Disclaimer: I own nothing from Jak and Daxter. All belongs to the amazing minds of Naughty Dog. Also, the song "True Colors" and its lyrics belong to Cyndi Lauper.
Jakxkeiraaddict: So, this is my first crack at a fanfiction story. I got the idea while perusing the music on my Ipod, and I happened to stop on the song "True Colors", hence the title. Try not to judge too harshly, guys, again this was my first story. ^^'
The young blonde-haired elf slumped against the cold wall of his room, resting his forehead on his knees. He closed his eyes wearily as pain seared the shattered pieces of his heart. Her words echoed in his mind, as agonizing and heart wrenching as if she were standing in the same room, screaming them at him.
You look… different.
And you're a good judge of character? People say you get angry and… change.
A long sigh escaped his throat, and he wrapped his arms tightly around his legs, as if it would help keep him from completely falling apart.
She was right, he knew it with every muscle, every bone in his body. He was different, so much so that he barely recognized himself when he looked in the mirror. Everything about him was altered, twisted, leaving him a shell of his former self, stripping away all his innocence and humanity until he was more animal than man.
And she hated him for it.
You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh, I realize
It's hard to take courage
The bedroom door slid quietly open, and light footsteps echoed off the floor. The blonde elf knew without a doubt who it would be, but he did not lift his head to acknowledge the appearance of his ottsel friend.
"Hey, Jak…" Daxter greeted hesitantly, stepping into the room. "How… how ya holding up, big guy?"
Jak ignored his best friend, squeezing his eyes more tightly shut as Keira's words repeated themselves in his head, over and over.
"That good, huh…" Daxter muttered to himself. He strode cautiously up to Jak's side, staring at his subdued friend with a concerned expression.
"Come on, Jak," he pleaded, an uncharacteristically serious frown on his furry visage. "You've hardly spoken for two days. You can't spend all your time locked up in here. What about helping the Underground?"
"Screw the Underground," Jak mumbled into his legs, his eyes still closed.
"Don't let ol' Tattooed Wonder hear you say that," Daxter joked half-heartedly, trying to lighten the dark atmosphere that seemed to radiate from Jak himself. "He'd have you cleaning up Metal Heads in the sewers for the next month."
"Does it look like I care what Torn thinks?" Jak growled, his eyelids flying open. He knew his partner-in-crime was just trying to help, but he was in no mood for sympathy.
He didn't think there was anything that could comfort him now.
"No, not really," Daxter replied matter-of-factly. A heartbeat of silence passed, and then he heaved a sigh, shaking his fuzzy head slowly.
"Look, Jak… I'm sorry you're hurting, buddy, really I am. But if that's the way she feels, then maybe —"
He broke off as Jak lifted his head, fixing him with an icy glare that sent chills down his spine and made his fur stand on end.
"Don't. Even. Say it," Jak hissed, his cerulean eyes darkening until they were as black and cold as midnight. "If you value your life, you'll stop talking, Daxter."
"I'm just saying that —" Daxter began, holding up his hands defensively.
"I know how she feels, Dax, alright?" the blonde-haired elf snarled, his face twisted in a menacing scowl. "She made it perfectly clear, you don't need to remind me!"
An all-too-familiar rage began to simmer in the back of Jak's mind, and the edges of his vision were tinged in crimson. A low growl slid between his clenched teeth, but it was not directed at the ottsel in front of him. Rather, it was aimed toward his dark alter ego, the gruesome side of his being that was the reason why his heart lay in pieces and his entire world had been flipped upside down.
"This isn't good for your mental health, pal!" Daxter snapped, bringing Jak back to the current argument at hand. "If she's gonna act that way towards ol' tall, dark, and gruesome, then it's safe to say you should just forget about her."
Every ounce of anger vanished from Jak's thoughts, to be replaced by a pain more excruciating than what he'd just felt — if that were even possible. Not even the burn of the Dark Eco injections from his time in prison could face up to this level of agony.
"I… I can't, Dax," he murmured, closing his eyes sadly and resting his head against the wall.
Daxter sighed again; his blue eyes just a few shades lighter than Jak's glowing with understanding. "Buddy, I know you love her, but…"
Jak shook his head slowly, his splintered heart aching in his chest. "That's it, though. How can I forget about her when I love her so much?"
After a moment's hesitation, Daxter leapt up onto Jak's knee, balancing precariously as he folded his arms over his chest.
"In that case," he said rather gruffly, "you need to go patch things up with her, big guy."
Jak's eyelids shot open again, and he fixed his best friend with a disbelieving look. "Sorry, I think I missed that. What did you say?"
"You heard me," Daxter growled. His expression softened. "Jakky boy, you gotta go talk to her. It's not gonna get any better if you don't. And don't think I'll be happy to sit around by myself and wait to be metal meat while you're locked away in your room crying over a girl who dumped you for some KG psychopath."
Jak flinched; that was below the belt, and Daxter knew it.
"Don't mention that sadistic jackass to me!" the dark elf bellowed, his eyes flat black and snarls ripping from his chest. Daxter quickly leapt off of Jak's knee, backing away several steps as his friend towered over him. "Erol is the reason I'm like this! The reason why Keira can't stand to look at me! The reason why she hates me!"
His anger burned out as abruptly as it had flared, and he blinked wearily at Daxter, who was currently cowering by the door.
He deliberated over Daxter's suggestion for a long moment. Should he go talk to Keira? Would she even want to see him? Maybe a chance to talk to her was exactly what he needed. If he could just show her that he really wasn't a monster, like everyone else seemed to think…
"You're right, Dax," Jak sighed, his gaze sliding to the floor. "I need to go talk to Keira."
Daxter nodded mutely, his eyes the size of dinner plates and his breathing rather ragged.
Shaking his head, Jak shrugged past his ottsel sidekick and strode down a short hallway, through the main room of his small apartment and out the front door.
Rain pounded the stone streets and splashed in the murky waters of the port. The impenetrable clouds overhead thickened the blackness of night, making it very difficult for Jak to see more than a foot in front of his face.
Stepping out into the downpour without hesitating, he proceeded to hijack the nearest zoomer and sped through the city in the direction of the colossal racing stadium on the north side. If luck was on his side tonight — which it rarely was — Keira would be where one could expect to find her rain or shine, any hour of the day: in her garage.
A thousand different things he wanted to say to Keira played in Jak's mind as he drove, but he couldn't seem to fit the words together exactly the way he wanted them. Eventually, he gave up, deciding he'd just wing it and see what happened.
He pulled up outside Keira's racing garage and killed the zoomer's engine, parking it under the cover of the stadium roof. Taking a deep breath, he cautiously entered the brightly lit building.
Pain lashed at his heart when he spotted Keira leaning over one of her workstations, tinkering with a half-completed zoomer. He quickly examined her expression, and was surprised to see that she appeared rather… upset, and that was putting it mildly.
He cleared his throat loudly to announce his presence. Keira whipped around to face him, nearly falling off the zoomer platform in the process and dropping her wrench on the floor. She blinked with surprise when she realized who it was, and then her emerald eyes hardened and she scowled.
"What do you want, Jak?" she demanded, folding her arms over her chest. Her cold tone sent another wave of hurt coursing through Jak's veins, but he quickly tried to dispel it.
"We need to talk," he stated flatly, his expression carefully emotionless.
Keira sighed wearily. "I have nothing to say to you."
"But I have plenty to say to you," Jak growled, losing a bit of his composure.
The sapphire-haired elf eyed him coolly for a long moment. "Fine. I'm listening."
Jak gazed silently at her for a long moment, trying to decide how to proceed. He knew she wanted to hear an apology, but he wasn't going to give her one. After all, what did he have to apologize for? It wasn't his fault that she'd decided to hate him because of the dark nature he couldn't control.
No, it was her precious Erol's fault.
