Blaze sat stationary in the back of her parent’s car, except for her head, which bobbed up and down every-so-often. She was wearing a pair of fuchsia headphones which were pounding out songs. They were mostly hidden under her messy lilac curls, and her grey zip-up hoodie, but she still loved them endlessly. They aided her in transporting herself to her own little world as she listened to a thousand songs, about love and pain and fear. Hope, sometimes, depending on what mood she was in. Right now, she was listening to a mix of Coldplay, Maroon 5 and The Wanted. She didn't really like pop, but as long as she focused on the lyrics more than the song itself she was quite content. Coldplay was her favourite. She had always had a thing about indie music, it just seemed to connect with her in a way other music couldn't. Some days she could have listened to it for hours on end. The car came to a sudden stop, and Blaze lurched forward with the car.
"I don't really want whiplash. Sorry if that disappoints you." Blaze growled, pulling out her headphones.
"Don't treat your mother that way," her father said, roughly, "We didn't know the car in front was going to stop so suddenly."
"No. Because break-lights are so discreet." She blurted it all out. She hated her parents, but she didn't know why she was being mean. When she thought about it, she realised she just...felt like it.
"Get out." She heard her mother's voice from the driver seat. She sounded so cold, it almost made her want to apologise. Almost. She was out like a shot, slamming the door behind her. She got off of the road and back onto the pavement, and made her way down it. She vaguely recognised the area; it was somewhere behind the high street. Silver's house wasn't far. Her shoes were worn and scruffy, her laces trailing behind her. The fleeting look she'd gotten of herself in the mirror before leaving was enough to know she looked like she didn't want to be messed with...
She knocked on his door. Silver often opened the door, as his parents were out most of the time. There wasn't much danger of being caught looking this roughed up. She wasn't surprised when she saw his glove poke round the door, followed by his face.
His golden eyes were so like her own and yet so different. Blaze's eyes were fuelled by fire and anger, and they burned gold. Silver's glowed. They were like the brightest stars...
"Blaze. I didn't know you were booked in today...?"
Silver was well known at school for being a peacemaker. He was often found sorting out a fight of some kind or helping a new kid around school...but Blaze's problem was much more serious. Drugs.
"I just wanted to see you." She said bluntly. He looked her up and down, and nodded. He moved back from the door and she pushed it open, wiping her feet on the mat and sweeping her hood off, pulling her hair over her shoulders. The door closed behind her. The smell of fresh paper wafted in from the library, which had always been to the left as soon as she came in the door. Through a slightly opened door in front of her, she could see laminate flooring and tiled surfaces. So that was obviously a kitchen. Silver put his hand around her wrist and guided her lightly towards the stairs. Like she needed guidance. She'd been here so many times she practically lived here. There were only three rooms on the top floor: his parent’s bedroom, his own, and a bathroom. He pushed open the door of his bedroom and led her in. It looked more like a study than a bedroom, except for the bed in the corner. The blank walls were lined with bookshelves, each one full to the brim with dictionaries and other boring information books. In the centre of the room was a desk, with two chairs positioned one on each side. She took a seat.
"You still having problems at home?" He asked straight off the bat. She nodded blankly, her eyes travelling around the room. Sincerely she'd only come here to have someone her own age to talk to. That, and Silver seemed to understand her better than her own parents.
"Huh. You haven't been..." He cut off. He didn't need to finish that sentence anyway.
"No, I've been away from them for three months now. Since the sessions. They help." She was using short sentences on purpose. She wanted the session to last her as long as possible so her parents could cool off, and really so could she.
"Well...is there anything on your mind that you want to talk about?" She rolled her eyes.
"Why else would I come?" She said, leaning on her hand.
"Hm...lots of reasons," he said, getting up and putting a book back into its slot in the shelves, "But go on then." She was trying to think of how to put it, running a hand through her messy curls.
"My parents hate me. They've refused me every time I ask to go out. My boyfriend got peed off and dumped me. Every time I ask, they say "I'm not having my daughter going out to drugs and lying to her parents." It's getting crazy. The school prom is in three days. But they won't let me go. Like I said, it's crazy. I guess I wouldn't have anyone to go with; my boyfriend's long gone and no-one wants to go with the ex-drug-crazed-lunatic." She looked at her feet. There was silence for minute or so, the only sound came from his wall clock. The ticking was very unsettling. She could feel the heat of Silver's gaze resting on her. Her throat was suddenly dry. She swallowed, waiting for his reply.
"Who says?" He finally said.
