There's a prequel to this fanfiction; it's based on the song 'Mrs Robinson' by Simon & Garfunkel. Listen to it at the same time as reading this, if you can. I think it helps. For a fuller understanding and a few 'behind the scenes' (or, rather, things that happened before this that you don't see in this) read the prequel too.
DISCLAIMER: Characters belong to H.P. Lovecraft, Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna, Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, &c. Song belongs to Simon & Garfunkel. Well, they performed it, so I'm presuming it belongs to them.
He knew the song. He knew it well.
And it was ripping his heart to pieces.
Herbert West couldn't put a finger on his feelings. Maybe that's why he felt like his world was falling apart, and that's why he'd never felt more content.
The song didn't have any real meaning. The lyrics didn't mean something explicit; he didn't know a Mrs Robinson, or anyone like her, and he couldn't connect to the words or other meanings contained within the song.
That's why he could never understand why it had such a massive impact on him. Everytime he heard it—mostly the chorus—a wave of complete ambivalence washed over him, and he didn't know whether to cry from sadness or joy. He thought of all the humans who'd died and all the creations that had graced and destroyed the world, all leading up to this moment. God, it was killing him. This one moment in time, this one second of Existence; and no-one cared. Nobody cared, inside the hall where everyone feasted after the prize-giving ceremony. Not one of those people cared about his internal turmoil. The air forced itself from his lungs, tears pricked his eyes, and he almost collapsed just from his initial shock.
Footsteps behind him, resonating on the cold stone. The moon was full; it was beauteous, eternal, a sphere of blinding light above him. Dan moved to him; his smile disappeared as he noticed the tears gradually making their way down Herbert's cheeks. He looked so pale, so vulnerable...
"Don't speak," Herbert begged, almost as though his life depended on it. Dan nodded, watching Herbert as he stared out, almost as if he was watching the end of the world...or maybe the beggining. The origin of everything, the manic depression from whence all good and bane sprang, surely responsible for the creation of the space of grey that met between them. What God, what Science, would make that space of its own accord? You aren't happy, you aren't sad; you want to collapse, with the desire to hit something, but the blood in your brain is overwhelming.
He leant back on Dan, limp, transformed in that solitary second. Dan held him, wrapping his arms around his waist and letting him know that he was there. Herbert relished his heat, his warmth, the love he radiated infallibly. They stood like that as the first verse passed.
Suddenly a debilitating joy hit him at the start of the second chorus and Herbert laughed, to himself, to Dan, to whatever was listening. Nothing. The earth, the clouds, the stars and Selene, and nought else. Just the two.
Herbert placed a hand on Dan's waist and one on his shoulder. Dan mirrored him, grinning with amusement and surprise at the sudden change of mood. Herbert began to dance, the two gliding effortlessly over the stone tiles, the music deafening, as though It was their everything. The theatre was enough to satiate anyone; their unrehearsed steps fell into place, perfect, and nothing else was significant.
"Jesus loves you more than you will know," Herbert murmured ecstatically, his voice a whisper, a candid hope blazing in each of his words. Dan grasped him more tightly, dropping his lips down so that they met Herbert's. Herbert accepted his kiss gladly, lacing his fingers through his thick hair and pulling himself up to him, closer, his chest beating with a blissful synchronicity.
They pulled apart, smiling happily, fresh tears dripping down Herbert's cheeks. They danced again; though mostly they were just holding each other, moving from side to side in time with the rhythm of the music and the heavenly strums of the guitar.
"People will probably be watching us," Dan said, not daring to look at the clear doors that led onto the balcony. Herbert shrugged. He couldn't care less.
"Let them watch," he shrugged, kissing Dan almost in the hope that people were watching, lingering and passionate. The final chorus was finishing and he held himself to Dan, his head to his chest and Dan's head rested on his. They pressed against each other until the music was finished, feeling blessed just to have found each other, let alone be in each other's arms where they belonged.
The music ended. Herbert's heart fell as the moment ended. They would never be able to get it back; never be able to feel that again.
He looked up at Dan. He smiled. It didn't matter.
Nothing else mattered.
So he held Dan for a few moment longer - maybe minutes, maybe hours. Perhaps it was forever. Maybe he died that way, holding the only person he could ever love, and the sheer power in every second prior to those had some acted as a very different kind of reagent. He smiled at the romanticism of his brain, wondering where these notions had come from.
He sighed, deciding that, again, it didn't really matter.
This moment was all that mattered. This moment; their moment.