This is my very first St. Elmo's Fire fanfic!
It is an absolutely wonderful film, so if you have not seen it, I suggest you watch it!
Please read and review!
I do not own the characters in St. Elmo's Fire, nor do I claim to own them!
Leslie Hunter sat in her local Georgetown coffee shop, her hands wrapped around a steaming-hot cup off hot chocolate, the tips of her fingers that were in contact from the cup blistering with heat. But she felt too numb to care. She raised the mug to her lips and let the burning liquid pass her lips. It slid down her throat, the fiery melted chocolate sizzling upon her tongue. Her dreamy auburn eyes stared aimlessly out of the window, as she set her cup carefully back upon its saucer. A stream of thoughts crossed her already troubled mind, thoughts that had been bugging her for weeks on end…
Leslie had been wandering the streets of Georgetown for the past few weeks, searching desperately for a source of freedom. But despite her clearly stating her new-found independence from her past boyfriend, Alec and her infatuated admirer, Kevin, Leslie still couldn't seem to uncover what she was looking for. They were both desperately trying to win her heart, although not quite so eagerly as beforehand, the subtle signs were still there. Just last week, Kevin had kindly offered to take her for dinner and she had 'accidentally' bumped into Alec several times in one week. Sure, she hung out with the group every now and then, but lately, their little friendship circle had been slowly splitting apart. The cracks were beginning to show and they were drifting further away from each other.
Leslie wished she could turn back time - jump through a portal and vaporize herself into the past, to when everything was easier; when she and Alec had been the perfect couple and she had hoped and dreamed of one day becoming Mrs Newberry. She wished she could have returned to a time when she had been completely oblivious to Kevin's feelings for her. She had been angry at Alec -furious, in fact- for being more interested in his 'extra-curricular love-life' rather than committing to his relationship with her. She had resisted his pleas for her to marry him and had made the mistake of giving herself to Kevin, when she couldn't really return his powerful feelings for her. The absence of her friend and one of their group's vital members, Billy Hixx had made her feel even more vulnerable than she had already felt.
She felt as if she was slipping under the cold, icy depths of the ocean, trapped in her own bubble of anger and despair, unable to flee its clutches. Her lungs gasped for air, trying desperately to draw breath but she could not. The darkness was closing in on her, slowly, but surely…
Leslie drained her cup of hot chocolate, shoved her final marshmallow into her mouth and rose from her seat in the café. She slipped out of the door quickly, without so much as glancing back over her shoulder. The air was chilly and she drew the collar of her winter coat tighter around her neck, the biting cold lashing out at her exposed flesh. She walked quickly down the street, wondering if it would be best to return to the flat she was sharing with her friend and regular wild-girl, Jules.
On second thoughts, Jules hadn't been much of a laugh lately, since Billy left for New York. She thought of Wendy as her second option, but once again, she needed cheering up, and she usually ran to Jules if she needed a pick-me-up. Leslie let out an audible sigh, her shoes slapping down hard upon the pavement in her haste to head somewhere. She had no idea where she was heading, her destination was completely unknown to her, as she neither wanted to return home to Jules or run into Alec, or Kevin for that matter. The only person she felt comfortable at the thought of running into was…
"Leslie!" A familiar voice came from behind. Leslie whirled round, her cropped bronze hair flying across her face in the strong breeze as she did so. Leslie's dull eyes suddenly ignited in a bright flame of delighted surprise as the face of Kirbo 'Kirby' Keager came into view. His neat dirty-blonde hair was ruffled by the strong breeze, a large midnight-blue scarf was wound tightly around his neck and a large winter coat hung off his broad shoulders. Not much taller than Leslie (in fact, Leslie was sure she matched him in height), he sprinted over to her, his hands in his pockets, a his face lighting up with a sweet grin.
Leslie pushed her fringe out of her eyes, walking casually over to him. Her heart warmed at the sight of him. She and Kirby had been relatively distant since Billy's departure and Kirby's insistent road-trip to chase the woman of his dreams. What with that and Jules' dramatic drug-induced breakdown, she and Kirby had not had much chance to talk.
