In Memory of Me

May 03, 2018:

Malachi and Donna meet in the aftermath of the whirlwind. Truths are spoken, all of them painful.

Conservatory Garden, Central Park

The Conservatory Garden, and the wreckage around it.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Sun Wukong, Professor Zoom

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's been nearly a full day, since the events that saw monkeys, wind vortexes, and random heroic tomfoolery. And as luck would have it, even the vendors have been reluctant to return to the Park, or to go about the business of cleaning up the debris. Perhaps, and quite rightly so, there might be a bit of, 'We aren't the ones who broke all the toys,' going on, and so there's been a bit of lag in the cleanup, as, let's face it, most of the 'heroes' don't really see cleaning as part of their duties.

Not to Donna Troy, who's returned to the park and has set about righting carts, replacing crafts, and generally cleaning up the flotsam and jetsam that Professor Zoom left in his wake. She's still dressed as casually as she was the day before, though the occasional show of strength or flight is more than enough to identify her for what she is. Not entirely human. For the most part, though, she's more low-key than bombastic.

-

After everything went down, Malachi split as to avoid being pinned on everything by the cops. Though as he walked….it was like he saw a ghost as old memories returned. Of him and Donna. Laughing and enjoying life together. Or at least…this lady reminded him of her a great deal. Maybe it's something to talk to her about.

Regardless.

He did return to the scene of the chaos, his sword was with him today, sheathed on his back. Though…it would be unique. The sheathe itself looked like a severed grey giant's arm, though it was made of wood. it's fingers gripping the crossguard of the blade tightly as if to stop anyone but Malachi from wielding the blade itself. Other than that, he wears his usually clothing. Trench coat, grey shirt, black jeans. combat boots. The usual.

He was cleaning things up when he noticed Donna on the other end of the park….curious beyond belief, he uses his speed to arrive there in short order, but looking like he's just picking stuff up. "Fancy seeing you here, Donna. Here to help out too?"

-

If Donna marked Malachi's arrival, she gives no indication, only glancing up as he came close enough to offer comfortable conversation, a smile breaking on her lips before she answered the greeting. Friendly, yes, but grim as well. As though they were both in the midst of a fact many super-powered and metahumans failed to or refused to face. Their actions had consequences. Even when they thought they were a force for good. "Seemed the right thing to do. None of these people were responsible for what happened here."

Setting one of the crafts stalls to right, Donna begins the task of placing all of the trinkets back onto the shelves. It almost seems a magician's trick, as she begins to rebuild the displays, as though she knew precisely where each and every item was meant go, as though she were building it from some invisible plan. "Thinking that we might be in for some more trouble?" A nod of her head towards the sword.

-

Malachi's ears are fixed on Donna….she sounds just like-no, no. It can't be…she died in his arms. He knew of her curse, sure, but….this couldn't be her, right? Either way, he looks to her with a small smile. "Yeah. Reason why I'm here to help fix this up…plus it doesn't seem like anyone else wants to fix this that were here, so." he shrugs then pretty casually. Someone had to do it, even if they didn't want to.

As she seems to take notice of his sword, he nods. "Yeah. Always need to be prepared." he tells her then, but…she might remember that Malachi was -always- prepared. He wouldn't show up to a baby shower without his runes out of fear that something might blow up. He's lived for far too long.

-

In that other place and other time, the woman Malachi remembers was not quite this woman. She had seemed shorter, though she wasn't, more delicate. With hair red as flame, though her eyes were the same blue. It was like looking at the same woman, but through a darkened glass. "I'm hoping that if we can repair as much as was broken, these people might be able to regain a goodly amount of their livelihood." There is a lot of unpaid for merchandise scattered around. And even at rock bottom warehouse, possible counterfeit prices, these things didn't grow on trees.

When Malachi speaks, she nods, her eyes drifting across the merchandise as she rebuilds the display. And if he could see it, her eyes flutter, as they might if she were speedreading, as though she were flipping through some invisible book in her head. "Ah." Barely a sound,but one of understanding, before she looks back, "Given the way things exploded, in this city, it might be for the best."

-

Hence why Malachi was having the damndest time trying to figure out where he's seen her before. Same body structure, just a little taller. Black hair instead of flamin' red. but those eyes…he knows those eyes anywhere. He takes a moment to breathe then a moment. 1,307 years on this god forsaken earth, and the surprises…the emotional hits just don't stop coming. Alas, as she speaks, he nods softly to her. "Yeah…agreed. Let's just hope some weird monkey and a speedster don't wreck everything again."

He smiles softly to her then, but his senses are honed enough that he can most certainly see Donna speed reading. Literally. He ends up staring at her though, before he just shakes his head. "You know…..you remind me of someone I knew a very long time ago."

-

"Given how reckless they both were, I am not going to hold out hope, in either case." It's with surprising alacrity, that Donna finally places the last trinket back in its stand, eyes studying the stall with a critical eye, noting all of the places where the items were simply too broken to be replaced, where this part or that section needed to be reorganized to make the display once again seamless and appealing.

There's a moment of stillness, as she heard Malachi's words, a moment where she only stood facing away from him.

But duplicity is not in this Donna, and so, as she allows that moment to flow through her fingers like water, she turns to face the man standing bare steps from her, "She was me, Malachi, in another world, in another time. But I am not her."

-

"Where there's a will, there's a way." he smiles softly then, though he seems to pause completely when she remembers him, and he feels his heart almost stop. Every memory they had. From the moment they first met to the moment she died in his arms from the curse. He takes a deep breath then as he drops what he was holding.

