|Shadow and Sunlight
Author: NegativeSpaces PM
She had no name, and yet it was on the lips of all men. She had the power to Create, but yearned to Destroy. Through her rage, she learned of love in the form of a blonde that yanked her off her pedestal and taught her the power of humanity. Brittana.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Supernatural - Brittany P. & Santana L. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 19,440 - Reviews: 27 - Favs: 53 - Follows: 18 - Updated: 01-23-12 - Published: 01-06-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7717940
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This was spurred on by the thought that they had that kind of epic love that defies life and death and time. A twoshot, other part is mostly written and will be uploaded later in the week.
There are those that believe the universe begun with a singular God. He willed the Earth into existence and the cosmos bowed to his call, bent under his seeking fingers and murmured their approval when he plucked the distant stars from the endless reaches of space to smash them together in a violent reaction that would eventually become their home. It has been turned over and over in what you call time, prodded and accepted and rebelled against, repulsed by the very idea that one could make so much but lack the ability to take it all away.
When the universe was still a nubile thing, fragile and weak, there were no rules that bound whatever roamed the celestial planes. Reality and Time have no meaning when you were born from the womb of existence, your first wretched breath the frozen reaches of a void that had no means of being filled. There was only chaos and anger and atrophy, burning with Light that had yet to be created illuminating the corners of the universe that were still being formed. Perhaps it was the anger of those who were denied the things that had not been given coherent thought - taste, touch, sound - or the reaching vastness as it continued to create new lightyears from nothingness, but through the flux of ataxia that shaped the ether there was a ripple in the fabric of space; a stutter in their world, and the soundless beings learned to Create.
But they knew not the laws that would soon bind them, and allowed their excitement to overpower their caution.
And from them, she bloomed.
She was not the creator of matter but the result, the first thing blessed with shape amongst the endless phantoms that flickered in and out of a concept you would later dub Reality. There was no first inhale of the deepest reaches because she was part of it, part of the cold and the vastness. Before she had been nothing more than the ones who learned to Create, endlessly wandering the silent skies with a burning hunger. Her form was given a void of deeper dark that would hide the stars in her embrace once they had been birthed, but her hunger matched her size. It seared through her and left nothing good in her thoughts, tidal waves of noise that battered the shores of the nether. From when she first wrenched open her mind upon completion, the heavy mist that was her corporeality rolled angrily around her shadowed heart, yearning, wanting for something she couldn't fathom. Her tendrils lashed out through the galaxies, seeking anything to satisfy her craving and relieve her of this ache that defined all that she intended to be. For endless years she devoured the other beings that roamed, powerless to stop her because She was the One who possessed form above them. They were nothing in her horrifying glory.
But the Creators learned upon watching her directionless hatred smother the universe. She was unchallenged, invincible. Though they cowered in the face of her power, they raised their hands once more for another motion to be weaved into the very fabric of what they had deemed to call Time so that their voices be heard until their own home be turned to dust.
They touched the eye of her frozen void and created something different; pure and bright and capable of pushing back at her fury. From where She had hatred, they gave It kindness. Though She had anger, they taught It forgiveness. Through Her greed, It knew sacrifice. Her soul itself was forged of Darkness, so this beautiful being was born of Light. They impressed this truth upon the threads of the galaxy and called it Balance, known to every creature of matter or nihility. She coiled back in disgust at this burning glow that erased the shadows and gave form to the suns, specks of smaller warmth to illuminate the sightless ends of the cosmos. In forming something capable of being held and used, Darkness now had purpose and a way to satiate her hunger - for eons she yearned to devour the Light and taint it into something abhorrent and unworthy of the glow that insulted the basis of her being and replace it with her shadow that could swallow the stars. Yet the heat of the suns repulsed her and stopped her from shrouding them in her eternal embrace, and as equals she could not stand against It without destruction of them both.
But Darkness was clever and had watched the Creators do their work. She slunk about the edges of space and observed, saw their hands that had no matter caress the volatile gas and shape it into what they had desired. Offering a portion of the universe in return, the curl of her gloom touched the matter like she had seen them do and begun to spin a ball from nothingness. This ball grew and grew until she could nestle it comfortably in herself, warmed by the Light of the sun but not so blinding as though it would sear her. There had been murmurings of a new concept, a strange thing called Life; it would create beings that would operate of their own will, bending not to Darkness nor to Light. She ached to Create these fragile things, to observe and devour their Life and create Death for they were not immortal like her.
