The tension filled the room like an invisible gas, the kind that slowly suffocates the unlucky one unfortunate enough to stay. Touching his otherwise flawless skin with a smattering of goosebumps, Kujaku simply locks eyes with the other male and tilts his head just slightly to the right. He always seemed to have that effect on Cloud... not that he enjoyed doing so.
In truth, it was slowly wearing him down inside... so why did he allow this to happen? Perhaps he didn't really know at all. At one point in time, he may have knit his brows and inquired of the other 'what was wrong', apologize for whatever it was he had done to cause such a state and generally make it into yet another giant roller-coaster of emotions...
...but this time his eyes simply stayed rested and stuck to the blonde's form, chin merely dipping down slightly in shadows cast by the silver-platinum locks framing his pretty face. He remained silent then.
Before he knew it, the silence broken with a thought made by the other, whether Cloud had meant for it to be heard or not... it rang clear in his mind with silver bells. I want...a cigarette... Kujaku's sensitivity to projected thoughts and telekinesis was still as strong as ever.
With a fluid motion that seemed to come momentarily from nowhere, the Siren's slim hand slid out to push the black carton of cigarettes towards the other, along with a tiny green lighter.. not that Kujaku ever used one.. but there were those that did.
Watching them was sickening.
Not in a sense of disgust or disagreement, but as of a cake or candy too sweet on the tongue that brings with it a nauseating feeling and a regret at the tasting. Even filtered through layered green and living warmth He sees and can only frown. Managed without lips the gesture is mental and all encompassing. As if He were His mouth He frowned and felt the frown throughout His Being. How Cloud stood and their breath caught. The lingering quiet, the hesitation. He did not understand why they danced the dance, as if only having just met.
Caught within a prison of His own making, surrounded by energies too pure to corrupt, the Alcazar's weight on His shoulders made any sort of action difficult. A complex guiding of energies had to be undertaken, coiling tendrils, blackened mist all coated in emerald life. As always the Stream fought Him and He fought It. All done to remain apart. Still, the effort was taken and through it a single thought emerged. With a little pain and a lingering discomfort to those that received He made His distaste known.
Yet would they feel it...
Cloud makes a face, a sort of grimace, tasting something like bile on his tongue, clinging to the back of his mouth. Acrid. He shifts, wiping at his mouth with the back of his hand as he moves forward, his makou-tainted gaze on the proferred assortment of pack and lighter. He can't bring himself to look at Kujaku again.
His heart is a dull drum that fills his head, loud between his ears, and Cloud can't decide if he's nervous or just unsettled -and why. He wants to kick at the floor and mutter a curse and laugh and shrug and shuffle like an impish cat, but he doesn't. He is Cloud, silent lament, monotone smile, walking towards the counter where relief is sitting in the form of smoke and ash and cancer.
When he gets close enough to reach the pack, Cloud can feel the tightness of his chest, strung too tight, making it hard to breathe. He feels jerky, disjointed, as if his movements are precarious, bordering upon falling apart, a bundle of joint and limbs, his strings falling with grace to the floor. He breathes out past drying lips, a subtle sigh, and gets himself a cigarette. Click of lighter and a bloom of flame.
Cloud sets the lighter back down on the counter, keeping his eyes downcast while the end of the stick smolders red-hot.
He isn't all too sure it's loud enough, and swallows smoke that coils in his lungs and makes his throat itch. His eyes water, but he blows out steadily, resisting the urge to cough, a stream of grey escaping past his lips and into the air to weave about in a sinuous dance.
The silence after the blonde's thanks at the offer of a cigarette, the Siren scooped up the pack after it was returned and slipped it beneath the bar counter once more, along with the lighter. A twist of something that would have otherwise been a painful wrench in the pit of his stomach actually smoothed out into something unknown... perhaps a tickle of pleasure made dull by the ugly look sent his way by Someone... Yes he felt it like a p***k to the back of his neck. It raised goosebumps there...
...and suddenly he laughed.
Outloud.. not witholding of enthusiasm.
For a moment it even surprised himself, though that soon disappeared as well. A hand to his face as he laughed.. a picture of Wulfgar frowning upon him and shaking his head as if Kujaku was a a silly little boy getting into mischief and trouble. That soured face with its pointed chin and glowering, unemotional eyes of jade... seemed so comical to him then, he simply couldn't stop laughing.
