A/N To warm up after a strenuous week, I've decided to warm myself up to writing with this short piece. It's been in concept for a while but I decided to go ahead and work on it after I got some inspiration. This is the companion fic, the other side to The World Is Quiet Here.
It's a follow up to one of my proudest works ever, which is what made me hesitant, but while originally working on it, I wanted more of the story revealed from Falcon's side, but with Samus' point of view I didn't have the ability to do that. So here we go, with a huge risk. Wish me luck!
Disclaimer- I own nothing, regret nothing and let them forget nothing.
*takes deep breath* Alrighty.
The World Is Noisy Here
I'm surrounded by about ten million people. I'm in a large town called Junction City, where people and established nations and powers from all over the known universe all meet together. The center of the universe. There are thousands just easily within sight. Counting them all would be the single dumbest thing I'd ever try to do but still sounds like a way I'd pass the time. Right now, though, I don't want to count them because none of the thousands of people walking by are the person I wish would pass in front of my eyes as they look from behind this helmet's visor.
But I keep looking. Isn't that strange?
It's pretty crazy to keep looking; I mean, no one knows that I secretly wish for her to sit next to me, and that's the only reason I'm sitting on this bench in the middle of the flourishing, lively park. It's a lovely park, too, for two reasons. The first is that it's open, with patches of brick and flora but never blocking the view from end to end, a mile in each direction. What makes it so amazing, though, is the countless different kinds of intelligent life the center of the universe has to offer. Counting those would be almost as hard as counting anything that walks- there's humans from all corners of the world and all ways of life, bipedal animals that behave just like the humans, Pokemon, Dream Land natives, Koopas, and so much more than the mind can even begin to begin to fathom.
And none of them are her.
One could obviously guess what my mind keeps going back to. Who my mind keeps going back to.
Nostalgia. Isn't that one of the most confusing terms in existence? Seriously, people always pay homage to what's already happened, but often look at what's going on disdain. I mean, you always hear about the greatness of the past musicians- those definitely deserving of it- The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Nirvana. But those same people always look on the music of today with such malice and disrespect, forgetting that those they hold in such esteem were just as despised back in their day and unknowing that someday the people they hate today will be the musical heroes of tomorrow.
People take in too much nostalgia sometimes and forget about the world going around sometime. I prefer to live in the moment, and nostalgia later. Appreciate the world around me and then look back it when I get a moment to. Unfortunately, all I've been doing lately is shooting up the addictive substance of nostalgia without any breaks, and I'm surprised I haven't overdosed because it sure doesn't feel healthy.
You know the really bitter, ironic part? What I'm most nostalgic over is what never happened. The thing I remember most is the chance I didn't take. The one time I didn't have any guts. It makes me nauseous just thinking about it. The nostalgia doesn't have the sweet taste everyone says it does. It tastes like a steaming cup of Theraflu, and it makes my stomach heave and turn instead of soothing me.
The world is noisy here.
I don't think it could get any noisier here if you hooked the city up to a wall of amplifiers. There's enough conversations going on to write a book with just sampling five minutes of it. It's beautiful and artistic and it clouds my mind. Part of me wants that but part of me resists, bringing the nostalgia to the forefront of my mind.
Not all the nostalgia is that bad, though. All of it revolves around the fighting tournament I participated in. The population, whether evil or good, were simply remarkable. I mean it, too. It was a sampling of the best of what you'd see in this park, with so many different species and natives and life forms and souls. That's what I like to call them. Cause in the end, that's what we all share.
Perfect example of this? Red, the Pokémon trailer and his family that always ate breakfast with him. He'd bring all of the residing Pokémon to the table with him (excepting Lucario, who was always a loner) and they'd all eat together. And he spoke to them, by god, he spoke to them. I don't mean in his own language, he'd actually sit there, responding to their Pikas and Squirtles in legit conversation. I mean… I didn't know you could do that, and he figured it out. That kid deserves to be the ultimate best there ever was in whatever Pokémon aspirations he goes to achieve. He's got the stuff.