So it went until the gas slowed and hardened under her touch, becoming palpable. Her shout of triumph echoed across the reaches and attracted the attention of the Creators and of the Light; together they raced through the budding stars to her domain and marvelled at the strange patched planet.
"Is this Life?" they whispered amongst themselves, but had no language - their excitement was felt in feelings and movement, pulsating along the ether and washing over all in its wake. But Darkness had no capacity to feel, and simply watched the flicker of the galaxies hidden inside their not-flesh. Beside them Light shimmered, swirling around the nubile planet with tender care and watching the first plants bloom from nothingness.
"You have surprised us, Darkness," said the beings. "to Create, though your nature is to Destroy." But they looked over the roiling seas carefully, touching and shaping. "These beings, however remarkable, have no thought. They are useless to you."
They saw her intent, the hunger and hatred cultivated from the beginnings of her existence. But a beginning would imply a start, something that was there before. There was no before. She, as they, had always Been.
"You are unable to create the complexity you wish from your touch alone. That is not your gift to give. For everything must have a Balance; if they do not, they will crumble before they have even begun." The Creators knew of her methods but held no place to judge, for they were of equal shadow and sunlight. Darkness shrieked at the thought of letting Light touch her creations, but the yearning grew too strong to deny. Long had her form grown weary of the flickers from dying suns and the ethereal beings that were unfortunate enough to cross her path. She longed for something real, something she could touch and warp until it was but a disgusting mockery of the purity she had grown to loathe.
"Your greed knows no bounds, Darkness. But the Light was made to share." And It descended upon the planet, soaking Itself into the rich earth. From its blessing burst forth strange things, lumbering on stocky limbs and calling to each other across the winds. She could see their Light, sickly but true, shining forth from the minds that would soon be granted Thought. It was unlike anything she had dreamed upon the eons of wakefulness and her form writhed in ecstasy as she was granted her first touch of their Light, sweet and innocent that filled the chasm within herself. Her twisted fervour almost split the cosmos apart as it filled with the presence of her newly witnessed hunger, but the Creators were not about to let themselves make the same mistake again. "These creatures have Light, but lack your Darkness. There must be Balance in all things, even you know of this."
And so she stroked their minds, giving them rage and the desire to kill. Such simple things did not understand the meaning of hatred, but anger was enough. Their complexity echoed across the vast reaches of space until the planet was known to all. Knowing their work was over, the Creators retreated back into the infinite plane to observe and learn with parting words.
"It shall be known as Earth, and will be the first of many things. One of you will eventually overcome the other and it shall be the end of Us, for when one survives without the other there will be no Balance and only Destruction. What cannot be destroyed will be reborn, and we will exist in the reaches of oblivion forevermore."
Heedless to their warnings she searched, tendrils snaking into the beings of animals in an effort to devour their glow and replace it with shadow. Their anger was simple but primal and fuelled her all encompassing appetite, sucking all Light from where she appeared into their fleshy bodies. During the night she crawled freely upon the earthly planes and She reigned until the moon descended and the sun took its place. For she was the void of a moonless night, as deep as the emptiness that held her shifting mass. Nothing could escape her blanket, hands that weren't hands touching upon the minds of beasts to warp them for her amusement. For countless eons she roamed, unused to your fragile concept of time. Things that appeared to her one moment disappeared the next, brittle bones decaying in the ground that had flourished absent of her consuming shadow. There was not a fracture in time that didn't play back in her memory, for She was eternal. There was no birth just as there was no death.
She simply Was.
But millenia passed, and she grew tired of beasts and their predictable methods. Only so long could she float through the endless nether and feed from their rage and sorrow, once welcome emptiness inside her beginning to stretch outwards into an ache unknown to One who had previously only known darkness. She retreated to her endless home, the astral planes that resided upon the very edge of the flux to reflect on what she would eventually describe as loneliness.
In her absence, great flames rose and Light reigned, empowered by the shadows that shrunk without their mistress. The animals grew and prospered and trampled upon their home, bruising but not breaking it. So loud were their footsteps that it travelled to her across the cosmos and her form swelled with an indescribable fury upon watching the beasts mate and live and love.
And she knew jealousy. It tore apart the universe; gas rushed together to escape her wrath and created planets. Her scream rippled through the fabric of her world and knocked a meteor from its orbit, hurtling down to wipe the animals from the surface. So great was their pain that it drowned her, filled her vast form to bursting. For the first time in her endless existence she understood satisfaction, craved the feeling it gave. Engorged on their suffering to temporarily forget her loneliness, Darkness wrapped her cooling embrace around the tortured planet and held it against what would eventually become her breast, soothing the pain and letting the corpses decay for new life to form.
