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11 September 2010 @ 02:04 am
doo bee doo bee doo...  
#SeptTwitfic Day 10 - Wings

(Heeey, @Kijikun!)

Set in my clockwork!verse; the first part is here: http://community.livejournal.com/comment_fic/168800.html?thread=36723296

--

For the first week, she lets him sit in the shed, still nailed into his crate. There's a part of her that doesn't want anything to do with this whole ordeal, with the broken angel and the clockwork shopkeeper and the fact that maybe (just maybe) she traded a bit of her soul—however small—for the thing inside that box.

She'd tried going back to the shop the next day, but there was no building at all between the hardware store and Lou's Deli—they abutted one another, and once she saw them like that, it seemed to her that this was how it had always been. It seemed like little more than a strange dream, that shop.

Then, of course, she went home, to the house her mother had given her on the far corner of the farm—far enough away for privacy, close enough for a single mother's paranoia—and the crate had still been there, stubbornly real in the corner of her garden shed.

One Saturday, though, she's sipping her orange juice and thinking about her plans for the day when she finds herself at the door to the shed. She doesn't remember deciding to go there, but here she is. And when she cracks open the door and sees the box, she realizes with a jolt that it looks like a coffin.

That's when she remembers him, trapped by the bars of the bedframe, that pleading turn of his hand as he looked toward the window. And she imagines wanting to escape so bad, so bad, and finally being freed just to be nailed into a new cage.

Before she knows it, she's got a hammer in hand and is pulling out nails. The longer she's doing it, the more frantic she becomes. She imagines, without quite knowing why, a darkness so small and confining that it suffocates the heart and the mind. Soon she is hacking at the nails with the hammer's prongs, tearing them out by splintering the wood around them.

Finally, finally, she scrabbles the lid open, and light floods into the crate.

He stares up, eyes focusing on something over her shoulder. His wings nestle around him like packing material, and one hand is raised, as if it had been pressed against the lid. Had he looked like that when the shopkeeper had nailed him in? She can no longer remember.

"Hi," Jo whispers. "I'm sorry."

The statue says nothing.

--

She works on him all day. She discovers a panel that opens in his chest, and she pops it open. What she finds inside is a beautiful maze of metal that would put the best Swiss clocks to shame.

She spends the whole afternoon familiarizing herself with each finely-wrought piece, trying to find which parts are keeping the rest from running like they should. She does not think of the person that could result from her tinkering—she does not allow herself to consider it. Right now he is a puzzle and nothing more.

By the time night rolls around, Jo's exhausted, and at that point afraid of doing more damage than good. So she slips her safety glasses off her face, sets them down next to him, and stumbles toward the door. As she gets ready to flick off the light, however, she spares one last glance for the figure on the table.

Something about the way she has him filleted open, all of his delicate machinations exposed, clips holding pieces of him in unnatural positions, makes her shudder unexpectedly. It looks like an autopsy, a man with bones of brass and organs of copper splayed out in her garden shed, holding the secrets of his death somewhere deep inside. She slinks back over, closes his chestplate, rearranges his clothes, tucks his wings in, folds his hands over his stomach, and she murmurs her apologies while she does it. She doesn't exactly know who she's apologizing to, whether it's him or herself or the shopowner who'd called this thing his brother.

When she leaves, he looks like he's sleeping.

--

The next morning, she has a piece of toast for breakfast. While she eats it, she tries to remember the dream she'd had. It had seemed important at the time, something about fierce love and deep pride and old hurts, but she'll be damned if she can remember it now.

She picks her way through the fallen leaves to the shed after she's had a cup of Maxwell House, with the intention of picking up where she left off. She nudges the door open with her shoulder, carrying a thermos full of extra coffee and a toolbox she found under the stairs. In the next moment she's glad it wasn't a mug she was carrying—the thermos only bounces and rolls away under the lawnmower when she drops it in shock.

The statue has moved.

Instead of the peaceful pose Jo had left him in, he's now rolled over onto one side, facing away from her and toward the eastern window where early morning light is pouring in. His wings are flung out huge and sharp, the right one arcing through the air toward his head and the other extended out as far as the floor of the shed will allow, and the sun turns the edge of each feather-sheet molten orange.

Jo steps forward gingerly, the shadows sliding over her face, and picks up her safety glasses from where they've been knocked to the floor. She eases around the table until she stands between him and the window.

"Hello," she says, and her voice only shakes a little.

He does not respond, does not move, gives no indication whatsoever that he is aware in any way.

She reaches out, lays her palm flat on his chest. The body beneath his shirt is cool and still. There is no sound of a clock ticking, no faint vibrations of gears turning. There is no life in him.

Still, when she pulls back, she would swear, swear that those glassy eyes aren't looking out the window after all, but instead staring straight into her.
 
 
 
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Ne invoces expellere non possis: morningstar bykijikun on September 11th, 2010 06:21 am (UTC)
Oh, oh, oh. Thank you thank you. This made my night/morning. Love this verse so much.
{ embracing the storm }: SPN: Lucifermithrel on September 11th, 2010 06:29 am (UTC)
YOU'RE GOING TO CONTINUE THIS, RIGHT? RIGHT??? (I have no clue what's wrong with me. I don't like steampunk or Lucifer/Jo, but I'm asking for more of a story that has both!)
Arien: spn -Miguelizumi_s on April 13th, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
Just discovered your fic and wow... it's amazing <3
Be sure I'll be here to read it if you continue!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )