Part one: Relapse.
At that moment, the only thing he could focus on was the scent of her breath, as it whispered in a light huff across his face; the softness of her lips as they drew close enough to touch his, and the taste of her tongue, twisting with his emotions into knots. Time for a quick breath- before he drew her even closer, fingers smoothing up warm skin, entwining in her hair, before being gripped by emotions, relentless, hearts both racing, as their pauses for breath grew more erratic and far between-
There was a short pause for a gasp, before the recognition that she had frozen finally made it through the roar of sensation, and dazed eyes opened to meet hers, just before jade turned distant.
He blinked, struggling to focus as her palms emanated a sudden heat, a vicious pressure that pushed against his temples, before her hands were gone, abruptly returning them to the present, her body withdrawn from his with a gasp. He tried to regain his mind from the haze as he stared at her lightly shaking form, trying to comprehend what exactly had happened fingers managing to raise to brush his lips then his temples-
He stared in shock at the ground now inches before his face, the reverberating tremors of the punch reverberating through him, the pain quickly following the flush of blood to his face, and he winced, managing to cough out a choked splutter. The words themselves were barely legible, he noted with a grimace, but as the pleading question in his tone should have at least been decipherable, as he tried to even out his breathing, waiting for her response. There was a moment of silence, and he grit his teeth as the pain increased - had she broken his cheekbone? - before the slightly hoarse syllables broke the silence.
"Damn it, Charles."
The pain in the whispered words sent a spasm of shock through him, and he looked up, eyes searched fruitlessly for hers as she watched him from the shadows of the door. The ensuing silence was deadening, and he almost tried again to ask her- before it hit him. The only conclusion that could have caused such a reaction, that could have ever disturbed the sentimentality of one of God's golden children; the one piece of knowledge that could hurt an Angel. His actions stopped immediately, and as he caught her reflection in the mirror to the right above the stairwell, he found her eyes in the reflection, hazy and clouded, the mask of confidence washed away with the whisper of tears down her cheeks.
With that one touch she'd read his memories. With that one kiss.
His mind worked quickly. It was something he had once taken pride in. It was the reason he had managed to work his way to a status where he'd be privileged enough to meet such a higher being as Clarissa in the first place, and it was the reason he had guessed the truth behind this whole facade of an organisation.
But, as he stared, frozen, at the Angel before him, and his mind worked through the implications, he found he hated it. He didn’t know how she had gotten the suspicions, but if he had been left in belligerent ignorance, he would never have been put in this position in this goddamn company in the first place. Christ, everyone else on this rotten little planet had managed to survive freely without the specifics on Angels before. His younger, ambitious self, truly hadn't needed to know more than they were guardians, assisted by The Agency; wouldn't known more then that. If he had remained ignorant, he wouldn't have come here, and she wouldn’t be in this position, as he would never have been anywhere near her to let it slip.
But his mind worked quickly, and so it easily worked through to the resultant conclusion of this accident. Without the hope, the faith that sustained the angels- without the core belief that ‘He’ was there, (ensuring the placebo effect that had maintained the life force of the few members left of her species since the Great Revelation, remained)- she would die.
Clarissa would die.
Barely recognising his actions, let alone the dust in his face, he rested his forehead against the boards, scrambling for the footing to push himself to his feet. The room seemed to grow smaller as he turned to find her; recognising his movements she had already left her spot by the door to sit on the edge of the window, gaze unseeing as the wind whipped twists of sand from the windswept sand dunes below.
He couldn't speak. He couldn’t speak - only watch, as if he had some morbid fascination, and marvel at her beauty - The beauty of a dead woman whose life he’d just ruined. He could barely think – the leftover hormones and elation tangling with the fear and worry and pain into a gordian's knot- that prevented his actions- when he needed to move. A life built on pretense shattered when the keystone was removed, as he had seen so many times, and was once again observing as those wracking tremors tore up her frame-
"Oh, oh god. He's gone, Charles! Gone! God is gone. God is-!!" She choked over the revelation, unable to stop to catch her breath. He still couldn’t move, staring, and it was only as the tremors forced her to double over, pupils dilated to such an extent that she barely looked within the limits of reality anymore, that his frozen mind seemed to thaw. The knot distilled as the logic wracked through his system, assembling the first coherent thought in minutes as he recognised this state. Her muscles were going into spasms due to lack of oxygen. This was a simple case of ‘RR’, Recognition Relapse, a state that ended in death, heralded first by the gradual collapse of all her internal organs.
His mind focused abruptly, all emotions; fear, guilt, pain- gone, as his muscles unlocked.
He needed to get her to the hospital.