Disclaimer: I can't even be bothered anymore. Just NO.

Authors Note: Right. Well, hi. I'm here. No, I'm not dead, although I wouldn't be surprised if many of you thought that, judging by my lack of…well, anything. And no, I haven't given up on writing or anything. I admit, for a while there I had no motivation whatsoever…still don't, tbh. It's been a shitty few months, and to be perfectly honest the thought of writing about all this love shizzazle makes me feel slightly sick, but whatever. I will, because I started and I'm not a quitter and I've always promised myself never to leave a story unfinished…so here goes. Sorry if it's not up to my usual standard, I guess it'll take a while for me to get back into the writing motion, considering I haven't actually written anything in about 5 months, oh dear. Sorry sorry sorry from the bottom of my heart though!!! But even if my updates are slow and lacking, don't worry, I'm still here thinking of you all :)

AND SERIOUSLY, REVIEWERS, I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE SO FREAKING AMAZING, YOU KNOW THAT RIGHT? I don't know where I'd be without you, if it wasn't for reviews etc, I'd have NO motivation whatsoever! So keep it up, because I need you :3

Oh, and sorry for spelling/grammar mistakes. I really have no time to fix them now, I just want to post this already, it's too late! D: Hahas.

Chapter 19: Hysteria

Kairi POV

I can barely believe it; my conscience tells me it's impossible, but my calendar tells a different story.

It's been two months. Two months since Roxas and Namine broke up; two months since I tried to kiss him; two months since I argued with him; and two months since I last properly spoke to him.

Yes; we've seen each other once a week since then and yet we've barely uttered a word to one another.

Don't ask me how it happened; don't ask me why it happened; all I know is that every time I so much as looked at him my heart and throat clenched and I literally lost all coherent thought; I don't doubt that if I had tried to speak it wouldn't be understandable anyway; merely a collection of mumbles.

Do I miss speaking to him? Of course. Do I miss being able to be around him without feeling like I want to sink into the ground? Of course. But is there anything I can do about it?

Not really, no.

To make things worse, Roxas and Namine still haven't gotten back together. I don't know what to about them. Honestly, I'm not even sure if they're going to make it through. Maybe Sora was right about that. They've barely looked at each other since the break up.

Namine's a mess; I can see it in her eyes that she's completely torn up about everything. But she's determined to stay strong; her family's so vulnerable right now, she can't afford to fall apart because of relationship problems when they all need each other so.

And stupidly, guess who the one person is who I've been able to speak with comfortably throughout all this?


Again: don't ask me how that happened and don't you dare ask me why. It's not that I particularly enjoy his company a lot like I do Namine's, or yearn for it as I do Sora's. It's just that everything's so much easier with him. I don't have to bother pretending.

However I'm feeling, Seifer changes to match my mood. Makes life a lot easier for him, and he helps me to distract myself from thinking all those stupid, pointless thoughts.

But I'm very careful not to let Sora know; I'll never forget that look in his eyes at Olette's party, when he saw us dancing together. I didn't understand then why he was getting so jealous over one boy.

As soon as I realised that it was because of Rai, and what they had both done to Sora, I regretted it.

But I honestly believe Seifer has a good heart; that he's changed. I know that I can't expect Sora to see that; hence why I don't want him knowing I've befriended him.

And all this…all this has brought me to today. Tonight. And what is tonight?

Tonight is the show at DS. Tonight, I will be singing my solo, and Sora will be singing his, and he will be doing his duet with Namine.

It's funny that it all started with this; I remember when we were auditioning for the duet, and I wanted it so bad. And that was after I barely knew him! How did my heart already know back then, seven months ago, that I was going to end up falling for him so?

It's July now; the heats really beginning to pour in. I think this may be the hottest summer on the island so far; hottest summer after the coldest winter. I think there's a bit of a pattern going on, don't you?

I'm not quite sure how I feel about tonight; excited, nervous…nothing. I'm not sure what's happening in my life right now. I'm not sure where anything stands. I keep waiting for something, anything to happen; but it's been two months, and everything is still exactly the same.

