Disclaimer: I don't own Wallflower, Tomoko Hayakawa does. If I owned it, don't you think something like this would have happened already? I also don't own Fallen (that would be Evanesence) but I would recommend listening to "Bring Me to Life" while you read this. Or, you know, the whole CD would work, too, as it all contributed to the story. :) Enjoy!
A "Wallflower" fanfic
Darkness, memories flash like lightning, words echo, spinning through the void.
"'I've liked you since first year…'
'I don't date ugly girls.'"
Darkness. The flash of fire.
"'You're an ugly girl! Ugly girls should live like ugly girls, rotting to death!'"
"'You are still after me…You ugly…'"
Sunako's eyes flew open, tears falling from her long lashes as she held back the sobs caused by her nightmare. 'Why?' she thought, in despair. 'Why do I still dream about those words? I thought I didn't care anymore when people said that… I mean, I know I'm ugly, so it shouldn't hurt… but it still does. I don't understand!' More sobs escaped as sat up and cradled her head on her knees, trying to calm herself, to let the darkness envelop and comfort her as it had so many times in the past. But, somehow, it just wasn't working this time; the shadows only seemed to drive her despair higher, make her sobs louder, her breaths harsher. Sunako panicked. If she couldn't fade into her darkness and solitude for comfort, what could she do? She searched her thoughts desperately, mentally crying out to her friends, to Hiroshi-kun, Akira-kun, Josephine, begging their help, their advice. But only silence presented itself, silence and a radiant image. Terrified at the direction of her thoughts, she pushed the shining vision away. 'I am not going there. The light, it's harsh, it's cruel, it's unforgiving. I cannot…' She began sobbing again, trying to stifle the agonizing gasps, knowing there was nowhere she could turn for relief, no place she could hide from the pain. 'It hurts… it hurts… it… hurts…'
At the same moment, Kyohei Takano was making his way back to his room after a late-night food forage. Suddenly, his foot on the first step leading to the second floor, a potato chip halfway to his mouth, he paused, listening intently. 'I coulda sworn I heard…' he thought, positive there had been gasping sobs coming from somewhere on the first floor. But, though he focused all his attention, now he could hear nothing. He shrugged, starting back up the stairs, only to stop once more when the ghost of a cry reverberated quietly through the hall. 'That's… is that Sunako?'
Dropping the bag of chips, forgetting he was clothed only in sweat pants, forgetting she'd probably kill him for this, forgetting everything at the sound of Sunako's pain, he quickly headed for her sanctuary. But he halted outside her room with his hand on the doorknob, hesitating to turn it and enter. 'What if there's nothing wrong and she gets mad again? That could be bad…' he thought. (Yeah, could be.) So he focused on listening to the hushed hallway, straining for any sign that he wasn't hearing things. But silence reigned once more, and he mentally shook himself, convinced he must be going crazy. Yet as he turned away, determined he would return to his room, he heard soft sobs coming from the other side of Sunako's door. He again faced the entrance to her sanctuary and, no longer hesitant, turned the knob. Quietly, he walked inside, wary lest any light enter the eternally darkened space, even warier that he make no noise opening or shutting the door. Standing just inside Sunako's room, he let his eyes adjust to the nearly complete lack of light. When he could see fairly well (or at least well enough to know the general layout of Sunako's belongings so he wouldn't end up tripping and falling flat on his face), he looked around, listening, attempting to ascertain the sobbing girl's location.
And that's when he saw her. She was sitting on the bed, head on her knees, arms around her legs, shoulders shaking as the cries she couldn't repress wracked her thin frame. Kyohei nearly thought he'd never seen anything so beautiful ("nearly" because he didn't actually consciously think it). Her long black hair spread around her like an extension of the darkness, shining in a sliver of moonlight that had managed to sneak its way through the curtains. Her pale skin virtually glowed, like a star fallen from the midnight sky, a luminescence surrounding her that he'd only ever seen a few times before, and never in direct sunlight. But the exquisiteness of the tableau was marred by her sobbing, the trembling of her shoulders, the obvious, raw pain she was experiencing. Unaccountably, Kyohei felt an answering pain, as if he were the one weeping, the cries tearing from her throat ripping into his own. As she hadn't yet noticed him, he cautiously began moving towards her, not wanting to startle her, intent on comforting her, yet despairing in his ability to do so.
