A/N: The song is "화살 (Quasimodo)"* by SHINee
*About the song: "화살" translates to "Arrow" and Quasimodo is the hunchback from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" so in this chapter, Ferb feels very much like Quasimodo; just watching and loving from afar, unable to do anything else.
"Even if I can't have you
In the end, even when my heart is blocked
By the wall of sad connection
I love you, if it's a place
where I can just watch you
Because you're my everything"
Surprisingly, the fact that the object of my affection is curled almost completely on top of me and snuggling into my chest is not the primary realization to run through my mind as I slowly wake up. At first, I remain very much confused. I try to gather my bearings and open my eyes, only to be met with a bright, blurry setting that is clearly not usual for me and yet is strangely familiar. I attempt to power through a growing headache to recall what had led me to my current situation, in hopes of figuring out what precisely is my situation. In strides, I begin to recall the events of last night.
Realization hits me as if I've been hit in the chest my a brick. Or perhaps it's the fact that I've had a person lying on my chest for hours and I'm just now aware.
I blink rapidly a few times in disbelief, trying to make sure I'm not still dreaming. Phineas lies with his head resting on one side of my chest with an arm slung across the rest of it, hugging me. The rest of his body is partially resting over mine except for our legs which seem to be in a mess, all tangled together. I almost blush at how innocent and unaware he is of our awkward arrangement and how his breath ghosts over my skin evenly as curly lashes pull his eyelids closed. Pink lips are pulled thin in contentment and the bags under his eyes are barely noticeable. I bite my lip as if to quell the fluttering in my heart. At this very moment, there is no place I'd rather be.
However, that's is much too selfish of a thought. I should be thankful; Phineas offers so much love, compassion, and so much of himself. Yet here I am, all I can sum to be is covetous. Even with all that he gives so freely, I would ask and desire for more. I'm not worthy of the sort of love I long for. The flutter previously dancing about in my chest is unhurriedly replaced by an almost dull pain. I suppose he will be happier without someone like me in his life.
With that thought, I begin to feel very uncomfortable. My chest clenches and... and I need to get out of here. I have to leave. Acute panick enters my mind and I slowly start grasping at Phineas, trying to pry him off of me. In my haste, I must have been too rough, as Phineas stirs. I freeze in my hope that I haven't woken him. Said hope was quickly dashed as Phineas leisurely opens his eyes, blinks, and locks his gaze to mine. My hitches as I feel trapped, bound by the surveillance. The corner of his mouth twitches upwards and into a sloppy grin and eyes drop to a half-lidded state.
"Morning." he breathes as the only sort of warning for his next actions. In the same movement, he leans up to plant a lazy, sweet kiss on my lips before sinking back into blissful slumber. I, however, do not fair so well as I had all but stopped breathing. I'm nearly taken aback, unable to control my reaction.
That... That was the first time he'd ever kissed me after waking up together. In the past, he would simply smile and act as though it were nothing, as if nothing had happened. Even though nothing sexual had transpired last night, the feeling of receiving this sort of attention is overwhelming in a bittersweet sort of way.
Regaining my composer, I begin sliding out from under him, albeit much more careful this time. When I'm free, I stand watchful over Phineas for some time. I had managed not to wake him again, and now seeing his whole form curling up, defenseless and ethereal, makes my chest swell protectively. To protect him and to make him happy is all I've thought of since we were children, and those aspirations have not died out. With a sense of new-found determination and elation, I willingly fall back into the routine of caring for my younger counterpart and make my way to the kitchen. The clatter of pans and kitchen supplies pour from my dwelling, caused by my effortless and practiced actions. Soon following, the aroma of the warm, appetizing breakfast being prepared fills the air; this does not go unnoticed by my step-brother.
Phineas pads lightly into the kitchen, yawning and rubbing an eye sleepily. I fight the urge to grin at such a cute action. Instead, he grins and closes his eyes briefly while wrinkling his nose as he sniffs as if to revel in the scent. When they open, his eyes nearly twinkle.