Thinking of Erol's name sent rage surging through Jak's limbs, and he fought against his inner demon as it clawed against its bonds, begging to break free and murder the heartless KG commander.
It wasn't enough that Baron Praxis' right-hand man had pumped him full of Dark Eco and tortured him until he'd lost nearly all of his sanity. Of course he wouldn't have been satisfied with just scarring Jak physically and turning him into some bloodthirsty monster hell-bent on destroying anyone who opposed him.
No. He had to take Keira as well — the one good thing in the endless torment Jak's life had become.
The beast inside him snarled, wanting nothing more than to hunt Erol down and rip him to pieces.
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness still inside you
Make you feel so small
"Well, are you going to say something or just stand there glaring at me all night?" Keira snapped, breaking him out of his dark thoughts.
Jak shook his head quickly to clear it and fixed her with a cool gaze. "You know why I'm here."
Keira's eyes narrowed to glowing emerald slits. "Yes, and you're not getting an apology, Jak. I know it's true what people are saying about you. Killing Krimzon Guards, turning into some creature straight out of a horror movie when you get angry… don't you see why that might bother me just a little?"
"It's not something I can control, Keira," Jak hissed, folding his arms over his chest. "I didn't choose this. Did you even consider that I might hate is just as much as you do?"
The sapphire-haired elf blinked, her hard expression fading and shock appearing in its place.
"Hate it?" she repeated, her tone baffled. "I never said I hated it."
"'You look different. You get angry and change'," Jak quoted her, the hint of a snarl in his voice.
"Do you remember me saying anything about hating it?" Keira objected, shaking her head. "It frightens me a bit, sure, but that doesn't mean I hate it."
"But it seemed like —" Jak tried to protest, but she cut him off.
"I could never hate you, Jak," she murmured, her deep green eyes glowing. "Two years and a bit of a bad attitude on your part aren't going to change that."
Jak stared blankly at her, astonished. Several heartbeats of silence passed before he found his voice again.
"T-then why did you say what you did?" he stammered, blinking rapidly. "I thought you were upset by what I've become…"
Keira shook her head wearily, and then she smiled at him, her eyes radiating warmth. "I'm not mad, or upset, or whatever else you seem to think I am. It doesn't matter to me how much you've changed."
Show me a smile then
Don't be unhappy
The hint of a smile tugged at the corners of Jak's mouth, and he felt a twinge of surprise. He couldn't remember the last time he'd actually smiled — a real smile, not the bitter sneers that passed as a grin on his face nowadays.
"You really don't mind that I'm a monster?" he inquired, hardly daring to believe that he'd heard her correctly.
Keira was quiet for several heartbeats, and Jak tensed, wondering if she was changing her mind after all. He didn't think he could live through the pain if she pushed him away again.
"You're not a monster," she finally whispered, her face suddenly serious. "Don't tell yourself that, because it's not true."
Jak sighed, sliding his gaze to the floor. He knew she was just trying to comfort him, and he was grateful for that, but he knew what he was.
"I am a monster, Keira," he muttered, avoiding her intense eyes. "Everything you've heard about me is true, and it's all because of that… thing inside me. It's destroyed everything that made me who I was."
"Jak, you're not a monster," Keira repeated fiercely. He glanced up at her sadly, and was surprised when her lips pulled up in a smile again. "You're just a guy with a few anger issues that happens to take them out on Krimzon Guards."
To his amazement, Jak laughed, his first real laugh in more than two years. Keira beamed at him in response, and his heart skipped a beat when he saw the softness in her emerald eyes.
Can't remember when I last saw you laughing
Still grinning, Keira shrugged away from the workstation she had been leaning against and strolled over to Jak. She wrapped her arms around his waist without hesitating, holding him to her.
Jak froze automatically under her touch, thoroughly surprised. When he'd been in trapped in the Baron's prison, his body had developed a natural aversion to contact with other people. Every time a guard would retrieve him for more experiments or beat him for any random reason, it had driven the same thought into his subconscious, over and over again: human contact only leads to pain.
