Disclaimer: None of the characters in this story belong to me, they belong to Capcom.
The sky was darkened with clouds, threatening to burst and cry. And yet there was a soft breeze, wiping away the tears of those who stood beside the coffin, which was as solemnly still as a corpse itself.
A video camera. A man with a microphone. Friends. Family. Many other watchers. They all sat there with bated breath as a man stood up from his seat and walked to the stand in front of the coffin. His sandy coloured hair fluttered gently in the afternoon air as he coughed slightly before speaking.
"….Celeste was a kind person."
A small exhale of breath from another man in the seats. One with chocolate hair and deceiving eyes. It could have been mistaken for a sigh, and yet could also be considered as a chuckle.
"…She never hurt anyone. She would always take things bravely. She knew when enough was enough… and it was if she knew what you most needed…and yet, she felt she couldn't cope anymore…" his voice faltered slightly, resigning himself to his grief. Unashamed tears welled up in his eyes.
"If I knew this might happen, things might have ended differently. But you can't change the past. Celeste has gone…but she will never be gone in my heart, nor anyone else's hearts. Because…I truly did love her." He glanced over to the ones sitting in the front row. Teary eyed, he exchanged sympathies with the blonde woman, who was sobbing furiously. Celeste's dearest friend.
He glanced along the row until a shiver ran down as his gaze locked with the other man's. He stared coolly back, a look of disdain and slight boredom creating a coil of anger inside the mourner's heart.
This was your doing, he cried inside his head.
"My sympathies, Juan." The blonde woman came up to him. She looked so small and fragile, like a doll that could break at any moment. She looked up at him with red eyes, and they welled again unwillingly.
Juan nodded. "The same to you, Adrian. If you need anything, don't hesitate to call me." He said softly, reaching out to touch her shoulder. She breathed inwardly at the contact, then walked away trembling.
After the ceremony, many of the press and mourners had gone back to their normal routines, normal lives; but Juan could never return to his. The only woman he'd truly adored was gone. How could he have been so stupid? He gritted his teeth as he remembered the moment he had found her. Hanging lifeless, blue at the fingertips, her eyes cold and staring. Every memory of her, every warm smiling memory had been replaced with a swinging corpse as he kneaded his forehead as if a headache was coming on. He walked towards the now buried coffin, where a fresh bunch of freesias lay; her favourite.
"She will never be gone in my heart, nor anyone else's hearts." A sneery imitation of his earlier speech slashed into his mind as he was brought back to reality. He didn't need to look back to know who the voice belonged to.
"Now isn't the time." Juan clenched his teeth, trying to rein back his earlier anger. He was met with a cold laugh as Matt stood next to him beside the grave.
"But you can't change the past…how ironic, Corrida. You're right, you can't change it." He sighed, as if bored again, and smirked slightly.
"Still. What's done is done. It was Celeste's own choice to top herself. All we can do is shrug and say 'oh well'." He paused and his dark brown eyes glanced over to Juan, only to find him staring at the grave with a neutral expression. Matt's eye narrowed; normally Juan would be yelling abuse at him by now. Perhaps Celeste's death really did affect him as much as the media said.
They spent a few moments standing next to the coffin, a few inches apart from each other. Juan remained staring at the coffin, as if mulling something over, Matt constantly yawning and stretching his arms. Once boredom had set in completely, he shook his head in disappointment and started to walk away.
"…It's your fault."
He stopped in mid-step and turned round to face Juan's trembling back. "I'm sorry?"
"It's all your….goddamn…fault…" Juan turned his head, his face contorted with uncontrollable fury. "You….you did this….you….you son of a bitch!"
Juan immediately ran at him, his motions as sharp as the madness in his eyes. He pulled his arm back, hand curled into a fist, only to find Matt side-stepping in his own reflexes.
"DIE!" Juan yelled out, lashing out with his fists, never hitting Matt fully on the flesh. "It's your fault she's dead!" he snarled. Matt's expression changed into wariness as he glanced around him. There was no one in immediate earshot; however a few people were coming over to stop the commotion.
"Shut up!" Matt hissed, as he gracefully blocked an uppercut with his arm.
"No! No more!" Juan retaliated, grabbing onto his arm and yanking it hard. "If you hadn't told me about you and….her….she wouldn't be dead now!" he smiled in madness as he heard Matt's gasp of pain as he brought his arm sharply behind him.
A pair of arms dug behind his back and dragged him away from Matt, and yet he still lashed out in an attempt to harm and punish him.
Matt stood up, brushing himself down and pushing his tie back into his elegant knot before looking hard at Juan, his visible eyebrow furrowed in fake confusion. The corner of his mouth twisted as calmly said, "But dude, I don't quite see what I did wrong. All I did…was tell the truth." He smiled softly, and nodded before walking away.
Juan stared after him, realisation creeping into him like water seeping into a rag. Matt was right; all he did was tell the truth about him and Celeste. It was Juan himself that did the deed that broke her heart out of jealousy and anger.
He cried out a cry of pain and regret. "I'll get you for this, Engarde!"
And he was replied with a distant laugh.
