Story Dedicated To:
My cousin Trent who on July 22 commited suicide.
I didn't know you very well, but after all the goofy and crazy stories I heard I really wish I had.
Summary: After attempting suicide, fifteen year Roxas Strife is sent to rehab by his older brother Cloud. But can one mute girl show him how to live and prove Second Chances are real?
Disclaimer: I do NOT own Kingdom Hearts*Sighs*
Chapter 1: Never Too Late
Even if I say it'll be alright
Still I hear you say you want to end your life
Now and again we try to just stay alive
Maybe we'll turn it around 'cause it's not too late
It's never too late
--Three Days Grace
Twenty-three year old Cloud Strife ran up the stairs to his apartment, his heart thrashing against his chest as he took nearly two steps at a time.
The words his brother had spoken only moments ago on the phone still replaying in his mind as though somebody had pressed a permanent replay button.
"I'm really sorry Cloud....I-I just can't do this anymore. I'm sorry for all the things I've put you through. Y-You really are the best brother...a-and I-I love you. Please...forgive me."
The words haunted Cloud's mind relentlessly. He hadn't even had the chance to say something. Anything. He had only enough time to drop the phone into one of his pockets and then start sprinting back to the apartment. The only question that plagued Cloud's mind was, why? Why now? Cloud just didn't understand. His younger brother had never been a burden....
So, were things just getting too stressful at school?
Cloud knew his brother had a hard time with school. Not academically, but socially. After their mother's death, Roxas had become more of a loner. The only person he had ever socialized with was Cloud. Although over the years that became less frequent because Cloud's job had become increasingly demanding, leaving him with occasional spare moments to share with his younger brother.
The very thought had guilt suddenly gnawing at his normally icy heart. Was it his fault this was happening? Was it because of that one time he skipped hanging out with his brother to meet up with some other friends after work?
Yet, Cloud knew his brother wasn't petty like that. He understood that his older brother needed some time with other people, right? Maybe it really was kids from school. Maybe they really pushed him too far this time and he finally snapped. Though Cloud was sure it wasn't from some stupid childish pranks. His brother had always been able to push aside the snide remarks and idiotic antics of his classmates.
So why was it now that his brother was crumbling? Had shattered. Cloud dug his fingernails into his palm, fighting the stinging in his eyes.
Cloud loved his little brother more than anything. They were all each other had. Cloud had been the only one left to support his little brother eight years ago.
That same brother who now at age fifteen was planning to kill himself this very moment. How? Cloud had no idea. The only thing he knew was that he just had to stop it. If he didn't stop it--Cloud mentally shook his head. He would stop it. There were no ifs. Losing his brother was not an option. Cloud had already lost too many people in his lifetime and wasn't about to lose another.
The blond man's breathing was now ragged, but his feet refused to stop. This was one of those rare moments in a person's life where no matter how sore your body ached the adrenaline kept you going. Sweat began to glisten, hanging by droplets on his face, but Cloud ignored it, his eyes trained on the door at the end of the stairs. Room number 583. Their house.
Cloud picked up his pace, pushing back the pain in his legs as he neared the rusty red colored door. He could hear the blood pounding in his ears, with his final steps. He wasn't quite sure what he was going to do but somehow his body moved on its own accord and resulted in Cloud body slamming the door down.
The force of Cloud's body against the door ripped the old rusty door off its hinges and sent the wooden hazard flying. The door hit one of the cream colored walls causing both a whole through said wall and an ear splitting sound that echoed through the tiny expanse of their apartment.
Blue eyes darted around the room, until they fell to the spot where his brother stood. The younger boy's body was motionless, his face vacant as his fingers were loosely curled around the gun that was now placed at his side. Cloud noticed the device, his eyes widening at the sight.
A gun!? Cloud's mind refused to register the thought, but inevitably like all unwanted thoughts, it managed to slip through the cracks unnoticed. Until it struck. Cloud's feet which had been firmly on the ground began to slowly edge towards the motionless boy. The thoughts running through his head, were far beyond the twenty-three old. All that he knew was that he needed to get that gun from his brother's hand.
The blond who stood motionless at the other end of the room, tightened his shaky grip around the gun, slowly bringing it up to his head. But the question was, would he be able to do it? Would he really be able to pull the trigger and end his life once and for all? It seemed so easy, getting the gun, but that trigger. Pulling that trigger seemed almost impossible.
But...He had to. There was just no way around it. He was miserable. Everyday, was like a living hell. Perpetual hell. And the only way to free himself of that prison cell was to do the unthinkable. Pull a simple trigger and he wouldn't have to spend all his days drowning in his own sorrow.
The boy wanted so badly to, but he was afraid. He knew that there was no turning back once that trigger was pulled, but he also knew that his brother would stop him if he didn't do something soon. Like real soon. His brother was already halfway there....The blond boy inhaled deeply, forcing his quivering hand to climb its way to his head. the gun hole touching his right temple with its grim cold.
His finger twitched against the trigger. He was so close--"ROXAS!"
