Jinx didn't own a suit, never had. What he did own was a pair of neat black trousers and a black button up shirt to go with it. It was an outfit that he didn't wear often, but it was still more than he wanted to. Sometimes he thought about getting rid of it, a sort of 'don't encourage the worst' mentality, but then he always needed it again.

Jinx was losing track of funerals he'd attended in London, but this one was the worst. This one should never have happened. None of them should have happened, but even if they were unfair, this one beat them all. He and Tal should be home today, and maybe it some alternate more fair universe another Tal and Jinx were. A Tal and a Jinx and an Alice, all curled up together in Tal's bed like a real family.

He and Tal would never be a family, not ever, no matter what happened later. Jinx saw that clearly now, like one of Peter's visions.
Alice's coffin reminded Jinx of a shoebox, barely bigger than the box his last pair of New Rocs had come in.

They were uncomfortable.

He'd hardly worn them.

He thought he might have left them at Loli's place.

When Alice was five, Jinx was going to get her a pair of those New Roc knockoffs they made for kids. She was going to be the coolest kid in kindy. (Would she have liked goth boots or would she be the kind of little girl who only liked pink? Maybe she'd think her goth parents were embarrassing.

Maybe Jinx would have stopped wearing makeup for her.

Maybe he would have stopped wearing skirts and glittery nails.

Maybe he'd have bought a suit.

But maybe Alice would have liked to sit behind him and braid his hair, and maybe they would have shared makeup, maybe he would have approved in her boyfriends because 16-year-old Alice has the same taste in boys as her old dad.

Maybe.

Or maybe not.

Or not at all.

Alice's coffin is barely bigger than a shoebox.

"She looks like she's sleeping," someone said, and Jinx hated them for . He didn't even know would it was. He couldn't think past Alice and then Tal, Tal who he clung to, who he couldn't let go of, who had tried to bring Alice into the world for them.

Tal would have been an amazing mother.

Snap wasn't a mum, neither was Stasia. Is that what Alice had now? Those two fuck ups?

Jinx couldn't bear to think of his Alice as a ghost up there. Did babies exist in that place? In some ways that seemed even more horrible than her being gone completely. Alice as a baby forever and ever? Jinx had to force himself to stop thinking about it or he knew he'd be sick. He already could feel the edge if violent nausea trying to rise up just from coping with this day.

When the words had all been spoken, they lowered Alice into the ground, where it was cold and dark. His daughter, buried in the black with nothing but worms. (At home there was an unused cot full of soft toys. None of them were worms.)

Jinx was asked if he wanted to put a handful of dirt onto the coffin. Why not. What else was there to do?

Go on, throw dirt on your dead baby girl, you worthless piece of shit.

But once the dirt was his hand he couldn't let it go, couldn't open his fingers to drop it. He just stared down at the hole for too long and then, without a word or really even making a decision, he walked away. Away from the funeral, away from his friends, away from Alice. He just walked, clod of dirt still gripped in his hand.

He didn't know where he was walking to. He didn't know what was in this direction. He had a handful of dirt and a head full of static.

A green car pulled up alongside him somewhere on the road past the cemetery - the cemetery where Snap was. buried. His baby buried in the same ground as his ex-girlfriend. His child in the same earth as the love of his life, both of them lost forever to him. Was that irony or just awful? Jinx don't know.)

The passenger door of the car opened and it was Helena who leaned out. "Hop in," she said, and although Jinx wanted to just keep walking, he didn't feel up to arguing it. He opened his hand and the dirt fell heavily before disintegrating, half of it sticking to his hands with sweat. He wiped his hand slowly on his nice funeral pants and then got into the car.

He put his seatbelt on.

For a little while they drove in silence but too soon Helena was talking, her Irish accent sounding more Irish today and Jinx thought it was strange that he took note of this. He couldn't manage to notice anything else since Alice died, couldn't follow the plot of his own life, but he could tell that Helena's accent was thicker.

"I'm so sorry, Jinx," she was saying. "Its so so horrible and I wish I could say something to make it better." Silence, as she waited to see if he would maybe say something. He didn't and so she went on. "Do you need anything?" Silence. "If you need anything at all- "

"Helena," he snapped, "fucking shut it."

Helena clamped her mouth shut and drove. The road lines were swallowed by the front of the car and Jinx watched them, letting them lull him as much as possible.

Spotting the cigarette box on the dashboard, Jinx reached out for it. "I need a light."

Helena didn't say anything but reached into her pocket, eyes on the road and one hand on the wheel, and pulled out a blue lighter with a cartoon skull on it. Jinx wound down the window and then lit up.

He'd quit smoking and drinking when Tal had, the both of them giving up those vices for Alice, but now it turned out to have been a sacrifice without a reward. He took a long drag and waited to the nicotine to calm him. It didn't happen. Jinx blew smoke out the open window and didn't speak again.

The wake was being hosted at Victoria Lane, Deirdre taking care of all of it. Helena led the way inside and then left him - she said something as she went, but it was unimportant. Jinx found a chair in the corner of the room and sat. He didn't know if he was supposed to be doing something here. So many wakes and he had no idea.

