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    Svedka -- Year 212


    “He only knows home in his dreams and even those dreams do not mimic large, centuries-old redwoods. Lio doesn't remember the last time he laid his head down and truly felt comfortable.” --Elio, written by Phaetra

    stood in line for love --> noori

    He seems destined to love in the most painful ways. It is an awful life, but at least he knows what love is. He’s felt it in the sound of his father’s voice teaching him the ways of a man (a voice that he only hears in his memories and in his dreams, now). He’s felt it in the soothing touch of his leopard adopted mother as she wipes the tears from his cheeks (a soothing touch that he only feels in his memories and in his dreams, now). He’s felt it in the way his lover used to look at him with those gentle doe-brown eyes (gentle doe-brown eyes he only sees in his memories and in his dreams, now).

    His world of love is found in memories and dreams and wishes and heart-ache.

    It seems every time he runs toward love (that mysterious flame, that daunting foggy haze, that crystal clear river through the desert) it pushes him against the wall where it has executed others and fixates its blood-splattered pistol to his suicidal forehead.

    Sometimes he wonders if he could take the coward’s way out. But his heart is overflowing with love for that spring goddess who used to be the freckled sun-child. It is something he cannot contain and it restricts him from joining everyone who has left him (his mother, his father, his adopted mother – his sister, even though she is not dead) in a way only love can.

    He doesn’t seek her out because it is the season of love. He seeks her out because his heart aches. He has not seen her since meeting his son, since they had been twined in each other’s forsaken arms for only a few moments, since they lied to the child made from both of them. And when he finds her, he doesn’t say anything.

    He presses a tender kiss to her bark-covered cheek and then nudges her in the direction of Silver Cove. He already has everything planned (although it isn’t planned in the spirit of getting something passionate and sexual out of it) just as he once had when she agreed to come home with him. He plans it so they make it to the territory just before sunset, walking onto the beach as the sun slides under water and paints the sky and sea in colors of orange and yellow and pink and red and navy and purple.

    His eyes are not on the sunset, though – they are on her. They have always been on her. He adores the way he can see the old her underneath the layers of the new her (the slope of her shoulders is the same, the way her cheekbones rise to greet her slender-shaped eyes is the same, the rise of her neck is the same, the doe-like flare of her nostrils is the same) and he admires it.

    “Noori.” His voice is shaky, as if a hint of those old shadows are creeping into his lungs and infiltrating his eyes and controlling his worried mind again. “I…” He doesn’t know what to say, because all the words that press against his heart and crowd into his mind and sing through his muscles and dance alongside his blood vessels cannot be put into words from the mouth. So he doesn’t say anything. He leaves the unsaid rest of the sentence to float through the air, an unfinished thought alongside the brutal clarity of the world.

    His lips are drawn into a tight line and he feels the chill of the autumn nighttime closing around them as the sun finally disappears and moon and stars begin to shine. The cove is suddenly lit into a brilliant display of moonlight and starlight and the waves that rise to meet the sparkling sand are colored the same shade of silver and stardust and beauty as everything else.

    He wants to ask about his son. He wants to ask about her other children. He wants to ask if she’s happy at her home. He wants to ask if she’s happy here. But instead, he chokes down all his questions and steps closer to her, pressing slow kisses into the line of her shoulder blade and across the middle of her back, senses attuned to her in case she doesn’t agree with him.

    And if she feels pressured, he will step away. He always does. He loves her too much to allow her the feeling of uncomfortable pressure. But if she agrees with him (if she sighs lightly in the way he adores, if she closes her eyes and leans into his touch, if she murmurs his name in a fluttering way) he will keep going until they are joined together in the ways he has always craved ever since their first night together braced against the winds of the Desert’s nighttime.

    he fell apart with
    his broken heart.
    He comes to her abruptly. He comes to her when she least expects it. He comes to her raw, tears carved in his cheeks, hyperventilating, loving. He comes to her with the colour red split on his breast, but whether it be blood or love is indiscernible. He comes to her on his knees, begging for her whole heart, begging her for things she is not in control of. He comes to her with plans, but Noori is the reverse of plans. She is wild and untameable and sudden; she is impulsive and stupid and heart-strong. She does things without thought, loves things without thought, gives of herself without thought. She is unpredictable, a hurricane, a burden.

    They are both broken, but we do not love Picaso for his drawings of things that are whole.

