Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts, Square Enix and Disney do. And I don't own the song 'Same Direction,' Hoobastank does. I just own my own copy of their CD "The Reason", which is awesome by the way.
A/N: Okay, I know the last chapter was a bit crappy, I'll admit to it. I've written better chapters. And I'm so sorry for taking so long to get this one out. Actually I had this chapter done months ago but I forgot to post it. Until recently. It's very embarassing actually. But well, here is the chapter. A bit of a wierd one but a chapter nonetheless.
"Silence in Black and White"
It was a pretty normal day when it happened. The band, Kairi, and I were hanging out in Axel's house, eating pizza and talking about our normal ridiculous conversations. They really wanted to talk to me about what had happened between Sora and I but simply convinced them that I wanted to talk about it later. Right now, I just needed to calm myself down and think these things thoroughly. I had lost him because of my rashness and I didn't want to just give excuses to them why I just let him walk into blatant danger.
Leon had his eyes closed as he just dozed off on the easy chair, his legs swung over the arm as he had his back turned to us. The past week had been pretty stressful as well to him as Rufus was trying his best to convince his father that he didn't want to own the company. So it was pretty evident that he took out his aggression on Leon, in more ways than one. It was pretty sad to watch him walk up to the door and then suddenly fall asleep against the wall as if it was a normal thing. Poor guy.
Other than that and my Sora problem, everything was pretty good. We had a great performance two weeks ago and people were starting to be loyal to us again instead of the stupid Diva le Manx pussies but whatever. No one can beat quality, it's just a known fact.
The door bell rang, making us all look at Axel in confusion.
"What the fuck are you looking at me for? It's probably one of Kairi's little friends wanting to play with makeup or something," he said, earning a huff from his sister.
"Well I don't have anyone that should be coming over now, not at eight o' clock at night at least," she replied as she walked towards the hall curiously.
Looking around, I counted everyone off. Leon, Axel, Tidus, Kairi, me, that's all of us. Who else could there be? Sora doesn't know this house and it shouldn't be anyone from Diva le Manx. Hell, it can't be Axel's parents because they're halfway across the country.
There was a long sense of silence as we sat and waited for Kairi to tell us who it was.
"Eh, it's probably those religious people going door to door. They're starting that up again over here," said Tidus as he reached over to get himself another slice pizza, now eating his seventh. For such a fit guy, he could eat his own medium pizza, two liter soda, and still have room for dessert. I never was able to really understand that.
"Yeah but normally our dog barks like hell when it's them," replied Axel as he looked up in thought. That was true, their dog is crazy as hell when it comes to people it doesn't know. It took a full year for the annoying black lab to stop barking like I was there to rob them blind. Now I want to let you know that I love animals and all but some are just so aggravating that they just need to be put down or let out into the wild beyond so that they can be annoying by their own damn selves. Stupid mutt…
It was a bit unnerving as we continued to wait for what seemed like hours though we knew it was actually a few seconds, probably three or four. Leon continued to snooze and Axel was starting to get frustrated.
"What the hell, is she asking them for a fucking date or something?"
Then she screamed.
"Oh my God! You're back Cloud!"
We all froze.
"She's got to be fucking kidding," said Axel as he took a nervous glance and the slowly waking up Leon. Following his gaze, we all knew that we were sitting in what would soon be ground zero. Why did he have to come when Leon was here? Why does he have such excellent timing?
Note the sarcasm here.
Sure enough, Kairi walked back to the living room with the blonde, smiling as if she opened the door to see Santa Claus on the other end.
"Hey," he said with his normal slight smirk, his head high, looking at us with his glowing blue eyes. He looked very different from the last time that we had seen him. After all, he was breaking up with Leon at that time and looked like shit. But even when they were still together, he seemed very tired, withdrawn even. Sure he was cool to hang with and stuff like that but it just didn't seem as if his home life was that good at all. It wasn't, that was supposedly one of the reasons why they broke up.
As he flashed a cocky smirk over all of us, I could tell that he had definitely changed. He wasn't as insecure like he previously was, only relying on Leon to get him through the day. Whatever he did these past four years, he had gained some serious balls. Wearing a simple black and white long-sleeve baseball tee and a nice pair of black jeans with black converse, he seemed a lot more normal than he previously was. I just couldn't place it then but he just seemed more… real?
"Hey Cloud! Um, you're back eh?" asked Tidus flusteredly, trying to find something to say. It really was an awkward position. Obviously Cloud had not seen Leon slowly waking up on the easy chair because he just seemed perfectly comfortable enough to try to start a small conversation with us.
"Yeah, I just got out of SOLDIER Academy and I thought that maybe I could come and visit my old friends, see how you all are doing," he said with a confident shrug. Axel's jaw dropped at the news.
"You're in the military? When did this happen? You're not a military type the last time I remembered," said Axel. I was pretty in shock too. If anything, he was just another rich kid with overbearing parents who I thought would just wait until he would be placed into the family company.