And then there was Peach and Zelda. You'd never have guessed it looking at me now, but they were perhaps my two best friends in the mansion. I always wanted someone to openly talk to, something that you don't often see in my parts, and they were more than willing. They were generally great, strong women, too. Peach was the upbeat, light one and Zelda was more of the straight woman. And what I remember most is that they were a nice conversation on a sunny day out on the patio, enjoying some tea. Yes, I drink tea, out of the little cup and fancy plate just like the princesses did.
Naturally my brain goes to one conversation that reminds me of the event. Well, hell, I was going to get back into thinking about her. May as well enjoy the transition.
"So bottom line- Kirstiana killed it and Devahn just made it die," I confirmed.
Peach nodded. "Yep, that's about it. Seriously, Dev's jumpsuit, it made me gag. I've heard of couture but this was cou-trash."
Rewording into bad puns. One of the many reasons I loved Peach.
Zelda raised an eyebrow as I laughed out loud. "Well, I didn't think he was that bad, but yeah. Didn't hold a candle to Kiri."
"Seriously," I threw in. "What is with these designers' names? Is that one of the requirements nowadays to be one, horribly contort your name so it has five times the letters it needs?"
"That's fashion for you," Zelda quipped with a smirk, but I knew she was enjoying herself. Peach knew just as well as I did and started to laugh. "Ah, Zelda," she said between giggles. "We both know you're having fun, so don't-"
Suddenly, she stopped and held quiet as she looked towards the door to the mansion across the courtyard. I knew for a fact that there was only one thing that could get her to freeze up like that, and he was walking classily across the patio. Her eyes followed him across the courtyard until he was out of sight, as did Zelda's, albeit not with as much interest. I didn't bother to, as I didn't want anyone thinking that I had a crippling crush on him.
When he was gone, Peach and I both said at the same time "Ah… there goes Marth." Difference was that she was genuinely speaking from a dream and I was speaking dryly from the surface of my knowledge of Peach. In the end I lightened it up with a laugh as Zelda gave another knowing, endearing smirk.
"Hah, sour lemon, you need a bit of my cereal just to balance you out," I jabbed softly.
Another smirk that was a sign she genuinely cared. One of the reasons I loved Zelda.
"Mmm…" Peach was doting in the meantime, and I wondered if staring at her mouth looking for drool would make me look weird. "He's so damn-"
"Dreamy?" I finished.
"Back off, he's mine," she snapped, and I'm not entirely sure she was joking.
Zelda jumped in. "You know he's probably gay, right?"
Peach blinked. "Wha?"
"That's what everyone says," Zelda continued matter of factly. "I'm not one to go with a blind majority but it's pretty persistent. Seeing as this is romance," and at this moment she gave a telling look towards the glass table, and I had a guilty feeling of what she was telling "I wouldn't base things off a blind bet."
I felt a need to correct. "Oh, no, Marth's not gay," I explained. "He is, however, married."
Well, someone had to do it. All the enthusiasm in Peach leaked out like a deflated balloon. I was worried she was going to cry, but she just pouted and slammed her fist on the table with a "Damn it!"
"Oh, great, Jay," Zelda addressed me with an eyebrow raise and a coy smile. "Now she's gonna try and start an extramarital affair with the man."
"That's a brilliant idea!" Peach lit up.
Zelda slapped her forehead, defeated.
"Hell no, don't even," I insisted. "It's a horrible idea. Zelda was just being sarcastic. Besides, you're above that, right? You're Princess Freaking Peach, girl."
That was the compliment to say it all, and she maintained a slight smile. "Yeah, I know. I guess I'm just annoyed more than anything."
"Ah, I don't have much room to talk," I admitted. "And you know that."
"I do, Jay. Don't worry," Peach insisted. Zelda nodded, not looking at me.
It became uncomfortably quiet until Peach broke it with an awkward "Well, I gotta go now. See ya later?"
"Yeah, erm, talk to ya later," I replied with a tight smile, wondering how I could have possibly trainwrecked this conversation this bad. She got up and walked out of the courtyard, purse over her arm, as Zelda and I looked over the garden and down the grassy knolls around the mansion.
