“Who knew I had this much power, waiting for me, once my heart was whole again…”
It had been in the open air, the last fragment of my heart, from my initial battle with Soloman Kane. Back when Lycaon was alive, back when we were dancing around each other, back when I nearly died. Lycaon had found the shard of my heart, and as soon as it hit fresh air, I sent my drakon after it. He could phase, I could not. It was weird having powers within me that I couldn’t use. We communicated through our internal bond, although I could not speak through him. He appeared in front of the cabin, the one we razed, the one Lycaon was attempting to rebuild, and began scouring the ground.
Lycaon looked over and cocked his head. “Hello, dragon.”
My drakon noticed the wolf but didn’t pay any attention to him. He continued looking for the tiny piece of his partner. I have nothing to say to you. I can smell what you’ve done, wolf… and I am unimpressed.
Lycaon chuckled, I had to give him credit, even though my heart swelled knowing he was alive. But I didn’t understand what the drakon meant. “Well, you wouldn’t mind leaving my property then?”
The drakon huffed and turned away from the Wolf King. I will, once I’ve found what I’m looking for. And then you will be free of the last vestige of your pain, but she never will be.
Lycaon, cocky, self-assured, sexy as hell, and cold, just looked at the drakon before puffing on his cigar. The scent invaded the drakon’s nose, and thus mine, and I swooned; I couldn’t help it. My heart, some of it would always be Lycaon’s. “I already am.” He replied simply.
The drakon found the shard of my heart and picked it up carefully with a claw. So glad for you. You’re a coward.
Lycaon scoffed, at least, that’s what it sounded like. “A coward? That’s funny.” He laughed as the drakon ignored him, and flew away.
The drakon returned to Hell, dropped the fragment in my hand and then melded back into my body.
Gabriel sat me down softly on the bed and knelt in front of me. I must have fallen over. “Medea, what is it? What’s happened?”
I began sobbing again but I held my hands open. “Do you know what this is?” Gabriel wrinkled his brow and shook his head. “It’s the missing piece of my heart.”
Gabriel sat back, stunned. I think he thought the same as I did, that piece was never coming back. “I… what? I’m confused… I thought that was… lost.” Gabriel grit his teeth and took a slow breath. “How did you get it, love? What does .. what does it mean? Talk to me…”
I choked, reliving the memory as it flooded my mind, both from the drakon and from the heart fragment that witnessed it all. “It was, Lycaon… found it while he was rebuilding the cabin. And then… he purged himself, of all his humanity. The drakon had to go retrieve it…”
Gabriel looked at me worried, concerned. “Ok…” his eyes flashed purple fire, “what does that mean for you, love?”
I looked up at him, shaking visibly. “It means, once I cleanse it and put it back in, I’ll be mostly healed. My strength will be greater than it is now. You don’t know this, but I’ve been fighting at less than full strength.”
Gabriel chuckled softly, it was melt-worthy, and readily eased my worry. “I do know… what did that poem say? ‘I can tell where your scars are.’” I nodded sadly as he spoke. “If having it back is good… where do your tears come from?”
I tried looking up at him, but couldn’t make eye-contact. “Because I am now the only one living with this pain…”
He rested his head against mine, allowing a low tendril of power to flow between us. “Share your pain and all your burdens with me. I will be your Atlas and carry your world, love.”
I looked at him, my eyes flashing purple. I opened the small part of me I had kept closed, with my pain about Lycaon, everything Gabriel hadn’t felt yet, and I let him in.
Gabriel just closed his eyes and leaned into me, letting his defences fall. His power swirled between up, blurring the lines of where he ended and I began. He allowed my emotions to filter in, the rush was stark and deep, and for a moment he gasped for air trying to take it all in. He held steady though, not willing to move away from this moment, or me.
I curled into him, giving Gabriel everything I didn’t even know I was keeping: all the pain, all the years, all the grief; the love for both, the guilt, the desire to let go and move on, and the inability once he returned.
I could feel Gabriel’s focus on my emotions. He lifted me slightly, laying us both across the bed, and curled himself around me as purple tears streamed down his face. I could feel his heart breaking and mending along with mine over and over again through the weight of my pain. All the while he pulsed our marks with the healing energy that is Us.
The next morning, I was aware of Gabriel waking. He seemed sluggish, like coming out of a drugged state, but his body was humming with me. The combination of his power and my magic surrounded, filled us, and calmed me. I felt him shiver. Even though I wasn’t conscious, I was vaguely aware his mind was blank, and he was keeping it that way. But he curled around me and I was home, as always.
Gabriel woke up the following day startled as if he was being called somewhere. I was already awake, so I rolled over to face him. “Gabriel?” Whatever emotional baggage I was carrying seemed to have disappeared, or at least been processed. My bump was more present now, and it seemed as though all I was doing was sleeping. I didn’t remember eating much or moving around, and I knew that needed to change.
Gabriel blinked awake, slightly groggy and smiled. “Yes, love?”
I just looked over and smiled back. “Nothing, I’ve just missed you.”
Gabriel smiled brightly, reached over, rubbed my belly, and his smile grew immensely at the increased bump. “I’ve missed you.” The smile vanished in a flash and was replaced with seriousness before he whispered. “Thank you for sharing all of you with me.”
I leaned over and kissed him lovingly. “I should have done it ages ago.” I fell back asleep and lost track of time after that. This pregnancy was behaving oddly, the child was growing quickly, and I was worried I wouldn’t be mobile for the battle.
A few days, a week- I had no idea- later I rolled out of bed, quietly to not wake Gabriel and looked around. I pulled the piece of my heart out of the small box I’d put it in and sighed. “Alright, let’s get this over with.”
I walked around Hell, the shard of my heart in my hand, and looked for a place of serenity to cleanse it. Yes I know, peace and serenity in Hell… What was I thinking? But I remember Hippolyta saying something about a garden, so I tried to find that. When I did, I was taken aback by the beauty of it. “This is perfect.”
I held out the shard of my heart, the last remnant from my personal battle with Solomon Kane. I sat cross-legged on the ground, beginning to meditate. I closed my eyes and held my hands out, the shard began to float above my hands, while the white fire in my soul started cleansing it slowly. “Don’t rush this Medea,” I muttered softly to myself.
I could feel the heat burn through the flesh, reigniting it, and I noticed a slight tug. The shard wanted to go home. Smiling, I opened my shirt. I had pulled on a button-up hastily before leaving the room. I looked at the hole in my chest and the burn marks that criss crossed my skin.
“Alright, little one, go join the rest,” I whispered before letting go of the heart fragment and watching as it soared into my chest. The moment it connected with the rest of the flesh I screamed out in pain. “Ah!!!!”
The shard reattached itself, my heart began beating fully for the first time in months and tears streamed down my face. “Oh… gods…”
I got up slowly, my legs trembling beneath me. I felt my power surging back, a power I hadn’t even realized I’d been missing. I made my way back to my room, knowing the battle with Sam would be imminent now.
As I stumbled back into our room, the burn marks began fading to a soft black, looking more like a faded tattoo, versus the dark black they had been. “Gabriel…” I muttered before falling on to the bed.
~Co-written with C.S. Ratliff and JayLynn Watkins