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 At the end of all things, @ANA JARVIS

The world had changed a lot in the years that Edwin Jarvis had been gone from it. While it wasn’t so drastic that he was completely lost on some of the larger things, there had been enough time that had passed to cause Jarvis confusion on some matters. But he had never been a man who let confusion and the unknowing stay that way. Instead when he had a problem, he worked for a solution to that problem. It was what he had been doing his whole life, and how he had accumulated a variety of skills.

Now that Jarvis found himself without a job, and an abundance of free time, he took the opportunity to learn more about the world he had left behind years ago. The unfortunate part of this was that he found himself very easily bored, something he did not like at all. So he busied himself in as many ways that he could find, which meant recently acquiring another library card. He would walk there, as he had yet found the nerve to get back behind the wheel of a car, and come back home with arms full of books that would eventually end up scattered on the coffee table as he read through them.

That’s how that afternoon had started, he woke up early and gotten the trip out of the way. He had started reading sitting up on the couch, but as many readers one position never seem to satisfy for long, and eventually he had ended laying on the couch with his head in his wife’s lap. It was a scene that wasn’t unusual for the two of them, even in their old life it had been one of his favorites to find himself in.

His gaze would sometimes drift away from the pages that he read to look up at her face, while she was not looking. Jarvis found himself doing that a lot more now that they were back together again. It wasn’t as if before he didn’t do it, no one would deny that even in their first life, that Jarvis was utterly and completely devoted to his wife. But it was a bit different now. Because now it wasn’t just with love and devotion, but with a desperate gratitude that he had her in his life once more.

Jarvis had spent ten years without her, ten long years where he felt like every day just was harder and harder to get through. He had felt like a part of himself had left the day she left his world, a part that he never got back. Tony had been the thing that had pushed him to keep going, because there was only one person besides Ana who he loved, and that was the boy who was like his son.

He had once loved Howard as well, and a part of him would always hold those memories of him close. But that love that he had once felt for Howard as a friend, as almost like a family member had been strained heavily over the years that he had been in his employment. Howard turned from the fun loving, excited young man, who once saved his life, to a man who let his fear and anxiety turn him into someone who would do things that no man should do. The least of all to their own child. A man that Jarvis once would have done anything for had been reduced to someone that he wouldn’t even associate with if they passed each other on the streets.

Which had made life harder once Tony was sent away to boarding school. Jarvis had desperately wanted to go with him, not just for Tony’s sake but for his own sanity and soul. But he had to stay with Howard, and each day after that just got harder and harder without Ana there. Everyday had been a struggle to find a reason to even bother getting out of his bed. When he looked over to her side and didn’t see her face smiling back at him, it just filled him with such a sadness that he wanted to give up on handling Howard completely. Then the crash had come and Jarvis had died, ten long years after his wife had.

Now he woke up next to his wife again every morning, hoping that this was not a cruel dream and he would be back without her. He didn’t know if he could handle it if he were to wake up without her again, it had been so hard the first time, and now? Now it would be worse. He thought about that a lot during the nights , when she was falling asleep in his arms. Jarvis held her just a bit tighter, a bit closer so he could feel her, so he could make sure that she wasn’t going to disappear on him.

He moved his gaze back to the pages of the book when he noticed her attention shifting towards him, acting if he hadn’t been spending the last few moments staring at her face. Though if he was to be honest with himself, he knew that she most likely knew that he had been staring. She knew him far better than anyone else did in the world, most days more than he knew himself. But still he pretended that he hadn’t been, as if all his attention had been on the book in front of him.

”You know, my Love, technology has come quite a way in the years. Not just in what is used every day but even in just the medical field its self-there is so much advancement that we did not have. “ His fingers turned the page that he was on while he tilted his head to look at her. ”We have much to rediscover I’m afraid “

619 words.
tag: edwin
song: At the end of all things - Panic!
The gentle weaving motion of Ana Jarvis's hands followed a very specific pattern as they added stitch after stitch to a slowly growing square of material. Though hazel eyes were half-lidded, she did not watch her own work; she was so familiar with the method that she did it instinctively, lulled by the act into a pleasant stupor. Even when her husband stretched out and rested his head in her lap, she only changed her position enough to keep her work out of Edwin's face; otherwise, she was still and peaceful, enjoying the simple pleasures of favorite activities.

The redheaded woman was as quiet as her husband, but she was not oblivious to the looks the tall, gangly, wonderful man cast her way, even when her own gaze was averted. Small smiles flitted across her features like sparrows, and just as he looked and looked away again with some frequency, so did she. But whereas he was full of melancholy, she was not beset by the same ill ease; she knew what plagued him. She also knew she could hardly draw a comparison—she may have lost her family in the war, yes, but she had not seen them die. Not like he had.

