I really like this story for some reason…well, I'll just let you get to reading it!
(note: this is set after the last book although there are a few differentiations – don't read this unless you've finished the series, because 1) you won't understand it and 2) it has some large spoilers)
Luciferous: light-bringing; light-giving
Please, READ AND REVIEW!
Disclaimer: I don't own Godchild, Jizabel or Cassian.
Jizabel stood on the edge, both literally and figuratively. The city stretched away in front of him, models on a field, all in shades of grey on this dreary dawn. A perfect setting. His life had been nothing but shades of grey, never acting, never existing, yet somehow, seen out of the corner of your eye.
It had ended so abruptly. Cain had died and he was left. What fairness was there in that? Then again, life was never fair. He was almost jealous of him. Him, his half-brother. How disgusting. But at least he had got to die in the arms of someone he loved that returned the sentiments. At least he had someone to love.
What did he have? Too many broken promises. Old scars. A wasted life. And a curious pain in his heart, a longing for something he would never have, or couldn't have. There was nothing left in life for him.
Still, he couldn't shake this strange feeling, that he was forgetting something, missing one little detail. Oh well. In thirty seconds it would all be over anyway.
He gazed down at the grey below, so far away. He was sick of life. He was done with people. Even his precious animals could no longer convince him to continue to live.
Good bye world, he thought, smirking a bit.
He leaned forward, letting gravity do the work, and flinched when he felt a hand close around his wrist and yank him back to the relative safety of the roof.
Jizabel spun around, almost actually falling off this time in his hast to see the person behind him. Once again that warm hand caught and steadied him.
Jizabel lifted his eyes in an almost cautious manner, a little afraid of what he would see, and met a separate set of eyes.
And indeed it was. His hair had been hacked short and he wore faded clothing, but it was him. He did not release his hand from Jizabel's wrist. "You are a pain in the ass."
He hadn't seen this man in years, and that was the first thing he said? He didn't know why, but he felt like both laughing and crying as he stared at the man who had constantly eluded him. "Cassian…I…"
"You looked like an angel, you know," Cassian said softly. "Standing there with your arms outstretched and the sun glinting off your hair…" His other hand lifted and ran fingers through Jizabel's locks, which Jizabel had only cut once since Cain's death and had grown out to its usual flowing length. Jizabel himself was still staring in shock at the only face he had wanted to see before he died.
"It hasn't been easy, you know," continued Cassian almost conversationally. "Keeping an eye on you, I mean. All angels are destined to fall, and it seemed for awhile that you were going to follow the same path. But I didn't want something so beautiful and kind to die…" He was still letting his fingers stroke Jizabel's hair.
"Cassian…it was you? You saved me all those times?"
"That's right. I thought I'd lost you when you jumped into that river. I nearly got pneumonia pulling you back out. I hope you're happy."
This explained so much. All the times he had tried to kill himself, Cassian must have been there, stopping him. When he had tried to take poison to find it had been switched with sugar. When he'd tried to over dose, but found his pills mysteriously missing. When he'd tried to jump into the river…all he remembered was the cold of the river and then a warmth, contrasting sharply with his cool skin, and air, blessed, cursed air.
"You gave me this body, and I must thank you for that, although adult life isn't quite what I was expecting. Respect in this city is something you'll rarely find."
"Cassian, you shouldn't have done that."
The fingers stilled. "What?"
"You shouldn't have saved me all those times. I'm sorry, but I don't need your help. I want to die."
Cassian sighed. The fingers touched his arm and began traveling upward. "I thought you'd say that. I was hoping you'd come to your senses, but I guess not. Fine then. Die. I'm not going to stop you anymore, though it seems a bit of a waste to me. Just…before you go…"
Cassian yanked him forward by the hand still clamped around his wrist. Jizabel felt the fingers curl around his neck and pull his face forward, tipping his head back.
And they kissed.
It was soft, gentle, chaste, a smooth, talented brush of the lips with no tongue that promised more to come. Tantalizingly, Cassian pulled slowly away, letting their breath linger and their lips touch for just a moment too long.
