By Fluterbev and Rhianne
Notes: This is the product of a riotous weekend, when rhianne came to visit fluterbev, and Fingers came around to join in the mayhem too. Best fun we've had with our clothes on! ANy typos are the result of extreme alcohol consumption!
Dedication: To everyone who participated in sentinelsecrets this weekend, and especially Ainm for making it all such fun. You lot are the best :-)
He sits alone, watching life pass him by. Students, joggers, shuffling tramps and mothers with children surround him, but he sees them from across a great chasm, and none of them see him. He is alone in the crowd, disconnected and unimportant, invisible to people who have no time to spare in noticing a nameless man on a bench.
He has no name, no past. Nothing to ground him to a world of strangers. All he knows is that his life began today, a man with no tangible proof of identity, found in a filthy alleyway. Whoever left him there took his wallet, his shoes and his life.
So here he sits, desperately longing for something he doesn't remember, but somehow knows is missing all the same. He watches the people around him, observing their laughter and the tenderness of mothers towards children. He wonders sadly if there is anyone in the world who would care for him half as much if they were here.
He wonders if his life was always like this, if he has always been on the sidelines, never quite connecting with those around. He watches as their eyes drift towards him, then slide away as if a barrier exists between him and the rest of the world. He hates the thought that he has always been this alone.
From time to time he looks down at his hands where they lay on his lap, half expecting to see through them like a ghost. He wonders if he is really there at all. Maybe he is dreaming, his imagination filling in the empty spaces in his head which exist before the only memory he owns - the memory of sterile, clinical rooms and impersonal doctors.
He lifts one insubstantial hand to scratch at the gauze which covers one temple, and is oddly surprised when his fingers connect without passing through. His skin feels strangely warm to the touch, and yet he feels cold inside, the warmth of the dying sun not enough to ward off the chill deep in his bones.
Despite the pervading cold this is still better than the hospital, where the constant sounds of human interaction only served to highlight his detachment. Seeking a reality he could engage with, that might replace his barren existence, he drifted through the hospital corridors, past swathes of people, transparent to their eyes. No-one challenged him, and he doubts whether anyone has noticed yet that he is gone.
The people he watches here in the park are blurred, and no matter how hard he tries, their images will not come into focus. He sees through a mist and blinks to clear his vision, but nothing changes, and he is still invisible.
He lifts tired eyes and traces across the grass, down to where the park merges with the bay. The sun is now a glowing ball low on the horizon, the water a riot of shimmering colors. He squints as a dark shape emerges from the sun - a strangely familiar shadow with sharp edges, moving towards him with feline grace.
He wonders for a split second why no-one else has noticed the appearance of a black jaguar in the middle of a public park, but then the image resolves further, and he sees that it is not a cat at all, but a man.
The man sees him and smiles, his face the first clear image the nameless man has seen for as long as he can remember. Something inside him shifts, and as he stares back at the man, the fog finally begins to clear.
"Hey chief," says the man. "What's going on?"
Blair smiles back. "Hey Jim," he replies. "I was waiting for you."
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