It's 4 AM and I can't sleep.
It's... a long story. But technically I'm trapped in my dorm at the moment, with a dead cell phone. My cell phone is, sadly, my alarm clock. xD I left my charger at home and sure as hell don't feel up for a late-night driving adventure extreme. So I can't go to sleep tonight. :| I need to wake up in 4 hours, anyway, so whatever. Also, it's like a furnace in here and there's no hope for sleep.
I'll just die at work. So I almost didn't make the deadline. I totally thought September had 31 days. It only has 30. Oops.
This is my pokeprompts entry! And it's an absolute mess. I apologize. I procrastinated and paid dearly for it. This fic is confusing as all heck. I wanted to more thoroughly run through it, but I don't have the time. I also experimented with writing style, which didn't help. But boats make me think of noises, so... I went with that. Onomatopoeia. Part of this was also written at 3 AM. I just can't fix it at the moment.
I'm always on the go. :| I'm a Jun.
So this is like mindfuq also because I needed so badly to vent, but without posting another really boring entry about my life.
SO HERE. My author's notes need to be cut down. Seriously.
Title: Off the Hinges
Rating: T (certain situations implied... Parts of this became surprisingly inappropriate...)
Verse: Game!verse. I'll go with Platinum.
Summary: Creak. She pushes the door open. Click. She slams it shut when she finds him missing again. But she'll keep coming back. She always does. She's like a Volbeat in a glass jar.
The door shudders when she places her palm flat on it and strains the rusted hinges, ruined by years of overenthusiastic entrances and exits.
She decides that if he’s gone, this is the last time she seeks him out. She’s called him, followed him, and even tackled him to the ground, but to no real avail. He never stays in one spot for long, even when she asks him.
She knows she can’t make him stay; he’s got places to go, to be. She does, too.
Away from this vacant room.
It’s a broken sound. It’s like her heart – about to break due to his abuse of it. He burst in and out of it too many times and now it’s as if it’s not screwed on straight. He opened it and closed again and again and now it’s tilted.
It’s just not that resilient.
He should either go, or stay.
He somehow does neither.
“Hey!” she whined. “Set it free! That’s just plain cruel.”
The Volbeat buzzed against the top of the jar where his calloused hand secured the cap, its wings thrumming, and smacked a side of the glass in a vain attempt at escape. “Not yet.”
“Why not?” She stomped her pink-booted foot impatiently on the moist soil beneath, and tried desperately to wrangle the glass contained from his tight grip. “He doesn’t deserve this sort of treatment! Why not?”
“You gotta admire something – really ¬admire it – before you let it go. You can only see something up this close for so long, you know? Then you have to let it go. Or it gets free.”
He eventually released it, but not after the both of them stared and awed at the illumination it shed.
“Hikari,” he murmurs later. “Light.”
Light can be captured. Jun can’t.
She thinks of him that way sometimes. She can only hold him close and admire him for so long, and then he’s away, somewhere out of her reach.
All that remains is an empty glass jar where a light once shone – her heart.
“How do I get you to stop moving? Even for a second?”
“You can’t,” he whispers in return, his amber eyes sorrowful and staining her own a saddened blue.
She reaches up and kisses him, long and slow and sweet, like her pace compared to his.
He stops moving.
But despite how much he wants it to last, it’s still not enough to make him stay.
She’s tired of this town, anyway. It’s tiny, with nothing but houses and snow-coated shoreline. There’s a lot of empty space, filled only with memories.
She wonders if this is what goaded him to leave like it’s pushing her away now.
Her boots barely leave a mark as she walks into the tall grass and toward anywhere but home.
It's strange to her to not follow in his crooked footsteps, to try and make her own.
She’s tangled up in the sheets, and orange dawn light fringes her like an early autumn leaf. She doesn’t remember how she arrived here all snug and safe and secure. All she remembers is a few too many drinks to try to forget, which causes her to fall right from her bar stool, and into wobbly arms that balanced her taut down so many, many winding roads.