    They walk on in the sunset, Noori in a trance, Trekk entranced. His eyes ravage her body with hands made of silk while she stares into the sun, hoping it will blind her. She walks disjointedly, he walks with a purpose. She thinks of Nihlus, Daemron, Cerva, Eight, and Sinder. He thinks only of her - in the depths of his brown gaze, she is the only thing reflected. In hers, it is the universe. The galaxy rests on her shoulders, but can you blame her? If her heart were tame, then it would not be in three pieces, each one belonging to a different lover.

    She does not notice when they stop. He's speaking her name, looking at her; she's staring back, the pitter-patter of her heart soft like when he had first met her. She is a doe, even in her Spring attire. She is the sun-freckled child, redheaded and shy. As she stares into his eyes and sees herself, she thinks that perhaps it is he who so weakens her knees. Perhaps it is he who calms the thunder of her voice when her children have forsaken her. It has always been him, she thinks.

    But has she always wanted this?

    He's contemplating her, images of questions gone unasked flitting through his heavy gaze. She's contemplating it all, lips slightly parted, eyes wide, breathless. She wants to ask about them, about Sinder and Eight and especially about forgiveness. She wants to ask about why they are here at all, about their creators, about what's stopping them from pulling the trigger. She wants to ask what the point is, she wants to ask why, why he is here, why he cares, why he doesn't let go. She wants to ask if he'd look at her like this for ever, because when she's trapped in his gaze, she's drowning. And when the water fills her lungs, the realities of this world do not worry her. When she chokes and cries and screams, it is because of the pain of herself. When she's breathing in the salt water, she gets to be selfish. She gets to forget everything - especially him.

    And then their gaze breaks, and she resurfaces. Inhale, inhale, inhale. The cycle reverses. His lips are on her, his heart is on her. Her eyes slam shut, like a grand piano falling on the concrete. She squeezes them and squeezes them until the tears cannot come, until she has mastered herself and kept her pain inside. He continues kissing her angelic bark until the demons seep out. He rips her apart until her thick blood thins, and she can move freely within herself once more. He destroys her, but maybe we were meant to be broken.

    She knows what is coming, and suddenly she pulls away. She does not let him love her - she tears herself away and skitters a few paces to the right. She's breathing heavily, she's sobbing, she's utterly chaotic. She is a hurricane, she is a hurricane, she is a hurricane.

    "I love you!" She sobs. "I'm so sorry, so sorry... But I do."

    She doesn’t come to life immediately. He doesn’t expect her to. This get-away is exactly what happened all those years ago. It is a repeat of their old life together, though slightly twisted to include the newness of the present. But he has it all planned, he is watching her and soaking up her beauty, and she is awestruck by him and what he has prepared. They are walking the parallels of the past and the present, but he hopes the future will have a different outcome.

    Yet she pulls away (like she did all those years ago) and he is left standing alone once more.

    Will he always be destined to be left alone?

    He chokes on a sob, suicidal eyes finding her bright green ones because they are his anchor (they are the rock he stands upon, they are the lanterns that shield the darkness, they are the songs he whispers to himself to keep the snapping demons away, they are the boat he rides upon when the waves are rocking). He almost misses her words – too caught in the sway of emotion – but it jerks out of her throat like a nuclear missile heading straight for his heart.

    He can’t find words. He’s never been good with words; he’s never been good with anything, really. Everything he’s ever wanted since he met her has led up to this point and now that it has come, he doesn’t know how to react. How long has he been waiting for those words to tumble out of her lips? Too long, he’s sure.


    he fell apart with
    his broken heart.
    His sobs echo her footsteps as she leaves him behind. His eyes taste like suicide as she stares into them; their texture is that of coarse rope and of the bladed edge of a knife, cutting into her skin again and again and again until her blood has flowed into his and they both lay in the throes of death, but at least they're together. At least they are one, blood and blood swirling into a new being.

    But they are simply eyes.

    And his what he speaks is simply one word. A simple word, one syllable, four letters. The implication behind it is what sways her. The way he wraps his tongue around snow around the mountain pushes her away from sanity. The illusion of the caution she has never had blows through her willow-strand mane, away from the two until she's lost enough of herself to be one with him. Like two full glasses attempting to fit into one of the same size, both must lose half of themselves, if only to reunite with half of the other.

    "I'm just sorry," She mutters with the taste of sap in her mouth and the smell of agony on her nostrils.
    "I'm sorry that I still want you." She steps towards him, closer to the abyss, closer to the insanity of their togetherness.
    "It would have been so much simpler if I didn't." Her lips find the crease of his jaw, breathe in the scent of his depression, taste the lust and love and blood of their history and relationship.

    "Take me. Only you this time."

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