Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts of any of the characters within. (Which really is too bad...)
There was a knock on the door and all Cloud could think was that he didn't want to answer it. He didn't want to deal with another one of his father's drinking buddies or another one of his step-mother's grabby friends. They all knew his parents were on a month long trip. So why bother coming to their house at all?
The only answer Cloud could come up with wasn't one he wanted to think about but he knew why. He saw the way they all looked at him. It was the same way his step-mother looked at him and it made him damned uncomfortable. It made him want to run back to the nicer days when he lived on Destiny Islands with his wonderful Aunt and cousins and the only person he'd ever been completely comfortable around just next door.
The knock on the door turned into more of a pounding and he realized he wouldn't be able to ignore it for much longer. With a sigh he stood and crossed the living room to open the door only to be confronted with something he couldn't comprehend. There were two police officers standing side by side, one eyeing him with pity, the other with compassion.
"Yes?" The word was little more than a whisper as Cloud mind spun.
"Are you Cloud Strife?" The female officer, the one who had compassion written in every expression and movement, was the one who addressed him. He nodded mutely and waited for her to continue. "We have some news that might be hard to take. Would you mind if we came in and sat down with you?"
He nodded once again and led them inside, motioning to the couch while he took a seat in the armchair he'd only just vacated. Once they were seated he eyed them with solemn expectancy, wanting them to say what it was they had to say so he'd know how he should feel. Vacant confusion wasn't something he enjoyed experiencing.
This time the male officer spoke. "There's been an accident Mr. Strife. And the news isn't good. Is there anyone we can call to be here with you during this hard period?"
Cloud shook his head, finding that verbalized so simple a word as no wasn't coming easily. He braced himself for a moment, trying to find the words so what he so desperately needed to know. "My aunt…and my cousins…they're okay?"
The female's brow furrowed in confusion. "As far as we're aware, your aunt and cousins are fine. Mr. Strife…Cloud, it was your parents."
Cloud couldn't help but hate himself as a wave of relief swept over him. "Oh."
Everything from there was a blur and all Cloud really understood was that since he was a minor, he'd be moving back to the islands to live with the only people he still considered family.
Nearly 1 Month Later
Cloud sighed, unsure if he should be feeling guilty for the happiness that kept bubbling up. It was only a few days before he'd be leaving the mainland to head back home. Back where things had always been so good. He couldn't help the small well of anxiety that rested in the pit of his stomach. What if things had changed? What if he didn't fit there anymore? What if..? Cloud pushed the worry out of his mind. He'd consider such things if they came to be. For now he'd just try to enjoy himself.
He had spent so long merely trying to give a shit about anything. He would try to keep it all together but underneath it all the only thing he could hear was this part of him that constantly screamed about how it wasn't worth it. And it wouldn't be. And he'd tried so hard to cope with the rut that he'd been stuck in.
But now, now he would have a chance to actually live his life again. He wouldn't have to force himself through each day. He wouldn't have to try to convince himself that everything was worthwhile. Because no matter how much things on the island had changed, they would still be better. Anything was better than the life he'd been living for the past two years.
Cloud was so wrapped up in his thoughts that he didn't see it coming. The rest happened in flashes. White hot pain shot up his side, bloomed through his skull, screams, the screeching of tires of pavement, the smell of burning rubber. Cloud could barely make out the words 'Call an ambulance' before he succumbed to the darkness that was seeping into his mind.
A great deal of white was the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes. White walls, white bed sheets, white blinds, and white tiled floors. He winced as he took it all in. It took him a moment to realize it wasn't just the incredibly overpowering whiteness of the room that was causing him discomfort. His head, back, left shoulder, and both legs were all aching dully. Glancing over at his arm, he saw that most of his left arm, up past his shoulder, was wrapped in a white bandage. His torso was also covered with more white and as he used his right arm to move the sheet covering him, he saw that his right leg was bandaged as well.
"What the hell…" His voice rasped out of his parched throat and he groaned as his head span. He waited a moment then began racking his brain in an attempt to recall why he was here, in what was presumably a hospital bed. He drew a blank and growled in frustration. His frustration soon turned to panic as he realized that how he had gotten here wasn't the only thing he couldn't recall.
His escalating terror was pushed to the side as the door opened slowly. A tall man dressed in a great deal of black and leather slipped in. He was astonished to see that the man had long, flowing silver hair. It was entrancing. Even more so was his face. Beautifully sculpted cheekbones, an aristocratic nose and a strong jaw line only served to prove the masculinity that his girlish hair could have diminished. Finally the man met his eyes and he was struck with a feeling of intense familiarity. He knew this man. Or was it his demeanor that he knew? He felt that there was something about this beautiful stranger that he wanted to cling to. He reminded him of…safety? He stared into those magnetic eyes as though simply allowing them to drink him in would give him all the answers he needed.
They stayed that way for a few long moments. Green bored into blue. Then the man smirked.
"Finally up are you? Everyone was beginning to worry that you wouldn't awaken." The silver-haired man strode forward and took a seat in the chair by the bedside that had since been unnoticed.
He couldn't figure out what to ask first. There were so many things that he needed to know. How did he get here? What had happened? How long had he been in this bed? Who was the strange leather clad man that reminded him so much of…of someone! "Who…are you? And who…am I?" His voice still rasped, though not as badly as at first.