"Chocolate chip pancakes?"
This time, I allow a small grin to grace my features; his excitement is infectious. Taking my amusement as an invitation, he sits in a chair I've had pulled out in front of a table set. I turn to serve the completed meal only to find him already holding his utensils in enthusiasm. Phineas nearly has the food in his mouth before it's set on my table. Bemused by his delight, I try to simply focus on cleaning the dishes I had used. Out of the corner of my eye, I can still see him chewing happily. As I've almost finished my task, he stares into space thoughtfully for a moment before shifting a puzzled look to me.
"Aren't you eating, Ferbooch?"
For some reason, the question perplexes me. I had only prepared breakfast for Phineas. Slowly, I realize I had never meant to stay; the thought processes from earlier this morning crash through the giddy delirium that being near Phineas gives me. Anguish, or maybe it's simply reality, curls back into my mind like a fog. I quickly finish cleaning and turn to face him, making a jabbing motion towards the door.
"Plans? Oh, okay." He pauses before meeting my eyes and continuing much quieter, "Thank you. I love you."
The pure honesty in which those words were spoken with causes a harrowing, sharp pain to shoot trough my chest so excruciatingly that instantly I feel nauseous. I paste on a smiling facade and turn to make towards the door before the room begins spinning any worse. As I'm almost to the door, I hear Phineas spring from his seat with force, before chasing after me. I sense him a few feet behind me and I rest my hand on my knob of the door. After a moment of silence, I turn to face him. He counters with a look of concern.
"At least you stopped this time.."
The remark sounds colder to me than I think he intended it to be. He is of course referring to the last time I left this apartment, and left him behind in tears, a victim to loneliness.
I wince at the memory, the pain in my chest becoming nearly unbearable. His voice calls me back to the present, softly asking, "When will I see you again?"
I swallow hard at the delicate question. Unsure of what to say and feeling the pressing need to simply flee from the apartment, I reply, "I'll phone you." before turning to hide my grimace and making a timely escape.
"Oh, I can't tell you about me
Who wants to reach your heart
Like the starlight hidden behind the cold clouds
I love you, in the end, this painful confession
That lingers at the edge of my lips slide down in tears"
There's a cool wind leftover from the rain causing an occasional shiver to travel down my torso. My lanky legs carry me over rain puddles decorating the sidewalks but I don't pay them any mind; instead I'm lost in thought. This morning's encounter, before I bolted into these steets, plays over and over in my mind. I now realize he's still hurting. Hell, I provoked him to attack me yesterday- never in my years of knowing him have I seen such a display. I'd like to believe the only reason for me visiting him was to make things right, but I can no longer deny the fact that I should leave him be. Seeing me again must have been like adding salt to his festering wounds.
I'm reminded of and gingerly place a hand over my bruised cheek. My mind goes hazy and I'm filled with the self-destructive notion that I'm fond of the blemish, being that it is the only tangible connection to Phineas I have at the moment. I scoff- almost choking- at my own self-pity. Phineas would be so much better off without me in his life.
Sinking deeper into my heavily weighted thoughts, I continue to wonder aimlessly, content with simply headed away from Phineas and the source of our heartaches. Yet the more I tread, the more my legs wobble in protest as a steady indication of me clearly loosing control of them. I breathe a shaky sigh of defeat. I find myself slinking into a nearby coffee shop, rationalizing it would do me good to have something to clear my head.
I manage to order a coffee, black, before I almost collapse into a table at the back. I prop my elbows on the table and my hands cup my face. "Breathe" I tell myself repeatedly and I try to calm down, pushing all other thoughts away. "Just inhale... exhale."
As I reopen my eyes, a take a few sips of my steaming cup. Instantly, my senses jolt at the liquid that is as bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a double-edged sword; I halfheartedly grin at the sensation. By the time my cup is half empty, I'm feeling more grounded, although I decide against leaving until it's completely empty. However, just as I'm resigning myself to this seat, I spot an attractive brunette heading my way, the heels of her black boots leaving a distinctive 'clack' in her wake.