"Hey, Kirby. How are you?" Leslie said, pecking him lightly on the cheek.
Kirby's face was wreathed in a warm grin. "Great, how about you?" He asked.
"Well, you know." She said, rolling her mahogany eyes.
Kirby raised an eyebrow. "Let me guess, the Kevin-Alec love triangle is still bugging you?" He guessed (rather accurately, Leslie thought).
"You could say that." Leslie said, sighing deeply.
"Hey, I'm sure it'll work out fine." Kirby said, his happiness appeared to be infectious. He extended an arm, placing his hand upon Leslie's shoulder. Leslie returned his gesture with a grateful smile. She tried to ignore the warm feeling that spread through her body at his touch, but it was so blissful that it was hard to keep her mind off it.
"Hey, did you manage to find a job?" Leslie asked, moving on quickly, hoping he would miss the small curve in her brow that showed the confusion of her reaction to his touch.
Kirby chuckled softly. "You bet." He said, almost bursting with excitement. Or was he just cold? Leslie fought back a chuckle.
"Go on, spill the beans." Leslie began. "Where is it?"
'It's at another bar." Kirby admitted, his smile drooping a little. "But it's higher pay than St Elmo's and I don't have to work as long." He added quickly.
Leslie beamed at him. "Sounds great." She said, giving him a nod of approval.
Kirby was only just aware that his hand was still on Leslie's shoulder. His eyes widened and his arm flew back to his side. He dug it in his pocket, quickly, his wind-pinched cheeks flooding scarlet.
"Uh, yeah. So…would you like to come back to my place? For lunch?" Kirby asked hopefully, anticipating her reaction to his invitation.
Leslie thought for a moment, gnawing on the inside of her lip. "What about Kevin?" She questioned, the thought of bumping into Kevin at Kirby's house causing her stomach to churn. She didn't want another awkward confrontation.
"He'll be out all day, don't worry." He replied with a reassuring smile. It was silent for a moment as Leslie pondered her decision. Finally, Kirbo broke the silence. "So…you'll come?" He pressed on, trying to catch her eye; her vision was cast down to the floor.
Leslie's eyes flickered to his face. Her body kicked into auto-pilot and she gave an automatic nod, unaware that she was doing so.
Kirby's face lit up in a delighted smile. "Great!" He said, relieved that she had chosen to accept his invite.
Leslie smiled, slipping her arm through the crook of his elbow. They strode down the streets of Georgetown, until eventually, they came to a tall block of flats lying against the American skyline. They sprinted inside, just as large storm clouds began to gather outside, rolling across the sky like army tanks. They stepped into the lift, Leslie laughing at the odd joke Kirby happened to crack. She realised that this was the happiest she had felt in weeks. Perhaps going to Kirby's flat wasn't such a bad idea after all?
The lift groaned to a halt and the door slid open, revealing the floor of Kirby and Kevin's flat. The last time Leslie had been here, she and Kevin had experienced a passionate lip-lock, which had then led to them breaking Kevin's shower door. She shook away the memory, guilt bubbling in the pit of her stomach like acid. Kirby fumbled with his keys until the door swung open and he flopped down in the armchair, throwing off his coat and discarding it upon the floor. Leslie rolled her eyes as she entered after him, passing the large bicycle hung precariously upon a set of hooks beside the door. She stepped over his coat and perched herself upon the edge of the bed. Her eyes wandered to the coffin in the corner of the room, which Kevin had explained to be one of his props to attract girls when she had arrived here that fateful night when Alec had discovered Leslie in Kevin's room.
Kirby looked at her for a moment before raising from his seat in the plush armchair beside the shelf of books and trophies. "Want something to eat?" He offered, trotting over to the kitchen area and pulling a packet of gummy bears out of the cupboard.
"I'm good, thanks." Leslie muttered, her hands twisting in her lap anxiously.
Kirby cast a glance over his shoulder at her. She looked so small and frail upon the bed. He let out a sigh. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought you here. I know this is where it all happened." He said, throwing the gummy bears aside, losing his appetite.
