A/N: This is the first part of the Will You Remember Me? trilogy. Yeah. Complexity is the first, Blank is the second, and Simplicity is the third. Someone please leave me a suggestion as to what I can name the second. I love you guys. And- A sweepstakes! The name of each chapter is the part of a song that I wrote. If you can guess the name of the song, you get a sneak peek to blank. Three hints at the bottom!
Soundtrack: Inside Out - Britney Spears
'A guy like you should wear a warning."- Britney Spears
Maybe it has been stupid.
Stupid to trust herself, to trust him. Her cold fingers wrap around the door knob again, wishing she can regret. But she knows herself. She knows she will open this door and enter. She knows that if just for him she will risk her own safety, just to know that the calm man with the dark eyes will be safe. Wind blows, crystallizing the tears on her cheeks.
Because she loves him in every way.
Her fingers move, and she's inside before she can stop herself and listen to rationality.
Chapter One: These Walls Keep Me Away
He sees her before she sees him, her dark hair falling in her face and steadily sketching something into her sketch pad. He should talk to her, he decides. There's something about her, an aura, that pulls him in and makes him want to speak with her, to interact. Or maybe it's just that she's beautiful. So he walks over to her sun kissed bench and sits next to her. She doesn't look up. He fills the curious silence with words.
"I take it you're an architecture student?"
She looks up, pausing in her drawing. The owner of the voice is dressed in a neat and crisp three peice suit, dark hair and dark eyes. Sexy as hell, Carol, Ari's friend, would say, but Ari's not too sure. They are all nice at first. Right before they break your heart. She nods once in refrence to the question, then continues her sketching. Maybe he'll go away, she hopes, but he doesn't: instead he leans his elbow on the back of the bench and watches her. She can feel the weight of his eyes, and it makes her nervous. Her pulse is racing, and this infuriates her. She's sworn off boys after experiencing how terrible and cruel and souless they could be, and she snaps her sketchpad shut and gathers her stuff. "I'm leaving," she snaps, and turns to go.
"Did I bother you? I'm sorry, Ms.-?"
"Ariadne," supplies an eavesdropping Professor Miles. Ari jumps a little and glares at the teacher- couldn't she see she didn't want to talk? "Ariadne, this is Arthur. Arthur, this is Ariadne." "Ari," she corrects almost automatically. Arthur raises an eyebrow and she focuses on ignoring his presence. "He's our new architecture student. Ari, why don't you show him around? Be his tour guide."
Ari does not want to show this beautiful man around, does not want to get close. But sheer will to stay on Professor Miles's good side keeps her from groaning out loud and stamping her foot like a child. "I'l show him around after class," she huffs, and marches off without looking back. Both men stare at the quickly retreating form.
"That's the bathroom. Boys and girls. Here," she gestures with a hand, "is a statue. Of something. I'm not too sure what."
Arthur tilts his head and evaluates it. "It could be," he says after a moment of silence that seems to stretch and expand between them, filled with icy pointedness, "a monument representing the toils and hard labour of those in the Women's Rights Movement." Ari snorts and moves to get a closer look. She's three feet away from Arthur, and she flinches every time he shifts. He tries his hardest to stay still.
"Please. This is probably for all those boys who like looking at girls nude." Arthur shrugs, hands in his suit pockets. "That too," he concedes.
The statue's old and dycrypt, peices of gray rock chipping off in places. They both stare at it until Ari abruptly changes the subject.
"Why are you studying here?"
The question is short and sweet, to the point. No beating around the bush for Ari: she'd kill you with one fell swoop. For some reason this comforts Arthur, and he answers the (bit absurd) question. He crosses his arms and raises an eyebrow.
"The same reason you are."
"You sure? You seem distracted."
"Any reason you wear seemingly expensive suits? If you hadn't noticed-" here she spreads her arms to indicate the hallway, where last minute students are rushing to class, "the rest of us are dressed down." Arthur shrugs, an easy rustling of his shoulders. Ari narrows her eyes.
"I like them. They're comfortable for me. What about you? Any reason you like scarves?"
Her hand goes to her throat, fiddling with her gray checkered scarf. The blood has drained from her cheeks, and she smoothes down her hair. Nervous, Arthur notes. "No reason," she mutters. "Let's continue with the tour." Arthur nods. Together they continue down the hallway. Then she stops outside a classroom.
"Professor Miles' classroom. I'm assuming you're in here with me."
She leads him inside, and they both shiver from the change in warm, damp air to fridgid air that sinks into their bones. Ari bites her lip, then sweeps an arm around the steeply rising room. "There's an empty seat here," she says. Numbers and figures are scratched onto a dusty chalkboard, along with an Ariadne Johnson and Charlotte Berile. A star student, Arthur muses. "I sit here," Ari continues, gesturing to a desk. Arthur glances at the distance from his desk to hers and suddenly understands why she seemed so smug. "Class is in thirty minutes."