She finally said what we both knew, blurting it out of nowhere. "I like you. A lot."
Immediately I felt bad for not returning it. "I know, Zelda," I replied guiltily. "I'm sorry, I really am."
I knew tears were appearing on her eyes but she still smiled, trying to comfort me as I tried to comfort her. "Don't be, Jay," she insisted, grabbing my hand. I could feel the affection flow from her fingertips and I felt bad for not returning it. "I know you love her."
It stung, hearing it from someone who probably felt the same about me. I couldn't respond, so she went on. "Just go for it, okay? You'll be happier, trust me."
I nodded quietly. "Thanks, Zelda. And… keep an open mind. If there isn't a single man who doesn't love you in this mansion the world would probably explode from such a logic fallacy."
She gave a soft chuckle. "Thanks, Jay." It grew quiet again, the tension and pain coming from both of our unrequited love filling the air and making it impossible to speak. When she silently let my hand go and went back into the mansion with tears flowing out of her eyes, I didn't stop her.
Why did I fall in love with her, of all people? The other girls in the mansion I either got along with or became kindred spirits with. The princess of Hyrule was in love with me. And I loved Peach and Zelda, and oftentimes I really wish I was able to share Zelda's affections.
But I was in love with Samus. And that's what separated her from the princesses; I not only loved her, I wanted her. And I know that from the view of rose colored glasses that it sounds like a wanton term, but that's really what puts the 'in' before 'love'. It's not even wanting their body, it's wanting them as a whole. To hold them, to be there forever, to be theirs. For her to be yours. Even if it's just a crush that doesn't last, it's what you want from them, no matter how distant, far off or impossible it may be.
And with her it seemed far beyond possible.
I always noticed her throughout the mansion, even if she didn't notice me. She was quiet, alone by intention. She seemed so faraway, and I think she genuinely didn't feel attached to any of us. But at the same time I think she secretly cares about us. Or maybe it's just blind hope. I don't even know anymore.
She was so goddamn beautiful, too, that it aches to think about it now, here, alone in the crowd, the only one not making conversation out here it seems. She had the most beautiful eyes, like a glacier in the dark. Her eyes radiated the same cold that the rest of her body did, but they engaged me, and I don't think she ever knew it. Her mouth was in a perpetual flat line, and I always wanted to turn the edges of her lips upward into a smile. Her long, golden hair that seemed to come from a storybook was beautiful as well; I always wonder what it'd look like let out of its ponytail.
I mean, everyone else noticed her curves and her body first, which, don't get me wrong, is as sexy as everyone says, I'll admit it. But it's her face that I find so breathtaking. I think that's what showed that I was in love with her, that I was the only one who could stare into her eyes and hear my own heartbeat.
That's why people always love from their heart. It's always from the bottom of their heart. I always wondered where the hell that expression came from, but I found out as I went along. Love comes from the heart because it's your heart that beats faster when you think of them, what they feel beating against them when you embrace, what seems to hurt whenever something happens to them. What seems to feel like it's going to crack and split in two when you lose them.
Or if you never had them.
It's what's paining me right now.
I wonder what it'd be like if she engaged. It must have looked like a madhouse in there to her, but no one was like they seemed. I got my best recommendations in mainstream music from Link- he introduced me to Childish Gambino and M.I.A. Sometimes Sheik would join Zelda, Peach and I in conversation, and she had some good points of view and a quiet crush on Luigi, who himself told me he always wanted kids of his own.
At the time being, he competitively played video games against Ness, Toony and the other younger members of the mansion and enjoyed every second of it. Snake and Fox had their own subtle, mature competition- a game of Chess every day. They said they'd keep track of who won the most matches, but I noticed after a couple of months the notebook with the scores had disappeared. Donkey Kong and his nephew Diddy loved to play a game of football now and again. He was a good father figure, too- he always paid attention to his kid but he was always straightforward. I'll remember him when it comes to raising any kids of my own.