Jizabel felt his heart race as he stared in shock in Cassian. "Wha…why'd you do that?"
Cassian turned around, shoving his hands in his pockets. "Why shouldn't I? You're about to die. No regrets, right?"
"Regrets, yeah. You know? Those things that haunt you for your entire life, which you wish you could've done?"
"I know what they are, thank you."
"Do you? That's good. Don't you have any regrets?"
Regrets? Heh. He had regrets. He could build a mountain from his list of regrets. What did it matter, though? Regrets were past mistakes. You got up, dusted yourself off, and moved on. You only took them out from whatever corner they were hidden in if you felt particularly sorry for yourself that day. No one ever got far mooning over their list of regrets.
"Might as well think about it, now that you're going to die and all. What do you regret in life? What didn't you do that you should've? How many missed opportunities are clamoring for attention?"
Missed opportunities, huh? Jizabel brought a hand to his lips, thinking. Rarely did he have opportunities, so, honestly, he couldn't have missed that many.
But there were the occasional few…
Jizabel shook his head, turning to look out over the grey shades of the city once again. "There's nothing."
"Really? Nothing at all?"
"I'm impressed." The two stood back to back, not facing each other, still engaged in conversation. "Well, I'm glad to hear it. Feel free to jump."
Jizabel sensed the next word.
"But what about me?"
This confused the doctor. "What about you?"
"What about my regrets? What if I regret that you died?"
Jizabel resignedly shook his head. "You will not. No one will regret my passing."
"You're such an idiot!" Cassian growled. Jizabel let out a yell as a hand grabbed the back of his shirt and unceremoniously yanked him to the ground. During a stunned moment, Cassian put his feet to either side of Jizabel's slim hips and fell to his knees, his hands reaching up to wrap around Jizabel's wrist, effectively straddling and pinning him.
"Think before you blurt out stupid shirt, Jizabel!" Cassian hissed. This was the first time he had said his name, Jizabel realized. For some reason, this pleased him greatly. Cassian leaned forward, forcing him to make eye contact. "As much as you want to believe it, the world does not revolve around you! There are other people living on the hellish rock! Do I have to beat that fact into your pretty little head? Do you really think I liked running around as your servant, saving you from your pathetic attempts to die? It disgusts me to know that you think so little of this one life you've been given to live! Maybe for once you should open your eyes and take a good, long look in the mirror, because all I can see is a selfish, spoiled little brat who doesn't know anything!"
Cassian breathed heavily after this rant. Jizabel was speechless, and not sure if he wanted to talk anyway. It seemed that everything that came out his mouth today was, in Cassian's opinion, stupid, and that hurt. Still, it never hurt to try.
"Cassian," he began. The man in question continued to stare fiercely at him. Jizabel noted, with slight interest and detachment, the blood rushing with alarming suddenness to his extremities.
"Cassian," he tried again. "I…I don't get what you're trying to tell me. If I really am a spoiled brat…" This comment was accompanied by a mental wince. "…isn't it better to just let me die?"
Cassian, releasing the man's wrists, sat up, still straddling him, still staring at him. The stare was different – instead of that fire he saw before, these eyes pierced through him with resignation and sadness, a kind of pain beyond comparison. "You really don't get it, do you? I guess I'll have to spell it out for you. I didn't follow you because I felt like I had to repay you for this body or because I felt pity for you. No, I saved your life all those times because…" And for the first time, he faltered.
Jizabel felt that ache stretch and anticipation flutter in his stomach. "Because of what?" he prompted.
Those eyes seemed to reach a decision. "…because I love you."
Both fell silent. The wind from this height whistled shrilly past their ears, tugging Cassian's short hair. A single ray of sunlight arched from the horizon, bathing the two in a surreal golden light.
Jizabel stared. He loved him? That was…impossible. No one loved him. All the love he had experienced had been false lies splattered across a white wall. Could this love be the same? Could he be lying? If he was, then why would he tell him? Why would he say anything?