"Who says what?" She asked, quietly for once.
"Who says no-one wants to go with the ex-drug-crazed-lunatic?"
She sat in silence for a moment. She actually hadn't thought of that. It's not like she'd asked anyone, but even if she did, who would she ask? Most boys she just considered friends, or lower. Especially after the drug troubles. People used to gawp at her as she went by, the confident girl with the pride and the lackies. But when she'd met Sonic, she'd chucked it all away. People turned on her, calling her a slut for dating an older person. She'd turned to alcohol first, but it hadn't done anything. It just made her feel sick. That's when the drugs came into play. One of her friends had offered her some to 'ease the pain' and she'd been so desperate she took it without question. She hadn't been in the right frame of mind. If she had been herself, she would've refused it without question. But she took it. And then she became addicted. It only took on time, and it was all she thought about, day and night...that's when Silver had appeared. A teacher had referred her, after a bad English lesson. And then, she became addicted once more. But this time, she was addicted to him. She visited him almost every day, as much as she could to get away from her family. They hated her, and when she was with Silver she managed to forget it all, even though that was what they talked about. She clicked out of her little flashback, and looked at him.
"What do you suggest, Cupid? You gonna shoot someone with an arrow?" She was being sarcastic to cover up the fact she disliked talking about her love life. He rolled his eyes.
"For god sake, Blaze, I'll go with you. Not like I have anyone else to go with. And besides, your parents are more likely to let you go with someone responsible. It'll be good fun! And I can get to know you better." Blaze sat in stunned silence for a moment. Did he just...ask her to the prom? And give her several amazing reasons why to say yes? She blinked a few times.
"Huh. I guess you have a point," she pretended to think for a moment, when in fact she had already made up her mind, "Okay then. If you're free." She waited for him to jump up and shout 'SURPRISE!', but he did no such thing. He gave her a light smile.
"Sure. I'll pick you up just before eight if your parents say yes?" He pulled another book out, took a seat at his chair and put on his reading glasses. Geeky much? "You can show yourself out, right Blaze?" He said with a sarcastic smile. She stared at him for a moment in silence, as he read his book. She nodded.
"Sure..." She stepped down the stairs, and shut the door. His words bouncing about in her brain...
Blaze ran her fingers through her dresses. This was prom, but her parents had refused to buy her a dress because of her behaviour two days ago. After having bunked school for the past two days to sneak out, she was in doubt her parents would ever buy her a dress again. She sighed. All her dresses were either boring or too short or too girly...
In the corner of her eyes, she noticed a small box. Where had that come from? It hadn't been there before... She reached down and picked it up. It felt sort of heavy, but not too much. She held it with one hand and prised the top off with the other. Inside, there was a scrap of paper, and something made of a black, glossy-looking material. She furrowed her brow. What on Earth...? She took out the note and the material, letting it slowly unfold, the edges of it nearly touching the ground. She stared at it in awe for a minute or so. It was a dress. A black, shimmery dress, with a love heart neckline and no sleeves. It finished in a slope from left to right; the end of the dress on her left side looked as though it would finish at about her thigh, the other side, by her knee. There was some black netting at the back, that trailed to her calves. It was fixed on with a black rose; mossy green leaves sprouted from behind the petals. She was in such a state of shock she nearly dropped it to the floor, but she managed to keep a firm grip on it.
"Oh my...god." She nearly squealed with joy. She picked up the note, carefully placing the dress on her bed. Unfolding it, she began to read...
I don't know why I am giving you this...sympathy? But I've seen the way you treat your mother...I know she wasn't there when you needed her, but you know she would never do anything to hurt you. The way you treated her was unforgivable. Wear the dress. Please Blaze. Your mother picked it out. She knew you'd love it. Please.
Daddy x ..."
She looked at the dress in a mixture of disgust and love. Her mother...how could she have possibly chosen it? She never let Blaze wearing anything that finished above the knee, let alone was black in colour and had no sleeves. Her mother...
She took the dress with a sigh. She wanted to desperately to wear it. Almost like the dress was calling out to her. After some long hard debating, she ran into the bathroom. She emerged minutes later with a smug look on her face. She went into her bedroom and looked at herself in the mirror. She looked like she had when she was popular. Feisty and daring, but there was a flicker of something in her eyes. Joy. She got out her make-up bag and applied a nice coat of mascara. She blinked her eyes a few times, and then followed it up with lipstick. She chose a nice natural shade, a pinky colour. She slicked it on, not too thickly. She was about to take out her blusher, when she caught a glance of herself in the mirror. She looked awful. Like she was trying to cover up, all the horrors that had happen to her...like she was afraid of them...like they were on top of her, suppressing her...
