Hey, Prince of Tennis' Shaman here, with a new fic, Tomodachi. Well, actually…*guilty look* This story is long overdue. But…better late than never? *nervous laughter*
Notes: Ages are in accordance with the prequel in chapter eight of Kaleidoscope and Kyouya…well, he is Yamadori-senpai's OC, I'm just trying to develop the game version of him. A description takes place in the story, so…basically, if you've been following Kaleidoscope or senpai's story Shu and Kluke: Precious Memories, then you know Kyouya is a bully – to Shu and Jiro in my fic, and Shu and Kluke in senpai's. This chapter contains references to Kaleidoscope, most notably the prequel in chapter eight, but also a slight reference to the third chapter (Trees). And there's a quirk to each new section's names…can anyone tell me what it is and who the person who wrote them is? :D You get to request a drabble with any word (and any pairing, characters, whatever) you'd like, and it'll be published in a request series I'm going to do…
Dedication: Yamadori-senpai (of course…and I definitely recommend everything that senpai has written), Kasumi Kusanagi (go read Kyuushuu, 'tis awesome…on that note, just go read everything), WindGoddess Rune (great writer and great reviewer), and Alexandrite Celestea (unofficial beta for the most part, a best friend in real life, who helps me when I am struggling with math *hug-glomp* thank you, amazing writer, site manager, the list would be seriously long if I continued)
Disclaimer: I don't own Blue Dragon. *sniff* I don't even own any of the games. I just own my drawings and writings. This goes for the whole fic, so just refer back here if you must.
And without further ado….
Tempest, Third Movement, Pathetique, First Movement
I can't breathe. He hurries run run run far, far away quickly, hurry, go before they notice through the rain, soaked clothes clinging to equally damp skin, dark hair dripping wet from heavy droplets and disheveled, a stark contrast to normality. Gaping little ponds of rainwater have already gathered, wide and fiercely visible, but he hardly sees them at all. Why am I running? There was no lumbering enemy, no shadow in sight, of friend or foe, no threat visible to the eye, at least – all had retreated to shelters from the rain.
I'm pathetic. The thought rings in his ears, drowning out the cacophonous rain, louder even, impossibly, than the thunder that rages above. It is no longer the calm part of winter, like of about three weeks ago, but the harshest of the seasons. No one hears the slight yelp as he inevitably slips, skidding into a particularly large body of water. Forgetting any ideas of returning home but then they will worry, won't they momentarily, he curls in toward himself, bringing both arms around his legs, ignoring the pain it causes in his left shoulder.
I'm pathetic. The thought noisily clamors at him and he responds by bringing his arms upward, cupping his hands around his ears in a futile attempt to block it out. He thinks of them, his two best friends in the world it's not their fault that they can find happiness and I can't, and shivers involuntarily, finding himself wanting the innocence of the months before the whole incident back.
I'm so selfish. They didn't have to spend all their time together ,anyhow never mind the fact that ever since they had all been together they had been inseparable, especially himself and him. In fact, all the other two had to do was be with each other, apparently he knows he's jealous, admitting or refuting it results in the same neglected feeling he's been sinking in.
The water keeps gathering, around and around, little pinpricks falling falling falling falling just like him onto wet green and black and blue. Every part of him is soaked now it feels like I'm drowning, or is it just falling too far? Not that it matters and he feels the rain is it rain? He doesn't know anymore run down his face, sliding ineffectively into his shirt. His hands fist at the slightly loose tunic, the urge to grab anything, anything suddenly coming into him. The dark-haired boy doesn't realize there are footsteps coming toward him until a loud stomp comes from right before his face. He flinches slightly when the effect of it is to flick more water onto him, but doesn't look up.
"Oi. Not that I care, loser, but you shouldn't block the middle of the road, wimp." Oh. Him. Joy. The irony is so strange. Kyouya sighs in grand annoyance, but does little else besides nudging slightly at Jiro, bending down to push at his arms. Dark brown meets dark brown, one resigned with thinly veiled despair, one annoyed (maybe something else, too, but he will never, ever admit it, not to this weakling).
"Come on, get up. Stop being a roadblock," Kyouya wipes at his slightly spiky black hair, which is currently being plastered awkwardly down by the rain, and like Jiro's, is sopping wet. He tugs upward and meets minimal resistance. Jiro looks at him with an expression in between gratitude, confusion, and anger is that what it really is? Or another emotion entirely…The question in the latter's eyes is evident, and Kyouya finds himself pushing the other away, but not hard enough to fall.
