"Earth's last picture; the end of evening
Hue of indigo and blue"
- China Roses, Enya
"Okay everybody, listen up! We gotta set a few things straight here!"
Cyborg clapped his hands to get everyone in the living room to look at him. He didn't have to wait long for all the Titans to turn their head in his direction with open and curious smiles on their faces. Everybody moaned simultaneously when Cyborg started listing up the house-rules.
Just a day ago all the Titans, both honorary and original had defeated The Brotherhood of Evil. Now they were having a little celebration, but of course Robin had demanded that before anyone could relax and make themselves at home, a few "community"-rules should be declared. He knew just how crazy tings could get now that his little family had suddenly gotten a whole lot bigger.
Cyborg ended his listing after a while and with the words "welcome to Titans tower," everyone could begin to get to know their new "room-mates".
All this Jericho missed. While everyone was gathered in the living room, he was sitting on the roof, looking expectantly at the stars on the blue night sky.
They had been his only company for a long time.
He preferred it that way.
Jericho didn't like big crowds of people. They reminded him exactly how alone he was in the world. The bigger the crowd, the lonelier he felt.
If he wanted to start a conversation all he could do was smile and wave shyly, and then hope that the person he wanted to talk to, understood sign language. They rarely did. And he was never able to tell them his name. Well, he could write it down or write it in the air, but very few people had the patience (or understanding for that matter) to figure out the name of this mute stranger. He apparently just wasn't interesting enough for them.
Jericho sighed and ran a hand over the strings on his guitar. Again he looked at the stars.
They had been his only company for a long time.
And he told himself he preferred it that way.
Down in the living room Kole was sitting, talking to Jinx.
"So, you live with that caveman in a place that seems like Stone Age?" Jinx asked jokingly and nodded towards Gnarrk who was making himself at home over at the buffet.
"Um, yeah..." Kole answered timidly, "and you're staying with... oh I'm so bad at names..."
"Kid-flash," Jinx took a sip of her coke, "what's it like to live with a caveman cut off from the modern world?"
"It's... well you get used to it," Kole said. With an unpleasant lump in her throat she started fidgeting with one of the antennas made from her pink hair.
"Heh, I can imagine," Jinx said with a mischievous smile and took another sip.
Kole coughed slightly. Why was it that she had started talking to that cheeky Goth-girl anyway?
"Well, it was nice talking to you... Jinx," she faked a smile, nodded briefly and got up from the couch. There had to be someone in here with a little less... temper. She went over to Cyborg and Robin who were standing near the windows gazing out at the black night that surrounded the tower.
"...have you seen him?" she heard Cyborg whisper.
"No, I don't know where he went. But something tells me that he's not really that social, I mean after all he's-"
"Rob, come on. This could be a really good chance for him to get to know everybody and not just sit around and play his guitar all day."
"Hm. I say we just wait for him to show up, if he wants to..."
"Hmm... okay," Cyborg silently agreed, but it was clear that he would rather go and find "him".
"I wonder who 'he' is..." Kole thought, "He sounds like a shy person..."
Instinctively she turned away from the row of windows and looked around the living room to see of she recognized any new faces, but with no results. Hot-spot and Kid Flash seemed to be having a chit-chat and Jinx had already started a new conversation, this time with Bumble Bee and Argent. The fast twins, Kole didn't remember their names, were playing with those three children Raven apparently was in charge of, and Cyborg and Gnarrk were now standing at the buffet table. Kole silently prayed that they wouldn't start an eating contest. She feared for Gnarrk's ego if he was beaten again.
She sighed. None of the people in her sight of vision could be "him".
"Friend, you appear to be lost. Are you missing the company of someone?" a voice behind her asked.
She smiled and turned around.
"No, Starfire, it's okay..."
The red-haired alien nodded. "It is delightful to be surrounded by so many friends, yes?"
Starfire was already on her way to Bumble Bee, Jinx and Argent.
"Yeah..." Kole muttered sarcastically, "so many friends..."
Jericho got up from the ground and started walking over to the door leading down into the tower. It had begun to get chilly and he himself was getting hungry. He hoped he hadn't missed out on too much. He walked slowly down the stairs and after getting himself a small soda, he sat heavily down on the couch. Nobody had noticed his entrance. Even as he sat there on the couch, he could just as well have been on another planet. Feeling moody he strummed his guitar softly, his eyes lightly closed. It was easy to drown all the noises around him and his world turned into nothing but the low sounds of the guitar.
