I think I confused a lot of you when I said that I had thought of the end before the beginning. The last chapter wasnt the last, this chapter however is.
I'm so sorry I didn't give you all a heads up. I just knew a lot of people wouldn't understand, but I hope after reading this chapter you will.
Erm, I'm not like other fanfic authors. I kinda prefer to write the entire story before even posting. I sorta did that with TSU, because I had a couple of other chapters done before posting. The reason I do this is so that I give you a complete story without flaws and what I like to call 'filler' chapters. Even now I'm writing chapter 3 of my next story which wont be posted till next year.
So, this is finally the end, the curtains are drawing closed and so is this small novel, if I can call it that.
Hope you enjoy this chapter, and I hope you've enjoyed this story.
Chapter 14 - Breaking Through Appearances
Chapter 14 - Breaking Through Appearances
No, it couldn't be. No.
That's all I kept repeating to myself as I ran out from the auditorium, past the foyer, out of the school courtyard, and down the street until I reached my mansion.
Once I reached home, I opened my door with my keys and darted for the stairs to my bedroom, completely ignoring my step-mum's concerns.
I rushed to my laptop and logged on opening up my chat logs until I reached the one with the beginning of the academic year.
The password was confirmation enough, but I guess I was just looking for something to deter the plausibility.
Every chat log I checked just reconfirmed the truth. His school, the jerks we both pranked, our families and friends. There wasn't one thing Renzokuken had said that would have given me the slightest suggestion that he wasn't Leonhart.
I wanted to cry. And I did. I cried that this sweet caring and sensitive person I met online who treated me with the utmost respect and appreciation, was actually the jerk at school who had spent six weeks making me look like a fool.
Why? Out of all the people on earth, why'd it have to be him?
She had ignored my calls and text messages all night and the following day. I was starting to lose hope that she'd hear me out and give me a chance. I wanted to drive over to her house and ask to speak to her but Ellone told me to give her some time.
So here I was sitting in my room reading through some of Angel_Wings's stories. It was the closest thing I had to her. I started fearing that I'd never get that back, our relationship. Even for a short period I had it while I was getting to know the true Heartilly. But now?
I was starting to think maybe I should have kept my mouth shut after all. Who was I kidding? Of course she didn't want Leonhart. I made her life hell since we started school, I'd be the last person she'd want to date.
Of course I thought I had changed, I thought she saw my change. There was a point where I actually thought she saw me as Squall and not as Leonhart.
I hated that name. I used to pride myself on being a Leonhart, now hearing that name made me feel sick. The connotations it carried. The hurt, arrogance, ugliness, pride, ill-manners that I was when she called me that.
I had lost out big time. There was no going back, no time control that could take me back to yesterday or when we first met and change everything.
There wasn't a way I could fix this. And if there was I sure as hell didn't know how to. She had made her decision; she wanted nothing to do with me. It was evident when she ran out of the auditorium, and even more so now that she wasn't returning my calls.
I'd lost my Angel_Wings for good. I had lost Rinoa Heartilly. But the ironic thing being, I never had her in the first place.
I got up off my chair and dragged it over to my balcony. I shut the glass doors behind me and pushed my chair up against it so no one would bother me. I needed to be alone; I needed this quiet time to think. To regret. To mourn.
When I woke up that morning I stayed in bed for an hour thinking about Leonhart. I had him calling me all night and sending me text messages that by 2am I had to turn my phone off from all the noise.
I had read all his messages telling me to call him and let him explain everything. But what was he going to explain? How was he going to explain that somehow fate had played a nasty trick and the guy I was falling for was the same guy that couldn't stand to be in the same room as me?
I ignored all of them; I needed to think about the situation. I needed a break.
So I took a walk outside after lunch. It was half term break and many school kids were making their way into town, going to the Mall and some even driving up to the beach. I wished I was heading out for the same reason, meeting Selphie and Irvine and driving down to the Mall to play the arcade games and watch a movie. I wished I had talked Seifer into driving us to the beach and having a barbeque while Selphie and I played volleyball.