But this time her fingers dipped in the flow of Time to alter the currents, touching upon their genetic form to shape them differently from the beasts they used to be. She imagined them as small and smooth, with voices like thunder and intricate minds. To ensure her entertainment she left them with the seeds of entropy in their hearts that would grow and fester the faster they developed, hurtling themselves towards their own undoing. Once more she retreated to her timeless home and watched the fur fade from their skin and their eyes take the gleam of intelligence. Even then she could feel the hate in their hearts, selfish beings of nature who sought to hurt as much as to heal.
She introduced herself gradually, speaking to select few and swallowing their hope to feed the anger. They whispered of her prowess and some even worshipped her opposite the Sun, eternal and unending. Through Time and Space she searched, tendrils snaking into the bodies of men to devour their Light. Her greed for their souls was only triumphed by her lust for their hearts and She was known without name for as long as life has existed, thriving in the dank corners of depravity without form or substance. For hundreds of years her gluttony grew alongside their corruption until she rarely had to interfere, floating through the ether on a tide of sinful indulgence that would make even the most abhorrent man cringe back in fear.
But she craved to smother the Light, to abolish it and watch it twist into something vile.
There was one that called to her, drew her gaze from the far reaches of the stars. It took her mere moments to descend upon the sound, pure and clear and unlike anything she had ever known. Darkness watched for the source and found it in the form of a human - girl, her mind supplied - walking along a rough path. Her hair was of spun gold and reminded Her of the countless suns she had seen, watched the Light travel along her shifting self without touch and admired the way plasma swirled angrily from the surface. And there - the voice again, soft and haunting.
And she ran off of nothing but feeling alone (amusing, considering she felt nothing but dark) when she descended further, touching the soft earth for the first time and coaxing her ethereal shape into palpable form. Darkness built her bones and snapped the spine together, threading muscles onto the structure until nubile skin blossomed a deep caramel to cover the inner workings. Fingers stretched out and nails grew at the tips, hardening into claws. Sticky tendrils clung at her new body and thinned to form waves of midnight hair, deep and rich which flowed down to the shoulderblades that looked akin to a baby bird finding its wings. Darkness took her first breath of this world she had created, air damp and thick with what she would soon come to know as rain.
Still the voice followed her, closer now as she touched the ground as equals. Her steps were shaky but she surged onwards, feeling the cosmos for the first time overhead and so distant. For a moment she stood by the edges of the trees, bark rough along her palm. The girl was unlike anything she had ever seen - Darkness was sure she was not of her creation for what she created possessed flaws, exploitable and weak, but this being was without. Her soul simply radiatedLight; it shone from her soul and seeped out from her pores. If She wasn't sure She had left the cosmos from above she'd swear she could see the celestial planes hidden within her gaze, burning away the gloom that bent but never touched her porcelain skin. The revulsion of finding something so pure never came in the strength She expected, no; she approached instead with eyes of burning pitch filled to the brim with a curiosity that needed to be quelled.
Light looked over when a twig snapped under her newly found weight and her jaw parted when the figure seemingly melted out of the shadows, swaying mass not wanting to part from her gleaming skin. Darkness watched her brow furrow as she drank her in; the deeper dark of her gaze and how the moonlight hit her scalp to make it burn.
"Why aren't you wearing clothes?" The first notes of her voice washed over ser in a wave, and she found that if Light would never stop speaking, she would be content.
"I didn't want to." Rough and unsure, the vocal chords speak for the first time and her sound is of sweet smoke, wrapping Light in an embrace that feels wrong and right at once. There is something about this girl with eyes of midnight that warns her at the same time it soothes; if she looks close enough she swears there is a halo of shadow vibrating from her skin, demanding and hungry in a way that sends a shiver of apprehension down her back. She isn't one to question the manners of others, so she simply shrugs and smiles in a way that has nubile eyes blinking in alarm. "Aren't you cold? It's dark out."
Feeling was a foreign concept and it took several moments for her to focus on her different limbs, testing the way each one shuddered and went numb when exposed to the air. How feeble their bodies are, she mused absently, taking a few staggering steps towards the girl with golden hair. Abruptly she halts almost as if encountering a wall, feeling the abyss in her chest shriek at the proximity of the thing she had sought for eons to destroy.