His eyes snapped open and he looked straight into a set of smiling cobalt-blue eyes. It took awhile for Jericho to realize that they were actually smiling at him.
Startled he forced a timid smile. The cobalt-blue eyes belonged to a girl with pink, fluffy hair that reminded him of cotton candy. She looked childish and curious in a friendly way. Jericho blinked. The blue colours on her uniform matched well with her pink hair and blue eyes.
The smile on his lips became more heartfelt.
Actually she was really pretty...
Kole eyed him curiously. This was a new face... and Cyborg had mentioned something about a guitar. This was probably "him". Kole smiled wryly. She found herself attracted by the depth in his forest-green eyes. There was something almost hypnotizing about them. She wondered what made them so enchantingly boundless.
"Hey..." she muttered and offered him her hand. "I'm Kole..."
The boy stared curiously at her outstretched hand. A pretty girl like her willingly offered him her hand?
He smiled timidly and took her hand. They met each other's gaze again and the world around them turned silent.
Kole cleared her throat slightly, "So... what's your name?" she asked after a while.
His smile turned into a little O. He thought about how to explain it for a while and then pointed at his throat with a sad look in his eyes.
"Oh... oh so you... you can't speak?" Kole asked, worried.
He shook his head in an apologizing manner. She looked away for a while and bit her lip.
"So that explains what Robin and Cyborg were talking about..." she thought sadly, "He's mute... great."
Jericho's mood dived. With a light shrug he returned to his guitar. So much for friendly conversation...
"Wait, maybe I can guess your name..." the pink-haired girl suddenly offered with a wry smile.
Jericho seemed to think about it for a while and then nodded.
"Okay let me think... you... look... like..."
There was a long pause where she glared at him with an almost suspicious gaze and he just looked expectantly at her.
"Like a... Joey," she finished.
Jericho's eyes widened. Joey? Of all possible names in the world she had guessed his? Or, his pet-name anyway. His real name was Joseph. But still, guessing his pet-name at first attempt was pretty impressing.
"I can tell by the look on your face that your name is Joey?" she smiled.
He was about to nod but then froze. After a while he shook his head with a wry smile. Not Joey.
"'Ey Kole! His name's Jericho!" Cyborg suddenly yelled across the living room. Kole jumped at his sudden exclamation, but when she had gathered herself a little she looked at the mute green-eyed boy next to her.
He nodded softly, although he silently wished that she would have guessed that his name was Joseph. Kole smiled in return.
"Nice to meet you... Jericho."
Jericho wasn't really able to say much, but he preferred to listen to Kole, telling about her life.
While listening to her, telling about her adventures with Gnarrk he found himself wondering how soft those pink antenna-like things on her forehead probably were to touch.
Kole ended her story. "Do you play the guitar?" she asked rhetorically and nodded towards the instrument secured in a belt around his shoulder. He nodded.
"Can you play something for me?" she begged and looked at him.
With those big cobalt-blue eyes...
He smiled shyly and played a soft piece for her.
"You play beautifully," she mumbled.
They both looked away for a while, blushing slightly.
"... can you learn me how to?"
He looked at her, a puzzled expression plastered across his face. Didn't she have someone else to talk to? Why did she insist on sitting here, with a boy who couldn't even answer her questions properly?
He pointed at his guitar and made a wry grimace.
"Just one itsy-bitsy little melody?" she pleaded.
Jericho looked numbly at his guitar for a moment. After a while his emerald orbs met her cobalt ones and he nodded seriously. She smiled.
"Let's get outside where we won't disturb anyone..."
She tried hard to break his hard shell of shyness, but it wasn't so easy. It was like he had given up every thought of ever having real human contact. Kole sort of understood it. It couldn't be easy not being able to answer the questions you were asked.
As she tried playing the small melody for the first time, Jericho looked expectantly at her. She wasn't really good at it and even an elephant could probably have played better, but Jericho still gave her a thumb up. He knew it was all about encouragement and soon she would improve. – Hopefully. She giggled and tried playing again. After sounding horrid for five times in a row she gave the guitar back to Jericho.
"Will you play a song for me?"
Jericho beamed at her in the dark and started the soft strumming on his guitar again.
As he himself got more and more hypnotized by his own play, he felt Kole lean in against him and heave a peaceful sigh. Startled, he stopped playing and pulled away from her.
