Disclaimer: Not mine.
AN: mckie113 said: Instead of Penny 23 being in love with Julia; Kady 23 is.
My first Wickoff fic, so please don't be too hard on me.
* a spark inside a silver half-heart *
The woman that turns the corner into the hallway lowers her hood, revealing familiar dark curls and shocked green eyes. Though the curls are messier than Julia's used to and the eyes and the skin of her face shadowed by signs of far too little sleep and far too much of something else.
She looks even worse than she did right after her episode in the psych ward, then again a post apocalyptic hellscape isn't the best place for anyone's health.
"It is you."
"Kady?" Julia questions and then freezes in place because Kady crosses the corridor at a run and is pulling their faces together a moment later. The kiss knocks the breath from her lungs, she feels her knees starting to buckle and only barely stays on her feet by grabbing Kady's shoulders to steady herself.
Kady's lips are warm and searching and desperate. Julia feels the wetness of Kady's tears starting to cover both their cheeks, her mind is spinning in place over one thought like a broken record 'Kady's kissing me'.
Her hand slides into Julia's hair and clenches into a fist to pull her even closer, like she's afraid to let go. Like she thinks Julia's about to slip through those fingers and vanish into nothing.
That thought finally pushes past the shock and makes Julia remember where she is and why she's there. And that this shouldn't be happening.
"Wait, wait Kady, stop!" Julia says puling back and stumbling away, dizzy and breathless and like she'd just taken a hit to her chest. "I'm not your Julia."
"What are you-"
"I'm not… I'm not the same Julia that died in this timeline," she says trying not to flinch under the pain and confusion in Kady's eyes.
"Well as adorable as that was, and believe me I'm gonna need a shower to get rid of all that cloying sugar, weren't we here for a reason?" Says a sarcastic voice from behind her that reminds her about Marina's presence.
Kady's sitting on the ground and playing absently with the two necklaces around her neck which form a familiar heart. Julia feels her own hand hovering over her chest where an identical half of that pair is hiding under her shirt.
"Hey." She says, crossing her arms and moving closer to slide down to the floor beside her.
"Hi." Kady huffs and falls back to silence, eyes remaining straight ahead.
"I'm sorry." Julia says, though she knows the words are wholly inadequate.
Kady laughs, the sound is bitter and edged and much more like something that her Kady would have directed at her, which stings inside Julia all the more.
"So I take it wherever you come from we aren't…" Kady says and waves her hand in the air clearly unwilling to put the end of that thought into words.
"No. We're friends. Or we were." Julia says and then falls silent for a moment. "You helped me after… well you were helping me to find a way to kill this god. But then I lost my shade and everything basically went to shit."
"Yeah, I'm guessing that's a recurring theme in this timeline bullshit then?"
"Basically." Julia nods.
"So tell me about me." Kady asks, tilting her head back. "Is my life any less a fucking awful mess there?"
Julia shivers, opens her mouth and finds that she doesn't have any idea what to say.
"Figures." Kady snorts, apparently reading the truth in Julia's silence.
"You're in love with Penny. Penny Adiyodi? I don't know if you know him here. He's nice. Kinda hates me but he's… good, he's good. And he loves you too." She says and doesn't let herself focus on why the words feel so forced as they come out.
"But?" Kady says.
"But what?" Julia asks, eyes on the wall.
"There's clearly a 'but' there." Kady answers dryly.
"He's stuck in the Underworld right now." Julia says reluctantly but knows there's really no point in glossing over it when she's already said this much.
"Of course he is." Kady laughs until she starts crying and hides her face by hugging her knees to her chest. After a minute of silence she finally turns and traps Julia in her gaze. "What about you?"
"What?" Julia says and fidgets with the thin chain around her neck.
"Do you have someone? Obviously it's not me but-"
"It kinda is." Julia says before being able to swallow the words she's barely let herself think about. Too late now though. And if this is the only chance she'll ever get to tell Kady then…
She knows it's selfish but she needs to say this, even just once.