So it went against every instinct he possessed to hold still as Keira leaned her head against his chest, closing her eyes contently.
But he knew that if there were one person on the planet who would never hurt him — on purpose, anyway — it would be Keira.
And so, after a moment's hesitation, he wound his arms around her slender waist, pulling her tight against his body. He rested his cheek against the top of her head, breathing in the sweet scent that lingered in her hair.
All the pain and anger that had been building up in his mind vanished like fog in the sunlight. A sense of contentment stronger than he'd felt in longer than he cared to remember washed over him, and he kissed Keira's hair softly without a second thought, comforted just by her presence in his arms.
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there
"I'm sorry, Jak," Keira breathed against his chest, tightening her hold on him. "I never should have said the things I did."
"I know why you said them," Jak replied quietly, closing his eyes sadly. "I'm not who I used to be."
Keira pulled back a few inches to stare at his face. "You're wrong."
Jak blinked at her, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion. "Keira, you said yourself that I look different."
"On the outside, yes," the emerald-eyed elf agreed, smiling warmly at him. "But underneath all the pain, all the anger… I still see the innocent boy that I grew up with in Sandover."
"Keira, that kid's gone," Jak sighed, shaking his head as remorse flooded over him. He missed the carefree boy he'd been back then, when times were simpler and he didn't have some raging alter ego eating away at his humanity.
"No, he's not," Keira, objected, her green eyes boring into his. "Before you could talk, I got really good at reading your eyes. And I still see him there, Jak, even if you can't. Even after everything you've gone through… you're still the Jak I remember… still the Jak I love."
I see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
Jak blinked down at her, astonished.
Even during all their years growing up in Sandover, all the time they spent together, not once had Keira said that she loved him. And to hear her say it now, after two years of being separated, and all the torment that Jak had endured… it made him happier than he could ever remember feeling.
His eyes began to burn with unshed tears for the first time in years, and he willingly let them fall, unashamed. The only thing that mattered was that the sapphire-haired beauty in his arms loved him, dark alter ego and all.
"I love you, too, Keira," Jak murmured, beaming at her. "I always have."
Keira reached up with one hand and gently brushed the tears away from under his eyes. "I'll always be here for you, Jak. And no matter what happens now, or what kind of trouble we get ourselves into, we'll face it together."
Jak's grin widened impossibly, and Keira giggled to herself.
Now, a small voice in the back of Jak's head encouraged him. Now's the chance you've wanted since you met her.
Gazing into Keira's sparkling emerald eyes, Jak knew the voice was right. Here was finally the opportunity he'd been waiting for since Daxter's impeccable timing had interrupted his and Keira's first kiss so long ago.
Slowly, Jak leaned in towards her, pressing her tighter to his body and closing his eyes. He paused when his lips were less than an inch from Keira's to whisper that he loved her again.
He pressed his lips softly to hers, and Keira's hands slid up his chest so she could wrap her arms around his neck. After a few heartbeats he deepened the kiss, and they explored the inside of each other's mouths, their tongues tangling together and a low, wanting moan rising from Jak's throat.
Keira's leg inched upwards to his hip, and she hitched it there, letting his body brush against every line of hers. Jak tightened his hold on her and lifted her off her feet, sitting her on the edge of the nearest Zoomer platform. She wrapped her other leg around his waist and leaned into him, letting her hands travel up and down the contours of his muscular chest.
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors, are beautiful
Like a rainbow
"You're not alone anymore," Keira breathed as Jak's lips explored the length of her neck and her fingers tangled in his long green/blonde hair. "As long as you need me, I'll be here. I see the real you in your eyes. You're beautiful, Jak, and I love you more than anything else in the world."
Jak broke away to smile at her for a moment, and then he brought his lips back to hers with a passion that even his inner demon could feel.
For the first time in over two years, he was home.
JKA: So, that wasn't too bad for a first fic, right? Anyways, hope you guys liked it, and reviews are always welcome. ^_^