A/N: My head hurts.
Based on real events.
Disclaimer: Someday, but not now.
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G L A N C E
it's just one quick glance too many.
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"...I can guarantee you'll be dismissed thirty minutes earlier, and..."
"Hey! What're you doing here?"
"Our prof dismissed us early, said something about being too lazy to teach today--"
She blinks, and blinks some more, twirling a pencil around slim fingers automatically. It's an unfortunate habit, resulting in countless incidents of broken lead and embarassing moments (some of which happen to happen in the presence of--)
She blinks again, and cerulean orbs meet stormy blue.
It's just a split second.
She tries to paste a nonchalant look on her face, and it works; he continues walking as if she was a stranger. A stranger who he'd caught glancing one time too many.
Luckily her cousin doesn't notice her momentary lapse of poise and continues on with her one-sided conversation. She clears her head just enough to smooth everything over. From the corner of her eye she peers down as he goes down the stairs, spiky tufts of blonde clearly distinguishable.
She restrains herself from saying outright that she wants to go and she wants to go now because she wants to see where he goes and--
"Where are you going next?" She manages to say, nudging her auburn-haired cousin.
Kairi starts walking. She smiles. Although Naminé's liking (it didn't even start out as a liking, Sora and Riku started teasing her so much about the golden-haired teen that she actually, eventually, came to like him) for Roxas had been brought up many times, Kairi never seems to catch on. "Chem 16," she says in a way of an explanation. "Pavilion I."
"Oh. Well, let's go then."
They tread the stairs, and she subconsciously starts looking for him. She sees Hayner (and internally smiles; she knows for a fact that Hayner and Roxas are roomates so naturally they'd be together) at the far end of the second floor, and she tries to wave. For some reason Hayner manages to miss her, and she lowers her hand quickly in embarassment. She starts a conversation with the redwine-locked girl beside her.
"Um, when's your next long exam?" She says awkwardly, watching her feet as they walk the corridors of the second floor.
"I have no idea; it looks like our prof doesn't even know if we're going to finish the stupid book, and..."
Suddenly everything is tuned out once more. As they round the corner leading down to the first floor, the blonde skater comes into view, having just thrown something into the nearest bin.
Their eyes lock once more, and before she can even realize what she's doing, she doesn't break the contact.
It's like a magnetic pull between them; there's something deep in his stormy blue eyes, something that just doesn't want to let her go.
He blinks, and looks away. She blushes, but she can't keep her eyes from straying to the side and searching his face for a telltale blush.
A faint rosy blush settles over the bridge of his nose.
She giggles inwardly, a feat that she keeps quiet admirably: maybe, just maybe, Roxas...
"...something about the finals and I can't wait for this semester to end!" She holds on to Kairi's voice and pulls herself back into reality, back into treading the dreary halls of this building, back into worrying about the next test and next presentation and her life in general.
But somehow, she thinks, as a smile threatens to tug at her lips, the world seems a little brighter.
"Hey," Sora starts, nudging her shoulder. "Is it just me, or is it that your normally-ice-cold-guy looks kinda...happy?"
She blushes, feeling the heat rush to her face as she shoves the cinnamon-haired teen roughly. "Hello? He is not my guy, thank you very much!" she says loudly, rolling her eyes.
She doesn't have any idea why she said that just as when they walk past Roxas and his circle of friends. She doesn't have any idea why she raised her voice just so. She doesn't have any idea why she wants him to hear.
She bites her lip, fiddling with her paopu keychain as they tread the sea of people that is the cafeteria. No matter how she wanted to deny it, yes, Sora was right: the skater did look happier than usual. For the past few days she had been spotting him laughing, carefree and genuine. A smile seems always to be around, lurking at the corners of his mouth.
She couldn't help but associate it with the fact that she had seen him smiling every time after they had locked eye contact.
In fact, his face was brighter as he talked animatedly with his friends, who were standing around him, looking slightly awed, probably at the sudden change in personality.
They had exchanged introductions during the first day of enrollment. Manual registration had reared its ugly head, and half-day-long waiting in line wasn't as uncommon as one might think. However, she was lucky; since she was one of the few people enrolled in her course, Multimedia Arts, their line wasn't as long as the others.
It was here that she learned that his name was Roxas.
He had smiled at her that day, a smile that had seared itself into her memory.
After that, however, he had proved himself to be one of those people who are nice at first, but forget your name in a split second. She swore that she would forget him too, but sometimes, the harder the mind tries to forget, the harder the heart tries to hold on.
The heart, how did the heart get dragged into this?
How did she fall for someone so unreachable and cold?
Every so often, a glance would be thrown, a quick peek over her shoulder, a shy roving of cerulean blue eyes. (After which a very irritated redwine-locked cousin would roll her eyes and sigh at their 'blindness' for each other.) They had an uncanny way of meeting, of being in the same common area.
She wonders if these are pure coincidence, or if somehow, for some reason, even with the smallest sliver of hope, that the encounters have a reason behind them.
"Nam," Kairi's quick jab at her ribs, once again, pulls her back into reality. "Let me see your classcards,"she pleads, knowing full well that given Naminé's obsession with less-than-perfect grades, it would take more than a single request.
"Mmah, wait," she searches through her bag distractedly at first, then in worry as she realizes that the record of her grades isn't there, the vital piece of paper that would enable her to continue her studies for another year. "Oh. Oh no, I must've left it in the Registrar's Office!" She zips her bag closed hurriedly. "I'll dash back!"
