Wax And Wane Pt 7

From the Story Arc: Coming Home

Previous Story in the Arc: Wax And Wane Pt 6 by Victoria Victrix (Monday, January 12, 2009)

Next Story in the Arc: Wax And Wane--End by Seraphic Flame (Monday, January 12, 2009)

(posted Monday, January 12, 2009)

So Vic waited—and got dressed, because she had fallen into bed wearing one of Red’s wife-beater t-shirts and while there were plenty of heroes who wore a lot less than that, she’d rather not display that much of herself in—

--where was he?

---Perez Park. Right. So while she waited for the other lifesigns to go away, she bundled herself reflexively into her armor, buckled on Tire Iron and Can Opener, and the moment he was clear, she made three, grand, sweeping gestures and triggered the last of the spell—a spell of instantaneous transportation that would leave her magically depleted for the rest of the day, and she did not give a rat’s ass about that right now!

She felt the magic drain out of her as if she had pulled the plug out of the bottom of herself, felt the spell seize her and—

Red—

The spell left her breathless, which was just as well, because otherwise she would have shrieked his name. As she ran for him, standing just between the two pillars framing the gate in the wall surrounding the Park proper, her mind took in and catalogued swiftly.

He’s exhausted.

Her comm beeped at that moment; she ignored it, whatever it was could go to voicemail, there was nothing short of the end of the universe itself more important to her than this man at this moment. But he heard it, and turned, and saw her running for him and his face changed ever so slightly. He was still exhausted but there was relief there too. And love, oh yes, love.

She hit him like a tiny bullet, driving some of the breath out of him. He threw his arms around her, and as she raised her face to his, he silenced her with a kiss that held more nuances than she could take in right now. But there was no hesitation, no holding back. Whatever had happened to him had not affected them. Except in that now he needed her, as she had needed him, to help him mend….

When he finally pulled, reluctantly, away, he looked down at her with eyes that had seen—too much. "Don't ask, just promise me you won't ask about it. We did what we had to."

He couldn’t know what flashed through her mind at that moment. If he had, perhaps the fear lurking in his eyes would have ebbed a little. But as a magician, she was heir to a long, long tradition of tale and song going back, probably, to the caves. And in those tales was a traditional thread—

There are two lovers. One holds a great secret and asks the other not to pry into it.

Now only very, very rarely does that secret hold a hazard to the other—and those tales were never about lovers who presumably knew each other, those tales were about strangers, the Lyndworm who was betrothed unseen by to the Princess by her father in payment of a debt, or Bluebeard, whose brides knew him less than a day.

No, in the tales when it was two lovers—Cupid and Psyche, The Swan-Knight, East of the Sun—the secret was a grave one. Prying into it only brought disaster and sometimes death. And there were no tales about the faithful ones who kept that promise, sealed their lips and locked down their curiosity.

There had been enough disaster in their lives. More than enough.

“Is it finished?” she asked, searching his face for the answer. It was there before his voice gave her the word.

“Yes.”

She sighed, closed her eyes, and laid her head against his chest. “I promise,” she said, giving it all the intention of a sacred oath, and she felt his arms tighten around her.

But what he said, in a curiously normal tone of voice, was, “Your comm is blinking.”

“Let it blink.”

My god, he’s tall. That was the inconsequential thought in her mind as she felt him let out breath he had been holding in a long sigh, and wrap his arms even more tightly around her. Then she just gave herself over to the moment, to him, to this thing that she had hoped and prayed for so long. He was home. Home. And if he was broken she would help him mend, as he had helped her. There would be scars. That was inevitable. And there would be friction. That was inevitable too. They were as unlikely a pair as could be imagined, from the disparity in height to their backgrounds. But they had won through all that and come out stronger for it.

They would win through this.

Finally he sighed again, and his arms loosened. She leaned back and looked up at him. “Let’s go home,” she said.

His eyes lost just a little, the tiniest edge, of that haunted look. A little. But it was enough. “Aye,” he replied, and they walked out of the park and through the Atlas Gate, heading home.

Inside the gate, their unheeded audience of two let them through. One of the two PCPD SWAT guards raised the visor of his helmet for a minute to wipe a tear away.

The other turned to him.

“For gods sake, Frank,” his partner said. “Get a grip.”