"I knew it….I knew it…" he turns then and he makes a straight B-line for her. "You have her memories don't you? as per the curse? It's still -you-." he says then as he looks her in the eyes. He shakes his head then. looking up, and whether he was talking to God or if he was just talking to himself. "I held you in my arms you know. After everything that happened after every promise we made…I swore on the stones of Loc Muinne that I wouldn't let you die. I failed. Now…I see you. How are you two different when you're the same. Is this the inescapability of the curse?" he asks her then. and she could see in his eyes.

He still loved her. Or who she used to be. "When you died…I died.."

-

Donna stands her ground, watching Malachi's approach, her expression empathetic, as though she knew, only too well, what he was going through. As though she understood that this was a pain, that, despite the fact that she was the cause of it, she could not help him with. "I have her memories. I have all of their memories. A thousand, thousand me's. Different lives, different loves, different sorrows. All passed to me at the moment of their death. I am a mirror, with an endless sea of reflections. But they are only memories, Malachi. Women who were. Women who have not been forgotten. But as I am not her, I am not any of them either." At his self-flagellation, she shakes her head, "It was not your fault. She meant to keep the promises she made to you, that I know. But when her end came, nothing could have stopped it. Nothing ever does."

-

Given, Malachi wasn't coming over as a threat, but he looks at her, right at her. Looking at her was like a torture. Not because she hurt him, but because it's -NOT- the woman he fell madly in love with. He then seems to look away from her, his hands moving into his pockets as he paced. He just shakes his head then as he listens to her words.

"….then the only promise I could ever keep to you is to break your curse. I don't care if I need to fight God himself." he looks at her then. right in the eyes. She would remember when he made her that promise. It was by a large lake, where it is, who can say? But it was where they made many promises to each other before her death.

-

Donna remains perfectly still, studying the man as he came to rest a pace, or just a hair more from her. No, not the woman he remembered, though there was something of that woman's compassion in this woman. She understood, nor just remembered, what it felt to feel his pain. And so, perhaps it was a mercy that she allowed him to walk away, and did not attempt to reach out to him. To offer what would only be cold comfort. "Malachi. The promises you made, you made in good faith. You did not make them to me, nor will I hold you to them. I have found my peace, such as I could, such as anyone could. She would not have wanted you to live your life in the memory of a lost love."

-

Malachi ends up coming to a stop as he looked at her. his eyes never leaving her own for even a moment. As he hears her words about the promise he made and about the peace she has at least tried to find. But he just shakes his head. His heart was clearly still broken over her passing. "Then you tell me…how am I supposed to make peace with her death when I am still in a world where I can look at her face." he looks at Donna then as he just closes his eyes and shakes his head.

"….do you know what her last words would've been?"

-

What could she do, in the face of that pain? She could not change her face, her being. She was what she was made to be, by time, and fate, and the cruel whim of yet another fragment of herself. "I do not know, Malachi. I do not know that there is peace, not an easy peace, of the kind you are looking for. Perhaps, only remember her as she was, when you knew her. Find a way to look back on her with joy, and not only with pain."

At his question, she shakes her head, "Perhaps I did once, or will again. The threads of so many lives have become disarrayed. I can no longer tell which memories go with which life, unless I focus. And even then, they seem to choose when they wish to come back to me. perhaps hers will one day return and I will share them with you. But now?" Donna shakes her head.

-

Malachi looks at her then and he nods a few times, lowering his head as he hears her words. Though what he does do is he takes something out of his pocket, and it was Donna's necklace. He always kept it on him, and he looks at it with that small sigh to his features, before he attempts to hand it to Donna.

She would know that he gave this to her previous persona.

"This is how I make peace….this is yours." He turned his body halfway, like as if to say after he gives her the necklace, he was going to leave.

-

Donna lowers her eyes, studying the man's movements. She did not seem in any way afraid, or given to think that he might mean her ill will. No, perhaps it was fairer to say that they both, unintentionally, brought each other pain. Carried that ill will with them through no fault of their own. He, for want of a woman who was now only a memory. She, for the memory that she held, but could not make real again.

When he held out the necklace, she reached out to accept it, her fingers curling around it as it dangled in the air. A long silence, before she spoke again, "Midsummer. Just at sunset." A fragment of a moment, but that she remembered. "Never mine. But if you would like me to, I will hold it for you. When you are ready, I will give it back to you."

-

Malachi watches as she seems to accept what he had given to her long, long ago as a heartfelt gift in symbolism of love. He watches as she identifies it….but she also identifies and remembers when exactly he gave it to her. -THAT- is what causes his heart to almost break all over again. He does nod a few times though, his eyes closed to stop a tear from trying to break free from his beautiful bluish-silver eyes.

"You remember…." he takes a deep breath, before he shakes his head. "One day…there will be a day. When you are free. Let that be my promise to you. Whether it is by my hand, or another's. You will be free." he gives her that hope even if there is none to be had. But he turns on his heel then, and he nods to her. "Remember me…as I will remember you." and at that, he turns on his heel to walk away on that lonely road.

-

Donna does not lift the necklace up, nor make an attempt to put it on. She knows, as deeply as she knows anything, that that would be an unnecessary cruelty. But she does close her fingers over the pendant, her free hand coming up to cup the cool metal, to feel it warm between her palms. "Yes, for a moment, I remembered." And then her own promise, as she watches him steady himself and prepare to take his leave, "One day, so will you." Be free, of the pain of loss and memory. And what sadness she feels herself, as she watches him walk away, she keeps to herself, only tightening her hand hard enough around the necklace to leave the mark of it in her palm.

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