I never really ever know what to say
When all of my emotions get in the way
I'm just trying to get us on the same page.
-Lights, The Listening
She hated storms. She hated the thunder and lightning and rain and clouds and darkness and - okay, she just hated everything about storms. Period.
Everything was happening so quickly it was nearly impossible to explain or even register what was going on - much like a storm. Her thoughts jumbled and collided head-on with each other like some sort of mental car crash, and whenever she tried to talk about it the words would just crumble and topple off the tip of her tongue, abused and worn from rewording her sentences so many times.
If only there was some way she could make him understand.
Plap. Plap. Plap.
The rain pelted the glass panes like a hail of gunfire but it wasn't loud enough to quell the silence.
It never was.
Naminé exhaled softly as her eyes drifted from her door to the ceiling; she folded her hands on top of her stomach and tried to concentrate on the plap, plap plapping but it was no use. Her mind, her heart had a tendency to sidetrack when she didn't want it to - which was, unfortunately, most of the time.
Groaning, the blonde rolled on her side and curled up against one of her pillows, stuffing her face into the soft jersey fabric and inhaling its peculiar scent: cologne and shampoo.
Roxas' cologne and shampoo.
She groaned a second time and pushed the pillow away, shifting around so that she was facing the ceiling again. She couldn't help but feel a little pathetic when she spent every single one of her weeknights in the very same position, gazing dismally at the ceiling with her limbs listless by her sides and her eyes glazed over with tears and her chest threatening to cave inwards, crushing the very organ that kept her alive.
When was the last time she drew something?
She sat up and pushed her small hands down on the mattress, forcing herself to move off the bed and actually do something. Her joints protested as she trudged over to the seemingly forgotten drafting table sitting idly on the opposite side of her small room, cluttered with crumpled, creased leaves of paper. She took a seat and reached for the sketchbook lying against the angled surface, sighing as she pulled the pencil out of its spiral binding. She had no idea what she was going to draw, but she might as well do something before she depressed herself further.
She flipped to the first page and caught a glimpse of blue, blue eyes and rich chocolate-brown hair that stuck up and out like javelins.
Naminé immediately shut the sketchbook and slammed it back on the table.
As if her situation couldn't get any more confusing and depressing her phone rang nearly fifteen minutes later.
What actually made things more confusing and depressing was that she knew who the caller was before she even glanced at the screen.
"Naminé?" His voice was deep and husky - so like and unlike the voice she had been craving to hear these past few months.
"Mm." She murmured, pretending to be busy with something. She had returned to her position on the bed, and her lack of motivation was stronger than ever.
"Uh," Roxas hesitated, "It's Friday night. Are you up for anything?"
"Um," Yes, "Do you...do you have anything in mind?" Just not with you.
"Not really - maybe just dinner, and then we can just hang around your place for awhile."
She absently tugged on her hair. "Okay," Her response was mechanical, automatic - like always, "What time are you heading over?"
"How's ten to fifteen minutes sound?"
She could sense the awkwardness radiating off of him. "Alright. I'll see you soon." He fell silent for a few seconds, debating on whether he should add onto his last sentence, but then he hung up.
She sighed shakily and rubbed her upper arms as she sat up to drag herself over to her closet. She had no idea what to wear, but she knew that when Roxas meant dinner he meant somewhere fancy and expensive. She wondered how he was able to afford such things when...when he couldn't.
They were brothers, after all.
She wanted to stop.
God knew she did, but she couldn't. She really couldn't.
She was pathetic like that.
"Naminé?" She glanced upwards, peering through the pretty vase of roses, shiny candelabra and crystal glasses filled to the brim with cold water; Roxas' blue, blue eyes shimmered and flickered against the tiny flames stemming from the waxy white candles.
"S-sorry," She brushed a few bangs out of her eyes, "What is it?"
He was giving her that look again - a look of utter disappointment, rejection and hurt. He was so good at concealing his feelings, but unfortunately his eyes almost always gave the truth away and she hated it every time.
"Made a decision yet?" He was nodding to the menu clutched in her hands, avoiding her eyes.
She could've answered his question in so many different ways. She ducked into her menu so he would not see the uneasiness in her expression. "Erm, not yet."
He leaned back and gave her a soft smile. "Take your time. There's no rush." Though he seemed content his eyes were still giving her that look again and it tugged painfully on her heartstrings.
I want to be yours.
They sat in silence; she was curled up against him on the couch with one arm around his waist and her cheek against his shoulder. He was holding her tight against his side and his chin was resting on top of her head. Ever since they came back to her apartment after dinner they haven't said a single word.
Naminé could feel his thumb absently rubbing her shoulder, and she could smell the cologne on his skin. If she craned her neck to look upwards she would see the blonde mess that was his hair and the blue void that was his eyes.
