Title: Meaning In Tragedy
Rating: We will say PG13/T for now.
Warnings: Slash, language, and post-Tempted.
Notes: I really wanted to devote an entire story to Damien & Jack, because they are one of my favorite HoN couples. However, this story will take awhile to complete. I have many non-fan fiction fiction projects in my head, not to mention college work. Also, I will apologize now for any grammar errors, because this has no BETA. And, excuse any OOC spasms from Jack. I see him as a more effeminate man than Damien, and since I am a mere heterosexual female, I will sometimes totally screw him up. I will be alternating between point of views. This probably sounds really confusing, and this author note has gotten so long that I'm sure no one even cares anymore. Well, please enjoy.
I had never felt so separate from the world before. Half of me had to be still alive, because I could feel the pain. It just was not as harsh as it probably should have been. I could hear voices, but none were really clear. I felt suspended between universes, and no one could pull me away from either center. There wasn't much to see, I rather felt my way through the nothingness. I swear I could feel a hand against my lower back, guiding me downwards. It was soft and gentle, very feminine. I have to hold onto the fantasy that it was truly Nyx herself trying to push me back inside my body.
Everything went completely white. It was just so…so, so potent and overwhelming. Feeling nothing and being so blinded all at once. Then I could feel myself fall back down. The landing was harsh.
All of the pain that had been waiting on the outside of my flesh crawled back in with a vengeance. So I did the only thing a reasonable person would do if they felt as though their very bones were on fire. I tipped back my head and screamed like a cursed banshee.
"Oh, thank Goddess! He's alive!" a female voice yelped over my own painful burst.
"Alive? He sounds like he's being murdered," another voice added. This one, also female, was much less thankful and much more crass.
Aphrodite. Yes, I was back. I groaned and swallowed my screams. Blinking furiously, I allowed my eyes to open a little. Erin's blonde hair was frizzed out in fifty different directions and there was dirt all over her cheeks and neck. But, for once, she didn't look like she gave a damn.
"Yes! Gay Nerd's still with us," Aphrodite commented. I know she intended it to be insulting but she looked as relieved as Erin.
I didn't speak. My lips felt dryer than they ever have. And that includes the one winter I went without my chapstick for a whole month. For a few moments I had to sit there and wonder where the hell I was. It appeared to be the middle of a field. Then it came crashing down inside my brain like a knocked over bookshelf of bad Elizabethan poetry. Kalona. Zoey. Poor Heath!
After Kalona viciously murdered Heath, our little trip to Italy went from minor threat to full on scale war. Zoey understood (finally!) that the fallen angel wasn't all what his body suggested. He was nothing like Erebus, thank Nyx. But Aphrodite doesn't have prophetic visions for her health. We understood the logistics of what was approaching. Kalona was going to burn all vampyres and humans, and take the world in order to bring it back under the rules of the ancients. In order to stop this from happening, Zoey had to destroy him. Not trap him under earth, but literally remove his existence from the universe.
How that was exactly going, I had no idea. I did know that I was blasted by what looked like a meteorite and knocked totally unconscious. Then, I was brought back to life by what I wish to believe was Nyx's guiding hand. But I had to figure out how to get back up, dust myself off, and not burn up in a crisp.
"What's been going on? How long have I been out?" I asked both girls, but they just shook their heads.
"I'm not sure. I found you here. Everyone has gone bat shit crazy." Aphrodite explained.
Erin nodded. "And I found Aphrodite."
"Where is Shaunee?" I questioned her, but Erin 's frown deepened further.
"I don't know."
"We haven't seen anyone else in hours. Zoey and Mr. Macho Warrior Stark followed Kalona down to the shore." Aphrodite gestured south. "And everyone else was left to fend off the fire monsters,"
She was referring to what I thought was a giant meteor. But fire monsters wouldn't shock me either.
"There you are, my love," Darius strode up behind Aphrodite. He had a long gash running down his chest, which was bleeding slightly.
Like a jack-in-the-box, Aphrodite sprung up from beside me.
"I was searching everywhere for you! What's happened to your magnificent chest?" she asked, appalled.
"And I, you. But don't worry about that." his dark brow furrowed. "We have bigger problems. The fire beasts that the fallen creature has rained down on us have surrounded the island and are now closing us in. We need a way to silence their flames, or everyone will burn to death,"
"Erin, does your water element work against the fires?" I asked her, trying to sit up without flinching. My shirt was burnt into my skin.
Now her brow rose upwards. "Yes. But not enough to clear the island."
Darius shrugged. "That may be enough. We could take one of those boats we found earlier and get out onto the sea,"
"Perfect plan, handsome." Aphrodite patted Darius's cheek. "But what about Zoey, the whole world is ending thing, and everyone else?"
