Set in an Alternate Universe.
And with this Chapter, the story is complete!
Thank you for all the Reviews!
I need to explain something about this Chapter.
It has exactly two thousand words.
I had to edit it a lot because, at first, it exceeded the limit. Hahaha!
The color Violet; I was supposed to tie its explanation in with the other six colors, what with it being the final color of the Rainbow.
And thus, signifying an end. But due to the word count, I had to scrap that.
Along with many other lines, especially in the conversations.
But I managed to keep everything that was important to the storyline, I think.
Happy Valentine's Day!
DISCLAIMER [I do not own Kingdom Hearts] DISCLAIMER
COLORS OF THE HEART
Where the storm meets the sun, you stand.
[Aqua is Nineteen / Vanitas is Seventeen]
Vanitas watched Roxas stuff his face with popcorn as he sat on the couch in the living room. He and Xion were having a movie marathon of something that Vanitas really didn't care to know about. At the moment, Xion was in the bathroom. And this would be the only time Vanitas could talk to Roxas alone.
"Roxas," he said.
"Oh, hey, Vanitas," Roxas answered, only just realizing that Vanitas was standing there.
"I have to ask," Vanitas muttered. "How did you do it?"
"Huh? Do what?"
"You and Xion," Vanitas replied, his voice very quiet. It was not exactly a topic he wanted to discuss, especially with a boy who was four years younger than him. It had taken him several months to even begin swallowing his pride enough to consider the idea.
Roxas stared at him for a moment. "You mean, how did I get her to go out with me?"
Vanitas nodded once.
"I told her how I felt," Roxas said.
Vanitas scowled at the blonde. "What?"
"What do you mean what? I told her I liked her," Roxas clarified.
"Pretty much," Roxas replied. "I told her I've always liked her, but that I thought she liked Ven better. She said that wasn't true. And then it took a while, but she finally agreed to, you know, at least try, and now…" Roxas smiled. "Now, we're this."
Just then, Xion came back and set herself down on the couch. Roxas draped his arm across her shoulders, and Vanitas frowned pensively. Roxas had been able to achieve what he could not. And Roxas wouldn't have to worry about Xion going to high school and meeting really hot guys, because she already belonged to him. And there wouldn't be an Axel for Xion, because Roxas was already there to prevent it, to protect her. And when Xion goes to college…
Vanitas pulled out his phone and dialed Aqua's number.
He sat at their usual spot, waiting for her. Sure, he had to shoo some kids away, but this afternoon was very important. And so he was seated on one of the swings at the playground, and he saved the one next to him for when Aqua arrives.
This had been their spot ever since he was six. This was where they played the day after they met, this was where they got over their fear of heights, and this was where they loved to go even when they were already years older than the oldest kids in the playground. And, hopefully, what he was about to do today would only make the place more meaningful.
"Hey, Van," Aqua greeted, and he suddenly stood up. He did not see her coming, having been so caught up in his thoughts.
She looked at him oddly, an awkward smile on her lips. "Why are you getting up?" she asked. "Are we…going somewhere else?"
Vanitas swallowed the lump in his throat. "No," he said. "Sit down."
So they both settled down on their usual swings and began to rock slowly back and forth. He looked at her for a minute and felt a tiny sliver of annoyance at seeing that she was wearing a violet blouse. She rarely wore any other color in the days when she was still dating Axel. So it reminded him heavily of those days. It was a color that he had already strongly associated with feelings of anger and hate.
She broke through his thoughts, saying, "So, what did you want to tell me?"
"Uhm…" he mumbled, trying to shove the color and the annoyance out of his mind. "So… College, huh?"
She smiled a little. "I know… I'm kind of nervous. It's a whole new school, new teachers, new classmates…"
He smirked. "You said the exact same thing just before high school."
"I did?" she asked.
"Well, this time, I'll be so much farther from you…"
The lump grew in his throat again. "I know," he said. "I'm kind of nervous, too…"
They fell silent and Aqua kicked just a little harder against the ground, closing her eyes as she swung back and forth. Vanitas watched her for all of three seconds before grabbing the chain of her swing and pulling her to a stop. She opened her eyes and looked at him with a small frown. "What's the matter, Van?"
"I love you."
For a moment, all they could hear were the happy laughter of children, the sounds of little feet brushing against dirt and grass, the breath of the wind and the leaves rustling with it. And, of course, their wildly beating hearts. And if either of them were breathing, they would probably hear that, too.
At the same time, they looked away from each other and stared awkwardly at their feet. "…what?" Vanitas heard Aqua mumble, very softly.
"I love you," he said again.
He looked at her. She was still gazing downwards. Her head was bowed a little and her short blue hair fell over the side of her face. All he could see were her lips, parted very slightly. She had her hand over her heart and he wondered if he should take that as a good sign or not.
"Aqua?" he asked, her lack of response beginning to hurt him a little.
"…I thought you might."
"I said I thought you might be in love with me." He felt that tiny sliver of annoyance resurface. She had been thinking that? Then why didn't she say anything? But then she continued, "Or… Actually, I hoped you would be…"
And the annoyance suddenly turned to guilt. "You've been hoping for this?"
"Why? For how long?"
"Well, there were a lot of times when I thought you were hinting at it," Aqua said as she blushed. "I think it started when I gave you that orange card for Valentine's, the one you complained about? You were nine, I think."