He would only be Roxas for a few seconds before her heart kicked in.
The gentle yet firm pressure of his thumb on her shoulder would soften into something much shier, hesitant. The sharp cologne would transform into the oddly satisfying 'beachy' smell that clung onto his sun-kissed skin. The tousled blond tufts would darken and jut out into those wonderful chocolate-brown spikes.
But the blue would always remain.
Naminé closed her eyes against him, breathing in the scent of the ocean and reaching up to tangle her fingers in the rich mahogany tendrils. A low rumble in his chest vibrated against her cheek as he sighed.
"It's getting late," She couldn't hear him behind his words; she could only hear the smooth, boyish chuckle of someone else's, "I should be heading home."
"Wait," She threw her other arm around him and pressed her side against his so it would be harder for him to escape, "Stay. Just a little more. Please."
He shifted around uncomfortably. "Naminé, I really have to go."
Whining playfully, she opened her eyes to give him a mocking glare. "But Sor-" She stopped herself, but she knew it was too late. Roxas yanked himself out of her arms and stood up so quickly she almost didn't have time to sit up. He didn't even turn around to look at her before walking briskly out of the den and slamming the door behind him.
She sat alone on the couch with nothing but her tears and the faint scent of his cologne lingering on her shirt.
Or was it the beach?
She always told herself that there was enough room in her heart for only one of them, and she was so sure she knew which one it was but whenever Roxas was gone it was like a part of her left with him. His absence would throb uncontrollably in her chest cavity until she couldn't even walk properly, and the tears would trickle down endlessly even after her eyes began to burn.
It had been at least half a week since she last saw him - this was a new record.
She sat on the edge of her bed, sniffling and rubbing her eyes with her knuckles. Her phone was sitting on the bedside table, staring at her contemptuously. It was tempting her, egging her on, but she couldn't give in. She knew he wouldn't pick up anyway. Usually she would wait until he called back or sometimes he would just randomly tumble into her apartment at some ungodly hour, but she wasn't sure it was going to happen this time. It had already been more than three days - he always came back on the third.
There was a blunt tapping on her window and she turned towards it, frowning when she was met with the tiny, clear droplets of the beginnings of a rainstorm. When thunder boomed and lightning flashed she twitched in her seat and swallowed hard, gripping the sheets with trembling fists. Her eyes returned to the small white device sitting on her bedside table, and her heart thumped uncomfortably.
One call wouldn't hurt, would it?
After thirteen rings she snapped her phone shut and curled up into a ball, hugging her knees to her chest as the harrowing pain swirling inside spread to the tips of her fingers and toes - never mind, it did hurt.
If only there was some way she could make him understand. If only there was some way she could make him see that she really did love him - she did, honest to God. Naminé loved Roxas dearly, but whenever she thought she was ready to give herself to him his brother would pop into her head and she would revert back to square one: alone, hurt and confused without either brother to make it go away.
By now she would've figured that she had the strength to get over Sora. It was just a little more than a year ago - seriously, she really had to let go of him. He was gone and he was never going to come back, no matter how hard she cried or how loud she screamed for him in her nightmares. He told her to move on, he told her that there was somebody out there that deserved her more than he did but of course she was too in love to heed his words. She didn't want him to go - she never wanted him to, but he did and she was suffering because of it.
Then Roxas comes along and for a second the clouds part and she could see the tips of the sun's rays poking through the gloom. He was kind, gentle, unselfish and supportive; everything anyone would want in a lover, a soulmate, a partner. He wiped her tears away, he nursed her wounds, he held her when she couldn't stand up anymore. Whenever he was around she felt safe, warm and wanted.
Of course she loved Roxas. Who couldn't?
He knew there was something wrong, he knew she was still trying to get over Sora but it didn't matter to him - or at least it seemed so. He knew that she wasn't really looking at him when they met eyes, and he knew she wasn't picturing his face when she leaned in to touch lips. He knew he wasn't what she wanted and it made the hurt so, so much worse.
You don't love him.
Yes you do.
If you do then why do you keep hurting him?
You do love him - that's why it hurts when you hurt him. You know you don't mean it.
Naminé stifled a sob and stuffed her face into a pillow - the pillow that smelled like him. She clung to it for dear life, soaking the fabric with her tears.
She didn't want to hurt him anymore, but she didn't know how to stop.
Roxas and Sora were brothers. They were twins. They were born on the same month, the same day. Sora was older than Roxas by four minutes. They were exactly the same height.
They had the same eyes: a liquid, vivid, unreadable blue - the kind that drowned anyone who dared to look into them.
