Quick Fics- A Ficsters for Small Fry Event.

Title: Depths of the Heart

Written by: Jay's World

Beta'd by: Readingmama/Vampiremama
[In case you wonder about the use of question mark in the beginning,
look here: : http:/www (dot) whitesmoke (dot) com/question-mark-usage]

Rating: T

Summary: They met, they loved, they separated. Did she love him more than he loved her, or did fate intervene where it should have lingered quietly?

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-.-

What is love? if it does not ignite fire in your heart and passion in your soul. What is love? if it does not make your heart bleed with sorrow when it abandons you. What is love? if it does not froth like waves against cliffs with Mother Nature's strength. What is love? if it does not soothe you and hold you when you are in need.

What is love, if it cuts you like a knife when you are bare?

Laughs, mocks, and taunts?

What is love, if the one you give your heart to does not love you equally in return?

What is love?

Love is a cruel, deep, and twisted dark emotion that slays you and drains you dry like the blistering sun on the sand, leaves you heaving, craving water to clench your thirst, but essentially leaving you to die.

-.-

I love this feeling: the sand beneath my toes as I curl them, allowing me to feel the purity of the freshly washed grains. The tide is low now, revealing beige and tan which connects these two small islands of which I occupy, following the path nature has set. My boat, a single wooden rowing boat, now lays half-stranded on the small beach, staying in place with a rope and a large rock.

The sun is setting, and the Hover Islands are captivating in the distance.

This is home. This is where I grew up. This is where I fell in love with the ocean. Where I fell in love with you.

You kiss my neck, lacing your fingers with mine and I can feel your breath all around me.

Your scent. My love.

You secure me between your legs, my back against your chest. I can faintly feel your heart thumping. Is it for me, my love? Does your heart beat for me as mine does for you?

"Wow."

"What?" I giggle, because you sound awed.

"Those two islands over there…it looks like they're hovering over the water."

"That's the Hover Islands. Some even call them The Edge."

"Why?"

"Because people used to think they floated on the edge of the world, hovering above the water. Before, no one used to sail past them, afraid they would fall off the earth if they did. In reality, it's just a trick of the shallow water and the sun. See how it's so light and glistening? That's the sun reflecting on the light blue water."

I swam there as a child. Well, I was fifteen at the time, but still a child in the eyes of others. Of course, I thought of myself as grown and wise, the keeper of wisdom and truth. And strength. Only I ventured there, diving deep to the bottom of the ocean and brining sand back up to prove myself. The boys would cheer, my brothers elated that I was as good as them. One of the boys.

I was flat as a board. I wore one-pieces and toted a guy-do. My hair was buzzed short that summer, removing my long locks to fit in. An island of two hundred, sixty being kids under eighteen, me and my brothers almost a sixth of them. Seven children.

We would stand on the docks and coax each other into the water, hollering for the rest of the kids to come and join us. Few did, and they were mostly boys. The girls, coast children like the rest of us, stayed on land and tanned. The boys swam amongst the fishes, and me with them.

That summer, before nature turned cruel and changed me for the worse, making it impossible to ignore the fact of my gender, I swam for the first time to the Hover Islands alone, and then stayed there, exhausted, in the dark. Throughout the night I had shivered and turned cold. When dawn broke, they had found me half-dead on the rocks.

They'd said I was as pale as a ghost.

A few more hours, and I might have became one.

I was never allowed in the water alone again.

Until the day I met you.

It was a swimming pool but I was still alone, basking in the sound of flesh on water. I took quick gasps of air before diving back into the water. Cool, yet warm. I relished in heaven, then you intruded my peace.

Now I long for your intrusion.

Where are you now, if not here?

Are you even thinking of me while I sit here in the dusk thinking of you and only you?

The breeze chills the air around me and it's time to head home. But I don't want to leave when there's a chance you'll appear, like a porpoise did that day we were both here.

You loved it, wanted to pet it even.

That was the moment I realized I loved you.

You didn't care if it was wild or dangerous or strange. You cared for it either way, and I wished that you felt the same for me.

But you didn't, did you?

When twilight appeared you lost your face and your courage.

We lost contact.

Am I fool for still wishing?

"Where are you taking me?" you ask bewildered, looking back to the docks.

I can't help but laugh. As if I'd abduct you? As if I could harm you?

"My favorite place in the world. You said you wanted to see me, so I'm gonna let you see me."

And I took you to the place I'd never brought anyone before, where I'd always gone for peace and quiet, away from nosey people who didn't understand. You did though. You leaned against the old railings with your head on your arms, watching me as I told everything. Occasionally you commented and inquired more deeply, forcing me to open up my mind.

