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Tempered Iron, Woven Gold

She is useless here. Her, a Goddess of creation. (Okay a minor one — but still!) So why can’t she help?

Standing above, watching the life blood (liquid sodium and potassium and magnesium and — and why can’t she fix it?) drip so slowly yet too quickly, from his wounds. Wounds that will kill, will take him from her. Her mortal. Her beloved. Her Timothy.

She has lived centuries, swept her gaze across thousands of sunrises across thousands of planets. She is stronger than any machine built, stronger than even her elder brother, her father (who she wishes she could have at her side now). She is a supernova, an eternal flame, an engineer, a celestial blacksmith, a creator. She, who makes marvelous creations from nothing! Gives life to metal and wires and flickering electricity, grants consciousness where it shouldn’t have been possible.

Yet, she can’t stop the blood from spilling, cannot fill his lungs with much needed air, cannot keep his heart beating. She is a Goddess, and she is not enough.

(Why is she not enough?)

Give her copper or silver or iron — and she can craft anything. Let her weave with steel, pound nails and temper the heat of stars and burning planet cores that fill her veins. Melt down and rebuild, over and over and over.

She, whose hands can scorch sand to glass, who can draw up buckets of ground minerals and remake them into sheets, screws and limbs. Who takes the inanimate of the universe, and makes it walk, lets it drink life from her stardust core, and breathe for itself.

Give her needle and thread! And she can sew both fabric and flesh, weave together blankets to warm bodies and souls, stitch shut wounds with startling precision. Patches for holes that would close with but a whisper of damage. (Practices Timothy renewed her interest in.)

Her needle, that tiny slip of metal, is long worn by her warm fingers and the motions she takes it through — over and over — but her needle fails her here. The blood will no stop coming, there are too many holes and cuts. Her stitches are useless here. Mean nothing in the face of something made of more than her precious threads and metals. The familiar compounds and forms she can recreate at will.

All she can do is blink away the tears pouring down her face, listen to his stuttering breathes, the pained whimpers and whispers if her name. Timothy is dying before her, because of her, and she can do nothing.

I am Goddess, she sobs, pressing her face into his neck. But this is not her domain, and her words mean nothing.

(But his will.)

She whips her head up, chest heaving, pulse roaring as she frantically tries to hold Timothy together, hold close the wound that will take him from her. She meets that familiar gaze, copper and gold, twin to her own, and her heart, molten and burning, freezes.

There is no rule that prevents them from changing fate, pushing forward or grinding the toil of mortal lives to a halt. They shouldn’t, but no one can punish them for it.

(She hates to ask. Hates the pain she will put them through; her brother and her lover.)

“Help him. Please, Ramon. Please help him.” She cries, begs through shuddering breaths. She can’t loose Timothy. Not now. She hadn’t said the words yet, hadn’t promised him the universe, hadn’t sang all the gospels that her soul composed and desired to scream to the heavens.

She loves Timothy, more than she should, more than she has any right to, but she hasn’t said it out loud yet, and that was so very important to mortals. Words mattered, and her Timothy was so uncertain. He can’t die uncertain. She will not allow it.

But she cannot mend her lover like her clothes or machines — but her brother, her kind hearted, wonderfully stubborn brother, can. He has before, even though it had cost him. Even though he had been hurt, left with scars for giving giving giving himself to the world. Eager to please, eager to help.

(And she is begging him to do it again. Knows he will accept, just because she is the one asking. A weakness she has yet to curb, yet one that may give her back her beloved.) 

“Please.” She weeps when he does not move. Her brother is a stuttering storm, violent and intense one moment, quiet and gentle the next. He loves her Timothy too, as she loves his John — enough to bring close, but not let inside, not completely. It helps that he saw Timothy sacrifice himself for her, even though it had been a stupid decision, she would have been fine. But the fact that he did, the fact that Timothy loves her just that much.

(Her brother’s heart never stood a chance.)

He moves, falls with the quiet grace of water at Timothy’s side, raises his hands, one flesh and one metal (made by her, a guilty gift), takes a breath, then presses them to Timothy’s blood soaked abdomen.

And breathes new life into the mortal.

Timothy gasps, shuddering, tries to pull away from her brother hands, but he holds fast. Words, ancient and soothing and terrible fall from his lips, and soothe her lover. She twitches, crimson stained fingers outstretched, wanting to reach out — to either, to both — but she stills. Knows she cannot interrupt, even as her beloved burns under the golden power of her brother.

Timothy screams, her brother weeps, and then, it is over. As suddenly and as violently as it begun.

Ramon falls back, chest heaving, light flickering like flames in his eyes, pale, sweat staining his brow. But he is smiling, it is small and his lips wobble, but it is still bright. He nods, closing his eyes and slumps back against John.

(Tall, strong, sarcastic John, who weeps as he clutches her brother to his chest. John who fights, who curses, who loves the smell of gunpowder and smoke and blood — and who loves her brother. Who presses flush against Ramon, who whimpers and huffs as her brother soothes him.)

She wonders for a brief moment when had the other man arrived, but her curiosities nd concerns are swept away once she turns her eyes back to Timothy. She leaves her brother to his beloved, and refocuses on her own.

“Timothy?” She breathes, pulling the man into her lap, smoothing her fingers over his brow, through his hair, her free hand pressing against his chest, against his steady heartbeat. She nearly sobs when he opens his eyes, bright green and hazy. He whimpers, blinking up at her, and whispers in a horse voice;

“Anna? Are you okay?”

She sobs, bowing her head in Timothy’s chest, clutching him close, trembling as he wraps his arms around her. He lurches up, groans, but pulls her close anyway, settling her between his legs as she digs her nails into his back. Listening to him hush her and brush his hands over her hair and down her back, murmuring soft words against her scalp.

“I’m fine.” She croaks, sniffing, pulling back enough to look up at him. Timothy smiles, gaze flickering around in confusion, but he makes no move to leave their embrace. Just links one hand with hers, and smiles that stupid wonderful smile of his.

“I love you.” She breathes, taking a moment to enjoy the look of shock and the beginnings of his smile before grabbing his jacket lapels and pressing her lips to his. Smiling against him when he presses back.

(No more uncertainty. Not for her lover.)

29 thoughts on “Tempered Iron, Woven Gold”

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