Author's Note: Another JeriKole piece. This plot bunny was simply begging me to write it for the past few weeks. I hope you guys enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans, nor do I own any of the songs mentioned here.
Music For the Ages
Couldn't find it in your eyes
But I'm sure it's written all over my face
--"Sunrise" by Norah Jones
"Jericho, is there any good reason why you woke me up at the crack of dawn?" Kole grumbled sleepily as her silent companion practically dragged her up the staircase.
Jericho simply turned his head and smiled as if to say, "You'll see," looking more awake than anyone ought to at five minutes to six in the morning.
Finally, the two reached the door that led to the roof. Jericho opened the door and went out to the middle of the roof, turning to face Kole with another smile. He gestured towards the sky with his hand.
Kole stepped outside, her mouth opening as though she was about to say something. But whatever she was going to say died on her lips as she gasped and looked up at the sky.
The sky was a pale blue color, with thick clouds that had an orange glow to them. And within those clouds was the rising sun.
"Wow," Kole whispered in awe as she walked up to Jericho, all previous sleepiness forgotten.
"Since you live underground, I'm guessing you don't get to see the sky much," Jericho signed.
Kole nodded vaguely, taking another glance at the sunrise. It had been quite a while since she had gotten a good look at the sky, and if she was honest with herself, she would say she had missed it.
Kole looked at Jericho, whose eyes seemed to brighten with the light of the sun, and a smile spread across her face. She stepped closer to him and pulled him into a hug.
"Thanks," she said quietly, and as Kole released Jericho from her embrace, she saw that he had flushed a light pink.
The smile on your face
Lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes
Saying you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand
Says you'll catch me whenever I fall
You say it best
When you saying nothing at all
--"When You Say Nothing at All" by Ronan Keating
Jericho may not have been able to speak, but Kole thought he didn't need to.
The mute Titan used gestures and facial expressions for communication. Of course, most of the gestures were sign language, but Jericho also used gestures that were universally known: a shake of the head meant "no," and a nod meant "yes"; a push meant "go," and a pull meant "come."
And Jericho's expressions were clear enough without verbalization. His face would light up when he was happy and darken when he was sad. His eyes would flash whenever he got angry, and a smirk would cross his face when he was feeling devious. And then there was that soft, affectionate look that he seemed to reserve only for Kole.
Kole had seen Jericho happy, sad, anxious, embarrassed, mischievous, scared, relieved, loving, and even angry--all without him having to actually say anything. There was an old saying that actions spoke louder than words, and Kole thought Jericho was a prime example of that.
I don't care who you are
Where you're from, what you did
As long as you love me
Who you are, where you're from
Don't care what you did
As long as you love me
--"As Long as You Love Me" by the Backstreet Boys
Kole traced the long, thin scar on Jericho's throat with her finger. "Is that how you...?" Her voice trailed off uncertainly.
Jericho nodded, smiling bitterly. He let go of his shirt's collar, covering the scar from view. "When you've been kidnapped and have had your throat slit, you don't forget it in a hurry," he signed. "Especially if you were only a kid."
"What happened?" Kole asked.
Jericho seemed to hesitate before signing. "When I was eight, I was kidnapped by a group of terrorists led by someone called the Jackal, and when my parents came to rescue me, one of the terrorists cut my throat."
Kole gasped, and Jericho continued. "I must have lost consciousness after that, because the next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital and I couldn't talk."
There was a momentary pause before Kole spoke again. "I...I'm sorry, Jericho."
"Don't worry about it," Jericho signed. "It's something you get used to."
He frowned slightly as he finished signing. Kole looked at Jericho for a few seconds, and in an impulsive move, she leaned forward, pulled down his collar, and quickly kissed his scar. Kole pulled away, her cheeks feeling warm.
Jericho's frown deepened in confusion. "Why did you just do that?" he asked.
Kole looked down at her lap, not meeting Jericho's gaze. "I don't know," she admitted, blushing a little more.
So close to reaching that famous happy ending
Almost believing this one's not pretend
And now you're beside me
And look how far we've come
So far, we are, so close
--"So Close" by Jon McLaughlin
It was almost surreal, Jericho thought as he and Kole danced amongst the other pairs in the room. He could only dimly hear the music that was playing in the background, and he wasn't paying any attention to the other dancers. He had eyes only for Kole.
Jericho found himself aware of the fact that he and Kole were probably the closest physically that they had ever been, and a sudden sense of longing filled him. She was in his arms right now, and it would be so easy to close those few inches, to close that little bit of space between them.
