Summary: Zach didn't always think love was a sentimental lie.
Disclaimer: I dont own Zach. Some morons who don't deserve him do.
She was pink flowers and summer breezes. Pixie kisses and feathered caresses. Long blonde hair that seemed to move around her face even when there was no wind. Her bright blue eyes sparkled like the ocean he had never paused to look at, and her smile could have been the sun. He met her in Denver, on a loud street corner in front of a car that had just ran into a mailbox that would have been her had he not pulled her away.
Thanks. Look out next time. I'll remember that. Fine. What's your name? Zach. I'm April.
April. She grabbed his arm and smiled at him. Her hand was warm, he thought suddenly he didn't think he ever felt warmth before. He almost put his hand over it to hold it there, but soldiers didn't cling to softness so he pulled away instead. She didn't care, she smiled and said that it wasn't everyday someone saved your life so they should celebrate. She knew a place that sold ice cream and insisted on getting him some, celebrations needed treats she explained as she grabbed him arm again and began to pull him down the sidewalk. He should have pulled away, turned around and disappeared into the crowd but she smelled like sweet spring and her hand was so warm. If you asked him later where they went he didn't know if he could tell you. Twelve years of training and even more of careful designing and all it took was hair that looked like golden silk and he forgot left from right.
What kind do you want? They have vanilla and strawberry. It doesn't matter. Ok, I'll get one of each. He hadn't even noticed they were there, his mouth frowned with displeasure and he was about to turn and walk away when she shoved a small bowl into his hand and grabbed his arm. Her mouth was smiling a clear sunrise though and his legs didn't really seem to work that well anymore. She led him again, down another block and sat down on a crate, pulling him down with her.
Where are you from? Not here. Have you been here long? Not that long. How long are you staying? Not long. He lied. He ate him ice cream slowly, watching her enjoy hers so intently he didn't even taste it. Her finger reached out to wipe a drip off of his chin and he was glad he was sitting down because the first gentle touch upon his skin made his knees go strangely weak. She smiled a little sadly, almost as if she knew and placed her hand on top of his in an unfamiliar comfort. She tossed her impromptu bowl into a nearby trash can and told him her address, that she hoped he would stop by sometime. He didn't say anything, or make any movement but she smiled anyway as if he had and walked out of the alley.
He looked at the corner she had turned for a moment then stood up and walked away, knowing he would never see her again. He was wrong. For some reason he found himself in front of her door the next day, and for the first time in his fifteen years he thought maybe he was losing his mind.
I knew you'd come. Oh. I'm going to work, want to walk me there? Sure. She reached out and grabbed his hand like she had known him forever. She closed the door behind her and told him there was something in his eyes that made her need to hold him. He wondered if she was always this candid and then asked her. She said no, but she just knew that he needed something maybe she could give. He told her he didn't need anything but she just smiled that slightly sad smile again and shook her head. He insisted he didn't, she squeezed his hand and told him that usually what you needed most you never realized you didn't have. He frowned at her, she smiled.
He came to her work again that night and walked her home, she stood on her tip toes and pressed coconut lips to his. He froze and stepped back, tongue flicking out unconsciously
You've never been kissed? Kissing has no purpose. I bet I can convince you that it does. Good Luck. She did. She wrapped her fingers in the back of his hair and her coconut mouth somehow convinced him that kissing had definite purpose. His hands trembled on the back of her head, tangled in soft yellow silk. The sweet scent of her poured through him and he felt that cold part in his core thaw a little on the edges. A lifetime later she leaned back and smiled, then disappeared into the chipped wooden doorway telling him she would see him tomorrow morning. He came and walked her to work again, only a little surprised when she grabbed his hand and when she smiled at him he almost thought about smiling back. Almost. Every morning for a week he waited at her door for her and every evening he left her there. She seemed to consume him, wrapping around him like something beautiful he couldn't believe was real. His chest hurt when he saw her, but it hurt even more when he didn't. Golden warmth almost dared him to hope that someday he could breathe without hurting.
