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 Thanatos [OPEN]

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PostSubject: Thanatos [OPEN]   Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:32 pm

Her eye snapped open to a familiar white ceiling swathed in moonlight.

"Ow..." She sucked in a hoarse breath, filling her lungs with the sterile air of the infirmary. "Ow..." The word came back out in a shuddering ragged exhalation. Needles webbed down her throat, her lungs, shooting through her veins and to her extremities as sensation started to flood back through her system. "It hurts, it hurts, it..."

Jane winced at the clinch of the IV in her arm and pulled out the needle, sucking air through her teeth. "Agh...!" Blood pumped out from the wound, winding down her skin, but she ignored it, reaching up to feel her face. Her fingers brushed against coarse fabric where her eye should've been. "Why... I... Why am I... Where..."

Eyes the color of blood. A silver flash. The memories came rushing back in a jumble, tumbling through her thoughts like an avalanche. Her name was Jane Grey, like the queen. Her mother was an English major, her father was an office worker. She'd turned sixteen in April, she liked fireworks and Shakespeare, and she was fifteen the first time she'd died. It was... August? September? Jane cradled her bandages and spied the snow crusting the windowsill, still panting shallow breaths.

Pain.

She pushed herself out of bed and almost crumpled to the floor. Her arm shook trying to hold her own weight up, grasping the rail at the foot of the cot. Jane clenched her teeth and fought through the weakness and fatigue, padding barefoot across the tiled floor. Keep up... Just to the other side of the room. Just that far. There was a rounded mirror at the far side of the infirmary, sitting over a table of surgical instruments.

One foot in front of the other. She couldn't say how many times she'd stumbled, stubbing her toes against the hard tile, or how close she'd been to falling. All that mattered in the end was that she made it.

Her hair fell in a tangled mess down past her shoulders, almost to her mid-back, and her face was thin and pale as paper. Jane propped herself up holding the sides of the table, staring her reflection in the eye. One eye. Just one hazel eye weighed down with dark rings. She didn't want to see the other half of her face under the gauze.

Jane reached clumsily for the surgical scissors and started clipping. Uneven chunks of dirty blonde hair went falling lightly behind her, until it barely hung past her chin. She let the scissors clatter to the floor.

"Why..."

Wilted poppies sat at her bedside.

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:02 pm

Clip clip clip clip...

A fallen leaf brushed his nose, the remains of a dying bush he never watered, floating in a delicate tailspan to rest beside his limp hand. The plant sat dusty and dry upon his desk, dusty like the pictures of his mother and first paycheck, a scan of course, a bundle of untouched relics of his life and time in the school forming the centerpiece of her. The midpoint of his desk was clear, her bed open to his sight, unblemished by his poor habits and the clutter of hording and lack of time. Every moment he blacked out on top of his desk, he hoped to wake and find that bed empty, or her staring back at him. So long as she was asleep, he felt his return was never truly complete. Half of himself felt unarrived, still in that hospital bed, waiting for a greenlight to leave. How he longed to see that bed empty.

Clip clip clip clip...

His back ached as he craned his neck forward to the soft, sharp sound that irritated his senses awake. It had a luster to it, an audible shimmer, akin to the tangerine sun that blinded him through the window. He groaned. The dead leaf billowed and fled on his exhale. The boy raised his sleepy head, wondering what Kayla was doing in the back room and why she decided to leave him be. Perhaps Kaya had come early and decided to cut up files to make paper hats. He massaged his neck, firmly grasping it in his fingers to the sound of a rigid crack, and looked across the beds.

No patients that day. They all were empt,

No,

patients,

that,

What he thought would be an explosion of joy was more an anxious sputter in his chest. He was asleep. Jane awoke when he was asleep. What could she had gotten into? Where could she had gone? She would not have waited amiably in her bed like a kitten! This was fucking Jane! Why did he wish to wake up to that!? Why did he wish to be asleep when she opened her eyes!?

Logan jolted upward. His chair rolled loudly and crashed into the cabinet behind him. Awake, he gave a longer glare across the hospital room, a room that seemed shiny as his own had, floor polished squeaky save for the small pool of blood that collected beside Jane's bed. The boy swallowed. Arrhythmic snips carried into the silent room, once again retiring to the tranquil radiator hum.

Clip clip clip clip...

Logan found the sound coming from the far side of the infirmary. He brushed past the curtain, moving towards the hall, further, closer to the sounds, snip snip, they seemed to carry endlessly, like the uneven, metallic steps of toy soldiers crushed by their own lives, their own experience.

She stood at the mirror, cutting her hair. Logan said nothing, watching, over her shoulder and small in the reflection.

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:40 pm

How long was she standing there?

