Summary: I would give anything to see you smile again. It was a simple gesture that brought us together. And today, it finally broke us.
Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, or any of that good stuff.
A/N: Thank you all for reading this story all the way to the end! No worries about lack of Vanitas x Xion since I still have my one-shot collection. As for a main story, that may be awhile since I'm working on another for the persona game series. I may post up an epilogue on deviantart, but I haven't decided yet. And because this is the last chapter there will be no more POV's which is why it is written the way it is (you'll see soon). I hope you all enjoy and thank you again!
"Xion! Over here!" I called my raven-haired friend over when she stepped into the café. She came over and sat in the chair across from me.
"I didn't keep you waiting?" She asked me and I shook my head. "Nope, I just got here a few minutes ago." I answered.
We ordered our drinks and made small talk until they were sent to our table. "You're really going through with this?" I asked her again.
Xion nodded. "I have my plane ticket booked and everything is packed." She said.
"We only just got to know each other, and you're leaving already." I reminded her.
"It'll only be for a year." She said. "It goes by fast. Like this year." She reminded me.
It was true. She had moved out here for a year. And now it was already over. Where did time go? Maybe it's because so many things had happened that it gave me the illusion that the year was going at a brisk pace.
Ever since Vanitas and I called off our engagement, things seemed to quiet down. I started to focus on my career more so I saw less of Xion as well. It's not like I was trying to avoid her, not at all.
Despite what everyone thinks, Xion is a dear friend to me. A dear friend who I wished could get a chance of happiness.
"What did Vanitas say? About you going off for a year that is." I asked her.
Xion took a sip of her drink. "I told him I was returning to piano. And that's it. I didn't know about this around the world business until after I told him." She said.
"You haven't talked to him since?" I hope she was going to tell him before she left.
"No. I think we decided to part ways from there. For good." She had a small smile on her face. It seemed like such a melancholy smile though. She then looked up at me. "But I thought today was a girls day out. It's going to be our last time together, so come on, let's go shopping like you wanted." She finished her drink.
I wanted to protest and talk on the matter more, but I suppose I should drop it since I didn't think I would get more out of her.
I wouldn't get any information from Vanitas later either because I promised her I wouldn't tell him anything that we talked about.
I wish I never made that promise though. In the past, I was so busy trying to get Vanitas to fall for Xion to cancel our engagement, that I failed to notice the feelings were already there. They had been there for quite some time.
To imagine them dating when they were still in high school, was odd, but at the same time interesting. It made one wonder what exactly happened between the two.
And then Vanitas had the misfortune to be engaged to be someone like me. Someone who didn't really love him.
I hope that he can be happy someday.
"Alright, I'm ready." I said finishing my drink and getting up to gather my things. "Let's make the best of our last day together. At least for now." I said cheerfully to remind her that it was only going to be a year.
I hope that he can be happy someday, with Xion.
"What if I hurried up our wedding date? Will you stay then?" I asked Xion in the car as I brushed a strand of my blue hair aside.
Xion frowned at the suggestion. "You do that, and I will kidnap your first child for my own." She said…probably partially meaning it too. "It's bad enough I'm going to miss your engagement party, but seriously sleep with one eye open if you get married before I come back." She warned me.
She leaned over so that Terra could see her from the driver seat. "You give in to Aqua a lot, but don't you dare get married within this year!" She warned him and I could hear him chuckle nervously as he nodded.
I laughed a little. She was leaving for the airport tomorrow. Today we got to spend time with her and announce our engagement news.
Terra liked to joke saying we should send Xion off with happy memories which is why he proposed. I nearly said no, and he admitted he was only joking. I admired my ring that was on my finger.
"Don't let your eyes get too strained from staring at that rock." Xion reminded me as she chuckled. "You'll have to keep me updated on every little wedding detail you get planned out okay. Also, I get to play the piano at your wedding right?" She asked.
