I'm (Not) the One

May 24, 2018:

Donna returns a few things Malachi left behind. Between them, they decide a few others things should also be left behind.

Empire State Building - Roof

One of the many rooftops that have been converted to green space on the building.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It was well past morning, by the time Donna woke from sleep, the light having long since slid into the room through the window Malachi had left open the night before, and cast its warm illumination on her face. On most days, she would have been up even before daybreak, tending to her morning routine, and taking a few minutes of peace as she siphoned off the things that the Orb would keep. The only few minutes that seemed wholly for herself in the rest of the day.

So deeply had she slept, succumbing to her body's need to heal itself from the loss of blood and her own emotional exhaustion, that she did not notice that the laundry had been cleaned and delivered until she nearly stumbled on it on her way to pull the window closed against the breeze that still chilled the air in the New York spring.

She had carefully packed the clothes Malachi had left behind, though she knew she would not have a chance to attempt to deliver it until evening. She had a number of appointments she could not miss. And so, it sat idle, the bag only retrieved when she'd finally completed the day's tasks, an hour after sunset, and she'd set off to find him. She did not, of course, know where he lived, or have any way to contact him, but she placed her bets that he would be watching the city, as he had often liked to do in the past, and she began her methodical search of all of the places she thought he might be. The higher the better.

-

Malachi had completely forgotten about his clothes the other night. But thankfully, he returned to his residence and was wearing fresher clothing. Just some black jeans and a black shirt, combat boots on his feet. He seems to be fairly emotionally exhausted himself, except he didn't sleep at all, unlike Donna. Though his eyes did shift as he watches the city with a careful eye, sitting on the edge of one of the tallest buildings in the world.

…specifically, the Empire State Building.

Not bad for a good lookout spot, though his enhanced senses could hear Donna's flight…he knows it too specifically to miss, but he makes no comment nor does he make himself easily noticeable. She might be mad at him for not wanting to give her up to some curse, or maybe it was the kiss to her temple. Who knows?

Either way…Malachi sits in silence.

-

Donna, alas, had no homing beacon with which she could track down the man she sought. While he might be able to use the spell he had cast on her to find her at need, she could not do the same. And so, she traveled, and wiled away an hour or more, before she finally caught the sight of a familiar figure, illuminated only for a brief moment as the moon came out from behind a drift of clouds.

She settled onto the roof with the same care with which she had touched down the night before, swinging the small duffel off of her shoulder. Quite the contrary to what might be considered 'most women', Donna Troy did not own any large bags, certainly not one large enough to hold both his change of clothes and his jacket, and so she had opted to wear the jacket, though, as she set down, and it fell around her, it seemed almost comically large. Indeed, she had had to roll the sleeves up, but no matter.

"I would have kept them, just in case, but I thought you might have need of the jacket at least." Contrary to the fictionalized accounts of his kind, Malachi was no foppish bon vivant, and she recalled that he had always been a minimalist. The fact that he stood on the roof without any jacket at all, well. "Forgive me."

-

Sitting there and taking a deep breath, Malachi looked at Donna as she arrived. Wearing his jacket no less! Gods….she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and each time he saw her it only further proved that statement. As she lands very softly, he stands up so he can look at her. Touched that she actually spent time to find him to return his clothing, or at the very least, his jacket, Malachi offered her a warm smile.

A bon vivant he was not. He only took with him what he needed, and tended to dislike extravagance. He lived that life before. It wasn't very pleasant. Though as she apologizes to him, he approaches her until they are almost chest to chest.

"Why do you apologize?" He whispers to her, though judging from just looking at her…he can tell she's had a rather emotional night and that perhaps bled into the day just a little bit. "Are you alright?" He asks her, looking at his jacket on her.

"You look good in that."

