contemplation
Dinah Lance blondecanary
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Streets of Fandom to the Causeway, Friday early evening
Dinah just had one small dufflebag over her shoulder as the parking lot loomed in sight.

Time to go. She'd been saying stuff, not even listening to herself, for the last couple blocks. Fingers locked and twined with Jaime's.

"...have to explain to Jen how I got there, after all. Since they're not picking me up at the airport." She took a breath. "And maybe we'll drive down the Pacific Coast Highway too."





Jaime's pace had been growing gradually slower as they got closer and closer to the parking lot. He'd known this moment was coming for a while now, but apparently foreknowledge didn't make it any easier.

"The scenic route, huh?"




"Yeah." Dinah's steps were slowing too. "The portal will pick me up in Baltimore. Drop me off outside of Santa Cruz. Three hour time-change. Then I do the same thing, going to Toronto. And then back home, next weekend." She swallowed, not looking him, but her fingers were getting tighter.

If she just kept talking, she wasn't leaving. It wasn't time yet.




"Sounds like an adventure," Jaime said as he came to a complete stop. See? They weren't in the parking lot, yet!




There was another whole block! Dinah stopped under a streetlight, looking down at the pavement. "It will be. Road-tripping through portal." She looked at him and smiled hesitantly. "We never did get around to that. Too much stuff to do."




"Yeah," Jaime agreed softly, also studying the pavement. It sure was fascinating!

He almost suggested they could do something next summer, or over Christmas or something. But... that wouldn't be the same...




Not the same at all. Dinah's throat closed up for a second there, and she swallowed hard. "Maybe next summer," she said, voice equally soft. "Just as friends."

No no no, no crying at that idea. To combat the urge, Dinah took another step forward. And stopped again.




Jaime managed a smile and a nod. "I'd like that."

That'd give him time to... get used to being just friends.




"Yeah." Dinah could hear the shakiness in her own voice, and cleared her throat. "It'll be fun." Another step. Stop. She could see her motorcycle from here, locked down next to one of the cars.

She didn't want to do this. She'd gotten used to the mix of regret and anticipation of leaving the island and everyone else, but this, this was... how was she supposed to do this?

"I'll be back." It sounded like a warning. "For Homecoming."




"Good," Jaime said with a nod. "We'll... catch up." Or... something.

"Not that we won't be emailing all the time and whatever, but..." That wasn't the same.




"And texting." Just not sexy texting. Not any more, probably. Dinah gritted her teeth, started slowly walking again. Just because they'd reach her motorcycle again didn't mean she's have to leave right then. Right? "...but I promise not to tell your girlfriend about that."

See! She could joke about it! It would be okay! It would. It had to be.




"My super-hot girlfriend?" Jaime asked, smiling almost in spite of himself.




"Uh-hunh." Dinah managed a small smile to match his. "My super-cool boyfriend said he heard she was going to miss you. A lot."

She stopped again at the edge of the parking lot, biting her lip, eyes starting to fill up.




"So..."

Yeah. He had nothing.




Yeah, that would be Dinah, clinging to him now, fighting tears. Then mumbling "Sorry," and trying to move away.




Jaime wrapped his arms around her. THere would be no moving away right now. "No apologies."




Dinah dropped her duffle and just went for the glomp, shivering with the need not to cry. "Why's this have to hurt so much?" she whispered. "We knew this was coming. For ages."




"Still hurts." Jaime squeezed hard. "Knowing it's coming doesn't make it hurt less, you know... Or if it does, it doesn't make it not hurt."




Dinah was biting her lip hard enough to make it bleed, trying to keep the tears back. She didn't want to let go of Jaime yet. Didn't want to move at all. Nothing with them was going to be the same after she left.

She kept one arm around Jaime, leaning against him as close as she could, and lifted up her bag with TK. "Almost there," she whispered.




"Yeah." Because... what else was there to say? Jaime didn't want this, but... life didn't always give you what you wanted. It just gave you what it gave you.

"This sucks," he said quietly.




"Uh-hunh." She couldn't be all 'better to have loved and lost...' right at this moment. Not in the middle of the losing, with Jaime's arm around her. When it felt like if she could think of the perfect plan, she wouldn't have to leave. Dinah leaned against him harder, trying to memorize the feel of his hug.

They finally made it to her bike, and Dinah let go of Jaime in order to secure her bag on the back, strapping it and locking it down. Then got her helmet and gloves out of the seat storage.

