A/N:  Hey everyone!  Hope you liked the ending to Winter Light.  ^_^  I know I enjoyed writing it.  Well, here it is as promised- the winner of the votes- Through the Eyes of the Storm!  :cheering from the fans:  ^_^  Aw, thanks!  :blush:  Gee, I feel so loved!  :turns to the right:  Huh-?  What's this?  :a spirit hands me a note:  Hmm:  'They don't love you, they just love Storm?'  Ohhh- I'm gonna make sure you get it for that! :spirit cowers and flies off:  Gah, I'll deal with him later.  :sigh:  Looks like we got another troublemaker on our hands, eh, Tenshi?  ^_~  :ahem:  But anyway, I can't blame you for loving Storm.  He's a little sweetie! ^_^  Man oh man, if he liked girls and he were real- I'd be asking for his number! :sigh:  But oh well.  Anyway, I'll quit blabbing and move onto the moment you've all been waiting for:  Through the Eyes of the Storm!  Enjoy!  ^_^   

*Storm*                   

I stepped off the plane with a sad sigh.  Home again.  Apart of me still felt badly about leaving Malachite in the dust back there; but it was all for the best.  I walked over to the conveyor belt as I retrieved my things and headed out to get my car from the airport parking lot.  Man, it's hot out here.  Being in Vermont made me forget how hot California was. 

Getting everything situated, I walked out and unlocked my sapphire blue Firebird.  Getting in, I started it up as I pulled out of the parking lot.  Secretly, I didn't want to go back.  I wanted to stay with Mal.  But I knew we weren't meant to be. 

Drying a tear from my eye, (I had been doing that a lot lately,) I rounded the corner and headed south- back to my place.  I turned on the radio- hearing I Drove All Night blare around me.  Oh no.  This song always makes me cry.  Probably because it always takes me back.  Back to a love I knew would never be my own.

~Flashback~

I heard the doorbell ring as I stepped off from my bed, "I'll get it, Mom!" I called as I made a dash down the stairs and to the front door.  I knew exactly who it was; as I had just called them up ten minutes ago.  I opened the door as my fact was confirmed.  My love.  He was so beautiful.  As you can tell, I had a slight crush on him.  I had since I first moved here from my other school in Cheshire, England.

That's what got me thrown out of that school- having a crush.  I won't go into details, but I'll just say it was over a friend of mine.  I loved my old school.  I was sad when I moved away.  It was so pretty there.  The air always smelt of freshly fallen rain, and pine trees were stitched all over the place.  Don't get me wrong, I liked it here in the states, but I did get homesick quite often.  I noticed my friend tap my shoulder, snapping me back into reality.

"Hey Storm, you ok?" he asked. 

I shook off the feeling, "Huh?  Oh, yeah.  I'm fine, Malachite," I answered.  I reached up and stroked a lock of my shoulder-length aquamarine hair, looking up at my friend as he spoke, "So, um.  What did you invite me for?" he questioned. 

"I just wanted to show you the gifts I got for my birthday.  Plus, I have something special for you," I began. 

Malachite smiled, "Aw, Storm.  You don't have to give me anything.  Being your friend is the best of all," he stated.  I sighed, "If only you knew, Malachite," I whispered softly. 

"Hmm?" Malachite asked.

"Nothing.  It's not important.  So, do you wanna- come upstairs?" I offered.

"Sure," Malachite responded. 

I smiled as I called to the kitchen, "Mom!  We're going upstairs!"

"Ok, sweetie!" my mom called back.  I liked my mom.  She was nice.  Though a bit on the homophobic side.  Though not as much as my dad was.  I think out of the two, my mom was more accepting.  I lead my friend upstairs as I held the bedroom door for him, locking it as it closed.

"There.  More privacy," I smiled. 

"Um, yeah.  I guess so," Malachite agreed. 

My room wasn't much.  It wasn't big and it wasn't small.  I'd have to say right in the middle.  In the right corner you had my bed- that was a twin size, as posters of my favorite singer, Paula Abdul plastered all over the walls, my computer and desk in the left corner, and my closet, to the right of the bed.  It wasn't much, but hey, it suited me.  Malachite walked over to the bed as he took a seat upon it. 

I joined him as he looked up, "So, are those your presents?" he asked, gesturing to the items placed upon my dresser.

"Yeah.  Every one of Paula Abdul's cd's and a case to put them in.  Pretty cool, huh?" I explained.

"Yeah.  Very cool," Malachite agreed, "Do you want to put one in?"

"Maybe a little later, yes.  I wanted to give your gift first," I began.

"Storm, you really don't have to-" Malachite responded as I cut him off, "But I want to.  This is something I've wanted to give you ever since I first moved here-" I managed to get out. 