Nothing's changed. And I don't really see why one night and a show should make much of a difference.

I keep hoping, of course. I try to deny to myself that I have any hope; I try to deny that I keep wishing for something to happen – but I know that I do. I know that I've not given up yet. How can I?

How can I when he's everything I could have ever wished for? How can I when I know that it's not possible to feel so strongly, to have had so much happened, and for it all to end so quickly over nothing? How can I when there's still that foreign wave of emotions washing through me whenever our eyes meet?

How can I not hope when that's the only thing keeping me going?

* * *

The day passed a blur. A hot, hazy blur. The sun pierced overhead, illuminating the sky and blinding me, leaving me even more lost than I already was. The crystal blue of the impeccable sky caused my throat to clench and those automatic walls to immediately rise in my mind, working to block out the thoughts I knew that colour would surely arouse.

And as the sun passed and sank stubbornly beyond the horizon, the sky turned orange and purple in its absence and the cooler air left me able to breathe and see and think.

I sighed for the hundredth time that day, running a hand through my hair for the thousandth time, checking my watch for the millionth time. Oh how slow time seemed to pass! It was as if the past 2 months had zoomed ahead, and now that tonight was here the day dragged on and on, unwilling to comply to my urges to speed up.

I had tried every form of pastime I could think of, but none of them seemed to work. Either they posed no form of entertainment for me at all and so made me even more bored than I was, or they aroused frustration and irritation when they failed to distract my restless mind by conjuring up memories; for example, playing Guitar Hero did not work at all – I was far too distracted by the image of Sora in boxers and shirt and beanie rocking away replaying in my mind.

I dared not let thoughts like that linger in my mind for too long; I didn't know how long I could stand that dull stabbing in my chest, and I figured messing around with fate wasn't too great an idea. I had already pushed everything too far.

My mind had not rested once during the long day; my brain whirred with emotions and images about seeing him again tonight. What would it be like? Would it be any different? Would we engage in a proper conversation? Woulditstillbeawkwardbhetweenus? Wouldanythinghappen? Would-?

The sheer amount of endless questions running through my mind left me in such a confused state I found thinking of even the simplest things a huge effort. Speaking to my mother as normal was difficult, and solving those algebra questions on my maths homework was impossible.

Only when I saw that it had turned 6 did I finally breathe out. Now I had a meaningful distraction. I was going over to Namine's to prepare for the show, and hoped that maybe her presence would keep my mind from wandering too far.

Bidding Rina goodbye, I left my house hastily, lugging a large bag over my shoulders. A light wind had now formed, which I was more than grateful for, and I inhaled the cooler air refreshingly.

By the time I reached Namine's, my head had cleared slightly. The walk had helped me collect my thoughts together, and the cooling breeze had done me a world of good.

"Namine!" I greeted automatically as the pale girl opened the door to me, stepping inside with a fixed smile on my face. "How are you?"

Namine shrugged, smiling mechanically, replying with an impartial shrug. "Alright. You?"

The fixed smile fell from my face and was replaced by a sympathetic one. I knew that she was still having such a hard time dealing with the whole Roxas thing, whilst at the same time juggling her family problems. Whilst she was somewhat able to keep up a normal façade, I could tell by the dullness of her usually vibrant blue eyes that she wasn't all good.

"I'm fine," I replied softly, reaching over to hug her swiftly. "Shall we go up to your room?"

Complying, she lead me up to her familiar room, humming a melancholy tune under her breath. Shutting the door behind me, I crossed over to the bed, laying my bag beside me.

"So," I began, breathing in, "You decided what to wear yet?"

Namine pursed her lips, crossing over to her wardrobe. "Well, I'm stuck between these two dresses," she replied, holding up her choices.

My eyes wandered over each, picturing how the would look on her. "Hmm," I mumbled, cocking my head to one side. "I think you should go for the red one."

Namine brightened. "You think? That's what I thought I should go for…it's the dress I wore on mine and Roxas's first date."

My mouth formed into a silent 'o', unsure of how to reply. I could never tell whether she wanted to talk about him or not – whether it hurt her too much. But when she brought it up herself…

I sighed. "Namine…how are you? Really?"