Jane's eye fixed on the mirror, deaf to the whir of wheels across the floor, deaf to the crash at the front desk, deaf to the footsteps. How long had she been lying there in repose? How long had she wasted away since that night. She stared into the reflection, to the boy with brown hair and green eyes, almost numb to the sight. Could it be him, or was he just another ghost in the mirror, like back then? Back then, she hadn't expected to run into him. It was just a coincidence that he'd been walking by. She'd told him about Peter, her mother, her boyfriend, the scarring in her lungs. He'd told her how he wanted to go to Paris. They'd tagged the rooftop together.

When she turned around, would he be there behind her? Or would he be just another apparition in the glass, someone she'd never been supposed to see again?

She decided she didn't want to turn around.

"Don't tell me," she said, her voice cracked and soft. How long had it been since she'd last spoke? "Am I still asleep?"

If she was, that was fine, as long as she could make this moment last.

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:48 pm

Her voice seemed so raw and unused, crackling like wrapping paper. Or had it always been like that? Did he forget the little details of her? Was that mark on her hand always there or a product of her incident? Logan looked into the mirror to see her face, wondering if she'd look new or retain the images he had of her for so long. On that crackly voice was a question. The boy's lips stayed ajar, amazed, stunned, and at his reflection, he gave a shake of his head, a 'no,' still speaking nothing, eyes reflecting months in a hospital bed, eyes reflecting a dead boy's new life, a reincarnation in that very room. He stepped forward, but only slightly.

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:36 pm

The hint of a smile touched her lips. "I said not to tell." He didn't speak, and that was close enough. Slowly, she turned around, not trusting her eye to relate what was real and what was another ghost. Nothing about this felt real, not the prickles on her skin or the blood oozing down her wrist to snake around her fingers, not the floor beneath her feet or the air in her lungs. Not the boy in front of her, but he was there, in the flesh. If she walked out and reached out to touch him, would her fingers just fall through, like trying to grab wisps of mist? She couldn't even trust her own heartbeat.

"I'd love to chat, but..." Her breaths were shallow and labored. "First, could you get me some water?"

The room blurred around her. Jane flopped to the floor like a sack of bricks.

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:26 pm

So much blood. He hadn't realized she was bleeding so much. It seemed to happen in an hour, a century, a brief moment followed by a seemingly endless flow of time. Her face. It was half covered, but it was still her. And then she fell, and no matter how hard he rushed forward, he could not stop her from falling on her own. But he did rush forward. He cradled her head, calling her name, louder and louder. "Jane! Jane! Jane!" It all seemed so surreal. She was awake and here she was, collapsed once more.

He grabbed her in his arms, the short boy hauling her up. "Come on, Jane..." She needed water, that's all. She wasn't falling back into a coma, she was just blinking out of it for a moment. His hands glowed a warm green as he lifted her, cradling her as best as he could, bringing her over to her bed. Straight out of the hospital and into tiring infirmary work, his arms were screaming by the time he brought her back. But he did, laying her down, whispering her name once more before realizing.

Water. Yes, right, she asked for water.

He was back with a cup moments later, beads of water running down the sides of the glass.

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:20 pm

His face, the infirmary, it all seemed to fade in and out of existence. Her name swirled through her head like a mantra to his pleading voice, sounding a thousand leagues underneath the sea, an echo that couldn't penetrate her thoughts or register in her head. Logan's arms beneath her, swaying through what felt like empty air... No matter what, she didn't want to go back into that cot again, even if it meant dying another hundred times in a row, but the words wouldn't leave her chapped and faded lips.

Little by little, strength seemed to seep back into her muscles, a warm glow that started in her gut and blossomed out into her chest, until she was staring up at that familiar white ceiling again.

When he brought the glass, she sat up and grasped it with both hands with a refreshed desperation. Water splashed up against her face and spilled down the corners of her mouth, but she'd never tasted anything cooler or sweeter, and half the glass was empty by the time she pulled away.

"Logan." She almost blurted the name. She'd gone so long without saying it. "What day is it? The date."

It didn't snow in September.

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:37 pm

She was ravenous. The boy pulled up a chair as she drank, dragging it across the floor with a hard squeak and sitting down beside her. It'd been forever since she'd actually drank something. Kayla and Kaya usually took care of her. The school wanted him to take care of those who came in, for fast traffic.

He watched Jane down half the glass in no time, and when their eyes locked, he perked up slightly. The date. He didn't quite know himself. "Some time in December...--" he located the calendar across the room --The eighth, December eighth, it's almost Christmas of '36." What was the date to her? When was she admitted into the infirmary? It was before he'd come weeks prior.

"You're fine now," he promised. "I tried to heal you but there was nothing more I could do, the rest is up to time. Just take a breath, okay...?" He felt like a doctor talking to a normal patient. Jane was his best friend in the school, but the shock distanced her, at least for the moment. There were more important things than catching up. "You're awake, I promise."