Malachite smiled, "Well, okay then.  What is it?" he inquired. 

"I don't know quite how to say this-" I spoke.

"Say what?" Malachite asked.

"Mal, I-" I began.

"You what?" Malachite asked again. 

I don't know what hit me.  But the next thing I knew, I had leaned in and placed a kiss upon my best friend. 

Malachite pulled away, "Storm, what are you doing?" he demanded to know.  I could tell he was in shock. 

"I'm sorry.  I can't help it if I love you," I confessed.

"You what?"  Malachite asked once more, even more in aw.  I said nothing, but pulled him onto the bed with me, "Make love to me?" I questioned. 

"Come again?" Malachite wondered.  If I couldn't prove my love any other way, then this would be the only way I could.  I slid my arms around his slender waist as I noticed him wince slightly.  Was he in pain?  It wasn't meant to be like this.  I felt bad now.  He broke away from my grip as he climbed off the bed, fear etched in his silver eyes.

"Mal?" I questioned.

"Look, Storm, I won't do this!" Malachite expressed.  I was crushed.  I mean, here I was- getting rejected by the man I loved.  I wouldn't have it. 

I went up to him, taking him into my arms as I held him tightly, "Mal, listen to me.  I don't want to hurt you.  Please, just give me a chance-" I pleaded.

"No, Storm.  I can't.  I have to go," Malachite concluded before unlocking the door and taking off.  I tried to run after him, but he was out of site before I hit the front door. 

My mother must have heard me because I saw her walk out from the kitchen, holding a plate, "Storm, where did Malachite go off to?  What happened?" she wondered.  I shook off my emotions.  I wanted to answer without crying on the spot, which was exactly what I was on the brink of doing. 

"Oh.  He- had something come up.  He just remembered that he needed to run some errands for his mom," I lied.  I didn't like lying at all.  But this was an exception. 

"Oh.  Okay.  No big then," my mom replied as she headed back into the kitchen. 

~Present day~

I pulled into the driveway as I shut off and locked the car.  Stepping out, I walked up the steps to my house as I unlocked it and stepped inside.  Throwing my luggage down with a slam, I walked into the kitchen.  I need a drink.  Walking to the fridge, I took out a Mountain Dew and sat down upon the couch.  I sipped my soda as I felt wetness hit my face.  Oh, great.  This again.  Oh well.  At least I'm doing it in my own apartment.  God, what is up with all these flashbacks?  I buried my face into my jacket as another time came to me:

~Flashback~

That last night was awful.  I barely slept, so I looked like death, and not to mention I spent the entire night crying.  Why you ask?  Because I knew that I had lost the man that I loved forever.  I didn't need to set my alarm, because I was already awake.  I drug myself out of bed and took my time getting dressed.  I really wasn't looking forward to today. 

Selecting a white, cotton button down shirt and a pair of black jeans, I tucked my shirt into my pants and threw on some white socks and my black boots.  Gathering my things together, I tossed them into my backpack as I heard my mom call for me to hurry up.  Well, here goes. 

I grabbed a muffin off the table and filled my water bottle as I headed out to school.  I lived so near to it that I didn't have to take the bus.  I just walked usually.  Getting there was as expected.  I walked in and saw the usual- the jocks with the jocks, the preps with the preps, and so on.  I don't know if you'd call me any of those things.  I was just a regular guy. 

Guilt was starting to seriously catch up to me now.  I had to find Malachite, and I had to find him fast.  Remembering what he said about liking to grab breakfast at school before class, I remembered where he was.  The cafeteria!  I rushed to my locker and threw my backpack into it, making sure to grab the things I needed for class.  Ok, I have fifteen minutes.  If I don't get there soon, I won't be able to catch him until lunch. 

I dashed into the cafeteria, walking past the jock table as I noticed my friend sitting by the window by himself.  He held a Coke as he stared quietly out the window.  I just hope it wasn't too late.  I went up as I took a seat beside him, "Got room for two?" I asked.  Malachite looked back with surprise.  I guess he didn't expect.

"Storm, I.  I didn't see you there," he stated. 

I laughed a bit, "Yeah.  I- I didn't mean to scare you, friend," I responded.

"No.  It's okay.  I'm just not myself today.  I must be in a daze or something," Malachite answered.

"I know the feeling.  Mal, look; can we talk?"  I brought fourth.  I looked up at my friend, who was shyly hiding behind his Coke bottle.

"Look, Storm.  I- I don't know if that's such a good idea," he began.

"Please.  I've been up all night worried about you.  I wanted to see if you were all right," I intervened.

"I-" Malachite managed to get out.

"I'm sorry.  I didn't intend to hurt you.  Please, trust me," I tried to say.  I was serious too.

"Then why did you invite me over in the first place?  Tell me," Malachite replied, his voice a bit shaky. 

