a/n: shout out to reviewers: xiaohou, xxc-loudxs-trifexx, gxmwp, korovee, cyhyr, sitarlover, faye, meep forever, lightning bender, bloody melody, soho, soul-kit524, dominion123, funni neko, puppeteer illuusione, darkangellovelives, phyre-bird, lady subaru, meiko, and any others that I missed. THANK YOU GUYS FOR REVIEWING! I HELPS ME BECOME A BETTER (AND MORE REGULAR) WRITER!
a/n: the poll for the split chapters is still up for probably 2 more weeks after I post this final update. PLEASE take it so I know how to shape this story in the future.
a/n: the only other updates to this will be if I write omake's of a couple of the chapters. I have some ideas, which I think are funny, that I may share with you.
a/n: anyway, thank you all who read this from start to finish. I greatly appreciate your time. Please drop me a review and let me know what you think of the story, what you like or didn't, so I can make a better story next time. So, without further ado, here is the conclusion to "He's Gone Away". Thanks!
warnings: allusions to sex. thanks zack, you dirty minded puppy you.
I looked through the doorway at Terra, stirring in bed. Dust motes floated in the air above him like fairy dust, and the white curtains gave him a pale, angelic glow. I heard him make a soft grunt, and I smiled. Can life really be this good?
Terra stirred again, and then his lips open slightly. "Ven, mrf-ning."
I kneel on the bed then kiss his forehead gently. "What, Terra?" I inquire as sweetly as possible.
His eyes open to a squint, and he gives me a small smile. "Something's burning."
"Shoot!" I jump up from the bed. Even as my feet pound on the floor, running to the kitchen, I can hear Ter's low chuckle. I throw out the burnt batch of bacon and put on several new slices. I stir the grits, and then start scrambling the eggs. Breakfast is cooked in a matter of moments, and I assemble the tray: two glasses of orange juice, scrambled eggs and bacon for me, bacon and honey butter grits for Terra. I open the window to let some of the burnt smell air out of the kitchen, and glance at the sunlight on the grass in the yard. I blink a few times, and the grab the tray and walk back to the bedroom.
"Happy anniversary!" I say and Terra sits up. His bed head is adorable. His hair is pointing every which way, like those characters in Japanese comic books.
"Breakfast in bed," he smiles, "my favorite."
I peck him on the lips. "I love you."
He grabs my hand from the bed and kisses it. "I love you more."
I smile, blushing slightly. "Yeah right," I start. He opens his mouth to say something, but I continue. "Don't argue, eat the food I made for you while it's hot."
Terra moans into his spoon as he takes a bite, and I smile into my orange juice.
"This is so good," he says, although I already know he enjoys his favorite food. "But you taste better." He kisses me. "But, as I said yesterday, there are things happening this morning."
I sigh. "You and your surprises. First you surprised me yesterday at work with a bunch of flowers—"
"—You liked it."
"I did. But the girl baristas never stopped swooning," I counter. Those girls like Ter a bit too much for my liking. "Anyway, do all these 'things' mean I can't take a shower with you?"
"No, we DEFINITELY have time for that," Terra beams. "I thought you didn't like morning showers?"
"Well, no I don't. But I smell like burnt bacon," I say, spooning some eggs into my mouth.
Terra sniffs me playfully. "Mm…smoky."
I laugh. We finish our breakfast, and go to take a shower. Throughout it, we keep getting distracted and almost start to have sex several times. Sometimes, it's really hard for me to resist him. I look into his large brown eyes as he shampoos my hair. Even his touch tells me he loves me. I close my eyes and feel him massage my scalp.
"God, you're amazing," he says to me. I open my eyes to be met by his enveloping gaze. I put my wet hand on his slowly drying cheek. The doorbell rings and the moment is broken.
I smile, then laugh lightly, saying "You're amazing-er."
He kisses my forehead. "I'll get that while you finish up," he says stepping out of the shower. I hear him shout over the sound of the water as he leaves the bathroom, "You're amazing-est!"
I laugh and rinse the shampoo out of my hair. I dry off with the super thick grey towels Terra bought me for Christmas. I smile as I remember him telling me about why he bought them: he remembered me telling him about how much I loved the shower and towels the first time I showered at his apartment on campus, and how much I loved the towel I used, which was Zexion's. Then he said that he chose the silvery grey color because it was the color of the shirt I wore that first night at their house. He said he would always remember the way I looked then. He said that I looked frail and worn out, but that there was still some internal strength in me, like I had been fighting a long battle and only inner truths kept me standing. He said the grey offset the courage and quiet audacity in my eyes.
To be honest, I don't know how he sees so much in me. But he says the same thing back to me when I talk to him.
I put on a robe and exit the bathroom, mumbling to myself, "How did he remember what color shirt I was wearing? I don't even remember that. I don't even think I noticed."
"Where is everyone?" I hear Zack ask as I near the kitchen.
"Rox, Ax, and Dem are on the road with the band," Terra says, sipping some coffee.
"So, you love birds have the entire house to yourselves, huh?" Zack says, mischievous glint of knowing shining in his eyes.
"Ven isn't as loud as Cloud," Terra counters.
