How long will I fly out until I listen {tw}


J a c k .

For the first time in a very very long time, something disrupts him into action.

It’s a tiny, insignificant thing. So tiny and insignificant, that to a living fairy it would be ignored if not given more than a fleeting second of consideration. But to a dead man sitting frozen on the riverbank for what could have been decades, it is as monumental as an earthquake.

The dark hairs on his arms twitch awake and slowly, slowly start to rise. The tickling sensation draws his head up from where it rests on his propped knees and he watches with sluggish fascination as the graft of goosebumps continue to spread down his limb.

His thoughts are too muddled and lagging for him to comprehend what this signifies. He does not feel the cold anymore. He is cold, his heart long silent and still and his lifeblood congealed and tepid. But he cannot feel it. He does not feel the abrasion of the sand grit underneath his hands and there is no sensation born of the silky slide of water lapping at his feet. He cannot remember the last time he felt anything externally.

Needless to say, this bodily response to stimulation is curious. Head tilting pensively, he runs the tip of one finger over his forearm. The downy dark hairs stand right back up at attention, stretching to track the movement as if it were a magnet. Heavy brows furrow as he frowns down at his discovery.

Suddenly a voice disrupts his isolation and he tenses. It’s feminine, and exotic in a way he can’t place. More importantly it’s one he does not know. But as she speaks, the hard line of his shoulders release a hair and defensive instinct quiets back down. He listens without turning, giving her only a small shrug as means of an initial reply.

”Help,” he whispers blankly. His stare is vacant and dull when he lifts his head. He must look every inch a lifeless corpse. He’s only shades of grey now and it’s a fatigued, sombre grey with no undertones or highlights of any kind.

”No. I don’t know. His head shakes, confused and distracted. ”I don’t know if there is anything to be helped. I....don’t remember.

He glances up at her again through shadowed lashes. She is beautiful, in the untouchable way a sculpture might be. Too flawless and smooth to be real, a haughtiness too strong to be merely lovely. She is impossibly beautiful, the way goddesses and mythological queens are described to be by smitten poets. He takes note of the luster of her skin, how it contrasts so starkly with the ugly grey already biting at the edges of her outline. Her hair (her very being) is too vivacious for this place and the grey seems to beat at the corona of her aura, angry and ready to punish her for this sin of vibracy.

It spikes something akin to worry for her sake in him. ”You shouldn’t be here,” It’s too gentle (damn near inaudible) to be mistaken for dismissal. But he lets his eyes slide out of focus again, not ready to face her brilliance and the unanswered who’s and why’s she poses to his subconscious. She’s also scratching at a protective streak in him and it’s popping the seams of a scar he’s not ready to bleed from again. He draws his knees back up to his chin, shielding himself in the feeble way he can. ”This is no place for you. You should go while you can.”

(Go! Don’t you dare turn around!)

He grunts, curling in on himself with a pinched expression. She’s hurting him now with her radiance and what it’s conjuring up. Like a wounded animal, he hunkers down into the sand, rocking just slightly so in effort to self-sooth. He wants her to vanish back into the mist, far away from him and back to where her offensive shine might actually do some good. It’s wasted here, wasted on him.

Then she shifts and the sunlight catches an angle of silk and lights her dress like a smear of flame. He flinches and squints, startled by the luminosity. No, not the luminosity.

The color.

It breaks his monotonous reverie and he blinks hard and fast - a man who's spent eternity in caves to only just step headfirst into the sun. It looks like…

(swords in the light)

No, that’s not right. It’s something much softer. It means something? Tendrils of emotions start to blossom out from the center of his chest when he watches the shine dance over her dress. But he has no name for them or reason for their presence. He knows only that it’s warm and intimate and pulsates against the backside of his ribcage insistently. It has a name, he knows.

He gestures uncertainly toward her gown. ”What is that?” he croaks, pushing himself up to crouch in the sand. His voice breaks on the end of the words, tired and unused for what must be ages now. His tongue is concrete and unwieldy, it makes every syllable a fight. But for some reason he believes he might be good in a fight. So he doubles down and works his jaw for a moment, the muscles there protesting at being unlocked from a clench. He points again, more determinedly. ”That there.”

”It’s name. I...I need it.”

And because he’s not unconvinced she might actually be a goddess, he tags on a quiet (and more desperate then he’d like), ”Please.”


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