Ana's first death had been slow and fast at the same time. From the onset of the cancer—a long, polysyllable word she couldn't even recall, to this day—to her last breath, it had been painful. Yet after a while, even pain becomes a zero sum. It was watching Edwin watch her fade away that was so heart wrenching to her. That beautiful face hadn't changed in all those years, not since that fateful day when she, just 19, had watched him walk into the shop and asked her for her help. He had aged, yes, but… he hadn't changed. She knew had to read that face like a book. And so, even as her facilities left her, her strength, her voice, she had been able to see it in Edwin's features how devastating a blow her leaving had dealt to him.

She had died knowing she could hold on no longer. When she woke, side by side with him, her body younger than she really remember, his sweet face worriedly looking over her, it had almost felt like a dream. A nightmare, really, but… not really. For how could she be so young when she remembered being so old?

Then her sweet Edwin had explained to her how a decade had passed between her death and his own. How he had died alongside the Starks, leaving Anthony utterly without family. About the greater tides that moved the world than the ones they once knew. They weren't oblivious; the Starks had more than their wits and their knowledge to set them apart and above from the rest. But to think someone could not only bring her and Edwin back, but to restore to them their health and vigor? Just like that? She hadn't thought it possible. Yet… here they were.

Edwin's words roused her from the reflexive half-sleep, and she set down her crochet work to look at him. One of the newly freed hands went to his hair, fingers gently dragging through the ruffled locks knocked asunder by his position. "We do. The world has changed," she agreed, her words thick with the accent that had never truly left her, even decades after she had fled Hungary. Her pause was thoughtful; she tilted her head back slightly, then let it fall to one side, peeking at Edwin with a hint of a smile out of the corner of her eye. "You have never been one to fear learning, Mr. Jarvis. What is on your mind? Really?"
cause i'm a little unsteady
Any Change of time
We are young again
Jarvis had always been intelligent, even when he was just a small child. A gift that he always attributed to his mother. While she was never a woman that many people thought was that smart, but Edwin always knew better. She taught him from a very young age how to take care of himself and others. She made sure that he always questioned things and tried to search for an answer. And most of all she taught him the responsibility needed when you grew up.

He lost her when he was a teenager, a year into his military service. It had been his first heartbreak he ever had endured. Not even able to be home to take care of her and their belongings, all he had was a letter proclaiming her death, and anything left behind. Not much after needing to be sold to pay for debts and funeral costs. In that one moment, Edwin had become all alone in the world.

But he worked through it, and put all that grief and emotions into the military. So long as he just kept focused on his work and kept moving forward then it wouldn’t matter that he was alone. It hadn’t bothered him anymore after a while, he didn’t even notice.

And then stumbled upon his Ana.

From the moment that saw her outside the shop window he couldn’t believe that someone as beautiful as her existed in the world. Before he knew it he had walked into the shop to ask her about buying a tie, or three. And then walking in there the next day, and the day after that. From that moment forward, Edwin didn’t feel alone anymore.

It was a feeling that held with him their whole lives together, every moment with her was a pleasure. Like every relationship there were ups and downs. They had their fights at times, like anyone else, and emotional times too. But no matter the hardships, they always ended up happy in the end, always stayed by each other’s side. Through everything they were there for each other, thick or thin, their love always remained.

Even after Ana’s death, Jarvis still held all his love for her. Losing her had been the hardest thing to endure in his whole life. He had tried very hard to be strong for her in the while before the cancer took her from him. But he knew she always could tell when it had been a sleepless night, or a rough talk with her doctor right outside the room. And when she passed on, he felt like his heart went along with her.

He was certain if it wasn’t for Tony, Edwin would of followed her in her passing. It happened to so many others, didn’t it? When you lost the one you held your heart, what’s left couldn’t keep going on. But there was someone else that needed him still. Someone who had loved his wife as well…who was part of his heart to. And Edwin would of done anything for him. He still would now that he was back, young once more.

Ana’s fingers combing through his hair brought Jarvis out of the thoughts of the past. His eyes closing for a moment, savoring the calm feeling that came over him. It was a position and act that they enjoyed since they were both young adults starting out in their relationship. Even though this was just a small action and moment in time, Edwin knew that he would never take it for granted. Just the fact that she was there with him, alive and whole , was a blessing he never imagined having.

