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The Door Is Ever Open

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Lydia is used to hearing more than everyone else, but right now her world is made up of layers upon layers of sound and her brain is struggling to process them all. She tries to catalogue the strata of audio as if they were simply factual - things that exist in her head, things to examine - rather than something that is happening to her. She blinks back the tears that rise up from within, yet she can't stop the flow of them any better than the waves of emotion that hit with each new sound. They don't feel like her emotions, instead the echoes of the sheer volume of suffering she knows has come to pass.

She grips Jordan by the forearms as if human contact might anchor her somehow; her fingers slide over the blood smears on his skin and the whispers of the dead bloom in her mind with vigor, desperate to be heard by their true voices, not the moans and groans of the hordes outside. The world is closing in on her because the world is dying on an unprecedented scale. Knowledge doesn't help here, the panic is all she can feel of herself, except where her nails dig into the deputy like pin points of existence. She doesn't have claws but she holds onto him wildly, vaguely aware of how she is hurting him. He's saying something but the words don't register, only the sense of concern that she can't place as being for her or him or maybe others. The supernatural sounds clamour for her attention, ever increasingly pushing reality away, until it is more a distant hum to their din.

The urge to scream bubbles underneath the panic, an instinct waiting for the desperation to peak, for her to break her resolve. She parts her lips unintentionally, as a deep sensation of deprivation forces her to breathe in through her mouth as if her life depended on it, as if she'd been choking on the need to open up. She knows what ought to come next, her body operating on automatic; ready to let go of the grief. This time she's scared though, terrified that if she starts screaming she'll never stop. So she lunges forward, pressing her open lips to Parrish's, intent to occupy her mouth with something equally instinctual.

Everything goes silent. There is surprise at the sudden reprieve their connection creates, the darkness now drawing back mentally, their calm in the middle of the storm around them. She can't even hear own heartbeat anymore, but she's dimly aware of the thrum of his pulse under her fingers which are still pressed bruisingly upon him. She lessens her grip just a little and feels him respond both by capturing her lips in return and with a squeeze of his own hands upon her forearms. She hadn't even realised he'd been holding on to her the same way, her grip mirrored. His lips are salty, just like hers must be from her crying and even though there's plenty of potential reasons he could be crying too – pain, fear, loss - she knows exactly why. She can sense it. She knows he feels like she feels because they both hear the same thing; hell has come to earth and death is here for them.