Thank you so much to everyone for the reviews and the correction with eye color. It's now fixed!


Somehow lost between the tangle of sheets, the arms that entwined her, the jumble of legs and the tousled hair; she was drowning in the beautiful boy next to her. Tangled, tangled, tangled. Her emotions twisted, wrapping around her, strangling her; smothering her between the heavy sheets that reeked of him, and of the night before. It was a bitter monster that clawed at her chest, ripping and shredding. She couldn't move away from it: it threatened to devour her. The gaping hole in her chest left room enough for her soul to slowly ebb away. This feeling that entombed her was unexplainable. Just moments before, she had awoken from a lazy, drifting sleep, only to be gripped by a sudden terror and sense of loss so great it was nearly irreplaceable, and it shook her to her core.

Sobs suddenly wracked her body as she observed the tanned boy beside her. Through her running mascara, she saw signs of stirring, and wondered if she had woken him. As if he had heard her eyes turn, his eyelids snapped open like springs; exposing delicate brown eyes that fell on her face. on her. But he was not fully conscious yet, so he didn't comprehend what he was seeing. His eyes took in everything in that lethargic process, and he saw her in segments. Eyes, her tears, her hair, her pale, pale skin. His eyes, his beautiful eyes realized what was happening amongst his stupor. He sat up as if pushed, his bare chest exposing delicate ribs in the moonlight. He looked so fragile, sitting there, brow furrowed in concentration as he attempted to understand why she was crying; why she looked so panicked and lost.

The pale moonshine oozed through the darkness, spreading thickly and heavily, weighing in on what was already such severe circumstances. His hand reached for her shoulder, and he drew her to him. And there they sat, leaning against the headboard of his bed, arms intertwined amid grief and tears, for what seemed to be an eternity. Her pouring out her soul with the absence of words, and him, taking everything in, absorbing her pain, and with every thought she had, the agony seemed to diminish, because he was there, protecting her, saving her from the only thing that truly threatened her and refused to let her escape; herself..

They stayed like that, frozen in stillness, until sunlight trickled in through the cracked windows and proliferated itself throughout the worn apartment. The beams scattered the shadows, bending them over and over themselves. Both figures were folded in the darkness, wrapped in each other; as sleep whisked them into the night.

He was the first to wake. As he slowly became aware of his surroundings, he began to feel his body protesting against the position he had been twisted into all night. After a moment of disorientation, he remembered where he was. His apartment was a scattered picture of disarray. Paperbacks thrown haphazardly around, clothes hanging on the few pieces of furniture the room actually contained. The walls seemed to shove themselves closer, press themselves against him to the point where he felt like he was suffocating. The windows were giant teeth, ready to consume him amongst the rubble from his catastrophic life. The sunlight suddenly seemed to warp into a grotesque face; playing with the shadows and his mind. He shivered, and turned slightly, so that he was level with the girl beside him. The beautiful, beautiful girl. Her head leaned against him with her eyes tightly closed, makeup smeared, and hair knotted together across her forehead. She looked angelic. Like the girl who might finally help him to battle his demons.

He abruptly felt the weight of her head pressing on his shoulder. She was driving him through the mattress, anchoring him to stay with her. He couldn't move for fear of stirring her, so he slid his hands around her head and gently lifted it off his shoulder, and set her down on the pillow. His pillow. It would always have her scent on it now. He would have this memory forever, or at least until he had to wash his sheets. With that last thought, he quietly climbed out of bed, but the springs moaned, objecting against his every movement; refusing to let him slip into the transparent darkness. Her eyelids fluttered, and she sleepily lifted them open.

In that moment, he felt as if he wanted to own that half second of time, to freeze it and mount it. But to hide it, because it was more deadly than art. It had the power to redeem the world, and the power to destroy it. It was a forest fire, and it was an atom bomb. But it was also a kiss, and a heart that began beating again. It was beauty, and destruction. She appeared to hold all those expressions in her face, as if she knew the secret of the world, but also knew it was too terrible to ever share.

She saw him look at her with great reverence, as if she was celestial, and indestructible; lovely, and lethal. And in that moment, she knew she was all those things he thought she was. Because she was his, and she would be forever, no matter what happened to them. This was their moment, and it would never exist again. With that look, he turned and left the room. She heard the sound of a door close, and pipes screaming, water rushing, and then silence. Silence in her head, in her mind, on her lips, in her eyes. It was everywhere. It layered the clothing on the floor, the books on the chairs, the pens on the table. Silence was what she breathed.

