|Darth Calliope's Creative Journal. (dee_cees_cj) wrote,|
@ 2011-01-11 13:14:00
Chapter Eight: Nevermore
Home. Dark. Life is darkness. Darkness is life. The silence, now I understand what it means to be deafened by it. It's so lonely here. I open my eyes and it's like I'm sleeping. I can sit up and be surrounded by nameless space. Why do I fear the darkness? I knew it existed; it has existed since the dawn of time. But I'm afraid. Why? I'm 24, not a child. Not a child. And yet, I feel as if there's something creeping right outside of ear shot. No, I'm being paranoid. There's nothing there. Nothing. I have to keep telling myself that. There's nothing there. Nothing is going to get me. There's no bogeyman that's going to jump out and rip my body apart. It doesn't exist, I've been told as much. But… doesn't the boggart take the form of what one fears the most? Fear, the driving force and the bane of humanity. Is the boggart a devil or a messenger of the divine? Perspective, something I've always lacked. But now, now, everything is so sickeningly clear
Gallows opened his eyes to darkness and then closed them again. What good was opening his eyes if he couldn't see anything anyhow? He sighed and ran a finger gently across his eyelids.
I can't see her… not any more… Never again.
His eyes flung open when he heard footsteps on the creaking stairwell.
Female. Roughly over one hundred pounds. Possibly standing on tip toe. Virginia?! She'll come up and see me like this! I can't allow it! She'll be ashamed and kick me off the team!
Gallows rose hastily from the bed and slung his feet over the side of it, his heart sending small shocks of thunder to his skull.
She'll hate me…
The footsteps fell silent just outside his door. The sound of feathery breathing caused his heart to stop and then start painfully back up as he dropped to his knees.
What am I doing? I can't escape! I can't even see, much less form an escape route… She'll find me and…
Gallows lowered his head to the floor, feeling his arms creak in protest from the weigh he was putting on them. The knock at the door caused his head to snap toward the noise.
"Gallows are you all right?" came Virginia’s soft voice from the other side. Gallows shakily stood up and put a reaching, blind, hand out in front of him.
"Of course!" He laughed, groping for something solid fervently. The soft breathing stopped for a second and started up again with amusement.
"When are things not okay with you?" She laughed, reaching toward the door knob. Somehow, Gallows knew she was reaching for it and lumbered toward the door, only to trip over a small stool in his path and fall to the ground heavily.
"Gallows are you all right?" came Virginia’s worried voice as she turned the door knob. Gallows, hearing that familiar clinking sound, rose with frustration and once again lumbered toward the door. He was just about to open the door when it flung itself open, causing Gallows to stumble forward toward the unsuspecting Virginia.
"Gah!" Exclaimed Virginia, stepping back as Gallows fell toward her. Gallows, feeling himself fall, quickly threw himself backwards, hence landing on his rear instead of on Virginia. Virginia blinked and looked down at him with irritation, it was then she noticed that Gallows' eyes looks strangely vacant and dilated.
"Gallows…" She said, kneeling down in front of him locking eyes with him. She was a bit unsettled when his eyes didn't focus on hers. Gallows, not knowing what else to do, gave her a weak smile and blinked a couple of times.
She reached out and stroked his cheek, causing him to flinch and fall back a little due to her unexpected caress.
Damn it! What am I DOING?! Stupid!
"Gallows… What's wrong? Your eyes… they're all wrong…" She said quietly, placing her hand gently back on his face and stroking back toward his ears. Gallows said nothing and put his hand over hers.
".. I'm going to get Clive, you stay here, okay?" She said, sliding her hand from beneath his and standing up slowly.
"Wait…” said Gallows, looking up toward her. She looked down at him and then kneeled before him again.
"What?" She asked resting her arm against a lavender clad knee.
".. If I tell you something, do you promise not to get mad at me?" He asked, giving her an almost childish look of fear. Virginia, not knowing what to expect from Gallows, nodded her head in silence. This worried Gallows, as she did not respond vocally.
Does that mean she hates me?
"What is it, Gallows, what do you need to tell me?" She asked when she saw the disheartened look on the young Baskar's face.
"Virginia, I can no longer see." He said after a painful length of silence. Virginia's shoulders drooped with compassion and she reached out, moving her hands experimentally in front of his eyes. He did not flinch. It was then it hit her that Gallows was not seeking pity or acknowledgment, he was truly blind. She reached out and once again caressed his cheek, a sad smile playing across her lips.
"Oh, Gallows, you big dummy, why would I hate you?" She whispered, running her finger lovingly across the scar below his eye.
