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Understand and take hold of me

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And the only heroes we got left
Are written right before us
And the only angel who sees us now
Watches through each other's eyes
And I can hear him
In every footstep's passing sigh
He goes crazy these nights
Watching heartbeats go by...
And they whisper ---
We belong together
We belong together.

- Rickie Lee Jones: We belong together.

*

He stands at the edge of the water. He hears the wind. The wind whispers and sighs. He hears the world around him. He is here, here in this world. And he hears it, and he knows it. He hears Him again, in the sound of the waves.

And it's everything that he's been looking for.

A moment goes by, and it feels like hours. It feels like forever. And he is awake now. At least, he thinks he is. The morning sun is bright and it hurts his eyes, but that's OK. This is a time of mysteries, it seems. These days, Marcus supposes, he and God have found a new kind of agreement.

Some things change, and that's OK too. Marcus travels alone again, but sometimes he crosses paths with Tomás and Mouse on the road. He always prays for them, because some things change, but others never do. And sometimes, when it all becomes too much, he goes home to the wind and the water's edge. He goes home to Peter, and he lets himself heal. He lets himself be unbroken.

On the open road, he carries him in his heart, like a lifeline. Like faith. Like a prayer. Like a moment of peace.

And he always goes home.

*

Peter doesn't really pray anymore. He tells Marcus, almost apologetically. But that's OK too. He has kind eyes, and hands that brush over Marcus's heart, softly, as if asking for permission, and he stands with Marcus by the water every morning. And God is truly everywhere, so isn't that the same thing?

Isn't that infinitely better?

Sometimes, he doesn't believe this is real. There are moments when he thinks that he must have dreamt this whole thing up. This feels too good. Too good for him, too good to be real. But it is. It's rough and gritty and true. And it feels real enough, and why not? He doesn't really believe in dreams, not anymore. But he's always believed in unlikely angels. It's almost part of the job.

So, he'll take it.

He should be frightened, though. He should be fucking scared. But he isn't. And he shouldn't have somewhere or someone to belong. But somehow, he does. The world says if you want it, it's yours. And he wants it. Oh, he does. Maybe he is still lost sometimes, but he has this now. He has this world. It's a world that soothes his heart and slowly takes the splinters away. A world that hides jewels within, a world that burns bright. A world that doesn't ask him for anything, and means it. A world that only wants to give him something.

This world is the rock in the weary land. The beacon, the light and the key. This world is meant to be, but he never knew it could be like this. The world has shown him the comfort and the shelter, and now he sees it everywhere. This is the sound of the world, and he listens. The world says come to the shore again. Come home. The world says find me. Find the way back.

(The world doesn't say I'm yours. But he knows, anyway.)

*

Marcus still draws blackbird wings and dark skies and tall trees. But now, the charcoal makes new sigils and maps. It paints open doors and homecomings and promises. It becomes the blueprint of his heart, and it whispers within. It whispers Lord, I don't know where you end and I begin. I don't know where he ends and I begin.

This is a time to be reborn. To start again. To find the path to follow and its open, gentle invitation. To see where the road takes him, to see if it brings him back. The world speaks, and he has to follow. The road calls him again, and the road brings him home. At last, he's found the world. And, whatever happens, he isn't going to lose it.

He goes home. Here, the sky is red, like communion. Here, the water whispers and sings and makes its own prayer. Here, the wind carries the sound of life. Here, the world speaks and the world says it. Here is the world. And here, he belongs.