You don't talk about you very much. There's nothing to say. I'd like to hear nothing. No, you don't. Do you have any brothers or sisters? ...Yes. How about parents, are you close to them? I don't have parents. Of course you do, you all had to come from somewhere. We came from each other. She didn't ask anymore after that. Maybe she saw the demons that were creeping around the corners at the thought of Manticore. Maybe she could chase them away. He could almost hope.
Another week. He brought her a flower, he told her it reminded him of her. She smiled her sunburst smile like he had just handed her a star. Her lips thanked him and they were strawberry that day. She put it in water and set it on her table, saying she would press it in a book when it dried, so she could open it up and be with him whenever she wanted.
He reached for her hand the next morning, soft skin tight against his. Innocence clasped in death, it was terrible to think of but he didn't let go.
You're different from anyone I've ever met. Be glad, you don't want to know anyone like me. You're unique. I'm death. Soft denial and eyes that saw him as beautiful almost made him cry, he didn't know how. It burned, and he realized he was acknowledging the pain. It should have made him want to run, feeling the weakness of simply feeling but he wanted anything but. He wanted to hurt, maybe if he hurt it meant he was alive.
I love you. Don't. I can't help it. I shouldn't be loved. You need to be loved. Could he love her? Was that was it was? The burning, the sweet pain, the stomach twisting, tingling aliveness he felt? Soldiers didn't love, love is weakness. Maybe I don't want to be a soldier he though. Maybe no one ever asked me. Maybe love isn't weak, because I know this isn't weak. He began to live to see her, breathe to touch her, began to hope to never run from her. He told her one night, sitting in her room not meeting her eyes. He spoke of the doctors, of the testing of the horrible nights waiting for someone to come and take another one of them away. He told her of the escape, of Eva; falling arms stretched out, eyes open straining to see freedom she would never taste. She cried then, like soft morning rains, her tears falling on his shoulder, seeping into him.
You see, I'm a monster. You're beautiful. ...I love you. Stay. She kissed him then like she hadn't before, like she was trying to press into him, disappear into him. Hands moved without fear, healing hands that felt like freedom. He melted into her and eternally dry eyes bore tears onto her bare shoulder, then quiet whispers of love dried them. He wrapped himself around her when it was over, her trembling hand smoothing dry his cheek before stilling into a peaceful sleep.
He woke her up with hard kisses, needing warmth to banish dark dreams of hell. Understanding arms held him, a knowing body bore the too tight embrace without a sound trying to draw his pain into her. He forgot he was different in her, forgot his strength and a touch given with love was taken in silent pain. He grasped her then, forgetting her fragility, animal need surfacing pressing his mouth to hers and with an obscene cracking noise she was gone. He froze drawing his hands from the back of her neck where they had been meant to hold her to him, eyes that didn't need light focusing on her face, ears listening for a heartbeat that had to be there. It wasn't. He fell from the bed, head shaking, silent voice screaming to wake up. You couldn't kill life, you couldn't kill warmth. He reached for her, drawing her deceptively warm body down into his arms and screamed. He didn't care who heard him, he rocked back and forth body shaking, howling. Then he realized he was touching her, his filthy hands were on her and he quickly placed her on the bed, standing on unsteady legs. Death, he was death he backed out of the room wondering why he was still screaming when he had stopped.
He ran through the door, naked into the person hand lifted to knock on the cracked wood. Then he ran, down the stairs into the street not caring the shocked eyes that stared after him. Screaming, cold, death. Still oceans stared at him as he fell against an unforgiving brick wall. He rubbed his hands against them, trying to take the filth from them. He didn't even stop as blood began to stain them wet, dark red. Some part of his mind registered sirens and he stopped. Blood dripping to the ground with tears, crouching in the darkness he died. Zach who drank in April, seeing love in a flower and hoped for hope died and was abandoned in that cold alley.
A frozen soldier walked out, stealing clothes and walking up to a pay phone dialing a number he had not called in weeks. He had planned on relocating Zane sometime back in February.
It was the first of April.
Don't take life so seriously,
It's not like you're getting out alive.