In My Arms
Clouds will rage, and
Storms will race in,
But you will be safe in my arms…
She's clinging to him, her fingertips digging into the material of his shirt and the hair at the nape of his neck. It's a typhoon, she thinks. And if it's not, it might as well be. She's crying, and he's not saying anything. She doesn't know if he's breathing or not anymore, and as far as she's concerned, neither is she.
She stops and she stares at him. There's something familiar about that red hair and the life-doesn't-get-any-better-than-this look on his face. She isn't sure what it is, but the feeling doesn't go away, so she keeps watching him. It doesn't take her long to memorize his schedule, because it's the same every day, every week, and she doesn't know why she knew it would be the same, rain or shine, hail or snow, but it is, and this fact bothers her a little bit.
Her lips brush against his cheek as her tears mingle with the rain. Or is it blood? Sweat? His tears? He's still not speaking and she wonders if he's dead. How dare he die before her, she thinks. How can he leave her alone like this, all alone and without anybody in the world? There isn't another soul for miles and miles and miles!
She tells them to take whatever they wan—anything, everything. But please, please don't leave without killing her, too, because she doesn't think she can live without him and without the smiling children that they had never been able to have.
They only laugh at her.
She hates being alone. But she doesn't have to be. She has Florina, and that's enough. But sometimes she feels lonely even with Florina there, so she goes to the coffee shop at the intersection of First and Caelin, and she'll watch him order plain black coffee. It doesn't sound so extraordinary when she says it aloud to herself, so she hasn't told Florina, but his eyes are only a few shades lighter than the drink he orders, and they look eerily familiar.
They leave her with a corpse and an empty, half-burned home. She clings to him and kisses his face, his neck, his throat, but nothing she does brings life back to him. She doesn't know what else to do except bury him, but she doesn't have the strength to stand.
So she talks.
"I'm a little busy, Sain… Really, can't this wait?"
He's talking on his cell phone, and she smiles because his voice is soft despite the authority behind it. She wonders what he does for a living, and she grins into her cappuccino before he can turn to see her staring at him. Wouldn't that be terribly awkward? But she listens. She listens and she soaks up every single last word.
She asks him if he remembers the moment they met. He doesn't answer, but she knows what his response will be already. She tells him of the dreary weather despite the sun, but again, no response. She doesn't expect one.
"Kent," she says, her voice soft and gentle and melancholy. "I still remember how handsome you looked on our first night together as husband and wife."
She almost expects him to flush in that awkward sort of way he always did before murmuring hurriedly that he had made a complete and utter fool of himself that night, and for Elimine's sake, would she please drop it! She tries smiling, but her lips quiver and she strokes his hair, instead.
He's got a dog, and he walks it in the park every Saturday between 7:00 and 9:30am. His dog is a black and white bundle of energy, seemingly his owner's opposite. She wishes she had a dog. Maybe she could "accidentally" meet him.
But that's not very realistic, she reminds herself, and she goes back to her book while he sits on a bench near the pond and throws sticks into the grass for his dog to fetch. In reality, people don't meet on accident. There aren't rescues that end in romance. So she quells her wishes and her dreams of castles and princesses and handsome knights who put duty ahead of everything but love, and she stops watching him.
The sun sets and the moon rises, but she's still there with him, his head cradled against her chest in the way they used to sit as they watched the stars glimmer overhead. She wonders if he regrets coming with her to this land of hopelessness, if he wishes he'd never taken his armor off to be with her.
She loves him, has loved him for what seems like years and years and years, but she feels the doubt tugging at her heart. She knows he loves her, too, but he's dead now, and couldn't it all have been avoided if he'd stayed in Caelin?
She still sees him every so often even though she doesn't go to the Brick House Café anymore before work, and she reads her books on a bench far away from the one he usually occupies on Saturday mornings. She runs into him in the grocery store, but he doesn't look up from the carefully written words on his shopping list, and neither does she, but while her eyes are gazing a the floor, she does notice his feet.
There's nothing too exceptional about them, but the large brown steel-toed boots make her heart thud against her ribcage, and she hopes he doesn't notice that she's acting like she's gone completely insane. Maybe she already has, but she thinks that those boots look terribly familiar too, just like he does.
She doesn't know what to do, and she doesn't know how many days have passed while she's been holding onto him. She thinks he's safe, because she remembers every time she's ever been in his arms, and she can't forget how protected and warm she felt.
She hasn't eaten, hasn't had anything to drink. She watches the sun rise and fall, and the moon after it. Her eyes can't focus on the stars any longer, only on his face, and the corpse she is holding doesn't resemble him any longer.
She can't let him go.
Her tire blows out on the highway just out of town, and she panics, but manages to get a firm grip on the steering wheel, despite how hard it tries to wrench itself out of her hands. She lands almost sideways in a ditch, and shakily she gets out and lets a steady stream of explicatives she didn't even know she knew fly from her lips at the damage.
Damn it, damn it, damn it! She's already late for work, and now she has to call in and spend the entire day getting a tow truck and a mechanic to fix it.
As she's calling a towing service, a car pulls up behind hers and flips its hazard lights on. She sighs to herself, but holds up a finger to let them know to hold on.
"Hello," the man says to her, an easy grin plastered across his soft features. She's disappointed, but she's not sure why.
"The tow truck is on its way."
He leans against the hood of his old Chevy, and she wonders if he thinks chicks would want to ride in that old trash-heap. "You're not hurt, are you?" he asks. " I saw you hit. You'll probably be feeling some of that whiplash in the morning."