-

Donna's footsteps were nearly silent, as she approached, a thoughtfulness in her expression, in the slight crease between her brows. She moved with her usual grace, free of artifice or conceit. If you had asked her, she would said said, yes, she was beautiful, but she would have seen no point in the question. All Amazons were beautiful. And the sky was blue. And the grass was green. She would have seen nothing special in the fact. As she saw Malachi making his approach, her own steps stilled, and she held out the duffel first, though the arm that she extended fell as he stepped close enough that there was barely a step between them.

So close that she had to lift her eyes to meet his, dropping the bag and shaking down the sleeves to prepare to slip the jacket off, "I hurt you." As if that were all, and everything. "Until now, I have been…I do not think that I would call it fortunate. I have not had to exist with a living reminder of the past." Donna dropped her eyes, a flash of pain crossing her features. "I—it's maddening."

-

Malachi saw the duffel, but it didn't stop him from being as close to her as he was. Though as she tells him that she hurt him…and he can see the pain in her eyes, his eyes widen just a little bit, the way her eyes lowered and how the pain crossed her features. Malachi cupped her cheeks in his hands, and tried to tilt her head upwards just a little bit so he could look her in the eyes. "Hey.."

"I know that…you've never suffered this before. I don't want to hurt you either, Donna. It hurts me more than you will ever comprehend to see you in any kind of distress." the way he says it, it's like his heart bled with those words. In many ways, they were in the same situation. Malachi isn't exactly used to this either.

"What can I do?"

-

Donna Troy was not a woman given to reluctance, to shying away from anything..or anyone. And yet, as Malachi's hands cupped her face, he could feel the resistance in her, feel how very much she did not want to look at him. And yet, when her hands rose, she didn't seem to have the strength to pull his hands away. "I feel as though…they're all in here with me, Malachi, fighting to get out, trying to find their way forward. And if they do, I'll lose myself. I won't be me anymore, I'll be one of them. I'll be lost."

When her eyes finally rose high enough to meet his, there was pain there, and the sheer terror she felt at the thought of losing herself to the multitude within herself. "She's so strong now." Every word seemed to be torn from her throat, leaving only raw pain behind, "My memories, they're not just pictures." And he'd know that, from his brief glimpse into her mind. She possessed true eidetic memory. Total sense memory. "Gods help me. I remember what you taste like." Even saying the words brought the memory, the feel of his mouth on hers. No, not hers, but that of a woman who had been dead for centuries, now clamouring for purchase in Donna's mind.

-

Malachi felt her resistance to him, the way it seemed like she really didn't want to look him in the eyes, as if one of the memories inside threatened her to do it when she finally did. He felt her soft, perfect hands over his own, his eyes locked onto hers as she speaks. He appears to be heartbroken as she has that sheer look of terror on her face. This was her fear, and he could sense it. His thumbs rub her cheeks, his forehead touches her own, and he looks her in the eyes.

"Hey…hey…It won't happen alright? You'll still be you. Memories are only memories." But then she gets more specific…more exact. It was like the Donna he fell in love with and the Donna that…he's still in love with, were the two of them starting to merge or something? This was something that Malachi couldn't answer.

At the admittance that she remembered what he tasted like, he pauses a moment, completely sideswiped by her words. His eyes glance to her full lips, and he leans in for just a moment as if he was going to…but he stops. "I don't know how to help you, Donna. But I will. You will always be -you-. Only you can control those voices. Even if you let a memory become part of you…it's still -you-. You are your own person." he whispers to her softly.

All too well did he remember the kisses they shared. The feel of their lips was almost banging in his mind, telling him…pleading with him to kiss her. His eyes showed fear. A fearless man whose only fear was Donna's pain.

-

"I don't know that you can, Alac," again, that name that was not her name for him, but that of the woman inside of her. "You can't save me from my own soul. And that's what they are. Fragments of my soul, scattered to the winds, and when they come back, they bring everything that they were with them." An armchair psychologist might have called this some sort of mystical multiple personality disorder, with each of the personalities vying for ultimate control of their shared body.