"TERRA!" I fume at him. He points to the coffee cup in his hands, knowing that I would hit him if there wasn't a chance of him getting scalding coffee spilt on him. "Don't compare my sex life with that of my older brother!" I say exasperatingly, trying to get the idea of Cloud having sex out of my mind, and also attempting to quit dying of embarrassment, I stare out the window. I see Fenrir on the front lawn.
"Is Cloud here?" I ask, happy for a slight change of subject.
"No, not yet," Zack says smiling into his cup.
"He let you ride Fenrir?" I ask, astonishment coloring my voice.
"Yeah," Zack replies simply. I looked at him in wonder. Zack is happy about this. In fact, he is almost bursting at the seems, but something is keeping him from saying so, and Zack NEVER restrains from expressing his thoughts. I sometimes thought that, at some time, Zexion must've stolen all of Zack's mind to mouth filter, to add to his own. Zexion is a schemer, after all. He could have pulled it off.
I narrow my eyes as a small unfamiliar car pulls up alongside Cloud's motorcycle.
"Who's that?" I ask.
Terra turns to look out the window, and puts his arm around me. I hear the coffee cup being set on the counter with a clink.
"That's Cloud," he says softly. "And he's driving my anniversary present to you."
My eyes get large and my jaw drops. "You got me a car?" I whisper.
"It's used, but it runs well. Cloud and Zack got you GPS and Bluetooth put in it, and Dem and Zex put in a nice stereo and speaker system." Terra says, hugging me.
"You got me a car?" I say again, staring at the beautiful blue four-door in the yard. "Is this why you picked up those extra hours at the record place in addition to managing the pizza place?"
"You're reaction is so worth it," is his answer.
"You got me a car?" I hug him tightly, and then run out of the house to look at it.
Cloud is shutting the door as I run up to my (my!) car.
"Hey, bro," he says and I hug him. "How are you?" he asks.
"Terra got me a car!" I say, still in shock.
"Yeah, I know. It handles well, too." Cloud says, stoically as usual, but I could hear the happiness in his voice.
"Ah man, it's a car!" I touch the shiny blue paint that seemed to sparkle in the sun. Cloud moves to stand with Zack, nodding a hello to Terra as he approaches me, still oogling the car.
Cloud kisses his boyfriend and Zack puts an arm around his shoulder. A small smile pulls at Cloud's eyes as he says softly to his boyfriend and longtime best friend, "The twins grew up so fast."
Zack glances at Cloud, and sees the bittersweet pride on his face as he watched his younger brother. "Don't worry, Papa Cloud," Zack says, only teasing a little, "we still have the rest of the crew."
I slowly come down from my high over my car (car!) and look at Zack and Cloud. "Who's watching Sora, Pence, and Nami?" I ask. Usually, the three kids would take turns spending weekends at our (Axel, Dem, Roxas, Zexion, Ter, and mine) rented house and Zack and Cloud's apartment as our parents' marriage was collapsing.
"Zexion's watching them at our place, since he finished with his defense of his doctorate yesterday," Cloud explains. I nod. Zexion had stayed in school after Dem and Terra graduated. After I entered in the university with a scholarship, Zexion gave me rides everyday with him to school, and sometimes we ate lunch together. He also came by the café where I worked often to drink coffee and work though his usual ten pounds of reports and papers.
"Hey," Cloud interrupts my thoughts. "Whatever happened to the blue-haired girl you guys lived with on campus?"
"Aqua," Terra names her, sadness in his voice.
I squeeze his hand. "She started taking yoga with this guy Master Eraqus and is now all about it. I think she seems him as a father figure, and he helped her straighten her life out a lot. But we all kinda lost connection with her. We're all doing different things now," I illuminate. Eraqus did have a really positive affect on her life. I'm glad she got out of the drugs and alcohol thing she was in.
"Cloud, let's leave so these guys can christen their new car," Zack pulls Cloud to Fenrir.
"Za-ack!" Cloud and I say in unison, angry at his blatant calling out of mine and Ter's sex life.
"What? It's their anniversary. Of course they're going to have a lot of—oof!" Zack rubs the back of his head where Cloud had hit him. "Chocobo, why did you—"
"I don't want to think about my cute little siblings' sex lives, alright?" Cloud says sternly, "Now shut up, or walk home." He gets on the motorcycle and hands a helmet to Zack.
"Bye guys," Cloud says, smiling at us. His engine revs and he and Zack ride off down the lane.
Terra takes my hand and we walk back into the house. As I wash the dishes from breakfast, I steal glances out the kitchen window to my new car. As I hand Terra a plate, I say again softly, "you got me a car."
"I know, honey, you deserve it. You've been working really hard at school and at the café. You make better grades than me and Dem ever did," he tells me.
I turn to him. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," he replies. He holds my gaze for a moment. I can almost see the admiration he has for me in his eyes. I don't think I deserve it most days. He's way too good to me.
I continue to wash the food and grease off of dishes. I think back on the past few years. We've had our fights, but we agreed early on that we would never fall asleep angry with one another, so we always talk things out, even if I'm really stubborn or he's really immature. I smile at the dirty dish water. We aren't perfect, our lives aren't perfect, but our love is perfect for us: it's strong, it's dependable, but most of all, it's wonderful.
I drain the sink and wash my hands. Terra turns to me with the towels and dries my hands like they were another plate. I giggle. He kisses me.
"I love you."