If you didn't love me, why did you ask so much?

Why waste time on me if you knew the dawn would bring distance and pain?

I still remember your touch on my arm, your green eyes reflecting the million diamonds on the still water, moving closer to touch your lips against mine. We defiled my holy ground, created memories better locked away for lonely and frustrated nights beneath resting sheets. How your arms held me secure and tight against your chest. Your lips never left my body, but wandered to touch all the skin you could reach, moving together slowly, fast, hard, soft, shifting and swirling, until the open sky and waters witnessed our euphoria.

How you kissed my closed lids as I regained my breath.

How I opened my eyes and saw myself in yours, looking crazed and loving.

Did you see the love in mine?

I thought I saw it in yours, or was it the ocean and sun conspiring against me, tricking me like they tricked you with the Hover Islands just moments before? You dressed me while I watched you, and you held me with false love until I never wanted to let you go.

I still haven't.

Can't you feel how my heart aches for you? Through the wind and the miles between us, do you feel the same pull?

The sun has nearly set, and it's not safe to sail at night, so finally I abandon hope that you will come, and I untie the rope from the rock, leaving it in a safe place until the next time I return.

When that will be, I don't really know.

What is there for me here now, other than cruel reminders and thoughts of what could have been?

Nothing.

Serenity is lost.

-.-

You were an awkward man with slender un-toned limbs and pale skin. Your trunks contrasted against your flesh in a way that made you look sickly, and bagged around your thighs. You weren't a model or the most handsome man around, but you made me smile wider than anyone ever had before with apt comments and that sparkling smile of yours.

At first, that was all you gave me: laughs. But then you came around more often, and I found myself looking forward to seeing you.

Did you come to see me?

Or was it only the tempting water that brought you back?

You were like me in that way. You too lived and breathed to feel the water on your skin and trudging through it with force. You too loved what I love. That I know hasn't changed. That I know will never change for either of us.

"It's like breathing," you whisper into my ear as we watch the sun sets. Oh, but you are breathing. You are life. You make me whole. "It's the easiest thing in the world, and you can lose yourself to the strokes and just be. It's effortless. Each time your fingertips touch the water, it's like touching heaven."

"Oh, but it is heaven." I smile. Turning around I place a tender kiss on the corner of your mouth. "It's not the sky that's reflected on the water, it's the water that's reflected on the sky. Rushing, heaving, waves ten feet tall, they create the storms and tornadoes and the falling rain. Heaven is where you love."

"You should be a poet, not a swimmer," you confess. "Then again, if you weren't a swimmer, would I have met you?"

You said it like I was a blessing.

Like you loved me.

Then why don't you say it?

Why am I alone here on the island where we made love, where I shared my soul with you? You can't possibly have forgotten. It's merely been a year!

Yet the small hill of my island has been occupied solely by me on this day, watching the tide come and go twice from dawn 'til dusk. Solitary. Alienated from those who do not venture to another realm, those who linger in the twilight but never passes the line from living to dead.

We share the same heaven, but I don't want them.

I want you.

But you never come.

Will you remember me next year?

-.-

Six brothers.

You were an only child. When I brought you to my house that day – our two-storey, three bedroom house – I saw how your eyes shone with excitement. You wanted that: the pulsing life and constant sounds. I wanted that with you.

Do you have it now?

Kids filing like a tornado through the house, little images of yourself with green eyes and black hair?

I imagine, as I sit on the hill watching the sun rise, myself standing with you, smiling and holding hands, trying to reign in our own children. Would they have had my red hair? Would they have had your eyes?

Would they have had the small bump on the nose which I see on the faces of my brothers'? Six brothers, grown and settled – swimmers and coastal men living where they always have, on a small island in the north, living the life of fishermen with housewives and happily-ever-afters.

They remember me. I see it, though I'm not there, how they gather on the dock and throw flowers onto the sea, wondering where I am. Lost. Lost in waves and weather and Mother Nature. I hear their thoughts, their grief, their anger.

The youngest, the oldest: the most protective of the lot, they shed tears of pain for me. They are the ones who feel regret, guilt, because they thought they hadn't protected me. It makes me ache.

"We'll watch out for her," they'd said, and I'd stomped my feet and yelled. I was twenty-two, not fifteen! How dared they patronize me like that, like I couldn't care for myself in the waters?

But they'd been right.

That night the water overpowered me.

"I miss her," I hear them say, across ocean and waves and a clear blue sky.

"I hope she's happy."