But all life must have death, just as all Light must have Darkness. There must be eternal balance lest the universe crumble, and it halted even her from moving any closer. They were opposites, unable to exist in the same space at once. It filled her with a great sadness that chilled the tips of her fingers, curving up the unfamiliar shell of her ear and into the pout of her lips. All she craved was a taste; if the agony of a million beasts with a shred of Light in their heart drowned her, there was no scale to comprehend the results if she was to taint the purity laid out before her. She shuddered and reached out, intent on planting her atrophy and scraping away the shroud of Light that hung in a hazy cloud around the fragile, flesh and bone vessel.
"What's your name?" Arm outstretched, Darkness blinked and thought. Did she have a name? There were many given to her over the ages that stretched out under Her rule, but none taken for her own.
Under the enquiring stare, she altered the one given to her under the guise of hatred, though the stories were simply that - childish tales given by men too afraid of their own hearts to face the truth. "Santana." It rolled off her tongue like flowing water, and Light smiled blindingly bright into the shadow.
"I'm Brittany!" she exclaimed happily, bouncing slightly in place in order to contain the endless enthusiasm Santana knew was corralled inside the heart without faults.
"Brittany," Darkness repeated, and frowned at the curl of something unknown at the hollow of her throat. Light advanced and Darkness forgot to back away until they were mere feet from each other, Brittany raising her long arm to the still outstretched one hovering almost in greeting. Santana stood rigid as stone - the shadows writhed and black holes bloomed in her discomfort. Darkness used to ignore the laws of physics, but this magnetism gave her little choice.
They gravitated closer upon instinct; the world held its breath until Santana could feel the heat from Brittany's skin warming her own, chilled from exposure. She had never truly felt the flame, for her infinite void was as cold as the death she so yearned. The closeness - she would object that it was merely the temperature - sent ripples up her flawless skin.
"You're so cold," Light murmured. "I can feel it without touching you. Like ice."
"I have never felt the touch of the sun."
She looked puzzled then - how could one live without feeling the embrace of the day? She summoned the words to ask but the moon chose that moment to break from the clouds, basking its glow upon the form of her mistress. Santana seemed ethereal once more, not of the Earth but certainly not of the shadow she had become. Darkness saw Brittany's jaw slacken and her guard lower, exposing the thing she wanted from within the fragile shell.
Everything happened at once - the frenzied pounding of her infantile heart, the expansion of her sculpted ribs. The spirals of their fingers lined up before jerking away, wrenched by a force unknown. Santana stepped back with an anguished cry and the strands of shadow wrapped her in a smothering embrace, pulling her back into the void and away from the crystal clear eyes. Long after she had vanished, Brittany remained rooted to the spot.
The stars regained their light.
Weeks passed. Darkness remained silent, turning the feeling of mortality (it was simply a mirage. Her flesh was as timeless as her soul, if one was even in her possession) over and over in Her mind. She did not retreat to her home lest she let Time pass by and the one that held Light in her heart die along with the other mortals. They were pawns to Her but she listened now, saw how conversations did not have to span eons. At times she would rest and feel the invisible brush of wind touch her endless body, or the scrape of earth fall upon her tendrils.
(Light looked for her every night, but she never answered.)
And what concern was it if she was hopelessly curious about this one human? It is not like She wasn't allowed to have playthings, puppets to use until she grew tired of their fragile lives and threw them away.
Her frustration bloated the sun, drew the licking flames closer to its charge. Though fall was approaching the heat was intense, sending the predictable beings into a spiral of panic. There was not even a smirk from their chaos as they scrambled and collided to justify the shift in Reality, so occupied was She with her inner turmoil. Aching with an unknown force she moved once again, skimming across the seas until she was far from Brittany, but still so close. There was a man whose rage drew her, a churning ocean covering a deep well of sadness. He was old to himself but still but a child to Her, a flicker within the flux of her thoughts. Once he held Light within himself but Time and countless injustices had warped it into something that slid along her skin and teased her tongue.
The second time she materialized in history there was no effort to hide her inner self. Eyes black as onyx glimmered with starglow as the shadows gathered to give her form, scraping and shaping until she was solid and there. There was a halo of malevolence that betrayed her to others, twisting the curl of her lips into something perverse. She heard his gasp of fear but barely registered the sound - this place lacked the sheer immensity of feeling that had been witnessed when she first opened her eyes to the most beautiful thing the universe had to offer.
It lacked her.
Darkness grit her teeth and turned instead to the pitiful being, cowering from where he sat upon the dock. From the depths of the lake She could see her own reflection, hovering but never touching the glassy surface.