Namine chuckled humourlessly, shrugging. "I'm fine, I guess. Breaking up is never easy, especially when it's over something neither of us can really help."

"Yeah…" I sighed. "It really, really sucks. Isn't there…I don't know, anything you can do?"

Namine shrugged again. "Is there any point?"

My eyes widened. "Of course there is! You both still love each other! You can't let go of something so amazing because of his brother, right? I totally understand why you did what you did, but I mean, can't you work through it together rather than struggling on your own? It's not like things are going smoothly for you anyway right now – you need all the support you can get."

"And that's why I have you!" Namine replied with false enthusiasm.

I scoffed, rolling my eyes. "Oh, come on! You love Roxas, he loves you, what's the problem?"

Namine looked my way in disbelief. "The problem is, that his brother is part of that vile group who kidnapped my sister! And anyway, same goes for you!"

"Yeah, I know, but the whole point is you should work through it together…it's not like he approves of his brother! And what do you mean, same for me?" I asked in confusion, raising an eyebrow.

Namine sighed. "I know, I just…ugh. Whatever. And what I meant was: you love Sora, he loves you…what's the problem?"

I narrowed my eyes. "Shut up, that's entirely different and you know it! For one thing, he does not love me. For another…it's not quite so simple."

"He so does!" Namine replied immediately, "And why? What do you mean?"

"Does not!" I replied automatically. "And I can't really say, but basically there's this whole other big reason we can't really be together. Also sort of to do with his brother, just like Roxas."

Namine smirked triumphantly. "Alright then. So both Roxas and Sora have some sort of problem to do with their brothers and us. And we both love them. And they love us. So we're basically in the same situation, right? So: the day you do something, so will I."

I gaped at her. "No! That's not fair! You've already been with Roxas! You know he loves you!"

"And I also know that Sora loves you," Namine added.

"You can't know for sure," I noted.

She shrugged. "Okay. I'm ninety-nine point nine recurring percent positive."

I rolled my eyes, unable to resist a smile. "Okay, fine. So you're telling me, if I say something to Sora about us, you'll get back with Roxas?"

Namine nodded, smiling sweetly, a small spark returning to her eyes. I could tell she wanted more than anything to get back with Roxas; she just lacked the motivation needed. And if I had to sacrifice my own happiness for hers (because I was sure things wouldn't end well with Sora and I), then so be it.

I shrugged, raising an eyebrow. "You have yourself a deal, missy."

I stuck out my hand and she grasped it with a new eagerness, and together we shook to seal our fates.

* * *

"Girls!" Namine's mother called up, "You ready to go?"

"Yeah, one minute!" Namine replied, applying a final coat of lipstick. I checked through my purse, making sure I had everything I needed. Glancing in the mirror one final time, I straightened out the cream dress I was wearing, running a hand nervously through my waved red locks.

"Kairi, you look great," Namine assured sincerely, smiling. I chuckled, shrugging on a brown cardigan. Rina had bought me a new dress especially; it had a circled neckline embroided with bronze jewels, with cream white silk floating down around it, pinched in at the waist by a dark bronze belt. I loved it; and loved even more how I already had perfectly matching heels.

"So do you!" I returned the compliment, envying her red dress. She had gotten ready in much better spirits; I was certain the thought of making it up with Roxas had aroused the change in her, and I knew he would be ecstatic – especially with how great she was looking tonight. I couldn't help but comment on how very sweet and romantically cliché it would be that the day they got back together she was wearing the dress they wore on her first date.

"If we get back together," she had replied monotonically. I merely rolled my eyes; the thought of speaking to Sora at all, let alone talking to him about my feelings left me breathless, but the thought of seeing Namine happy again blanched that fear.

"Girls!" Namine's mother called again from downstairs. "If you don't come now you'll be late!"

"Coming!" Namine called down, rolling her eyes with humour. "Come on, Kairi, let's do this thing!"