I had to concur. 'Everyone else' meant Shaunee and Jack. My heart pained greatly at the thought of Jack. I hadn't even asked about him, when he should be on the forefront of my mind. He usually always is. This immortal business is driving wedges through all other parts of my life.
"She's right," I said, grimacing as I propped up on my knees.
"Careful, Damien," Darius warned, watching my body sway.
"Oh, I'm fine,"
"You look like the fires swept right over you, idiot. Of course you aren't fine," Aphrodite tittered.
"I have to find Jack!" That came out way louder than it should have, but they seemed to get the point.
Erin's eyes, usually so bright and cheerful, were wide and filled with sadness. "We'll look for Shaunee and Jack first, you guys. Then we'll worry about the fires, and, of course, the end of the world." she grinned sheepishly at us.
"Okay. We have a little over an hour, that's my estimate." Darius grasped Aphrodite's hand and the two of them led us down the hill, which shadowed the ditch in where I had fallen. Erin took hold of my arm and the small of my back. It was a rough way to get into a standing position, but now the only focus and point was Jack Twist.
Like I've mentioned, he's usually the only point.
"How did you ever lose track of Shaunee? You two are joined at the hip, sometimes I think literally," I smirked at Erin. It's a poor attempt on trying to raise her spirits, but it is all I've got.
Erin smiled but this one failed at touching her eyes. "The fire burned a wall right between us. Before I could even call my element, I was unconscious. Whatever Kalona and freaky Neferet are up to, it really does seem like the end of us all,"
"I pray to Nyx not," I whispered, my voice hollowed by the increasing pain of my burnt flesh.
"Baby, I've been praying to Nyx ever since I saw poor Heath crippled on the floor,"
Erin seemed so listless it was unnerving. We were silent for a few more moments, trying to focus on seeing Darius and Aphrodite through all the smoke and ash. The once green island was nothing but dry, lifeless sand. When I glanced upwards, the sky was nowhere to be found. It reminded me a lot of different literature pieces about deserts and destruction. I guess the geek in me will never give up, because all I kept comparing it to was T.S Eliot's "The Wasteland". Every time I read that poem, I find more disparaging things about it.
"I don't think this is the end of us, Erin. Not yet." I said to her just as we reached the crest of the hill.
She reached out and graced her fingers over the one spot on my hand that wasn't blackened.
"I want to believe that."
"Nerds! Look! More nerds!" Aphrodite shouted at us from below. Sure enough, Shaunee was there looking tired but unscathed. Jack, on the other hand, was limping and grasping his left arm. But his smile was still fixed into place.
I think it's his smile I fell for first.
"Damien!" he called for me. I wanted so bad to run to him, but that was impossible and probably deadly with my current state. I settled for a limp and tried to ignore his strangled gasps when he saw the burns.
"What's happened to you?! Did you get swallowed by the flames?" Jack looked up at me, his wide eyes filled with pain and love, all at the same time.
"Yeah…or just waltz right into them? Damn, Damien," Shaunee smiled at me, Erin already right beside her.
"We're pretty intimate, me and the fire monsters." I smiled back, much to Jack's chagrin.
"You seem badly injured." his frown worsened. I couldn't really move my arms up, so I had to just settle for a hold on his left side.
"I'll live. What happened to your arm?"
Jack's gaze darted away from mine. "Boulder tipped down from the caves, by the beach."
"You could have been killed heading that way," My eyes were so filled with concern, almost to the point where I could feel them twitch inside their sockets.
"I know, I know," he mumbled. Jack wouldn't look up, but he also wouldn't let my hand drop from his hip either.
"Earth to homosexual nerds!" Aphrodite snapped her fingers several times to break us out of our private conversation.
"Right…so what's the plan?" Jack asked, still gripping his arm tightly.
"I'm going to test my element on the fires. Then we can get a boat, form a path, and go out towards the sea." Erin explained.
"What about Zoey and Stark? And the Council?"
"Fuck the Council." Aphrodite rolled her eyes. Again, I found myself agreeing with her completely.
Darius, holding tight on his deranged girlfriend's hand, pointed over to a set of jagged rocks.
"That is where they are, battling Neferet and Kalona. But they are too far gone in the Otherworld to see us if we approached their bodies."
"Whoa, wait. So they aren't even there?" Aphrodite asked. "We can't let them burn here!"
"We can't move them. We have no choice."
All of us became very quiet. I didn't have to look at Jack's pale, startlingly beautiful face to know that there was tears sliding down it. Erin and Shaunee grasped each others hands. Aphrodite seemed very irate, which was her obvious choice of expression for any emotion.
"Let's move then," she grumbled and headed for the northern side of the island.