"Jeez, I just need someone easy to pick on, so don't get sick, you hear me? Don't think anything more than that about this. And go home already. Do you like worrying people, you selfish…" Kyouya stops there, because despite the fact that everyone (mostly) saw him as a bully, they would be mistaken if they called him dense. He doesn't think anyone can see better than him what is wrong with the Trio (he called them that before an…interesting turn of events). He sees the neglect, the loneliness, the self-hate, the jealousy, the anger, everything that is going wrong. Suddenly he's not seeing the rain fall, but an old oak and a falling boy. He sighs, more to himself than the mess in front of him, and pushes the other's back roughly.
"Go home already. What, are you deaf, too?" Jiro seems to register this, and starts walking, trudging, in the direction of his house. Kyouya snorts, the sound lost in the clap of thunder above, and turns around toward his own house, which he escaped because they are arguing again. His younger siblings are probably hiding in his closet again to muffle the sound and the thunder. But mostly the screaming.
He's so caught up in his thoughts and the rain and thunder are so loud, that he almost doesn't hear the soft "Thank you" that escapes in a sigh from the other boy retreating toward shelter.
He grins, smirks, and throws a casual hand in the air as a sign of farewell ah what the heck he's not going to turn back and see it and no one else is around.
Tempest, Second Movement, Pathetique, Second Movement
He arrives home, soaked quite literally to the skin, coughing and manages to stumble upstairs toward his bedroom before his parents come out of theirs. His mother fusses at him and immediately takes a towel to his hair, "honey, you're going to get sick" and he doesn't move out of her grasp (she is worried at this, but decides to question him when he isn't so pale and drenched). His father is quiet, contemplating, but before he gets a word in, Jiro seems to get the gist of what the elder is going to do and retreats with a quiet but firm "Thank you, Mother, goodnight, Father, Mother."
He closes the door softly, missing or perhaps trying not to see the concerned looks they give each other, and heads to the closet for new clothes to change into. When he is relatively dry, he crawls onto the bed, nestling down into green comforter and bed sheets that smell fresh and almost flowery (so his mother had washed both at the same time). He blinks at the smell, but decides he doesn't completely hate roses.
Just like he can never, ever, completely hate either of them. He knows what's about to happen and tries to drift off to blissful ignorance before it does, but before he can fall asleep, memories about happiness and children and becoming older and the innocent nature of all that's come to be start to plague, to beleaguer the young teen. He remembers feeling a small sense of victory before they dissolve into nothingness.
When he wakes up, he lies there, staring at an never –changing, white, ceiling. A blank slate. A permanent reality. Nothing like what Shu and Kluke and himself have now. He sighs – it used to be so easy, Shu and him always together doing something or the other, Kluke hanging out with them at times and the three of them laughing at something the first did. He finds himself unconsciously and unwillingly smiling when he thinks of the cake incident and when Shu wanted to try babysitting and failed miserably (probably only because the latter was so young himself never mind that Jiro took care of him since he was two), of his own birthday party, of Kluke's…
The smile faded. He wasn't mad at her, of course, it was unreasonable to be mad at her because he and Shu had given her such short notices of their respective crushes on her. And he wasn't mad at Shu, because he could never stay angry at the other for long. That only left himself to be furious at, and that was something too easy to do. Yet speaking of anger…
What was with Kyouya? Yesterday night…with the pounding rain and the dark clouds and the general unpleasantness, he had thought he would see no one after…after…
But the other had shown up in his normal olive pants and off-white T-shirt and that odd, goldenrod tunic. And ushered him to go home. I'm so confused. He heard the other talk in the same gruff tone, the same condescending voice that had annoyed Shu and himself for years. But this time…he shook his head, he was only getting a headache from trying to figure the other male out. Besides, what was Kyouya doing outside that night, anyway? Bullying some poor little animal soaking wet? Perhaps a little kid who got lost? (He would find out he was wrong later. Much later.)
Giving a slight huff, he pushed himself up on his arms and got out of breath, a solution to everything having come to mind.
"Mother, Father, may I talk to you both for a moment?"
Moments later, a letter flew with the eagles toward King Jibral's castle.
Pathetique, Third Movement
He was nervous when he saw the envelope (a fancy one, granted, but an envelope nonetheless) with a royal seal and several fancy looking red ribbons (how did everything look so regal?) in his mother's hands a few days after he had sent his own. She handed it to him carefully, face unreadable and yet concerned, in the way only a mother's could, the letter still unopened. He smiled gratefully at her and watched her own smile blossom. Then, raising the envelope, he carefully undid it (if they spent so much time dressing it, he might as well spend the time to open it, too no, not apprehensive ,not worried, I'm not scared of what she, they, are going to say, of course not, alright maybe, but I'll just open it after I get all these intricately tied ribbons off). Finally, after a few minutes of struggling, he was able to open it and peered inside. Seeing several documents, he meticulously unraveled the first, the biggest.