Donna stood perfectly still, her hands on his, her forehead pressed lightly to his, as if it were all she could do to gather herself, to keep herself from flying apart in the face of his pain. "Please, I need to sit down." She finally curled her hands around his, then, attempting to draw them down from her face. Not pushing him away, only seeming to need some small bit of distance. "Will you sit with me?" The weight of self-loathing in her voice was a heavy thing, as if she knew precisely ho selfish the request was, but made it anyway.

-

Malachi hears that name from her lips. It resonated with him like ancient texts. His forehead still pressed with hers as she tells him about that each person those memories belong to? are a fragment of her soul. This makes his own soul almost ache for hers. Every single one of hers. Herself included. He would always be there for her…and she'd know it too.

He remains still with her, the way her hands curl around his own. Was her request selfish? Maybe, but Malachi nods to her. "Of course I will." he whispers softly to her, willing to follow her wherever it was she wanted to lead him. His hands still holding hers like a lover would hold, should they be comforting their grieving partner. It was affectionate, yes, but filled with tremendous care.

"I'll stay with you as long as you want."

-

The relief Donna felt at his acquiescence softened the line of her shoulders, as she lead him over towards, not some bench or even to the area of green that had been cultivated; another layer of the green roof that had slowly been taking over the roof levels of the building. Instead, she moved to sit on the edge of the roof itself, though she seemed not to trust herself with dangling her feet over into the void. She did not release his hand, nor, indeed, return the jacket that she now used her free hand to tug closer around herself.

Once she'd settled, waited for him to join her, she looked down over the city, across the skyline, not avoiding him, well, yes, avoiding looking at him, but out of a need for self-preservation, "I have be careful, as I've traveled between the universes, never to venture too close to one of myself. I learned…the hard way once, what happens when I am in too close proximity to another living version of myself."

-

Malachi seems to smile very softly to her as she leads him to the edge of the roof, sitting down with her as they both looked over the city. Nightfall had long come, so to see the beauty of the city that never sleeps, alit with such beautiful light…it led to a sight that people dream of. Beautiful and filled with splendor. Though he held Donna's hand, his fingers lacing and intertwining with her own so he can hold it more effectively (and affectionately). He noticed that she kept his jacket around her shoulders. It was cold out, after all…and maybe it comforted her?

He sat down with her, sitting shoulder to shoulder with her as they looked out into the void. "I know that you're afraid..you never have to hide that from me." he'll look at her even if she avoids looking at him for likely a multitude of reasons. But he whispers softly. "What happens if you venture to close to yourself?" he asks her curiously, before he speaks again. "Would you look at me?" a squeeze to her hand.

-

Donna had had, too many years of practice, in piecing herself back together, and, as she sat looking out at the city, she did so once again, willing herself back into control of her mind, using all of her mental power to push back the restless ghosts in her head. Something about the familiarity of the city, the small elements which were the same in all of its many iterations, seemed to sooth her. Her hand remained small and light in his, her free one coming to cover the back of the hand she held.

"So you say. But I also know that this…being like this…you won't move on while I'm like this." Not while there was even the remotest possibility that his Donna would, could, come back. "Some of the lives they live…are very much the same. Not all of…me…are unique. One of me…she had a son, a husband. I found them, not them, but…another version of them. I didn't know any better. I watched them, the three of them. Donna, her husband, their son. I couldn't help it. I wanted to live, even vicariously, the life the, the Donna inside of me had lost." She shook her head, the thread of the story trailing off, "People died. Harbinger said, it would always be that way. Paradox, with terrible consequences. We have no way of knowing what would happen, only that…it would be harmful." Donna finally looked away from the city, and back towards Malachi. She seemed more…herself, more present, less haunted, "This is not the same, but in a way it is."