As if Cloud was caught with an ice cream cone dripping down the front of his little kid overalls at the beach, chocolate no less, smeared over rounded cheeks and reddened lips, while Kujaku in his sailor suit and uniformed puff hat licked his lolly pop and stuck it to his ribboned hair, Wulfgar frowning and shaking his head all the way with that damned look on his face... You naughty, good for nothing boys.... always with this s**t! Always ******** around and being dumb... Why can't you just...
"******** you, Wulfgar!" Kujaku suddenly burst out of his unstoppable laughter for a moment, the expletive on his smiling lips coming loose with yet another round of laughter. He wasn't ignoring Cloud... not at all. Oh, no that was next... "Just ******** you... Nobody wants your opinion on this matter, anyway.. they always suck and make me cranky!"
Emerald orbs took in the other male's face before him, catching at the obvious confusion, surprise, perhaps disbelief? "And this is just ridiculous..." A shake of silver crowned head and the smile still didn't waver, tears in glowing emerald hues gathering at their corners. "Yes, Cloud... I want you around and appreciate your company more than anyone else's anymore, even if you hate me and yet still come around. It must be for something or mean something, right?" A lift of eyebrows and another laugh came boiling over, as now the Siren couldn't even look at the other male without breaking a rib.
"But why do you show up acting like I'm going to bite you!!" Guffaw. A shake of head again and this time a tear fell from one eye, slipping over a porcelain cheek and splattering on the smooth bar top. Perhaps he really had lost it finally. "I'm not trying to mentally or emotionally maim you... I am simply unable to deny my feelings for you, and if you can't deal with that, handle that, or accept that, I can't help you!" Another laugh, though a bit softer this time. "I refuse to act like I don't know you, like I am afraid to be around you, or that I should change who I am just to he next to you. I know who you are! I am not afraid! I love you, goddamn it." A quick draw of smoke and the Siren stood up to his full height and came around the bar counter until he was beside the other, one hand on the marble top, the other at his own side.
"And honestly, Cloud.. all this rediculous acting does nothing but make me want to throw you over this bartop and ******** the living daylights out of you." That last bit had come with a slight laughing growl and a shake of silver hair that glimmered in the flame lantern light. "I am so tired of being standoffish and coy with you... and I'm tired of apologizing to you.. I've given up my life as I know it to make up to you all the things I've done wrong... and it still doesn't seem to make any difference. I don't know what else to do but cut my wrists and bleed out at your feet~!" Another sudden burst of laughter, this one almost crazed as the Siren stood nearly doubled up holding his stomach at the laughter pouring from his shattered soul.
"Aaahhhh I give up, my golden one..." A soft shake of head and a look of some love shot from glowing eyes as he stood once more.
The suddeness of Kujaku's outburst throws Cloud entirely off, and for a moment he just blinks, the cigarette forgotten, held limply between two fingers. It smolders while Kujaku's laughter, racous and too loud, echoes in the vastness of the room. Cloud finally grimaces, wincing as the noise grates against his skin - you can see his hackles rise, his fur standing on end, a cat ready to spit, hissing.
Cloud shifts, and he is bewildered by Kujaku's words, the vile disdain for Wulfgar, a name Cloud hasn't heard in so long that it feels, at first, foreign. He blinks, and then suddenly the spotlight is on him, and with the reprimand there comes anger, and Cloud frowns, a knot forming between his brows, pulling on his skin, rumpling his forehead. His lambent eyes flash, but just as the anger takes hold, it wavers, and Kujaku spews out something about ******** and tables, and Cloud can't seem to get the image of kissing Kujaku, mashing his lips against the other in heady want, out of his head.
Cloud's jaw clenches, cinching tighter and Kujaku's ludicrious speal continues. Click, click, click. Until Cloud lets the cigarette drop to the ground, grinding it beneath his shoe. He is surprised, and confused, but he jumps to the most familiar of reactions, groping for the anger that had flared.
"I hate you."
The words come so suddenly, slipping past his lips, that at first Cloud doesn't think he's actually spoken. It comes as a surprise that the words are his own. He looks up from the ground where his gaze had been riveted, luminous blue eyes swimming with makou. Gaurded. All the walls have come up.
"I'll always hate you," Cloud says, and it's a simple thing. He shrugs his shoulders, looking off to the side, feeling an itch in his throat that makes it feel rough. Uneasy. He licks his lips and looks back to Kujaku, his makou-tainted gaze narrowing.
"I will never forgive you for what you did to me."