"I wish we'd taken better care of her."

Oh, but you were the best brothers in the world!

The adventurer, the grounded, the knowledgeable, the hooligans, and the best friend.

Six brothers, identified by the identical hair, loved for their individuality and tight-knit bond. I should have been the outsider; the only girl, and yet I was never less than them. One of the boys. Until I turned fifteen. Still, they never stopped asking me to the beach or the ocean, and they still come to see me swim, even if I'm not visible for their eyes.

And no matter how much I love them, my brothers, my family, it is you I crave to see the most. Where are you, my love?

"I love you," I whisper into your ear, my hand lying across your chest and your heart. It speeds up. You say nothing. You don't even breathe. What's wrong? Why don't you say it back?

Your eyes: emotionless.

This is not the man I love.

Where did he go?

Then you get up, removing me from you, removing yourself from me, and I am cold already.

Without your touch, you scent, your smile.

The room darkens, the hotel room now shifting towards clinical instead of romantic.

You're still silent.

Say something!

"I should go."

"Why?" I'm on the verge of tears, yet you don't hold me or make it okay. "Will you be back?"

"Go home, Gin. I- I need to think."

Did you think a lot? Did the fresh air cleanse your mind? And why did I not settle for air, but venture into dark waters?

Why did the storm take me away, when all I needed gone was that night?

The tide arrives, three hours slowly filling up the small sand beach between the two hilled islands. I sit on the railings, my hands grasping the rusty banister tightly – though honestly it's not needed. This small light house has been abandoned for years, two years without human touch.

I suppose mine doesn't count when my prints don't leave traces.

When it's merely my essence occupying the space.

Weightless in the wind.

The sound of waves crashing against a boat makes my head turn.

Could it be?

In an old motorboat – my father's from years ago when he lived as a fisherman – you stand surveying the water. Coal black air pushed back by the wind, glasses tucked away where they can't be ruined by salt, life-vest to save the one thing I truly care about: your life.

Do you feel me?

Did you come for me?

Where did you go?

Your naked feet slash through the water as you jump out, holding a rope which lets you drag it further up to the now filled beach, fastening it to the rock. The same as mine. Your boat drifts slightly where mine does the same, interlacing and through – can you see my wrecked boat against the rocks where I fastened it before my journey to the Hover Islands? Can you see how the storm tore it apart, and where in heaven it was restored?

Like I was restored in waves.

You climb up the hill, eyes downcast, guilt written upon your face. Where is the smile I fell in love with? Where is the man who stood proud as he jumped off the docks for the first time and brought sand up from a thirty-two feet depth on his first try? Where is the man I made love to on rocks and sand and beds? The man I felt as I confessed my feelings?

Then you sit, right next to me – can you feel me?

Then I see your thoughts, hear your prayers.

'I'm sorry.'

The image of me, far more beautiful than I ever saw myself, sad and distraught on a bed. My tears making their way down my face. I feel that splitting pain within you.

It angers me.

Why?

'I'm sorry I left, that I let you go without saying "I love you" in return. For being a coward and thinking I should've let you go because you deserved more than me. For not protecting you.'

The sun is timid in the distance, coloring the sky with hot orange and passionate red.

The ocean appearing as a dwindling flame before us.

Can you feel my love, now that I can finally feel yours?

You stay for hours, until it's dark and I fear you'll lose yourself on your journey back to the mainland. You stay, talking with yourself and your mind and soul, confessing wrong-doings and regret and guilt. You tell the wind and I that last year was spent in my parents' house, sharing stories and love with my family.

I can't see past the docks, or else I would have known, would have smiled sooner, held less contempt. Never hate, though – never hate for you. Nor for the ocean which took me in. Heaven is in the crashing of waves against rocks and salt on sea-weed. Heaven is where I love to be, where I fell in love with you.

It's where you return to me one final time to say goodbye.

You whisper the words quietly, but it's like shouting off a mountain top to me. I hear you, my love, I hear you! I love you too! I always will!

But your life isn't over. I can't contain you anymore. You've come and settled my fate, set me free, placed content in my heart and soul. Now I can rest and swim without worry, with ease and perfection and divine grace.

The parting tide takes you away from me, but I stoop into the water, feeling the rush again as I race against you. I smile and laugh and spread my joy amongst creatures of the ocean. When your boat is docked and you part with me truly, I go back to the beach and my boat.

Setting sail for the Hover Islands, I whisper goodbye to this life, to this world, and join serenity in the afterlife.

As the sun sets, I settle on the ocean floor, alive forever amongst the water.