I'm a fool to want you,
to want a love that can't be true,
a love that's there for others too.

To seek a kiss not mine alone,
to share a kiss the devil has known.

Billie Holiday


She sat there, pale as a ghost. She hadn't realized how sudden the fear had crept upon her until this happened. Until she saw him lying there in a dreamless, medicated slumber. It was enough to make the tears form in her eyes again, enough for her to drop herself beside him and do what she had done every night since. Strength had nothing to do with it, there was no way to turn this into something it wasn't. The reality of the situation was, quite simply, what she saw before her. She grasped his hand and tangled her fingers around his, and felt him stiffen and then respond a moment later, returning the touch. Yet his one remaining eye was closed and the rest of him as still as a statue. She wondered where he was behind that semi-conscious veil. Had he known she had been trying to get through to him all these nights? The metal mask that had defined the other half of his face was lying haphazardly on the bedside table, its one unblinking eye transfixed on the ceiling.

"How is he?" A voice asked, spooking her out of her conscious misery. She looked up to see Jimmy Darmody step into the room, his face the unreadable mask it had always been.

"The same," she said quietly, looking back at the figure abed. "He may be able to hear us but he hasn't woken up." She looked at Jimmy as he stood opposite her on the other side of the bed. She could see thoughts swirling behind those cerulean eyes. Always like waves thrashing to and fro before a great storm.

"I didn't know it would turn out like this," Jimmy said, his voice almost a whisper. He nodded to himself and ran long fingers through his hair, the same way he always did when he was uncertain about something. She saw the way he looked at Richard, the way flashes of fear and affection played across his pale face. She knew an unexpectedly big part of his world had gone awry, had fallen to disarray. She couldn't take seeing Jimmy like this, not in the way he looked at Richard now. She turned away from him and coughed back what could have been tears and made her way to the massive window. The night sky was as black as coal, the stars as bright as diamonds. What seemed an eternity of silence had passed between them as they veered off into their own thoughts.

"I love you, you know that?"

"You don't, Jimmy," she said feebly, attempting to use some half-presumed notion in her head. She dared not turn around to look at him, elsewise she would've given herself away. It was hopeless, however, because she heard his staggered footsteps grow near until he was so close that she felt his breath on the back of her neck. He smelled sweetly of aftershave and tobacco. Silence embraced them once more in that warm darkness. His breath draped over the bareness of her shoulders like liquid silk until it intensified all of her nerves.

"I love you," he said again, his voice a husky whisper.

"Jimmy," she said as she whirled around, so caught off guard of their proximity that her breath had stopped short. She looked up and into the eyes of the man inches away and the words she had previously thought vanished into thin air. "I want..." she began, but now he had leaned in closer and caged her between the window and himself. He whispered dreamily into her ear as his fingers found her lips and traced the length of them. A tingling sensation was left in the wake of his touch and a blazing trail of fire had leapt from the pit of her stomach, rising ever higher. She couldn't comprehend his hushed words if she wanted to. Damn him, she thought irritably as she fell under his spell once again. She almost stopped breathing until she exhaled and realized how warm the room had suddenly become. "You," she began as his fingers continued to smooth over her rouged lips, "you make it hard for me to breathe." A genuinely true fact at the moment, not meant to be romantic in any way. As she exhaled, her senses had momentarily returned to her, long enough to make her laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. He drew in closer and planted a kiss on those lips, hushing her chuckles all at once. The contact sent a jolt of sensation rippling through her body and she froze in response. As she relaxed in his arms, her mouth parted and allowed him entrance.

He had been waiting for her to respond in kind, to reciprocate the affection he'd shown her. It was never in Jimmy Darmody's nature to take something by force. He would never have to, she thought defeatedly as his tongue explored the contours of her mouth, causing her to moan hungrily in response. He was a man of artistic grace and as such, was an exceptionally pleasing lover. No woman would ever deny him a cursed thing. They wouldn't have the heart to refuse the soft albeit emblazoned passion of one so far from redemption, one so lost to himself. No amount of love in the world could save him and this may have been why she would never forgive herself if she refused him now.

The heat between them intensified with each passing second. Her arms wrapped around his neck as she pulled him in closer. His arms closed around her curvy waist and those skillfully deft hands of his began working circles up and down her backside, sending trails of white fire blazing through the fabric of her dress. Their tongues danced in swirling ribbons of bliss, ever desperate and longing. As his hands came around to the front of her dress to unfasten its buttons, she pulled away, breaking their moment of fiery passion. "No," she breathed into his ear. The momentary silence that followed seemed like a lifetime before she heard him sigh and collapse into the crook of her neck.

"I'm sorry," he whispered, his sweet breath washing over her bare skin once more. The scent of his aftershave had become near unbearable. She took a deep breath before nudging him to look at her. And it was then that her heart sank into the pit of her stomach. His eyes were etched in redness, the unfallen tears kept at bay by his insatiable melancholy. There was nothing she could do to make it better, nothing she could say that would erase the pain he had come to know in his short life. She suddenly didn't care how much time had passed as she stared into those stricken eyes.

"I love you," she whispered as both of her small hands cupped his face. His pouty lips curved upward into a smile as he looked down at her, unblinking and expectant. "I love you both."


Author's Note:

Sweet baby Gandalf, that was painful. I've got Billie's I'm a Fool to Want You looping and I just couldn't fight back the emotions. I wrote this as a one shot but could continue it as a kind of angsty drama. My laziness, however, is yelling at me to leave it as a one shot. The girl could be anyone we want her to be - a loose original character - someone who is in love with both Richard and Jimmy. They are all sad souls. Mature people but faced with tough decisions. Anyway, just wrote this out of my heart. Enjoy the read.