Hear Me

She bumps into a passer by, long fingers grabbing a wallet. It happens eight more times before she feels like she’s got enough cash to fund food. Dumpster diving often finds a rather startling amount of good eats, but she’s hoping for real food, a real bed, maybe even real scotch. Wallets are dropped in various bins along the way; she tucks all the bills in deep, tight pockets. Now and then, she feels the pressure at her ribs, as though arms were around her. Now and then, she feels the warmth of his breath at her cheek, her throat. The heat of his hand at her–

She blushes, hotly, and bares her teeth in a silent snarl that is both desire and fury.

“Oi,” she hisses, and then laughs aloud at herself, shaking her head. For a moment, she is almost smiling, almost radiant. In another place and time, in another where and when, crossing paths every moment, she walks toward him, her steps fallen in time with his, those long legs and huge boots slamming against the ground as though she could grind the earth to dust and cinder.

“I don’t know if you can hear me,” she murmurs. “But it’s bad. It’s bad, like edges unraveling–dark soaking in–folding up the here and now and then pulling it all back open, flaying it. I don’t know how it happened anymore; there’ some part of me that’s… missing,” she admits, frightened of the idea. “Dunno how it fucking happened,” she sighs, shaking her head.

Maybe he’ll never hear her. He hasn’t yet. He hasn’t in a hundred thousand lifetimes, but she knows he’s there, somehow. So close.

In that in between space, wasn’t he?

Weren’t they?

“I don’t know if you can–” And then her head tips up, cocks to the side. “Hear me.”

Her heart is no longer in her throat, but in her chest, banging, thundering, a bird trapped in a cage, fluttering wildly, out out out let me out, as she bolts, twisting to run, as though she can feel what’s coming, feel the call, feel the burn, feel the need, running, running, running like nothing else ever could.

Going home.

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