She resists the urge to roll her eyes, but finds herself smiling at him even though he's not the person she wants to see. "Everything's fine."
"That's good," he answers. "By the way, my name's Sain."
She blinks at him confusedly as another image smashes straight into her mind of a man in green armor on the back of a horse. She thinks that she's seen this guy before…or at least, one that looks similar. "Lyndis," she manages to murmur in response, but she doesn't know why she's given him her full name when she never introduces herself that way to anyone.
"It's always a pleasure to meet a beautiful lady such as yourself, Lyndis." He smiles charmingly, and shakes her hand as any gentleman would do. "Do you know where you'll take your car to get it fixed?"
She shakes her head.
"Well, I've got a good buddy of mine that works on cars. He's having his coffee right now, probably, but I'll bet I can get him on my cell phone and convince him to work on your car."
She's not really thinking anymore, only remembering. Images of his rare but always-sweet smiles and of his serious brown eyes float in front of her as she watches the dots of light in the sky twinkle mockingly overhead.
They're only watching her suffer, she tells herself, but there's nothing she can do about it but lie there with her arms around his body and wait for death to come to her. But death doesn't come.
Men on horseback, who call her friend, do.
She isn't sure why she agreed to Sain's suggestion for a mechanic, but he seemed to know what he was talking about, at least. She feels guilty as she rides in Sain's junk-heap to their destination, remembering Sain arguing over the telephone to his friend. She can't believe she's starting out her Monday morning like this; she's already inconveniencing someone else.
Two someone's, to be technical!
First Sain, and now his friend. She sighs and listens to the radio and wonders what the hell it is this guy is listening to.
They're sad that she doesn't know them, but she truly doesn't. She can't even see properly anymore, and she can hardly move on her own. She just wants them to go away, but they cover their faces and choke on the smell and try to pry her away from her beloved.
She resists with all the fight left in her. Everything she couldn't do when Kent had been spiritually taken away from her, she does now, fighting and clawing and wailing, begging them to just please leave her alone, please, please, please!
They don't. They separate them, and they dig a hole and bury him in it, covering it over with the dry, dry dirt of the plains. She throws herself on the grave and waters it with non-existent tears.
Their eyes meet over the hood of her car. Tears spring to her eyes, but she has no way of knowing why, so she only blinks at him while Sain babbles behind her about how if it wasn't for him, nobody would ever get their car fixed there.
He blushes in that awkward way she knows he will, and she marvels at this newfound ability to know him despite never meeting him. He breaks eye contact almost shyly and turns to Sain. "You just drive up and down the road and wait for pretty women to wreck their cars," he says, and then flushes the same color as his hair.
They offer her food and drink and shelter, but she cries soundlessly and tries to ignore them. No, no, death is coming for her soon, and it will take her away to be with him. All she does is murmur his name brokenly until the sun rises again.
It begins to rain, but despite their insistence that she come with them and take shelter from the storm, she does not. She can't bear to leave him out there alone. Something about the sorrow written across her dirt-streaked face keeps them from making her. The downpour helps her feel clean even though mud is soaking into her clothes. She sighs and closes her eyes to rest.
She doesn't wake up.
"I know, I know," Sain replies, and points at her. "This is Lyndis, beautiful Monday-Morning-Tire-Blowout-Woman. And this," he continues, pointing at his disgruntled looking friend, "is Kent, Never-Goes-Out-and-Does-Anything-Man." He looks pleased at his introduction, but neither Kent nor Lyndis seem nearly so happy.
"I've seen you around, uh, Kent," she manages to say. "It's nice to meet you." Her lips curve upward in a smile as he tries not to look at her. She wonders if he's socially awkward.
"I think I've seen you at the coffee shop…and maybe the park, too. It's nice to meet you, Lyndis." She notices the look on his face as he says her name. It rolls off of his tongue easily, as if he's said it a thousand times, as if he's known her his entire life. She realizes her heart is pounding in her chest.
His eyes look almost haunted as he locks gazes with her hesitantly, and she wonders if she should have left her hair down instead of pulling it into a hasty ponytail before leaving for work.
"I've dreamed of you," he murmurs.
She can hear Sain sputtering in the background about Kent refusing date after date after date, but then he randomly hits on someone he doesn't even know with the cheesiest line in the world, but Lyndis ignores it. So does he.
For some reason, his words don't bother her. She finds herself believing them, and she blinks away the image of a man on horseback in crimson armor to see the same auburn-haired man standing in front of her wearing work boots and jeans and a white t-shirt with a loose flannel shirt overtop.
It's the same man, she thinks. There's no horse and there's no armor, but…
He flushes in embarrassment and looks away. "I'm sorry, that must have sounded…"
"No." She stops him with a smile and her hand on his. He's got grease and engine oil on his skin, and now it's all over her, too, but she doesn't mind. "It's okay."
"It's the truth." His eyes meet hers again, and she remembers the man in armor shyly taking the hand of a woman that looked like her. Their eyes are the same.
She squeezes his hand, "I know."
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash all around
But you will be safe in my arms
Corny ending, ahoy! The song is, "In My Arms" by Plumb. (Big surprise, there. My brain flailed for a better title and I couldn't think of one.) The men that find Lyndis on the plains? Well, that's all up to you. It could be anyone she knows. Maybe even Rath or Sain.
Modern!Kent is different than Medieval!Kent, but that should be obvious. It was done on purpose. Thoughts and critique and feedback of any kind are appreciated a lot. Thank you for reading!