-

Malachi looks at her as she definitely looks like more of herself as she took that moment to put herself back together again. He keeps his eyes on her, his thumb rubbing the back of her hand as her free hand came over to dwell on his hand as well, his free hand moving to caress her cheek very softly. wiping away any tears that happened to escape her pained expression. He remains loyally by her side.

He listens to her tale, he looks at her. "Donna…if you asked me to stop loving you, I'm not sure I could." He was completely honest with her, "But…if you wished it of me, I'd try." He gives her hand a squeeze as he listens to the story of how she found another one of her…how she was happily married with a son. How she finally looked back towards him. "Donna…" he whispered her name.

He leans forward once again to rest his forehead against hers. "Donna….if you want to live…then -live-. I don't want you to live in..fear of what could happen every waking second of the day. You deserve to live the way -you- choose. No matter what it is."

-

Donna took a moment, looking, not away, but down to her hands, small against, within his much larger one. The lightness of his fingers, wiping away the moisture on her cheeks, brought the barest hint of a smile, if a sad one, to her lips, "How could I ask you to do that? Gods know, if I could do that within myself, I would have done…" She pauses, considering her words, "I want you to be happy again. I want you to live, Alac. Really live, not just exist. Not…spend your life waiting to die."

She fell silent, settled comfortably against him, forehead to forehead, seeming to take comfort in the gesture, in his proximity, "I have tried to do that. For…all of the years since I have carried the orb. I have tried to live my life, and not to live the lives of the women who have come before me."

-

Malachi looks at Donna, looking her in the eyes. He nods very softly as she speaks about her wanting him to live his life. "I will…I have. You have my word on that." his eyes never leave hers for even the smallest second, settling comfortably against her in return. He always took a similar comfort just being by her side.

Though as he hears about her with the universe orb, he nods softly to her. "Donna…you know I'll always be there for you. In whatever situation you need me." He whispers softly to her. Their lips so close it's dangerous…and Malachi doesn't look like he's going to move away this time.

"Then keep doing it…you are stronger than you know. I know you can do this. Okay?"

-

"I cannot hold you to your word. I will only hope that you keep it. Trust you to keep it. And not for me. For you. You've lived too many years you said, and maybe you have done. But I think it is not your time, yet, and there is still so much for you to live for." She truly believed that, sitting there, with the spring breeze swirling around them, and the glitter of the city, bright and brilliant around them, and yet, as high as they were, almost eerily quiet. "I have been given a purpose. I can be strong enough for that."

As close as they were, it would not have taken more than an ounce of effort, of consideration, for Donna to bridge the distance between herself and Malachi. And so, eyes searching his gaze, she did. And when her lips met his, there was something soft, and sweet, and infinitely sad in her kiss. And something else.

Something that poets had often eluded to. The idea that lovers would know each other across ages, across any span of space or time or existence. And their kiss was proof of that. Whatever he has thought before, imagined before, this was the truth of the thing. This was not his Donna. She looked like her, though her hair was dark to the more, to him, familiar red. She felt like her, even, in her way, tasted like her. But that spark of soul which had bound them irrevocably to each other so many years ago, was not in this Donna. Not this portion of her own fractured soul.

-

Malachi looks at her as she speaks, her words once again ignites love inside of his heart…his eyes locked onto her own as she speaks about how brilliant his life may yet be. His time has not yet come…and there is much for him still to do. Though once they were close enough…and Donna bridges that distance? He kisses her in return. It's soft…it's loving…like that of a lover who found his mate across the long span of time.

Malachi would cross death itself for her. That much was evident. But…the kiss is infinitely sad. How these star-crossed lovers ended up in this position is merely by the cold quill of fate. His lips remain on hers as they enter each other's embrace for some time, the city fading to the background, all the noise.

His arm wraps around her shoulders, holding her close to him as they share perhaps one last moment together.

And so there they remained for a time, confiding in each other, promising each other, and in the end of this tragedy? Perhaps even a strengthening of a bond is made.

But this moment is theirs. As it always shall be.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License