Sora's hair was a deep, rich brown; it clumped together in long, thick, gravity-defying spikes that poked out in every direction imaginable, but when she touched the seemingly sharp strands they were as soft as down feathers; Roxas' hair was short, golden-blond and adorably unkempt - the kind that was just begging to have her fingers run through it.
Sora's jagged bangs were strategically swept away from his eyes; Roxas' were almost always hanging over his.
Sora's voice was chipper, bouncy and optimistic; Roxas' was solemn, gruff and intuitive.
Sora's smile was toothy, quirky and sweet; Roxas only smirked, but it was just as endearing as his brother's kiddish grin.
Sora, being the perpetual child that he is, never really took anything seriously and always had something funny to say; Roxas' words were so profound she had to think about it once or twice before understanding what he was trying to say, but when she finally did understand her heart would swell with adoration.
Sora was a beach bum who spent his weekends surfing waves as tall as the skyscrapers a few blocks away from Naminé's apartment - he always knew when it was high tide; Roxas was a city boy who knew every shortcut, every fancy restaurant, every popular nightclub - he had the subway map and the city districts engraved into his memory.
Sora smelled like the sun, sand and saltwater; Roxas smelled like expensive cologne.
Sora's kisses were swift, innocent and teasing; Roxas' kisses were…
She never kissed him enough to come up with an answer, and when they did kiss she never kissed him back. She didn't have the heart to.
Sora made her feel giddy, carefree and childish; Roxas made her feel…
He wasn't in deep enough to make her feel anything - or maybe it was because she wasn't letting him in.
Was that the problem? Was that what she needed to do?
Let him in. Let him in.
Let him heal you. Let him take you into his arms and hold you. Let him cradle your heart in his hands. Let him take your pain away.
Allow him to fill the gaping hole Sora left in you.
Allow him to give you what his brother couldn't.
Give yourself permission to fall in love with him. Allow yourself to feel whole when he's around. Let his love fill you, warm you and complete you. Picture his face and his face alone when you sleep at night. Hold his hand and not somebody else's. Gaze into Roxas' eyes and not Sora's. Kiss his lips, not his brother's.
Smell cologne, not the beach.
Let him in. Let him in.
Naminé had no idea how long she had been running outside in the pouring rain, but it must've been a long time because by the time she reached the outside of his apartment building her knees and shoulders were trembling violently and her lips were tinged blue.
The air was chilly and damp, and her shoes squelched noisily as she made her way towards the doors but she didn't care. Her pale fingers were paler than usual and the skin underneath her fingernails were violet as she reached for the elevator button. Her hand was shaking so bad she almost pressed the wrong floor.
When she finally reached his floor - penthouse, of course - she scrambled out of the elevator, nearly tripping over herself as she zipped towards his door. She raised a trembling fist and knocked against the wood until her knuckles were red.
He finally decided to open the door five minutes later. "Naminé?" Roxas was standing a few feet away from her but she could still smell his cologne; his hair was its usual blond mess and his eyes were still blue, still vibrant, still beautiful. He was wearing a white dress shirt with a black tie loosely looped around his collar; he probably just came back from work.
"R-Roxas," She spluttered, stepping forward; she wanted so, so bad to just collapse in his arms and stay like that forever but she remembered how she was soaking wet so she had no choice but to hold herself back, "I-"
"You're drenched," He gaped at her; he grabbed her by the wrists and pulled her inside, dragging her down the hallways and into his room, "And freezing cold! Did you walk here?" He disappeared into the bathroom to fetch her some dry clothes, and when he came back he tossed her a t-shirt and a pair of black sweats. "In case you haven't noticed there's a storm going on outside!" Right on cue lightning flashed from outside the window and she flinched, "You could've been-"
"I love you." Naminé blurted, and his eyes widened in disbelief as if he didn't understand what she was saying. "I love you, Roxas," She repeated, approaching him slowly with his clothes clutched in her small fists, "And I know that if I apologized now it wouldn't make up for the year I spent brooding over your brother instead of paying attention to you, but I can't think of any other way to express how sorry I am."
Her heart stung when she read the insecurity on his face. "Naminé," He sighed and ruffled his blond spikes, "This isn't the first time this has happened-"
She dropped the clothes and reached for him, clutching the front of his shirt and shaking her head frantically. "I know," She insisted, "I know this isn't the first time, and I know you're scared that this'll all fall apart in a few weeks' time and you'll have to go through with it again but I want you to know that this is the last time you're going to have to put up with everything. Why? Because I know now. I know that I love you, Roxas, and I don't want you to leave anymore. I don't want us to be apart from each other."