I am fine, thank you for asking. I am sorry about what you have been through the past few days. I have asked the King about your request, and he whole-heartedly agrees to it. Please feel free to come to the Castle at your earliest wish and convenience. I have included a royal seal for you, a few documents concerning the quarters inside the Castle where you will be residing, your tutoring, and the hospital. I understand you specifically asked for time to help the patients, and I am well aware of your shadow's abilities and do not doubt your ability in using its spells. And your presence alone will bring pleasure to us, as Marumaro has been, as of late, bored rather easily and I personally, and here I believe the King will agree with me, would like your company.
Awaiting your arrival,
Below her neatly written script, there are signature lines for his parents, regarding his transfer to the Castle and surrounding area, for their approval of his choice to work in the hospital and the switch from public to private tutoring, everything necessary for a male teen to move from modest little Talta to a grand, royal Jibral. He gulped, the feeling of apprehension returning, and set the scroll aside, choosing to examine the other contents of the letter. He read through the policies of the hospital (along with what he would be doing), how his schoolwork would be managed (who would be teaching him, people he might want to seek out, what would be necessary to bring, what wouldn't be, and so on), and a lengthy description of the guest room he would reside at (he wondered, briefly and sarcastically, whether the room was longer than the letter), along with a map, but that would be only out of courtesy, as both the King and Zola knew that Jiro hadn't forgotten his way around.
Nothing soothed his unease, and he found himself wondering whether or not he should send a letter thanking them for their kindness and apologizing for inconveniencing them with his indecisiveness. But he found Kyouya's words from that night coming back to him..."Do you like worrying people, you selfish…"
Shaking his head to clear himself of the negativity (not that it would actually disappear), he hurried up the stairs to pack for tomorrow, to be ready not be able to run away, not change his mind before he's on that horse carriage bound for Jibral.
But even as he's stuffing two suitcases with his clothes and another pair of boots, along with his wallet (it doesn't house a lot of money, as Zola has already written that all his expenses would be paid for by the Kingdom ("A person who helped protect our world should at least accept our gratitude in the form of taking care of all the monetary aspects of your life here"), a few writing and drawing supplies, his sketchbook, a few notebooks, a few washing supplies (it wouldn't do to show up at the Castle smelling like the journey, after all), folders and dividers (he wasn't called a neat freak for nothing), a few envelopes (his parents demand letters at least once a week, his mother preferring them every day, his father just smiling in that understanding way of his), and an assortment of other things. He doesn't admit to himself that he wants to take one, just one, book with him.
It's not filled with writing.
Granted, there are little annotations and such, but it's filled with pictures. Pictures of a baby Shu, of the black-haired male growing up, of himself (from two years of age until Kluke's birthday party he winces), of a young girl maturing, all the while with a ribbon in her hair, of his parents, of Fushira, of many of the villagers (and he almost stops breathing when he finds the few pictures of Shu's parents that he has), of everything in his life.
With a growl of frustration at the mental irresolution and everything wrong or just plain confusing, everything that spurred his decision to go to Jibral, everything everything, he almost throws the thick package of papers into his suitcase.
Instead, it lands softly on his clothes (he put them on top, he doesn't want to iron anything on his first days at Jibral) with a light plop and stays there, almost sinking into green fabric. He sighs (he's been doing that a lot these days), and sits down on the bed. Locking both suitcases, he moves them off the bed and curls up on the bed, on top of the sheets. I'm so stupid. He thinks of Shu's choice expletives, and almost smiles. The not-there grin disappears completely when he realizes he should say good-bye to his parents, at least, before leaving. Running a hand through combed dark hair, he strode downstairs to the kitchen, where he knew his mother was probably making coffee for his father, who was probably reading one of the daily papers…
"Mother, Father, I…" And he stops short, because his mother is hugging him hard, although not quite as hard as the time she saw him on the road to Jibral, and his dad has come over and wrapped his arms around the two of them. His mother speaks first, "Honey, I know. I know. I'll miss you dearly, too, and you know I'll be looking forward every second to those letters. Honestly, I wish we could go with you, but…" She doesn't have to say it. Jiro knows how much they love the village and their friends, and since it has been restored…Besides, he's not leaving forever, right?
His father is next to utter any words and Jiro finds himself unconsciously leaning into the embrace.
"Son, I'm so proud of the fine young man you've become. Best of luck to you, Jiro, and come back to us in good health, alright? It doesn't matter what happens otherwise…" Neither of them knows that this is the only thing the younger will not do, will not be able to do…
"Dad…" Momentarily reverting to the more informal term that he used until he was eleven, Jiro hugged them both harder to him. I'm leaving tomorrow. I'm sorry…I'll miss you both…I love you…He hoped his actions would speak what he had not spoken. His mother lets out a noise between a laugh and a sob (after all, what were she and her husband if they could not tell what their son was trying to convey?), and hugs him tighter for a few minutes before reluctantly letting go, his father doing the same. Jiro pulls back in the same manner and smiles, wearily when did smiling take such an effort to do, before retiring for the night. He had a long day ahead of him, anyhow.
