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you aren't my shadow, you are a ghost of who i meant to be

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There should be a rule against too many of the same kind of Dark thing existing...

In the same time or place or space...

Or at all.

 

 

There should be a rule against too much of the same kind of Beauty ...

Existing...

It hurts too much.

 

 

There are hands, matching hands, thin and long and lean and bearing scars that make no sense. They lift up to brush light hair away from a scowling face and his breath hitches and across the room, the same tug pulls at another man and that's where the line in the sand is drawn.

 

Why do you love me?
For everything you are.
(Then what is stopping you from loving him?)

 

((That last part he doesn't dare say out loud, doesn't dare let the words that beat against his bones meet the light of air.
There's too much to lose.))
((He can't tell which is the hardest fact to swallow, so he swallows everything else instead - everything that the golden light of a man lying beside him will give, which isn't enough... it's never enough... there's a hole in his soul that can only be filled by eating up the entirety of the one thing he has ever allowed himself to love.))

 

Ronan has a smile that could cut glass.... if that's what hearts and souls are made of. Sometimes Adam will catch Neil looking over at Ronan and something in his face lights up in echo to that smile and it's like looking in the mirror or looking at his own future or looking at a universe where he never found Ronan or Gansey and was still just a skinny little punching bag in a town where no one cares.

Sometimes Adam will catch Rene and Blue catch each other’s eye in the same moment when Ronan and Andrew are suddenly strange mirrors and the girls pull each other into an embrace… matching smile pressed against mirrored smile, hands in short wild hair and tongues tangling. When Adam thinks of the haunted look in Neil’s eye when Ronan smiles his sharp smile, all Neil can see are their lips pressed together. And he is…. In the wind.

Adam feels as insubstantial as Noah while all the edges and colors that make up Neil get stronger and harsher and brighter.

Soon, there will be nothing of him left.

 

 

“You’re being stupid, you know that,” all of the words Andrew allows slip out from between his thin lips are cryptid messages Adam can’t ever trust. Mingling always with cigarette smoke and said in a terrifyingly breathy way as though sound is something Andrew felt the world was already far too full of as it was and refused to add to.

Blue’s voice resounds in his ear, there’s text and then there’s incorrect subtext, you ass and he blushes in spite of himself.

Andrew scoffs at Adam’s pink cheeks.

Adam now knows that Andrew’s lips are chapped and warm and that he tastes unpleasantly of tobacco but also (irresponsibly) dizzyingly of liquorice, that his tongue is greedy but his hands are not, that he kisses like a ghost and moans like a saint in prayer.

Adam stands alone on a rooftop, drawing in deep breaths of cold air, and learns in half a moment how to live now that he knows that Andrew’s body is a hymn and Ronan’s body is the written scripture of the only true god and there he is, in the middle, standing next to Neil, and hoping that…

Hoping that hope remains in their hearts even though there is clearly nothing left.

 

 

Why do you love me?
For all the ways you make me feel.
(Then what’s stopping me from loving him?)

 

 

What Andrew hadn’t said on that roof could have filled a short novella. (Which may or may not have been Blue’s favorite thing to say about his annoyingly veiled silences.)

He didn’t say…

You’re stupid because if Ronan loves you half as much as I love Neil, then you have nothing to worry about.

Because if I’ve learned anything it’s that the world is full of people fighting their own wars and if you find someone willing to stand by you while you fight and fight with you when it’s relevant, you don’t give it up for another war you can’t win.

Because you’re looking for loss in all the wrong places.

Because you are exactly as beautiful as Neil and exactly as deserving of the way Ronan looks at you when you aren’t paying attention.

Because if this all really is a story of smoke and mirrors then you just earned another mirror, there’s nothing here but gain.

Because even if my lips taste the same as his, it doesn’t prove anything except that love is fucking weird and the Universe is a jackass.

Because if Neil sees the darkness in Ronan and smiles, why haven’t you figured out that I see a halo in you and am already on my knees?

Because if Neil sees a mirror of my soul in Ronan’s sharp smile, then let me show how I can see a mirror of Neil’s soul in your wide eyes.

Because here is my heart, you’re holding it in your mind and Neil is holding it in his hands and Ronan is reflecting it back to us; here are my lips and my tongue, let me worship this moment.

Because you are terrifying and no one is more afraid than me.