* * *

I had spent the whole 13 minutes of the evening so far scanning the area for Sora; I was yet to find any sign of him. I was with the rest of the girls in the female dressing room, where they were all chatting excitedly, casually applying make-up and fixing their hair. I stood solitarily at the door, listening to their conversations half-heartedly whilst focusing my gaze on scanning the studio, which had now been filled with rows and rows of chairs.

So far I had seen all of the rest of the boys enter the male dressing room; and still no Sora to be seen. I glanced at my watch; quarter to seven. We were told to be here at half past six, so where was he?

"Kairi?" Olette called out curiously. "Watcha doing?"

Yuffie sniggered. "Waiting for lover-boy, I'm guessing." Selphie giggled in reply.

I narrowed my gaze, rolling my eyes at the two. "I'm just, y'know. Waiting for people to start coming in to watch. I hope the crowd's not too big!"

Olette smiled reassuringly. "Even if it is you'll be great! You're an amazing singer!" I smiled timidly, giving her a shy thank you. I noted Yuffie's and Selphie's shared look of disapproval, and rolled my eyes.

Where was he? I didn't understand why he hadn't turned up yet – he was never usually late, so why was he on such an important night?


Hearing his name, I instantly turned to the source of noise – Roxas, standing in the hallway, his mobile pressed to his ear. My heart sank – so he wasn't here yet.

"You gotta be kidding me!" Roxas groaned, his face falling. "Alright, well, hurry!"

Casting a glance at the preoccupied girls, I sidled up to Roxas, folding my arms. "What was that about? Is Sora coming?"

Roxas glanced up, smiling. "Yeah, he'll be here in a bit. His Dad's running late in a business meeting, is all."

I sighed in relief. "That's good to hear!" I grinned. "Um…I was just wondering, have you spoken to Namine at all yet tonight?"

Roxas shook his head, his expression instantly falling, eyes turning hard.

"Well, you should," I hinted, smiling reassuringly as I threw him a wink. Confusion replaced the stoic expression on his face as I turned and headed back to the girls, shaking my head in amusement.

Sure enough, seconds after I had entered the changing room, Roxas popped his head in, looking nervous as he bit his lip. "Uh, Namine?" he questioned cautiously, running a hand through his blonde messy locks. "Do you think we could talk for a moment? Alone?"

Namine's eyes widened as she glanced at me briefly. Nodding, she stood up and followed Roxas eagerly, wringing her hands together nervously. I prayed for the best for them.

The next ten minutes or so I entertained myself with a cheap magazine, reading the boring articles to try to distract my pounding heart. But when Namine came in again, I found her a much better distraction.

"Namine!" I called out, jumping over to her. "What happened? What did he say?"

The flaxen girl opened her mouth, her blue eyes shining. "I – uh," she began, words failing her. "We've gotten back together!"

A huge smile broke out onto my face as I leaned over to squeeze her tightly. "Oh, Namine, I'm so happy!"

Namine giggled, hugging me back, unable to keep a smile off her face. "Me too! He just said sorry…and I couldn't help it! He looked so adorable and I missed him so much so I kissed him and ah – you know how it is! What's the point of holding back if you really want something?"

"Yes," I replied curtly, "What is the point?" My mind flickered to Sora, the prime example of contradicting Namine's statement. Shaking my head for fear of ruining Namine's elation, I retuned into the excitement, entering into a very detailed conversation about how she would handle the whole Roxas – Manami – Demyx situation.

And then she had her performance. And then Selphie had hers. And then I had mine. And all of these I merely floated through like a ghost, the only thing really occupying my mind being him.

I sat in the back as the musicians did their solos – Sora's had to be postponed, for he had still not made an appearance. I held my face grudgingly between my hands, not bothering to make an effort to appear cheerful.

And then: I wasn't sure when I had tuned out and then back in toe hearing what was going on around me, but suddenly it was no longer Roxas on guitar, but a voice singing. A velvet voice that wrapped itself around me, warming me, enlightening me, giving me reason.

I lifted off my feet, entranced, as I hurried through to offstage area, my heart hammering against my chest.

