WJObsessed, who knows my holiday posting tradition, requested a Valentine's Day fic for our favorite non-couple. Who am I to refuse?

Post-Jacksonville...


And the Four Tear Us Asunder

On the day of lovers, she wears requisite red to mask the hemorrhaging of truth, opening her mouth to the breaking of their possibilities.

"You have the glimmer."

He, the wiser of the two, says nothing. No questions, no rebuttal, no clarification. He accepts the words because she lives in lies but never speaks them. Regret cannot return the admission to the bliss of the unspoken and when he leaves, she turns away. Because he's glowing, the outworldly hue mingling with the blinding haze of his destruction. She wanted this sight to save others.

He can't be saved.

.......

The stranger in his skin returns, four weeks and forty voice mails later, no more inclined to speak than he was that day. Her messages had been varied, forced patience giving way to frantic pleading and she thinks the recorded tone of her misery had been enough to bring him back.

But he's not here for her.

The work must be done and though they stand close, they are residents of separate dimensions. She can reach right through him, fingers grasping what is no longer tangible. His trust was security in this world of scattered senses but she can only see the glimmer now, obscuring his familiarity. As though he's amplifying the projection, magnifying its prominence to forbid her eyes from seeing beneath.

A punishment.

.......

Months into his withdrawal, she watches someone else steal the fractured shards from his eyes. A hand slides into his and when he finally speaks, it's a soft word to the only one who hasn't betrayed him. The other woman leans innocently into his illumination, tilting her head a little more in invitation. He doesn't take it yet.

But he will.

The last moment she'd owned before the ability robbed her was one she gave up for duty. His lips had been so close, so willing and hers aborted their destination for the cold press of a window under her palms. She'd seen the building and rejoiced at its brightness in the dark, like a pixilated sun within the earthly confines.

There is no more light.

.......

She tells him that she can't go on like this and the moment her colleague, his comfort, is banished from the room, they set it ablaze with verbal flames. He strikes first, scalding her with accusations that she answers with the burn of excuses. They bleed together until another four words end the torrent and the glow dims.

"But I loved you."

That she employs past tense hurts him more than if she'd confessed to hating him. He's dry of words again, the wiser of the two, because she steps into the glimmer and her desperate tone corrects the tense. And he radiates light of a different source, coating them even as he takes what stubborn patterns of thought have denied them.

She tastes another dimension.

.......

On the day of lovers, she wears the sun on her face. He has the glimmer and they have possibilities.