Content: Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Angst, Humor, Tragedy, Friendship.
Inspiration: from Jay Chou's "Feng 枫" MV.
Status type: AU One-shot. Or not.
Warning: As usual, I'm going to be sad and morbid, but still, I hope this will be a good read. It was actually last written on 13th Nov last year, but it never got uploaded, so I'd forgotten entirely about it only up till recently. Took it out for editing and there you go. Review please, when you're done of course.
Remember me. Even though I know you won't.
Lavi sat watching people rush by in the school cafeteria. After all, it was lunch hour and people were bound to be hungry. But not him. He was just waiting for Krory to get back and meanwhile, making sure no one else took the seat.
"I'm back, I'm back," Krory said. The usual set B, so what's new, Lavi thought.
"Don't you want anything?" Krory asked, as he began digging in to the mashed patato.
Lavi shook his head, but Krory was persistent. He shoved a packet of orange juice in front of him.
"You're getting skinnier. If I'm not wrong, the health check for the School of Design & Media was yesterday and someone mentioned he was only 62kg."
"Your point being?"
"My point being the fact that you're nearly 180cm tall and 62kg doesn't quite cut it."
"Don't care," Lavi said, but he poked the straw into the orange juice packet and drank from it anyway. This should keep Krory quiet, at least for the time being. He knows Krory was only trying to be concerned but he didn't want him to bother so much.
"Oi, Lavi! Krory! Can we join you guys?"
Allen Walker, the guy from the School of Music, known to be a genius at the piano. Also, same guy who robbed many others of the chance at the scholarship and seemed to be getting very popular.
Lenalee Lee, girl next to Mr. Genius-and-Popular, from the School of Dance. Somehow, they hooked up along the way and now they're here in the cafeteria, asking a rhetorical question.
Lavi smiled, cocking his head over to the two empty seats next to him and Krory as a signal for them that it's okay.
"Thanks, Lavi! This place is really awesome. I've only been here for a month and everybody's been so nice! On top of that, I got to meet Lenalee! It's just getting better and better," Allen laughed.
Krory stopped stuffing his face for a second to look at Lavi, his eyebrows furrowed but Lavi shook his head subtly and turned to smile at Allen. He knew he was a fake and seriously, if he wasn't a student at the School of Design & Media, he could very well join Krory at Theatre.
Allen stood up, saying something about starving and food, before leaving to get some. Lenalee didn't, and stayed seated, where Lavi glanced over at her.
Everything about her, he loved and missed. She didn't seem to have changed much at all, considering that fact that she missed school for a year and had to repeat her first year again. She still enjoyed chocolate cakes and spaced out slightly when she ate.
Lavi tried to take another mouthful of juice before realizing he had already finished it. Shucks, he actually liked it.
She was supposed to just cross the road but before you did that, you were supposed to look out for cars, god dammit! What was wrong with the girl?!
Lavi held her hand so tightly that he was sure it must hurt. The ambulance was small, stuffed with equipment and two other paramedics that there was hardly even enough space to turn. But the back of Lenalee's head was bleeding profusely and it looked like it would never stop.
Lavi knew he sounded barely audible but all he wanted was for her to be alright. He'd do anything, but she had to be alright.
The hospital had smelled of disinfectant mixed with some other nasty stuff and was a lousy place to be unless you had a really good reason. Lavi watched as the nurses wheeled Lenalee hurriedly into the A&E operation room. She was still bleeding then.
And so, Lavi waited. Gramps would be mad knowing that he would be home late and didn't even bother to call but who cares.
He was trembling, he noticed. Not because the hospital was cold but because he was afraid. Afraid for Lenalee and afraid for himself. What if…what if she never woke up? If she never made it through? He didn't want to think but it was one of those situations where you would.
At the sound of his name, Lavi lifted his eyes to meet those of Komui's. In short, Lenalee's tyrannical, sister-obsessed brother who never approved of them together.
Komui didn't ask what happened, how Lenalee was and would she be okay. He just grabbed Lavi by the collar and hit him hard in the face, using his fist.
Lavi tumbled on the ground, his eyes wet and cheek hurting, spurting blood from his mouth. But he understood that Komui was as mad as hell.
Helpless, Lavi stayed on the spot he fell and kept silent. He just wanted to wait, to see if Lenalee would be okay. That was all.
After 3 long hours, the light went off on the operation sign. Lavi watched on as Lenalee got wheeled out, his heart lightening instantly. This meant she would be fine. He stood up, staggering a little, but started to follow the nurse that was pushing Lenalee to most possibly a ward.