Because it hurt so much. Because he never ever wants to feel that way again.
But he didn't want to let Kujaku go.
The truth makes no sense. But Cloud thinks, it doesn't have to, and takes in an edge of lip and begins to gnaw on it. He stares at Kujaku for a whole minute before speaking again.
"I wish you would. I wish you would ******** me until I couldn't think anymore. That'd be a nice reprieve." Cloud shakes his head, looking disgusted, not at Kujaku, but at himself. He averts his gaze and feels pressure building in his head, behind his eyes, burning like embers. It makes it hard to think straight, with so much whirling incessantly throughout the grey matter. He wants to scream and shout and stamp his feet, and maybe even cry, but he merely stands there, looking morose and worse for wear. He isn't up for this. He isn't up for anything anymore.
"This was a mistake."
It's in lieu of an apology, and Cloud turns to leave then, leaving the remnants of burnt cigarette on the floor, crushed and broken like some sort of stale flower.
"So you walk away then. Again." The smile hadn't left him, but the laughter had.
"So you walk away..." He glanced down at the cigarette on the floor, mashed and crumpled like the thing that still beat soundly in his chest.
"Haven't you ever been forgiven, Cloud..? Haven't you ever made mistakes..." The smile faded as the enthusiasm followed.
His hand shook suddenly on the cigarette that was still there... the column of ash growing larger every second that ticked by. "I know my shortcomings.. I know my mistakes. I'm not perfect. I'm far from it.. I don't even try to be perfect!" A flick of the ash and a draw from the f** with still trembling fingers before it was stabbed out in the crystal tray so close by. "But I can still forgive... why can't you forgive as well."
"And what makes you think you're the only one who feels pain... over this.. over anything?" The sudden anger smouldered hot and rough behind emerald eyes. "Do you believe that I enjoyed inflicting that pain on you? That I would wish to do something so vile again..? To you?" The last question was spoken with a thin line between madness and the burn of tears forming. "Do you think I pat myself on the back for fooling about with someone I barely knew, let alone hardly of my own volition..? I came to you immediately! I told you every scrap of truth about what happened, and how incredibly sorry I was for making such a Human mistake.. for causing you pain... for..." The deep, emotional voice cracked then, and the p***k of tears became a stabbing, gaping wound that flowed down his face like a dam being broken asunder.
It was obvious that Kujaku had simply lost his mind somewhere along the way... perhaps it was the word Hate that had been the catalyst. And before he knew it the Silver Siren had rushed forward and grabbed Cloud by the shoulders and spun him around to face him, if he still faced away. "...for loving you still.." A mind-crushing kiss was seared shut then, pressed warm and full to the mouth in front of him before pulling back just slightly to whisper with a ghostly touch just slightly wet with tears. "..If you're going to hate me, do so with love... Hate me with love, at least.."
Cloud had paused, had grit his teeth, the muscles in his jaw bulging, jumping out, stark in the pale flesh of his face. His brow had furrowed, twisting into knots with unwavering tension, like his hands, fisted so hard that the knuckles had turned white, at his sides, beginning to tremble. Like the onset of an earthquake.
"Haven't you ever been forgiven, Cloud..? Haven't you ever made mistakes..."
And Cloud could scream, he could wail and cry and still nothing would change. He sees Aeris, dead and dying, blood a steady dribble, plopping into the crystal blue of the lake, and it was cold, and Zack is laughing, dying, crying, all the red in the dirt and the rocks, drowning the grass and soaking into his gloves until all he could feel was death and nothing ever made a difference. Mom a burning ember, a smoldering coprse in the fire of his house, his whole hometown a blaze in the night. And nothing ever changed. Sephiroth had never been close enough to save.
Cloud is tired. He is sick and tired of reaching out and coming back with nothing. No amount of attonement, no amount of sacrifice, will ever make it ok.
No, Cloud thinks, while Kujaku is ranting, the words dull edges of broken glass that grate against his ears, ripping them to shreds until all Cloud hears is a roiling. I don't want to be forgiven...because to be forgiven is to relent that everything was fine, that everything that had happend was ok...it's not...it's not ok.
And Cloud will never forgive himself.