Tempest, Third Movement
The next day is full of surprises no, no, he knew most of what happened was going to occur and Jiro finds himself face to face with Kyouya. This time, though, the old Kyouya is back, swaggering around and chatting up taunting and insulting a few younger children. However, upon noticing Jiro, the teen stalks over with the ease and manner of a skilled predator.
"What do you want, Kyouya?" Kyouya smirks, but gestures toward the suitcases.
"Nothing, loser. Do you have anything I want? I don't think so." That's a lie. There's something he doesn't have that Jiro does, and he wants it. Even if he won't admit it to himself. Jiro stares at him, annoyed and resigned at the same time, but moreso confused.
"Just wondering why you're lugging around two suitcases…trying to show off how weak you are? I can help with that…all you had to do with ask," he 'tsks' at the other. Jiro only rolls his eyes at the threat (as if this was nothing out of the usual) and makes to move past the black-haired male. However, Kyouya won't be deterred so easily, and Jiro finds himself sighing yet again, "I'm going to stay at Jibral for a while…it'll be good to help people, and I can get additional tutoring there." And I can stay out of their way. It'll be better like this, they can be happier without me interrupting. I'm so selfish, but I can at least take myself out of their lives. I can at least give them that….Wait, is it me or did Kyouya just look surprised?
Kyouya's dark brown eyes widen in surprise only a little and for the time span of a milli-second, but then his face goes back to an expression of derision.
"Running away from your problems? How like a coward." That hurt. Jiro feels his breath catch in his throat, a sudden pain constricting his chest. He turns away, fully intending to get to the carriage half-an-hour before it actually arrives and half to stop himself from hitting Kyouya or saying something back, something he would probably regret. This time, Kyouya does nothing to stop him, and only watches Jiro's retreating back, expression unreadable. You'll thank me when all of this is over. If it ever ends…
And with that, he walked towards a certain workshop…
Meanwhile, Jiro stormed half-angrily (it was hard to discern what the other half-feeling was, one negative feeling, or many) towards where he was to be picked up. The nerve of him to say…how did he even know? Besides, he's…he's definitely not right. I'm not running away, I'm just taking a break. Besides, running away isn't always a bad thing. And I'm doing this for them…Caught up in his musings and watching and listening for the horses, he didn't hear someone calling his name until they were only a few feet away.
"…Jiro! Hey, Jiro! Oi!" With a start, the person in question spun around to meet the speaker. Eyes widening slightly at who it was, the dark-haired fourteen-year-old moved a step backward. However, Shu doesn't notice, or chooses not to notice this, and instead narrows his eyes, "Is what Kyouya said true? Are you really going to Jibral?"
Instead of answering he knows his voice will betray him, Jiro only nods, gesturing helplessly toward the suitcases. "Why…why didn't you tell me? Or Kluke?" Shu sounds suddenly unsure, but angry and betrayed all the same, and…is that disappointment? Jiro winces, but is saved from answering when the horses' canter is heard…or so he thinks, because then Shu grabs roughly onto his arm that hurts let go stop it stop it.
"Tell me!" And the desperation, the hurt in his best friend's voice jolts him to answer. As gently as he can, he extracts his arm out of Shu's grip, replying with a genuine and soft "because then I couldn't leave, Shu" even if it explains nothing. The other isn't satisfied, he knows, but the horse carriage has arrived and all he hears is "But Kluke –" before he's paid the fee, settled inside (after dragging in his luggage), and made to leave.
"I'll write to you both. Take care of yourself, her, and my parents." And then any protests (all of them, all of the vehement protests that are being yelled by his best friend his little brother) are caught and twisted and dissolved by the wind as the horses start towards Jibral. Farewell. I'm sorry, I lo-
That….is a long first chapter. :( I'm exhausted. I think my writing and grammar got worse and worse because of that (well, actually, I'm a bit disappointed in that the chapter didn't turn out as good as I'd hoped for it to be, from the first words to the last)…and the characterization…but I was determined to finish this. At one in the morning, apparently. I don't know how long the next chapter will be, but if it's this long, then it's going to take some time. I'm struggling with Holding On, it's being extremely stubborn…On the other hand, Kaleidoscope seems to be going nicely…
In the next chapter, Jiro's going to meet six familiar faces from the anime – any guesses on who they are? ( Don't forget that this takes place in the game universe, and therefore this Jiro most likely doesn't know them yet.) Oh, and another familiar face from the game…anyone know who the person is? We'll see how Jiro adjusts to a new life and some new troubles…And lastly, if you have time/patience/goodwill to review, please do so! Reviews help me write greatly…actually, they help me in general. ;) Thanks in advance, and thanks for reading!