dedication: to Mercury and Venus and Mars and Jupiter, always and forever.
notes: i hope you cry.
title: i was not magnificent
summary: Blue. Like the ocean. Like the sky. — Blue/Gansey.
You die like this:
"Don't make me do this," she says, and she's crying more than she's talking. There's spots of burning colour in her cheeks, her breath tight and angry in her throat. You want to pull her under your skin. You want to never let her go.
"You have to," you say. Your thumb sweeps into the deep purple bruises beneath her eyes—your girl lives in colour, all greens and golds against her skin. Even her smile. Even her name. "You have to, Jane."
"I'm never going to forgive you," she says, fists curled into the front of your shirt. She's so pale, so cold.
"I know," and it escapes you like a secret, tiny out of the corner of your mouth.
"Please, Gansey, don't make me do this," she says again. Something inside of you breaks, shatters like glass, the shards sharp and digging into your insides. You don't know what internal bleeding feels like, but it must be the flickering fading pound of your heart singing a-live a-live a-live. Your blood in buzzing with it.
"Jane," you say, hold her face in your hands like you've wanted to, always wanted to. "Jane, listen to me."
She does, bites down on her lip, tucked her chin to her chest. Her hair sticks to her face, wet still from the rain.
You had a speech planned. You know you did.
(You were going to tell her that this was for the best. That Glendower would be better off awake, even if you had to take his long sleep in his place. You were going to tell her to keep Adam and Ronan out of trouble, because they listened to her even when they didn't want to. You were going to tell her to rebury Noah's bones, to let him rest. You were going to tell you love her. You were going to tell her a lot of things.)
But it's gone now, lost in the face of the tremble to her shoulders.
"Blue," you say, so gentle.
Just her name.
Like the ocean.
Like the sky.
She pulls a shaky breath into her lungs, and it's like you can see it swirl through her. She's transparent when she looks at you, her eyes a stormy reflection of Cabeswater's dark matter rivers, and you think she's the most beautiful girl you've ever seen. The most beautiful girl you'll ever see.
You hold her face in your hands, and you say the cruelest thing you have ever said:
She's stopped crying, though you don't know when that happened, and she's just staring at you with tear tracks shining on her cheeks. You don't wipe them away, though you want to—there's something about them that suits her. Her head lolls. She doesn't draw away.
"You'll die," she says, steadily.
"Everyone dies," you say.
She just looks at you, and time must stop. There's no other way to explain the way the whole universe shifts, breathes, settles. She's the world and the stars and the whole of the cosmos, all wrapped up compact strong lines and dark hair. Her magic is the absence of it: she's the power-source and you—you used to wonder, before now, if it wasn't the way she sparked that drew you. You all saw it, Adam and Noah probably the clearest. You got dragged along for the ride and now the thought of her going out is the sharpest most awful thing you can imagine.
If you don't do this, they're going to drain her dry.
(There can only be one Raven King.)
Her mouth is soft and warm and tastes like sugared water. It's there for the barest hint of a second, fleeting heat before it disappears into nothing.
You can feel her shaking, lungs fluttering, even as you breathe the same air. She takes two desperate gulps of oxygen, then two more, and you count the tears clinging to her eyelashes: one two three four. You want to wipe them away. You don't.
And then she's kissing you again.
And it's different now. It's so different now.
There are words you know to describe this, but none of them quite fit right. It's just a little thing, the way her mouth fits against yours like it was made for this place. Gone is the hesitation and the sugar and there is only fire and a longing so intense it's almost painful. She kisses you like ozone and pizza grease and those long summer days you spent in the speckled sunshine beneath Cabeswater's trees. She kisses you ungentle and unlovely and unforgiving. She kisses you like the ocean. She kisses you like the sky.
She kisses you like Blue, and maybe you should have known that a long, long time ago.
"I love you," you say into her mouth, because it's the truth and she deserves that. You hold her trembling frame, work her fingers out of her shirt because she's not paying attention, too busy trying to find the right words to make you stay. Her hair is so soft against your skin. "I love you, Blue Sargent."
"I love yo—
"Don't," you tell her, shake your head fiercely. "Don't do that to yourself."
And then you kiss her, for the first time ever.
Like pop-rocks, you think, delirious with it.
(You wish, selfishly, that you might have kissed her more. Adam and the rest of the world be damned, because you could have had this. She's so small, is the thing, and you could drop your chin on top of her head if you wanted. Her eyes are closed, face tipped up and back and her lips are there, just there. Waiting.)
But then you let her go, turning away, and Cabeswater swallows you whole. The darkness takes you like the tide.
You don't even hear her scream—