Kujaku's voice is incessant, unending, a lapse in the quiet from the outburst of laughter. Cloud can't decided which one he prefers, but then he doesn't care, he just wants to get out of here, the words Kujaku pelts at him like rocks off his back. He barely takes a step though, and then he finds he can't go any further -Kujau's hands are larger than his own, gripping at Cloud's shoulders, holding him back. Cloud bites back the urge to growl, but then he's being spun around, and his thoughts obliterate with the pressure on his lips, the warmth there that blooms like some sort of flare, sparking in his head, short-circuiting his brain.
The tears come because there is an overload. Because this is too much, too little, all at once. Cloud blinks with widened eyes, unable to grasp what is happening. When Kujaku pulls away, Cloud's lips remain parted, his jaw loose, his anger slipping away until all he can feel is resentment and the bitter taste of loss.
"...I've always loved you," Cloud murmurs, and he purses his mouth. His mind is a blank, and he can't draw on any other thought, no other words to say.
Kujaku just stared at him. Perhaps through him as the slack came.. the drop in tension. He felt the other slip away.. just a little.
And then he was simply kissing him again, the only thing worthy enough to provide any sort of spark. The only thing that seemed to provide any sort of reaction, more than his voice or his own laughter ever could. It was warm and full of pressure.. a pressure to hold on to, a firmness that was far more intense than any word spoken. And the Siren spoke in emotions... always had. Always would.
'Who really wants to hurt anymore...'
Tears wet his cheeks still... fingers slipped up from the youths shoulder to touch that of the other, moving to grip the back of of the golden spiked head as the frisson of mouth to mouth continued in a needy, apologetic, promising way...
'I don't... I don't want you to hurt anymore...'
One could almost hear the lamp light flicker.. guttering about in it's glass ensconcement. Moth's wings... the beating flutter of heartbeat fit to burst inside the silvette's chest.
Like the ground beneath his feet is steadily crumbling apart, falling away, leaving himm precariously balanced, on the edge of falling into vulnerability. He doesn't want to be that way, he doesn't want to be open to anything anymore. He remembers Zack, his smile, the light that gilded, so bright that it sears in his mind. Cloud feels Kujaku's hands, feathering up his body, pressing at the back of his head, and the picture is vibrant, stark and clear. Zack's mouth moves but no sound is there.
Cloud remembers the way his heart had cleaved, that vile taste in his mouth as he'd watched Kujaku walk away, turning his back on Cloud for Wulfgar. An enemy, a traitor, a friend.
Cloud pulls away aburptly, his chest constricted. And he can barely breathe for the want of it, the hole in his heart, in his head, in his chest, aching so harshly that he has to grit his teeth, a hand coming up to fist into the cloth of his shirt, twisting the fabric harshly between shaking fingers.
"It's not fair."
He doesn't know what he's referring to. Everything, maybe. Life in general. The tears continue to push out past his eyes, streaking down his face, as Cloud tries to keep his chest from shattering into a million little pieces.
"I told you I love you...ok...that's enough."
Cloud wipes at his eyes roughly with his free hand, trying to stem the flow, to no avail. He refuses to admit that he wants the contact, his lips still tingling, his groin heated and smoldering. He can't bare it.
The Siren's eyes were still closed when the golden haired male pulled away quickly, the lingering feel of tension still upon his lips, begging soundlessly unheard for more closeness. Though he knew it would have to be enough for now... whether he liked it or not.
With a long sigh of a feeble atempt to calm his own nerves, Kujaku opened his eyes with a soft nod of his head, gazing softly at the other before moving the hand that has previously been gripping the back of Cloud's head to lightly wipe away the years that still remained on the youth's pale cheeks. "Alright..." He murmured quietly, taking a step back so Cloud might have a bit of room to actually breathe.
A soft n** to his own bottom lip that was held a few moments followed before he turned towards the bar and retrieved his pack of smokes which he promptly grabbed of one and lit it, taking a long draw upon the filter. His nerves really were strung out.... His hand shook on the stick he held between two fingers..
After all of that ranting, he couldn't think of a single thing to say now..
That would teach him to make faces at people.
As if they were picked up by a breeze discarded ashes rose on invisible fingers. From the air smoke gathered beneath a layer spread thinly across space. Vaguely formed and ill-defined He manifested before them, still sporting that frown. Making no sound a ghostly finger tapped at the bar on which He appeared to lean. The disapproval He felt was stronger, enough so that even those with no sense for it might feel a tinge of doubt. Without words to speak He did not expound upon His thoughts and feelings, though that had never been a habit to begin with. It was merely the fact that they had been reduced to this, but that was far too complex to broadcast.