Date: 2014-10-13 09:41 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] ophicleide.insanejournal.com
It was cruel watching her baby girl lowered into the ground when she should be in the loving arms of her parents. Alice hadn't even been able to take her first breath. Of all the things Tal had experienced and witnessed in her life, that seemed harshest of all.

Somewhere, deep down in a dark part of herself, Tal was starting to blame this on Jinx. It wasn't fair and it wasn't his fault, but Tallulah wouldn't have considered raising a kid if Jinx hadn't been so fucking insistent about it. Now Tal felt like she would never breathe again without her throat catching; never wake without her hands going to her belly to search for the life she had felt there. The little life she'd fallen completely in love with before she'd ever met her.

When Jinx stalked off, Tal didn't even watch him go. She threw her own handful of dirt, more forcefully than she would have liked, and returned to her parents' sides. Her funeral home owning parents who had arranged the entire affair so Tal wouldn't have to. The same parents who had barred her from the embalming room where Alice's body had been prepared. Tal both hated and loved them for it, in equal measure.

When the funeral ended, Tallulah rode with her parents back to Vic Lane, not knowing what to expect. She'd been attending wakes her entire life, both as a friend and as a resident of the Perkins Family Funeral Home. This wake was for her daughter, and being hosted by Deirdre who was unpredictable herself.

Tal breathed in. Her throat caught.

She located Jinx in the corner looking miserable and contemplated slapping him before she was able to squash the impulse down deep inside. He had lost his daughter too, but the irrational side of her wanted to say terrible things like he hadn't felt her, and his body hadn't been put through literal hell for fucking nothing. None of it was fair. Instead she went to stand beside him, her long fingers threading into his hair. Comfort wasn't possible to give here, and she didn't have any to spare anyway. But just maybe their pain could and should be shared between them.

"Hey," she said softly, her voice sounding alien even to her. She hadn't spoken much since Alice died. Too much of her was being used up when she cried and monosyllabic responses seemed all she had left. "You left. Get here safely?"

Date: 2014-10-13 11:06 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] slinkster-ghoul.insanejournal.com
"JINX!" Stephie called after Jinx as he left, but if he heard her he didn't respond. If she'd been thinking clearly she would have understood, of course he barely heard her. He'd been looking right through her for days.

She'd watched as he froze above the grave, hand clenched around the fistful of dirt and it made her think of Snap (was he thinking of Snap?) and how she had refused to throw earth into the Snap's grave because it felt so fucking wrong.

Stephie tried to go after him; she couldn't let him leave alone but Josie grabbed her. "Let him go," she said, her hand cold around Stephie's arm.

"I can't," Stephie said, her voice flat, except for when she was calling his name.

"Jinx!" She felt his name like a fishhook in her heart, felt the pain for him getting worse and worse the further away he went. When Josie tugged on her wrist she turned her body toward her and cracked, crying into Josie's designer lapels, until small arms wrapped around her leg and she looked down at blurry frightened Marie. Stephie wiped her face and hauled Marie into her arms.

Marie knew something was wrong, she'd known since the first night when Stephie woke her up in the middle of the night, crawling into her bed instead of sleeping on her own. Then everyone had been acting wrong, so Marie was acting wrong too. Stephie tried to explain, but the horror of trying to prepare this girl for a lifetime of funerals was too much, and Stephie was afraid she hadn't been very helpful.

But she held Marie now, both of them shaken, and Marie wailed into Stephie's clothes. Over the last few days Stephie had never been more aware of how tiny and fragile Marie's life was. It kept her wide awake at night. No one had slept much since it happened.

"Stay here," Josie said, her demon shadows creeping around her. She would follow him unseen, to make sure he didn't throw himself in front of a train or a Templar. Stephie pressed her face into Marie once more, and as Josie crept away, she knelt in the wet grass with her little girl and told her how she loved her. Tiny gingernut, she loved her.

She cupped her hands around Marie's small face and wondered if Alice's death was going to change the way Jinx was with Marie. How could it not? It scared Stephie, because you couldn't predict what people would do in grief, even Jinx...

Marie adored Jinx, and if there was even the slightest possibility that Jinx might resent Marie for her life when Alice had lost hers, then there was a chance he might say something cruel, and Marie was already delicate. Who knew what would happen?

Stephie had to know, though. She had to predict anything and she had to be prepared and she had to put everything she had into protecting Marie.

She felt like shit for not going after Jinx, but at least Josie was following him. Stephie probably had to be content with that. She wasn't going to let Marie out of her sight.

She felt her stupid heart aching. The rest of the day was going to be hell, and she didn't have any hope that tomorrow would be better.

Date: 2014-10-14 02:45 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] crookedstart.insanejournal.com
Standing by the table in the living room and watching tallulah and jinx, Astrid felt like an interloper, like a stranger who'd surrepticiously made their way inside. She didn't need to feel that way, she knew. She'd been living at Victoria Lane for a while, she'd been in jinx's life peripherally even longer than that. But still the thought: I don't belong here.

Watching them grieve made Astrid miss the people who weren't with her. She missed her family, away for the good of scarlett; Nancy, in a far off country; Ava, somewhere in the world; Corby. Miles.

People kept slipping through her fingers, and in the too crowded room, Astrid felt painfully lonely.

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