Sunako hadn't wept like this in years, not since that day (and the months that followed it). She had thought her tears had been used up, the wells of her eyes gone permanently dry. And yet, here she was, shuddering with cries like the school girl she had once been, the girl she had believed to be forever banished. She was so distraught that she didn't feel her bed sag under the weight of another, didn't notice the increasing warmth as that other leaned towards her, and she barely registered the fact that she was suddenly in someone's arms. When she finally realized she was being held, she stiffened for a moment, but the warmth of the limbs encircling her, the scent of the one holding her, the brush of his soft hair on her cheek, calmed her instantly and she buried her face in his shoulder, barely conscious of her own actions. She was in too much pain to care at the moment that she was going against everything she'd ever said, every "I hate you!" and "Leave me alone!" she'd ever thrown at him. She simply reacted instinctively, huddling closer to the warmth and comfort he offered her.
Sunako's response to his embrace startled Kyohei; never before had she returned his hugs with anything but fainting, blood, and/or violence. 'Huh. This is… different,' he thought, amazement obvious in every line of his body, had anyone been there to see it, or Sunako been capable of noticing. Kyohei knew she must be hurting terribly for her to be clinging to him like this. 'I'm sure, though, that she'll be back to herself tomorrow, and I'll pay for this, or she'll try to forget it and it'll never be mentioned again.' But for now, he would be the lifeline she obviously needed, her shoulder to cry on. 'Not that I have any clue why I feel so… compelled, I guess, to be here,' he thought, mystified by his own motives.
Slowly, slowly, the black haired girl calmed and quieted, her sobs becoming soft hiccups and her tears slowing from a flood to a leak. Expecting that she'd rather he left now and forget this ever happened, Kyohei removed his arms from their place around her thin shoulders and began extracting himself from her grasp. But, unpredictably, completely un-Sunako-like, the instant he started moving, she clung to him even more tightly, preventing him from escaping. "Sunako…?" he whispered, unsure with this turn of events. Was she about to punish him for disobeying her orders to never touch her? Was she even aware of her own actions? Why wasn't she screaming at him that he was too bright, or that she was melting? What the hell was going on? 'And why in the hell does this feel so right? It's just Sunako. Why did I even come in the first place?' His mind spun in circles, not willing to land on the truth, not wanting to even consider it, because Kyohei Takano was tough, Kyohei Takano did not fall in… no, he wasn't even going to go there. 'Girls are just trouble, particularly this girl.'
But Kyohei's winding thoughts were silenced when Sunako's broken whisper cut through the silence of the darkened room. "It… hurts. When people say… that. I thought it didn't. I keep telling myself it doesn't. Only it does. It hurts, no matter what I say. No matter what you say, it doesn't make any difference. Why? Why does it hurt? I already know I'm ugly, so why…?"
The blonde boy's eyes widened, understanding the meaning of Sunako's ramblings. 'So she's been thinking about him again,' realized Kyohei. 'Why does she torture herself like this? Why can't she accept that that guy was just a jerk who didn't deserve her? Someday, I'm gonna make that bastard pay for hurting her.' (That thought, an almost uncontrollable extension of the previous one, shocked him to the core.) But out loud, Kyohei merely said, "I don't know." After a moment, he continued, murmuring, "All I know is, you're wrong about being ugly. And you're the only one who can't see that. Or the only one whose opinion matters, at any rate. That guy, hell, any of those stupid people who've called you ugly, they were dead wrong. They're the ugly ones." Kyohei fell silent, hoping he hadn't said too much, that Sunako wasn't about to realize the position they were in and go all crazy on him again.
But she didn't appear to care too much at the moment that she was clinging to a half-naked creature of the light who she constantly, in her normal state of mind, avoided (or punched, kicked, and cursed [literally] if avoidance was impossible). There were a few seconds of silence as Sunako absorbed Kyohei's words, then, "Why? Why do you always say that?"
"Because it's the truth, Sunako. You just haven't realized it yet."
The dark haired girl shifted, pulling back so she was sitting upright (instead of leaning into Kyohei like she had been) but not quite leaving the circle of his arms. Placing her hands in her lap, she looked down at them, colorless in the dark, her hair falling like a black curtain, shielding her face from the radiance emitted by the blonde boy even here in her dark sanctuary. "What is truth? Can it be touched? Can it be measured? Can it be believed? I just don't understand you, Kyohei Takano. How can you, a stunning, radiant being call me, a creature of horror and darkness, beautiful?"
