.:II:.

The Feeling of Flying

.o.

He's back in the darkness again. Alethea hates it whenever he recedes into the shadows so alien from the traditional kind theor kind knew, but it's not her feelings he cares about.

His sweating face twists into a painful grimace when he recalls the shrill, high-pitched voice of the petite daemoness. The shrilly bitch, always nagging and whining and clinging to him...

Willing the recollection of the despised female to go away, he takes another deep breath. As if on cue, spidery, poison-black runes begin to crawl from the ever-moving darkness that twists around him. His glittering gold eyes take on a dull metallic sheen as he concentrates on the task at hand.

He had still been sleeping when she had first Called to him. He had not fulfilled his sentence yet, had been freed too early, so when he'd done Raegaeth's Circle to save her, he barely had anything left to retain the tentative hold he possessed beyond his imprisonment and transport her back in the nearest, safest place.

And when he'd done just that, he was just a hazy apparition left; he had no other choice but to return to the City. He'd been too exhausted that the events of the homecoming celebration that ensued were a blur, and the next morning--gods, waking up next to Alethea, of all people...

But he suffers her, and the pain he goes through whenever he engulfs himself in the subdimensional darkness, because it's all he could do to regain corporeality in that world.

It's all he could do to return to her.


It wasn't long until they reached Hub Square.

As the Melody steered the motorcycle into their usual parking spot, Alex slid off the motorcycle and gave their surroundings a contented smile. Despite the month's entryway into a chilly autumn, the plaza was still bustling with the usual activity; vendors were heartily advertising to passing pedestrians who were lured by the delicious smells of their wares, while people chattered happily away as they traded tidbits of their neighbors' and their own lives with one another. Under the rays of an undeterred sun, the orange-hued cobblestones of the plaza shone pristinely, evidence of meticulous sanitation. Pigeons were perched on and around Lehenbrasque Memorial, which was wonderously free from guano.

Her own helmet off, too, Melody elbowed her friend before making her way to a small café that was secreted away between two other buildings much taller than itself. Well-versed to her friend's habits, she was already making her way to its ivy-strewn entrance. "Lex, you better have your story straight when you come inside," she called over her shoulder before disappearing into the café. She was already familiar to her strange friend's eccentricities, and knew well enough it was best to give her odd friend some time to herself before prodding further.

Alex gave a small smile at her friend's retreating back. "Sure."

As soon as her friend was out of sight, her smile faded. Alex plopped herself onto the edge of the granite fountain of the Memorial. Elbows propped on her knees, Alex brought her face to her hands. How the heck am I gonna tell her about the nightmares? she thought tiredly. The nightmares were like a slide gone AWOL. How the heck was she going to describe them? Drudging them up from her muddled mind was like trying to pick up broken glass; difficult to do with pain as the reward for trying.

And the pain. How was she going to tell her about it, too? That it hurt? she thought sarcastically. Real help there, Alex. What a way with words you've got there.

Alex sighed and sat up, tilting her head up at the clear blue sky above her. High above her she spotted a gull soar lazily against the sky and marveled at its freedom. Entranced, she watched it circle idly in the air and wished, even for just a moment, that she were as weightless and free like it was.

Closing her eyes, Alex let the warmth of the sun's rays lull her into the drowsy state between wakefulness and sleep and breathed.

The feeling that ensued was almost unexplainable. She felt herself lift higher and higher, as if she weighed no more than a feather or a particle of dust. Feeling elated at the weightlessness, Alex went higher, and higher, and higher, soaring upwards until it felt like her heart was singing

Her heart soared.

"Alex."

Alex paused, then stirred at the faint echo that called from below. Brushing it off, Alex continued her ascent, spiraling higher and higher, towards that radiant, golden sphere of light above her. As she drew closer, she wondered how warm and round it would feel nestled in the palms of her hands—

hands? No, wings, hands were for the earth-walkers

"Alex!"

Effectively startled out of whatever trance she had lulled herself into, Alex felt something yanking at her. Resisting the pull, she struggled to keep herself upwards. Once again, she felt herself being pulled even harder.

This time, pain and nausea overtook her.

The pain that ensued was downright sickening. It was ugly and awful, and it felt like whatever was happening was felt similar to a battle of tug o' war, and it was if her soul was in the middle of it. The sheer pain of it all made her want to retch.

With one last push of effort, Alex pulled herself upwards. Her last effort was rewarded with twice the amount of the pain and nausea.

So when the force yanked at her again, she let herself plummet downwards.


Alex awoke to the face of wide, unblinking eyes, and was struck by a strong feeling of déjà vu.

Oh, yeah. That's how I woke up this morning, that's why.

"Melody...?" she hazarded. "Why is your nose in my face?"

Melody heaved a sigh of thankful relief; what she was thankful for, she wasn't sure, but got the feeling she needed to know why. Masking her relief, she let irritation, a calm, soothing buzz in her veins, take control and gave her prone friend a pinch.

"Ouch! What the heck was that for?"

"That was for worrying me, you dumbass," Melody replied pleasantly. Adorning her features was a razor-sharp smile that was all teeth. "And now you will come with me to the café and spill your guts out."

Eyes wide with dread she felt weighing heavily in her gut, Alex nodded and allowed her friend to drag her inside. She had a horrible feeling that literally spilling her guts out would have been less painful than the figurative way her bossy friend was demanding.


A/N

With the second chapter completed and much more coming along the way, I will take yet another break—terrible, I know. How could I, when I had just updated almost a year later and all I've got to show for is this? Well, let me tell you, plot bunnies are nasty pieces of work. And when you got at least three dozen or so milling around in your head, chewing on your brain, pissing in your creativity, and, well, whaddya know, making more plot bunnies, well...

Yeah, you get the picture.

Anyway, I'd like to thank those who are still hanging around—KiraLove, LexLovely, Mock-Supposed-To-Be, to name a few—and for reviewing. If you couldn't tell already, I need reviews. To spur on the creativity and clear its canals, doncherknow.

So, yeah, thanks for sticking around. It's really very appreciated.