Instead, I was walking through the busy streets with only on person on my mind. I wasn't enjoying my break; I was revelling in fear that in less than five days I'd have to return to school and in one of my first lessons I'd have to sit next to him. There was no way of avoiding Leonhart, or this predicament I was in.
My heart flipped every time I thought about facing him now knowing who he really was. And every time I remembered who he was, my eyes started watering. And the same question kept repeating in my head. Why him?
I hadn't noticed where I was walking to, I was kind of walking in a trance and letting my legs take lead. But somehow, I ended up back at school. The gates where open, I guessed that maybe teachers were coming in to get lessons sorted for the next week.
I walked into the school campus, making my way to the building. The foyer was pretty much deserted, I could tell peeping into the front reception that staff were in school.
I really didn't know what my subconscious wanted, but I found myself walking up towards the auditorium. Once I got to the doors I reached a shaking hand to its handle. Last night I was performing here wondering if my Renzokuken was sitting in the audience watching me. When the whole time he was beside me, acting along with me, dancing with me, and even stealing a kiss from me.
I bravely pulled open the door and walked in. The stage curtains were drawn back and the chairs had more or less been moved. There were only a couple of rows at the front that were still there facing the stage, proof of our performance. The backdrops had also been taken down only leaving the blue velvet curtain at the back exposed.
"Rinoa?" I heard someone call out to me. I turned around and saw Mr Nooj standing behind me wiping his wet hands across his jeans. He looked at me expectantly wondering what I was doing in school during a holiday.
"Hi Sir," I said to him smiling and taking a breath, "do you have time to talk?"
I sat there with Mr Nooj telling him the whole story of how I met Renzokuken online and became friends; he seemed to like the part about me writing stories. I told him about the first day with Leonhart and the pranks that followed. He didn't seem too happy about those. I went on to tell him about how me and Renzokuken planned to meet, but how I lost touch with him and feared that he was avoiding me. I told him about how my fear became a reality when I found out last night that Renzokuken was in actual fact Leonhart.
I told him how I was feeling. That I felt cheated by fate, upset that the person I was so fond of, ended up being someone who I didn't get along with. But talking to him, I realised I was more upset at the fact that Renzokuken didn't exist and never would.
"Do you want to hear my take on all this?" He asked me after I hadn't spoken in a while. I thought the silence was his way of making sure that I was completely finished.
I nodded for him to proceed to which he stretched his legs out in front of him before talking.
"Well from what you've told me, I don't think Renkoko-"
"Renzokuken," I corrected him.
"Er, yes, Renz and Squall are all that different." He said which resulted in me throwing him a questioning look. "You see, even though Squall was pulling pranks on you, he was actually helping you pull pranks on himself. So in some weird sort of way, he was helping you without even knowing it."
"Yeah, but if he knew who I was at the time, he wouldn't have helped me." I argued.
"I beg to differ. You said it yourself; he must have found out and started to get on your good books. Buying you lunch, sitting next to you, driving you to school. I've even seen him around you during rehearsals when he thinks no one is looking. He glances at you, making sure you're still in the room." He said and repositioned himself on his chair before continuing.
I bit my thumb nail considering what he was saying. It was true.
"I think if he had found out sooner, he would have helped you with your pranks and stopped his own."
"Maybe." I said not sure what to think now. I really doubted Leonhart was capable of going along with making himself look like a spectacle of ridicule.
"Rinoa, in the time you both spent together getting ready for the play, I noticed the development and improvement in your relationship. You both started smiling at each other, heck you were both even laughing at me at one point." He chuckled making me laugh.
"I guess." I replied keeping my answers short.
"Don't let this affect your perception of him now. He did show up at that dinner, he did feed you in the end, although it was burgers and fries." He said making me giggle again. "He saw past your actions, past your appearance when you first got here and he saw this Angel person you were online. For fairness, he deserves a chance for giving you a chance."
"He also gave Seifer another chance too." I added realising more of Leonhart's good qualities.
"There you go." Mr Nooj said brightly. "Squall isn't too bad."
