“Jesus, I can’t believe that was us,” Nicolas said, voice hushed and reverent as he traced his fingertips across the mural painted on the wall of the building.
Nodding, Julian slipped his fingertips beneath the aqua fabric of Nicolas’ T-shirt, stroking the soft hair near his navel. Reassuring him. “You were beautiful in that life too. Although I must say I’m partial to the beard in this one.”
Nicolas shot him a small smile over his shoulder. “Yes, you’ve always been fond of them.”
“Just as well you didn’t have a beard as Vera though,” Julian pointed out. Certain traits carried over from lifetime to lifetime, although thankfully facial hair wasn’t one of them, since gender wasn’t either. They’d been every combination of couple throughout history, their gender and orientation flowing and blending. They’d ceased to care. Waking up in a new life in a different gender was no longer the shock it had once been, although the loneliness lingered until the soulmates were reunited.
“I’m scared, Jules,” Nicolas whispered. “Who’s painting these?”
Mutely, Julian shook his head. “I don’t know, Nic.”
“Fuck! We have to find the artist. What if they …?”
The fears changed from day to day. What if the artist was intent on outing them to the world? What if they’d be taken by the government and studied for research. Worst of all, what if it damaged their ability to be together in this life and all the ones in the future? Dying wasn’t a fear, but permanent separation was. After millennia together, lifetime after lifetime, being together wasn’t simply a need, but a necessity. Unlike the couples around them who Julian simultaneously envied and scorned, he couldn’t simply walk away from Nic. They were bound together. By what or whom, they’d never been able to discover, but something drove them to live life after life together and something helped them remember.
A cold feeling in the pit of Julian’s gut told him this artist knew something. They’d spent years tracking the murals from city to city, country to country, and they both believed they were closing in. But what happened when they did? What would that mean for him and Nic? They wanted answers, but at what cost?
Nic let out a quiet whimper as he traced his fingers over the painted representation of them kissing. “I’m scared, Jules.”
Without a thought, Julian grasped Nicolas and spun him, shoving him back against the mural and lifting him until his legs wrapped around Julian’s waist and his arms around Julian’s shoulders. “You and me, Nic. Every lifetime.No matter what.”
Nic turned his head, but not before Julian saw the raw fear and anguish there. “You and me,” he echoed, but the pounding of his heart against Julian’s chest said more than words ever could.
Julian buried his head against Nicolas’ neck. Until the end, he thought, terrified that this time would be the last.
Helena’s already pestering me to continue. What do you think? Is there story potential there? I think I already know the twist.
Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week! I really loved Helena’s this week.
I look forward to seeing you next Monday!