AU. YoruSoi. Angst/Romance.
Summary: Soi Fong is a star student with a set future... Yoruichi is a revered and feared, filthy rich rebel… an idol, a goddess. Everything looks perfect on the outside, but beneath the surface… is a completely different story.
Tagline: Two shattered lives… one glance, and just maybe… one chance to piece it back together.
The storm had not ceased, even as night fell, sweeping it's long black cloak over the world, engulfing it in darkness; the thunder continued to rumble, while the sky shot jets of lightning that illuminated the entire night sky. The rhythmic pounding of the rain splashing on the ground, walls, windows, and roofs, soothed Soi Fong's troubled thoughts as they tumbled over themselves in turmoil while she listened to her parents scream at each other in the other room.
Her small fingers curled around the doorframe tightly as she pressed herself against the wall, desperately wishing that they would stop.
She gave a start as she heard something slam against the wall; she could feel the impact shake her small room. Little did she know that this was hardly the worst of it; it wasn't only the little apartment that she called home that would be shaken apart; a piece, a big piece, of her life would be broken off before dawn arose… and it was something her five-year old mind would have never predicted. She barely understood it as it was at the time.
She closed her eyes and rested her forehead against the cool wall, trying to will away the angry voices and the wailing and the slamming… all the noise — she just wanted it to stop.
She opened her eyes again as a last, agonized scream filled with despair rang out and echoed throughout their small home. Soi Fong shuddered involuntarily as the scream still rang in her ears; the door slammed, rattling the whole floor. She made a decision; her small hands gripped the large silver doorknob and turned it. She pulled it slowly until there was a slit that seemed no bigger than a centimeter to peek out of. She caught a glimpse of her mother's tear-streaked face and bloodshot eyes as she entered the bathroom, sobbing; the door closed, softer this time.
Soi Fong stayed frozen as if she were glued to the spot; she could not fight back the flood of tears that leaked out of her eyes. Saddened and confused, she tried to understand – why was mommy crying? Why were they so mad? She stood there for what seemed like ages. She could see the slight shadow from beneath the door where the light spilled out as much as possible through the tiny crack. The shadow still moved, every few seconds… or so.
Then the sobbing quieted.
There was a clatter as something hit the tiled floor.
The water was running.
A fit of coughing.
Then, dead silence.
The shadows were bigger now; there was less light coming from the bottom of the doorway. Everything was still.
Soi Fong waited to see if the shadows would start moving again. A minute passed, and another. And another as she waited; they still did not move – so she slipped out of her room in her favorite black pajamas and crept as quietly as she could down the hall. She reached the door, twisted it the doorknob and pushed it open with great difficulty.
She was barely taller than the counter, but for what she needed to see, and indeed saw; she didn't need to be. She moved quietly and cautiously towards her mother who lay slumped on the floor. Mommy is sleeping, she thought to herself. I can't wake Mommy.
She knelt by her mother and stared at her beautiful, now peaceful face that still held traces of the tears she had shed. After a moment, her gaze wandered and was drawn towards the small bottle her mother still clutched in her hands. Candy? She scanned the label, eager to read. She didn't understand the complicated word printed on the bottle, even if she could read it. But she didn't need to since she recognized the bottle itself. Sleeping Pills. Her little mind was assured. Mommy was just sleeping.
She heard footsteps, a cry of horror – and then a choked sob.
Her father's strong hands picked her up; he strode quickly away …
She twisted in his arms, struggling.
She clambered up and leaned over his shoulder, hands outstretched towards the strangely still body.
Further and further…
Someone was dialing the telephone…
They didn't mean anything to her.
She could hear her father's heart pumping.
So far away… she reached out, every muscle in her small body straining…
Red lights, blue lights.
" No!" she cried.
She wanted to go back…
But she just couldn't reach…
Soi Fong sat straight up in bed as her eyes snapped open. She gasped for air and twisted in the tangled bed sheets to check the time, her baggy t-shirt clinging to her body with sweat. It took her a moment to register the time; the flashing, eerie green numbers glared back at her; 2:31 a.m.
She sighed, and her hand fell to her pillow – it was wet with her tears. " Just a dream," she murmured, trying to convince herself of that fact. " Just a dream…"
Too exhausted to get up and change the pillowcase, she flipped it over and lay back down, breathing deeply as she stared at the dots that perforated her ceiling.
" Damn it. It's just a dream. It's finished; it's over. She's gone!" she muttered to herself angrily. She absentmindedly wiped away the tiny drops of perspiration that gathered on her nose. A unique characteristic that she'd inherited from her mother. Nothing would let her forget…
" It's hot," she whispered as she lay on top of her blanket. She let the back of her clammy hand rest on her forehead, which was decorated with tiny beads of sweat.
Before she knew it, two hours had passed and she had not even closed her eyes once. She couldn't.