I smiled as I sat back. "Nope. I don't want you there. At least not as a performer. I want you to be there as my maid of honor." I explained. That was a very fitting role for my best friend. Plus whenever she got married it would give me a chance against her sister.
She let out a squeal of delight and hugged me despite the seatbelt choking her a little. "Really Aqua? Oh, you make me not want to go on this tour." She noticed a glint of hope in me. "Almost." She reminded me of the key words.
I frowned but then looked over at her to say something, but I could see contents of her purse sticking out. One in particular was an envelope. "As an engagement present…will you let me know what was in the letter?" I pointed to it.
I had been curious for quite some time.
Xion looked surprised and then pushed her letter back into her purse. She then took it back out. "Never mind. Sure. In fact, you should probably keep it or throw it away for me. I can't seem to do it myself." She chuckled. "Sad huh?"
So it was still a touchy subject.
I took it from her though. I didn't want to read it, just know the gist of it. It felt too personal. However I took it out just to glance over it.
I turned the pages and music notes caught my eye. "Did you…compose something?" I asked her.
She turned to me and gave me a weird look. I showed her the back pages of the letter. On the back there were unevenly drawn lines and notes were on them.
Xion shook her head as she took them and examined them. "I think it's a sign you should keep them." I said, since I could tell she never noticed that before.
No matter what she did or say, the person she would miss the most leaving here would be Vanitas. Seeing them only when they first started to date, no one would've imagined that that was even a plausible idea.
But you could tell. The way she would carefully put her letter from him away back into the envelope.
Not just now, but back then too.
Subtle hints that they were falling for each other. The jealous look he got in his eyes when she was around Ven. How worried she was when he had to make visits to the hospitals. Little things like that eventually added up.
Maybe if they both realized sooner, and weren't so stubborn to admit it, things would be different. My best friend wouldn't be leaving. Vanitas was always a troublemaker back in high school, so perhaps that's why I was partially blaming him now. Not that I hated him or anything, but he probably was the only one capable of stopping her…or bring her back sooner.
"You know," I started. "Letters are meant to have replies."
She looked at me surprised and a small smile escaped. "Perhaps…"
"I'm sorry I can't see you off at the airport." I apologized to Xion.
She shook her head. "I understand, Ven. You're busy. Still dealing with company matters?" she asked.
I nodded. "Yeah, Vanitas isn't helping at all in making things smooth."
"Speaking of." She reached into her bag and pulled out a letter. "Will you give this letter to him? Actually more like hide it from him." She chuckled. Apparently my confused face amused her.
"I want him to read it, but not yet. Or maybe I don't want him to read it at all." She shrugged. "Sorry, I don't make much sense. I don't know even know what I'm saying." She then hugged me. "I'll miss you though. It really does stink. We just got to see each other again after all of these years and now work is separating us."
I frowned at the idea. "Same could go for you and Vanitas." I mentioned to her.
Xion let out another small laugh. "Are you mad at me too?" She let out a sigh. "A lot of people don't like my decision for several reasons. The most common one being Vanitas. But I think it's the best. So, promise me Ven. Promise you won't give this to him directly."
I let out a sigh and nodded. "Fine, I promise." She didn't have to know my toes were crossed though. She'd probably kill me, but this is what friends are for. Going behind your backs to do things that are good for you.
At least that's what I'm going to keep telling myself with what I was going to do with the letter.
When we said goodbye, I headed back to my uncles…well Vanitas's company now. I barged in as usual. His new secretary was used to that.
I missed seeing Xion there. She was a lot livelier. Friendlier too.
"What do you want?" Vanitas glared at me as I entered. I was used to that.
"Are you really not going to stop her?" I asked.
"What are you talking about?" So Serah was right. She didn't tell him she was leaving today.
"Xion! Why am I related to you?" Usually he asked that question about me. "Xion, she's leaving. And you're not going to go after her?"
