A Broken Silence

She walked down the hall way silently, as if she could do otherwise, she thought to herself. Shizune had been attending the University of Tokyo for two years now. She was a business major with a minor in political science. She only had a slight idea of what she would ultimately do with her life. But that didn't stop her from excelling in all of her courses, if anything she knew she would do amazing things. She smiled a little when she thought about how Misha had suggested she return to Yamaku and become the head mistress of all things.

She turned a corner and moved out of the overhang and out into the sunlight, she wore her hair long for the first time since she was a child, her dark blue locks falling down around her majestically. She wore a long grey skirt, and a business suit jacket, covering a black blouse and she wore the latest steel wire glasses, which appeared to hover before her eyes in the evening light. She had just exited a Student Council meeting. She wasn't the president yet, but she would be come next year. Since losing Hisao to her cousin Lilly, Shizune had expanded her social skills and had crafted herself into a true leader. She guessed that losing out on her first love to her rival and relative had truly changed her. Though the idea of truly changing caused her to scoff as she made her way into the upperclassmen's dorms. She was technically only a second year student but she had taken almost twice the usual courses and had ranked up the credits to officially make her a upperclassman. She was now on par with a third year student going into their fourth and with her plans to go into graduate school, she felt herself to be a force to truly be reckoned with.

She walked in through the main dorm, nodding to a couple of students she had worked with before, and made her way to the elevator. She hit the button confidently, as she was prone to do in the hopes it would show her dominance over the older upperclassmen. Every thing she did was done in confidence, even her mistakes, which she fixed quickly, appeared to be done on purpose. The elevator opened up and she walked through the hall way briskly, turning at her door and unlocking it quickly. She entered her room and let her shoulders slump...

She was tired. It was just that simple. Over the last couple of years she has been forced to only use paper and electronic translators to communicate. Both of which she hated. The school had given her a top of the line Translator to help her, but what she needed was a person. What or rather who she wanted was Misha.

She collapsed unto the bed and closed her eyes. She turned her head towards the nightstand and saw the picture she and Misha had taken just before graduation, it was of the two of them back to back, their fists held up in the air as if they were musketeers. Only their third member was missing.

It should have been Hisao, She thought sadly. But he had fallen in love with her cousin Lilly. They had even moved in together after graduation, Lilly's parents shelling out to pay for them to live in a nice little place. She had been told all of this by Hideaki the last time she visited home over six months ago. Apparently he and Akira were even closer than ever once she decided she would remain in Japan to look over her sister and Hisao.

Shizune stared up at the ceiling, most of her nights were like this. Spend the day working her ass off, and then come back to her little room and stare up at the ceiling and wonder if she will ever be happy again. Oh she enjoyed the work, and the acclaim she got. But she had come to realize that it just wasn't the same without someone to share it with. She slowly fell asleep with that thought, no longer caring about the work she wanted to get done...

It was half way through the spring semester, and it was the next day. Shizune was just leaving the library, having finished the work she should have done the night before. Luckily most of it wasn't even due for some time yet. But with as busy as she was, it was simpler to do it when she had the time to. She marched out of the open double door confidently and powerfully, at least until she was knocked off of her feet.

She gasped as she fell backwards, only to have her fall halted by two powerful, yet amazingly soft hands that took hold of her bared arms. She opened her eyes slowly and found herself looking into two of the deepest green eyes she had ever seen.

Slowly she was pulled back onto her feet, and too her surprise, the man was much smaller than she had thought. Though he was much taller than her, he was built like a twig, but had the strength of an ox. Finally she was back on her feet, much too soon, a small part of her mind thought as she looked up into his eyes. Shizune took the time she was granted as he stepped back, to study him some more. Though he was skinny, he still had very broad shoulders, which appeared to be filled out quite nicely. He was wearing mostly black and dark greens, with some grey mixed in. His flowing suit like attire seemed to fit, though she couldn't quite say why at that moment. But his most striking feature beyond his eyes was his purely silver hair. It was cut short, only hanging loosely around his ears, and she couldn't help but notice how the sun shone across it, making seem as if it was the first snow in a northern winter.

