They Danced One Night
and if she could call him a thing divine

"Tell me, Mister Lyle," and her voice was like molten gold, washing over him, overwhelming him; "how are you feeling right now?"

He blinked, breathing in the clean scent of rain, the rustle of leaves on a forest floor. Her lashes parted; her eyes were a vibrant, beautiful emerald, not the acid-like green he'd been afraid of all this time. All he could think was – how did I not notice how beautiful her eyes were?

"I'm quite fine, thank you, apart from the fact that my feet are throbbing; which I assume to be the result of you stepping on them numerous times." The words slipped from his mouth and only when they were out did he realize how idiotic they made him sound. But she merely laughed.

"That would be because you are a terrible dancer."

"I'm getting the hang of it now, I'm sure I am –"

"Yes, you are getting the hang of it, if you call stumbling about like a fool dancing."

"Miss Lin, remind me why I'm even here."

She smirked. "Maybe because I asked you to come. Now twirl, Mister Lyle."

"What? As far as my knowledge of the waltz stretches, men most certainly do not twirl, thank you very much –"

"But due to your terrifying dancing, I have assumed the male role in this dance, so twirl."

"No, Lin, you are not making me –"

They both lapsed into silence as Lyle's complaints trailed off, muted. "I swear, you are going to feel extremely put out when this dance is concluded, how could you –"

"I'm leaving."

The words startled him, and he froze. Sighing, she pulled her hands from his and turned away from him, resting her elbows on the smooth stone banisters, staring out at the moonlit waters.

"You're . . . leaving?" he hated the way his voice came out weird and oddly alien, even to himself. When she didn't respond, he pressed on. "For how long?"

"I don't know," she exhaled. "Maybe a month. Maybe a year. Maybe I'm never coming back. As I've said, I don't know."

The tension in the air was almost tangible, and Lyle shifted uneasily on the balls of his feet, contemplating his response. Lin sighed; she reached out a small, pale hand, her skin ivory in the moonlight, and cupped his cheek.

"Mister Lyle," she breathed, "there are things that aren't allowed, even for me."

Her hand dropped to his coat pocket, and she patted the fabric over his heart twice, keeping his gaze in hers. "Goodbye, Mister Lyle," Lin Zi said with a smile, and he gave her one final, searching look, before she turned around and went merrily on her way. For a second, he thought that he heard the tinkle of glass, then dismissed it as merely his imagination.

Lyle stared at her silhouette until it melded into the fog and disappeared, before he let out a sigh and swivelled around. His head was feeling oddly heavy, and his coat was feeling oddly light. But it would take him a few more minutes to realize that two bottles of potassium iodide were missing from his coat pocket, because right now all he could think of was her eyes.

Her eyes burned into the back of his eyelids, and he saw leaves on a forest floor, and he smelt the lingering scent of rain, and he heard – he heard her laugh, ringing out and echoing in the emptiness around him, almost dauntingly.

Lyle paused, for a fraction of a second, and he was almost tempted to turn around, to chase after her, but some part of him knew that she was already gone.

Special Constable Horatio Lyle shook his head, almost wearily, and headed home.

A/N –– positively terrible, also my first EAOHL fanfic :D i'm a big fan of the series and have been reading it since three or four years ago. When I first started reading FF, this didn't have a category, and it saddened me D': but imagine my excitement at discovering the existence of this! :D

so, please read&review, please and thank you(: