You think it dawned upon you first

when the continuance of his life was in question.

When you watched it waver

stumble

fall

and when your fist flew in front of you

with only one mission:

to stop your worst fear from becoming a reality.

And as your balled-up hand connected, reared back, and dove in for more

knuckles split

fingers dripping blood

(you weren't sure whose it was)

the man who put the only life that matters to you in danger

fought back, but

you

won.

There were three in the room just then:

the man you're after, the foul loathsome monster who tried to escape,

you,

and the only life that matters,

lying on the ground in the corner. Breathing heavily. Cradling his

arm.

You reached for him.

(The other man lies forgotten, bleeding)

You grabbed him

You asked him,

Are you alright?

to which he answered, Yes, and you felt something new.

That day's adventure was over. The chase was finished, the case closed. Your work was done. It was time to go home.

But before you did so, you turned to the attacker –

that foul, loathsome monster –

and told him,

If you had killed him, this man here,

you would not have left this room alive.

The words came from you so easily you knew they could not be a lie.

It was then you first knew

You caught a glimpse of

what was happening to you.

Time has passed since then.

His cuts and bruises have faded, but

something else hasn't.

He is always, faithfully, by your side

Even though sometimes you go out of your way to make him

not want to be.

His life is more important than yours

and keeping his heart contracting and pumping blood for as long as possible

is a more important task than anything you could ever assign to yourself.

You can tell by the sound of its beating that it's

battered, well-worn, and scarred

so you try your best to be careful with it on the rare and priceless occasions

that he hands it to you.

You've been alone before him for so long but now that he's here you need him to be close to you forever so you can

hold him tightly and

never

let

go.

But things have never happened that way for you, and it's mostly your fault, I suppose.

Fantasies of this sort

will slay you in the end.

Love has always been painfully clear to you

the chemistry always frighteningly mathematical.

However, though you could easily mix the solution yourself,

you could never find away

to drink it.

Until now, perhaps.

You stand precariously on the edge, the beautiful edge, of a land you've never wanted to enter.

You say the same things to him you always have

but when he hurts you unknowingly you

want to take him by the shoulders

make him see you

and scream –

Don't you understand?

I'm falling for you!

You can't feel the cold.

You can't feel the wind rushing past you,

flinging your hair and coat upwards with frightening velocity.

You can't feel the sky crushing down on you

You can't feel the presence of the ground

rushing up to meet you.

You can't feel the seconds as they tick by –

they're frozen. Ice. Molasses. Hardened tar.

You can't feel your heart banging on the walls

of your chest, begging to be set free.

You can't feel the pleasure that you've won the game, your final adventure;

The worst man in the world has gone down with you.

You've done what you had to do, what should have been done long ago.

You've stopped his crimes, his murders, in a single move.

You've saved the only life that matters.

You can't feel fear

at the fact that you've put him in checkmate

by sacrificing your own king.

The only things you feel through the cold, the wind

the seconds, your heart

are the eyes

of the only life that matters

watching everything unfold.

You see him. You see what you've done to him.

Everything is in those eyes,

those horrible, wonderful eyes.

You know then that he'll never forgive you for this,

and he'll never forget you

which only makes all this

so much harder.

You want more than anything right now

to take him by the shoulders

make him see you

and scream.

But there is no time, no time

The ice molasses seconds whizz by

never giving you a second thought, much less a second glance

The time your jump has given you is far too little

Gravity is ever unforgiving.

So you look at him, you meet his eyes

and scream in your head, you scream and yell

Try to make him comprehend

Pound the words into his head so he'll see

Brand them onto his memory so he'll know

Over and over again –

Don't you understand?

I'm falling for you!