Somewhere in the back of her head she giggles, even if her rational voice is starting to panic. She is going to pass by the place where Roxas is, and that is more than enough to send her stomach exploding in millions of silver butterflies.
She starts to sprint back, bag close to her chest, mind spinning with a face that has haunted her dreams for almost a year.
She runs past the place, determined not to look. Determined not to blush, determined not to show that she cares for him. Even if she just feels something behind his eyes whenever they lock eye contact. Even if she just knows that it's more than just that.
She wants him to feel the same coldness that she went through, whenever they would see each other and she'd attempt to greet him, whenever he walked past with cold indifference and even a hint of haughtiness, as if she wasn't worthy to be part of his world.
(And every single day she feels just like that, because he's the star of his own hypothetical show and she's just another backstage hand.)
Sometimes she wonders if he's thinking along the same lines. Sometimes she wonders if she would just let her guard down and just act out her real feelings whenever he's around.
And she made the mistake of glancing back.
The first thing she notices is the genuine smile and hint of a laugh, an emotion that looks foreign on his face.
The next thing she notices is the just-enclosed hand in his, a smooth, white hand that belongs to the person next to him, a brunette with curly hair and stunning emerald eyes.
She feels cold alright, but this one has nothing to do with the chill of the night air as she sprints under the lampposts. This has something to do with the failures crashing down on her, with the nights lying on her pillow and staring up into the ceiling, with the songs in her head that she has dedicated to him, with the dried streaks of tears on her pale cheeks when she dreams of golden silk-soft spikes.
She likes to glance, and has made so many assumptions about it.
This time, she's just had one glance too many.
She stares out into the open sky, watching the orange haze fade into deep indigo. She listens to the music filtering through her earphones without really listening, because her mind's blank and her heart's nothing but a hollow chamber of dull memories.
She'd cast away the illusions of glancing and glancing back, of untold emotions and hidden affection. All the world's a stage, she laughs inwardly, and all the men are only actors.
She's made the world (her world) revolve around herself, thinking that he's smiling because of her, that he's happy because he's caught her glancing.
Laughing bitterly, she shakes her head and shoves her hands into her pockets, continuing her trek down the overgrown concrete way. She tries to hum a little tune as she jumps the cracks, but all it does is make her see the walk as her heart and the cracks as her own. Forgetting is an impossible task.
She tries to lose herself in the music as she watches the people pass her, waving a hand in recognition occasionally, cringing at the fact that she's hoping that one of them would be the skater. Roxas. A glance, she knew, would make her better, no matter how she denied it.
She blinks, but continues walking. The volume on her player has been turned all the way up, and she's really not in a mood to talk right now. She shrugs it off. Nothing concerns her now but her mediocre life. She's given up.
She suddenly realizes that the music sounds strange. It's coming from only the right side. Bewildered, she stops short and blinks once more at the golden-haired teen who's now holding her other earphone hostage.
She tries to look that she doesn't care, that her heart isn't going a million miles per hour at this moment. That all it would take was one single move before her knees give way and her mind runs away with her common sense. "Yeah?"
She winces inwardly at how her voice shakes, instead of the smooth and indifferent tone she was trying to make it sound like. She automatically glances at him up and down, head catching up with her hear and finally wondering why he should talk to her. She hadn't dropped something, that's for sure.
"Um, I mean--er..." he scratches the back of his tousled hair (and she couldn't help but think how adorable he looks; in fact, almost all coherent thought was pretty much out of the picture right now), and he nibbles on his lower lip in consternation.
She glances over his shoulder, and there stands the jade-eyed beauty, giggling madly with his roomate, Hayner. Her heart drops and would've shattered into crimson shards if it wasn't for the annoyed hiss of "Shut up, sis, or I'll kill you."
"This is going to sound pretty stupid, but--"
It suddenly occured to Naminé what he was going to say, as she pieced the parts of this jigsaw puzzle life had thrown at her; all her thoughts came rushing forward at once (together with most of her blood rushing to her face in a furious blush).
It wasn't a coincidence after all. The glances, the change in personality, the meetings--
He presses a white rose-embossed envelope, flap up, into her trembling hands, with a whispered plea: "Please."
She finally lets her guard down as she smiles widely, all thoughts coming into a singular standstill. I knew it.
"I like you too, you know," she whispers faintly, looking down at the rectangles of white paper, glancing at the intricate embossed pattern of roses on one corner.
His voice is music to her ears. "Of course, I like you. Who wouldn't? But," his voice took on a dreamy quality that took her breath away, and she knows she's going to hear a confession next, one that she has read too many times in romance novels. I like you but I love you more and I want-- "There's only one girl I love, and I really hope you can help me."
"Huh?"She glances up, and everything comes crashing down. There's something in his expression, in his eyes that gives it away. His eyes widen for a fraction of a second. "B-but, Roxas--"
"Naminé!" Kairi yells from behind her, waving.
He immediately pushes her hands downward as he spins around to glance at the newcomer.
And once again, it's the auburn-haired girl's voice that brings her back to reality. The reality of why Roxas was happy, of why he was smiling, of why he blushed that memorable afternoon, when she and Kairi had been discussing their Calculus schedules and life in general.
Somehow, she doesn't need to open the envelope to know the first line that it contains.
Quote is from Shakespeare, I think.
Terrible, I know. But I'm depressed. Again. Crappy day.
Reviews would be good.
Soaring on Broken Wings will be updated soon.