The Final Tear

“So help me–” he began, his voice cutting through the dim, rancid air that seems to have settled.

He spoke, and her heart stuttered. Oh, the world stuttered.

(Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly–)

A flutter of fire, a fractaling explosion of ice crystals.

(…lavender’s green.)

She could see him, through the seething rip that was just wide enough to lose more than a heart. She could see him, truly see him, and everything inside her was song and fire. There was a hiccup, a breath, a blink. He was glorious, all alight, all color and brilliance, and she was almost delirious in being that close to him.

He was so-blue eyes and scars and filth and everything she’d been looking for.

After so long.

What happens if I tell you?

After so very long.

She couldn’t even smile as she made everything solid, made herself real. She grabbed hold of his hand

(hot and rough and home)

and curled her spiderlong fingers around his, and was still running, all fleet of foot and wild of mane, a look of determination on her face as she gritted her teeth and tucked her shoulder, ducking down to take him off his feet.

(yarn on the stairs)

She didn’t want to hurt him, but she did her best to knock him down in a tangle of limbs, reaching around him with both arms and that strange, warmthless touch. I have you. I’ve got you. I won’t let you go.

Not ever again.

Even as she fell, she half climbed up him, laughing, pressing her cheek to his, moving to cradle him through the tumble, almost shrieking in victory.

The musicbox the musicbox the dime caught on its edge, spinning, the rearview mirror catching the one curl and flicking it up, the newspaper machine exploding in a thousand thousand unfurling wings on fire, fluttering everywhere.

He could feel the thunder of her heart in her chest as it beat against his ribs from her side, drumming a tattoo to meet his own.

“Hold on,” she whispered. “Hold on,” she said, panting, and then there was a groan of effort, and then the strange pressure of her telekinetic grasp, and it’s true, that she’d been learning; she’d been practicing. She’d been figuring out how to get safe — more importantly, she’d been figuring out how to get him safe.

All things serve the

The last slip, the final tear — she peeled the world itself open, and let them both fall, screaming, into the void.

When they came out the other side, landing with a clatter in a tangle on a familiar fire escape, she unfolded herself carefully, and struggled to move, free at last. Navy eyes opened wide, and she looked him over, for wounds, for blood, not yet letting her guard down, not yet able to exhale.

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