She knew those lanky limbs, but wished she hadn’t. She knew where they were going and tried feebly to get him to go somewhere else, anywhere else.
His heartbeat felt close, she remembers. And unusually slow.
But she ends up in Twinleaf again, carried there by the one person she wanted so badly to escape.
It proves easy when he leaves again.
Why does it seem like he only returns when she swears she’s finally forgotten him?
The steam from the tea rose from the porcelain cups slowly, like plumes of nearly-transparent smoke.
“Thank you for coming over,” his mother says softly. “That room of his just always looks like a tornado blew through it. It’s always been that way, as you know…”
Her sapphire eyes are attentive and fierce in their intensity, but his mother’s words gradually become like a tittering wind.
Like the sound of a certain blonde boy running right by her in the snow.
Hikari’s slender fingers glide around the handle of the teacup, skidding over the intricate patterns and neatly-painted flower patterns. She half-smiles, the corners of her lips twitching ever-so-slightly (because she can only fake so much as she nears her breaking point). “Sure.” She nods. “I’ll fix up his room.”
His mother grins in kind. “I knew I could count on you. So much more than that wayward son of mine.”
She wants to say, “I know, I feel the same,” but holds back and boldly enters the room she’s tried so hard and long to avoid.
She just can’t breeze by these sorts of memories like he can.
She always comes back first.
He’s slammed the door so many times that he’s left a hole in the wall that his mother begged her to mend.
She sits down in her oldest clothes and gets to work. She chips away the top layer, the ragged one.
Again, it’s like her heart.
He’s bumped into it as many times as he’s bumped into her (maybe a few times more), and now it’s chipping and peeling away slowly. Layer by layer by layer. It crumbles and crumbles. Bits and pieces of the outside flutter to the ground, and all that’s left is a cracking foundation to keep the remnants held up.
She wonders if he’ll ever give it a fresh coat of paint like she is to his banged-up wall.
It’d only be a fair trade, she thinks.
But then again, he’s never really been fair.
“How many times will you tell me to do that?” He laughs, like it’s nothing.
“As many times as it takes to get you to stay.”
He just chuckles again. It happens this way every single time – a vicious cycle. She’ll ask him to stay, and he’ll just up and leave. He just smiles and giggles like she’s not being even a tiny bit serious.
She wants to break the pattern. She wants him to know she means it.
She wants him to stay.
The kiss she gives him this time goes far beyond that.
They’re tangled up in each other, but it lasts just as long as any other of their encounters; only it leaves a stronger memory than the last few combined.
She remembers and clings to the warmth of his rushed embrace long after he departs in the morning, with her left with nothing but dull, throbbing aches and cracked, dry skin.
Nothing but the kiss he’s gracious enough to leave on her forehead, as if he’s actually reluctant to go.
She wakes up covered in paint chips and pieces of scrapped newspaper, with all sorts of sounds running through her mind.
A door slams shut (maybe a boy walking out?).
There’s a Volbeat locked away in a glass container (it'll be released soon).
A heartbeat (how is his so slow if he's always in a hurry?).
A footstep (pink boots he bought her for her last birthday).
Layers falling off (she's chipping his walls, he's chipping her heart).
Running (way, way too fast and far).
Entanglement (she feels like nothing special).
She looks up and her gaze locks on his windowsill, dotted with a familiar glass jar. The young Champion slowly rises from the shambles and approaches it, not sure how it got there.
She unscrews the cap, expecting a bug pokemon but instead laying eyes on a messily-scrawled note stuck to the bottom.
She removes it deliberately slowly, afraid of what it might say as soon as she recognizes the haphazard handwriting.
She’s convinced it’s some sort of official break-up later (were they even together?), or a ransom note (he would get kidnapped somehow). Or even just a simple “Sayonara.”
Hikari imagines ink all over his hands at the completion of this. Broken pencils, ripped paper.
All it says is: "Come to Lake Verity.
Oh! And bring the jar.