Matt winced as he moved his sore arm. What the hell made Juan go crazy like that? Was it out of grief for Celeste? Or was it the bitterness that Matt had got to her first?
Whatever it was, he obviously cared a lot for the little suck-up. Not that it mattered anymore. It was Celeste's own cowardly fault if she couldn't handle a little argument. I mean, she had a nice figure, so what was stopping her trying to persuade Juan to take her back? One flick of the hips and he'd have been running. A smile toyed on his lips as he remembered how often she'd do that for him. She was good for a while…but she wasn't good enough.
The skies were now almost black, and rain was pouring down onto his head. Matt groaned as he touched his damp head. It was going to be hell trying to get home now.
He reached the black and red motorcycle waiting for him in the church car park, and quickly yanked off his black suit jacket to be replaced with a black leather riding jacket. If anything could take his mind off things, it was speeding at 90 mph on the highway. He made sure his hair wasn't in danger of getting more wet as he pulled his helmet on, and then revved the engine until it purred in anticipation. Matt smiled smugly as he lurched out of the space and took off into the evening.
By the time he was in the right district, towards his mansion, it was almost dark and the lights of the city were twinkling into his eyes. Matt was annoyed; normally all he would think about when riding his bike was how fast he was going, and how much faster he'd love to get away with going. But this time, he kept seeing flashbacks of Juan and Celeste.
You can't change the past…Juan's voice echoed into his mind. Funny that…
Matt frowned, and nearly lost his concentration as a truck barged past him. Cursing under his breath, he stopped onto the street and took a breather. Normally Matt loved the thrill, the wind on his skin, the fire in his soul. But now…cold blood flowed through his veins as his mind reeled with anxiety. You can't change the past…the past…past…
He growled, threw off his helmet and screamed out into the night as he kicked the brick wall. "Damn you, Corrida!" he cursed. "You said that on purpose, I know you did!" he leant his head against the wall, his heart pounding furiously as he gritted his teeth. He concentrated on the wall, just the wall. Gradually his breathing calmed down, and he shook his hair, now sopping wet in the downpour.
A sound reached his ears that was hard to place as he glanced towards a cardboard box next to a dumpster. Frowning, he wandered towards it and peered inside…
And hissed when he found a mewling kitten, cold and shivering. Matt rubbed his forehead as if trying to wipe away the tension as he stared at the little creature, which had noticed his arrival and was clambering out of the box in urgency.
The kitten stumbled out and weakly approached Matt, whose face was contorted in disdain.
"What do you want, cat?" he sneered in disgust as the kitten meowed again pitifully. His face softened as he watched the cat sit onto the ground and stare up at him with large eyes, blinking slightly at the rain touching its soaked whiskers.
"Oh man…" Matt cringed. It was obvious this cat had been abandoned. But what was he supposed to do about it? Call the cops?
He looked at the kitten again, and saw something in its eyes. Something that reminded him of himself.
A brief memory flashed into his mind. Crying. Screaming. A smash of glass and china. Crashes as things were ruined. A letter…
She left…because I was bad.
That's all there is to it.
She didn't want me.
I was a rotten boy…so she left.
Matt shivered as the kitten rubbed himself against his leg. He breathed in sharply, in a sound that was almost like a sob as he reached down and gently picked the kitten up and held it to its chest.
"It's ok…" he whispered, rocking him slightly. "It's ok, I'm here…I won't leave you…" An unexplained tear ran down his cheek as he walked back to the bike, tucking the kitten into his jacket and putting the helmet on, before revving up again and losing himself to the rush of the night time.
By the time he reached his house, Matt had calmed down, and all distant memories were pushed to the back of his head. He took off his helmet, shook his head to get rid of any excess water, and then opened his jacket to let the kitten down.
He took off his boots and jacket before fetching a towel from the bathroom and picking up the kitten inside it. The rain was like a rhythm against the roof as he wandered into the living room, switching on both the light and the fireplace. Not a word was spoken as he knelt down onto the floor by the fire and started to rub the kitten down, making its fur fluff up in cute tufts. He found himself smiling at himself. Look at yourself, he thought, going all soft over a little kitty.
"I guess I always wanted a cat. I never bothered to get one though." He said, more to himself than the cat as he finished drying its tail. As soon as it was finished, the cat turned to face him, looking up at him again with wide eyes. Matt started to dry his own hair, and without thinking brushed back the bangs on his face to reveal his scars.
The cat suddenly bounded off.
"…Am I that scary?" Matt laughed nervously as he stood up to watch the kitten travel towards a pair of stray shoes that Matt had lazily tossed aside. It sniffed them, and then gave out a purr as it clambered into one and nestled down.
Matt snorted slightly. "Hey, so you like my shoes, huh?" He stopped as the corner of his mouth curled. "Shoe….I like it."
He caught himself in the mirror; his scars red and angry against his pale damp face, his hair tousled, and his eyes red yet shining. He sighed inwardly.
You can't change the past.
But you can always try to forget them, he added wryly.
AN: A few of my theories play into motion here, the most obvious one being the day and way Matt acquired Shoe. I thought Shoe was so darn adorable, even an evil bastard like Matt just couldn't resist him!