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:03 am

December. Christmastime. She'd been dead... she'd died... she'd been asleep for months. Months in this hospital bed, dead and dreaming. Jane stared at him, numb. If there was any kind of shock, any kind of distress, it didn't flicker across her face. Letting out a shallow breath, she reached out, brushing her fingers across his cheek. He was real... as far as she could trust herself, he was real.

"No," she said. "I've spent enough time in here. Logan." Jane swallowed. The name sparked new strength in her voice whenever she spoke it. "Logan." She had so many other questions, about him, about her, about everything that had happened, but she couldn't ask them now. No more breathers. No more time. "I don't want to spend another fucking second in here. Get me a cane. Crutches. Fucking carry me. I don't care. I want to go outside."

She wanted fresh air in her lungs. Real air.

He understood that, didn't he?

Jane snatched up the glass again and finished it off.

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:41 am

He did understand. Her soft touch on his face almost incentivized the boy to pick her up then and there, without a word against it. But he gave a sideways glance to the splotch of blood beside her bed and another to the frosted windows fogged with tiny ice crystals, and bit the inside of his cheek. "I'm not sure you want to," he said with a weak smile, knowing full well the uselessness of what he was bartering. "It's really cold out there. When I woke up in the hospital a few months ago, 60 felt like 30." He cleared his throat unconvincingly. "I wouldn't want to know what 20 felt like."

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:31 pm

He wasn't fooling her. He wasn't deterring her. "I know what I want," she said, soft but her eyes unwavering. "What's the worst that could happen to me? Am I going to die?" Logan might have been a soft Seattle boy, but she grew up in Maine. This was t-shirt weather. Jane meant to say the joke out loud, but she couldn't find the humor. It fell flat in her own head, and her expression retained the seriousness of her request, the smile at the corner of her lips as hollow as it'd always been. "You can't make me stay here. I'll walk out by myself if I have to. What will you do then, huh...?"

Her voice felt faint. It all felt faint. He'd been in a hospital too. Didn't he feel like he was suffocating here, like the walls would crumble in on him?

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:09 pm

Logan pursed his lips. There was no stopping her, and he knew it. Silently, he let out a breathy laugh, smiling, standing abruptly with an upward stretch. The chair scooted and fell back, leaving skidmarks across the polished floor. "Fine," Logan said, shaking his headd, flicking his nails across the fingertips of his limp hand, over and over again. "I think we've got an old wheelchair in the back, I'm not gonna hook you up like a pimp."

The wheelchair was back there, multiple rusty ones, and the boy weeded out the one that squeaked the least, that smelled the least like old pennies left in the rain too long. He threw the curtain around it moments later, carting it out. It looked even more like a haunted asylum prop when it was in the light.

"It's an old school," Logan murmured, wheeling it to her bedside and outstretching a hand as an offer to help her.

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:11 pm

That was all it took. She couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief that he'd taken mercy and caved. Here she was half convinced he'd strap her in the straitjacket... Jane rubbed at her wrist where she'd yanked the IV, over the drying and flaking blood, but she couldn't find the wound. She swallowed.

A wheelchair... Not exactly the pimpmobile she'd always dreamed about, but she wasn't going to be picky now. Jane eyed the old tetanus trap, her smile twisting into something a touch more genuine, and took his hand. "That's alright," she said, "I like it. It's vintage."

She'd always thought this place looked like a haunted mansion from the outside. This was just more proof. Jane eased herself into the chair, smoothing down the light hospital gown.

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:08 pm

From behind the chair were two long, leather handles, one ripped partially, yellow fuzz and green rust sticking out around a sharp bit. Logan grabbed both carefully, like the hilts of knives, and began wheeling her out, the occasional sharp squeak causing him to wince, to slow his movement for a moment. When they arrived at the glass door, he walked around her. "You sure you're not just fine looking at it from here?" he asked, but he already knew the answer to that. The boy pushed open the door, a sharp pulse of wind numbing his ears and cheeks. He squinted his eyes against it, but held the door open for her to roll herself out.

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PostSubject: Re: Thanatos [OPEN]   Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:29 pm

"Are you worried about me," she asked, "or do you just not get much snow where you're from?"

That was all code for a more direct phrase. Don't be a pussy, ayuh?

Staring outside the door was like keeping her penned up in a zoo, staring into the outside world. She wasn't a princess in a tower and she wouldn't let herself live in a bubble. Finally, he let her out.

The wind chill bit straight through her, and her fingertips felt as cold and brittle as icicles, but she felt alive for the first time since she'd woken up. Really, truly, honestly alive, with a beating heart and air in her lungs. This wasn't a dream that she could be pinched out of, and no one could take this away from her. Jane's breath frosted out in front of her as she wheeled herself out into the open air, her shoulders shaking.

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