disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Sidney and to Emily.
notes: my brother's name is Nick this is so problematic
notes2: this was posted on my drabble account, but after 2x05, it got, um, bigger. i s2g if i have to explain this more than once, i will cut a bitch.

title: moonlight bleeding out of your soul
summary: It's pretty (and) sick. — Nick/Paige.

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She sits with her arms around her knees, knees up to her chest, head against the window pane. She's all in black, the bright colour in her hair leeched away by long days of worry and an unprecedented expenditure of magic. The lines around her eyes are deep purple bruises, and she looks so tired that he can't even stand it.

Paige isn't the most beautiful girl he's ever seen.

She's not even the first girl he's been really attracted to.

But there's something about the way she holds her jaw, that tight flat line of her lips, and how her eyes are so dark they swallow all the light in a room. It's the power in her fingertips, the visions he knows are hiding at the back of her throat; it's the way she holds her rage, softly, like a flower in her mouth. He's never met a girl like her, and Nick's met a lot of girls.

In fact, he's never met anyone like her.

Especially like this. Wreathed in the pale light of fake-dawn, she's stretched-out and made unreal, and Nick isn't surprised for a minute that she's a witch. The air hovers around her differently than it does other people—it clings to her, like it's trying to press as close as it can, and there are faint smudges of spirits lighting the air around her.

Before Paige, Nick didn't even know spirits existed.

But she sits there and she plays with her rings and she stares out the window and it's like…

It's like he's not even there.

And that's never been a problem, before. Women don't ignore Nick; it's just not a thing that happens. He's good-looking, and he knows what he's doing, and he's kind of an ass. Women like that, god knows why.

But the point is that whatever they end up doing, they don't ignore him.

Not the way that Paige does.

It's funny, Nick muses, that when he's actually interested in a relationship that isn't just one night and sexual, the person in question could give less of a shit. Actually it's kind of fucked up, and Logan would say that his need for approval from the fairer sex is probably a brain tick in need of psychoanalysis, but you know what, fuck that.

Nick knows his own crazy. He doesn't need Logan telling him what he already knows.

But it's just Paige.

She's an enigma.

And Nick's always, always liked puzzles.

"Stop staring at me, Nick," she says.

Just like that. Stop staring at me, Nick. As though he even knows how, when she's all washed out travellers lost in fog with shadows across her face, reflected darkly like a ghost in the window glass. As though he'd even want to.

He doesn't stop staring.

She twists, her spine a long line beneath her shirt, and glares at him. "Are you listening to me?"

"Not really," he says, which, at the very least, isn't a lie. He shrugs, feels fabric stretching tight across his chest with the movement, and watches her watch the ripple of it. She may not like him, but she can't help the attraction.

Nick sure as hell knows what that's like.

"You're hopeless," she sighs. Her hair moves with her breath. "You gonna come over here, or are you just gonna stand there like a creep?"

He wavers, for a minute (and what is that, why the hesitation, kid? She's just a girl, a beautiful girl with an attitude and a pinched look in her eyes and a smile that might look like starlight if she just got the chance to actually use it once in a while—), but then he's across the room and standing next to her in her little window nook. He didn't even know Stonehaven had window nooks, but of course she managed to find them in the only home he's ever known. She seems like a window nook kind of person.

Paige looks up at him for what seems like forever, and then she nods her head towards the other corner. She tightens her grip on her knees, even, pulls them closer to herself to give him a little more room.

You sure? he wants to say. You sure and why and please, but the words get stuck at the top of his throat and he can't spit them out, not even if his life depended on it. He can only look at her for a minute, her and her rings, her silver, her chipped nail polish, her dark eyes. Her magic.

Paige, just as she is.

Nick takes a breath.

And sits.

The sex is a thing that just keeps—happening.

The whole world is about to end. Nick doesn't get it, not really. Cursed and curser… whatever. It's not like he's in love with her (not yet), and it's not like it was her idea in the first place. Bleeding out of his eyes was a shitty experience, but he's over it.

God, she's gorgeous.

"This doesn't mean anything," she says. She's talking to herself, mostly, and they both know it's the only way she's getting through the days. Savannah might come into her magic any day, now, because puberty is weird like that, and as soon as she does…

He doesn't really want to think about it.

Paige rolls away from him, the long tanned line of her back in sharp relief against the white of Nick's sheets, her hair like whorls of ink across a blank page. There are still scraps from when they fucked for the first time, against that stupid tree. He wants to reach for her and pull her back, feel the press of her breasts against his skin and the way she shakes when she laughs.

He's found out she's ticklish. He doesn't think anyone else knows that.

It's something, at the very least.

"Hey," she says, and this time she is talking to him. She's running her hands through her hair, curling the tips around her fingers. It's an unconscious thing, almost a nervous habit, but he doesn't know her well enough to say for sure. "Hey, look at me."

