Voltron and all characters therein property of World Event Productions
Author's Note: This is a lyric wheel fic from the vying mailing list. The song lyrics I received were Dover Beach by Ric Hordinski. While I was writing, I came across a poem of the same name- Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold- which also influenced this fic. The lyrics to the song and a section of the poem follow the fic.
The new light of dawn filters through the open window next to the bed, painting the whitewashed walls with a golden glow. I should get up and shut the curtains before the growing light wakes you, but somehow the thought of shutting out the new day feels wrong. I've seen one too many sunsets recently, and one too many endings. Cliché as it sounds, the soft newborn light of early morning has always reminded me of beginnings, as if the first rays of the sun are the gentle caresses of a distant Creator brushing over his reborn child with almost tangible joy.
So instead of getting up and closing out the light I lay here selfishly and watch you sleep, reveling in the warmth of those first tentative touches creeping across the bare skin of my arm. Maybe for the first time, I'm truly aware that the circle that began when I flung myself into the arms of death to trade my life for yours is over.
For years I tried not to remember that day, or any of the past that fell before it. My life before the pain-filled haze and the resulting humiliation meant absolutely nothing. When the attack came that seemed to seal my fate the past was already receding away. What were memories of love and laughter to one measuring time by the rhythmic beep of the bedside monitors or the nightly screams from Doom's gladiator rings?
The only thought that I could still understand was the one I'd repeated to myself like an incantation: I'd taken your place, and so I was dead to both you and the world, the way the witch had intended you to be. How could I drag you and your brightness down into the depths with my shattered soul? It was a thought that I couldn't even contemplate, so I tried my damnedest to forget that you- all of you- existed. It was an approach that might have worked, leaving me whole if empty, except that every time I heard the whispers of Voltron that resounded down even into the bowels of my hell all I could picture was your face, so white against the encroaching blackness, and your eyes… The utterly despairing look in your eyes unnerved me enough to allow the madness to mature until there was finally nothing of Sven left. I was dead to you, and no good has ever come of phantoms rising from the dead to haunt the living. It was over; I had to accept that. Because of that there was only the insanity and the meanest animal instincts remaining behind my shattered façade when Romelle came into my life and remade me in the image of her deepest and darkest heart, and I was reborn with a new name.
We had been wronged, the two of us, and if that's a warped basis for a new love, for a while it was enough to fool us both. The twin shrouds of hatred and bitterness wrapped around the fragile hidden core of my spirit, transforming the madness and the constant dance with death into a dark parody of life. In the seemingly bottomless depths of my enmity the world was reborn from darkness under the haze of a blood-red sky. It was a life of a sort, but there was no joy, no love, and no peace. There was nothing to fuel me on the darkening plain of my barren soul but the confused alarms of battle, where ignorant armies clashed ceaselessly day and night. I couldn't fathom love, so I put myself away, not even allowing myself to stay close to Romelle, the twin of my violated soul. The only reason I stayed on Pollux at all was that there I was surrounded by people whose hatred for Doom burned as brightly as mine; people for whom vengeance was a constant and preferably bloodthirsty companion. They were a people who forgave me my transgressions as echoes of their own hearts. It was their strength that kept me going and maintained the calm exterior I presented to the universe at large.
Still, through it all, everywhere I looked I was reminded of you. I never admitted the existence of my anguish to myself during my waking hours, but you filled my dreams every night. On those rare occasions when you were called to Pollux under constraint of duty and the cruel universe forced me to be near you, I could barely hide the confusion and pain as everything that had made me Sven struggled with the stranglehold my new self maintained over my heart and soul. I disguised the struggle the best I could, burying everything under righteous anger and blood. Vengeance remained my new shield as I stood on the shores of my fading life and watched the tide of time rolling steadily away.
But then, somehow, it was over. The battles were fought and my vengeance was won, and the loss of it left me once again completely bereft. I could see the hurt in Romelle's eyes as the fragile love she had so carefully constructed began to unravel, so I took myself away. That was a pain she didn't deserve. It was my fault that she never saw past the crafted dream that surrounded my bitter heart, and I wouldn't let her continue to fall with me.
I thought that with everything gone there was nothing left for me to do but to run headlong into the cold embrace of true death, but then you found me, and even that dream came undone. You kidnapped me back into the light completely against my will. You cajoled me; you fought with me. You made me live again, and the sweetness of it after so long in a monochrome world took my breath away. Just to be with you again made me relearn joy and wonder as if for the very first time. At the end, you made me remember who Sven was.
Who I am.
So I lay here in the warmth of the new morning watching you sleep, afraid that if I close my own eyes you'll vanish like a wraith from a dream back into the past I banished for so long. You stir slightly as the light touches your face, blinking sleepily against the encroachment of morning on your dreams. A sleepy smile lights up your face as your eyes find me, and I can't help but smile a real smile in return. It's over now; the circle's closed. As I look into your eyes I feel as if I've always known that this is the way it was meant to be. The past is gone; not banished this time or lost to me completely, but behind me nevertheless and finally beginning to heal.
You lean up on your elbows, the smile turning wistful. "You're still here."
"Of course I am," I whisper back. "I finally found what I was missing."
I gently push you back down on the bed and press my lips against yours, breathing the words into your mouth. "You." I can't see your smile, but I can feel it, and that's enough.
It's always been you.
Dover Beach, by Ric Hordinski
Where does it go
Well I can only speak for me
I have seen, I have seen
Well I was young once yes it's true
And I have seen I have seen
Love has been true every single moment
Dover Beach, by Matthew Arnold
Ah, love, let us be true