"But I'm just confused." I said honestly.
"Who do I like? Renzokuken or Leonhart?" I said my voice quivering. It was the question that was bugging me the most. Renzokuken was the nice guy that was always helping me out. But every time I saw Leonhart's face I couldn't see Renzokuken, I only saw Leonhart.
"Look in your heart, maybe there's a balance there. You can't see it now, but both identities have a connection." He said to me comfortingly. "Look there and you'll see who your heart really yearns for."
I smiled at him and wiped away a stray tear. "Neither of them."
Mr Nooj smirked at me and nodded his head. I was happy I came to talk to him. I had my answer now, it was simple and clear.
I couldn't believe I had been sitting on my balcony all this time and I still hadn't come to a solution. The sky was dark blue as twilight approached dimming out any traces of sunlight left and letting the moonlight flow in from above. The stars one by one were starting to shine brightly, though not many could be seen due to Deling's high pollution.
It had been a hot day, and now that dusk had fallen a cool breeze followed calming down the heat from the early morning.
I sat there on my chair with my head down looking at the stone slabs of my balcony. The cool breeze was blowing against my hair, some of which was tickling the back of my neck.
I heard a knock on the glass door behind me and realised Ellone probably came looking for me to see if I was alright. I hated that people always assumed you'd be suicidal if you ever had your heartbroken. I mean, c'mon I was stronger than that.
I decided it was probably better for me to go in now anyways; I could try calling Heartilly and see if she was ready to speak to me.
I stood up and turned around to the glass door to see Heartilly standing behind it. I had to blink from seeing her there as I absolutely did not expect it. She had ignored my calls and text messages, the last thing I expected was for her to be in my room.
I moved my chair out of the way as she opened the doors to the balcony coming in and shutting them tightly behind her.
She stood with her legs crossed, one foot in front of the other, and her hands clasped together. I could tell she was nervous, and to be honest, so was I. Though my nerves were playing up from the wonderment of why she was here.
"Hi." She croaked nervously.
"Hi." I replied back just the same.
"Ellone let me in." She bit down on her lower lip and looked down to the floor. "I'm sorry I didn't call you back." She apologised looking back up to me.
"It's fine." I said awkwardly, though I doubted I could have given any other answer or demanded an explanation.
"So you're…" She trailed off unable to complete her sentence.
"Yeah." I said knowing what she was asking. "And you're Angel…" I continued also unable to say it.
"When did you find out?" She asked softly, I almost didn't hear her from the loud thudding of my heart.
"When we were rehearsing at your place; you left your mailbox open." I explained to her and I could see her remembering back to the day. She started nodding and I gathered she had realised why I left off in such a hurry. "I went home to double check and… yeah…"
She bit her lower lip and walked over to my side of the balcony leaning over the railing.
The wind was blowing her hair back, her bangs moving across her forehead. The moonlight by this time was shining more brightly casting a glow over her face and neck.
"Why didn't you tell me before?" She asked, although it sounded more like a demand.
I could hear the hurt in her voice, the pain she had to go through when Renzokuken 'disappeared' and having no explanation or answer from him. Just and ambiguous text one night informing her of a lost friendship.
"Because we didn't get along. I knew if I had told you then, you'd lose out on our online relationship." I replied.
"But after the day you found out, you didn't even contact me. I sent you so many emails, waited for you to come online and you didn't." She said looking straight at me. She wasn't talking to me, Leonhart. She was talking to Renzokuken.
"I couldn't. I had a hard time dealing with the fact that you were Angel_Wings. At first I just stayed clear of you. But then I realised that you were the same person and we just got off to a bad start." I explained hoping she'd understand my reasons.
"Was that it?" She asked almost as if she wasn't happy with my explanation.
I took a breath and walked behind her stopping when her back was in front of me. She moved her head slightly trying to look from the corner of her eye. I wanted wrap my arms around her, move her open hair to one side and rest my head on her shoulder.