She walks up to the door and Arthur follows.
It's dark out, around eight twenty. Ari keeps checking her watch. She's walking home when she sees them. More specifically, him.
When most people look at Ky, they see a handsome tall boy with blonde hair and a innocent smile. Not Ari. Ariadne's seen him at night, after he's drunk, after all his pretenses have worn off and the true man shines true. A boy who yells at her constantly and hits her, who doesn't let her go outside without him. The guy who acts overly jealous and needs to know where she is, every second of the day. And the guy who 'accidentaly' broke her arm.
KyKyKyKy...her mind swirls around his name.
Her breath catches in her throat and she hurries past them, hoping they won't see her. But Ky does, of course, sensing her, as if he can hear her fluttering pulse that hammers against her chest (beatbeatbeatbeat). He grabs her arm. Not too lightly. She can smell the beer on his breath, and she can tell he's drunk from the way he walks. He won't remember this remember this tomorrow. She can hurt him. She slams her elbow into his stomach.
He hisses something into her ear, and she can't hear because her heart is cracking in her chest. She's trying to escape, trying to remember, but a fuzzy cloud has settled into her thoughts with the taste and smell of cry and fury ignites in her. She slams her fist into something fleshy and soft: his chest. He lets her go with a swear, and she begins to run, her feet slamming against the shadow darkened pavement with loud cracks. She can't breathe. She's gasping for air like a fish thrown on land. Ky swims in her thoughts, and she zig zags wildly left and right.
Does this happen to everybody?
She thinks of her dad, her drug addicted father who roared at her mother while she clutches a blanket over her head and whispers a mantra to herself: "I will leave and never come back." She did leave, but when she came back she found a bloody body of her mother and a high father holding a knife. Her uncle adopted her but didn't talk to her. Somewhere along the way she has started to cry, and she rubs the tears away with the back of her hand. She stumbles over a crack in the sidewalk, and allows herself to look back. Ky is still there, holding his chest where Ari has punched him. She rubs the tears away that have dropped onto her shoulder. Strong girls don't cry, she tells herself. She remembers Ky kissing away her tears, and tries not to cry. Her arm feels sore where Ky had grabbed it, and on closer inspection she sees a livid bruise.
She fumbles with her dorm lock, throwing it open and collasping onto her bed. She buries her face into the pillow, waiting until Carol's shower has stopped to sit up and wipe the rest of the tears away. But that doesn't fool Carol when she comes out, and she narrows her eyes in a snake-like way before leaving the dorm, slamming the door shut behind her.
She comes back with a The Hangover DVD, ice cream, milk, instant hot chocolate, chocolate bars, and a huge bag of chips. She dumps the stuff onto Ari's bed, pops the DVD into the DVD player and sits next to her.
"Ky?" she guesses, flipping a strand of whitish blonde hair behind her shoulder. Ari nods mutely, and Carol opens the bag of chips open and offers it to Ari. She takes a handful and crunches on one. She swallows and opens her mouth to talk. "Shhh," Carol hushes her. "Don't talk until you're ready. Pay attention to the movie."
A hysterical giggle escapes Ari, and she closes her mouth to watch.
Soon Ari can find the will to speak without crying. "I was walking home," she starts, and Carol nudges her arm where Ky grabbed her. She half shrieks, half sobs, and winces. Carol lets go, narrows her eyes, and pushes up Ari's ice blue sleeve to see the inside of Ari's elbow. She stares at it for a moment, mouth half open. Ari yanks her arm back, pushing down the sleeve like hiding it will make Carol forget. If only.
"Did he do that to you?"
"No." Ariadne doesn't quite know how to arrange her face, so she settles for a poker face.
"Ari," Carol sighs, "you're a terrible liar."
Ari makes a noise in her throat and pretends to be interested in the movie again. She takes a sip of her hot chocolate, swearing when the hot liquid hits her tongue. She's all too aware of Carol's blue eyes that take on a particular iciness. She glances at the clock. 10:30. Late. The movie's almost over, anyway. She should go to bed.
"I'm going to ask you one more time. Did he do this to you?"
"Hypothetically, if he did, what would you do?"
"Nothing. Of consequence. But I would treat him to withering glances in the hallway and shove him whenever I can make it look like an accident."
Ari can accept those terms. She sighs and admits it. Carol falls back onto the bed with a huff. "Damn bastard," she hears, and she feels relieved. Relieved because she has someone who sides with her against Kyle, someone to fight with her. She rolls over. "Turn it off. Time to go to bed," she mutters, and Carol complies, smoothly ejecting the DVD. I could never do it like that, Ari thinks. I'm way too clumsy.