But he didn't. Instead, Jericho settled for gazing into Kole's dark blue eyes, trying to see what she was thinking and feeling.
Could it be any harder to say goodbye
And without you
Could it be any harder to watch you go
To face what's true
If I only had one more day
--"Could it Be Any Harder" by the Calling
It was supposed to have been simply an all-out fight between all the Titans around the world and all the villains that were thirsting for revenge. And for a while, it had been.
Jericho really wasn't sure how it had happened. One minute, Kole was standing next to him, about to crystallize her body; the next, she had been shot and had fallen to the ground.
Jericho knelt beside Kole, heedless of the many other Titans fighting (and of the fact that it probably wasn't a good idea to be kneeling while a huge battle was going on). The girl had blood spilling from her side, her breathing was heavy, and her eyes were clouded over.
In short, Kole was dying.
"J-Jericho..." Kole managed, smiling weakly. Jericho put a hand on her shoulder.
"I...I'm sorry." Kole closed her eyes. His heart pounding, Jericho quickly pecked her on the forehead, and when he pulled away, Kole drew her last breath.
Jericho found himself shaking his head furiously, tears burning beneath his eyes. She's not dead, she's not dead, she can't be dead!
He took hold of Kole's wrist, feeling for a pulse. Nothing.
The battle raged on, but Jericho couldn't bring himself to get up.
He couldn't bring himself to say goodbye.
Well, my girl's in the next room
Sometimes I wish she was you
I guess we never really moved on
It's really good to hear your voice
Saying my name, it sounds so sweet
Coming from the lips of an angel
Hearing those words, it makes me weak
And I never wanna say goodbye
But girl, you make it hard to be faithful
With the lips of an angel
--"Lips of an Angel" by Hinder
Since Kole's death, Jericho was unwilling to date someone else. It wasn't like he didn't have options--there were plenty of girls who would murder to get a date with him, oddly enough--he simply didn't want to get serious with anyone right now. Not while he was still in love with a girl whose death was still fresh in his mind.
Of course, that never stopped the really persistent young ladies from pestering the heck out of him until he gave in to their demands for at least one date (Jericho thought vaguely that getting a restraining order would probably be beneficial). Like the girl he was at a diner with right now.
Jericho was only paying half-attention to what his date (he couldn't remember her name--he thought it was something that started with a "P") was saying. The girl had short, cropped black hair and steel gray eyes, but Jericho couldn't help imagining someone else in her place: someone with shoulder-length pink hair, cobalt blue eyes, and an angelic smile.
Jericho blinked, and his mental image of Kole disappeared. Feeling guilt swell within him, he abruptly stood up, hastily signed something to Patricia or Priscilla or whatever her name was about having to go, slapped some money onto the table, and headed out of the diner without a backward glance.
You're beautiful, you're beautiful
You're beautiful, it's true
--"You're Beautiful" by James Blunt
It seemed awfully shallow of her, but Kole liked the way Jericho looked, and it couldn't be helped if she found herself staring at him from time to time, admiring his physical appearance.
Curly, golden blond hair, bright green eyes, pale skin--there was only one word that came to Kole's mind as far as Jericho's appearance was concerned: beautiful. The word "beautiful" wasn't exactly masculine, and Kole wondered if Jericho would find it insulting, but it was the only word her brain could come up with whenever it went into "shameless fangirl" mode.
And it was yanked back to reality as Jericho snapped his fingers in Kole's face.
"Huh? What?" Kole blinked a couple of times. "Sorry, Jericho, were you saying something to me?"
Jericho smiled slightly in amusement. "First of all, 'signing' would be a more appropriate word." Kole blushed. "Second of all, what had your head so up in the clouds?"
Kole blushed even harder. "Um...well...uh..." she stammered. After a few seconds, she finally blurted out, "I like it!"
Jericho looked confused. "You like what?" he signed.
"How you look!"
Jericho seemed to be even more confused. "You like...how I look?" he repeated, signing slowly as though he couldn't believe what Kole had just said.
Kole nodded rather sheepishly, her face slowly returning to its normal color. "Yeah, you're just really...really cute." She almost said "beautiful," but had stopped herself in time. "It's distracting sometimes," she finished.
A small smile appeared on Jericho's face. "Well, thanks," he signed. "I think."
"Are you one of those people who don't know a compliment when they get one?" Kole teased.
Jericho's smile grew. "You might want to compliment me more often."