I remember trying to paint with Nana once. I sucked, and she understood. I had so many visions in my head but when I grabbed a paintbrush I just fizzled. I even remember the young woman's words, too. "That happens to everyone, Jay. What we have to remember is that there is at least one way for everyone to express their visions. Yours is out there somewhere." Smart, smart girl. I'll always remember those words.
I remember when we started leaving. Luigi and Sheik were the first to leave, and everyone was surprised to see them leaving together. I wasn't, because I had set them up with each other. I'd feel bad if I didn't; this mansion had so much unrequited love inside of it sometimes that it nearly gave me a heart murmur. I remember looking at Samus as they walked past her. She didn't seem the slightest bit surprised. Perhaps that was typical of her, but she seemed to know, to be anticipating the two of them together. That moment makes me believe she knew about us, she cared about us. I believe it with all my heart.
I stayed to the end, after I bid everyone farewell and got their contact information. I still keep in touch with them. I didn't get hers. And I stayed until everyone else left just to talk to her. I even faked something being wrong with the Blue Falcon just to stay around.
I remember the first times I tried to actually talk; she cut it off coldly before she finally shared a short conversation with me before we left. I asked her if there was something wrong with her own ship- her being the last to leave struck me as odd- but she brushed off my offers to help. It took the entire year for it to happen and it turned out nothing like I had hoped.
She was in the banquet hall. Such a large, beautiful room. Had to fit all of us, after all. She had an open, uneaten granola bar in her hand. Oatmeal raisin. I remember that for whatever reason, like I remember the whole scene. I extended my hand toward her and, surprisingly, she accepted. When her skin touched mine, I found it hard to breathe with my heart skipping so irregularly but I didn't let it on. I always had a killer poker face.
I felt a welcome warmth from her hand, which is what surprised me. That's what made my heart run so fast.
Trying to be genial and humorous, I said "Well, I didn't expect my going away committee to be so... sparsely populated, but I'm glad to have you here anyway, ma'am."
She released my hand with a millisecond of hesitation that I was attuned enough to see and replied with a nod "Same to you. You have a good time out there, you hear?"
I was both surprised and touched that she had replied so kindly, or at least for her. It felt bittersweet, and my eyebrow raised but all in all, my poker face saved the day…
…saved the day? Damn it, it hardly saved the day, I wish I had just kissed her, gotten my ass kicked and went on with my life. I think that's what helped Zelda move on- rejection, however kind I had given her, confirmed her fears and led her to look elsewhere. I didn't even give Samus the opportunity to reject me.
Still, I smiled, still daring myself to do something, anything for God's sake. Hesitantly, I offered "If you need any help, just let me know."
"I'm going into deep space. I don't think your help could be as readily available." The truth was cold and bitter, that I was never going to see her again.
Don't leave. Please, wait. I love you. Please, don't leave yet. It sounds crazy, I am well aware of that, but… please, don't go.
"Either way, you have a good life, you hear? I'll miss you," were the words that prevailed. My poker face cracked, and tears threatened to brim over my eyes as I let my cowardice prevail. She nodded one last time before getting up and walking out of the room, leaving only granola pieces on the table behind her. And I let her leave. Tears spilled out from behind my visor, just a scant few, as I surrendered and left in the Blue Falcon. I drove away in silence and slow speeds.
And here I am in Junction City, stuck in the past. Unrequited but not rejected. It's a middle ground that feels like it's about to cave in. I feel as though I finally overdosed on that damned nostalgia and my heart feels near to bursting. I feel like I failed, like I let Zelda down and let myself down because I didn't tell her that I, for whatever reason, absolutely loved her.
No. Fuck it. No. Cannot fucking sit here anymore. That's it. I'm through.
And I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing, but I know I'm running through the park, past all the people, weaving my way through all the crowds. I want to scream but I'm not that crazy. Yet.