Ari plugs her headphone into her ears and turns on her iPod. She has all of five songs, songs she puts on repeat. She clicks on A Fine Frenzy, the only song that can put her to sleep. She falls asleep in seconds.
They're at the beach again. The world is calm and serene as little Ari digs for clams, damp gritty sand stuck between her toes and resting in her hair. She pushes hair away from her face to see more clearly. The ocean opens wide and washes away more sand. With a squeal, she drops her trowel and wades out into the ocean. A wave appears out of nowhere and crashes over her head. She struggles for air, kicking her legs and feeling weightless. Then someone snags her, pulling her out of the deep, scary water. She gasps for air and opens her eyes to see-
-A white hospital, with white walls and tan chairs that probably feel itchy when you sit on them. Blue curtains, but nothing's red. None of Ari's favourite colour. She frowns, close to tears, then remembers.
Wasn't she at the beach?
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEPBEEPBEEEEEEEP.
The Mickey Mouse alarm clock that she and Carol share pushes her out of her dream/memory. Carol sits up as well, and Ari throws herself out of bed and stumbles around, finally making it into the bathroom. She ignores the sound of Carol's gut wrenching laughter. It's too early to laugh, Ari thinks. She pulls out her headphones and hops into the shower.
A bad habit. Ariadne can't go to sleep without listening to Near To You. She's been listening to it for four years.
She gets out and ties a yellow scarf around her neck.
Ari continues the tour with him, showing him the study hall, when it happens.
So fast, so loud, when at least twenty people surround him and Ari. People are shouting, but he can only hear one.
"Asshole! Who gives you the right to walk around with my girlfriend?"
Arthur looks around, sure the dirty blond couldn't be talking to him. Ariadne has a boyfriend, he thinks, and he doesn't look her type. And this is before the boy rears his arm back and punches Arthur in the jaw. He stumbles backward, one hand automatically flying to his face. He sees Ariadne throw herself onto the boy, shoving him backward. Somehow a whitish haired girl has mixed with the crowd, weaving nimbly through, seeming graceful. But all of a sudden she knocks into the boy in feigned clumsiness, and she apologizes. Something hits Arthur in the back of his head. He sees the guy bend to whisper something into Ari's ear.
Hit first, ask questions later.
Arthur swings around to see a freshman, pimply faced and trying to look cool for whoever's calling the shots. Arthur jabs him in the ribs, and his face turns purple before falling to his knees, clutching his stomach.
The mass is a violent blend of people and anger, of shouts and violence, and Arthur's losing himself. He catches sight of sight of her, struggling to run from the pack. He wants to say something, but he doesn't quite know what. And then the moment's gone, she's gone, and the mass has seperated them.
She clutches the fork in her hand like it's her lifeline. She feels terrible, no doubt she feels terrible. Lunch isn't exactly helping her, and she stabs her fork into the lo mein. One of Carol's favourites, and since she's buying, Ari can't turn it down.
"Next time we should go for Korean food. There's this thing that I really wanna try..." Carol trails off the observe Ari. "Still upset?"
Ari can still hear the words he's hissed into her ear: "You'll always be mine," and it makes her feel dirty and diseased. alwaysalwaysmine
She twirls her fork in the food and watches as Arthur enters. He's dressed in a vest suit, with a red leather jacket. He looks around, sees her, and starts to come over. She feels too tired to shoo him off, and she owes him an explanation.
But that didn't mean they could be friends.
He approaches, hovering behind Carol. She's still talking aimlessly, gesturing with her hands, and Ari notices how Arthur follows her movements with his dark eyes. Calculating, almost. When Ky was calculating he was trying to figure out how to get her into bed.
Ari points to Arthur and Carol spins around, nearly stabbing Arthur with her plastic fork. "Oh, I'm sorry! Uh...?" She raises an eyebrow at Ari, who blushes (why am I blushing? I haven't done anything wrong) and tells Arthur to sit down.
She can still feel Ky's hot breath on her ear, and she shivers a little before spearing a mushroom with her fork and smiling a plastic smile at Arthur.
It's like a roar in her ears, and she focuses on the hear and now.
On his dark eyes, on the shine of Carol's hair in the watery sunlight filtered in the the windows. She tells herself that it's an accident that the first is more interesting to her.
Becasue they can't be friends anway.
A/N: sort of cliff, I guess.
Three hints: It's the title of a popular song. It's two words. It starts with a 'B'.
If you want to visualize the characters:
Carol: Babydoll, Suckerpunch
Ari: Ariadne, Inception
Arthur: Arthur, Inception
Ky: Peeta, Hunger Games
REVEIW LIKE A BEAST.
Love you guys.