The man grabbed something of a table that was hidden by the top of the bed and handed him a glass of water. "Drink this. It will help. I am Sephiroth. And you, according to your Driver's License, are Cloud Strife."
Blond brows furrowed in thought as he mentally tried the name out. It felt right to use the name Cloud so he nodded. Feeling satisfied with that Cloud allowed himself to focus in on the unspoken intonation of Sephiroth's words. They clearly didn't know each other. So why was it that he felt that there was something familiar about this man? Did he remind him of someone? Or was it something else? Cloud sighed inaudibly and decided to let it go for now. It wasn't like the silver-haired man could answer questions he couldn't possibly know the answers to anyways. "Well Sephiroth, from the sounds of it, you don't know me. So why are you here?"
Sephiroth leaned back in the small chair and examined Cloud's face closely. "I'm here because I was the one with you when the ambulance came."
Cloud nodded slowly, turning that information over and over in his mind. "Alright, you were with me. That explains how you would have been here when I was first admitted, but I'm assuming that was a while ago. So the question becomes, why are you still here?"
"That's a very good question." Sephiroth looked Cloud over as his lips quirked into a smile that seemed more calculating than warm. It seemed almost as if the silver-haired man was re-evaluating the blond before him. "There was a bit of a problem contacting your family because your Driver's license had the wrong address. I'm not sure of the details but I would deduce that you'd moved recently or were in the process of doing so and hadn't gotten around to updating it. And if that weren't enough of an issue, you don't have any family in the area. The only family they had information for was your aunt and she lives on the island and she and her sons tended to be out of the house more often than not. I'm not quite sure why they weren't worried by your absence however. You have an odd family Mr. Strife."
Sephiroth's last words sent a wave of sadness and confusion through Cloud. He wasn't sure why but he felt that it was wrong his family wouldn't have searched for him but then again, he wouldn't really know would he. He couldn't remember much of anything. Hell, he'd forgotten his own name! How would he known what his family was like? He gave Sephiroth a small smile. "You can just call me Cloud."
Sephiroth nodded, a few silver strands falling forward as he did so. "Alright, Cloud."
A shiver floated up his spine as Sephiroth said his name. By the point he had reached, it was obvious he was attracted to Sephiroth, which brought up a whole other set of questions. And at that particular moment, Cloud wasn't particularly inclined to allow even more things to clutter his already messed up mind. For now he would focus on only the most important things. He turned back to the issues at hand. "My family isn't here. They've been unreachable." Sephiroth reaffirmed his statement by nodding slightly and Cloud continued. "Alright, how long have I been here?"
Amusement flashed through green eyes and the calculating smile warmed ever so slightly. "You don't let much slip by do you Cloud. As to answer the other part of that question, you've been out for two weeks. You were in a coma caused by impact. I'm really not aware of all the medical terminology but essentially, you were hit by a car. You skidded across the asphalt and slammed head-first into a cement divider."
Cloud just stared at him for a few long moments, half appalled by what had happened and half entertained at the way Sephiroth had presented the information. He had no idea what to say, or what to really feel and just settled for stating the obvious. "I'm pretty damn lucky to be alive I guess."
Sephiroth chuckled. "Yes, you are. Considering what happened, it's not surprising that you have amnesia."
"Yeah…" The word came out softly as Cloud looked down at himself again. "How bad is the damage?" He looked down at the bandage covered parts of himself then back at Sephiroth.
"It's not horrific." Sephiroth shifted. "The doctor said something about it taking a bit to heal but that it shouldn't scar. It was fairly bloody at the scene though. I had thought you would die of blood loss before the ambulance arrived."
Cloud's eyes focused on Sephiroth and stayed on him until the other man met his eyes. "Which once again brings up the question of why you stayed with me until I woke up?"
Something flared within the depths of his inhumanly bright green eyes as his smile grew calculating once again. "Something about you attracted me. Before you were hit you met my gaze and since that moment I've wanted to know more about you, to see more of you."
His words sent thrills through Cloud. Once again he was hit with a feeling of déjà vu. But he wasn't sure if it was a positive feeling or a negative feeling. Though, considering his circumstance, Cloud figured that having any connection with anyone was better than nothing. For now, Sephiroth was all he knew, and all he had.
The two men sat there until a nurse came to check on Cloud. Finding her patient awake, the nurse ushered Sephiroth out of the room, only allowing him enough time to promise that he would be back before he disappeared from the room.
Cloud's thoughts drifted as the nurse fretted over him. Initially he evaluated what he knew and what he didn't. The list of things Cloud knew was substantially smaller than those he did and Cloud realized that thinking of it would only cause him to panic. The only thing he could really think about, without fear of a mental breakdown was Sephiroth. And think of him Cloud did.
It was then that Cloud knew he would have to take Sephiroth up on his unspoken offer of companionship, and that he would be seeing a great deal more of the other man whether it amounted to something good or something bad.
So, as labelled, this is the prologue. The first chapter will be up soon. And I promise the first chapter won't be as short. Haha.
As some of you may know, this is essentially my rewrite of an old story called 'Things Change'. Though it will still contain many key elements from the original (and I use that term loosely) and some of the scenes from 'Things Change' will appear in 'Remember Me' they will be quite different overall. And for those who came over from the old story, thanks for giving this one a chance.
Thanks you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.