Then she realized the pitter-patter coming from the window, which had slowly gathered force as the minutes passed, was the rain. Soothing…
She turned her head to check the time again.
" Shit," she cursed. School tomorrow.
She closed her eyes and dozed off; thankfully, she slept… for a couple of hours…
Tossing and turning in her restless sleep as the nightmare repeated over and over, the same images of her past flitting through her mind like a series of snapshots on a broken CD.
A shrill beeping cut through the cloud of exhaustion in her mind.
Damn it. She rolled over and smacked the top of the alarm, effectively shutting it up. Sighing as she swung her legs over the bed, she rubbed her eyes; they were burning.
She stumbled as she headed out the door, banging into a couple of walls as she did so, accumulating a nice inventory of bruises on her arms and legs. She dragged herself to the washroom and flicked on the light; it was gloomy and dark outside. She squinted to peer out the window; still raining.
She splashed cold water on her face and blinked at her reflection in the mirror. Water clung to her lashes and traveled down her face, eventually dripping off her chin. Her stomach growled loudly.
She hastened to brush her teeth and wash her face more thoroughly, then stripped off her T-Shirt and stepped into the steaming hot shower. Sighing with satisfaction, she titled her head up and savored the heat. It was nice. She'd been feeling chilly all morning; no doubt it was due to the crummy weather. She didn't mind the rain, but it really was cold… not that she minded that either, but in the middle of summer?
She turned off the tap and stepped out, quickly drying herself and rushing to her room to get dressed.
Minutes later she was at the kitchen table, nibbling at the thin slice of toast; a meager breakfast, but it was plenty for her. She hated eating in the morning, but only refrained from not eating to keep her father's mouth shut. She never forgave him — never would. She tried to keep as much distance from him as possible. The least amount of contact and conversation they had, the better.
She drained the small glass of milk she had poured and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. After setting the dish in the microwave so her cat wouldn't be able to eat what was left over of her poor breakfast; Soi Fong headed towards the sink and dropped her glass in the sink. Reaching for the plastic frog shaped figure, she poured some detergent onto her hands to wash them; the viscous, green, transparent liquid seeped through her fingers as she hurried to rub her hands together. Using the back of her forearm to turn on the tap; she rinsed off the thick white glove of soapsuds.
As she dried her hands, she cursed as she glanced at the dull green numbers on the microwave display.
She dashed out the front, grabbing her bag on the way. Jumping into her black running shoes, she unzipped her bag to check that she had everything – mainly for her lunch because she always prepared her homework and textbooks beforehand. She patted her lunch bag to make sure it was really there, since she couldn't seem to remember actually putting it in her bag. She gave a little confident nod to herself, and muttered under her breath while groping for her brand new MP3 and keys.
She leapt outside and locked the door, then proceeded to sprint around the block.
Her heart pumped faster as she saw the bus barreling down to her stop, yet she still had to cross the road. She hopped off the sidewalk and dashed across the four lanes; ironically, she was almost hit by the bus she was trying to catch.
Panting, and with her heart thundering like it was trying to break out of her ribcage, she clambered onto the bus and flashed her pass while scanning the seats with a practiced eye. She then made her way to the spot beside the window, where she always sat. She fought to keep her balance as the bus lurched and started to accelerate and plunked down quite ungracefully into her seat.
She stuffed her bus pass and keys back into her bag before she plugged her ears with her earphones. Her other hand held the device as her thumb skimmed deftly across the panel and half a minute later, she was listening to the perfect song to fit her mood.
She stared out the window, watching trees, cars, and faces zip by with unnatural speed as streaks of blurry colors. She let her mind wander to the dream she had last night – it was a reoccurring nightmare; little figments of her memory thrown up by a restless subconscious. Haunting her in her dreams was bad enough, but in her waking moments as well? And she couldn't even dismiss it, let alone forget it all. No matter how hard she tried, there were daily reminders everywhere she turned.
And she'd never forgiven her father since she'd been old enough to understand it all. She knew it was all because of him.
Her train of thought was derailed as she caught a fleeting glimpse of short purple hair… someone on the sidewalk…
She twisted in her seat frantically. Her hair whipped into her face as her neck snapped around, and she found herself staring into a fierce gaze – mysterious and piercing golden eyes. She felt like she was being drawn into them… sinking… falling…
She was lost, everything forgotten, and hazy as if in a dream… she felt like she'd left a piece of her soul behind, as they slowly drew further and further apart.
It was only when they turned the corner, eye contact broken, did the spell break.
Why was I...
It's got to be some kind of voodoo trick, she thought to herself. Or maybe it was my lack of sleep. I'm feeling lightheaded because I'm tired. I'm hallucinating… yeah, that's it. There's no way that someone like Yoruichi would even look at someone like me.
She sat there, shaken for the rest of the bus ride. She didn't even hear the music blaring in her ears anymore. All she could think of was that feeling… that feeling she felt as she looked deep into those golden eyes…