"I know she's going back to piano. If that's what she wants, then who am I to stop her?" He said as if it was common fact.
I took the letter that Xion handed me and threw it at him. "Considering you're the only one she left words for, I think you're the only person who could stop her."
I walked out of his office. My cousin was truly the idiot of the family. He always said that about me, but it was always him.
He always put others first, even if it didn't sound like him. Maybe it was more believable if he wasn't always doing it with a sour look on his face.
The one time he was selfish, was when he wanted Xion all for himself. Back when she liked me. And even in the end, he put her first.
My cousin doesn't like me too much, and I'm not sure I'm very fond of him either. But I love Xion. She's like my sister. And if my idiotic jerk of a cousin makes her happy, then hell, I'll break my promise with her just this once.
I went back to my temporary office in the building. Man, if I didn't have work myself, I would've stalled her in some way.
Those two…are completely hopeless.
I hated cleaning my desk. How do I let it get so messy every time? As I moved things around I found the letter Ven had dropped off a few days back.
What the hell was he so pissed about? Out of nowhere he barges in and yells at me. It's none of his business anyway, me and Xion. In fact it's not even a business that should exist.
We're done. She has her job, and I have mine. We both decided that.
I stared at the envelope he threw at me. I grabbed it and opened it. He made me so angry that I didn't think to read it earlier.
I figured since I had to wait a long time for your letter, it's only fair that you wait as well. Do you remember back in high school when you used to always call me stupid, idiot, clueless…well you get the point. I remember. I remember because I would always get so angry and annoyed at you. Now I know I was angry because it was true.
I really am all those things. Stupid for not realizing how you felt. An idiot for not realizing how I felt. And completely clueless on how I had hurt you.
On the day we had our date, I played for you for the very first time in a long time. Thank you. Because of that one moment, I can now use it to continue my career. In truth, I stopped because you weren't around to hear me anymore.
Back then without fail, you'd always say 'play for me' and despite my attitude, I was happy. If only I realized that sooner. Then definitely, without fail, I would've stopped you. I would've stopped you from making the stupid decision to leave me.
You're an idiot too you know. Telling me you love me in a letter. Those kinds of things should be said in person! And you know you're clueless too. You should've at least let me say my feelings about you before you go running off to manage a company.
Even though we thought it was over in high school, we still met again. So while it may be over now, maybe someday we'll see each other again. I'll tell you then. I'll tell you then in person how I feel.
P.S. If I could fit them in this envelope, I would've included gloxinias. I know you know what they mean. You're a terrible liar sometimes. When we meet again, I'd like to hear what they mean from you.
I sat my desk rereading the letter. So I'd have to wait. Seven years since we've seen each other and she already left again. All the while she leaves a letter insulting me.
This girl really hasn't changed.
"Xion, the concerts staring in ten minutes!" My manager reminded me. I nodded and took a deep breath.
I was in another country about to play to a huge audience. And I knew for a fact there would be no familiar faces in the audience for comfort. I wonder how everyone was doing back home.
Serah had gotten quite popular. There were pictures of her and news clips of interviews in the magazines even overseas.
Ven emailed me from time to time. He informed me the letter was no longer in his possession. Good, he hid it somewhere then.
Aqua and Terra also sent me pictures of their engagement. Honestly who chooses someone who's traveling to be a maid of honor? I can't help with anything at all. Emailing only goes so far. At least she was keeping me up to date and remaining unmarried until I finished my tour.
I cleared my thoughts of them. It would only make playing the piano harder.
I got onto the stage and sat down at the piano. I closed my eyes and did small breathing exercise. All the while I thought of when I played for Vanitas. Seeing those curtains raise, I knew he wouldn't be there, but to imagine it before a big show, well that would help a little.
When the curtains were lifted, applause rang throughout the concert hall. When it was quiet, I started to play.
A good two hours passed before I got up to bow to the audience that was clapping once again. I bowed and smiled until the curtains slowly descended in front of me and hid me from view.