She wiped off the lipstick, and sighed. No. She had to look normal, casual. So instead, she pulled out some eyeliner, and swiped it cleanly across the bottom of her eyes, then across the too, ending with the slightly swoop. She blinked a few times. Better. Much better. She quickly twisted her curly locks into a bun, and grabbed a few pins. She held a few in her mouth and took them out one at a time, fixing the bun to the top of her head. A few trails of hair fell out, and she brushed them behind her ears. There was a knock at the door, and she grabbed her clutch bag, rushing down the stairs and out the door in a blur of lilac and black. Her little locks of hair had already fallen back by her face, brushing her cheeks. She called goodbye to her parents and shut the door, without waiting for a reply. She turned to Silver. He looked smart, in a white shirt and waistcoat, with black trousers and fancy looking shoes. If she hadn't known he was coming, she probably wouldn't have known it was him. He looked her up and down, and raised an eyebrow.
"...What?" She asked, looking herself up and down, "Something wrong?"
He chuckled lightly, "You may want to put some shoes on first..."
They arrived, shoes and all, no less than ten minutes late. She wasn't flustered; being late to prom wasn't that big a deal, especially as she hadn't been expecting to go in the first place. Silver got out of the driver's seat, came round and opened the door for her. She grinned, only partially because she felt like annoying him. She actually felt like grinning at this point. She got out, her black trainers scuffing the floor. They were quite nice trainers, at least they had been when they weren't falling to pieces. But she loved them anyway, and they matched her dress. She pulled the netting to check it wasn't in the door, and closed it behind her.
"So...?" She asked, mainly to break the awkward silence settling between them.
"So...what?" He replied. He sounded so naive, like he hadn't even noticed the break in conversation. They hadn't talked in the car either, but Blaze had been quite content letting Silver drive while she stared out of the passenger side window. Now however, they were going to have to at least attempt talking to each other.
"So, what are we going to do when we're there? How are we going to act?" She whispered, as other couples pulled up beside them.
"Well, how do you normally act?"
"Like I hate everything."
"Hm...I'm not sure that'll go down too well in this situation," She gave him a look, that suggest he go back to being quite before she sewed his mouth shut. He shrugged, "I'm just saying. Act how you want. I'll act how I want. Anyone asks, I asked you and you said yes. Nothing more to it. It's not a lie." She thought about it a moment and nodded.
"Okay then." She breathed quietly, as few more people arrived.
Some of the boys had come together as a joke, pretending to kiss and hug, and shouting things like, 'Oh Shadow, I love you so!' Although Shadow was more or less there because Rouge was on holiday, and him being her boyfriend, he couldn't really go with anyone else.
"What are those twats doing?" Silver said quietly, as they walked arm in arm towards the hall. It was very grand; she was surprised the school had been able to afford such a place. It looked like a town hall, a very large building with a domed roof, and a slightly extension at the front made of marble; the bottom had intricately carved stone supports fixed into it, and they reached up to bear the weight of the extra bit of roof. It was indeed a wonderful place, and surrounding it there were small groups of gardens, some including fountains and statues; others were adorned with flowers and bushes and trellises that went in arcs over your head, covered in ivy and other creeping plants. There was a small car park at the front where her and Silver had came from, but apart from that it looked rather old fashioned, and posh. She swallowed. Silver looked at her, confused.
"Are you alright, Blaze?" He asked softly, so quietly she barely heard him.
"Yeah...I'm fine. Just a little nervous is all." She sounded so childish as the words came out of her mouth. Silver looked down at her, smiling softly. He must've been only an inch or so taller than her, but she wouldn't have wanted it the other way round; she hated being tall as it was.
"It's okay." He said, kissing her lightly on the forehead, "No-one is gonna get to you." He whispered the last part in her ear. It was lucky he pulled away just after her cheeks had cooled down.
"If you say so..." She trailed off, as they approached the front doors.
They were held open by a pair of doorstops. In an entrance hall, stood a giant blackboard; it must've been twice the size of the ones at school. On the blackboard, written in pink, blue, yellow and green chalks was a scruffy 'Welcome!' surrounded by balloons. Someone had drawn a rather inappropriate picture of Scourge in the bottom left corner, but she paid little attention to that. Silver released her arm, and she let go of his in turn.
"Do you want a drink? I'll go and get you one if you like...?" She nodded.