Nick makes a little sound. He's always looking at her. He can't even help it anymore.

"What?" he asks, instead of anything else. It's easier.

(It isn't, but he's getting pretty good at pretending. This isn't about anything except that I need to think about something else right now.)

"C'mere," she says, and she's off the bed, naked as a jaybird. She's going to be the end of him because she has even less shame than he does, and that's saying something.

"You really have a thing for windows, don't you," he says, when he realizes where she's heading.

Paige flops a pointy little shoulder up and down, a crow's shrug with more panache. "I like being able to see the sky," she says, beckons him forwards.

He goes, helpless, moth to flame.

"You're such a sucker," she says, and looks away.

Nick doesn't deny it; it's true. He just stands behind her, not quite touching, and they stare out unseeingly at Stonehaven's grounds. The trees here stretch on forever, miles and miles of untamed land. Upstate New York is great, but he knows what the Hudson Bay looks like frozen over and dripping in cosmos, and this endless scape of trees has nothing on that.

"I'll keep you safe," Nick says, very quietly. "You know I will."

Paige lolls her head back, thudding against his chest. It's a slow, deliberate kind of movement. "I don't think anyone can promise safe anymore, Nick."

"If you say so," he says.

"Huh, did you actually just give in without a fight? Are you okay? Did a pod person take you?"

"Tell me about Savannah," he says, instead, ignores the stupid jabs because she doesn't get it. She doesn't understand. Maybe she's right, maybe he can't promise her safety, but, god, he'll die before he lets anything happen to her. He'll die before Aleistair touches a hair on her head.

"She's a brat," Paige says, smiling faintly. "Really smart, smarter than I ever was, and she's funny even though she never means to be. She's—sweet, too, you know? I mean, she drives me crazy, but… she's my sister. I love her."

"Yeah?" he's fitting himself around her, smoothing himself over her sharp edges like a blanket over stone. Arms caged around her and hands on her hips and chest to her back and nose in her hair—

"What are you doing, stop that," she says.

Nick lets go, steps back fast as a burn.

"Oh my god, stupid, no, get back here, I was just being mean," she says, and he can almost feel the eye roll.

"I thought Savannah was the brat," Nick says, drily.

"You did not," Paige says, affronted, and she turns away from the window to glare at him. Her chin goes up, pupils dilated, and the lust rolls off her like a wave. It hits him with the force of a physical blow, and he wants.

"I think I did," he chuckles. It's funny, after all, and she's small and bright, a shout of life stark against the colourless day.

"You take that back," she says.

"Nope," Nick tries for a smirk, but it probably ends up way dorkier than he wanted it to be.

She reaches up, and touches his face. The gentleness of it strikes him off guard, even as she presses her fingers into the curve of his mouth. Everything inside him aches to catch her wrist and kiss the thin skin there, the blue of her veins, the flutter of her pulse. Paige is not a fragile thing, even though there is a sick part of him that wishes she was, because if she was fragile he could take her away from the world and no one would be the wiser—but no, she's a star gone supernova, the beginnings of a black hole, magic and ghosts in equal measure.

"You're a piece of shit," she says, smiling wryly.

"That is true," he nods gravely into her palm. "I think you like it, though."

"I do not," she says, still smiling. "You gonna kiss me, or what?"

"You gonna let me, or what?" he grins.

She laughs for real, a jagged little bark of a thing that's all the more surprising for how honest it is. And then she's scrambling her way up his body, curling her arms around his neck, locking her legs around his hips. Her breath comes fast. Her voice comes husky. "Seriously?"

"Seriously," he parrots, and hitches her up. "If we break the window, I'm gonna be in trouble."

"Do I look like I care?" Paige says. "If we fall—"

"We're not gonna fall," he cuts in, though he doesn't know what makes him do it.

"If we fall," she repeats, grinds against him a little harder like a punishment, "you better keep me from hitting the ground. I don't have crazy werewolf healing, I'll actually die, and that would suck."

Nick won't let her die. Moot point. He doesn't say it, though, just in case.

He doesn't say anything.

He lays into her, teeth and fingers and cock because he wants to know her, wants to know all of her, wants her any way he can have her. There's no telling how long they have, and as the days get shorter and the nights get longer and the shadows of the moon grow deeper, what little time they have drains away.

I love you, he thinks, dizzily. Holy crap, I love you.

And it's all he can think, over and over again, for a long, long time.

"I can't," she says, eyes cast down and her sister in the other room. "I have to go. I don't have a choice, I'm leader now, I—"

"No," he says, throat constricting. Looking at her like this, in the golden dawn, he realizes he's never going to love anyone else. "I get it."

"I'm so sorry," she says, and she kisses him goodbye.

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fin.

notes3: lmao i am the queen of abrupt endings