The silence was deafening, growing louder and louder as it echoed around the vaulted ceilings of the broken down cathedral. What was once a magnificent place of worship was now cracked and crumbling; the once-glorious testament to God had slowly withered away to a hollow of its former self. A few rays of sunshine still dared to break through the still air that clung to the place like a scared child, illuminating nothing but the fractured wooden pews and pieces of falling stone from the crumbling ceiling.
Even the softest of footfalls broke through that revered silence like a sinner throwing himself at the mercy of the Saviour. Even as the tendrils of nature filled the cracks and let moss and ivy; tree roots and shrubs; crawl through those cracks and slowly take back what rightfully belonged to the land. After all, those stones used to build the walls were once living rock, fortified by nature and made to stand strong. The trees that held ceiling and made the wood for the pews and alter were once magnificent testaments to the power of nature over the ages, rising monoliths that dared to soar closer and closer to the heavens far above, succeeding in a feat that not even Icarus could fulfill.
In the solemn silence, the Raven stepped just a bit further in, stirring up dust that had long lain dormant since the shuttering of the great doors. Why in a place such as this had that stupid Hatter chosen to meet him?
"Isn't it magnificent, Raven?" Light words cut through the silence, snapping the dark-haired man back into reality. It didn't take him too long to find the source of the voice. There, sitting upon the alter and looking like a pagan idol brought forth to denounce God in his very house and make a mockery of the doctrines held sacred was Break, the stick of a lollipop still sticking out of his mouth.
"Even the greatest of structures built to hold the devout congregation of an omnipotent God cannot withstand the natural laws of the universe. It makes you think, doesn't it Raven? Look at just how fragile of an existence mankind has."
"Shut up. I didn't come here to get a lecture, Break." The Raven's words were snapped, a grumble heard underneath. The last thing he wanted right now as a lesson about whatever it was that the stupid clown was going to go off on a tangent about. It was in the same moment that he said those words that he cringed, just a bit, as they seemed to reverberate off the decaying surfaces all around them.
The words just bounced off the other man as he slid from his sacrilegious perch and crossed down the aisle almost as if floating. Standing there, infront of the figure clad in black, Break reached out and placed his hand upon Raven's chest, fingers splayed as the palm rested over where the man's heart would be.
"Can you feel it? Can you feel the reverence that still echoes through these walls? Can you feel the awe of the people as their eyes fixated upwards, locked onto the grand architecture of the vaulted ceiling and intricate ironwork of the windows? If you listen closely, you can still hear the hymns of praise being sung by voices of long ago. Even in a place like this, long left for dead, resides living memories. Throughout our existence, we imprint ourselves onto our surroundings and onto the people who come and go out of our lives. When you are gone will your spirit live up to the testament of something so grandeur? Will you be remembered or will your name simply be lost in history? Think about it Gil. Which would you truly prefer?"
Golden eyes held no amusement as their gaze locked onto the only other living human within that musty, lifeless vault. Was he still talking? For a brief moment, Gil entertained the option that Break liked to talk simply to hear his own voice. As he shook that thought from his head, a gloved hand came up with surprising speed and locked tightly upon that slim wrist belonging to the hand that had been laid upon him. His intent had been to remove it but after looking into those red eyes, he couldn't follow through. Instead, his hand remained, holding tightly onto the other's wrist, almost as if keeping it in place.
"I'm not going to entertain your whims, Break. Get on with the point of this little meeting or I'm leaving. You're lucky that I came at all once you told me where to meet you, after all."
All that responded was the soft chuckle of a bemused Mad Hatter. The distance between the pair became nothing as Break stepped that much closer. In what could have almost been described as tender, his other hand came to cup Raven's cheek, gently tipping the other's head forward to look right at him as his fingers curled loosely within strands of black hair. "What of me, Raven? Will you remember me when I'm gone or will I be just another footnote in the history of time? Will you carry with you my memory or just pay your respects and continue on with your life? Tell me, dear Ra-…"
That damn clown would have continued on had Gil not placed two fingers upon his lips to silence him. The hand that had been around the other's wrist was removed in favour of wrapping an arm around that slender waist. In that moment, it was almost as if time, itself, had stopped for just the most minute of instances as Raven realized just how truly fragile of a creature that Break was. Just as the cathedral was crumbling around them, he thought for just a moment that Break might just crumble in his arms.
"You fool. Just stop talking. I don't want to hold conversation about the future right now. I just want to focus on the here and now. We live in the present, Break. This is where we reside and where we matter at this current moment in time." He had figured out why Break had brought him there and he wasn't ready to discuss it. Not now. It was a hurdle they'd have to cross once the time came. For now, Break was still there with him, right there in his arms.
It may have been an affront to God himself to do such a thing in a place as holy as a cathedral, but Raven surprised even himself when his own lips met Break's, kissing that stupid clown with a gentleness that told more than any of the words Break had spoken. There was no more need to ponder and question; no more desire to speculate and discuss. When those pale lips pressed softly back against his, they were more alive in that one moment than they had ever been in their lives.