"Ferb?" Vanessa beams as she takes a seat across from me. "How've you been? I haven't seen you in months!"
A grin tugs at one corner of my mouth as I gesture a 'hello.'
"Still a man of few words, I see." she smirks. I respond with a look akin to an annoyed glare, to which I receive a chuckle. "Sorry," she starts, amused, "I know that phrase bugs you."
My lack of a response ques her to continue with very one-sided small talk and eventually I'm up-to-date on everything going on in her life. I nod, and try very much to listen, seeing as I consider Vanessa my dearest friend (excluding Phineas, of course). I grew to accept this years ago, based on how easily she seems to understand and read me. She has always been there for me, and never judges me. That is the reason she's the only other person who knows of my feelings for Phineas.
As time passes on, I'm becoming increasingly light-headed and groggy. Soon after, I notice a sudden silence. I look up; our eyes meet. Her brow knits in concern. She purses her lips for a moment and I can feel her trying to read me, as if she were x-raying me with her mind.
"Let's step outside."
It wasn't exactly a question, so I simply follow as she pushes past the doors of the cafe. As she reaches her black Lamborghini, she calls, "Passenger's side" as she climbs into the drivers seat. As I mimic her movements, she lets down the windows. After a moment, I turn to inquire as to why we're just sitting in her car only to find a pack of cigarettes shoved in my face. She knows Phineas disapproves and hates the smell, but she knows they relax me. I bet she can tell I'm not quite myself today. I pull one out of the box, offering a sincerely appreciative grin as she passes the lighter.
"Tell me what's bothering you."
She was reading me, then. And she could tell something was up. I sigh, exhaling smoke, unsure of if I should be glad or upset that someone other than Phineas could sense my emotions that well.
"Phineas." I reply, taking a long hit as if filling my lungs with nicotine could make me quit my Phineas-addiction.
"You two had a fight, I take it. He didn't find out, did he?"
I shake my head, close my eyes, and take another hit. Exhaling, I explain, "I moved out."
She gasps lightly, placing a hand of well-polished black nails on my shoulder. I flick the cigarette out the window and she removes her consoling gesture to fetch me another fag. It's silent for a moment, until she speaks again.
"Well, good for you, Ferb. You can't keep letting this eat at you. You can't keep suffering because of Phineas." She moves towards me again, this time to wrap an arm around both of my shoulders in a half-hug. "He has no control over you! It's time for you to move on."
I try to absorb those words. She's right.. I know she's right. Nothing good could ever come from this. I can't confess to Phineas, and even if I did, he won't feel the same way. It's too ridiculous. I'm crazy. I have to be. This pain.. I'm hurting so much and yet I receive nothing from it. I can't put myself first; I can't move on. Just to know he's happy.. I'll be okay right? I take another drag of my cigarette and forcefully lean my head back against the seat as I exhale.
The smoke isn't the reason why there's a lump in my throat or why my eyes are stinging.
After a while, "You know what you need?" I can hear the grin in Vanessa's voice.
"No." My voice wavers more than I'd hoped. However I can't help but to read deeper into the question; I don't know what I need anymore.
"You need a party. How about having one at your new place? It's the perfect thing to get Ferb Fletcher's groove back."
My eyelids snapped open, but before I could pin her with a look of shear reluctance, she had started the car and we were on the road. I hold my tongue, feeling so very dazed and confused at the moment. I decide to take the path of least resistance, a path which apparently leads me to a liquor store.
I sigh once again, this time in utter defeat, thinking, "Hell, I'm to the point where I'd almost do anything to just... just forget."
"This arrow that's reached my heart
Feels like a part of my body now
Even though it hurts to death
I can't remove you, who's stuck in my heart
Because it's love
Because for me, it's love"
A/N: Basically the story's main idea is Ferb struggling to figure out if he should put himself first or put Phineas first. In this chapter he's come to a point where he cannot decide, so he has made himself believe that Phineas would just be happier without him. Ferb is just very confused and upset at this point- and shit's about to get worse~