What was she... why was she...?
Kole cocked her head and looked questioning at him. A bit embarrassed he "changed the subject" and looked up at the black-blue sky. Kole looked puzzled at him for a while as he gazed at the stars, but eventually looked in the same direction as him. With a swaying gesture of his arm and a look on his face like a child experiencing its first Christmas Eve, he presented the stars to her and she laughed.
"Yes... the sky is really beautiful..." mumbled Kole and placed a hand on the ledge they were sitting on, for support.
Right over Jericho's hand.
Simultaneously they pulled their hands away and looked apologizing at each other. Jericho blushed in the night and cursed his own shyness. Kole coughed slightly.
"Well... do you look at the stars often?" she asked, trying to start a new conversation.
Jericho smiled softly and nodded. Eventually, and even without the two teenagers noticing, their hands met softly again.
Kole forced a wry smile in return. He needed a good friend. A good friend who knew sign language.
As if hoping to find the answer written in the stars, she again looked up at the cold night-sky.
Both jumped as the door suddenly slammed open.
"Kole? Kole, are you up here?"
It was Cyborg. He stopped when he saw Jericho and Kole. They were sitting close, holding hands, and their background was very romantic... a beautiful summer sky. – How cute.
"Oh, am I... interrupting something important?" he grinned when he saw their aghast faces. "Anyway, we've been looking for you two. It's time to get rooms."
"Oh," Kole nodded, glad that her blush was invisible in the dark, "Of course, Cyborg, we're coming," she got up and started walking over to Cyborg. Jericho watched her as she walked away and felt his heart shatter a bit. Couldn't she stay a bit and look at the sky with him? It couldn't be that boring... could it?
Kole stopped and waited for Cyborg to walk down the stairs. When she was sure he was out of sight she turned to Jericho.
"Jericho? Are you coming?" she asked with a small smile. From the small light coming from the corridor, Jericho could see that her eyes were tired.
He looked at his guitar for a moment, and then at the night sky. Lastly he looked at her with an explaining glance.
"Are you sure? It's going to be cold outside..."
He nodded and pointed in her direction. Then he waved softly.
She smiled and walked over to him and even before realizing it herself; she had put her arms around him and hugged him softly. Jericho felt as if he was about to have a heart-attack at the sudden embrace, but eventually he let go of his guitar and laid his arms protectively around her as well.
There wasn't really that much in Kole's hug. It was just "I like you, thanks for spending the evening with me", but they both needed it. After just standing, listening to each other's breathing, Kole broke off the hug with a warm feeling in her cheeks and stomach.
"Good-night," she whispered and walked down into the living room.
As the door closed, all noises from the living room silenced. Jericho looked at the closed door. How was it possible that someone so pretty, also was so sweet and wanted to spend time with him, just sitting, talking and staring?
It warmed his soul for a minute but then he brushed the feeling away with the statement: "She's probably got nothing better to do anyway..." Maybe she simply pitied him...
Now bitter he started playing the guitar again.
His attention got turned towards the door when it slid open with a soft click.
Jericho's heart skipped a beat when he saw Kole's small silhouette in the doorway. She was wearing a... pyjama?
Exactly how long had he been sitting here alone? Five seconds? Ten minutes? Three hours?
"Um... I can't sleep..." she stammered and stepped on her own feet. "So I thought that... that I could... sit here and... and listen to you play?"
Jericho blinked. In the dark he lit up in a smile and beamed at the cotton-candy-haired girl in front of him. Still smiling he patted the space next to himself and offered her to sit down. With small steps she walked over and sat next to him. Without a word she sat down and leaned towards him as he started to play again. Jericho blushed in the dark and for a moment he lifted his hand up to push away a few strands of hair from her eyes. She smiled softly at him and closed her eyes when he began playing again.
Jericho smiled and looked up at the night sky.
The stars had been his only company for a long time.
Now he had found someone to share them with.
Oh my god, I must be in a sucky-writing period... I don't even know why I uploaded this laluha... it's not really that good. Hm. Well, at least, now we know that it actually is difficult for me to write good stories, even if I have good ideas in my head.
Anyway, review, please! I need critique to correct my mistakes and improve... (Just as everybody else, duh)
Imaginary cookies to all who read this! Now I should get on with my home-work and second chapter of "No fairytale" before school is ready to kill me again. Ciao!