A huge fine if you’re late!”
She shouldn’t go. She’s sworn she wouldn’t see him again (so many times).
“It’s not like I’m completely abandoning you! You can always follow me.”
“You’re always too far ahead and I lose sight of you. I want to be beside you.”
“If you love me like you said, you’ll find me.”
It’s never really worked that much before, but she’ll believe in what he says.
It’s all she has.
When she arrives she doesn’t actually expect to see him there. She never expects, after all, to actually see him.
But he smiles in that goofy, boyish way of his and she melts as quickly as the snowflakes landing on her exposed skin. He’s really here.
She wants to yell at him. She wants to run over and throttle him. She wants to just say “Goodbye,” and mean it, but she can’t.
Somehow, some way, they always meet again, even if only for a brief tick of time.
There’s this unbelievable gravitational pull between them, she figures. Mostly, it seems, from her to him.
He dashes over and enthusiastically pats the jar. “You made it! And on time.”
She doesn’t ask when he wrote the note, or when he stuffed it in the jar without her knowing. Or anything at all. She simply stares. She’s tired of starting all the real conversation. She wants to hear him do it for once.
“I was gonna capture a lot of Volbeats, but then remembered you hated when I used to do that,” he begins. “The last thing I want to do is offend you.”
(As if he hasn’t already.)
“So I’ll leave these jars behind me when I go places around Sinnoh, right? And you find them. Inside it will be a note. The note will be a clue on finding me.”
She continues to stare, confused.
“So you can catch up!”
She’s tired of these games. He’s already like a riddle, why make it more complicated than it already is?
“No,” she whispers, shaking her head. “I’ll still be behind you. I’ll always be behind you.”
“Don’t worry,” he replies, grinning widely. He presses another kiss softly to her forehead, and then bolts away again. “You’ll find a way!”
She falls to her knees on the cold ground and cries when she’s sure he’s gone (as if she even has to check to be sure).
Now she really wishes her heart could be like that jar. Maybe he could leave a clue inside on how he felt about her. Or a light in it to keep it alive and beating.
The jar rolls across the grass when she drops it in haste. She views it blankly from afar for a while, imagining a Volbeat there.
If wishes could really materialize what a person wanted, though, he’d already have returned and come to comfort her to a sound, warm sleep.
It’s a whole entire year before she finally finds a jar.
He isn’t entirely to blame – she hasn’t really looked.
She really tried to forget him this time.
She almost doesn’t open the jar as she reaches out and grabs it (somehow it’s in a tree, so she feels obligated to take it down). It’s like the door, she thinks. It simply shouldn’t be opened – whatever is inside (or not) will only hurt her.
But it doesn’t creak. It also doesn’t thump, or whoosh, or thrush when she peels the lid off. It has no rusted hinges or crooked foundation, so it seems like it’s safe.
She unfolds the note slowly, like she has before.
Turn around, it says, I can’t stay, but I know how to compromise.
Hikari turns around just as slowly as she opened the note.
He’s engulfed her in his arms, and they tumble sloppily to the grass.
“Come with me,” he says.
Tears brew beneath her slammed-shut eyelids. It’s not that easy, she thinks. “Why didn’t you just ask this earlier? Years earlier?”
“Because you always told me to stay, and never asked me if you could come with me. I was waiting for that. I also was tired of you following me. I thought all the hints I dropped would work... I should fine you for that tardiness.” He grins cheekily, and she punches him in the chest full-force, and the wind’s knocked right out of him.
(He’s used to that.)
“I’m not gonna forgive you that easily! I’m going to put up a fight just like you did before! You deserve it.”
He senses her hesitation, her thoughts of leaving (he’s had them before, so he knows). He kisses her, fast but sweet, like his pace compared to hers.
Light can be captured, especially by Jun.
He’d never admit out loud that he didn’t want the Volbeat’s light in his jar, he wanted hers.
She pushes the door open slowly, and finds him standing there.
(Not patiently, but it’s more than enough for her.)