"I felt your sorrow from the nether," murmured Santana and her voice was like velvet, rough and deep enough to drown him. Around her the tendrils swelled and writhed. He had not yet found his tongue. "as vast as the oceans of stars I have travelled. Tell me, mortal. Tell me of your pain."
And when he spoke she drank it in, let the fading Light from his eyes quell whatever unease had been binding her for these endless weeks. He felt silent and she realized her skin was crawling, rippling outwards from her chest in an effort to expand and devour her nemesis. She smiled and it was of a predator striking the killing blow; sharp and sudden. "Come to me. Let my embrace fill you, so that you may exact vengeance on those who have wronged you."
But the old man was smart, and did not trust the beautiful girl that touched nothing but air.
"What would I have to give you in return?"
"When your body returns to the Earth, I would have your soul for an eternity to reap the seeds I have sown when your kind first stepped foot upon the land." He thought of his daughter and his wife, slumbering now amongst the suns without his hands to support them. A lifetime of wishing and wanting, in return for another existence within the palms of the being whose eyes appeared endless.
He stood then with her, opening his arms and in consequence his heart.
Santana went to him, wrapped her icy limbs around his frame. He moaned and shuddered violently, watching as the manifestation of her dominion wrapped themselves around his skin in a pulsating shield. A great pain shot through his chest and he screamed, feeling the reaction shudder through the tendrils that almost shivered in glee with his anguish. Blood dripped from where one had punched a hole through his breast and words rolled off her tongue into his head; horrible, hissing things in languages he could not even begin to comprehend. The weight of her age pressed down all around him, smothering and slick.
The great length of the thing inside him melted into his veins, set his mind on fire. There was a glorious moment where he saw nothing but stars.
"You are now mine, mortal," she said, watching his form twitch and shudder as the consuming tide smoothed his wrinkled skin and stilled the ache of his bones. "bound in blood and tainted heart. I have given you the means to an end, and in returned extinguished the Light."
And indeed he felt it, felt the hatred swell until he was filled to bursting. A great loss travelled in its wake and Santana stretched her fingers to allow the feeling to surround her, basking in its enormity. Once again the stars dimmed but this time it was her satisfaction that returned their luster, the last of his goodness being swallowed where it would rot in the void that lingered in her chest. She smiled and made to leave, but an uneasy twitch in her temple made her hesitate.
Come to me.
Simply a whisper in her mind, a breath that spun through the universe before being returned to her. She inhaled sharply and her concentration wavered, toes touching the still water where it splashed outwards in gentle waves. The surface of her reflection shattered and among the broken shards there was but a glimpse of her true form; the man recoiled in horror at the cloud of blackness that consumed all around it. Santana turned to him but before a word could come from her mouth, again the whisper sounded but with more urgency laced within the loops of the letters.
"I am not a dog that would heed to your call!" she roared, eyes flashing and fists clenching. Tension showed itself along the curve of her celestial collarbone, each muscle in the delicate slope of her jaw coiling with discomfort.
He staggered back as the flesh of her back opened to expose a shifting mass of vile grime, roping itself into thick coils where tendons should be. There was a flash of a sickly white spine showing itself under the quivering bulk shuddering in anticipation at the conflicting emotions (what a strange concept for one that sought to devour) before it was covered again, melting into the cavern of her chest. "Leave me! You hold no thought nor feeling over my ideals!" Her voice gathered momentum until it was hurtling across the ground, waking those who slumbered to a vague terror that held no more form than the nightmares that would plague them.
There was silence and the collective world held its breath.
I beg of you, it hurts!
Something exploded inside the cover of her sternum, slick and icy to the touch. Darkness had known it many times over but never in herself, disliking the way it sunk down to her very essence and lingered.
There was a burst of cold before Santana lunged into the waiting grip of the nearest shadow and disappeared as silently as she had arrived.
She chased the urge through the threads of Time, stepping from one Reality to the next in her effort to find her. Shadows gave and she saw the world through the eyes of a mortal, countless places and nameless faces but it was never right. The urgency she could feel was pacing her thoughts into a frenzy and the whips around her grew agitated, drawing across her flesh and leaving trails of scarlet in their wake. Is this what it feels to be human? Seeking but never found?
When she emerged the first thing which drew her eyes was the radiant blossom that painted the galaxies behind her gaze, murmuring of the Light's presence. Her voice still clung to her mind even as she was there in front of her, capable to be touched though the altered laws of magnetism still bound them together and drew them apart. But her distress was not quelled upon stepping into the correct plane for her mind didn't know how to tame the squall, throwing her once linear purpose off balance and scattering her thoughts to the astral wind.