It took awhile to get to the boats. They weren't much, and we would have to take two of them since they were built for sets of fours. All the while I thought only of the negatives. What if Erin's element fails? What if Zoey and Stark fail? What if we really are all doomed, as well as humanity as a whole? And it may be dumb to even think, but I really wanted to fix Jack's limp arm, and tell him everything would be swell. However, I couldn't do that. We didn't have time to spare.
"Erin, you should get somewhat close to the flames." Darius instructed.
"Right. Twin, Damien, come with me." her voice was almost pleading. We followed her silently to the shore, watching the fire that was so intent on destroying us.
It seemed so harmless to the naked eye. Blazing, red and orange towers that seethed. The air above them seemed to shiver. It could almost be normal if it weren't spread out in a circle that encompassed the entire island.
Erin raised her arms towards the sky. Rather, what used to be the sky.
"Water, I beg of you, come to this forsaken island. Let us shatter through these flames and allow us to break free onto the gentle sea,"
For a moment, it was like we really were forsaken. Nothing happened. I could hear a pitiful cry issue from somewhere deep within Jack and my heart lurched. Then, the flames began to spread apart.
"Yes!" Shaunee squealed. "Fire, I ask you to come to us and push your kin back so we can tread forth!"
The orange, billowy monster seemed to roar. But it was bending.
Both of them looked back at me expectantly. "Oh! Right. Air! Come to us and blow these wretched flames away so that we can continue under Nyx's guidance."
A small, narrow path opened up. It wasn't much, and it looked very dangerous because it was engulfed within the walls of fire. But it was consistent. And that was all that mattered. The three of us quickly scrambled back towards the others.
"Damien, Jack," Darius slid one of the row boats towards me. It was painted poorly in green and white, but it was probably the most beautiful way of escape possible. Darius carried the other boat himself. He was a lot to compete with, the way his bronze muscles gleamed in the yellow fire light.
I must admit, I'm envious. But Jack's eyes were trained totally on me as we carried our rowboat together, following the Twins back down towards the tiny opening.
"Be wary of the flames! All of you, say blessings to Nyx…we don't want the fire to press back against us." Darius warned loudly over the roar of the fire monsters.
He settled Aphrodite, Erin, and Shaunee into the first boat and pushed it out onto the water. Carefully, Darius then settled the coarse rope under his foot. He grasped the stern of our boat, ushering Jack and I inside with haste. Grasping the end of both ropes, Darius then stepped towards the other tiny boat and tied the two boats together.
"It's not much, but I pray it will keep us from separating," Darius's dark eyes were warm, even comforting. But even the Son Of Erebus warrior had doubts hidden all over his sculpted face.
The boats pushed away from each other, dividing us between a few feet of calm, dark blue water. Everything was eerily silent out there. No one spoke, but what was there to even talk about? We had escaped. At least, we had escaped burning to death. But out here, without any experienced adults, some of us would certainly die. And if Zoey somehow failed…then there was no hope to be had at all.
Jack seemed to know exactly what I was fretting over without even having to ask.
"Even though we're away from the fires…I still feel like we're going to burn," Jack whispered against the top of my shoulder. His eyes weren't watery like before. There was something even worse buried deep inside them. A haunted, deadened look that seemed way too old to even be allowed.
"Have faith in Zoey, and Stark. She's a powerful High Priestess. I only wish there was a way that we could help her, be with her in that Otherworld…" my voice trailed off in thought.
A pair of soft lips pecked my burnt cheek so lightly it felt as though the wind had kissed me.
"Elements," Jack said simply.
"Shaunee! Erin! We have to send our elements to Zoey. It won't be a full circle without Stevie Rae, but we can still help." I shouted across the calm, still sea.
At first, I had thought that they were too steeped in doubt to even answer. But then I saw them stand in unison.
"Perfect idea!" I heard Erin yell back.
"Hey, Queer Nerd Number One! What about us? We wanna help too, you know." Aphrodite stood as well and the boat shook beneath her. I could hear Darius tell her to sit down or drown.
"We could just pray with you," Jack suggested. "Maybe focus on earth, or just Nyx in general."
I kissed him, a little harder than he had kissed me, but I knew he was just trying to avoid my crispy exterior.
"Exactly. Do exactly that!" I told him and then relayed that idea to Aphrodite and Darius.
It wasn't a genius plan, but it was all we could do with Zoey and the immortals being disembodied. I grasped Jack's hand and willed every molecule inside of me to have the energy to push Air to Zoey and Stark.
That was when the entire world became cloaked in whiteness once again.
A little bit of a hanging end, but Jack will continue on within the next post. If you are confused, I apologize. This takes place nearly right after where Tempted left off. I just jumped from Heath's death and went onto explain Kalona's destruction. But, writing in the eyes of other characters, that main plot line won't be as explored. Please Review!