The call, no the plea coming from the boy's brother. Desperation tainting his features, the look forced Roxas to stop, avoiding his brother's gaze, the gun in his hand shaking again.
Cloud took another step forward, "Please, stop this," Another step. "We can talk about this, now just put the gun down and--"
Roxas took in a sharp breath, "No! I won't! I-I can't!" He pressed the gun against his temple hard, his finger twitching on the trigger. Cloud didn't understand. He would never understand.
"Roxas, put down the gun," Cloud ordered, calmly. The older blond was now advancing close enough so that he was mere steps away.
Roxas's eyes darted around the room, searching for an escape. There were none. Cloud was blocking the door and the window. The only two sources of escape. There was no way he could plow through Cloud. It just wasn't physically possible. Cloud noticed the panic leaking onto his brother's face and quickly sprung into action.
He grabbed the younger boy in utter surprise. The gun he had been holding dropped from his hand and skidded across the wood floors and under the black ottoman. Roxas's eyes widened at the sight, as he tried to free himself from his brother's python-like grip. But it was no use. The gun was too far away now and Roxas knew Cloud wouldn't let go no matter how much he thrashed or no matter how much he squirmed. He was caught.
The fact caused Roxas's body to turn almost jell-o like. His limbs drained of every ounce of resistance. Cloud took notice and slightly loosened his grip, this was the time to talk some sense into his brother.
Cloud shook his head slightly, "What were you thinking?"
Roxas kept his gaze on the floor, trying to force the lump in his throat back down, but failing miserably.
"Why, why would you do this to me?"
That question struck him. Hard. "I wasn't--Cloud, I wasn't trying to hurt you, really. I just--"
"You what?!" Cloud snapped, anger suddenly engulfing him, "There was no reason for this! You know there wasn't. You--"
"You don't understand!"
Cloud scoffed, "Understand what? The fact that my brother, my little brother just tried killing himself!?"
Roxas could feel his fists begin to clench tightly, but his hands loosened, his voice abruptly soft, "I...I just couldn't do it anymore.... I... still can't do it anymore."
"Do, what?" Cloud prompted.
A few hours had passed and Cloud Strife was still in the chair beside his brother's bed, watching over him. Cloud couldn't believe it. He honestly couldn't believe how desperate his brother had become. How much pain and sorrow he had been masking. How this very event would have been inevitable. That just two days ago when Cloud saw his brother smiling. It was all just an act.
He had been preparing for months. It had never been spur of the moment, and maybe that's what bothered the older Strife the most. Cloud's blue eyes watched as his brother's chest rose and fell at a steady, even pace. Why hadn't he seen this happening? Was he really that oblivious to his brother's problems? Had he been to absorbed in his own life to not notice?
But out of every thought that crossed his mind. There was one that scared him the most. The thought of him trying to do this again. But this time he wouldn't call. He wouldn't be at home. He would kill himself.
Cloud closed his azure eyes, rubbing his temple. There was only one thing to do.
Reaching into his pocket, Cloud brought out his black flip-phone and dialed.
Another voice sounded after a few moments, "Hello?"
"Hey, it's Cloud...I um..I need a favor."
It was the next morning, when the sun's rays leaked through the shades of Roxas's room. The blond in question was still sleeping away the morning. Secretly hoping that yesterday had all been apart of one big dream. Of course there was one problem with that thought. Yesterday did indeed happen. The proof being his older brother who was still sitting in the chair beside his bed. Or at least he had been.
Roxas groaned, trying to bury his head into his pillow from the light but the pillow was suddenly snatched from under his head. Roxas's head fell onto his mattress, but he still refused to open his eyes.
"Get up," The voice commanded, nudging him in the side.
Roxas moaned and rolled over, "Nughh."
The voice let out an irritated sigh, "Roxas, get up!"
Cloud rolled his eyes, 'Guess we'll have to do this the hard way.'
Quietly, Cloud walked around the bed until he reached his brother, still lazily asleep on his side with a blanket loosely draped over his body. Cloud grabbed a hold of one end of the fabric and pulled.
The force of the pull sent Roxas tumbling off his bed and onto the wooden floor with a resounding 'thud'. The younger blond blinked once, still slightly groggy as he lifted himself off the floor.
"Ungh...W-What are you doing?"
Cloud didn't bother to answer the question, nor did he turn around. "Get dressed, or we're going to be late."
Late? Why would they be late? It wasn't even a school day...."Late for what?"
Cloud tossed a backpack to his brother, who caught it clumsily between his hands, "Your first day at the rehabilitation center."
Roxas froze, before anger tainted his voice, "You're sending me to REHAB!"
Cloud turned around, "Yep."
Okay, so I know I should be updating like a bazillion other stories right now but...I just couldn't get this story out of my head. Stupid plot bunnies....But I will say that by adding this story it doesn't mean I'm ditching any other ones. I actually am starting a writing update plan where I'll update a story every some days or so(at least I hope to do that).
Well anyway, I know this is a depressing start, but things should get better eventually:)
Although I hope this didn't suck or anything, and that you'll be willing to...
READ and REVIEW!:D