The tears were leaking out now, sadness escaping no matter what she tried to think about. She put her arms around him again, rubbing the tears away with the back of one hand.




Jaime leaned into her and planted a chaste kiss on her forehead. "Life's not fair sometimes," he whispered softly.




"Nope." She took a deep breath. Pushed away all thoughts of fair-not-fair, that hurting because they couldn't even try to be together forever was impossible when different worlds were involved.

Didn't kiss him yet. Kissing him would be good-bye.

"I'll text you. When I get to Priestly's place. So you know I got there okay." She swallowed. "Look out for everybody. I know you would anyway, but. It helps. To think that you will." One hand was stroking the back of his neck, and she could stand here for hours. Yup. Not moving.




Standing worked. Yep.

"And the text will be good for my peace of mind." Jaime smiled slightly. "And, you're right, I'll watch out for everyone."

"Anyone in particular you want me to watch out for?"




"Karla." She was getting calmer again as they talked. "She promised to be good, and not get seriously hurt before New Year's. But she overdoes it a lot. Momoko. You would anyway, but.. you know she thinks she's indestructible." Dinah sighed, closed her eyes. "Roy. Doesn't get out enough. Dru, Kennedy, Tim, Zack..." She swallowed. "Lot of people to miss."




"Make me a list," Jaime said softly. "I'll keep an eye out."




"'Kay. I don't want to forget anyone." She closed her eyes, leaning her forehead against his. Then, Yourself. Don't get hurt, please. Don't get lost. Don't disappear.




"Take your time."

I will. Promise.





Dinah smiled. Her eyes were stinging again. But like this, skin to skin and thought to thought, even the lump in her throat wasn't an excuse for not saying things.

Except that she'd finally run out of thoughts as well as words. So she kissed him. Very slowly, as gently as she could, wanting to make it last.




Jaime kissed her back. It was warm and sweet and lingering. A farewell sort of kiss. One that he wanted to convey just how much he was going to miss her, and just how much she meant to him.




Dinah's eyes blurred because she'd never wanted this kind of kiss, but it was the perfect kiss, and she put just a little more heat and urgency in it, thinking, Love you.

And finally stopped kissing him to just hug him again. "I mean that. Love you."




Jaime pulled back just a bit and smiled sadly. "I think..." he said softly. "I think that if we'd had more time... yeah." He might already, but... why make things harder by admitting it even to himself.




Dinah wasn't sure how much of that love was friendship, and how much something more. It was more. But she'd said it because she had to.

Jaime being Jaime to the end, she kind of read between the lines there. "Yeeeaaah," she breathed, rubbing her nose against his. "But. Wouldn't change it. Any of it." Including the stuff that never happened.




"No regrets," Jaime agreed softly. Or, at least, none about anything they could do anything about.




"No." Dinah was smiling, even if it was a little forlorn. "Still hurts, but..." She gulped. "The day they come up with a multi-dimensional transporter that can work without, you know. Reservations, or money, though. I am so showing up at your house."




"Yeah."

He smiled. "And ditto."




"Yeah..."

Dinah wiped at her eyes with her knuckles, then carefully pulled on her driving gloves.

Keys in one hand. Helmet in the other. This was it. "...I want to say something else. More. But I don't know what."




"I... don't know that there's actually any more to say," Jaime said softly. "Words..." he shrugged. They clearly weren't enough.




So Dinah planted another warm kiss on his mouth, and backed up to her bike, trying to smile. Managing it, somehow.

"It was worth it. You were worth getting hurt for." She let out a breath, and the smile became more real, even if another tear was escaping unchecked. She got on her bike, and put her keys in the ignition. "Hasta la vista, Jaime."




Jaime's smile was a bit shaky as he watched her walk away. His hand lifted to wave, and simply hung there.

He didn't know how to respond.

Hasta la vista, indeed.




So Dinah put on her helmet, started the motorcycle, then stopped to look at Jaime one last time. Waved. Took a deep breath. Then drove the motorcycle toward the Causeway, over it, eyes still stinging.

A purple swirl of portal was waiting for her on the other side, and she gunned it, aiming for the vortex, and with a flash of light, she was gone.



[Pre-played with the awesome weldedtomyspine. Not for interaction, OOC = OK. And Dinah is off the island. *hugs you all*]

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