Dec. 19th, 2004

[identity profile]
Of course, he was the type who was very aware when things around him were out of place. Even something that was as background to his life as his walk home from work did not escape his careful observation. He noticed quite easily that the young, neglected-looking girl standing against the wall of one of the closed stores along the street that night seemed to be trying very hard to avoid being noticed. But though he was aware of such differences, he wasn't usually one to pay any real heed to such details; but today, something prompted him to stop and inquire of her:

"Are you lost, child?"

Shocked and frightened hazel eyes looked up at him from a white face framed by brownish blonde hair, the girl having been completely unprepared for anyone to address her, much less this deep-voiced, sleek, composed, professional-looking man...

"" the little girl responded at last in a tiny, timid voice.

"I apologize for startling you," he said mildly, gold eyes never leaving her face. "However, you don't seem as if... you belong here." It was meant to be a question.

She looked down at her shoes and kicked uncomfortably at an invisible rock. When those eyes did not stop watching her, she offered finally, "...I'm not lost. I just ran away. And I'm hiding from them."

He squatted down to be at her eye level. "I see."

She looked up at him finally, longing and lonely eyes searching his for some kind of sympathy, some kind of gentleness, kindness, warmth... "I don't know where to go now."

"You can't go back?" he asked matter-of-factly.

She looked away again, shrugging, disappointed. "...I guess." She pushed away from the wall to move somewhere else. "...Sorry I bothered you, sir."

But a hand was placed on her head before she could get anywhere. She looked up at him again.

He was standing now, and those gold eyes seemed to capture and hold onto her heart like nothing she'd ever experienced before. Behind that impassive expression, she had the sudden impression of a golden light, something strong, warm, protective, and safe...

Without fully understanding why, she moved and clung to his jacket, burying her face in his side. Inside herself, her mind was screaming out, fearing -- expecting rejection, expecting to be brushed aside by this stranger... but at the same time she wanted nothing more than to be at his side, to be this close to him for even a short moment, to take even just a little of that strong safe warm presence and wrap herself in it, just for a little...

She jerked slightly and stared at him disbelievingly when he crouched and took her into his arms.

"You will be safe here."

The voice was warm like the light inside him. It held her close like his arms, like a bright and strong blanket.

"...don't be afraid. I will protect you."

The girl closed her eyes and laid her head on his shoulder, curled tightly in his arms and clinging to his lapel, uncontrollable tears slipping from hazel eyes beneath her lashes. She couldn't tell whether she was weeping out of joy, sorrow, fear, or relief. But regardless, the warm presence never left her.

"Take my strength... I will be here for you... always."


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Voices in Our Heads

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