And there he was; Sora, on stage, dressed in a casual grey suit, his hair as messy as ever, his hands clasped around a microphone as he sang his solo with such perfection I almost thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

It felt like both hours and yet only seconds had passed as he went from singing to heading backstage, the audience applauding wildly. I watched him feverishly, clutching the edge of the curtain, breaths rasping.


I smiled slightly, heart clutching. "Sora," I replied conversationally, casually. "Hi."

"Hi," he replied awkwardly, rubbing the back of his head. "Uh, how are you?"

"Good, you?"

"Yeah, good…"

I punched myself inwardly. Where had my vocabulary gone? I couldn't seem to conjure up anything remotely interesting to say. Why couldn't we even have a normal conversation anymore?

"So Roxas and Namine have got back together!" I announced suddenly, remembering. I was sure he would be happy to hear it.

"Oh, wow, really?" he asked, surprised, a grin spreading. "That's so great!"

"I know," I replied, grinning. "Hate to say it, but I told you so!"

Confusion flitted across his face. "What do you mean?"

I sighed. "Um…remember. Olette's party?" My heart panged as I thought back; that was the last time we had properly spoken. "When they first broke up. I said they could work things out, you said they couldn't…"

"Oh," Sora said simply. "Right."

"So do you see?" I persisted, my confidence suddenly rising. "Love does conquer things! You can work it out!"

He shrugged, averting his gaze. "I don't know…I still think it totally depends on the situation at hand. I mean, if someone can get hurt, for example, then it's foolish…"

I sighed, shrugging. "I guess…" I mumbled downheartedly. Great – and here I was thinking maybe I finally had something to persuade him with. Something to convince him we could work things out. Evidently not.

"And," Sora continued, "It's different when you've been a couple for ages before. You know how things work better. It's easier."

I exhaled angrily. "Are you really that much of a coward?" I pressed, frustrated. "Because that is seriously so pathetic. It's 'easier' – so? The point of life isn't that it's easy!"

"I know!" Sora argued back, his forehead creasing. "But when things are hard enough already, why not do everything possible to keep the rest simple and easy?"

"Because you never know; those other things could end up making the hard things easier," I replied softly, shrugging. Sora gazed at me momentarily, opening his mouth as if to say something.

But he didn't.

Sora POV

Why couldn't I just say what I wanted to say?

Actually, I knew why. Because she was right. She was totally, totally right. I was a coward. The one thing that really mattered to me was the one thing I was pushing away with all my strength.

"Kairi!" Rikku's call distracted me from Kairi's disappointed expression. I glanced up to see the bubbly instructor hurrying towards us, panicked.

"Kairi!" she repeated, gasping for breath. "I need you to do a really, really, really big favour for me please!"

"Um, okay," Kairi replied immediately. "What is it?"

"It's Namine – we simply can't find her anywhere! Or Roxas, for that matter. So would you please, please do the huge favour of stepping into her position for the duet? Please?"

Kairi's eyes widened; as did mine. "W-what?" she stuttered. "Where did Namine go?"

Rikku shrugged. "Probably rekindling her relationship with Roxas! So please? I wouldn't normally ask on such short notice but I don't know what else to do! And you know the song back to front, right?"

Kairi nodded, considering, before she sighed with a nod. "Okay, fine," she complied, defeated. "When?"

"Um…round about now!" Rikku replied energetically. "Thanks so much Kairi, you're a star!"

Kairi laughed softly. "No worries."

And that's how moments later we found ourselves standing on the stage before the audience, music floating around the room softly.

I begun to sing when it was my cue; and suddenly the nerves hit me. No; it wasn't that I was singing on stage. It was that I was singing in stage with Kairi. Kairi who only moments before I had disappointed – yet again.

I looked across at her, trying to make eye contact, but her gaze remained fixed to the audience. I noted for the first time what she was wearing, how her hair was worn, her make-up – every detail of her presence. She looked more beautiful than I had ever seen her. Whether that was the actual truth or just how my eyes were seeing things that night, I don't know.

And then she started singing and I swear she was an angel.

I don't know what happened next.

It was as if I lost control of my body; I went into a dream-like state, where it felt as if I was floating above and watching everything that was happening below me.