Brittany's eyes met hers from where she was pinned under an unknown figure, pleading. His hand snaked roughly into her shirt and Santana's nose was filled with the nauseously musky scent of his arousal, overpowering the pure aroma she had come to link with the other girl.
Help me! came again and Santana allowed herself to be led, form swelling with a rage cultivated over the centuries. Her mind wandered back and pulled upon the unrest of the dead, filling herself with their eternal discontent and feeding the void that hungered still. Before the eyes of Light her form twisted and mutated, shadows creating new musculature for her to inhabit with utmost care. Darkness broke her bones and replaced them all, expanding her muscles to cover them with a slick pelt of midnight. Tales of old whispered as nothing but myths laid the plans for her new body, of hushed murmurings that held stories of things that were half man, half bull. As she grew so did her anger, until she could devour the world if her whim wished it so.
The whistle of her breath rushing from a huge muzzle caught the attention of the large human, and his head swung angrily to meet the intruder. His paws, big but still so small withdrew from Brittany's chest and formed tight fists by his sides.
"Can't a guy have some privacy..." His voice trailed into nothingness and he craned his neck to take in her glory, hooves stomping angrily upon the cracked cement. A pair of pearly horns glistened atop the massive head of an ancient bull, paired with eyes set deep inside the thick reaches of the skull. He was caught in their gaze and he had flashes of a place bereft of warmth or kindness, sweeping into his soul and biting at his bones. His steps were shaky as he tried to peddle back, but the enormous bulk eclipsed the moon and robbed him of sight. The boy tripped and fell, scrambling back even as fingers of steel reached for him. It was as if the minotaur absorbed the Light; silver fine glow bending to her so that it would disappear inside her flesh and swirl helplessly, trapped.
Don't kill him, Santana. The bull snorted in agitation and pawed at the earth, flat chest rippling with power. Her pelt held the galaxies inside, countless constellations of her timeless plane trapped within the coarse fur. "He has tried to take something that will never belong to him,"
(It belongs to me, whispered her mind. She belongs to me.)
It rumbled across the blanket of reality so that others in the distant past and approaching future could hear her judgement, vicious and unforgiving as the God they so worshipped. "and I will enjoy taking his Light as payment." His fear ran cold down her throat and gave her momentum, massive bulk cracking the earth and leaving shallow, weeping wounds in her wake. She tore through his weak body as easily as she touched upon their minds, horn sliding through his abdomen until she raised her head and yanked him along with it. The scream that was pulled from his throat was drowned half way by a bloodied gurgle, his very essence running down and staining the ivory a beautiful crimson. Darkness grunted and flung him carelessly, body hitting the ground and rolling several feet away. Upon separation, a breath of something wispy puffed from his mouth as a final exhale, the feeble shine temporarily lighting the night as it slithered around her fingers and sunk into her skin.
His Light was tainted and flawed, but she hoarded it greedily regardless.
Brittany slowly walked to the hulking form absent of fear wishing to touch the rough pelt, to trace the universe that resided inside and feel the heat of each star caress her fingertips. Now that Light was free of danger her form shuddered again, shrinking and condensing until she appeared to her in the same manner that they had first met. Again she tried to lean into her, hungry and tired and so very empty, but the gods conspired against her and kept them apart.
"You came," was the awed murmur. Santana had never met one that was not fearful of what she could become and simply nodded her response. "Why?"
She found that human words - feeble, crude - had no explanation for her actions. They have tried time and time again to shape what they desire into the thing that rests patiently inside their hearts, but have never managed to perfect their toil. So instead she turned to Brittany and raised her right hand, fingers curving into claws and raking at the sky. Her nails tore apart the fabric of the universe and in the destruction rose an explosion of stars, scintillating impossibly bright. Her counterpart gasped and Darkness lifted her other arm, stretching the chasm and cupping her palms almost as if to dip her fingers within the ether and drink from its radiance. Instead she strained until Brittany saw the glory of what she called her home, so blinding they almost had to look away. Her hatred for Light was overpowered by the awe pulsing from her companion and impressed upon herself; mesmerized, unused to seeing its brilliance from brand new eyes. She ripped away the last of the clouds and laid bare the endless space that was no longer empty, filled to bursting with countless suns giving Life to other systems.
"I have travelled for times that your mind would not even be able to comprehend, through the oceans of stars and influx of chaos that surrounds all that I can reach. I am eternal, immortal. For eons I have wandered above with whatever gods you deemed existent," she gestured to the mass of lights floating above, bathing them both in an elysian glow. "searching for something to fill the void that I am." Darkness glanced to Light and she was confused, the furrow of her fine brows creating a reaction all across her face.