He opened his eyes once more with a sigh, letting the book close and reaching to put it on the ground next to the couch. His gazing to her own, a soft smile gracing his face as he reached that hand once holding a book to brush against her cheek. It didn’t matter how young or old that they were, nineteen again or in their eighties, she was always the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Inside and out she always stunned him , even after all these years.

“I am afraid, Mrs. Jarvis you know me far too well.”, his hand moved away from her face as he thought slightly, another sigh releasing. ”Everything is on my mind. You, me, Tony… the life that we now lead here. The past and present. And what exactly we do now.” His gaze met hers ”It was easier to know what to do before…how to help, how to give the care needed.”

882 words.
tag: edwin
song: At the end of all things - Panic! At the Disco
Ana remembered old hands and stiff joints that used to play with Edwin’s hair like this. A different place, a different time… a different world, even. Her hands had been wrinkled and liver-spotted, then, but even when she was weaker than weak, she had loved to trail them through his soft, dark locks, and to brush his forehead and his cheeks with her fingertips while they sat and talked. It was a routine they had loved to love—in her mind’s eye, she could see a hundred different variants of this same moment. Perhaps it was the chaos and uncertainty of their youth, but they anchored themselves the habits of their lives…

19. She had been 19 when she and Edwin fled Hungary. Budapest had been an island of solace in a war-torn country, and that had, in its own right, perhaps deceived her family into thinking they were safer than they were… that the German machine might pass them over unlike so many others. Without fail, we do not acknowledge wars until they acknowledge us. Ana’s family had been in Budapest for generations: their homestead was a landmark; their presence in their beyt knesset an expectation. How could they possibly leave something like that? And let the Germans win?

The arguments made to and for abandoning all they had known, and the owners of the voices that had made them, were long dead, and there was no point in rehashing them—but that wasn’t to say… it was hard not to feel a little melancholy at what was, and what had been lost. Her parents and brothers and sisters, aunt and uncles and cousins… they were all gone. And it was in this way that she understood what her husband meant.

In the days after they had fled Budapest, and after Howard has negotiated Edwin’s release, the only solace she had found in her grief—for even as love drove their steps away, she knew exactly what she was leaving behind—was taking care of Edwin. Not that he needed taking care of, per se… but their courtship had been a whirlwind romance driven by the storm of war, and in the long nights after, it was her hand that soothed the worries that plagued him. That had brought her peace. Peace enough to come to terms with the unfathomable.

Her hands came to rest, framing Edwin’s gentle face between her fingertips. “We have always adapted, you and I. We will adapt to this, too.

That was not all. She knew that. But she had no words to comfort him in the fact Tony had long since grown out of them—had learned to no longer need or want them. In the years since her death, and since Edwin’s, he had learned to live, and yes, to love, and he had done it all without them.

Once upon a time, their world had contained a little boy whom they had loved very much. Now he was grown… what was their world without the child they’d loved as their own son?

Tony was a Stark by blood, through and through. And Howard… Maria… certainly, they had cared for, and, yes, loved, Tony at times. Maybe even each other. But Ana had seen how the family went sour; how resentment built and built until Howard couldn’t look his own son in the eye, much less touch him with kindness. How Maria sought solace in being the buffer between them, but it had come at a great personal cost, and without absolution? Shouldn’t the Jarvises have taken Tony away from that? Were they not implicit in his suffering by keeping them in that big, empty house, with those wounded and empty people?

Loyalty is strange. Ana knew she and Edwin were terribly indebted to Howard, but all the same, he had never used that against them, and they had always placed Tony’s well-being and Tony’s happiness above their own. And yet, they knew… the father would stop at nothing to achieve what he wanted for the son, no matter how convoluted or contrived it may be. And there were lines, if crossed, that would surely undo everything that allowed them to be here, now… to be with him. To protect him.

Howard had seen in his son a chance to start over, perhaps… to do things right, whatever that may have meant to him. And maybe Ana and Edwin had decades to answer for because of their decisions, but they had loved and still did love Tony more than themselves. Their entire self-definition was intertwined with his… who were they outside of that existence?

In the silence, Ana feared Edwin might think she had no more words to offer; truth was, she wasn’t sure which of them were the right ones. So she stalled. She leaned forward and placed a light kiss on his forehead, and let her hair—which, in the privacy of their home, she let hang free contrary to her usual appearance—fall down to form a curtain around them. Edwin could be sated like this for a moment—not forever, but it gave her time to think… to maybe come up with something that would help them both cope with this brave, new world they were living in.
Any change in time, We are young again

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