Kyohei sighed. "So we're back to this now, are we? Creature of light, creature of darkness, blah, blah, blah!" Suddenly, inexplicably, he was angry. Angry with the boy who had destroyed Sunako, angry with Sunako for letting it happen, angry with the world that could allow such situations to exist, but most of all, angry with himself for not being able to help; he was never able to show Sunako that there was no gap between them, that he, too, was a creature of darkness, the very core of his being shadowed, haunted, blackened with rage and regret. Eyes flashing, Kyohei grabbed Sunako's chin and roughly pulled it up so she was forced to stare into his eyes, making her gasp at the unexpected action. "Why can't you understand that darkness is beautiful, too? Without the dark, we'd never know the light. If it weren't for the dark, we'd never see the moon, or the stars, or the twinkling lights of a city as you drive past it in the night. You shine like the stars, Sunako. Sure, you like the dark and feel more comfortable there. But, just like the stars, it only makes you shine brighter. So what if you're not the same as other girls? You're you. That's why you're so gorgeous. Yeah, you like horror, and your obsessions can be kinda creepy, but who doesn't have their little quirks? You are determined and strong and so proud of who you are. No other girl I know can hold a candle next to you; you'd outshine her in a heartbeat. Sunako, you are luminescent."
Furious that she just wouldn't understand, Kyohei couldn't decide whether he wanted to slap the look of shocked disbelief off her face… or kiss her so passionately that she'd have to believe him. Stopping short at that forbidden thought, he pulled back, releasing her chin, expecting her to finally start screaming or have a nosebleed, hoping she would so that everything could just go back to normal. But she simply continued to stare at him, the fear in her eyes slowly transforming into defiance. Except she didn't seem to be defying what he'd said. Rather, she appeared to dare herself to keep looking at him, challenging herself to rebel against her self-imposed limits. And yet the next words she voiced opposed the message of her eyes. "A creature of light like you could never understand," she scoffed, her suddenly defensive attitude making the words shriller and harsher than she had intended.
That's when Kyohei snapped. Moving forward until his nose and Sunako's were almost touching, he began shouting, gesturing wildly. "Me? Never understand? As if, Sunako. As if. You know what I go through! You experience it firsthand every day! And you met my family, my "mother." No one out there accepts me for who I am. All they see of me is my pretty face, just like all they see of you is your 'creepiness'! But you're lucky, because you can show them something different! You can show them who you really are, a beautiful girl who just happens to like horror and is stronger, more courageous, and more indomitable than anyone I've ever met! Me, they'll never see beyond my pretty face. No one will ever see who I actually am in here," at this, the blonde boy tapped his chest. "Not even you, Sunako, can get past what I look like outside to what's really inside, to the darkness at my core, so how will anyone else be able to?" Worn out with a display of emotion he wasn't used to giving, Kyohei slumped back against the pillows of Sunako's bed, head down in dejection. 'Huh, go figure,' he thought, irony shading the voice of his inner monologue.* 'I come in here to comfort her and I end up getting hurt. Isn't that always the way.'
Shocked into silence by Kyohei's unexpected explosion and what he'd expressed, ideas she'd never even considered before, a wide-eyed Sunako tried to take in everything the radiant creature in front of her had said. Her first reaction was disbelief. A radiant creature who hated being radiant? One who thought he was a creature of darkness? Impossible. 'And yet, as I look at him, he doesn't seem so bright anymore. Maybe it's just my room, but… is it really?' As she looked, straining past the beautiful boy's brilliant façade, she seemed to see a solid black core at the center of the radiance, licking the edges of its beaming confines like dark fire, threatening to consume the light entirely. Before her eyes, the incandescent being facing her appeared to transform into the very figure of a fallen angel and Sunako gasped. What if this creature… Kyohei… was right? Could creatures of the darkness be dazzling, too? It wasn't possible; it couldn't be possible… could it?
Reaching out, her hand moving of its own free will, seemingly beyond her control, Sunako gently, almost tenderly, brushed her fingertips across Kyohei's cheek. She'd never seen him in such anguish before; physical pain, yes, many times, but never this raw, mental, emotional ache that was pouring from every surface of his body. And though it should have delighted every one of her horrific tastes, answered all of her self-proclaimed desires, the torment of the boy in front of her did not elate her. Rather, it seemed to pull her down, to suck her into a void so much blacker, deeper, and more real than the ephemeral darkness in which she had placed herself.
"Kyohei…" she whispered, trying to reach his mind the way her hand had touched his face. When he didn't respond, she mimicked his actions of a moment earlier and roughly pulled his face up so he was looking at her. But his eyes were dead, void of emotion, lost in that pit he couldn't seem to escape. "You're right," admitted Sunako, her voice shaking like a dead leaf in a high wind. "I don't know how I never saw it before. I've been such a selfish hypocrite. I was doing to you exactly what he, what they, did to me. And yet I'm so much worse, because I claim that looks don't matter, that beauty isn't important. But I've only been applying that to myself, to justify my actions…" she trailed off, staring at Kyohei, unsure where her thoughts were leading her. And then she did the unthinkable. Sunako Nakahara kissed Kyohei Takano full on the lips.
