It was a mixed wave of those, and also pain, for the memories surfaced and for what I knew he must have been feeling, even though he felt it vicariously.
I knew, because I have felt it for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember, I have tried to shield the people around me from that pain.
Ok, backing up.
Early in my relationship with Archer, he noticed a particular expression that I often had on my face. He thought - with good reason - that it was the face of calculation, even coldness, in the worst times, and shyness in the best times. Charitably, perhaps, he called it my "shy face." In fact, it was the face of my depression. I say that unequivocally because even at my worst - even when I was actively trying to hide my self from Archer, and his "calculating" assessment was accurate - those were the times when my depression was at its height. And, I know that at those times, there was nothing more powerful in my being or more obvious on my face, than the pain I felt. That's important, because I remember.
That is the way of a downward spiral: you can see yourself sliding, but the disgust - loathing, even - that knowledge generates only makes you slide faster.
He and I have come a very, very long way together over the past year. The journey nearly killed me, but when my spirit was closest to Hela's table, Archer brought me back - despite being justifiably furious with me at the time - by staying awake with me overnight, and talking me through until dawn. We made a plan, which included me seeking psychiatric help (thus began the saga of the VA). I would argue, though, that the plans we made for our treatment of each other were actually more important than the plan to seek better psychiatric care. I was already on (somewhat ineffective) anti-depressants, and though I needed better care, what I needed most (whether I knew it or not) was his understanding. And even before his realization last night, he knew me better, saw me more clearly, and sought greater comprehension, more than any previous person in my entire life.
There are people in my life who have wanted to understand me; my mother comes to mind. Her desire to understand could probably be equated to desperation. But the greatest effort, without ability, is fruitless. If there was anybody else who has ever had some deep insight into who I am, they never demonstrated it. There has never been real evidence of anybody else realizing the extent of my depression.
In their defense, I did hide it rather well.
I never wanted to burden any other person with the pain I felt. I never wanted them to feel what I felt.
...I would not wish this on my enemies.
So last night, when Archer called me, and explained his realization that the face he thought of as calculating was actually a sign of depression, and he explained how heartbreaking that realization was for him, it made me cry.
And still, I can't quite untangle the emotions that overcame me in that moment.
They were happy and tragic, sweet and bitter, loved and aching, and down to my bones.
The Bones and her Archer; the Archer and his Bones... I believe our souls know each other, and I wonder how many times we've met before.