She turned to face herself in the mirror. She couldn't understand why her image looked so fragile and fractured at the edges. She was smeared and broken, and she did it to herself. She was the cause of her suffering, no one else. She reached for a comb she spotted lying on a table, and wove it through her tangles. They stretched and pulled, until the were finally gone.

When she finished dressing, he returned to her, still dripping from the shower. Dressed in an old Clash tee and battered jeans, they seemed to her like the covering of his soul: bruised. She knew how fragile he was beneath the surface, and sometimes it scared her. He was a true martyr, unlike her, who just pretended she was. But she knew the truth behind her lies; that she wasn't, and would never be.

The way he looked at her, it was as if he could see below her surface, below all of the facades and smiles she plastered on. He saw her for what she really was, and he was close to the only person who ever had. All Logan had left her with was a feeling of strong contempt and pain. Jess walked over to her, and sat down next to her. Their shoulders did not touch. Nothing touched. They were two separate people on two separate planes, hidden so far from humanity. They were adrift in an ocean of pain, without even each other.

"About last night…" Jess started. But never finished. Rory sliced his words in half, cutting off their fingertips and letting them bleed.

"It was nothing."

But her eyes betrayed her words; left them naked and exposed in the sunlight. He leaned over and kissed her. With that motion, her façade shattered. Its seams unraveled, the corners were sharpened, and they fell, glittering around her feet. The cut her deeply. And she felt pain. Such immense pain.

He saw all of this with his eyes. He caused her that agony. And he knew it. He hated to see her laying like that, hemorrhaging her being. He could do nothing except watch and wait for it to conclude, because she was there, and he was here. They were so far apart. Al l he could do was be ready to listen, when she decided to speak.

She spilled everything. Tipped herself over, and overflowed onto the pavement. She explained to him about her ex's devout unfaithfulness, about their breakup. She told him about her relationship with her high school boyfriend, who, at the time, was married; now divorced. Her boyfriend had been dependable, so much more dependable than him. She apologized for letting him run off that year, after telling her he loved her. She apologized for hurting him at the party, for pretending nothing was happening on the bus that day. That day he left her. She asked for forgiveness for standing idly by and watching his slow destruction. For letting her ex abuse him while she stood frozen like a fake imitation of a paper doll, frail and susceptible to damage. With the conclusion, she leaned against him, slipped her fingers into his. He looked at her, his eyes hurting with her ache. Some of it that he himself caused her. He pulled away from her embrace and looked at her straight in the eye.

He explained everything. Broke himself in half and laid out the pieces for her. He apologized for coming to her dorm that night, asking her to throw everything away for him, even though he knew she never would. He apologized to her for showing up that day, a year later. For just handing her the bomb and ditching it before the explosion. He explained about his obliteration, and how, if anything, she aided his survival for much longer than he would have alone. Without her there, he would have just been a shell of himself. He apologized for abandoning her on the bus that day, for disappearing without an excuse, for calling her and hanging up. For being so distant, for yelling at her and distancing himself from her. He explained about his life as if she wasn't there, just a stranger in the background. He recited it as if in a school play, in monotone, and his face displayed no emotion. And then, as unexpectedly as he had begun, he finished.

At the moment that he concluded, she knew something she hadn't previously recognized. But somehow she knew it had always been there, in the back corners of her mind, but it had not been identified. Her lips hovered over his ear, breathing lightly into his eardrum, and they formed three simple words. Words that carried such power; such passion.

"I love you."

And he knew, in that instant, that he felt the same way. He looked at her, smoothed her hair back from her forehead, and said placidly,

"I love you too."

And with that, he kissed her. She forced it deeper and deeper. Her hands burned him, and his hands couldn't make enough contact with her skin. Her perfect, porcelain skin. His skin, in turn, flamed and scalded. As feverishly as they began, they ended, breaking apart. Her eyes shimmered like diamonds, and his were as dark as the night sky. He was afraid of forcing her beyond her breaking point, of shattering her, and then not being able to go back, so he stopped, and she understood.

Instead, they laid back on the bed, breathing heavily. Jess and Rory held hands, shoulders and legs touching, faces upturned to the ceiling. Their images in that instant were an emotion that cannot hope to be described. It was almost as if pure happiness radiated from them to such an extent that they absorbed all of it and it enclosed them, warming them with its presence. So, there they lay, counting the cracks in the plaster, feeling the heat from the sun's tantalizing rays, and watching the shadows dance on the walls.