However, Komui stopped him, his hand on Lavi's shoulder, pushing him back.
"Stop, Lavi, don't go after her."
"I want to be there for her, Komui. Let me, please." Lavi knew he sounded indignant, even whiny, but to hell with Komui.
"Haven't you caused her enough hurt? The school called me and said that Lenalee was knocked down by a car while going across a road. And one of Lenalee's friends, Miranda, said the person across the road was a guy named Lavi from the opposite campus. How do you explain that?"
"She was rushing across to meet you, am I right? If so, then wouldn't you be responsible for all this?"
"If you're still human, you'd let my sister off. The doctor in charge told me she was hit hardest on her head and broke an arm. With any luck, she might still be able to recover and dance. If not, I'm sure you won't know what to do about it."
"I'd be very grateful if you never looked for her again."
Komui marched off, and left Lavi dumbfounded and alone. Lavi's back met the cold wall behind him and he slid down against it onto the ground.
He touched his face. It was wet and still hurt from the punch earlier. He had never felt this horrible in his life, but Komui was right; it was his fault.
So Lavi buried his face in his hands, cried some more before picking himself up to head home.
And promised himself that he'd never look for Lenalee, ever again.
"Oh man, my back's aching!" Allen complained. There was a certain chill hanging in the air and the leaves was falling.
Lavi kicked a can that stood in his way and laughed. "Yeah, but you like playing the piano right. Theory lessons are all part of the fun."
"Yeah right. I like the practicing and perfecting my music part but theory lessons are boring! Listening to the teacher going on and on can put anyone to sleep."
Lavi laughed again. Hanging out with Allen was all good fun and even though the guy just got here about more than a month ago, he was glad they'd met and became friends.
It seems like Allen was thinking the same thing. "Thanks, Lavi," Allen said, slapping Lavi on the back lightly.
"I'm glad you were the first guy I ran into when I got here. This place is far different from Britain and I didn't know a soul at all. If my uncle wasn't my only relative and had to come here, I won't have wanted to come anyway. But it was really nice to know you."
Lavi looked at Allen, and then grinned. "Look who's getting serious. I'm happy I met you too. You're a cool guy, Allen."
Lenalee, without the both of them realizing beforehand, had found them in the courtyard. She sat down happily next to Allen and grabbed his arm.
"Lenalee! I thought your lesson was supposed to end later than this."
"Ms Anita let me go earlier. The others are supposed to stay back for extra dance practice. But of course, I have additional assignments to do."
Allen looked over at Lavi. "Lenalee got into an accident a year ago. It's such a pity she can't dance but the lucky thing is that her doctor says she'll get better, though it'd take at least two years before it's safe for her to."
Lavi lowered his eyes, "Yeah, that's a real shame."
"What were you guys talking about actually, before I came?" Lenalee asked.
"Nothing much. I was just telling Lavi I was really glad to have met him and that he helped me around school. If not, I would have been totally lost."
Lenalee pouted slightly, "Hey, what about me?"
"You? Come on, you started the same time I did. How could you help?"
Lavi wasn't the least bit interested at all and their conversation just sounded muffled as he ignored them. He didn't want to listen at how Lenalee laughed at something Allen said and held his arm so tightly, claiming it was cold.
"Look you guys, I need to get home first. Gramps at the pharmacy," Lavi slung his bag over his shoulder.
"Okay. See you tomorrow!" Allen and Lenalee waved as Lavi jogged off.
As Allen and Lenalee sat quietly together, Lenalee felt slightly disturbed, even unmoved when Allen kissed her lightly.
"What's the matter, Lenalee? Are you cold?"
"No, not really. Just…thinking."
"Nothing. Uh, well, actually, it's about Lavi."
Allen shifted, obviously uncomfortable with where the conversation was headed for. Lenalee quickly sensed that and took his hand.
"I'm sorry, it wasn't anything. Look, I'm just thinking he's a…you know, not a very simple guy. Don't get jealous okay?"
"So who's getting jealous now?"
He leaned in to kiss Lenalee again, who quietly kissed him back. But all the while, she couldn't stop thinking about Lavi.
What on Earth was wrong with her?
Lavi slammed the locker shut. It's been almost a year since everything happened and a new semester just begun. There were new teachers, new lessons, and new things to handle.
But Lenalee wasn't back yet.