Cloud just laughed, making us wince as Leon started to crack his eyes open at the sudden noise. "I know. I didn't think I would do it either but hey, they have a pretty convincing school. Besides, they said I don't have to sign up for the actual thing right away. I get a time period for that, unlike the regular military services."
Sensing our tenseness, he just laughed, shrugging his shoulders. "Ah well, military stuff is too boring anyway. So what's up? I see you've replaced me eh Tidus?" asked one blonde to the other with a smirk.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Leon sit up confusedly, squinting his eyes while trying to see who the hell was probably waking him up. As he saw the familiar blonde, his body went rigid and his gunmetal eyes icily glared back at him.
The said man looked over in his direction and his once joyful grin turned into an emotionless frown. "Oh, I see you're still here."
Yep, it was starting. As they glared back at each other, there was a miniature war that raged on yet again, picking up from where they last left off when they parted ways. Looking at the way that Leon had reacted, he really wasn't expecting to see the blonde, that guiltlessly ruined his life, come back as if he was welcome. To us he was but it was because of him that Leon had blindly dropped out of college so that he could be with him.
"Of course I'm still here. Unlike you, I don't just abandon my friends," said Leon as he got out of the chair. Running a large hand through his messy brown hair, he made his way up the stairs past him.
As he walked by, Cloud simply smirked at him playfully. "And you're still the one to hold petty grudges I see."
Leon glared back at him, his back still facing us. There was a certain look of betrayal that went through his expression, one that was mixed with rage.
"Why don't you just drop dead."
"But why would I do that? It's not my fault you had a misunderstanding."
At that Leon just glared at the wall ahead of him, seething in anger, if that's the word for it. It had been years since I had seen him so angry and was probably the first time Kairi or Tidus probably have witnessed it.
He focused his gray eyes straight into Cloud's with such an intensity that, if it could be possible, would kill in an instant. "I know, after all I should have known from the very beginning that you stopped loving me."
I hadn't seen Cloud until well into the next day. He was going to be spending his time living with Axel and Kairi in their house, until he went back to Midgard to join SOLDIER, so he decided to make himself useful by making dinner for them.
"What kind of food should I make? I was thinking about beef stew with rice but I really don't know," he rambled as we walked down the sidewalk towards the grocery store. Being around him was weird. He was restless, always starting meaningless conversations to fill up the silence. I already knew why, it was because of the fight that he and Leon had the night before. I could tell that what Leon said really had hit it hard on him, since he had been quiet the rest of the night after that.
He grinned back at me in an almost fake manner as he continued talking about the food that he had eaten in school. Frankly I really didn't give a shit but I just let him ramble on. If it made him happy then so be it as long as I really didn't have to talk too much.
It always seems that people keep relying on me to make them feel better whenever I feel the most like shit. After all, it had been a full month since I had last seen Sora and I knew that I needed to find him. But the problem was, I didn't know where the hell he lived. And even if I did, I couldn't just go and break in. Even if I knew that Yan was away, I knew he would get suspicious and I would get caught.
"Are you even listening to me?" asked Cloud impatiently, glaring at me with his unnatural eyes.
We walked for a few more minutes after that in silence until the time when we entered the sliding doors to the Apple Grocery. Yeah, really shitty name for a store but whatever.
The entire time Cloud was very quiet, looking over the peaches distractedly before randomly putting some mangos into a plastic bag. Everything about him at that point made me nervous. The only way I could describe the feeling would be if your idol gave you that lingering smile that your parents give you when they think you're totally full of shit but don't want to deal with an argument. He had a real talent for making people know when he thinks they are wrong.
I also know that he thinks that it's all about his break up with Leon and it's pretty true. From my experience of it all, everyone basically saw him as the bad guy in the whole thing, except for Kairi who really wasn't around us that much to see what was going on. But I don't blame her, I really don't want to have this lingering suspicious feeling of Cloud either but it was him that abandoned us after all.
We stood in line to check out, Cloud casually flipping through some kind of celebrity gossip magazine. You all know those ones, the ones that keep claiming that they have found the illegitimate children of world leaders and put up obviously doctored pictures. Yeah, those type. But that wasn't the point.
The entire day he seemed to be too, well, at ease with himself. Not like he shouldn't. But around us, and especially around Leon, it was a bit weird.
"I know you're still thinking about it," he said, totally catching me off guard.
Sighing, he placed the magazine back into its rack and put the divider down onto the conveyor belt before placing his basket onto the small strip of counter.
"About what happened between Leon and I."
There was a long awkward pause between us for a while as I dumbly watched him put the mangos, chicken, and other things onto the counter. The cashier smiled to him and did her routine greeting, ringing everything up cheerfully. Cloud just smiled back, staring off to the side. I don't know why but he seemed to be so… I don't know a word for it. Just the look of someone who had lived his life knowing that with everything he had he only had nothing.
It wasn't until we were back outside and walking again that he spoke again.
"Hey, let's go to the park. I don't really want to go back yet," he said with a slight smile.
I just shrugged as we walked. It wasn't like I had anything better to do than to watch little kids run and fall off of the playground bars. Hell, the thought of it was pretty funny. After being a kid who fell off a million times until I finally gave up, I had every right to feel amused by it. You can only laugh at it if you lived it.