"I don't know.  I guess-  I don't know," I concluded.  I really didn't.  I couldn't explain my reason.  I couldn't just walk up and say, ' because I had a crush on you, Mal.  Wanna be my boyfriend?'  For all I knew he wasn't gay.  I saw my friend stand up as he capped his bottle of Coke. 

"Mal?"  I tried to say as I was cut off, "I can't, Storm.  I just can't.  You destroyed my trust in you.  You were my best friend, and you took me for a fool.  You blew it, Storm.  You really did," he defended.  Ouch.  That stung.  I was in shock.  I mean, he had a point; but I never meant to destroy his trust.  Oh, no.  I had to do something.  Malachite grabbed his Coke as he went to walk off.  I couldn't let it end this way.  I stood up as I grabbed a hold of his right arm, causing him to turn around, shooting me the most evil look I had ever been given in my life.

"Let go!" he growled.

"No, Mal! I won't let you go!  I won't let three years of friendship go down the drain over something stupid that I did!"  I fought back. 

"Don't make me hurt you, Storm," Malachite threatened, anger laced in his silver eyes.  I had never seen him that way before.  If I were ever going to win his trust again, maybe I should let him beat me up.  I mean, I deserved it, right? 

I sighed, "Fine, Mal.  Hurt me then.  I deserve it anyway," I stated.  I looked up into his eyes as I noticed them soften a bit, before hardening back up, narrowing as I saw my friend raise a fist into the air. 

I don't know what happened next, but I was surrounded by a wave of flying punches, hitting me all over my body.  I sighed as a rush of pain hit me all at once.  I had never felt anything like this before.  Maybe because it wasn't just physical, but emotional.  I mean, even if he weren't saying anything; I knew that I had lost my best friend forever.  And why?  All because I developed a crush on him. 

Now I wished I were back in England.  At least all my old friends and family were there.  What did I have to show for here?  Just my ex friend and forever crush.  And now that was ripped away from me.  Feeling tears glisten in my eyes, I turned away as I took off out of the room.  Thankfully, class hadn't started yet, so I still had a little time. 

I knew going home wouldn't be the best option because I probably would end up getting a lecture from my mom and dad.  Finding a spot by the auditorium stage where I knew they couldn't find me, I let myself collapse onto the hardwood floor as I buried my face in my hands, sobbing into them for the events that had taken place.  My greatest friend and crush- gone.  All because I wanted to tell him how I felt. 

Feeling myself shake, I wrapped my arms around my waist, cradling my injuries as I tried to make the pain go away.  I need to get to class.  I know the bell's gonna ring soon.  Drying my face with my sleeve, I gathered my things and shook off my emotion.  I knew I'd be the laughing stalk of the school because everyone saw my tears.  Oh well.  I deserve it anyway. 

Hearing the bell go off, I stepped out of my quiet spot and into the corridors before me, joining the wave of students walking to get to class. This was going to be a long day.  One that I knew would stay with me forever.  

~Present day~

I can't take this.  I need something to relieve the pain.  I think I'll catch some quick Z's.  I mean, six hours on a plane does tend to get to you as well.  I set my Dew down as I made my way upstairs.  Walking into my room, I reached into the drawer and pulled out my white, silk boxer shorts. 

Removing the jeans and shirt I had on, along with everything else, I threw on the shorts as I turned down my queen size bed.  Maybe a few hours of sleep will help me out a little. 

Climbing inside, I sniffed as fresh tears made their way down my face.  Man, will I ever stop the water works?  I was beginning to wonder.  I was just so lonely.  And now that I had seen Malachite again, it made things worse.  Worse because I knew I'd never have his heart as my own.  All because I royally screwed up.  Don't get me wrong; I liked Autumn, and I'd never want to break them up for the world- it just hurt because I still loved him.  Even after all this time.

  I pulled the blankets to my neck as I let myself cry into them, releasing tears of pain and longing.  Why can't I find a love of my own?  Isn't there anyone out there that would open their heart to me?

I shifted upwards, sobbing into my pillow as I felt my rays of hope start to burn out.  I was about to give up.  I mean, twenty-nine and no one to truly love me.  I let myself hug it as I eventually slid into a dreamless oblivion, exhausted from the few days' events, and crying so much.           

~Oh.  I still feel bad for poor Storm.  :hugs Storm:  I know I've put you through a lot, dear friend.  But I promise, it will get better in the next chapter.  I don't want to say more, because it will blow the whole thing.  ^_~ Let's just say a character inspired by and modeled after my good friend will be coming in soon to turn Storm's life around!  ^_^ Hope you liked it and please drop me a review!  I love reviews!  Once you do, I'll be happy to jump to chapter 2!  Thanks, all! ^_^