|Maella Abbey (maella_abbey) wrote,|
@ 2008-03-25 18:49:00
Title:All Around the Darkness Gathers
Fandom: Dragon Quest VIII
Warnings: bit depressing
Word count: 900
Laughter is the one thing he remembers clearly, escaping to put lie to her irritation, soft and sleepy as they lay tangled together in bed. He clings to the remembered sounds, the occasional sense that there is more.
On the edge of dreaming, her laughter might be followed by a voice, a glimpse of hair as fiery as her magic, the crack of a whip. Rising from sleep, he can sometimes taste her lips, soft and warm against his, catch the last traces of her scent on his pillow.
Always, the memories vanish like smoke, with only the laughter remaining.
Sometimes, he knows her, she is certain of it.
He would sob out her name, and she'd gather him near as she always did, no matter how it broke her heart. Sometimes, for just a few moments, he'd see her, study her face as if to memorize it, or kiss her with a passion born of desperation.
She learns not to cry, learns instead to cherish those brief moments.
Always, inevitably, his blue eyes would cloud again, and he'd be drawn back into whatever nightmare world held him prisoner.
But sometimes, sometimes he knows her, and she clings to that.
He remembers bits and pieces of things associated with her, now, even if he can't remember her. He recognizes a whip, much like her favorite, in a shop; he knows the scope of her magic as well as his own. Sometimes, he thinks he can even remember the sound of her voice casting spells.
The more he remembers, the more the world around him seems...wrong, disjointed. He notices things, a shop from Pickham in Baccarat, an odd blurring of the map where he thinks Alexandria should be, when he can remember Alexandria.
He wonders when his search drove him mad.
Fearing a dream, she refuses to open her eyes, even when fingers, then lips, trace the curve of her cheek. Hard enough to bear during the day; surrounded by darkness and silence, she thinks watching him slip away might shatter her as thoroughly as he had been shattered.
His arms tighten around her. "I've searched for you," he breathes against her hair, "so long."
She long ago learned not to cry, but when she feels his body shake with sobs she can't stop herself.
But it still may be a dream, and she still refuses to open her eyes.
The world is coming apart. He doesn't care, because with every stone, every tree, every town that simply isn't, he remembers. Her voice, the perfect curve of her hip against his palm, her smile.
One night, he dreams of finding her, holding her and kissing her and weeping for the sheer joy of it. He weeps again when he wakes.
The sky, no longer endless, breaks raggedly around the edges. He knows he should worry that the world will vanish before he reaches Alexandria, but he can't believe she won't be waiting for him, even if there's nothing else left.
The sun is rising, and Angelo is asleep.
Jessica can't. She lays curled facing him, studying his face, but in sleep the smooth features tell her nothing.
She wants to kiss him awake, let him reassure her the previous night was neither dream nor agonizingly temporary miracle.
She can't. If he opens his eyes and doesn't know her, she'll die. Except she can't die; he needs her.
She wishes she could halt the sun in the sky. The ache of not knowing is less than the pain of losing him again.
She can't do that, either.
She can only wait.
When the sun vanishes, what's left of the world is kissed by pink and gold light. Under other circumstances it would be beautiful; now, there's precious little to catch the light, just the road and the void and something in the distance he prays is the Tower of Alexandra.
Soon enough, the road is gone. He stares at the nothing stretched before him, remembering the time he told Jessica he'd journey to the ends of the world for her. This is the end of the world; he intends to keep his promise.
The emptiness is surprisingly solid beneath his boots.
Dawn spills into the room, and she can no longer bear it.
She curves her palm against his cheek, feeling the scrape of stubble. As she leans forward to kiss him, she can almost pretend this is a normal morning, the way things were before.
Almost, and it's enough to make her tears spill as she draws back from his unresponsive lips. She tries to say his name; her voice is trapped, and instead she shakes his shoulder gently.
His eyes are as blue and empty as the sky.
The sound that escapes her is more primal than a sob.
He tastes her tears before he hears her sobs.
He's dreamed the room, dreamed her, but never with such clarity. It feels real, in a way nothing has for months. He shies away from questioning, not wanting to find the false edges.
She looks up when he speaks her name, too thin, too tired, hurt and accusation in her gaze.
His face, reflected in her eyes, is gaunt, the hand which strokes her cheek skeletal. It horrifies him.
"Don't leave me again," she begs, and kisses him.
It feels real.
He'll accept the reality, as long as it includes her.