The Loneliest Traid

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  • Published: 2 Apr 2017
  • Updated: 13 May 2017
  • Status: Complete
Love and death and war and Gods and blood and magic and dancing and rest and revenge and kings and fate.
Don't worry, within these three stories you'll know yourself,
And I will put you back together again.

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64. I Won’t Think for You if You Don’t Live for Me

Jinmi sat up in the bed, sputtering, “Jinmi-” the syllables broken in two.

    He was already awake, holding him, “Come on, lie back down, it’s okay.”

    But Samhain, within those words he had heard for so long now, felt a pang of guilt for letting Jinmi become an alarm, someone to build up his strength when he awoke and little more.  So little for who Jinmi could be if he was free.  Jinmi could be free, that was their difference, why their love would never be the same - because Samhain never knew a life like that.

    “You need to go,”

    “Lie down, it was just a nightmare.”

    “No!” he stood up, spinning away from Jinmi touch.  His hand prints were cold, his eyes saddened.  Jinmi only wanted to help, he knew that, and he was at fault for letting him come so close.

    “What’s wrong, Samhain?” he looked hurt, and why wouldn’t he be?

    “You need to leave,” he said, the words falling like a stone from his throat, “You need to go and be with her.”

    “Who?”

    “Dapne!  You need to go and find her, that’s why you came here!”

    Jinmi sat back against the headboard, “I had forgotten about her.”

    “I know that,” he knelt beside him, taking his hand as Jinmi often did if his scars began tearing again, “But remember her now?  You were going to find a little cottage with her and sit on the swings and let her flowers grow up around your feet.  You were going to make her a home, as you did this bed, and you were going to give her the sunlight itself.  Do you remember that, Jinmi?”

    “I told you all that?”

    “Once, or twice, yes.”

    Jinmi squeezed his hand, “How long have I been here?”

    “A very long time, I’m afraid.”

    Jinmi stood up with him, their hands still together.  He looked at the bed, and then at the window, where the night had fallen and stars surrounded them like a fence, constellations like barbed wire.

    “Jinmi?”

    “I thought she didn’t want to find me again.  I was just a wizard, and she… She’s a Goddess, why would she want me?”

    Samhain brushed the hair from his eyes.  It was long now, and blue curls that framed his face, plaits Samhain had tied in absentmindedly, his clothes now the shirts he had made for him.  He had been here for so long that change felt like little more than growth.

    “She loves you so much.  She loves how you stay with her when you can go wherever you please, and she loves how you comfort her when she needs it and never ask for a thing in return  You’re a good person, Jinmi, and you’ve never let anyone change that.  Go, find her.  She needs you.”

    “You need me.”

    Samhain hugged him, wiping his eyes on his shoulder and said, “You’ve given me more than I could ever ask for.  Now, you should get more than you deserve.”

    “I love you.”

    “I… I love you too.  And so does she.”

    They pulled away, Jinmi gripping at his skin, rougher than he ever had, desperate, “I can’t just leave you, you don’t have anyone else, and she-”

    “What do you want?”

    “I… Don’t know.  I can’t leave you.”

    Samhain thought, and pried Jinmi’s clenching fingers from his broken skin, “Do me one thing?”

    “Anything.”

    “Okay, listen to me now,” he said, “Take my end, tie to ships and to trees.  Tear yourself open to let yourself free.  And if at the end, you still miss me, then follow the line, still death do we meet.  Tied by strings, cords of fate.  Anchors, and buoys, and clouds, and weights.  Take my end, love, tear one apart, meet at the border, meet heart to heart.  Meet at the border, meet heart to heart.”

    Jinmi mouthed half the words with him, and when he stopped he said, “I know all that.  Why are you telling me?”

    “I need you to find something.  A spell, it’s a chant that… It’s pathetic, but it grants companionship, I’ve heard.  It’s name is Philotes’ Ballad, play it for me.  It’s a lonely ask, but I’ve never had the chance to find it, and after you leave I don’t know how I’ll manage to live alone again.”

    “I’ll bring it to you,” Jinmi kissed his forehead, “But I don’t know how I’ll leave you forever.”

    “You’ll have her.”

    “I love you both so much.”

    “You’ve been here too long, Jinmi.  Go now, and just do me that if you can.”

    “Maybe I should stay a night more, in case-”

    “Jinmi please-”

    “Just one night,” he pleaded, “I can’t just leave you.”

    “But if you forget her again?”

    He looked guilty.  Either way, he would be, “I…”

    “Go now.”

    “But-”

    Samhain stepped away, and Jinmi panicked as he saw himself falling, phasing away through the floors until Samhain was so far, his handprints like ghosts to him now.  He was crying, they both were.

    “Thank you for everything, Jinmi.  I hope that you find the love that you’ve given.”

    “Samhain, please!” he clawed at the air, the walls, but the God was so far now, so much higher than he was, and they were both alone again.

    “I’ll see you again, I promise.”

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