"I knew if told you who I was, you'd be disappointed. So… I thought I could change your opinion about me." I said honestly. "But you kept wanting Renzokuken, and I guess I became jealous. I wanted you to like me."
She didn't reply. She just remained silent and I stood there waiting for her to say something. Do something. It was like that for a while, both of us unable to move, unable to talk, just thinking.
Finally she turned and looked at me while leaning her back against the railing. She looked at me in the eyes and bit her lip again before taking a deep breath and started speaking.
"I wanted Renzokuken, I didn't like you, Leonhart. We didn't get along, and I had no hopes of us ever getting along. I didn't need to; I had Renzokuken, he was the one who gave me support, respect, friendship. It didn't matter to me that you didn't like me." She revealed and I could see her eyes were glazed now, tears making their way to the surface of her eyes.
She swallowed before continuing. "But since Renzokuken disappeared, I saw a change in you. You weren't being the Leonhart I first met; you stopped pulling pranks, stopped speaking down to me. Instead you started to treat me like a friend, going out of your way to impress me, I guess." She said and I awkwardly shifted my eyes. I actually hadn't thought she noticed my intentions.
"Who do you want be? Because I don't want either Leonhart or Renzokuken." She tried saying through sobs. "Renzokuken's gone, he didn't exist. Every time I hear the name Leonhart I can't help but think of who you were when we first met." She explained through tears. She started using the sleeve of her cardigan to wipe away her tear stained cheeks.
I shook my head and sighed. Everything she was saying was what I went through when I found out who she was. All the confusion I faced, being torn between a friend I met online and a jerk I faced at school. The sadness I felt knowing that Angel_Wings didn't really exist, no matter how hard I tried, but that deep down she was Heartilly. And Heartilly would never accept me for who I was.
"I'm not either of those guys. They're just names. Appearances." I started. "When you met me online I was this guy you got along with, a friend. When you met me in school I was someone you found arrogant. But it was just circumstance, had we met in a different setting without anyone else interfering, we would have gotten along."
"How do you know?" She questioned.
"Because we met online first. Had we not met in school and decided to meet up in person, like we planned, we would have gotten along." I tried to get her to see my point.
"But we did meet in person and we didn't get along." She argued sniffing the leftover tears.
"That's because of Seifer and everyone else. If we planned to meet at the Mall, just the two of us, for sure we'd get along." I said hoping she now understood what I meant.
She nodded her head in agreement but didn't say anything, so I continued.
"After I started seeing the good in you, the good in Heartilly, I realised that you were the same person. Angel_Wings was someone I met online, had a great personality and I had tonnes of jokes with. How I met you face to face was all circumstantial, it didn't mean anything because I broke through your appearance and saw the Angel in you." I confessed.
It was like music to her ears as I confessed everything to her, I guess she never realised that I stopped seeing her as Heartilly or Angel_Wings.
"So, who do you want to be with?" She asked nervously toying with her fingernails.
"You." I said firmly and I could see her cheeks redden.
"Who am I?" She asked sternly still not looking at me.
"Rinoa." I answered just as easily.
She bit her lip again stopping herself from crying.
"Are you sure?" She asked though it seemed it was more for her closure than mine. "Because I don't want to be with Leonhart or Renzokuken."
"Who do you want to be with?" I asked stepping up closer to her until our bodies were touching. I took hold of her right hand and used my left to lift up her chin so she could look at me.
"The person you've been for the past three weeks." She said inaudibly as her voice broke from the emotion. She closed her eyes stopping herself from crying again.
"That person is Squall." I whispered to her softly.
She still had her eyes closed so I took my chance and went for it. It was a long shot, but what did I have to lose? If she didn't reciprocate my feelings, I'd find out sooner or later.
With her eyes shut firmly I looked into her delicate face, her cheeks stained with tears and her mouth slightly agape showing her clenched her teeth. The entire sky was complete dark by this time and moonlight had illuminated her face adding a white glow to her already pale skin.
"I love you Rinoa, always have, always will." I whispered softly to her.
She opened her eyes and looked up at me in our little moonlit balcony. She threw her arms around my neck and hopped to her toes pushing her body against mine and finally meeting my lips with hers.