I looked at the flowers that had been thrown onto the stage. I never took them home, so I always felt bad about people having to clean it up.
My manager congratulated me on a wonderful show performance. I smiled and said I was thankful for the chance to return. It was a lie of course.
I had been doing that so much lately it sort of came with ease. What a bad habit to fall into.
I was offered a ride home, but I declined since I wanted to practice. Ever the faithful pianist everyone would tease me as they headed out.
That wasn't really the case. I just wanted some time away from them. I headed back to the stage and sure enough, the flowers had been cleaned off the stage.
I headed over to the piano and put my bag down next to me on the bench. What to play, what to play?
Naturally if I'm to ask that question, then I always know the answer. The first song I composed. I started to play and was halfway done when I stopped to see the curtains rise.
Was this some prank by my manager? When the curtains finished rising, there was no one in the audience.
Okay…now this was just getting creepy. "Hello?" I called out.
I then heard small thumping noises. I was going to die here, wasn't I? The noises got closer and closer until I'm pretty sure whoever it was, was standing right behind me.
I slowly turned around and I honestly wish I carried pepper spray in my bag. Eventually I saw the face of my supposed killer only to be Vanitas.
"Oh Vanitas, it's just you. I thought it was a serial killer or something." I patted my chest as if it would really calm my beating heart.
I then stopped and looked up again. It really was Vanitas.
"W-What are you…?"
I didn't notice he had something in his hands until he threw it at me. A bouquet of flowers. "Gloxinias, they mean love at first sight." He told me.
I stared at them and blankly at him. This wasn't real right?
"You're incredibly impatient. Do you really think you could wait another seven years to just hear some piece of information you already know from me?"
"Well yes, I'm impatient…but that wasn't my question!" I retaliated.
"I'm here because being around you in high school has rubbed off on me. I'm impatient too. And I sure as hell won't wait another seven years for you to tell me something I've been wanting to hear." He held up the letter.
Somewhere deep inside me, a part of me wanted to rush onto the next plane, find that booger named Ven and wring his neck dry.
"I'm waiting." He had that stupid smirk on his face.
"You can't expect it now! I was expecting a long time before I would have to say it and now you just show out of the blue and expect me to say it! You can't just put me on the spot like that!" I yelled at him.
"Why not? You get put on the spot every time you perform."
Ooh, he had a point. This only wanted to make me kill Ven more. I told him not to give it to Vanitas right away. I was going to lose a dear friend soon, and all by the hands of me.
"What are you really doing here?" I asked.
"I told you already." He replied.
I closed my eyes. This had to be some dream or some kind of illusion. He wasn't really there. It was getting late after all and he was the last person I thought of before playing the piano.
But then again, if he wasn't real, who else would suddenly embrace me warmly and surprise me. If it was an illusion, then why could I feel his lips touching mine? That's right. Only he kissed me like this.
When he pulled away I opened my eyes. "You're really here." I said almost breathlessly.
He nodded. "I'm not leaving you again. There's no way I'm going to let you call me stupid again."
I let out a laugh. "Does it matter? Stupid or not, I…I still love you." I smiled at him and he smiled back.
I loved that smile on him.
"Play for me." He said after I uttered my confession.
I let go of his embrace and I walked over to the piano. Instead of sitting down I rummaged through the contents of my purse and pulled out the letter he had written for me.
I opened it and looked at the backside where the composition was. On the back there was an extra message.
P.S. My mom told you how I used to want to be a pianist. I gave up on that a long time ago. I wrote this for you but could never give it to you in person. Let me know how it sounds someday will you?
I set the 'music sheets' up and walked back to Vanitas and took his hand. I pulled him over and made him sit down on the bench.
"You told me what gloxinias mean. I can't tell you how this sounds though." I said pointing to his music sheets he had written so long ago.
"Why don't you play for me?"