Disclaimer: I do hereby disclaim all rights and responsibilities for the characters in this collection. Kudos to Stephenie Meyer, indeed.

Author's Notes: 12/13/11. This was written as a 15-minute flash!fic to Suzanne Ciani's Sargasso Sea and rain soundscapes from rainymood [dot] com. "Rain makes everything better!"

Pairing: Jacob/Bella
Genre:
Angst/Romance
Rating:
T
Word
Count: 520
For:
magic_knickers
Prompt: Sylvia Plath, "Mad Girl's Love Song"


Born Again

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I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

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"Don't say it."

I wasn't going to.

"Don't, Jacob. Please, just... don't."

He had not shifted, nor swallowed the lump in his throat, nor blinked, though his muscles twisted and ached... his instincts called for action, his heartstrings tugged with longing, and his upbringing called for comfort, yet he did not move.

Was it because he was finally man enough to realize the truth? Jacob wondered silently, eyes dark and clouded with bitterness and rain. That you didn't deserve to lose everything?

That he didn't deserve you?

"It's happening again," she whispered, hollow, clutching her chest and soaked to the bone. But unlike a year ago—a lifetime ago?—Jacob did not gently tear her hands away from her heart, did not envelope them in his own, did not shield her from the downpour, did not look at her with the eyes of one who sees the world of reason and love and life clearly beating and breathing in front of him.

And then a shallow, breathy, lifeless laugh escaped her throat, and it tore across his skin like a thousand razors, shallow and swift enough to pretend not to notice, but still deep and layered and jagged enough to feel the burn.

"That is," she said, kneeling before him, staring blankly ahead. "If it ever happened at all."

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(I think I made you up inside my head.)

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He looked down at her, moved and unmoved as she crumpled at his feet, and felt his heart begin to mend even as his world continue to fall apart. The haunted dream of a lost world, a lost death, would never leave her eyes, and his dream would never be real, would never be the same, but he could try, could be there... they could have each other in the little ways that counted—ways that might, that should matter—and until she was finally free enough to forget, and until he was strong enough to trust, they could both pretend that it'd be enough.

"It happened," he whispered, and she stiffened, startled, because it was the first time he'd spoken since he'd found her amidst the mossy fallen logs—dead and alive, all at once—and the swirling mist. "My soul would recognize that pain even fifteen lifetimes from now."

She moved as if she were going to look at him, to glance at his face, but at the last moment she paused, as if it were too much. Instead, she clutched the drenched fabric over her heart more tightly, and lowered her gaze further to his feet.

When she felt the hand on her shoulder, she did not start, did not shudder, but looked up into a pair of dark eyes level with hers, and was—hollow, numb, lost—surprised to find that she did not expect—did not wish?—to find gold.

"But what's important," he whispered, and she tasted his promise in the air. "Is that it will never happen again."

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I lift my lids and all is born again.

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End Note: This flash!fic was written for magic_knickers as a gift, as part of my Holiday Requests post on LiveJournal. If you are interested in making a request, please check out my LiveJournal at therentyoupay [dot] livejournal [dot] com.