three a.m.
by Morvoren

It's three a.m. and he's staring out the windows of the common room and wondering exactly how it can be so grey now when only hours before it was bright. There's no fire in the fireplace and the moon is gone, stars hidden behind a veil of cloud as snow falls silently onto the world. It's all silence, in the room and the mansion and the grounds and he wonders how that's possible because his mind is so full of light and sound and fury. So full of harsh words and disbelief.

The silence is becoming unbearable around him and it only escalates the screaming in his brain. He's on fire again, but this time it isn't nice, it isn't passion and love and natural, it's loneliness and anger and rage spat in his face by one of the two people he loves more than himself.

He can feel the silence breaking him and he knows this is what madness feels like, tastes like, and it's seeping through his pores to scent the quiet air.

He spins as the silence breaks and his mind goes quiet as he sees her, red hair in the dark gone to black, white skin gleaming in the unlit room and emerald eyes shaded, unreadable. She stands five feet away from him, five feet exactly, and he knows because he can feel the distance and can't quite bring himself to close it. Not tonight. Not yet.

"You're up late." Inane words spoken from red lips and he can't speak, can't move, and his mind that was screaming at him before has gone as silent as the room was before she walked in. It hurts. Finally, after what seems like eons and probably by mortal time was only a few seconds he nods. Her head tilts to the side, and her eyes focus, he knows this even if he can't see. He knows what she moves like and what her eyes look like when she moves. He's studied her for so long.

Those eyes focus and apparently aren't satisfied by what they see, because she's straightening her head, nodding and a bitter smile quirks her lips. "Fight."

This startles a laugh out of him, and he lets it loose into the silent void until it grows and the walls shake and he can't stop laughing until tears drip hot onto his cheeks and he realizes it isn't laughter any more. She moves, muscles sliding under satin skin as she reaches out to him, brushes his cheek with her thumb and stares at the tear. "I don't remember you two ever fighting before," she whispers, voice low as if it feels wrong to speak normally after the loud. "What about?"

"Don't know," he replies, and he turns back to the window to watch the snow fall and the world sleep. "Hurt."

"I know." She's behind him, sliding slim strong arms around him and he leans back into her embrace and it feels right, doesn't remind him of all the times it's been strong muscled arms pulling him back into a strong body. Hers is fragile, like he could break her in two if he squeezed and he knows it's an illusion. She's kicked asses before and come out with nothing more than bruised knuckles. "He doesn't mean it, whatever it was. Just like you never mean it. It's just something to say because you're lonely."

He closes his eyes and curses inside his head, partly because he'd forgotten she could see this clearly but mostly in admiration at her accuracy and bluntness. "I don't have to be lonely – I have you two, but I can't seem to be happy," he admits. "It's never quite there."

They stand quiet for a long time, and his mind, back in normal gear, tells him that it's now four a.m. and there are things he has to do tomorrow that require sleep but he can't bring himself to move. He doesn't want to leave her arms, leave her for his lonely mirror that waits awake up the stairs. Finally, though, she leans her forehead against his shoulder blade and sighs. "You have to talk to him. He has to talk to you. It's the only way it can be."

"And you?" he asks, knowing she's been struggling with herself while he's been lost in darkness. Knowing she left herself out. "Don't you have to talk to us?"

She smiles and he can feel it and as she lets go he turns and sudden moonlight gleams off her deep emerald eyes as she laughs up at him. "What do you think I do every night at three a.m.?" she says, laughter lighting the ice-edged planes of her face and he kisses her, lightly, hand cupping her cheek and eyes on hers, always on hers. It's over too soon as the moon slides back behind the clouds and her eyes go dark as she pulls away. "Go back to bed," she orders, "and get some sleep. Whatever you say will wait until morning, when I can be there. Go," and she pushes him gently towards the stairs. "Mi'cridhe."

He quirks a quick smile at her and goes, never giving back the words because he knows that she knows. He's never said them, not yet, not like the other half of his soul, who gives them as often as he can. He takes the steps quietly and darts a glance back over his shoulder at her, wrapped in a dark cloak and standing straight by the window. She never looks at him, lost in her own thoughts and he turns away, mind suddenly full and wishing he could say....

Anything. Anything to break the silence in the room as he slides past the others and into his own bed, where his mirror waits, tired and silent and alone. He slides his arms around the tense shoulders, leans his head against the warm flesh and sleeps.


It's three a.m. and he sits alone, penned in by red velvet curtains and wishing it was different. Wishing it was day and it wasn't so fucking quiet and he didn't have to strain to keep his breath even and the words from spilling from his stiff lips. It's too quiet in the dorm and it's killing him.

