" he said, rather lamely, then grinned just a bit. "Actually, that's just half of it…I wanted to ask you something."
"Ask me?" Shun raised an eyebrow, despite the fact that his own breath was trying very hard to strangle him. "Ask me what?"
"Well…You hear all of that downstairs, right?" Shun nodded, partially hoping that he would tell him it was all a big joke. "Anna and I…we were hoping to have the actual ceremony here, sometime next week. And I was…wondering…if you'd be willing to be a part of it."
"What do you mean?" Shun asked, his bits of confusion practically drowned in the pain of a broken heart, trying not to show exactly how upset he was.
"Actually…I was wondering if you'd consider being my best man." Hyoga's resulting grin really belonged on Seiya's face. "I mean, it is the place you're supposed to save for your best friend…"
The weight of those words was heavier than Shun had expected. Best Friend…it would have seamed like such a high compliment a few weeks ago, but now it was almost a painful insult and a sharp reminder of the truth. That was all he'd ever been to him, this man that stole his heart and made his body ache…only thought of him as a 'best friend'.
For a moment he considered refusing the offer, but his kinder side won out. He looked up at the object of his affection once more, smiling.
"I'd be honored…"
Ten days later...
Shun sighed, glancing at himself in the mirror to check his outfit one last time. It was a western-style suit, a white, collared shirt that looked like it belonged on a male ballet dancer, loose-fitting black slacks and semi-nice shoes. He wasn't used to the fancy dress, but it was a special occasion and this was the 'costume' Hyoga had chosen.
The green-haired boy sighed again, for the umpteenth time these past ten days. He didn't feel like going to this wedding. Actually, he didn't feel like going anywhere, but this was going to be hell on earth for him. Watching the man he was so in love with marrying someone else…pure torture.
He pondered a moment of feigning sickness, but brushed it aside. Hyoga would be upset if he wasn't there…he owed the blonde at least enough to make sure this dreadful thing was as perfect as possible.
A quick glance out the window would show the huge front yard of the Grande foundation, all decked out with tables and streamers and decorations, ready for the reception after the service. Saori had gone passionately all-out for the first marriage of one of her Saints and allowed the young couple just about any financial expense they needed.
He glanced at himself in the mirror, almost surprised at the face there. When he was out with the others, he wore his usual mask of the cheerful, eager young Saint, but alone it fell apart. His eyes were red and puffy with slight bags underneath them from lack of sleep. His cheeks now seamed permanently stained with salt, and he knew he must have been getting thinner…he'd barely eaten this whole time. Even his hair seamed ready to give up, hanging limp and sorrowful around his face.
With one last sigh, he made his way out the door and down the street to the chapel building.
The service itself was to be held in a small Christian church, not far from the mansion, which fascinated Shiryu and made Seiya curious…none of them had ever seen the inside of a Christian building, and none of them had ever expected to attend a traditional Christian wedding.
Shun slipped in quietly and took his place beside the alter, pretending to admire a large, ornamental cross on the wall so he wouldn't have to look Hyoga in the eye. The blonde was practically beaming, like a star in the dark of night, but looked a bit nervous. Shun supposed anybody would be and gave him a gentle pat on the shoulder.
Hyoga smiled at him thankfully.
The wedding began in due time. Music played as the bride, accompanied by another young girl Shun assumed must be her sister, approached down the aisle with shy glances to the gathered men and women. Shun didn't trust the glances, he could tell full and well the woman wasn't shy. The reason she'd had such a hard time speaking to them was because she didn't know Japanese. Inside, she had all the ferocity of a polar bear.
She was the perfect match for Hyoga. Shun could feel it, and it made his poorly-abused heart sink ever lower.
It was his own fault, he knew that. If he'd only spoken up sooner, this may not have happened. Hyoga may have understood the way he felt and given him a chance to win him over…they could have been together, shared time and love, gradually become closer and closer…
Anna stopped in front of the groom, her sister taking her place behind her. The preacher smiled at them and began his speech, but neither of the couple were paying attention. They were too busy getting lost in blue eyes that nearly, but not quite, matched the other's.
They looked radiant, happy, thankful, joyous…all the things Shun had always dreamed love should be…dreams staring himself and Hyoga.
He contemplated his own sad thoughts for so long he didn't realize the wedding was over until the whole room cheered. He looked up, then looked away again quickly, not bearing to see the happiness on their faces in mid-kiss. He felt tears pricking listlessly at his eyes as the service came to a quick end and the party began back at the mansion.
He'd never planned to stay there long. He had various outer excuses…he hated crowds (true), he hadn't slept well (all too true), he was feeling sick (yeah, lovesick), etc. But they all overshadowed the fact that he couldn't stand to see Hyoga so totally in love with someone besides himself.
After one drink with Seiya and a group toast, Shun slipped by the table which held various brightly-wrapped wedding presents. He reached discreetly into his pocket, pulling out a small bag, wrapped around a tiny stone trinket…shaped exactly like a beautiful white swan. He dropped the bag on the table, then slid silently away and back up to his room.
He changed quickly out of the clothes Saori had lent him, hanging them up neatly and returning to his usually battered outfit, and quickly checked the tattered red bag he'd back the morning before. With a slight groan, he lifted the heavy stone box containing his cloth onto his back, adjusting the straps so that he sat comfortably on his shoulder blades. He lifted the red back into his left hand, judged his weight with his right, and paused a moment to glance about the plain room, checking that he hadn't missed anything important.
For a moment he felt hesitant about his plan, his disappearing act. It wasn't really like him, so his friends wouldn't be expecting him or come looking for hours. He had just enough money to get him exactly where he needed to go, but he wasn't sure if it was a place he wanted to go to. He was comfortable here, and Japan was his home, there was a part of him that didn't want to leave.
But this place was also full of memories…memories once to precious to him, now almost like poison, killing him slowly and painfully with every beat until all he wanted to do was make it stop. If he didn't get away soon, he didn't know what it would make him do.
With a last bit of resolve, he whispered a silent farewell to his lonely bedroom and slipped quietly out the backdoor.
He paused just one more moment, looking around the corner of the house for one, final glance of the source of his pain. The face that haunted his dreams was smiling, not for him, but he was smiling. A real, true, honest-to-goodness, die-happy smile.
Shun let himself do the same, even as the last few shards of his heart were crushed. Hyoga was happy…and that was what mattered.