"What does that have to do with me?"
("At first I wished to devour you, to extinguish all that you are. But now I am not so sure.")
"The Earth was sundered once because of me," Santana said softly, watching the realization wash over Brittany in a wave. "and in the wake of that your kind was born. You are of me, of Darkness, just as you are also of Light. You may choose to walk one path, but you will always hold both within your hearts. I seek to swallow the Light, for my eternal self hungers endlessly for it. But you, you are unique. From my home you called to me, and I answered - flying from the edges of the stars and braving the frozen voids, for you were made of nothing but Light, so different from the rest of your mortal kin. I have watched them evolve through countless generations, but none have inspired such feeling from me. I was never intended to feel, Brittany."
When she grinned at her - rivalling the moons, the suns, all the things she wished she could put into thought - there was a foreign warmth that bloomed all across her skin, chasing away the cold from which she was made.
"People say I feel too much, sometimes."
"Then we are balanced, and it is as it should be."
Above them the sun crawled up in endless loop, eating away at the shadows and tugging Darkness away from her - companion - acquaintance - friend? Brittany read it in her gaze, for her expression crumpled slightly and her stance seemed to deflate. Santana fought down the irrational urge to soothe the worry from her face; she had no friends. Friendship was meaningless to something of her selfish nature.
A hesitation (but Santana was patient. She had waited eternities for this moment.) and Light ducked down, eyes shy. "Will I see you again?"
For the first time that her mind could grasp, Darkness felt her own lips stretch into a smile despite the gnawing anxiety claiming the hollow of her chest.
"As sure as the night descends upon the Earth, I will come."
And that was enough.
She was true to her word. As autumn gave way into the beginnings of winter, Santana appeared every night in the same place. Brittany would always be waiting for her on the swings or by the trees - never impatient, never demanding. Together they'd watch the people slink around the yellow tape, baffled faces always searching for a reason to explain away the corpse gored and left to rot, eyes open wide and jaw slack. Light would bring the newspaper with her and slowly read the article out to Darkness, who had never learned to puzzle through the strange swooping letters that the humans had created over the years.
(What she didn't tell her was that she could simply touch the paper and absorb the information, let it saturate her mind. There was something about the way Brittany formed the signs into words - carefully and with tender attention to each and every sentence - that captivated her so.)
"Are you afraid of me?" She asked one night as they huddled together under the massive oak tree whose branches dipped down to cradle them from the angry wind. Brittany turned to her with quizzical eyes and hesitated folding the paper in her hands, ink rubbing off on her skin and imprinting stories under her flesh. She didn't have to say anything for her body told the tale - it always did, words were never her strong point but you could tell her life story just from watching her dance - as clear as a cloudless night.
"Why would I be?"
Santana gestured to the offensively bright tape helplessly, remembering his lingering screams and the way it jolted straight down to her chest. Nobody had yet found an answer to the high school senior and the trauma that carved out his sternum, but Brittany had said that the school was shocked into such deep mourning that it was almost suffocating to be there.
For days straight, Darkness invaded their dreams and coated herself in their sorrow.
"Not really. I mean, you shouldn't have killed him but he was trying to hurt me. You were just protecting me, so I get it." And putting it in such simple wording took away from the effect of the whole thing, like how Santana had never once protected anything, let alone the very being she should want to tear apart. Sometimes she still got the urges, stretched her fingers to Brittany's. But something else (something warm and wrong) fought it down and she coiled away almost as if burned, disgusted with her inability to decide. Through the struggles Light's gaze never wavered, blue and steady on her face. "But... how did you do it?"
It was the darker girl's turn to look confused. "Do what?"
"Turn into the bull. It was like in the movies, except way cooler and maybe kinda scary."
"I've always been able to do that. What I am here before you isn't my natural form, but what I choose to show to you." Brittany blinked slowly and her head tilted, like listening to an unknown source. (For all Santana knows, she is. Perhaps Light whispers things to the blonde, of compassion and forgiveness and all those foreign thoughts that have no place in her mind.) "Could you show me? Please?"
Darkness swallowed nervously and glanced above for inspiration and a plausible excuse. What should she be so worried about? She is timeless, everlasting. Years from now this enigma will be dead under the ground and she will still reign, watching and waiting and hungering. Why should one opinion mean the world, more than those foolish Creators that she outsmarted years ago but perhaps taught her the most valuable lesson of all?
