Misguided Ghosts
Thanks you Paramore for such wonderful lyrics.
I am going away for a while
I'll be back, don't try and follow me
'Cause I'll return as soon as possible
See I'm trying to find my place
But it might not be here where I feel safe
We all learn to make mistakes
And run from them, from them
With no direction, we'll run from them
From them, with no conviction

~*~

    Spoiler:- The List of Chapters:

    Spoiler:- The List of Main Characters:

    Spoiler:- Author's Notes:


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Prologue - Cutting Loose Ends
Shadow's Tale

Shadow was uncomfortably sober, he realized, edging his way through the back entrance, dark eyes void of their usual glazed appearance brought on by an infinite number of vices and a weak excuse for willpower. Well, not so much sober as utterly distraught if truth be told, since he really couldn't call himself happy when he took a mental tally of the myriad of pains the day set upon him - found his brother lying flat dead on the living room floor, a headache that still wasn't appeased, his sister's angry remarks - this just wasn't his day. The guilt of his brother's death seemed constant, never to remain sound, it wasn't his fault after all. The headache was still blooming inside his skull, the pain echoing to other parts in his body. Due to the headache, his judgement was dull. Life seemed ethereal. Shadow ran a hand absentmindedly through his already disheveled head of brown waves, making a halfhearted attempt at making his hair look like he'd at least tried to do something with it.

"Kid," Old Man Robinson grumbled from his position at the time-worn bar, slinging drinks like he'd been doing it since the dawn of time. "You know you're -"

"Late? Yeah, it should register that I don't care by now. I've been late every single night since I started working here," Shadow snapped irritably, a hand rising up to press against his forehead in order to quench the headache that still plagued him. He purposely ignored the "no admittance" sign that hung on the swinging door that led to the other side of the bar. He grabbed the nearest container of alcohal he could reach, and dosed it down promptly. It tasted like sub-par whisky, and it did an okay job at ceasing the headache.

Robinson raised a graying eyebrow, actually missing a beat in the practiced motions of wiping off a glass with a dishrag so dirty that Shadow couldn't see how it would have an affect whatsoever. "I was going to say that you were right on time. You feelin' okay, Farrell? You seem off."

No. No, I am not okay, I'm never okay. My brother died and it's party my fault, my sister is never going to forgive me, and everything around me is falling to pieces...

"I'm just peachy," the dark-haired musician sighed, taking another dose of the crappy whiskey before walking into the populated part of the bar, cutting through the crowded tables and slurred greetings that came his way and hopping up onto a small, partially dilapidated stage. It was only when his fingers closed around the neck of his guitar and stepped up to the microphone that he managed a smile. Show time.

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name's Shadow, and I'm being paid to play the crap I write for the enertainment of you fine people. The first one's an old one about mistakes and how much they suck. Enjoy."

Music led Shadow to a better place. Without worries and sorrow, somewhere like Heaven, if there is a place like that. The simple movement of his fingers on his guitar, the gentle note that flew out of his mouth all amused Shadow. Music was his chain to the world. Without it, he wouldn't know what to do with his time.

"I miss the way your hair shines in the moonlight
The way your legs skipped with sheer delight
Letting go is something I will never bring myself to do
I'm still not sure how I'll learn live without you."

The song went on, without Shadow realizing. He lost himself in the lyrics once again. Who knew this old song would sum up his day so well? He finally gazed out to the crowd, and Shadow was faced with a horrifying sight. No wonder that one girl looked so famaliar, it was Claire. He then realized that the headache wouldn't be the worst of his problems tonight.

~*~

Claire's Tale

I could strangle him with my own bare hands. I really could. I hate him that much. My fists clench as he dives offstage to avoid me. The bastard. He can't even face us? I give him a frigid glare. My blood boils. "Do you have any idea what a mess you have created, Ben?" I whisper softly. "Do you have any idea what you missed? What you caused?" I take a step closer to him.

He's absolutely horrible. I lost my little brother because of him. I'm suddenly disgusted when I see him curled on the ground fawning like a fool. I want to look deep into his eyes and shout all the things I've been holding in.

"You're such a crybaby. Get the freak up so I can try to see some of my big brother in the face, because the only thing keeping me from kicking your butt is the fact that I can't help remembering that." I give him a sardonic smile. "And I know what you're thinking. 'When did sweet sister Claire get such a mouth? Such a brutal streak?' Well..." I narrow my eyes.

"That old me died a long time ago. She's not coming back." I snicker. "Because the old me couldn't survive losing her brother. Did you know you caused that? I'll never get to see how he'd be when he grew up." My fists clench.

"But that's not the worst part, Ben." I snarl, looking him straight in the eye. "No. The worst part is that I pity you. You ran away when you found him lying there. I stayed and buried him, gave him the funeral he deserved. I cried so damn much, and you weren't even there!" I take a deep breath. "You wouldn't even know the chain of events that led to his death, you bastard."

I smile maliciously. "On second thought, don't even get up. I'm almost finished." I unclench and reclench my fists. I lunge and grab his shirt collar, yanking him off the ground. "This one's for her..." I knee him in the stomach. "And this one..." I throw him back on the remains of the table, hearing a satisfying crunch of glass. "For me."