It felt so illusory. But at the same time, it still felt so real.

Something inside me stirred and a familiar emotion that I had worked so hard to decline over the past few months took hold of the reins, grasping my mind and directing me to do things I was too scared to on my own.

My insides bubbled with hysteria and everything else seemed so distant, so unimportant. I ignored the audience surrounding us; I ignored the instructor's speculating eyes, Hiro's curious gaze.

There was only one thing on my mind at that moment: Kairi.

The sounds of the cheering audience had silenced themselves to a mere mumble, hazy in the background; I could see the lips of people moving but no words seemed to escape. The only thing my ears picked up was the sound of my own beating heart and heavy breathing.

And of course, the singing. That stood out crystal clear above it all.

The words I was singing seemed to have evoked some hidden being deep inside of me, someone unafraid to do the things I didn't dare. I don't understand how I hadn't noticed them when singing with Namine; the lyrics raced through my mind clearly, each word leaving a mark, etching its note inside me that wouldn't fade until I listened to it. Not just heard it – listened.

She walks in I'm suddenly a hero
I'm taken in my hopes begin to rise
Look at me can't you tell I'd be so
Thrilled to see the message in your eyes
You make it seem I'm so close to my dream
And then suddenly it's all there

But confusion resisted to leave my mind; the palette in my mind was covered in a whole new range of colours, each one distinguishable to what it was, but each blending in until one prominent colour was formed; red. Love.

But love isn't just a single emotion. It's a mixture of all these different things. That's what makes it so damn confusing.

It hurt.

The thoughts that I wasn't brave enough or strong enough to do what I needed created this intense pain that I knew even time wouldn't heal, but would only fade by for once, going against my brain and just following my heart.

The other main feeling present was much better than hurt.

It was excitement. Excitement like I had never felt before, bubbling inside of me, overflowing, threatening to spill out of my composed outer shell at any moment; excitement at the thoughts of what could be if I was just strong enough to push the fear away for even one second.

And so the battle commenced.

Excitement versus fear.

Happiness versus pain.

Love…versus hate.

Every battle has to have a winner. And finally, my last battle had arrived. This was the one that would determine the winner of the war.

And I was actually prepared.

I now knew what the greater prize was. I knew what I wanted to achieve, I knew what I wanted to gain, I knew what would be the best for me, for us. And I wasn't so scared anymore.

The realization of how strong my love was had showed me that with that, we could overcome anything thrown in our direction. It's true when they say that love conquers could I have been so blind to it before? How was I so foolishly cowardly as to almost let something so amazing slip out of grasp?

Suddenly the wheels are in motion
And I I'm ready to sail any ocean
Suddenly I don't need the answers
Cos I I'm ready to take all my chances with you

As our voices intertwined with such amazing ferocity it would remain with me even years later, the two apparent and contrasting futures fell into place. With or without her; neither was an easy possibility. I had to choose a path; it would change everything. And I knew which one.

Without her – I didn't even want to imagine this life. Simple; yes. Uneventful; yes. Painless; somewhat. But empty.

And with her – the very thought excited me. Hard, unpredictable, risky, amazing, beautiful, perfect…

The choice seemed pretty evident to me; it was time I came out of the protective cocoon I had always wrapped myself in. Come out of the shell and set the butterfly free.


Each emotion was so strong I felt I could no longer contain them. My brain felt as if it would explode from all the thoughts running through my mind, all the 'what if's floating in random directions.


The want for something I didn't yet have but knew I could have was overwhelming, creating a new surge of strength deep down, pushing me forward.


The sudden remembrance of the intensity of my feelings towards her ending it all, breaking through the ice, leaving everything crystal clear, ending the war.

How can I feel you're all that matters
I'd rely on anything you say
I'll take care that no illusions shatter
If you dare to say what you should say
You make it seem I'm so close to my dream
And then suddenly it's all there

For once, I knew exactly what to do.

For once, I wasn't afraid.

And so I did what the lyrics were saying. Did that and more.

