Next Time.

Black nails against pale skin, a harsh wind against tangled hair. Jane closed her eyes against the biting air, coaxing her to take another step. Just one more step. She resisted against the freedom she craved, the peace she needed, but her strength wouldn't last for much longer. She needed to make her peace with the world.

"I HATE YOU" She screamed into the abyss that was New York City. The whispers of movement from below her apartment window freed the panic in her chest she had attempted to numb with the cheap alcohol. Needless to say, the whiskey didn't help. Jane's dark eyes flitted between staring at impatient drivers and glaring at cold, ignorant pedestrians, the sting from the wind and her chest overwhelmed her eyes, and temporarily blocking her throat. She screamed into the darkness once more, looking up into the polluted sky this time, as if the stars could ease the pain that was seeping its way into every pore in her body.

Thin fingers clutched at the window frame and her toes slowly slipped closer to the edge. Her eyes fluttered shut as a breeze flew its way around her. Goosebumps broke out across her skin, covering, if only briefly, the tracks her veins made across her pale skin. Jane's head tilted down to stare at her pale feet against the darkness of the city below her. She watched as they inched closer towards the city, of their own accord, a part that she couldn't keep hidden anymore encouraging their progress. The wind continued to whisper to her, the murmurings reverberating to her soul, the cold temptation a glow of light in the cold. Jane's mouth, once fuller and brighter stretched, ever so slightly into a smile. The satisfaction was… refreshing. Jane's lungs filled in a way that they hadn't for a whole. She finally felt alive, the thought struck her as odd as her manic laugh, that was just dying to get out. Another laugh that struck Goosebumps once again along her skin burst from her thin mouth, and she savoured the deep fear that always resided in her. Another scream tore its way out of her body with a vengeance that burned her throat. And then she sobbed. Her knees bent so she could sit on the barrier between her dingy apartment and the harsh reality she was drowned in. the barrier between her life and freedom.

She sobbed until her stomach ached, her face and neck were moist and her body trembled. And even then, she couldn't stop. Her blurred eyes stared down, past the chipping paint on the windowsill, past the purple dress her mother told her washed her skin out, past the darkness the height brought. She watched as tear after tear burned a trail down the stretched skin on her face and plummet hopelessly. Slowly, ever so slowly, the tears ceased.

The door knocked, each bang filling Jane with dread as she stared into the unknown that she was willing to embrace, that she was prepared to embrace. The door knocked again, harder this time and Jane's teeth gritted together. And then her unexpected visitor spoke, gasps interrupting the irritated tone.

"Janey. Your mom's been calling me because she couldn't get through to you and I just had to run away from Phoebe. So open up." Jane didn't know whether to throw herself at New York, or the door.

"Jane." A huge thump on the door and a curse. "Goddammit, another splinter. This place is a load of crap, Jane. Why don't you just live with me?" A seemingly easy question with a seemingly even easier answer. An ironic smile morphed its way onto Jane's mouth and she found herself walking to the door.

"Don't insult my apartment, Holden. It doesn't appreciate criticisms, and neither does its owner" She wrenched the door open, an excessive amount of force required to get the damn thing to move.

Holden didn't say a word when he caught sight of her, and again Jane marvelled at how tall he was now. He barely seemed to breathe before he barrelled his way into her place, with a deceptively airy comment.

"Nice dress" Well, she had donned it for the occasion. She turned, slowly, to watch as he closed her window, a draught of wind fluttering her curtains that didn't match the furniture.

"It's freezing tonight, Jane" She didn't respond, only stared at a paper bag carried by the wind as if to show her what could have been. Jane shuddered and turned her attention to Holden who was flicking the lights on and taking off his jacket and throwing it at her, mumbling something about body warmth. She pushed her pale arms through the jacket and huddled in it, watching in confusion as Holden threw himself onto her sofa, and proceeded to groan out an explanation on why exactly he had to run away from a thirteen year old.

Jane laughed, catching sight of the window. Her eyes focussed a little too intently at darkness outside. Perhaps next time, her attempts will succeed. Perhaps, next time.

A/N:... Another coursework that has been rejected. Alas, what to do?

I thought I'd show it to you, whoever chooses to read this...

A big thanks to M. for putting me on an alert list.

As you can tell, most of my work recently is a bit shall we say... dreary? Ah well, all's well that ends well, I suppose.

Now that you've read my ramblings... Cheers :D