"I realized it after I left," Cassian whispered. The words seemed to be falling out his mouth now like he couldn't hold them back, like the impenetrable walls that held the words his heart so desperately wanted to say had crumbled with his confession. "I couldn't bear to be away from you. At first I tried to deny it, saying I was just worried about you, that I was having a normal human reaction. But it got worse. I thought only about you. I even began to dream of you, wishing I could see you, touch you, one more time." Cassian laughed and shifted. His hips sunk a little lower. "That's creepy, isn't it? I thought so too. Still, I couldn't resist. It was like gravity had shifted, and I had to go to you.
"So I came back, and what do I find? You trying to kill yourself! You can't begin to imagine my horror. I had to stop you. I couldn't let you die. Life without you would be…" He trailed off and shook his head. "There isn't life without you. I realized that.
"I began stalking you. I'll admit it. I couldn't think of any other way to prevent you from dying. And as I watched you go about your life, I realized I loved you. What else could this obsession, this fire, be? I think I loved you the moment I set my eyes on you, Jizabel. I was just too cowardly to admit it to myself, let along you. I don't want you to die, but I'll do anything for you. Isn't that sad?" The whisper grew more heated. "So tell me, Jizabel. Is there anything I can do for you to make you want to live again? Anything at all? Just tell me!"
Cassian pounded his fists on the ground in obvious frustration and sunk down the final few inches so their bodies touched. He gazed at Jizabel's chest as though it held the answers he was looking for, although Jizabel himself didn't know what that was.
"What do you want me to say, Cassian?" asked Jizabel. "Do you want the truth?"
"I don't know. I just…don't know." A moment of silence settled over the pair.
Though he would never admit it, Cassian's close contact was making Jizabel's body react in very odd ways. He licked his lips, feeling his mouth go dry as though the desert torridness racing through his body had parched his tongue. "Why did you kiss me?"
Cassian gave him a sharp look, as one might give an unruly child. "Because I love you. Haven't I explained that?"
"Yes…well…" Jizabel struggled for words. Somehow he just had to clarify it, hear Cassian say those words again.
That sharp look lingered, although it softened slightly. "Did you like it?"
Jizabel swallowed and averted his eyes, almost afraid to see the truth reflected in Cassian's eyes. "I – "
"Let's try it again, then, shall we?"
Jizabel felt his heart betray him by speeding up, sure Cassian could hear the frenzied beating. Cassian himself placed his hands on either side of Jizabel's face, leisurely leaning forward. After what seemed like ages, his lips finally met Jizabel's.
But this was no light brush. Cassian kissed tempestuously, this time, accompanying it with a sensual grinding of their hips. Jizabel gasped unintentionally allowing Cassian to slip his tongue inside his mouth. Instantly Cassian began to explore, deftly probing the inside of Jizabel's mouth. Jizabel, to his surprise and chagrin, submitted, allowing the intense kissing and even going so far as to encourage it by wrapping his arms around Cassian and pulling the two closer together. They broke apart unhurriedly, Cassian delicately shifting back and Jizabel taking a deep breath, feeling the cool air traveling through his over-heated body.
"How was that?" Cassian asked smugly.
"Not bad," Jizabel managed. "I know you love me, Cassian, but I don't know if I love you."
"That's all right, Jizabel. I don't want you to love me because you feel forced to. I just want you to give this – to give us a chance. If you don't love me, later on, then I'll admit defeat – you can go kill yourself. But if you love me, if you feel even a spark of emotion, you can't go off and die. What do you say?"
Jizabel considered this offer for a few moments. "It sounds reasonable to me."
For the first time in many years, Cassian truly smiled, a gentle affair that caused Jizabel's heart to start thumping again. "Thank you, Jizabel. I promise you won't regret this. Personally, I think you already love me, but we'll see." He rocked his hips again, making Jizabel release another gasp trailing off into what sounded suspiciously like a moan. Smirking, Cassian leaned down for another kiss. "I'll make you love me yet."