"Before I lost my shade I think we were almost… something. I think you- she, I mean, - I think my Kady felt it too. But then my shade was gone and I wasn't really fully me, I did some pretty awful things. Hurt people. But she stayed with me, right up until the end. And then I did something you couldn't forgive and by the time I was me again you couldn't even look at me." Julia says and feels something raw and broken inside her racing.
She startles as Kady reaches over and grabs her hand, entwining their fingers together and lightly squeezing. She looks over and sees Kady looking back, eyes kind and sympathetic in ways she'd almost forgotten they could be. At least when pointed at her.
"Julia, I need you to do me a favor." Kady says while Josh is on the other side of the room waving around the key and trying to make their door show up. "I know I can't come through with you-"
"No I get it, even if it wouldn't make the reality implode I wouldn't want to steal another me's life - and wow but that's a messed up sentence, - anyway I know I can't come with you but I want you to take some of my memories of this… timeline." Kady says, voice serious.
"I couldn't give them to-"
"I know. That would be a pretty shitty thing to do, I think going through one set of this was bad enough it's just that… I don't want to be forgotten, I don't want this life, this version of my life to just be gone. Erased like it didn't matter, like what I had with my Julia didn't mean anything. So… if you're willing to I want you to remember for us." Kady says and Julia's breath catches.
She suddenly can't help thinking about James and how much it hurt when their entire relationship was wiped from his memory. This is different but she wonders about how she'd have taken it if back then she'd been in this kind of situation and known that her reality would soon collapse. Wonders about if a different James had shown up, if she might have wished for the same.
Yes, she thinks she might have.
She hesitates for a moment longer but finally she steps closer, taking Kady's head between the palms of her hands, feels them starting to glow and then-
Kady looks across the hallway, her eyes caught by a beautiful brunette who's practicing magic even as she's walking, a book bag slung over her shoulder. There's a serious crease between her eyebrows and a look of absolute concentration on her face as she goes through the steps of the spell with her hands.
"Hi I'm Julia Wicker."
"Kady." She says as they shake hands and something sparks like static between them.
They're falling backwards into bed. Julia sending toward her a smirk and twisting her fingers in a spell that make the clothes Kady's wearing vanish into smoke, leaving her in just her underwear.
Kady retaliates with a quick spell of her own and makes Julia's blouse ignite with harmless but pretty gold flames.
Then they're kissing until all thoughts of continuing undressing each other with magic vanish from Kady's thoughts. It's more fun by touch anyway.
"I love you, Kady."
"Then stay. This is suicide, you'll get yourself killed."
She loves her too. She loves her. Oh god, why didn't she tell her? Why didn't she stop her. She should have stopped her.
Julia knows what has to be done. But even so she finds herself hesitating for a moment. If she cuts every single piece of the godly fire out of herself in the creation of the keys there will be nothing left to hold those memories. And she promised Kady she wouldn't forget.
Her hand goes to the split heart around her neck even as an idea blooms and in moments her clenched fist glows golden and the memories are safely encased in silver with the barest sliver of her power there to maintain them until she can get them back.
Then she does what she must even as she falls to her knees, screaming as she splits herself apart again and again to bring magic back to the world she loves. To the people she loves.
Kim is walking through the city park when it happens, her cellphone is ringing and she starts rifling through her bag trying to fish it out when she rams into someone with her shoulder.
"Hey watch where you're going." A voice snaps at her.
"Oh sorry, I was just-" She looks up and stumbles to a stop from a feeling of Déjà vu, the woman the voice belongs to is very attractive but that's not what makes Kim feel like she's suddenly barely keeping head above water.
She knows her. She doesn't know how but she knows her.
Unnoticed, the necklace which holds barely enough power to ignite a spark, heats against her heart.
AN2: Any kind of feedback would be hugely appreciated. So please let me know what you thought.