Stunned out of his daze, Kyohei was at first too shocked to do more than sit there while Sunako's soft lips pressed against his own. But soon he began to respond, eagerly claiming control of the kiss and her mouth. Kyohei could feel when she began to panic, could almost sense the nosebleed and fainting spell rushing towards her, but he wasn't about to let that happen. Sunako Nakahara had kissed him of her own free will and he wasn't going to let her run away this time. Smirking roguishly, he murmured against her lips, "Oh, no, Miss Sunako, there's no way I'm letting you pass out on me again." With that, he pulled her firmly against his chest and proceeded to kiss the living daylights out of her. ('Hey, if she can't think clearly,' he reasoned, 'she clearly can't react like normal.')
When they finally needed air, his lips broke from hers, parting almost reluctantly. She gaped at him, surprisingly blood free and not looking like she was going to faint any time soon. Even more astounding was the fact that sometime during the passionate embrace, the hand she'd raised with which to smack him had migrated into his hair, tangling with the silky strands, while with the other hand she was clinging to him as tightly as he was to her. Grinning impishly, Kyohei shifted one hand from where it rested against the nape of her neck to gently cradle her chin (leaving his other hand at the small of her back, holding her to him), his thumb lightly caressing her beautiful lips, swollen and red from his kiss. He leaned in until his forehead was resting against hers, not breaking eye contact, and whispered, "See? You didn't melt."
Sunako just continued to gaze at him, never moving her astonished violet eyes from his own coffee colored ones. He was right, she hadn't melted, and she wasn't melting now. She hadn't even spurted blood into his face, though that was still possible, if he didn't stop looking at her like that. Despite the darkness emanating from his center, Kyohei was still a brilliant, radiant, beaming creature. And yet, somehow, she didn't feel quite as dark as she usually did next to him. In fact, if truth be told, she had started to feel… 'What was the word he used? Oh, right… Luminescent.' What was it he had told her? That the dark was necessary to see the light? Was it possible that light and darkness walked hand in hand?
Emerging from her thoughts, Sunako realized Kyohei was staring at her as intently as she was at him. 'Maybe he is right,' she thought. But then she realized that if she accepted his words as true, he'd also have to understand a few things. Quietly, seriously, she whispered, "I'm not going to change who I am. Do you understand that? I'm still going to watch horror movies. I'm still going to collect creepy things and relish the sight of blood. I'm still going to wear sweats in the house and black clothes when I have to go outside. My room will still be my sanctuary of darkness. I'm still going to be short-tempered and violent. I'll probably still have nosebleeds and call you a creature of the light. I know for a fact I'll never become the lady my aunt wants me to be. Can you live with that, Kyohei?"
He answered just as seriously, his gaze never wavering, "Of course. If you changed, I wouldn't know what to do with you. Like I said, you're you. You belong in the darkness because that's where you shine. That's where your beauty lies. And I'm not planning on changing, either. I won't stop teasing you. I won't stop pulling you out of your shell. I'll still whine when I'm hungry and demand that you feed me. I don't think either of us could ever act as other than what we are, not for any length of time. Besides," he added, his voice tinted with humor as he tried to hold back his snickers, "imagining you in pink, acting like one of those chicks at school, not to mention me being the perfect gentleman is even more horrifying than watching a thousand of your movies in one sitting!"
Appalled at the image he conjured up, Sunako's jaw dropped. But after a few moments of Kyohei's stifled mirth, she began to chuckle and soon the darkness of her room was filled with laughter as they were both overcome with the hilarity that tends to follow such intense moments in life.
Both of them finally calming down, Kyohei stood up and stretched. Though their exchange had only lasted an hour, it seemed like he had been sitting there for days. Yawning, causing Sunako to follow suit, he rubbed his eyes and moved toward the door, saying he'd probably better head back to his room if she didn't want to end up sharing her sanctuary with a "creature of the light." But at this, Sunako rose and glided over to him. Looking anywhere but at his face, she circled her arms around his waist, her normally pale cheeks aflame with awkwardness, and asked him to stay. ('I'm already on the pathway to hell, why not just keep going?' she thought wryly, as she did this.) She said she'd need the assurance that he really meant what he said, it wasn't that she didn't trust him, she just didn't trust herself, she knew herself and she was sure to be full of doubts again by morning, probably sunk even deeper into the void than she was before, spurting blood and passing out all over the place, and besides, Hiroshi-kun and Josephine needed to accept him, and…
Placing a hand over her mouth, Kyohei cut off her ramble. Gently lifting her face so that her troubled violet eyes met his coffee colored ones, he told her that if Hiroshi-kun and Josephine hadn't accepted him by now, after all the time he'd spent watching movies in her room, it wasn't ever going to happen. "Besides," he stated, gravely, knowing how much her "friends" meant to her, "they probably figured out before we did that I'm no true 'creature of the light,' doncha think?"