I held on to her tightly not wanting to let her go, I didn't want this moment to stop. I wanted it to continue forever; us in our own little time and space, enjoying one another without a care for anyone else. No one else was important.
She broke the kiss and breathed hard resting her forehead against mine before speaking.
"I love you… Squall." She finally said. I chuckled causing her to giggle along with me, our laughter and breathing bouncing off each other. Our bodies were obviously nervous; I was shaking whilst holding on to her, my breathing unsteady.
But it was all worth it.
"I love you… Squall." I finally said to him as I broke away from our kiss and rested my head against his.
My heart was pounding and my breathing was really unsteady. My insides felt like they were about to explode from all the emotion that was coursing through my body. My legs were shaking from the nerves and I could tell Squall was just as nervous from the way his hands were trembling as they held onto my waist.
He started laughing and I laughed along with him. It felt surreal that we were in this very position. From the start of school we had spent all our time and effort making each other's life miserable, yet here we were in each other's arms finding the long lost love we were both searching so eagerly for.
I guess it was fate.
Heartilly and Leonhart couldn't stand each other.
Angel_Wings and Renzokuken liked each other.
Rinoa and Squall loved each other.
It was just names. Appearances. By breaking through appearances, I not only saw past the ugly perception of Leonhart and found my friend Renzokuken, but I had also found my love – Squall.
And judging by the way Squall pulled me in closer and kissed me again, I knew he had also broke through Heartilly, and found his Angel – Rinoa.
Well there you have it, my second fic complete.
Well there you have it, my second fic complete.
I really hope you guys liked this story, i know it wasn't action packed, sex scenes, drug abuse every where, but you don't need all that to make a good story. ;)
I hope you all understood the end. If you didn't i'd be happy to explain so drop me a PM. Or any questions you have about this story etc.
I mentioned when i started this story, that its all based on appearances. This story was based on a relationship i made with someone, and i'm happy to say, after exchanging info between us, we're still really good friends. It's nice to know that there are people that don't judge you based on what media portrays or based on what they hear at school. And i know between me and n9neSTAR thats a two way thing. (Even if she is a bit Emo... JOKE! I love emos... kinda... maybe... lol ;) ).
I'd like to ask for two small things pwease! ^^ One, can you please review, its the last chapter and I'd love to know what you thought of the end. And two, can the people that always review, start writing their own fanfics so i have something to read? Please. =D
The thing is, i joined this site way back in February, and I read loads of fanfics, some so awesome (hence why it's on my favs), some alright, and sorry to say, some really shaddy!
But when i started writing fanfic myself, some of my fav authors would review and i'd be like WOW! So i'd like to read some of my reviewers work, people that have put this story on their favs etc.
Lastly, i'd like to thank the following people: Trev James, Crepusculo4ever, FaithFromTheMystik, xAshbellax, Galneryus, Whatever41269 (love this username), ObsessiveComplusiveValkyrie, Nagia Heartilly, effect20, Redcliffy1995, neko-chiidesu, Destiny-N, HopelessRomanticist, cheeriolord, Lunchbox Vanity, ANTI THE INFINTY HOLIC, sulou, Nilmade Lailindeiel, HopelessRomantic-x, Cloud Zen, Togeii, Yakusi Fuuku, SolanaSkylark.
And to my fav authors: Freyjadour and 6jrz422 I was like 'wow' when you guys reviewed and it really motivated me.
Yeah, so i think thats all, yup no one else left to thank, everyone has been thanked. =D
Ok, ok, finally, my bwest fwend e8ghtMOON, who didnt do a thing to help me. God, crap friend or what.
Oh yeah, and n9neSTAR my ultimate best friend, who helped me with ideas, inspiration and motivation. Without her, i wouldnt have remained on this site, nor posted any of my stories. So you guys should read her stories and thank her too. She's really cool and i think her story deserves more hits and reviews, its probably better than my story anyway :p what with mean jerky Squall.
Anyways, i'll see you in my next story.