"Yeah, that sounds nice. Diet lemonade, if they have any." She wasn't wholly paying attention to him either. She was just staring in at the dancers in the big hall to her left. They all looked so happy, the boys in their suits and the girls in their multicoloured dresses. No other girl was wearing black...she hugged her stomach tightly.
"Okay. I'll be right back. You can go in if you want. I'll meet you there." He smiled softly and went off into another part of the hall. She looked back at hall, her mouth suddenly dry. She went in, her feet making light tapping sounds on the floor. The noise was soon lost under a mass of squealing teenagers and annoying, pounding music. She made her way through the crowd; it felt as though everyone was staring at her, their glares burrowing into her head...but no-one was looking at her. They were all to busy laughing and having fun. She found an unoccupied corner and stood in it, leaning against the wall. She closed her eyes and sighed, the music becoming quieter and quieter...
"Blaze? You alright?" Her eyes flew open as she heard Silver voice, and felt his hand on her bare shoulder. She opened one eye and saw him, a concerned look on his face.
"Yeah...this kind of music just isn't really my forte..." She laughed a little. Silver looked off to the side a little, then his eyes met hers, both of which were now open.
“Blaze…I need to spea-“ He was cut off, as the music stopped, and a song started up. Blaze recognised it instantaneously. It was Coldplay.
“Oh my god, this is my favourite song. Ever.” She said whistfully. Silver sighed, and grasping her hand, led her slowly to a dance floor. A few heads turned, and she was given a few odd looks, but then everyone went back to their own dates. She felt her body tense as Silver put one hand on her waist. Blaze placed one of her hands on his shoulder, and she held the other out to him. He laced his fingers into hers, and then, he began to step. Her heart went a little wobbly, as did her legs; she wasn’t exactly a dancing professional, but she knew how to slow dance. Her friends had jokily taught her, about two years ago. She looked at her feet for the first five minutes, just so she could get into the routine, then she dragged her eyes back up to meet his. He was looking at her, a smile creeping onto his face. She herself broke out in a grin, a fit of giggles brewing in her throat. He chuckled along with her, as the pair gathered dirty looks for disturbing the romantic air in the room. But she was so happy she paid little to no attention; for once in her life, she didn’t care what they did, how they looked at her, what they thought about her. Silver made it all okay.
That was until the book.
As they danced along, a small, leather bound notebook fell out of his trouser pocket, opening on a random page. Silver bent down to pick it up but Blaze had quicker feline reflexes, and already had the book in her hands,
“What’s this?” She said, scanning along the page. Her smile slowly became desperate, her brow furrowed as she read. All the while, Silver stood there, rooted to the stop, his hands still half extended to take it from her. As the notes went on, anger bubbled in Blaze’s heart. Her mouth was set in a straight line, and was turning, slowly, into a frown. Silver was still frozen. She looked at him, her burning eyes turning as cold as ice, as she gave him a piercing stare.
“What the hell is this!?” she spat, her voice harsh and quiet.
“Blaze, I…it’s…” he stumbled over his words, trying to come up with some form of explanation.
“Oh, of course, you probably haven’t the faintest idea what I’m talking about?” she asked sarcastically, “Well, why don’t I refresh your memory…” She cleared her throat. Silver had closed his eyes, like that was somehow going to get him out of this mess. A few couples next to them had stopped dancing.
“I have finally managed to get the dress round to Blaze’s house. It was such a pain as she seemed to be at home far too often. This will be a great opportunity to study her behaviour; her dad agrees strongly. I’m surprised she agreed to come in the first place, considering her unprecedented fear of being judged. I managed to persuade him to let her go, after I told him that what I might induce from her in the evenings activities will surely reveal all of her problems so I can finally get her back to her normal self again. It is rather obvious to me that, at this current point in time, she is acting out of character. I’m sure the evening will be quite pleasurable, and will put me a step or two closer to helping her bounce back.” She read it all aloud in a sarcastic tone. A few other couples stopped their dancing to listen in, and slowly but surely, even the disk-jockey turned off the music so he could be nosey. There were some disapproving noises coming from the crowd: people blowing air out of their lungs; people gasping in shock. One girl had even started to hyperventilate. All the while, Silver stood there with his eyes shut firmly, his hands balled into fists at his side. It was like he wasn’t listening, but she knew he was.
