Sometimes, Sanya wondered if he should explain, to Michael. Watching Dresden, watching the apprentice, the way they circled the Knight, the way they sometimes flinched from the weight of him, and others leaned into the strength of him. He wondered, sometimes, if he should explain.
He remembered his own first meeting with the man. He had met Shiro, by then, and a being calling itself the Archangel Michael. Shiro had been … different. Shiro had been knowledge, and acceptance, and sly humour, and that sideways looking at the world that had so characterised the man. And the archangel … well. Powerful. Distant. Offering chances. No more, no less.
Michael, the Knight, had been … solid. Sanya remembered that, most of all. Solid, and decent, and with that warm, welcoming smile tucked into the wrinkles at his eyes. Someone so fundamentally good it was difficult to believe.
Sanya, like Dresden, like the daughter, had expected judgement, from such a man. Sanya, who had taken the coin of Magog, who had let himself fall into evil. He had expected judgement, reproval. Something. He had expected to work for Michael’s respect, and perhaps never attain it.
He smiled, now. A little, wry, self-amused. Difficult, was it not? To see someone like Michael, and expect otherwise. How could a man so fundamentally, visibly good, possibly understand what had lured others into darkness. How could Michael, who had never fallen, possibly forgive.
He wondered if he should explain. Watching the pain crease Michael’s face, as Dresden watched him warily. Watching the heavy, graven lines of worry, as his daughter clawed her way back from evil, and judged herself lesser in his eyes for it. Watching the pain of them, before him. Sanya wondered, if he should try and explain. The fear, not that Michael should hurt them, but that they should fail Michael. That they, in their weakness, should fail so moral a man.
No. Always, he decided this, in the end. No, he should not explain. No, perhaps, he did not need to.
Michael knew. As he had known with Sanya, as he had understood of the man holding the sword of hope, trying to fight free from evil. Michael, looking at them, as he had at Sanya, understood how weak they felt, how afraid they were. Michael, pained and open, knew that.
It was why, at the end, Michael did not judge.
So. He would not explain to Michael, Sanya decided. And could not, to Dresden. Not, and hope to be believed.
This was the problem, trying to do good works, he had discovered. People so rarely co-operated.