Leslie shook her head. "No, it's okay, really." She said, avoiding his gaze.
Kirby shook his head, walking over to her. He sat beside her upon the bed, yanking the scarf from around his neck. "No, it isn't." He said firmly. "I hate seeing you like this, Leslie." He said, tipping up her chin with his finger softly, gently. His crystal-blue eyes met hers and Leslie felt her heart flutter. His eyes made her think of icy glaciers beside a vast ocean, she couldn't seem to pull her gaze away; they captured her completely in his gaze.
"You don't have to be with them - either of them, you know." He said, his voice merely a whisper. Rain was beginning to hammer down upon the large window beside the bed, drowning out his voice.
"It's like they're making me choose. I love them both, but I can't do this. They're putting too much pressure on me." Leslie said, the situation with Kevin and Alec finally tipping her over the edge. Tears welled up in her large chocolate-brown eyes, spilling over her lashes and down her pale cheeks.
"Then don't choose." Kirby said, his voice barely audible. He reached up, brushing his hand against her cheek to catch a fallen tear.
Leslie said nothing. She watched as Kirby inclined her head towards hers. But she did not pull away - she did not want to. Her lips met his and she found herself become lost in the softness of his kiss. Her head was swimming, her eyes fluttered shut and all that could be heard was the torrential rain hammering down upon the window pane. Leslie's hands remained in her lap, but Kirby's found the nape of her neck and his palm hooked around her soft skin as if drawn to it by a magnet.
After several minutes of sweet bliss, the pair drew apart. Leslie's lashes were spiky from crying. They looked at each other for an intense moment, before the door of the flat swung open and Kevin entered. Leslie and Kirby jumped apart as Kevin's gaze fell upon them.
Kevin swept his earthy looks from his face, his lips pursed as he drew the smoke from the cigarette clutched between his fingers. The smoke tumbled from his mouth and his forehead creased as he looked at the pair on the bed.
"Hey Kirby." He said, his voice stiff.
"Oh, Kevin. You're home early, man." Kirby said, reaching for the pack of gummy bears and ripping them open to avoid Kevin's gaze.
"Uh…yeah…I…" Kevin said, trailing off mid-sentence. "What's Leslie doing here?"
"Oh, I just bumped into her and asked if she wanted to come back here for something to eat." Kirby explained, fumbling over his words as he stuffed a handful of the candies in his mouth. His cheeks bulged and he swallowed desperately as he spoke.
"Oh, cool." Kevin said with a nod. "Hey, man, slow down, you might choke." He said, thankfully moving on.
Kirby gave a small grunt of laughter. Leslie jumped to her feet suddenly. "I guess I'd better go." She said abruptly.
Kevin's expression softened with disappointment at her words. "Oh, okay." He said, trudging into the kitchen, his head hanging low as he took another drag of his cigarette.
Kirby gave a final huge gulp and got to his feet. "I'll walk you down." He said, almost sprinting to the door. Leslie followed him, her palms clammy with sweat. She had not enjoyed that encounter. Kevin had been the one she was trying to avoid.
Once they were out in the hall, Kirby took her hand in his own. "Look, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have kissed you." He said, mentally kicking himself for doing so, especially when she was caught up in all this grief.
"I'm not." Leslie said, her eyes meeting his once more.
A small smile slowly formed upon Kirby Keager's face. She leaned in and her lips brushed his for a final time. Kirby's eyes drooped shut at the wonderful feel of her lips upon his. A few weeks ago, he had been in pursuit of a woman whom he had been trying to chase since his freshman year at high school, but now, he realised the only woman he truly wanted, the only woman he truly needed in his life, was right here. He opened his eyes as he felt her pull away. Her hand slipped from his and in an instant, she was gone.
Leslie Hunter sensed the elevator doors closing behind her. Now, three men were on the quest to win her love, but despite their efforts, only one would reign champion. Her champion's kiss lingered upon her lips as she descended through the floors of the building. Kirby had been right; Leslie didn't have to choose between Alec and Kevin.
She had chosen Kirby.