"He dreams more and more here. And he remembers. Remembers watching her from afar, walking over bright stones like dust, her feet striding along a starlit path beneath a dark sky. Moving farther and farther away from him. Sometimes it’s not her but Ada, her hair tangled and matted, steps light, hands spread like wings against the shivering light. He thinks he can smell the faded sun in her hair.
He hates these dreams more than all. He wakes with his teeth clenched, tongue bitten through.
It heals. It all heals. But his bones feels stuck to his flesh. He has never wanted so much to die before.
His shoulder hurts. It should have healed long ago with the burns and the cuts on his feet. But something’s pulled out of line, and it weighs him down to the table with a dull thud and sporadic shoots of agony like lightning skipping around in his veins. He does his best not to think of it by holding onto the thought of Ada, pressing his tongue to the roof of his mouth tightly. As soon as he’s free from here, he can see her again. He needs to see her again. Her absence is like nails pressing into the back of his neck, unreachable but impossible to ignore. A slight pain capable of driving one mad.
His want for her is worse than the torture, worse than the pain of his shoulder, worse than the bonds. He wonders if they really know how much they are hurting him.
He wonders if she knows. Would she, with all her words and ideas, even begin to understand how much he wants to rip all their throats out and go back to his little girl? No. He thinks not. She understands nothing. He flexes his hands against the bindings. His shoulder screams with pain.
So this is her good. He had asked how to know what’s good. What’s bad.
And she had said-
“So you’re human after all.”
She's standing at the doorway.
He feels open and exposed tied down as he is. She comes out of the shadow and right up to his bedside.
She reaches out and runs her fingertips lightly across the skin of his knuckles. He curls his hands into fists, the only thing he can do against his chains.
“Are they hurting you too badly?” she asks.
He doesn’t respond.
She plays with the strap of his wrist for a moment and then pulls away, taking a step back.
“We always knew it would end like this. With one of us stolen or killed or used and discarded.”
No, he didn’t know that. He’s stupid, he supposes, to have been so blind.
“No one knows the end until it’s upon them,” he chokes out.
She has the audacity to laugh, though it’s forced. “That’s not true. The end’s usually the easiest thing to see.”
For you, maybe, he thinks. I still do not see it. But then that strange voice seems to whisper somewhere ~oh, yes you do~."
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