Wow. Well, I finished the latest chapter of my 'All For One' fic yesterday and to my surprise, this story came tumbling straight out. The idea had been floating around in my head for a little while but it clicked when I listened to this song. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon or The Kill.
A Beautiful Lie
'Look in my eyes,
You're killing me, killing me,
All I wanted was you…'
- The Kill, 30 Seconds To Mars
You spin her around in an elegant pirouette, your face alight with ecstasy, before dragging her back closer to you as if you cannot bear to let her go. She laughs, the melodious sound of pure joy echoing through the room as she wraps her arms around your neck. You don't hesitate, planting a passionate kiss on her waiting lips and she returns the gesture eagerly. On every side your well wishers are watching you, their faces mirroring your mutual happiness. The sight is unbearable. I plaster a wide, fake smile to my face, hoping desperately that no one will notice the silent tears leaking out from under my eyelids. I want to run, to flee this nightmare and never return. I want to sling myself off a cliff into the waiting sea or go and play in the traffic outside the hotel – anything, anything to escape this torture.
But I will not weaken. Five months ago, when you announced your engagement, I made a solemn promise to myself that I would stick this day out for you. Above all else I am your friend, and friends support each other on days like today. All your other companions are here, reveling in the joy of the best day of your life while swapping smug stories about the predictions they made about you and her so long ago. For them, today is a breeze.
But none of your other friends are freefalling helplessly, hopelessly deeper into love with you.
She tightens her grip around your neck, her long shiny hair spilling down your back as she rests her head on your shoulder. I can see you lean closer to whisper in her ear, and a sob rises in my throat at the blissful expression on her face. You are beautiful today, your black tuxedo complimenting your shaggy raven hair and warm brown eyes so perfectly. My legs start to buckle beneath me and I have to suppress the part of me that wants to scream with rage and agony about how wrong this is. I want to howl to the world that you belong with me, that she is not good enough for you and that truthfully it is me that you have loved all along. But I would by lying if I said it, and that knowledge is almost enough to kill me.
I've never even been jealous of her. I have no right, or reason, or even ability to be so. I could never hate someone you love so intensely, no matter what she has stolen from me. But I am sick with gut clawing envy over something deeper - over the inadvertent advantage she has had from the start, that which I could never hope to claim. It's not her beauty, or spirit, or drive that I am jealous of, for I have all these things myself, though today I will admit that she has outshone me in the most startling of ways. In your arms, she is utterly radiant.
No, I am jealous for something very different. For before you even knew of my name, my story or even of my existence, you were in love with her, and nothing I said, or did, or felt on our journey together was ever going to change that. She already had you. It was hopeless from the very beginning.
Brock tried to warn me off you. He tried to explain that you considered yourself a taken man, even before you had the guts to tell her how you feel. He tried to tell me I was clinging to something that would never, ever, be. But I wouldn't listen. I insisted I could change your mind, though as we progressed together I began to fear in my heart of hearts that Brock was right. It wasn't until I saw you with her for the first time that I realized how futile my attempt to change you had been. Up until then I had never realized just how far I was in over my head, but by then it was too late. I was yours, heart and soul, just as you were hers, and so we have both remained to this day. And this day of all days, I have died a little more on the inside.
She's giggling now, a rosy blush creeping onto her face at the sweet words you are doubtlessly whispering in her ear. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what you must be talking of, and the idea brings a wave of nausea so forceful that it takes all of my self control not to retch up my miserable guts all over the polished marble floor.
She knows, of course. How could she not? She was your girlfriend for thirteen months and your fiancée for five; now she's your wife. She's watched me moon over you for almost two years. But as far as I can tell, she's never told you how I feel. I know she could be rid of me in a second, for honorable man that you are, you would distance yourself from me for her sake. But she's never taken that audacious step.
That's how much she cares about you. She doesn't want to see you lose the girl you call your little sister. You're too compassionate, and she knows you would hurt for me. But that's how much she trusts you to stay true to her. That's how confident she is in your love. And though I can tell it pains her to put up with my desperate looks and eyes brimming with tears she's never once mentioned it to me, though her actions have shown compassion and pity. She knows it's better left unsaid.
You spin her slowly, and I see her eyes close as she nestles her head into your chest. Hunger rises painfully in my throat; I would give anything, anything, to be in her place right now, and yet she acts as if it is the most natural thing in the world for her to do. You bury your face in her beautiful amber hair and I can't help but wonder what the people in the room would think if you were stroking my locks instead.
I am about to give up, to flee into the sanctuary of the nearby ladies room in a vain attempt to collect myself. Instead, I have to hold myself in place as the worst possible scenario unfolds in front of me. You glance up, and your eyes meet mine. An agonizing, thrilling jolt unleashes itself around my body at the sight of your bright brown eyes looking back at me, and for a second I can almost fool myself that written in those chocolate depths is regret and pain. But I am not that delusional. Your eyes are brimming with the satisfaction of a long cherished hope, mirth and heady contentment etched so clearly on your face that I wonder how I could ever have duped myself into thinking that you could care for anyone but the girl in your arms. You smile at me, and it is almost my undoing.
For a brief, hysterical moment I almost want to let out a wild cackle at the irony the situation – three years of friendship and you are still blissfully unaware of the tangle of emotions buried inside me, all of them concerning you. But the moment passes and somehow, through the conscious command of my will, I hold myself together and amazingly, smile back. I know my face is probably closer to a grimace than a grin, but you are so in your own world with her that you do not notice, just as you have never noticed. She blinds you to the world beyond her, and your shared love is so intense that you no need me no longer. That knowledge hits me like a wrecking ball as your eyes flutter shut, forgetting about me as she murmurs something to you, and the room darkens before my open eyes as I assimilate it.
