When it Rains, it Pours.

“Uhm, hi,” I offered. We still stared at each other, me and the young man. I could feel his eyes on mine. They were unlike anything I had ever seen, and I wanted to not stare.

But I couldn’t help it: his eyes were yellow.

Not a light brown, not a deceptive hazel, but yellow. And not the cheerful yellow of a ripe lemon, but the dull waxy yellow of old bones. How did I know what that looks like? Maybe it’s better not to say.

As expected, he didn't respond.

“My name is Charlotte.” I hoped that, like a regular person, he would share his own name. Of course, this young man was not normal, so my silent questions remained unanswered.

I sighed. “Alight, then…”

Finally he spoke, a melodious whisper. “I can’t tell you my name, Charlotte.”

I jumped a little as the words left his mouth, despite the low tones. “Oh, uhm,” I stumbled for a few moments, trying to pull words from the air. It glimmered here, too, just as it did in my not-room. “Why? I mean, why can’t you tell me your name? Is it some sort of rule here?”

He chuckled, a boyish sound that I didn’t expect from him. None of the guys back home would make such a sound. “I cannot tell you my name because you haven’t given me one.”

“Oh,” I repeated. Dean’s words echoed in my mind: This is Charlotte. You belong to her now. “Oooh.”

The ACE nodded sagely.

“Well, uhm…” Something about this in-between world had me constantly losing my words. I would have expected to lose my way in a new (or was it really new?) city, but not my words.

“What would you like to be named?”

The boyish chuckle burst from his lungs again. Obviously I was doing something wrong, here. But how was I to know? Didn’t he already know I was a changeling, and therefore had no clue about the social politics of this place?

“Whatever is easy for you to remember, Charlotte.”

 I thought for a few minutes before he interrupted my train of thought.

“Although,” he started sheepishly, with embarrassment in his voice. “I would like a strong name. A heroic name.”

I smiled at his sincerity. He really was just a typical boy, at least typical of boys back home. A name came to mind almost immediately.

“Jacen,” I stated, happily. Jacen, a variant of the name Jason, of Argonaut fame. Plus, I could shorten it to Jace, which rhymed with ACE. My smile remained fixed on my face: I was content with my wit.

“Jacen,” he smiled, a gesture that lit up his dark complexion. Even his bone-yellow eyes seemed to brighten.

As we stared at each other, smiling, droplets of rain started to mingle with the golden motes, though they didn’t seem to strike them down. The sight was rather beautiful, and I soon found myself staring past Jacen at each individual drop or mote.

I was brought back to the not-real real world as he grabbed my hand, pulling me back toward the Radisse.

“C’mon, Charlotte,” he said. “We need to get inside.”

“But it’s so… pretty,” I replied.

I got a final glance out the door before Jacen closed it behind us.

“True,” he conceded. “But when it rains, it pours.”

The End

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