I all but leap in the Blue falcon, and I start driving. It takes me too long to get out of the city but as soon as I break through to the highway, I drive faster than I ever have before. I hear pounding, constant, passionate music playing through the car, and allow Sigur Ros to serve as my motivator. The surroundings fly by as I zoom through the empty roadway, it's all so invisible to me. And she's all I can see. My thoughts can't focus on anything else except for her and get there. I don't even remember that she's in deep space. I have to get to her.
I fly into a backroad, speeding recklessly through the forests around me. I almost hit a few trees but I'm Captain Falcon, I can get through alright. But with tears threatening to blind me I'm not sure why that's possible. I guess it's cause it's so familiar to me that I could drive it blind, even now.
Eventually, it clears. Although I'm going so fast that eventually really is a minute and a half. The Blue Falcon parks in front of the mansion the tournaments took place in, in all its pristine glory. Why am I here? Samus left a month ago. She's millions of miles away. She's nothing but a tangible memory of what once could have happened. What I once could have had. What once could have been mine.
I shut the facts in my head up and exit the car, walking the front yards with hesitancy, because I'm really not sure what the hell to do. I just now realized that I have no clue what to do, so along the tiled walkway I step, disoriented as my own slow speeds come as a shock to the system.
Suddenly, I hear footsteps. And before I even see her, I know it's her. I have no logic to prove it and a million facts to debunk it and I know it's her. And she runs out there, and I want to run up to her, take her in my arms and embrace her, not even asking why she was here. All I can do though is just stand there in evident surprise and stare at her.
Suddenly, she stops, looking bewildered herself. I beckon her forward with my hand and she complies for one short step. I decide to cross over until I am in front of her, and we are both standing face to face. I utter her name while my breathing is labored. "Samus."
"Falcon," she replies, just as breathless as I am. I just look at her, bewildered and so vindicated. And she still looks beautiful, even though she looks disheveled and haunted.
I decide to ask. "Why are you still here?" I can't help but laugh as I do so. Am I losing my mind? Is she really here? Holy shit, this is just insane.
She regains her composure, retorting with "Why are you back here?" I can tell she's trying to assume her usual cold tones but she can't quite manage it. Good.
I'll grant her the answer first. "For some reason… I had this crazy notion… that you were still here." I let my inhibitions go and my guard down and grin widely. "It's great to see you, Sam."
I gaze into her glacial eyes in wonder, and when I do, I allow myself to believe this is real. Her eyes seem on the verge of watering, and I feel like I am about to do the same, about to cry the most emasculating cry a man ever did cry.
She brings me back to reality. "Wait…" she deduces. "Why were you looking for me?"
That's the perfect lead-in. I take that sentence, suck in a breath and hold her hand like it's my lifeline. I'm scared to death and at the same time fearless. The nostalgia is gone. The moment is now.
"…really, you aren't the only one who's been regretting how things turned out."
Before she can reply or retort, I kiss her. As soon as our lips meet I don't let a thing distract me or influence me other than her. And when she doesn't stop, it makes me hopeful. It's when she returns the kiss with a passion that I finally believe with all my heart. I pull her closer to my chest as we continue, and she doesn't stop me. I can feel her heartbeat against mine and tears on my chest… and I don't know who they belong to.
But I know that I'm crying. I've never felt happier. She's finally mine. Thank God, she's finally mine. As we stop kissing I place my head on her shoulder and let the tears flow and the smile light my face up. I feel her chin on my shoulder and then warm drops of water tickle my arm. In some ways, although I regret having not taken the chance before, I feel stronger that this has all happened and that I still didn't give up. I'm assured that she loves me and that I love her enough that I didn't let my own error get in my way.
The only noise I can hear is her heartbeat. And that's all the noise I need to hear.
A/N This is now 1300 words more than The World is Quiet Here. Falcon's a talkative guy.
I'm… somewhat… I don't know what to say. I'm rather taken aback by what I wrote. I'm surprised at how much of… myself I put into there. This piece is a lot rawer, more personal than I'd anticipated even though I've never been in this type of situation. Isn't that something?
Anyway, I hope this is a worthy companion to The World Is Quiet Here. Either way, it's definitely something.