"I don't think it would be a good idea, I mean-"
She jumped up so high Brittany thought she'd cling to the branches, rearing back to look at her with wide eyes. For a moment her skin rippled dangerously and mist hovered dark and foreboding, but as she calmed the streetlamps regained their fragile glow. "How do you do that?" She almost hissed, one hand curled into a fist to batter her temple. The words rang on endless loop inside the cavern of her skull, taunting her with syllables and soliloquies. "How do you speak to me without words?"
Light shrugged but her eyes were soft. "Everything about you comes easily to me, Santana."
The darker girl stopped and simply looked at her, so closely that it might have been for the first time. She took in the eyes as wide as the oceans she had birthed and the pale skin that glowed with a fine sheen in the light, hair as bright as the sun and thrice as fine. Brittany met her gaze steadily and refused to back down, muscles flexing gently with a rhythm Santana could hear under her chest. It cooed to her and tempted her own tempo to stutter and slow until they were completely in sync, nothing but the quiet howl of snow and the bitter wind passing their own piece of Time.
And with the steady drum in her ears she stretched out her arms, fingers reaching for the tendrils that always lurked around her being. They came willingly and Light gasped as her form began to unravel, frigid mist lifting off her skin and swirling in the air around her. She jerked once, twice; took a step back as her muscles deteriorated to expose her bones until they too became nothing but heavy shadow. Her eyes locked upon Brittany's for a moment before they rolled back and disappeared, a writhing void where Santana once stood. She was freed from her mortal confines and swelled with it, stopping the wind from reaching the tree until it was eerily silent under her spell.
For a moment Brittany stood still, looking deeply into the abyss as if to find a fraction of the girl she'd come to know.
(What was that saying mortals used to use?)
I can't see anything. As clear as a summer sky though her lips didn't move a fraction. The coils snaking up into the air shuddered with unease.
I am as endless as whatever you put to eternity. There is no looking beyond. Simply thinking the words in her direction caused Brittany's head to tilt as they echoed inside her skull. Never once had she heard of a connection so intense, so palpable that she could almost feel the rope to the other. Through her icy matter was a deeper dark, lingering both in this plane and the next. It called to Brittany through nothing other than her heart, and she stepped towards the roiling mass with no fear in her soul.
Upon ingrained instinct from the everlasting pull, the shadows parted when she stepped forward. Everywhere she moved Darkness flinched away, creating little fissures that would fill themselves in once she moved further inside. Why are you hiding?
Darkness swelled. I am not hiding. You see me all around you, yes?
But you move away from me. Light's hand flitted out and unconsciously the shadow seeped away from her skin. Are you afraid?
Then trust me.
Time held its breath as Darkness stopped, frozen in indecision. She knew not of trust, of how to give yourself over to another. Yet with Brittany's eyes gazing into the deepest parts of her with no indication she would pull away, she let the countless years of loneliness melt into something else.
Nothing touched her but she could feel Santana everywhere; in her hair and along her arms and entering her lungs. The breeze that brushed her face lulled her eyes closed as Darkness swirled gently around her, shrouding her in eternal midnight. It was almost as if she had seeped down past the barrier of her skin and lingered there, joining them together in the most intimate of ways. Brittany rotated her palm and shadows gathered in the cup, heavy and smothering. The air was damp on her tongue and she let herself smile, bringing Light into the frozen eye. Santana started but her chuckle, deep and throaty, swept across Brittany's cheek.
It feels strange.
No. Just different. Almost as if you were made to rest within me.
(More and more she has to remind herself that they are enemies. Opposites. She should not bask in her Light as much as she does, lest it destroy her entirely.)
The blonde let her head fall back and the mist crawled up her skin, millimetres from touching. For days her clothes will linger with the scent of fresh water and damp moss; soothing in the ways the black of night can be natural, a mother holding her child. Maybe I was. Would that be a bad thing?
Santana didn't have the words to reply, but Brittany took in the way the tendrils softened and curled as an answer of its own. Her fingers reached and palmed the mist until it warmed under her flesh - a small portion broke off and wormed its way around her right pinky, separate from the others. Brittany grinned, and could almost feel the silk of Santana's skin on her own.
A/N: And there you have it. Now that we're here, I'd like to ask if anybody would be willing to beta the second part for me. It has much more action and I wrote a lot of it in few sittings, so there're bound to be more mistakes than in this portion. If you would be interested, drop me a message and we'll talk! Reviews are welcome and encouraged!