Ever since the accident, Lavi almost always kept himself shut from the world. Besides going for classes or at the most bothering himself with house work (of all things), he'd just want to be alone. Even he didn't know why. He used to be outgoing, fun and up for anything. At least, he was everything he wasn't now.
Yet when he got to know Lenalee from the opposite campus' dance department, all he wanted to do was to be with her constantly. She was just like a drug he was addicted to.
To add on, the Lees moved. Obviously Komui's brilliant plan to make sure Lavi never came knocking, which worked. Lavi won't know where to begin looking.
And then earlier that week on the first day of the school term, he got to know this new guy from year 2 named Walker. Cool guy, but way too excited to be hanging out with a morbid and boring person like him. His friends were only limited to a tiny group (though usually it was just him and Krory) and Walker probably shouldn't even want to join them.
"Lavi! Krory! Hey guys!" Allen came rushing up. So we know at least one person was having a good day.
"How's school so far?" Krory asked.
"Not too bad. Anyway guys, I met this girl in my Music Appreciation class, which she took as an elective. Is it okay if we wait for her for awhile? I promise she won't be long."
Krory nudged Allen in delight. "Is someone interested in her?"
Allen blushed a deep shade of pink but kept his lips pressed together. It was so obvious though.
Then the girl Allen was gushing about came walking briskly up the hallway. With her long hair, good complexion and slender figure, she could easily pass for a model.
"Hey guys, meet Lenalee! She's the one I told you guys about before, but is it alright for her to join us for lunch?"
Krory took a step back but it was Lavi who was really in shock. She looked exactly the same, maybe slimmer, but she was everything familiar to him. It was just too…too sudden.
Krory looked quickly over at Lavi, before taking Lenalee's outstretched hand. "Krory," he said.
Lenalee smiled, and then looked over to Lavi. He took her hand as well and shook it but he was still stuck in a state of shock.
Lenalee continued looking at Lavi. "Sorry," she said, "I'm Lenalee. And you are...?" She was actually expecting his name.
Lavi felt so much like crying but pushed himself to manage a small, forced smile.
So Lenalee doesn't remember. She doesn't remember him at all.
"That was Allen," Lavi said, snapping his cell phone shut. "He won't be hanging out with us this afternoon. Going off with Lenalee to the mall."
Krory leaned against a tree, eyes on Lavi.
"It's been happening all the time now. They're inseparable and doing everything together. Yesterday, Marie spotted them near Allen's apartment."
Lavi ignored his comment.
"Day before, I saw them getting all lovey-dovey with each other eating ice cream at the park. No prizes for guessing what happened when those two aren't even accustomed to bringing tissues and probably won't wipe their lips on their jackets."
Ignorance is bliss.
"And in Music appreciation class today, Chaoji said they were sitting next to each other whispering sweet nothings while doing work together. I'm sure they're both going to score straight As this term by doodling each others' names on their papers."
Lavi mentally swore to himself that if Krory continued, he was going off to jump from something very high.
"Have you…have you ever wanted to tell her?"
Lavi gave a disbelieving laugh and said flatly. "No."
"But why not? She might remember you, and you won't know till you tried."
"I'm not going to try anything. I'm the only thing she couldn't remember and anyway, she has Allen now. That's the way things are supposed to be."
Krory was exasperated. "No, they're not. You still love her, Lavi. You've waited for her for a year now. Are you really going to let this slide past?"
Lavi stood up.
"Yes. I love her so I want her to be happy. And if being with Allen makes her happy, then that's okay with me. I'd be fine." Eventually.
Lavi turned away, leaving Krory alone. He knew he couldn't hide his sadness from anybody much longer. He felt so tired, with the same problem nagging at him day after day. What's it going to take for him to get over Lenalee?
Speak of the devil; he almost cycled past Lenalee if he hadn't looked up when she called out to him.
"Hey, Lavi!" Lenalee's face was flushed, like she'd walked for very long already.
"Oh, hey Lenalee. I thought you were going off to the mall with Allen."
"Change of plans. He got a call and needed to collect something from the jeweler's for his uncle. God knows what, but I don't pry."
Lenalee crossed her arms to shield herself from the cold.
"Do you want to get something hot to drink together? The weather's getting really cool," she suggested.
And before Lavi knew what he was getting himself into, they were seated in a nice empty coffee shop with him opposite her. It was just coffee, no big deal, he thought.
Lenalee's dark and beautiful eyes looked up at Lavi as she sipped her coffee. "To be honest with you, Lavi, I don't know much about you at all even though the four of us always hang out together."