She felt his warm hands envelop her wrists once more, and she glanced up to meet his sad cobalt stare. "I'm not going to lie to you," He sighed again, "You don't know how happy I am to hear those words but at the same time I don't know whether to believe you or not. This...this just happened so many times before and I...I don't know if you really mean it or not." He gently pried her fingers away from his collar and dropped her hands. "There's no doubt that you're still in love with him, Naminé; you and I can clearly see that."
She swallowed the large lump that formed in her throat while he was talking and refrained from reaching towards him again, though she wanted nothing more than to just feel him, touch him, melt into him. "I-I know," Her voice was higher than usual but she wasn't sure if it was from desperation or hysteria, "I know I still love Sora but don't think that I don't love you-"
His eyes hardened and his hands balled into fists. "We've gone through this a million times before," He growled just as a bout of thunder shook the room, "You say you love me, you say you want to get over Sora and give me a chance but you never change! You're still the same distracted, lifeless, unmotivated person from the first time we've argued over this!" He shook his head and forced out a sarcastic laugh. "I can't believe all the times I let you do this to me," He shook his head again as her eyes glazed over with tears, "All those times I forced myself to believe that you loved me, all those times I forced myself to think that you were thinking of me whenever we kissed, held hands, slept together..." His shoulders dropped and his eyes were cast to the floor, "This has been going on for too long, Naminé. I don't know if I can keep up with it anymore."
His last words sent a chill through her insides; it was even colder than the storm she had to run through earlier. "N-no-" She stood up and reached for his sleeve, but he kept his eyes away from her as she spoke, "Roxas, please - please believe me," She begged him as the hot tears trickled down her wan cheeks, "I've been too stupid, weak and pathetic this past year to realize that you were always there for me, trying to help me get over Sora and trying to get me to realize that I had someone who cared for me and wanted me around. I was too selfish to see that you loved me," She hiccuped, "And that you wanted me to snap out of my depression and see you and not your brother. I'm sorry, Roxas, I really am-" She hesitantly reached upwards, cradling his face in her hands, "-but I'm here now, I'm awake - I see no one else but you. I'm sorry I took so long."
"How am I supposed to believe you?" He whispered brokenly; he reached up to grab her wrists again, and she was so, so scared he was going to push her away and tell her to leave. She was so afraid he was going to tell her that he didn't believe her and that he never wanted to see her again. She was so afraid she was going to wake up in the morning alone, just like she had been doing for the past few months.
She was afraid the storm will never stop.
She gazed into his eyes, his eyes and no one else's, and read the seriousness in them. She read the graveness, the hurt, the screaming, crying blue.
How am I supposed to believe you?
Prove it. Prove it to him.
Prove that you see no one else but him.
Prove that your heart beats for him and him only.
Prove that he's yours.
And so she did: Naminé stood on her tiptoes, closed her eyes and pulled his face towards hers, kissing him for the very first time. He twitched against her in surprise, but he relaxed seconds afterward and his hands moved from her wrists to her waist, pulling her closer as his tongue ran over her bottom lip, seeking permission. She complied, parting her mouth just enough so that he could enter, and-
Whoa, where did the floor go?
Roxas had pulled her harder, so hard in fact that they collapsed on his bed. Naminé giggled as she moved on top of him, skimming her fingers through his blond spikes. He grunted in pleasure, his own fingers running down her sides to tug on the hem of her shirt.
She hated the feeling of wearing wet clothes anyway.
By the time morning came the storm had stopped. Sunlight was pouring in through the window, casting a warm, heavenly glow on the bed and the white sheets. Naminé sat up slowly, wrapping the sheets around herself and turning towards the blond snoring softly beside her. He was tolerable to sleep beside, at least; when she was with S-
No. He wasn't here anymore. Roxas was.
Roxas was what mattered now.
She smiled softly to herself as she reached to brush the bangs out of his eyes - it was only until now she realized that she always wanted to do that. He stirred underneath her touch, throwing an arm over his forehead and sighing contently. She lowered herself so that she could plant a kiss on his cheek, and then pressed her face into the curve of his neck. His arms automatically, but lovingly encircled her small body, encasing her in his warmth, and sleep teased her eyelids until she could no longer fight back.
The tempest had finally subsided, pushing the clouds away and finally revealing the much-missed sun. It casted its warm rays on everything it could touch, shooing the darkness away and drying up the rain.
She finally found him, her sun, and her only regret was not allowing herself to find him sooner. It really didn't matter anymore, anyway; he was here now, and she was in his arms, and they were together - really, truly together. She was going to finally let him in, and he was going to fix her. He was going to make it go away.
And the both of them couldn't be any happier.
I always get it better right afterward
When all the wrong impressions are said and heard
How come I can never get the right words?
I need to convey.
Wish I could explain.
A/N: The Listening was a big inspiration for this story; the lyrics nearly perfectly portray Naminé's thoughts and feelings - at least that's what I think XD
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