I will never be anything to you.
I feel another brutal tide of nausea course relentlessly through me and for a brief second I waver, the room becoming oddly distorted as I fight to regain my consciousness. My bed and a large tub of ice cream, coupled with yet another pathetic romantic movie, are calling my name and I glance around fearfully like a trapped animal seeking an escape from an inevitable hell. Other couples are taking to the floor – May and Drew, Daisy and Tracey, Delia and Professor Oak. I watch them enviously, wishing fervently that I could be so carefree. I have to get out of here.
As I plot my untimely escape I glance languidly around, trying to make it seem like I am admiring the crowds clustered around the dance floor rather than simply figuring out the quickest route to the door. Yours is not a large wedding, and for once the paparazzi have been banned. The lure of the Master's wedding, however, is too great to be ignored, and I know they will be waiting for you when you step outside.
I've just about decided on my escape plan when to my surprise, I note that I am not the only one watching with an expression that doesn't fit in the crowds of delighted people. Somehow, I had forgotten he would be here. His face is hard to read – he's not jealous, as some may have predicted, or heartbroken like mine. It's a strange mixture of respect and wistfulness and envy, but he's not desirous of your bride – at least, I don't think he is. He's envious of you, for today, as well the day not so long ago when you achieved the first part of you dream, you have bettered him. He pushes his long brown bangs out of his eyes, a small smile creeping onto his face. Unconsciously I edge a little closer, somehow drawn to him in the middle of my life crisis. I realize that I am stupidly wasting valuable get away time and just as I am about to slip away, I jump a little as he notices me suddenly and acknowledges me.
'Hey Dawn,' he says kindly, smiling. I sniff quietly, hoping that my waterproof makeup is holding up.
'Hello Gary,' I reply quietly, watching him curiously though my mind is still focused on how your feet glide with surprising dexterity over the dance floor. I suspect your mother forced you into dancing lessons before this day.
He nods towards you. You're kissing her again. 'They sure look happy, don't they?'
His voice is level, neutral, with no hint of the mixed emotions I saw so clearly just a few moments ago. I hazard a guess that perhaps, even after all this time, he is still not quite sure what to think of you.
I turn away from him to make it seem like I am admiring what a beautiful couple you make together but my eyes are fixed on the chandelier that hovers above you.
'Yes, I guess they do,' I reply. Despite my best efforts I cannot keep the stifling dullness from my voice, the deathlike inevitability of pain. I curse my own weakness. I am well practiced at concealing myself from the world but today all of my walls have come crashing down.
He nods, but his face is so smooth I cannot tell what he is thinking. I cannot tell whether he has seen through the damaged façade I maintained so diligently until this day. However, his next words catch me so off guard that I am left reeling in surprise.
'Would you like to dance?' he asks in a low voice, turning and smiling a small smile at me. Words die in my throat; however desperate I am to escape this place I can think of no decent excuse to say no. I take his proffered hand without a word and he leads me onto the dance floor, choosing to avoid where you still stand with her locked in your embrace. Whether his move is unconscious or not, I still feel grateful towards him for it.
I step rather awkwardly into his waiting arms, but he doesn't comment, merely smiling kindly and thankfully staying silent. Amazingly his arms are rather comforting and for a brief, blissful second I am able to forget where and who I am.
And then, as we rotate slightly in the dance, I can see you with her over Gary's shoulder, and the pain comes crashing down on me again. You are both laughing now as you drop butterfly kisses all over her face, and I can imagine how she is chastising you for your frivolous behavior. She slaps you lightly on the shoulder before you snatch her back into your arms but she makes no attempt to resist your embrace. My throat constricts painfully as those haunting words that prompted my attempt to escape float mercilessly through my brain again. And I know, with the crushing pressure of truth, that it is finished.
It is finished. That much is certain, that destroying knowledge finally having thunked painfully into place in my head. But amazingly, as I repeat these desperate words in my head as my breath comes in hyperactive gasps, I feel a tiny, almost unperceivable prick of the oddest and most unexpected sense of relief. Today you bound yourself to her, knowing you could never have been happy without her. But here I am, on the outside. I have been beaten. I was beaten from the start. And despite the manifold agony of your decision all I can ever hope to do is pick up the pieces of my life and try to put my shattered heart back together. I may never be able to right the wrong of loving a taken man, but perhaps I can find security in the hope of trying.
But I have had enough of watching you with her, for the moment. My resolution of recovery is too fresh and fragile to be tested and I allow my eyes to close so I don't have to watch you any longer. My eyes sting sharply and my jaw aches from my fake smile and I know that today at least, there can be no escape.
Hahaha, you didn't honestly think I'd let Ash marry anyone but Misty, did you? Well, I'm actually really happy with how this one came out – I've never written anything so angsty before, or from this perspective. Please PLEASE review and tell me what you think, as this was an experiment in a style I want to use for a major fic I have planned. Tell me if it works. This is a onesot so don't look for another chapter.
This was originally titled 'The Kill' but I opted to use the album title instead. Dawn's relationship with Ash is the beautiful lie.
This story was inspired in part by 'Because of Her' by Tohsaka-Rin91. You should check it out, it's awesome. And completely by accident I found the other story it was inspired by today – 'Jealousy' by Maiden of the Moon. It's a really unusual spin on an Ash and Misty wedding, read it!
And why, you may ask, did I use Dawn for this one? Well, I hate Advanceshipping so much I couldn't stand to write it, even like this, and I like to believe May in love with Drew. Also, Dawn is young and I think that makes her most likely to develop such a crazy crush on Ash.
Thanks for reading, and PLEASE review! If you're a Pokeshipper you might like my other fics :D