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16 March 2010 @ 09:55 pm
Bryn Ch.2/3: She Was Better  
Drew kicked the gray-green wall in frustration, hardly feeling the pain as the plaster cracked and chipped. This wasn’t happening. Not Bryn. Never her. She wasn’t the one that didn’t come back. She was the One. His One. Their One. She was the one who saved the world, not the one who died trying. It wasn’t Kitty. It wasn’t freaking him. It was Bryn. It was always her. She was a slayer, she fulfilled the very image of one, the cardboard cutout left by their predecessors. Everyone knew it. She was different from the rest of them, not backups who had received their full strength due to a twist in reality from that Sunnydale witch. Compared to her, all of them were nothing more than potentials. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t be real. Things didn’t happen like this. Not to Bryn at least.
    Drew shook his head numbly as he slid down the wall, resting in the small gap between the foot of his bed and the wall. Even the carved oak digging into his back made his heart ache with a removed, intense kind of disbelief. He could almost see her there, in one of her bright pairs of pajama pants, their color dulled in the blue sheen of moonlight reflecting off the Pacific, with her too small tank-top that should have looked bad on a girl like her, but didn’t, wearing that stupid coat, her hair perfect as always, wolf-eyes glowing in the dark like twin fireflies. She would slide into his window, giggling insanely with that broken laugh of hers like she always did as she crawled in beside him and curled her body into his. Usually, she cried when that happened. She let all of her world-saving, ass-kicking energy drain away and he would be left with the scared and uncertain teenager she was, shouldering a responsibility far too large and and just cried. “Burning-blood-like-liquid-fire-in-my-veins” as she said it in that weird way she described things instead of using adjectives.
    Before he could reach for his phone and call her and get her over there to hold her to give him a kiss and beat him around a bit, he had to remember she was gone. She was gone and he was alone. Again. They were all alone.
    “You idiot,” he said into the stale air. It was dry and brittle the air, without her to make it fresh again. Suddenly, he knew he couldn’t stay in here. In this cramped little cave. He needed to be out. In a big enough place to hold all these feelings. He didn’t think even the sky would be big enough; even several skies. Still, one sky was better than no sky. He nearly ran out of the dorm and into the bright sunlight that made him squint and stagger backwards.
    Once he was out, a few hundred feet away from the cluster of Slayer Dorms, he let the headland ocean breeze caress his clammy skin. He felt like he was sick, like he had contracted some deadly strain of food poisoning that made your heart expand until it started squishing your lungs as you vomited uncontrollably. The breeze felt like the cool tile in the bathroom you press your face against as you slowly watch the contents of your organs gush out around you. This time, it was worse.
    Drew watched as the contents of his numb soul spilled out and were carried away on the breeze. Was there even a word for this? This, soul-vomiting? He made no effort to retain them, just let his soully fluids leak out and spin away. In the distance, he could see the Golden Gate Bridge on the horizon, a tiny muted red speck in the distance.
    Dropping his gaze from the sparkling blue expanse, shamed that something that beautiful could go on still existing without her existing; and shamed that he could still think it was beautiful. That anything was beautiful. He searched for the small trail down the hillside that led to the first of many secret beaches that lay along the bottom of the headland cliffs.
    He picked out the small dusky streak, nestled snugly in between the scraggly hill vegetation. He was reminded sadly, of her once again, as he saw a small patch of thrift growing next to some specimen of coastal succulent. They were her favorites, she’d always said.
    He remembered, on his first day in the dorms, when Bryn had showed him around after class.
    We had scuttled down the hill on their butts, half sliding, half waddling. Bryn in her cutoff shorts and baggy t-shirt, 14-year old legs tan and scraped but still amazingly graceful and sexy in my eyes. Reluctantly, I had followed, uneasy of the descent down the steep slope to the rocky water below. Bryn stopped several feet down, waiting for me with impossible patience for someone that energetic. I slid down to join her.
    “Those are my favorites,” she’d said, pointing to a small cluster of scruffy pink flowers, stroking one’s petals fondly.
    “Why?” I’d asked, wondering, if, however strange and amazing Bryn appeared to me, she was worth scrambling halfway down this ridiculously steep hill just to see some windblown bubblegum-colored flowers.
    “Because they’re the rejects of the flower world,” she’d said, sounding impossibly wise despite her obscenity. “And yet, despite what all the other flowers say and think, they still hang on, trying to be beautiful. Since they try, I can’t help but think they are.” She’d paused here, briefly, but I still sensed her unsureness whether to continue. “Like you.”
    She had looked directly into my eyes then, pulling my stormy gray ones into her pooling golden ones and looking deeper into me than anyone had ever looked before. That was when it all started, I suppose. Looking at each other like that, seeing that far into someone’s soul isn’t a light thing. We acted like it was for awhile, but both of us knew it wasn’t. At that exact moment, things had stood still for me and I knew I had found someone to replace the hole Sandra had always left– someone to make the sick joke of my destiny worthwhile.
    And then those wolf-bright eyes snapped away as she grabbed my hand and with that wild laugh of hers ran down the hill, never letting go for even an instant. We never zigzagged all over the place, as gravity pulled her down and me along with, but our enhances agility kept us surefooted and we righted ourselves every time we nearly fell to an agonizing death...

    But she was gone now, Drew knew that was the sorry truth. His Bryn was gone, replaced by an unknown demon that wore her face. As true as he knew it was, Drew wasn’t ready to face this fact and pushed it willfully away, plunging back into the joy of that first day with her.
    ...At the cove, Bryn had stripped down to the bathing suit she wore beneath her clothes and ran into the subdued waves, beckoning for me to follow. I pulled of my shirt and approached, awkward and self-conscious as my young, still-developing hormones felt that intense attraction to her even then.
    The rest of the memory played out, swimming until the sun embraced its lover the sea and stained the sky with the red and orange hues of its lust; and climbing back up the hill, our skin encrusted with salt and our hair looking to be on fire itself in the glowing light of the sunset, dazed and with laughter and exhaustion.
    But that was gone, all gone now. Only memories, no more sneaking into his room, no more running down the hill in our free afternoons after class to wash the sweat from our skin with cold salt. No more amazing missions to amazing places in all corners of many worlds in attempts to save them or gather legendary relics. Just memories, that was all they were.
    And it hit him, plain and hard, like a blow to the heart, Except it was more painful than a physical blow, if that was possible. Drew doubled over, shocked at the excruciating pain of his loss. She was gone. She was gone and he was alone again. He let it sink in. She was gone, his girl, his Bryn, his Firefly.
    Then came the tears, an endless stream of them, flowing down his face and making sticky puddles in the sand. She was really gone– truly and completely. A hole where she once was. Only memories that would dull and fade as age wore it’s vengeful path through the mind. Thinking that he would one day only faintly remember her, know she was important but not why. None of the little moments in between would remain– the glow of her yellow eyes as she hid in the dark and hunted her demon prey; the slightly insane, primal edge to her melodic laughter; the sound of her feet on his floorboards as she came to him at secret hours of the night; that stupid green frock coat she always wore, even when it was 120 degrees. They would all be gone one day.
    It was worse to consider than living with the pain of her absence, forgetting. If we woke up every day and felt that immediate, heart-wrenching pain in his soul where she had been, it would be a thousand, thousand, million times better than waking up and not feeling her at all. Not even knowing or caring whether or not she had been there.
    And for each memory his grieving, delirious mind conjured up, he had a thousand tears to shed, that flowed into the sand and down the beach to mix with the ocean as even the sound of it’s waved seemed to take on the keen edge of mournful weeping.
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Mood: blah