RP: The Break of Day Date: June 6, 2006 (just before dawn) Characters: Cass, Percy (sleeping) Location: Emilia Romagna's villa in Naples Private/Public: Private Rating: All ages Warnings: None Summary: Cass is trying to hold onto the time he feels is slipping away from him, and trying to face the sacrifice he is convinced he needs to do to save both Percy and his mother.
Percy was breathing peacefully in his sleep, his soft hair tickling Cass' shoulder, his chest rising and falling rhythmically as he slept the sleep of the one who doesn't worry. The sleep of the one who still feels safe in the arms of his lover.
Cass on the other hand couldn't sleep a blink. At ten to three he was still clearly awake, still staring at the same ceiling he'd been staring at the hour before, the hour before that. He should be tired, he was tired. Too tired. But sleep would not come. In some ways he didn't want it to either. Sleep meant a moment less. A moment less to listen to Percy's breathing. A moment less to look down at his face, or to bury his nose in Percy's hair, or to let his hand move slowly over the soft skin of his arm. A moment less of forever wouldn't have been a problem – but they didn't have forever.
They didn't have any time at all.
That was the other reason he couldn't sleep. Each time he closed his eyes, he saw the time slipping from his mind. A nightmare worse than any he could imagine – and yet there was nothing in it save for a giant hourglass, an hourglass who was about to come to a stop. An hourglass where the time so clearly was slipping away – just as it was for him. For them. For his mother.
Trying to conceive the damage done by the one owl he should never have sent. The one fight he should never have engaged in without being prepared to kill. The one relationship he should have kept more secret. So many mistakes. So many consequences. And he wasn't ready. He was no where close to ready to give it all up. To give Percy up. And yet he knew what had to be done – as he could not, would not, spy on the man he loved. Just as much as he wouldn't deliberately do anything to risk his mother's life.
Listening to Percy's breathing, remembering the sounds of pleasure from just a few hours before, he felt suddenly tired. Tired, spent, old. Was it even possible to feel this old when you weren't even in your thirties? 27 years old, and he felt tired and old and spent. And tempted. Oh so tempted. It would be simple, just shake him slightly – Percy wasn't a very heavy sleeper. Shake him, wait until he was looking up at him, and then just tell him everything. Every detail, every consequence, tell him everything and hope he had a solution. Let him carry the burden with him. It would be so much easier. It could be so much easier.
And yet. Could he really request such a thing? And what about his mother when Rodolphus Lestrange found out? He would. If he'd found out about his mother, about Percy, he would find out this. Still it was so tempting to believe he wouldn't. That perhaps here, in Emilia's villa in Italy, which he'd begged, pleaded and guilt-tripped Percy to come to with him, perhaps here Rodolphus reach wasn't quite so strong? Maybe here he could tell?
But then he remembered his "cousins" – both Italian, both Death Eaters. It pained him to know, especially that Montague was, but there was nothing to be done. Rodolphus' reach was a long one, and Italy was not nearly far away enough that it didn't extend there.
No he couldn't tell. That option was closed. He had only to make the best of time – the little there was. Far too little, not nearly enough. He wasn't ready, and telling Percy today, for the first time in words, how deeply he felt had not been enough either.
If anything it had only served Percy to look strangely at him and wonder if there was something wrong. The recent memory almost made him smile even as it scared him how well Percy knew him. Would he even be able to fool him? But then yes, he would, he knew he would. He would play on his rumour, the person he'd been once, the insecurities he knew Percy harboured. That alone made him nearly detest himself, yet he saw no way out. There was no option. He could not tell, he could not spy and he could not afford to be the one that ended this. Rodolphus would know, Rodolphus would punish – or kill – his mother. He would not ask her to bear the burden of his love. She suffered enough, he was sure.
No he'd make Percy believe it – and Percy would hate him in return. There would be no going back, no matter what happened, Percy would never trust, never care, again. He would never believe in the words he spoke, he would turn the words he'd told him today into something ugly, something spoken out of guilt and not love. And yet it was necessary, and there was nothing he could do about the consequences of his mistakes. It was his mistakes; he needed to live with them.
He drew a breath, trying to lessen the tightening in his chest, but to no avail. His vision blurred, he looked down at Percy again. He was breathing so calmly it almost made him smile – or cry – no he was already crying. He looked at the clock instead. Ten to four. Another hour. Time was slipping by too fast. Another moment was lost. It was too late, too late for anything, yet that didn't mean he wasn't going to try his hardest. Tomorrow, no today, they were going back – Percy's demand – only one night. Back to reality, back to the threats that loomed there. Back to the plan that needed to be put in action. He wished he had more time. Just a little more time before he drowned in the sand of the hourglass in his nightmares. Time. Dark. More deep calm breaths against his chest. More of the soft red hair that rested on his shoulder in the dark.
Time he didn't have. Dark that would be gone too soon. The break of day was threatening him with reality – a reality he wasn't nearly ready to face.