Correction, it's always you and Allen now.
"Well, what do you want to know?" he asked casually.
"How's your life before meeting me and Allen? You're always so introverted I hardly know much."
Lavi kept quiet for a minute. "It's pretty much like now. I've lived around here my whole life and I help my gramps with the house and his practice. It's nothing much."
"You love photography though, right?"
Lavi raised an eyebrow.
"Nothing. It's just that I always see you bring one wherever you go. I know its part of your Advertising curriculum thingy but isn't it a little...bulky?"
"Not really, actually." Lavi took the camera out from being tucked behind in his jeans.
"Can I…is it okay if I took a picture of you?" he asked quietly.
Lenalee didn't say anything but smiled and lowered her coffee cup on the table so Lavi could get a shot.
He was so professional about it, but then again, it was a passion. Somehow, he still looks so damn familiar. Why couldn't she tear her eyes off him? Why couldn't she stop thinking about it?
And the moment Lavi was done, his face looked extremely pained, mumbled something that sounded like 'it's been so long' and he grabbed his bag and took off without a word.
"Lavi? Lavi!" Lenalee looked on in confusion as he got on his bike and rode away quickly.
What was going on? Lenalee didn't have a clue. But as she glanced down, she noticed Lavi had left his cell phone on the table and forgot about it when he ran off.
And how could she not return it to him.
"How's the portfolio coming along?" Allen asked.
Lavi glanced up from his camera and chuckled, "Would've been good if my professor accepted rubbish."
"It's probably not even rubbish. Let me see some of that." Allen grabbed Lavi's camera right out of his hand and pressed the button to view picture after picture.
"Wow, Lavi. Some of this stuff you take is really good. You should send it for a contest or something."
"Yeah, I would win if the only people that participated were me."
"I'm serious! Anyone of these pictures can go right into…" And Allen paused.
"Right into the trash huh? Real encouraging."
"Lavi, when did you take this picture?"
Lavi's eyes darted to the small screen and almost wanted to die. He didn't realize a picture like that was still lurking about in one of his memory cards. Lenalee stood in the screen, more than a year back, and looking very pretty even with a few fallen leaves stuck to her coat and hair.
"It was…it was…" Lavi was speechless and his brain completely shut down.
"Oh!" Allen exclaimed. "I wasn't in school last week due to that excursion trip. It must've been then right?"
This guy is completely oblivious! There was a date written at the bottom and he actually overlooked it?
"Yeah, of course. I was just testing out the lighting thing." An outright lie.
Allen nodded and then looked extremely excited for a second, biting his lower lip.
Lavi noticed, "Come out with it, Allen."
"You know the Ming jeweler's down the street?"
"Mmm," Lavi wondered where this was all headed.
"I've already ordered a set of couple rings from a nearby jeweler's as a Christmas present for Lenalee. I can't wait to see the look on her face when she sees it, actually."
Lavi grinned at Allen, "That's cool. I'm quite sure she'll love it."
"I know. I pretty excited over the whole thing but I'm not good with presents. She's the first serious girlfriend I had, so I wanted it to be special."
Lavi felt his throat go dry and the words that he wanted to say to further support Allen wouldn't come out. But thankfully, Allen did not seem to mind.
Turning to leave, he said, "Hey, mind printing that photo of Lenalee for me?"
"Sure," Lavi had responded.
He never really got around to printing it and Allen didn't persist either, which was thankful, because it was possibly the first selfish thing Lavi ever did since being friends with Allen.
Lavi threw his bag on the ground the moment he reached home. What was wrong with him? He took off just like that, not even making up a reason to explain to Lenalee when he did.
But he was sick of pretending.
He was sick of smiling all the time whenever Allen talked to him about Lenalee.
He was sick of pushing Krory away when he was only trying to be a concerned friend.
And he was sick of the fact that he had to hide from Lenalee day after day, acting like a normal guy who's okay with two of his friends going out together. Correction; he was acting like a normal guy who's okay with his good friend and his ex-girlfriend being together.
Okay, so he got the best friend award and earned himself a straight pass to be the next Brad Pitt for his acting skills. But this was a joke. This was killing him but he didn't know what to do.
He knew he had only been sitting there for awhile when there came a rap on the door. No way was it the old man, because it was too early for him to be home.
He pulled open the door, surprised to find Lenalee.
It was pouring heavily outside, and he'd just noticed too. Lenalee was nearly entirely soaked.