Shizune watched as he smiled at her reassuringly, his lips parting to say something, she quickly shook her head and without thinking signed.

[I can't hear you], she told him. A slight furrowing of her eyebrows only highlighted her annoyance. Not at him but at herself, not for the first time wishing she could hear a person's voice. She watched as his eyes widened. She couldn't help but wince a little, he would surely be repulsed by her inability to hear, much like most people were. It was surely a unneeded hassle. But to her surprise, he merely nodded and quickly began to sign back.

[Ah, I should have noticed. I apologize.] His signing was impeccable, as if he had used it all his life. Each movement was graceful and confident, and strangely this was only making him even more attractive than he already was. She shook her head and quickly responded.

[No need to apologize, How could you have known, we only just now run into each other] She only realized what she had signed when his body started to shake in much the same way Misha did when she was laughing, or when Shizune had assumed she was laughing.

[I would like to assume that no pun was intended?] He asked, his chest still shaking through the layers of his shirt and jacket. She gave a mental shake, knowing that the first impression was the most important. With a push of her glasses, setting them back into place, she signed in return.

[If so, it was of poor grace on my part. I am Shizune Hakamichi] She gave a slight bow in welcome to him. [Thank you for catching me.] She looked back to him and waited for him to respond. He smiled and then thought for a moment before responding. She found that very acceptable, knowing that he wanted to be careful in his wording showed that he was an intelligent man.

[It is an honor to make your acquaintance, I am Silver Kenneth, a foreign graduate student] He bowed back and smiled at her. She was surprised at his politeness, But while he did appear quite foreign, he was able to use japanese sign language as if he was a native. She brought this up almost immediately, her curiosity compelling her to discover this paradox.

[It is a pleasure to meet you Silver, may I call you Silver? But if you would, if you are foreign, how do you know Japanese sign language so well?] She moved and motioned for him to walk with her, not even pausing to think that he had somewhere more important to be. And without hesitation he followed her and began to sign.

[Silver is fine, and i know how to use Japanese Sign language because my mother grew up in a American military base here in Japan. She is deaf as well, and was taught by a Japanese tutor to my grandparents later despair. And while I know both American and Japanese sign language to this day my mother prefers Japanese]

Shizune watched him finish and nodded once in understanding. It made sense, and she was surprised by the circumstances, but not so much as to not believe him. She walked with him for a while and they traded stories for hour or so as they walked around campus. It turned out he was here hoping to live in Japan, having grown up by the influence of his mother, who had spent most of her life in Japan, though she had still married a European man. He was here getting a Master's in Phycology, hoping that he could teach it here in Japan or back home in America. Though when she finally asked why his hair was such a odd color he had paused where he stood. She watched him look off into the distance, obviously thinking on how he would answer, finally he signed.

[I am dying] The movements hung in the air before her eyes. A thousand questions raged through her normally ordered mind. She tried to form a proper response, but she found that she just couldn't get her self to sign anything. Even after the years she had spent at Yamaku, she was in no way prepared for such a statement to be given to her by a man she had in such a short time come to respect immensely.

[What?] She replied finally, watching his green eyes grow distant.

[I still have a few years left, but I have cancer. The hair is a result of the treatments I've had since birth.] He stared at her as he finished, his eyes boiling with a internal passion she couldn't quite place. She finally signed that she was sorry, He nodded once and they went their separate ways.

A couple of weeks past, and she found that she couldn't get Silver out of her mind, his signs replaying over and over again in her head. I am dying. She said that to herself again. When she went back to her room at night, she would lay down on her bed, she no longer cried, instead she thought of him, she remembered the sight of him walking away, his step brisk, his shoulders not quite as confident as before.

She found herself outside the library, leaning against one of the pillars. She tried to deny it, but she knew she was there in the hopes of meeting him again. She had done this everyday for the last week, each day her hope slowly dying away.

Until she felt a tap on her shoulder, causing her to turn quickly in surprise, causing her to over balance in her position against the stone pillar, and she tripped slightly. Once more the familiar strong hands caught her and she stared up into his eyes, which twinkled in bemusement. Slowly she brushed her self off and signed.