He remembers, of course. He still has that orange heart. So he nodded.
"When Sora brought me a cake later that day, I gave him all those kisses," she said. "And when he asked me where yours was, I touched his lips. I told him I was going to give it to you myself someday, if you would ever want it. And he said he was sure you would, because giving me a Valentine was your idea. Did he ever tell you where your kiss was supposed to be?"
Vanitas gritted his teeth. He tried to wrestle that answer out of Sora for years. The boy simply would not budge. "No…"
Aqua smiled. "He's a very good secret keeper."
She laughed for a while, and he did, too, just because her laughter was contagious.
"And there was also the summer before I started high school," she continued. "You said you were going to be my boyfriend someday. I hoped you meant it, but after a while you just… I thought maybe I was just assuming too much of you."
Vanitas said nothing, not really knowing how to respond, and she went on. "Also, the night before I started dating Axel, you and I were on the phone. You told me… Well, actually, you didn't tell me anything, But a part of me was hoping that maybe the reason you didn't want me talking about Axel, or the reason why you didn't want me to go out with him, or when you said that sometimes you would say things you don't mean… I thought maybe the reason behind all that was because you had feelings for me… But I eventually thought that was just me and wishful thinking."
She smiled weakly. "You know, you tell me I'm an idiot all the time. Now, I actually feel like one."
He shook his head, remorse and regret building up inside him. "No, I'm the idiot. I could have told you the truth sooner…"
She stared at him for a moment, just letting his confession sink in, and then she asked tentatively, "How long have you loved me…?"
He smirked. "Remember the day we met? You were eight." He pointed towards a dome of red bars that some kids were currently trying to scale. Red Mountain, they used to call it. He didn't know if the kids still called it that now. "I opened my eyes and found yours. From that moment, I never had to look anywhere else."
Aqua blushed again and, once more, they were quiet. They had all those years, all those opportunities…
"So…" Aqua murmured after a while, though she was unsure what to say.
"I've wanted this for a long time," Vanitas answered, his tone impatient. "I know I went about it the wrong way, but if you could do me just one favor… Say yes or no, Aqua.
"Yes." Without hesitation.
And Vanitas could have touched the sky. Aqua smiled at him and he smirked, in the same arrogant way he always does. "You're not going to change your mind, are you?" he asked.
She shook her head. "Of course not," she said. "Why would I?"
"Because I have some rules."
Aqua frowned. "Rules?"
"Yeah, and you better not break any of them."
She rolled her eyes. "I suppose this would be the catch?" she asked.
It took him a second to understand what she meant, but then he grinned when he understood. "You could say that," he answered.
"Alright then. Let's hear them," she said, giving him her undivided attention.
"First of all, no pet name nonsense. You will call me Vanitas, or Van. And I will call you Aqua."
She smiled awkwardly. "Sure…"
"Next, you can't hold my hand unless I hold yours first. Don't hug me; I'll hug you, especially when we're outside."
She nodded. She expected that.
"And no kissing in public, unless we can go at it for at least five minutes, because anything less than that just won't cut it for me."
She laughed a little.
"And you're not allowed to wear high heels," he said seriously.
"What, why not?"
"That question brings me to the next rule," he said, looking at her with an exasperated expression. "Stop asking me questions you already know the answer to."
She laughed again. "Okay, sorry. I don't like them much anyway. Next?"
"Do not ever change the way you look, because this," he gestured at her, "is perfect."
Her face flushed and she nodded.
"And, then there are all the usual rules. No lying, no cheating, no walking out or hanging up, no secrets. Got it?"
"Yes, I got it," she answered. "Is that all?"
He paused for a moment, then, "I never want to see you wear violet again. That color, its significance to you has long reached an end, and I have always hated it."
Aqua smiled. "Anything you say, Van."
And Vanitas was satisfied. They sat quietly for a while, just swinging back and forth, absorbing the moment.
Vanitas was ecstatic. And it had been so simple; he regretted not having done it earlier. He could have saved himself all the emotional turmoil. And he could have protected her from all that she had to go through. His pride stung a little, because he had to learn from a thirteen-year-old boy, but that really didn't matter much.
Aqua was his. Officially. That's what mattered.
He brought his swing to a stop so he could look at her. She was gazing skyward, smiling. And he smirked. It had taken him years to get to this point – to win that stupid race – but it was worth it. And all the other guys in the universe could eat his dust because he was never going to let Aqua go. She was his forever.
She brought her swing to a stop, too. And then she turned in his direction, but her eyes were shyly turned downwards, slightly to one side.
"So, Vanitas…" she said softly.
"Yeah?" he asked.
Aqua was blushing. "Do we have five minutes?"
I hope I managed to fill your seven days with brilliant colors.
Regarding the ending, yes, they are in a playground, surrounded by children.
No, Aqua is not that indecent. I do, however, like writing her as a tease. Sometimes. Hahaha!
1stLgirlZ / Achalys / Aqua Fan / auara351
Delirious Doll / Demyx'sBFF
eolhcsullivan452 / korovee
LightBloom / Lilac Phoenix / Lionwings
MickeyGirl / Ni-Chan9 / Nightcrane Storm / retroactive
Skitty 2004 / Starry Requiem / Symbermine