"Quick, come in," he motioned awkwardly for her to step into the Zen-styled house. Lenalee mumbled a quick thanks and entered.
"You," Lenalee said, trying to catch her breath while pushing the cell phone into Lavi's hands, "…have got to stop running off like that. You'd waste good money on unfinished coffee."
Lavi genuinely laughed for once. "Thanks a lot."
Then he noticed she was sill dripping of rain water. "Take off your coat, its freezing. I'd go find some dry towels okay, so make yourself home. They should be in my grandfather's room…"
Lenalee watched as Lavi ran off eagerly on a towel hunt. Looking around, she noticed the house wasn't very big. It was her first time being in his place and the place was comfortably warm indeed.
Lavi wasn't back yet, though she heard him rummaging in one of the rooms at the back. Surely he wouldn't mind if she just walked around for a quick look.
Everything seemed very normal. Kitchen, dining room, small decorations around the place and a whole shelf of books in the library. Only one door remained close, and that sparked Lenalee's curiosity.
Upon entering, Lenalee was taken aback. Pictures, a bunch of them, filled one side of the wall. Probably Lavi's room, she supposed. Normally, she would happily ignore it since this was normal for a guy who enjoyed Photography. But these pictures all had her face in them.
Lenalee smiling happily with Lavi's arms wrapped around her waist at some place in winter.
Lenalee allowing Lavi to feed her a spoonful of chocolate ice cream, with Lavi's house in the background.
Lenalee pretending to be angry when she was actually about to burst out in laughter at Lavi, who was probably capturing a picture of her then.
She walked forward and touched the glossy surface of a photo where Lavi was self-taking a shot of them together, the same school building standing in the background. He looked so happy then, so different from now. And in the photo, she stood on tip toe (most probably), and was kissing him on the side of his face.
Unknowingly, she had started to cry and hot tears rolled off the side of her face. She had no idea of all this. Why? Why couldn't she recall anything at all?
Lenalee spun around, as Lavi came up toward her, dropping the towels on the floor. He looked slightly apprehensive, like he didn't know what to say, before taking a step forward to be closer to her.
Lenalee continued to cry, even though she didn't know why. She just couldn't believe this.
Lavi's eyes were low, and he looked completed depleted of energy. Lenalee reached out to touch him slightly on his face, her fingers running across his smooth skin.
And then he looked up, hopeful. He took her hand, the one that glided across his cheek held it against his face tightly.
"Lavi," Lenalee mumbled, her head low. Lavi had waited for so long, a scene somewhat like this replaying in his head over and over again in different locations and timings. He just never thought it'd be here or that it would even happen.
He enveloped Lenalee in a hug out of the blue, holding her close to him. He missed hugging her, talking to her and basically being with her. He didn't care anymore about Allen Walker or Komui. He just needed her so badly.
Lenalee sobbed, her arms reaching to his back, hands tugging on the fabric of his tee. How long had they stood there, neither one had any idea, but when they finally broke apart, Lavi automatically ran his thumbs across her face to wipe the tears away.
"Lenalee," Lavi asked, his voice small, "Do you…do you really remember who I am?"
Lenalee smiled at Lavi, but instead of making him feel happy, he noticed that smile was a sad one.
"I…I'm so sorry. But I don't."
She watched as Lavi's face fell, because she knew her words were harsh. But even though she tried really hard, she couldn't recall a single thing. Besides, she'd been perfectly happy being with Allen, up till now. Her head hurt terribly.
"I'm really sorry, Lavi." And Lenalee pulled away fully from him, grabbed her bag and ran out of the house, beginning to break into tears again.
The moment she left, Lavi felt a certain kind of emptiness return to him again. Silently, he drew the curtains apart slightly to see Lenalee tearing down the street, not bothering if she was going to return home drenched.
Lavi closed his eyes, exhausted, and listened to the rain.
Maybe one day, he'd learn to move on, to forget about Lenalee. Even though the thought seemed unreachable, he was going to try. And then he reached over to a photo of a smiling Lenalee that was originally plastered on the wall and took it down.
It was a small step, but at least, it was the first.
Is it sad? (I hope it is, since the original MV itself made me cry a little.) Sad stuff revolving around LavixLenalee are always a hit with me, wonder why. ANW, I'd like some reviews and if it's alright, I don't mind doing an alternate ending where Lenalee actually does remember Lavi. (I originally did want to allow Lenalee to remember Lavi, but I'm saddistic HAHA.)