She was stood a few metres away from me, her body tilted in my direction, but her face directed to the audience, lips moving silkily over the song lyrics. Her expression was soft, a mixture of many emotions, each one so slight that I barely picked them out.

Pride shone through the strongest – happiness that she was doing it, I supposed. Pride that she had been successful. I would congratulate her on that later.

Nerves came next – I recognized these instantly, seeing as they were strong in my heart at that moment too. I wanted to tell her not to worry, that I had faith in her, that she was brilliant, but my brain wasn't processing these thoughts.

Sadness was also on her face…so faint it was barely there. Her lips upturned in a small smile seemed resistant somehow, as if they wanted to turn in the other direction. Her eyes, bright with happiness and thrill, seemed to mask the other emotion, hidden beneath the shine.

I knew that what I was about to do would wipe away this emotion for a long time.

She looked so beautiful, so innocent, standing there, singing angelically; completely oblivious to what was coming.

It was then that my feet began moving at their own accord.

Suddenly the wheels are in motion
And I I'm ready to sail any ocean

As I moved across the stage slowly, steadily, her eyes flickered hesitatingly in my direction, her brow creasing, her singing never wavering. I focused on keeping my eyes locked on hers, praying she wouldn't look away.

Maybe there is some sort of higher being; the second blue eyes met violet, we were trapped in a magnetic force, and it seemed looking away was no longer even an option. I pushed the lyrics our harder, stronger, louder, pushing them deep into her soul, willing her to see them, believe them.

Suddenly I don't need the answers
Cos I I'm ready to take all my chances with you

I was ready; more ready now than I had been for anything ever before. I had no idea how things would work, how we would work them out. But I didn't care. What did it matter as long as I was with her? I understood with perfect clarity now everything she had said about working through things together – how had I been so stupid only months go?

The audience weren't there anymore. No-one was – except her. I was surprised the song lyrics didn't fly straight out of my head with all other coherent thought. I supposed there significance prevented that from happening.

Common sense also joined coherent thought in its retreat from my mind. I had no idea what I was thinking as I edged closed and closer to her, gazing deeply, singing softly. I watched with blind eyes as one of my hands unconsciously reached out to brush a strand of her hair away, sending impulses through my body.

I was so close.

All I had to do now was lean forwards, close the gap by a few inches and there she would be – waiting. That was all. That one, simple movement and I would find everything I'd been looking for.

Why do I feel so alive when you're near
There's no way any hurt can get thru'
Longing to spend every moment of the day with you

And as the last line of the song faded, I inched forwards ever so slightly. And so did she.

And then the gap was closed.

Our lips met in a sudden flurry of sparks, the slight touch exploding everything that was inside of me, setting my heart on fire, my insides alight with a blazing hysteria. Even though we both knew what was happening, it still felt like such a shock, it felt so unreal.

But this time, it wasn't.

I didn't try to apply any more pressure; I didn't evolve the kiss to be any deeper than it was. I merely gently held her frail face in my hand, kept my lips locked with her sweet ones, left my eyelids to softly flutter over my cerulean orbs, blocking out the unwanted sights of the surrounding reality.

I didn't want to come back to that reality. I wanted it to be this way forever – just me and her.

I don't know for how long the kiss lasted; all I knew was how amazing it felt. All I could think was how much I loved her, and how she had kissed back.

I loved her.

I loved her.

And as I slowly pulled away, dreamlike, my other senses suddenly decided to start functioning again, and the gradual applause in the background made itself known. But that could still wait.

I knew that this was it. I had taken the next step; I had committed myself to something new, something special. If I was in too deep to get out before, then where the hell was I now?

I knew that there was no going back. And you know what? I didn't regret it one bit.

I leant forwards to her ear, the soft fragrance of her being floating through me, intoxicating me as I whispered dazedly:

"I'm not a coward anymore."

Eeeps. Cheeese. This is new, huh? xD Big change to the last chapter…! Hopefully good change :P

Again, I'm so freaking sorry for being so awful, and for providing you with such a god awful chapter D: I just hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me…and maybe leave an ickle bickle review? :3

It would mean the world to me!!!!

Love love love!!! :D