It was quiet before when they yelled, the silencing spell containing everything in the curtains and not letting it free as the words bounced harsh off his ears and scraped his heart open. Too open, so he gave better than he got and in the end the curtains flapped as his twin ran. So he sits, trying to mend the wounds in his heart and make them scars instead of scabs. Scars aren't ripped open as easily.

He tries to move but he can only sit alone in the dark and cold. He closes his eyes and keeps breathing in and out in and out until suddenly it eases and he knows that she is with him.

Not there but there, with the other half of his soul, soothing the pain until it is bearable and he lays down, breathing slow and even as he waits. Time drags but he's awake as it hits four a.m. and then footsteps on the stairs light as he returns. Curtains pushed aside as his twin clambers back into bed and curls up next to him.

Now he can sleep, not alone.


three a.m. (black hole remix)

It's three a.m. and she wakes, her heart giving a leap as she reaches out to the ones she loves and finds only pain. She sighs quietly, slipping out of bed in her black silk and shrugging into a black cloak because even now that she has them she's still black inside. She pads softly out of her dorm and down the stairs, where her heart breaks at the sight of him standing in front of the window alone. She waits, knowing the silence is winding him tight and hurting aching for him but knowing that he won't speak until it's like madness in his veins.

She takes that one final step and he whirls, agony slashed naked across his face and her heart breaks again for him. She crosses to him, five feet to separate them, because she can't touch him yet. Not until he can feel again.

"You're up late." She kicks herself inside, all this time and she still can't find something better to say. So she just lets the words hang in the air and watches him, still, so still, and she can read the hurt on his face. A few seconds pass before she tilts her head, gauging the temper against the need and waiting for his eyes to focus on hers. When they do, when she becomes everything in his mind, she lets her lips curve tiredly. "Fight."

He laughs, and it's leading into hysteria as she watches but she loves the pain and can't bring herself to stop him as he laughs so hard tears roll down his cheeks and he stops.

She's reaching out before she even registers the movement and in her head something's yelling but she can't stop and she rubs her thumb over his cheekbone and stares at the tear, shining crystal in the dark night. "I don't remember you two ever fighting before," voice low because the tear rips at her, jagged glass in her heart and it's good and she can't let that show. "What about?"

"Don't know." He turns away, leaving her staring at his stiff back. "Hurt."

"I know." Does she. She slides her hands around him, pulling him solid against her body and he's so strong that it's wrong to see him like this. She looks in her head and knows what to say, knows he hates that she can see through him but loves her for it all the same. "He doesn't mean it, whatever it was. Just like you never mean it. It's just something to say because you're lonely." No, they never mean it. Except when they say it to her.

"I don't have to be lonely – I have you two, but I can't seem to be happy. It's never quite there." She knows, the words ring an answering bell in her head because she's the same, two men she loves and love her and it's still not filling up the holes. She doesn't know what to say to him, can't find the usual comfort, so she just lets him sink into her and fills her mind with him as the minutes tick slowly by.

Then it's four a.m. and she leans her forehead on his shoulder. "You have to talk to him. He has to talk to you. It's the only way it can be." She leaves herself out of the mix, knowing that however much they are three, some places inside her it's still two and one.

"And you?" he asks, voice sad as if he knows what's in her head. "Don't you have to talk to us too?" Her eyes widen, knowing he's so close to the truth and she can't let him that far in yet. So she makes herself laugh, lighten the mood so she doesn't have to say what trembles on her tongue.

Moonlight touches her face and leaves his in shadow, hollows looking so deep and pure to her as she laughs. "What do you think I do every night at three a.m.?"

He kisses her, lightly as if he doesn't quite believe her, eyes boring into hers to try and see. But she perfected her mask a long time ago, and lets only the lightness show as the moon slips away again and he pulls back, leaving her in darkness. "Go back to bed." The order is teasing, but inside she's screaming at him to go so that she can look at herself in the dark and find something, find the peace that she needs so desperately so that she can keep this up. "Get some sleep. Whatever you say will wait until morning, when I can be there." She pushes him towards the stairs and his heartsick twin. "Go, mi'cridhe." My heart.

He grins at her and leaves, never saying it back but then he never does. It's the other who will say it, give her the words and make it unreal. The silence he has makes it real, makes her feel like it's true and that's why she will say it to him more than his other half. He loves her, but he'll never say it. Not yet. And she blesses all the gods that it's like that.

She watches him walk up the stairs, throwing a quick glance over his shoulder but she's looking away by then, staring at her reflection in the dark glass and waiting for him to go. When he's gone, when she reaches up the stairs to her beloveds and finds them sleeping wrapped in each other she turns and goes back to bed. But she doesn't sleep. Instead she turns it over in her mind and searches every corner.

It's seven a.m. and the others are stirring and she doesn't have an answer. But then, she never does. So she gets up and puts on the same old face, the same façade, and goes to her lovers.


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