The fic which begins wonderfully, ends fine, and sandwiches a trainwreck. Got the idea while listening to the song "Parting Towards a New Hope" from the end of Leon's side of ToD:DC. Story is best read while listening to this song, actually. You can probably figure out which parts of the story fit into which parts of the song. And as for Chal not being mentioned, well let's just say I was mighty disappointed with Leon when he said "Like I thought, I'm all alone..." at the end of the manga. And while this is technically Leon/OC, you can take it as Leon/Marian if you want, I guess. Except for one part, probably. Eh, oh well. Enjoy!

Oh and...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HIKARU MIDORIKAWA. THANK YOU FOR LENDING YOUR VOICE TO TALES OF DESTINY!


He was content to just sit there on the sidelines. It wasn't necessarily that he was a wallflower or he didn't know how, but dancing simply did not interest him. So instead he just chooses to watch the other people either swirl gracefully across the dance floor or make fools of themselves trying.

That is, until she approaches him.

With a smile gentle as can be, she holds out her hand for him to take. He refuses. The smile doesn't waver, however, and instead she takes the initiative and slides her hand into his. He can feel himself bristle at the contact, but something about her keeps him from simply ripping his hand away.

She slowly leads him out to the dance floor and it's at this moment that the music changes. It's gentler now, and the piano takes the lead with only a few repeating notes. C, B, G, and E over and over...the melody is somehow comforting to him. It puts him in a better mood at least, and he doesn't protest when she guides his left hand to the small of her back and takes his right hand in her own.

However much in a better mood he may be in though, he's still not comfortable. He can feel his cheeks pink in the slightest and his movements abruptly cut to a stop. He doesn't want to be here.

Irritatingly enough, she doesn't seem to notice. Instead, her smile softens and she gently grips his shoulder for a brief moment as if to say "don't worry." The tempo is still slow so she looks down at their feet and deliberately takes a step back on her right foot. He tentatively follows the lead and takes a step forward to match it. It doesn't take very long for them to fall into the gentle and somehow familiar melody and despite himself, he begins to relax. This seems to please her and she gives his hand a squeeze as they both grow more confident in their movements around the floor.

The music begins to swell and he's suddenly aware that they are the only two left on the dance floor. He can feel his agitation beginning to rise once more and his steps begin to grow stiff and robotic. He didn't mean to become so comfortable with this; he almost forgot that it was her who coerced him into doing this. He tries to pull away once more, but her grip is firm. He opens his mouth to say something, but stops upon seeing the look on her face.

She's frowning now, and her expression is something he could only label as hurt. She doesn't want him to leave, he realizes. And in that moment, he also realizes that he doesn't want to either. He's…content like this. Even as the lights dim around them until a single soft spotlight remains, he allows himself a small smile of his own. This causes her cheeks to pink slightly in surprise but her face lights up brighter than the stars.

They're whirling across the dance floor now, each infinitely more comfortable with each other than when they first started. He feels himself smiling openly now and they both seem to glow under the path of the spotlight as it follows their every step. He twirls her around once more, but this time he holds her a bit closer when she spins back into his arms. He doesn't mean to, of course, but upon seeing the happy flush on her face he decides that just maybe it isn't so bad.

Though the music continues its crescendo, they find themselves slowing down to little more than just swaying back and forth. Both of his hands rest at the small of her back now, just as both of hers are clasped together behind his neck. Neither of them notice any of the audience now. Although he still feels a touch uncomfortable, he tries his best to push the feeling to the side and just enjoy the moment.

And yet he can't help but still feel that something bad is going to happen.

They're much closer to each other now, and after a moment, she takes the chance to rest her forehead against his. They're the same height, he realizes, and the fact embarrasses him a little. He gives her waist a tentative squeeze and she giggles before placing a light kiss on his cheek. Though the action isn't necessarily unwanted, his face flushes a dark red and he tries to pull back. Once again, however, she doesn't let him go.

Neither of them is expecting it when the music suddenly shifts into a louder, more foreboding dissonance. The lone spotlight abruptly flickers out and plunges them into darkness. His grip on her tightens but nevertheless, he is forcibly wrenched away. He hears her scream his name from somewhere in front of him and he blindly reaches out with a yell. However, it's all in vain as several pairs of hands grab him around his arms, legs, torso, and even his face before dragging him down, down, and further away.

He doesn't know how much time passes but it seems like an eternity before he's alone again. He's standing upright now, still surrounded by darkness. In the back of his mind he can still hear a faint melody. He looks around curiously, wondering if there's any light to be found. It isn't long before he sees something.

She's there, not too far away. Her back is partially turned, and he can see that her expression is one of worry. She seems to be looking around frantically for something—or someone—and he takes a step forward to call out to her. Just before the words form on his lips though, he stops. Was it really a good idea to get her involved? He didn't want her to end up with the same fate as him. He'd rather end up alone than to do that. So instead, he clenches his fist before lowering his hand and taking a step back.

She turns around just in time to see him disappear into the darkness.

He can feel himself falling now. Falling, falling…he doesn't know when or where he'll land. But the air around him is thick and it slows him down; it fills his throat and lungs and chokes him. Still, he can see nothing but darkness. Somehow, he comes to the realization that he's going to die. There's no question. No hope. He's alone, always has been and always will be. Though he can't see, he closes his eyes anyway, a small wry smile twisting his lips. This was how he expected it to end all along.

That is, until he hears a voice. It's faint, but he can still recognize it. Sluggishly, he opens his eyes once more. Instead of just darkness, he sees her in the distance. She's falling too, but instead of trying to reach towards the top (if there is one) to save herself, she's reaching out with all her might to…him.

As she comes closer, he can see the tears in her eyes. She looks frantic and she calls his name over and over as her hands stretch out towards him. Not thinking very much about anything, he weakly reaches an arm out towards her, but he can feel himself beginning to slip away. He knows she isn't going to make it. Everything will have ended up in vain and her death will be his fault. Just another to add to his already heavy list of sins. However…he still can't help but try and reach out for her just as she had when they met.

Just as his consciousness slips away, he feels her hand tightly grasp his.


Reviews are love!

Ah, crap, isn't the waltz only in 3/4 time? And the song is in 4/4...OH WELL, WILLING SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF ACTIVATE