 

 

Adam can evoke a sense of brooding wistfulness with just a glance up at the sky on a cloudy day, as though he is praying to a god no one can see or prove is real and that god talks back.

Neil can evoke a sense of brooding knowing with just a glance towards the long shadow he casts on the ground, as though he is praying to the earth like no one ever has before.

Ronan smirks his sharp, slow smile when they do this. They do it so often in unison.
Andrew smirks his sharp, quick smile when they do this. They usually do it in unison without knowing it.

 

 

I kissed your boyfriend the other night.
Yeah, thanks for that fucking headache of an existential crisis.
He didn’t tell you, did he?
Did you?

 

 

 

Adam is every unassuming normal boy Neil ever pretended to be. Adam is every echo of darkness Neil ever pretended didn’t pump through his blood. Sometimes a shadow will cross Adam’s face and he barks out a laugh that’s mostly at himself and Neil will catch Ronan’s eyes fill with terror. Those eyes scream, there’s something I can’t protect him from and it’s like an ache or heartbreak taking human form. Neil has seen that look on Andrew’s face enough times to know how it feels to have that much power over another person. And then he will look up, glance over, and find Andrew staring at Adam as though the entire universe was held in his hands and it was going to crush him whole and Andrew would do anything to save him.

Neil felt the outline of a knife on Blue’s forearm once, and though her face didn’t betray a thing - she made secrets an art - he still knew. It was frightening enough to think that someone loved Rene enough to carry her emotional history on their body in the form of a weapon - it was quite another thing to realize that the two girls carried such similar wounds on their souls.

Neil dreams of ravens and knives and Adam naked and happy in Andrew’s arms. It feels as though every day Neil slipped back into fiction and Adam slipped into reality and meanwhile everything is slipping out of Neil’s hands.

Soon, there will be nothing of him left.

 

 

“You’re an idiot,” Ronan’s voice comes like shadows flying out of smoke on the wing of his raven. Every word that Ronan allows pass between his lips feel weighed and measured, nothing is reckless or flippant, despite tone or evidence to the contrary.

Neil wants to have a witty response, but on the roof with Ronan feels like a desperate bid for a past his feet are still firmly standing in. There are moments and moments and moments and then there is this: when you learn something you’d rather forget.

Neil stands on the roof breathing in desperate, large gulps of air, learning how to live in a world in which he knows that Ronan’s lips are soft and plush and wet, that his tongue teases and his teeth play, that his hands are calming and seeking and his fingers are cold. That Andrew is a temple and Ronan is a cathedral and if Neil is a priest then Adam is a prophet and there is nothing left for them but a god that listened too often and too well.

 

Why do you love me?
Because.
Is that all?
Shut up.

(This one is true.)

 

What Ronan hadn’t said on that roof could have filled a short novella. (Which may or may not have been Rene’s favorite thing to say about his obnoxiously veiled silences.)

He didn’t say…

You’re stupid because if Andrew loves you half as much as I love Adam, then you should be more worried about a giant crushing you with his heel on the way to class.

Because if I’ve learned anything it’s that the world is full of people fighting their own hearts and if you find someone willing to stand by you while you fight and fight for you when it’s relevant, you give up fighting quickly.

Because you’re looking for war in all the wrong places.

Because you are exactly as inspiring as Adam and exactly as deserving of the way Andrew looks at you when you aren’t paying attention.

Because if this all really is a story of smoke and mirrors then you just earned another mirror, there’s nothing here but gain.

Because even if my lips taste the same as his, it doesn’t prove anything except that love is fucking weird and the Trees are playing games that suck a little less this time.

Because if Adam sees the darkness in Andrew and grins, why haven’t you figured out that I see a path to salvation in you and am already on my knees?

Because if Adam sees a mirror of my soul in Andrew’s sharp silences, then let me show how I can see a mirror of Adam’s soul in your silver scars.

Because here is my heart, you’re holding it in your mind and Adam is holding it in his hands and Andrew is reflecting it back to us; here are my lips and my tongue, let me be a sacrificial lamb to this moment.

Because you are frightening and no one is more terrified than me.

 

 

((Men fall to their knees for less than true love…

 

 

... imagine finding it twice…

and sharing that Truth with a Mirror of your own Soul and Heart.))
(Some days it’s easy to believe in ancient gods.)

 

Why do you love him?
Why do you?
Touche.