"Because… I'm a burden to you now. I don't want to be a burden. I want to be there for you… I want to…” Virginia stopped his earnest garble with a finger to his lips. With an embittered smile on her face, she rubbed his lips once and then dropped her hand down to his chest, causing him to jump a little.
"You're not a burden, and, if you say that again I will push you down." She said, trying her best to sound serious and failing miserably. Gallows relaxed as soon as he heard this and trailed his hand down to her, enjoying the softness of her skin.
"Whatever you say, leader, but… I… don't think I can fight like this… It might be better if you were to…” He was silenced when Virginia shoved him back as hard as she could, causing him to fall backwards into the open doorway. He fell in darkness, not bothering to stop his descent.
It's like… He thought as he fell silently… how I felt when I "died"… Do I really anger her that much?
"Gallows, shut up, really, I don't want to hear you talk about us leaving you behind or any of that other crap you might think of spewing.” She huffed, falling silent after saying her piece and glaring at him. Gallows, feeling the glare, turned his head toward her voice.
"Do you really think that I like thinking like that? I like to believe that I can be helpful… and that I can protect you and not screw up again. But look at me! I have no worth to you now, I'm…" Virginia slapped the silence into him, causing his head to rock to the side. He blinked a couple of times, not bothering to turn his head back toward her.
"Virginia?" He whispered, a tiny string of blood running from his lips. A look of pity crossed her face as she gently turned his head back toward her and wiped the blood from the side of his lips with her thumb.
"I'm sorry, Gallows, I didn't mean to hit you so hard… I just can't stand to hear you talk like that. It makes me feel like I'm a monster… or worse. .." She stood up, grabbing Gallows' hand as she did so.
"Come on, we need to get you back in your room at least, and then we'll figure out what to do from there." She said quietly, watching as Gallows practically pulled himself up with little of her help.
"Well, you physically didn't hurt me… But, I must admit, I didn't much care for having the spot of bruised pride." He said with a small smile as he pulled his hand away slowly. Virginia couldn't but smile a little herself. Gallows was always like this. He couldn’t stay mad or hurt for long. Or, at least he gave no indication of dissonance.
"I'm sorry…” She said, looping her arm through the crook of his and pushing him lightly toward the open door. His smile got bigger as Virginia pushed him the rest of the way in and pulled the door shut behind him.
"Heh, don't be sorry, I shouldn't be so prideful I guess." He laughed as he walked toward the chair near the window. Virginia helped him find his seat and then looked out the window.
"The sun is about to rise…" Then, realizing that she might upset Gallows with that sentence, she fell silent.
"I bet it will be another pretty day." He said, looking straight forward with a sad smile on his face. Virginia said nothing but nodded her head.
"You know, we take such things, as the sun rising, for granted. But, when the world is thrown into darkness it's then one misses the warmth of the light." Gallows muttered, a single tear running down his face, a stain of light crossing his sleep deprived face.
Virginia, who did not know what to say to this, lowered herself down in front of him and threw her arms around his neck, pressing her cheek mournfully against his chest. Gallows blinked and tentatively wrapped his arms around her shoulders and made the embrace deeper. They remained that way for a few seconds and then, with a small sniff, she pulled away and stood up. Gallows inwardly sighed, he felt cold again.
I hate feeling so cold.
"I really think we should take you to some kind of doctor. Perhaps it's not too late to reverse the blindness!" She exclaimed, her voice spiking with sweet hope. Gallows nodded his head once in agreement and slowly rose to his feet. Virginia looked up at him and smiled warmly.
I'm smiling… but he can't see it. It must be so horrible for him…
"Thank you…” said Gallows, slowly lowering his hand and placing it carefully on the top of her head.
"For what?" Was Virginia’s tear-choked answer.
Why is he thanking me? I just… Gallows… You act as if I have already found the cure…
"Thank you…” He continued with a warm smile "For being you."
There, it was out, there was no way to take it back. He had told her how he felt in not so many words. Virginia reached up, grabbed his hand, and rested it on her pale cheek.
You thank me for being me, and yet I couldn't stop this… this atrocity… What kind of leader am I?
"Gallows… you shouldn't thank me for being…” She was silenced when Gallows brought her tiny hand to his lips and gave it a small kiss.
"Don't second guess who you are. You're a blessing, more of a blessing than the Guardians…"Smiled Gallows, giving her hand one more small kiss before lowering it to her side.
Virginia blushed, now at a total loss for words.
