It was a long day for Vergil. At three in the morning he woke, unable to get back to sleep. His partner slumbered peaceably by his side, and he spent four hours staring into the darkness listening to his little coughs and sighs and longing to fall asleep. He entertained himself with thoughts of pressing his pillow into his partner’s face for an hour before he finally gave up and went to take a shower.

The day itself seemed unreal, harsh and metallic. Vergil kept turning his head, hoping to peek around the edge of the world, to catch a glimpse of the wings. Everyone he talked to was two-dimensional.

After work he took the train out as far as it went, to the abandoned military base that was a popular summer picnic spot for high schoolers and women with shaggy-haired dogs. The base was built on a cliff overlooking the bay. He stood on the edge, his toes just hanging over that emptiness, and watched the waves crash into the black rocks below. Each collision shivered through his bones. He spread his arms and let the wind lift him over the edge, out into the sky.