I think I can see by the fact that this will be the twelfth (I get Kori~) Time Hollow Fanfic that no one's gonna read this. To whoever does, then, please enjoy this. I actually do like this one, mostly because I'm forced to due to the fact that I'm writing this author's note as daylight cracks onto an all-nighter. But, I do like the Derek and Kori relationship. Mostly since Derek can be such a prick at times. Ugh. But the pairing is good, no denying that. And remember to get your friends to play this game, it needs more love than sitting forgotten at the bottom rack of your neighborhood gaming shop, passed by for the likes of Lego Rockband. Oh, and a review would be nice, too. Go rabid Time Hollow obsessed fanbase! Woot!
For Someone Else
He sat back languorously, tipping his chair backwards ever so slightly, producing a slight wooden creak underneath from the floorboards. The page of the newspaper flipped over rather noisily from even the gentlest touch, one that he produced as he knocked over the page using his right ring finger, the arm of which was being dressed with the sleeve of a leather jacket, which was in turn being adjusted tighter by the opposing left hand. It was a cold winter evening, sleet flying down from on high at a ridiculously quickly rate and turning what would have been the blackest of black nights into a canvas of impenetrable white that covered all from sight. He sighed, checking his watch. It was already six twenty-three, rather late for a date for a couple of teenagers in this coldest of winters. Shivering, he turned up his collar and contemplated giving the café owner the finger for not installing an adequate heater.
Instead, he settled for watching the door for any sign of movement and paying little to no attention to the headlines to pass the time. "Magnitude Five Earthquake Rocks Tokyo." Nothing new there, of course, and the pun was pretty damn lame, if intended. "Chicago Cubs Lose Ten to Nothing." Definitely not a surprise either, that happened so often he wasn't even sure it could be considered news. "Pop Star Hannah Montana Found Guilty of Drug Smuggling, Sentenced to Five Years." Now, there was something worth his interest. "House Special, $4.50. Extra Cream, $0.50. Extra Chocolate, $0.75." Oh, wait- that was the bottom of the menu poking out from under his paper.
Sighing, he resigned himself to the fact that the proprietor was the one that was going to be giving the finger if he didn't order something quickly. He riffled through his wallet using his thumb with an inward groan. If he was going to be living in this reality, which he was, he'd be needing a job soon, and, if everything went as it should be, the town would have too many coffee shops in the same vicinity to put his brewing skills to any use. "One Vanilla Café au Lait, please, and hold the sugar," he said, not bothering looking up, taking the sudden sounds of glasses clinking to mean that his request was being processed.
Thankfully, he was saved by his boredom by making out a pair of forms through the snow, and was able to hide his face using the paper just in time for the doorbell to ring, heralding the arrival of a couple of high-school age kids. The girl was coughing, probably suffering from a cold, as she staggered in, clutching at her coat desperately. The boy was simultaneously holding open the door and shielding her body from the cold using his own. Still, he walked over, giving a slight hack of his own, and pulled out her chair for her. "Thank you, Derek," she managed to utter. "Sorry for all the trouble…"
"Don't say that. It's nothing, so long as you're fine," he smiled back, stroking her cheek. He raised his eyebrow at the two, taking a sip of his coffee, thinking that there was no way in hell he was ever that lame and cheesy. He was also doubly disgusted by the beverage he had just taken a sip out of: he could make better coffee blindfolded, which he had a good mind to tell the man as he walked away from his table to their table. It was quite a good thing that he would be soon starting a shop of his own. Well, not him. Him. The him sitting over there. This is actually getting pretty damn confusing, he thought to himself as he scratched his head, maybe I'll call him mini-me from now on.
"I'd like a Vanilla Café au Lait, sir," the younger Derek said to the waiter, looking up from the menu, then consulting the girl beside him. "And a hot chocolate with caramel and no whipped cream, please." Jotting the orders down, the waiter disappeared into the inner workings of the shop, leaving him alone to observe himself uninterrupted, sitting back and crossing his arms, feeling a slight pang of jealousy as he watched them interact.
Despite the way the two had come into the shop, they didn't seem to converse too comfortably. Much to his chagrin, for the most part, all the younger Derek seemed to do with sit still and stare into his girlfriend's eyes. Perhaps it was the sickness, but this version of Kori seemed different as well, namely, she was shy and withdrawn, sitting so that she had to turn her head to face her date and having her straightened arms extending down, almost pushing herself up. To him, it looked rather ridiculous.
"You warm now?"
"Yes, I'm fine, thank you…"
"So, um… I told you I was going to build a café like this one, right?" She nodded. "Promise you'll be with me all the way?"
She paused. "Derek… I thought you'd know this by now. I love you, and I want to be with you forever, and I will. No exceptions."
"Sorry about that," his younger self said, scratching the back of his head nervously. "So, then, what shall we name it? I was thinking 'Chronos."
"I think it sounds beautiful, Derek."
He retched from behind his newspaper as he looked on at their staring, then managed to muster up the courage to watch them further after cleaning up the mess. His counterpart was definitely far too obnoxious, but he was right, to an extent. Kori did look beautiful. Of course, that wasn't his territory anymore. They loved each other, he was happy, she was happy. Was that enough? Her happiness, that was all that mattered to him, he knew that. But why, curse it all, was he unable to partake in that, having to watch over her from afar?
He stood up, having seen enough to reassure himself that the two would be fine. Pulling his jacket up, he tossed a five dollar bill onto the counter and stepped outside the back exit, entering the freezing wasteland that lay between the shop and his car. It was cold and dark, but nothing external could compare to the gigantic hole inside him. One that could be filled only with Kori. And, to him, she was gone.
And he found himself crying. Inexplicably, out of nowhere, his shoulders heaved as he stood, and tears flowed down his cheeks like a river as he sobbed, bawling like a baby. He stood that way for what seemed like hours in the darkness, just shaking and shaking as he stood.
For even longer, he stood there in silence, save the occasional sniff. Kori was dead to him, he would have to face that sooner or later, and better sooner than to live a delusion. It was doubtful that he would ever get over her. She meant too much to him for that. At the very least, he could remember her, and protect this Kori at all costs, even if he would never again feel her embrace. That privilege was for his younger self.
Good luck, kid, he thought as he disappeared into the darkness. That's one hell of a girl you have there. Take good care of her, for me and you.