Smiling gravely, Sunako nodded, then walked back to her bed and slipped under the covers, shortly followed by Kyohei, who wrapped his arms around her and pulled her back against his chest; she stiffened before forcing herself to relax into his arms. He understood her reaction, knowing it would take a while before she was completely comfortable with him. 'Hell, that might never happen,' he admitted to himself. But he wanted to let her know it was okay, that he had doubts and issues just like she did. Whispering into her ear, his voice no more than a breath, he told her, "I need reassurance, too, that you're not going to slip away from me. Now that I have you, I'm not sure what I'd do without you." She shivered, his breath on her ear and the words he said almost more than she could handle. However, being in his arms was comfortable and Sunako soon drifted off into a dreamless sleep, truly content for almost the first time in her life. Kyohei smirked and quietly laughed at himself, the girl in his arms, and the insane situation in which they had somehow gotten tangled up, then ghosted a kiss over his Sunako's cheek ("his Sunako"… hmm, he kinda liked that), pleased that he had the liberty to do so, before he, too, surrendered to sleep.
Unbeknownst to the peacefully sleeping couple inside the permanently darkened room, three boys were standing outside the door, red-faced and trying to suppress both tears of happiness and shouts of joy, knowing if their two very violent friends ever realized they had eavesdropped on that extremely private moment, all three of them would wind up in horribly early graves. "You know, though, it's not really our fault," stated Ranmaru, finally composing himself enough to whisper to the other two as they all walked back towards their rooms. "If they hadn't shouted, we'd never have even known there was anything up. Really, we were just concerned for Sunako."
Takenaga nodded in agreement, but said, "Except they'll never see it that way. You know that as well as I, Ranmaru. If they find out we heard, we'll end up dead no matter what we say in self defense."
Ranmaru merely sighed and shrugged. "Ah, well, such is the fate of the truly romantic."
Takenaga and Yuki glanced at each other, clearly doubting the sanity of their housemate. Suddenly, Yuki realized something highly concerning and, stopping short, addressed his two friends, "You guys, you heard what Sunako said, right? That bit about how she's not going to change and that she's never going to be a lady?"
Ranmaru and Takenaga paused as well, considering the implications of that statement. The landlady would kill them for sure or, at the very least, torture them with skyrocketing rent…
But as the three friends looked at each other, they all began to grin. Somehow, in light of recent events, the rent didn't seem so important anymore.
*Kyohei's inner monologue: Admit it, he's not alone. We all have one.
Well, I hope all y'all liked it! I know there's way too much fluff and the characters are really OOC, but I blame it on them; they practically wrote themselves. They even did stuff I wasn't expecting when I started (like Sunako starting the kiss with Kyohei; I had planned for him to start it. At least he took over before she could panic, because then the story would have turned into the same kind of unfortunate farce we usually get stuck with in the manga... not that I'm complaining or anything. I just kind of wish there was a little more seriousness in the manga, not too much but a little more would be nice, and less insanely predictable humor.)
Also, I'm writing some more chapters to this (well, one more chapter at the moment, and a side story) and I have plans for quite a few more (like one where Kyohei beats up the guy who called Sunako ugly; I've always wanted to see that). But I probably won't post any of them if no one's interested (I will, of course, still write them, but that would just be for me). So, if you liked this and want more, please review and tell me so. I won't be evil and ask for a certain number of reviews. If even one person wants me to continue, I most definitely will. :)
UPDATE: I've gotten lots of nice reviews on this story (and a huge thank you to everyone who reviewed, btw!). But, unfortunately, I'm lacking both time and inspiration to continue it. I know, I know, now you all hate me because I'm breaking my promise. And while I know for a fact that if it was just the time factor, it wouldn't be a problem; I'd get it done eventually. The biggest issue is inspiration. I just can't write without some sort of story muse and apparently this specific one has left the building. There may, someday, be more. I do have ideas for continuations. I just don't have the drive to finish them at the moment. I'll let you know if anything changes. Sorry. :(