Cloud watches smoke rise, twisting languidly through the air, a stream of grey and blue. His face dry. But then something beyond the view of Kujaku sighing out cancer catches Cloud's eye, and his gaze shifts just beyond Kujaku's shoulder, a little ways down the bar. The array is one that perplexes.
Cloud doesn't know what to think of it. Doesn't think at all, really. He merely stares at the silouhette that is neither foreign or familiar, and wonders if there is more than just hybernating bodies within the Emerald Alcazar's walls.
After a moment, Cloud speaks, but his voice is intended for Kujaku, and not the wraith.
"...you have ghosts here?"
It's not the same sort of presence he's used to -Zack is virbant and clear and Aeris always looked solid but gilded with a pale aspect, as if she could vanish at any moment. This...well, Cloud doesn't know what to make of it, and instead furrows his brow, trying to discern the essence while he waits for Kujaku to take notice.
A soft raise of eyebrows follows Cloud's question on ghosts... before the emerald gaze below them flicked absently towards the place in which the others' aquamarine one was focused. A shade of grey twisted about what appeared to be layers... though hardly manifested into something recognizable..
...to most, anyway.
A slight frown fell over the Siren's countenance before he sighed and shook his head, looking back to the blonde. "Sometimes spirits strong enough in their want to manifest will do so... but its little more than an act of sheer will left behind.." Kujaku's voice seemed somewhat flat and emotionless, but it was merely a side effect from the emotional stress he had been under moments earlier.
Another draw from the black cigarette.
He knew who it was.. what it was. And a brow lifted slightly, singular, as his gaze fell back for a moment to the Shade that stood seemingly with them at the bar yet so far away. Withered stare. Cloud would not see it, but the Siren then simply stuck his tongue out at the wraith, knowing full well how it looked and how it was intended. Didn't care... bring on the sailor suit and the lollypop...
...and then he turned fully back to Cloud, choosing to focus on the One who truly mattered to him now... and sighed softly, his expression softening and warming just a little..
Scrambling underground in search for food frantically, digging holes after holes searching for anything. Peeks its slimy worm like head out from the grass enough to look and see's a small rabbit.
squirms out of the tiny hole it was crawling in and slowly worms over towards it. Just before it was ready to take a bite, noise came from the bushes and the rabbit runs away in terror. The beast looks around and hopes it wasnt seen, he looks closely towards the bushes and see's a pair of pure black eyes starring right back at him and it quickly starts digging to get away.
s**t!!!! s**t!!! s**t!!!!digs even faster as the ground behind him starts exploding and tearing away PLEASE!!!!!!!! I'M SOOOOOORRY!!!!!!!
Just before he hits the area where Kujaku and Cloud are he gets tackled to the ground by what looks like a ten year old girl. I'M GOING TO KILL YOU LAKUJA!!!!!!
Lakuja looks at her shaking you already tried you brat!!! YEAH!!! well i should of tried harderPunches him in the face, then picks him up by the head pulls him up to eye level and sayswhere's my ship Lakuja?
Lakuja looks at her with sadness I.....I......crashed it. OK!!!? Good enough for you!! you....crashed.....my......ship???.... Her eye twitches alittle
It goes quiet for a second and Lakuja starts to laugh ahahahaha yea it was fun to!! The pissed off look you gave me was priceless!! How does it feel to be stuck here alone He starts laughing even harder at her. She slightly smiles also and squeazes his head Oh! I'm not alone... She looks at him with a emotionless grin I have my favorite Lakuja to spend time with says with sarcasm
His celebration was shattered and his laughter turned into a jaw drop and a bad realization Damn............
They argue alittle more for another 20 minutes then realizing their not alone in their surroundings. They can hear chattering echoing from the tree's. She starts to move towards the sound and see's kujaku and cloud. She puts lakuja in her pocket and starts investigating trying to get a better look at them.
He doesn't like the entity, or the noise in the background of children screaming, somewhere beyond the massie window panes. For a moment, Cloud looks away from Kujaku, lips pursed in annoyance -he thinks he should be concerned for Fenrir. But when Cloud's makou-tainted gaze fixes on Kujaku once again, his distracted thoughts hault, and his focus converges on the silvette. The expression is all wrong.
Wordlessly, Cloud walks over to the green-eyed male, coming to a pause mere inches from him. Though he stands a few inches shorter, Cloud is undaunted -he reaches up with one hand and presses fingers to Kujaku's forehead.