Character Pieces, Fantasy, Home

Answers and Consequences

“Why did you kill me?” Jean whispers.

John pauses, hands hovering above his worktable. Pressed against his broad back, her hands flat against his shoulder blades, where she can feel the muscle twitch and tense under her palms. This close she can hear the way his breath hitches.

Jean waits. She can afford to wait. She’s learned patience no one could never understand. The dark cosmic entity she had been swallowed by and reborn from was not often prompt when answering after all, if it ever answered. And it cared little for those who rush it.

John shivers, hands curling white-knuckled against the wood. He bows his head and breathes, still silent. Jean doesn’t think he’s ignoring her, being so close she can tell the silence weighs on him as heavy as it does her. She wonders if she should have saved her question for another day.

“I…” John breathes. Jean waits, listening to him swallow. She hums, smoothing her hands across his taut shoulder-blades. “Let us not forget who held the knife.”

“You pushed me to it.” Jean hisses.

You slit your own throat.” John barks. “You made it very clear you did not want resurrection. It’s not my fault you begged for something worse than death to claim you.” Jean drops her hands and steps back. She says nothing, only stares at the expanse of John’s long coat. It’s not black to her anymore, Jean’s seen true darkness, and such a reproduceable shade could not hope to compare.

“…I’m sorry.” He says, turning to face her. John towers over her, and she stares unblinkingly into that achingly familiar face. Watching blankly, as tears stream silently down his cheeks. “I… I’m sorry.”

“I love you.” Jean says. Smile bittersweet as she watches him grimace and shudder at her firm use of the present tense.

“I know.” He says. “I’m sorry I didn’t see that. I’m sorry I failed you.”

“Why did you let me die?” She asks. John stares back; her husband, her God. He reaches out, trembling palms cupping her face, thumbs brushing tears away. When had she started crying?

“I didn’t want you too.” John insists. “But you didn’t want to stay.”

Jean sniffs, reaching up to scrub at her face. John’s hands fall and Jean lets him step away. Even after everything, she still loves him. He’s sorry. He admits his failure, yet there is nothing to be done. Jean was the mortal woman who should have ran, and John the Godling who’s power had written her into existence, and who had lost her to a power greater than himself. Jean wondered where that left them? She wondered what would happen to their story now?

“Did you change your mind?” John asks.

“I don’t know.” Jean answers. “I don’t think it matters.” She can feel the pull, stronger now. That siren call of that eternal being that stole her from her death, and yet kept her from truly living.

John nods, jaw clenched. There’s fire in his eyes, promising painful heat and a bright demise. Jean’s not sure who for. John turns from her again, leaving Jean to her decision, and the consequences. Jean breathes in, trying to memorize the smell of the workroom, of him, and then she lets herself drop into the shadows. She flees to her new God.

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