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


J a c k .


He repeats it carefully, tenderly. It’s delicate on his lips, said with eggshell softness. It doesn’t sound as peppery in his raspy tone, but infinitely more holy. Like it means the difference between life and death. He says it again, his fingers moving the air in shapes of their own accord, a pattern stemmed from muscle memory rather than concentrated effort.

He balances himself out to rest on both knees till they kneel face to face, staring a long drawn out moment at the way her gown shifts over her petite form. The light play on the surface dances it’s reflection into the smoke of his hungry eyes and he sways towards her, hypnotized. It’s as if a siren song has him in the throws of its pull and like a drowning man, he is so very desperate to stretch out a hand and see if she and he color she offers are actually a saving grace. He is wrecked with the need to stop drowning in this lonely place.

“I don’t remember it,” he exhales, eyes haunted and pleading as he finally meets her gaze. It is not green, but rich of melted coins and clemency and he feels unworthy of both. ”but I loved it once. Before it was lost.”


He says it a few more times beneath his breath, watching her. Seeing her for the first time.

She gives her name and he breathes, grateful, because this is one thing he can offer in return. “Jack. My name is Jack,” he says firmly. He remembers this if not anything else and though it’s a lowly and plain prize, he offers a shaky smile to accompany it. “Can’t tell you much more than that, I’m afraid. What I have are just...flashes. Intuitions. Like the edges of a dream where the emotion echoes but none of the details. It’s as if lightning is behind my eyes. But I cannot capture it beyond the imprint. I‘m at loss on how to properly describe it, forgive me.” It makes him once again feel unworthy of her attentions. She is trying hard to offer what aid she can but it is not within his means to make any use of it.

She did not owe him this kindness and he wonders to what end she has extended this olive branch. She should not be here where her gleam is a target and he is weaponless and unable to protect her in return. He is useless here, this place of no memories and no purpose. And though it has no explanation or reason, the idea of harm befalling her turns his stomach. She - this glorious and queer woman with odd turns of phrase and questions he cannot answer - she is the first and only reprise from the shadows he’s been granted. She is good and bright and kind and this place will consume her before his eyes if she lingers much longer. He believes it could very well destroy what’s left of him if he was to bare witness

But she claims there is no danger and he shakes his head, not understanding her strange language or meaning.

“How can that be? No one walks away from this place,” he says with skepticism. A whisper of dread nags in the corners of his mind at the possibility she was mistaken and unaware at the threat that loomed here. ”“I think, my lady, that I….am dead. It punches the air from his lungs, the absolution of admitting it out loud. But he looks into her shimmering soft face and takes courage because now this color (gold) has meaning too.

”And I would not have you suffer the same fate. It’s best you return home however it is you managed upon this forsaken place. Thank you for your color. But please, do not risk your luck running out on my account.”

He moves to place the pads of fingers along her fine-boned jaw, daring to see if she is as warm to the touch as she is in spirit.

His hand passes cleanly through. Jack recoils with a gasp. His hand is glowing, as if it’s stolen some of her resplendent color and light and tried to recreate his own forgotten hue. However it fades as quickly as it appears and he blinks down at the appendage with shock and wonder.

”Magic?” he asks incredulously. But his next words spiral downward into sadness. ”Are you not real then?”


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