[Don't you know its rude to sneak up on a deaf girl?] And to her surprise he merely laughed, or she assumed he laughed, because once more his chest shook in a way that showed off his surprisingly muscular body.

[While it might be rude, it was nice to see your beautiful face scrunch up like that] Shizune stared in shock. Was he serious, she thought, as she felt a powerful blush streak across her cheeks.

She took a few moments to compose herself, by walking off, fully knowing he would follower her. Which he did, keeping himself perfectly paced to her, so he could catch anything she signed.

[I can't believe that a polite man such as yourself can be so forward.] She finally told him.

[Well, as you well know I don't have the luxury to be anything other than forward.] Shizune glanced at him and pushed up her glasses, in an attempt to hide her uneasiness at his words.

[Well then i guess i can forgive you this once] She finally responded. Causing him to laugh once more, and she found herself wishing that she could hear it, she was sure it would be a sound that she would enjoy. And thus they went, every evening they would meet outside the library and they would walk around campus. They would talk and tell stories about one another, and she found that the more she learned of the strange man, the more she couldn't help but think of him. Not only was he interesting and intelligent but he had a attitude that made her wish she had had him on the Council back at Yamaku. His presence would have made things much easier. One night he finally kissed her, the stars shinning high above them as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She tried to take control of the kiss but found that he was dominating her easily. He would later remark that he didn't have the luxury of submitting to people, even a beautiful woman such as herself.

Soon she was his girlfriend, they had gone out on their first official date and it was only the middle of the summer. And ever that moment had gone quickly, and so had the fall and the winter. No matter how busy she got, Silver would always find a way to bring them together. He couldn't join the Council because he was a Foreign student and in the graduate school. But he would always march into the council room and bring her lunch, pleasantly defying the looked the other members gave him. And he had handled meeting her father with a ease that she was sure most men would never have accomplished. Her father had been fully cowed by the confidence and manner in which Silver held himself, though she thought what got her father the most was when Silver had told him in no certain terms that he was a dying and that there was nothing Jigoro could do to scare him off. She couldn't have been happier.

[I love you] The sign was short but one of the most powerful she had ever received. But the situation she was given it during was more than enough to cause tears to flow freely from her eyes. She looked down at him, his face gaunt, his eyes hollow. He was in one of the best hospitals in Japan. They had been married for a year now, they had known time was limited, but she had wanted to do it while they still had time. But she had thought they would have at least a couple of years to continue on in bliss. But here she was, feeling his weak touch as his shaking hand brushed the tears from her cheeks. She returned the sign slowly, wanting him to enjoy every second of her verbalized love.

It had been five years since she had bumped into him as she was exiting the library, and every year since has been amazing. She was now the head of a successful political firm that helped politicians plan and complete their campaigns. He was one of her top advisors though he was only part time, while he taught at Yamaku of all places. After she had told him about it, he had gone and applied for a open position they had, swiftly getting it. She had to admit, it was perfect for him. He had the medical facilities incase he needed help and he had a good job and plenty of time to to help her plan campaigns. But she knew that it wouldn't last.

It had been a week ago when she had gotten the call, that he was in the hospital in critical condition. His cancer finally catching up with him after all these years. Shizune Kenneth had dropped everything to rush to her dying husbands side. Each day he had grown worse, growing weaker with everymoment. There was nothing they could do, the doctors said, all they could do was make his passing as painless as possible.

So she found herself there, caressing his cheek, holding his hand with hers. The silence stretching in a way that both found beautiful. Shizune looked into his dim green eyes and for a moment they shone with the intensity that she had fallen in love with at first sight. She felt his hand squeeze hers and with the last of his strength he whispered something...

"Thank you..." The sound echoing, slowly drown out by the sound of her cries.

AN: Thank you for reading! This is apart of a series of stories that I hope to one day finish. This is the first in a series of Five stories that will all come together in the fifth and final story.

As for the Love interest, please no complaints about the name, he bears that name for a reason and will not hear anything about changing it! Thank you for reading~