We sat down on a bench near the long stretch of grass where a few kids were trying to fly their kites. They would run and run but no matter how hard they tried, it never flew. Or if it ever did, it would only go for a small distance until it came crashing down to the ground or into an awaiting tree.
Cloud simply watched, a small and pleasant smile on his face. What was going on through his head?
"How is he anyway?" he asked, not pulling his eyes from the struggling children. I just shrugged, knowing exactly what he was talking about.
"Alright I guess."
I really didn't want to tell him how he really was so I tried to be vague. But Cloud, on the other hand, asked anyway.
"Is he… with someone?"
There wasn't any kind of anxiety in his voice as he asked, he seemed more distracted than anything by watching the children. Closing my eyes, I just leaned back into the bench, enjoying the warm sunlight.
"Yeah. Rufus Shinra."
He just smiled, more to himself than anyone else, tilting his head down a bit.
"I thought so," he said eerily calm. "I'm glad."
I sat up all night that night thinking about how things used to be with Cloud in the picture. After all, it was him and Leon that started Judas. From what they told me, it was before they were really together. They were simply friends at the time but really close ones at that. It's kind of surprising actually to think about it though. An icy bastard like Leon making friends with a, then, impossibly shy and quiet Cloud? It's as if God came down and melded oil and water together.
They were seniors in high school at the time and they were forced to be partners for their chemistry class for the whole year and they just hit it off I guess. I didn't meet them until two years later when they had been looking for a vocalist for their band. Well actually they were looking for a bassist but I 'wowed' them when I was singing them back the chorus to some song I was working with them on, I think it was something by Avril Lavigne. Don't ask, it was a long time ago. And besides, her stuff was what everyone listened to back then.
Well, just for the record, I didn't sing it all high pitched or girly and shit. Just to clear all of your minds. I was trying to figure out how to get the song right for the bass that I was shortly realizing that I didn't know anything about but then Cloud luckily, and enthusiastically, decided that I could be their vocalist instead since Leon didn't have the range and blondie couldn't sing to save his life.
So we finally had a guitarist and a vocalist. And then soon after, we picked up Axel as our drummer. Then came our biggest dilemma. We had everything, lyrics that were already composed into songs and a full band and everything except a bassist. For three months we had looked around to find one but no one wanted to join who had the skill or who weren't bigger assholes than we were. The only person that we had left was Leon.
Leon proved at that time how difficult he could be. We asked him, bribed him, and Cloud even put out for him to just give in and be our bassist. But no matter how much we worked to get him to join, he never would.
It's actually funny how the person who wanted the most to play in our band ended up being the one to ditch us before a big gig. I always thought it would have been Leon, after all, he always seemed so against playing. But then again, after Cloud just deserted us, tall, dark, and icy began to practically throw himself into the concerts and compositions. I guess I would too if I had been personally betrayed by the one that I devoted my life to.
Rolling over to the side, I thought of Sora. What was he doing now? The last time I saw him seemed like a year ago though it was only a month.
It was the same day that he decided to go with Yan.
I never really understood why he did it. After all, if it came down to it, I would have physically fought the bastard if it would have kept Sora close to me for at least another day. But why did he go to him so willingly? Didn't he have faith in me? Didn't he think that I could protect him from the monochrome prick?
Sighing, I answered my own question. "He wanted to protect me."
The words bounced off of the walls in my room and carved themselves back into my brain. It was true, although ridiculous. He wanted to protect me from his brother and his drones. But why would he do something stupid like that? Was there something about his brother that I didn't know about? Or maybe it could have been because…
"No, I'm just being stupid now," I groaned, rubbing my hands roughly over my face before letting my arms fall over my head. It couldn't be true. After all, I'd only known him for barely over a month and the same for him but he couldn't… I couldn't…
But I did. I was starting to fall for him. I already figured that out a few days ago but I really didn't think that I was really getting serious about him. He was always spending his time distancing himself from me and being a sarcastic little bitch to me. However, I knew that somewhere deep inside of him was the true Sora, the one that was scared and needed someone to protect him and truthfully treat him like he was the most important person in their world.
I finally told Cloud about the whole situation, after he had guilted me into it. He seemed very interested with my 'awkward' romance that I was playing out with Sora, as he called it, and he wanted to help. Seeing the blonde with a mischievous smirk and the eerie glow in his eyes made me more nervous than anything. Cloud was never like this when he was home before.
Then he told me. In three days, we were going to rescue Sora.
A/N: Okay, this was such a hard chapter to get out. I mean I tried to get as much of the new mini plot into this as possible but it kind of fell a bit short from glory. Ah well, it's done! I can always revamp this story and have an extended version when the whole thing is done. Well, I hopefully will do better in my next chapter. Stick with me okay? I'm trying really hard here. And besides, I have a long weekend of pure nothingness in a room the size of a small kitchen. So I'll get the next chapter out fast, even if it kills me! (Note, it probably won't kill me.) Bye!