I never knew he felt that way. Did he really mean it? Yes. No. Maybe. Maybe he's talking out of loneliness or…
"Virginia? Are you all right? Did I say something wrong?" asked Gallows, breaking the ice of her thoughts and causing her to redirect her attention toward his wondering form.
Virginia shook her head and placed her hand on his cheek again with a slightly embittered smile.
"No… I just wish that I knew why you're blind… I mean, you were fine earlier…" Virginia trailed off in mid-sentence when she saw Gallows' eyes darken a little bit.
"It's not an illness… I was poisoned…"
Virginia looked up at him and blinked a couple of times.
"Poisoned?" She stuttered, pressing a warm hand against her lips and biting back a gasp.
"Yes and the person who did it is sleeping in the very next room…” He concluded, tilting his head down and to the left, although he could see nothing.
"You mean..?" She started, her hand still pressed against her trembling lips.
"Jet poisoned me by giving me a spiked drink"
The world around her crashed to a halt as she suppressed the urge to sob.
"No…" She whispered, stumbling back a little in disbelief. Gallows fumbled toward her voice and reached out with concern.
"Virginia?" came Gallows’ voice in a strained whimper. "Are you okay?" Virginia swallowed hard to this and reached out to retrieve his hand, just as their hands touched, there was a knock at the door.
"Gallows. Virginia, hurry up and get downstairs, I'm getting hungry." came Jet’s annoyed voice from the other side of the wooden portal. Gallows blinked and cringed as Virginia tightened her grip on his hand.
"Virginia… don't. I know what you're thinking, and trust me, I understand, but confronting him will do neither of us any good. Let's just let it lie for awhile, at least until we can get a reason from him." Replied Gallows in a surprisingly calm voice, although, deep within the recesses of his being, he was far from calm.
"Gallows…?" whispered Virginia, releasing his hand and giving her head a little shake. "How can you forgive him such a horrible act?" Gallows took in a deep breath to her query and then gave his frighteningly calm answer.
"I never said that I forgave him, I'm simply biding my time until he faces up to what he's done to me."
Virginia nodded her head in shock, surprised at how darkly calm his voice was.
"Gallows, are you sure I can't talk to him about it? I'd hate for him to get away with something like this without some form of confrontation." She said, voice exactly how she felt.
"Virginia, ever if you were to confront him, what would that accomplish, aside from you possibly stepping into the line of fire?" came Gallows’ answer to her statement.
Virginia straightened up her back and walked over to him, taking his hand into hers.
"It's not a matter of my safety; it's a matter of serving justice. If Jet poisoned you, he needs to pay for it, plain and simple." hissed Virginia, giving his hand a hard squeeze and then letting it go. Gallows blinked to this and then walked up to her, and pulling her to his chest with a gentle tug.
"Please don't confront him. I don't want you to get hurt." He said into her hair, giving it a tiny nuzzle before straightening his neck up and shifting his unseeing gaze straight forward. Virginia didn't move from the embrace, instead, she pressed her left cheek into his chest and let it rest there, taking joy in the fact that he could hear his rapidly beating heart.
"I… won't…” She whispered, shifting her face so that now her lips were pressed against his chest."
Gallows blushed to this and tightened the embrace.
"Thank you…” He murmured, giving her a loving kiss on the top of the head before pulling away slowly.
Virginia blinked to his action and placed an unsure hand shakily on his chest.
"Gallows, what's wrong?"
Gallows shook his head and gave her a weak smile.
"Nothing, we had best get downstairs before the gang decides to eat without us."
Virginia laughed to this and nodded her head once.
"Right. And Gallows?"
"Yes?" He asked, looking at her inquisitively.
"I… you're a great person, don’t' forget that, okay?" She smiled, standing up on tiptoe, leaning forward, and giving him a short, but sweet kiss on the lips. Gallows blushed and gave her a confused blink, his eyes, for once showing a hint of emotion.
"Okay…" responded Gallows, reaching out a hand to stroke her face. She grabbed his hand and put it against her face.
"Do you need help getting downstairs?" asked Virginia, still holding on to his hand but dropping it down in between them. There was brief, humming, silence, and the Gallows shook his head.
"Nah, I think I can manage. As long as I lean against the wall and take my time, I should be fine."
Virginia smiled to this and pulled her hand away reluctantly.
"All right, Gallows, I'll see you downstairs." She said, unconsciously giving him a friendly wave. Gallows smiled and bowed his head a little bit in acknowledgment. Virginia smiled and walked out, making sure to leave the door open a little bit before walking down the hallway.
"… Virginia." He mouthed, before following Virginia's lead.
I can't let on that I'm blind, not just yet.