“Wow, Silver! It’s great to hear how much you care about my past! Really…riveting stuff.” She said, tapping the book. She snapped it shut, “Nice job! Now, I hope you enjoy the rest of prom.” She smiled sarcastically, and stormed out of the hall, the doors closing with a slam. Everyone in the hall, even the snogging couples in the back, had turned to look at Silver. A silence settled over the whole hall. Then, out of the blue, Silver murmured:
“If you’d all excuse me…” He was out like a shot. As soon as the music started up again, he pressed his back to the wall, sliding slowly down it.
He let out a groan of pain, and sighed, putting his head in his hands. He’d screwed everything up, like he always did when he let his work get in the way of his personal affairs. He rubbed his eyes, racking his brain for something he could possibly do to win her back…
He got up. The best course of action was to find her and apologise. No lies, no telling her he didn’t mean to…he just had to look into her eyes and tell her he was sorry for what he’d done and that he wanted to make it up to her. He’d probably get a ton of abuse hurled at him but he knew he deserved it. What he’d done was inexcusable. No-one in their right mind could, or would blame her.
He sped after her, trying to think of where she’d go. Not the car, that was the first place he’d check and also, he hadn’t left it unlocked; he wasn’t that stupid. He went through a list of places in his head, sorting them into possibilities and places she’d steer clear of. In the end, only one place was left… He rushed up some stairs that went in a spiral around a large marble column, through a couple of large oak doors, and through a small white-washed door, reading ‘balcony’. He pushed the door open and was hit by a cold wall of outside. He shivered a little, hugging his arms. It must’ve been in single figures, temperature wise… He looked at her, her slender figure silhouetted in the moonlight. He approached her slowly, careful not to alert her. He paused to look out at the sky. It was a mixture of dark blues and greens and purples swirled together into the night sky. There were too many stars to count; millions of tiny, blazing dots in the dark night. He sighed, and then threw a hand over his mouth, realising he had made a noise.
Blaze didn’t look round. She didn’t need to. She’d known he was there from the moment the door swung shut. She closed her eyes to block him out but all she saw was him standing there in his waistcoat with closed eyes and balled fists, looking scared…She sighed, just as he did. She heard him clap a hand over his mouth in shock, and she looked down at the ground.
“I knew you were there, you know? You’re not exactly ninja material…” She was toying with him a little; he deserved it though…
“Heh…no. I’ve always been told I sound like an elephant with a weight issue…” He had a poor sense of humour, but he was trying his best.
“Hm. Whoever said that sounds like wonderful company.” She was stalling; waiting for him to apologise to her. There was silence for a few minutes, and then Silver took a long, dragging breath.
“I’m sorry. I know what I did to you was appalling…I just…at first, I was only doing it to find out whether you were really well enough; you know, that you weren’t doing things behind me and your parents’ backs…but when I saw you this evening you looked so…so…” he struggled with his words, “…Happy.” Blaze hadn’t been called that in a long time. She looked at him with sadness in her eyes.
“You’re a real nutcase, you know that?” she teased, a smile breaking out on her face, “You are also a twat, and some other words that I am not angry enough to use…” He laughed, a little nervously. He nervously extended his arm, and after a few moments, he grabbed her hand.
“Yeah…” he agreed, swallowing, “What won you back? Was it my amazing good looks or my overflowing charisma?”
“Pah! I’ve seen baseball caps with more charisma than you!” She joked, her voice cracking a little. She chuckled warmly, closing her mouth, resting her head on his shoulder. A few tears rolled down her cheeks and he wiped them away.
“So…you bought the dress?” she offered the question to him.
“Yeah…it looked like the right dress for you. Not too short, about the right size, not too girly…” he paused for a moment, pondering over the idea of throwing in a joke… “You’re lucky. If it wasn’t for the shop assistant I would have bought the fairy one; I still think I should have gone for a lighter black…like pink, for example.” He chortled as she nudged him in the ribs.
“Hey, don’t be getting too cocky; we’re still three floors up and I’m still a psycho.” She cautioned. He laughed.
“We should probably get going…” he remarked, holding her waist gently, “They must all be wondering where you’ve gone, and I promised you back home by ten exa-“
She kissed him. He wasn’t expecting it; the warm sensation of her lips on his shocked him, and he had the distinct feeling to push her away…but he didn’t. Instead, he let her loop her arms around his neck, kissing her softly. Blaze kissed him back, her heart beating so loudly she thought it might explode from her chest. She was sure he must’ve been able to hear it, or at least feel it. She closed her eyes, the blissfulness of it all washing over her in calm waves. She kissed him until she was out of breath and her lungs were screaming for air, but even when she had to break away she wanted to stay with him…
“…okay, maybe half ten.”