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Dying Reflections

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It Only Hurts

It only hurt when his eyes were still open. One of his best friends had betrayed him. His friend had betrayed his wife. He had never thought he was a perfect man. He was Eustace. He knew that he and Jill had not started off with the best friendship. But he had grown up and so had she. But to have them turn aside from their friendship to leave King Peter to the wolves? To leave King Edmund all alone? He had not realized that his "friend" would go to such levels.

He had trusted his friend with the most important things to him, his wife and his son. His friend had betrayed them both. He had thrown their other friends to the wolves. The White Witch was coming in a new form. His son would be protected though. He had grown up hearing his mother read about Narnia. It had been a depressing moment when he realized that he had the most similarities with the character that he had despised as a boy. But like Eustance, he matured. Unlike Eustance, he had had friends around him the entire time. Also unlike Eustace, he had been trying to be helpful do the right thing. It was dark times they were living in, a laugh or an attempt at protection were not bad things. Unfortunately, he and the Kings fell short. Sometimes they messed up and people got hurt instead.

Eustance had been reminded that Aslan had the power instead. So he also learned that while he should and could help others, he was not Aslan either. The door swung open and there stood the Witch ready to try and take his son. He yelled once more for her to run, then turned to face Jadis. He had no weapon, nothing to cause damage to the person that had caused his friend to fall away. This was the person pulling the strings that had caused the ruin of his life. And all he could think about was Narnia, Jill, his, and that his poor friends who needed him. His friends who would miss him when he was gone. Who would guard King Peter's back? Who would remind King Edmund that traitors could mend? But clearly, not all traitors could for his "friend" had betrayed him for the very last time.

I Get to Love You

Falling in love with him was like a fairy tale. She was the Lizzie Bennett to his Mr. Darcy. That is if Mr. Darcy had been mischievous and quite a bit more talkative. Though the protective instincts did match up.

Hearing him shouting for her to run made her heart hurt. Where could she run? But loving him had been one of the best things she had done. He had become more than she had ever imagined. But she knew if they got out of this alive, that him being betrayed by Wickham would hurt him so deeply. Their friendship along with the others two had run so deep.

She held their baby close to her and she heard footsteps on the stairs. They were not her husband's footsteps, not her Darcy. She shoved the dresser in front of the door and placed Baby in the crib.

She had hated Darcy at age 11. It had seemed like that he was always picking on her friend. It had seemed that way until age 16. That was when she had discovered that her "friend" was her Wickham. Darcy had seen what her Wickham had done to people and in his young little way was trying to protect her. She was not of the society that Wickham believed in. Darcy was just wanting to keep her safe. Even though it had been her choice, but she had not even realized that there was a danger until she had actually listened to him instead of just hearing him. Becoming friends with Darcy and his friends had been wonderful. When Darcy had asked her out for the second time, the first time had been at age 15. That second time, she said yes. She had been looking for him when looking for her spouse, but she had not realized that it was him.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the door blowing open. She begged for her baby to be safe but was ignored. As the green light sped toward her, she thought the only comfort was that she would be with her Darcy again soon.

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The curtain was fluttering in front of him as the red spell rushed towards him. He looked upwards and saw constellations glittering at him. The gods that had made the stars had influenced his life. Why should that surprise him though, when he was one of them.

Hades and Persephone had faded. He didn't know why he was surprised. Hades had pursued her, wooed her so strongly, so faithfully. When Persephone had fallen for Hades, she had fallen hard. Anyone looking at the two would never have doubted it. Some people tried to misunderstand their relationship. He had heard it all, "Hades was too pushy. He bullied her. There's no way she could fall for him." But people change and sometimes it's a matter of misunderstanding and communication. With resources like that, how could they not burn bright with love? So why was he surprised that they had faded? He had seen that the brightest candles burned the shortest amount of time. He had seen the strength and the passion. What surprise was there that meant they had to fade away.

He had studied the stars and lived among them. He had never understood those among the stars. They were bright but they were hot and cold. They were cruel and unforgiving. He had fallen from the stars and had drifted after they were gone. Now he was tumultuous and never staying calm or constant. He was Poseidon never staying still. "Never keeping his temper either," chided his mental Athena.

With a family like his, he had studied the Greek gods and goddesses constantly. After Azkaban, the line between the similarities he'd found and what the persons name actually been was disturbingly gray. He hadn't made the mistake out loud yet but it was only a matter of time.

Ares was the most restrained. He tried to keep Poseidon calm and restrained so that Zeus's attention could be elsewhere. He had tried pointing out that he had never been restrained while in school so starting now was unlikely to work. But then Ares's would start to shake and his eyes would flash amber. And Poseidon would remember how long those years had been alone for Ares. So he'd start teasing him about Aphrodite trying to get Ares's attention. Ares would rant and rave that he wasn't good enough for her. Poseidon wasn't stupid though, he knew that Ares was crazy about her.

The most important person though was little one. They had all given their all to protect him. Little one was what Ares used to keep him under control when he wanted to rage and have the earth shake with his grief. Ares and little one were the only ones who remained with any power over him. But not the same hold as Hades and Persephone, they had been able to say no and he'd stop. Ares and little one made him reconsider but there was no guarantee that he'd actually stop. He had been told since he was little he was the brightest star of the night. He wondered how much longer till he would fade too. After all, those who burn bright, go out the fastest.

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He was dying. His hand had come up to his throat and his magical hand was killing him. He knew that time went faster than this, it must. Why else would Captain America and Peggy be standing there watching him? Of course, they were there watching him, he'd tried to kill Steve. No, he'd already killed Steve and Peggy by turning them into someone more powerful than them both. Yet he also distinctly remembered trying to kill Steve before his hand had turned against him. A small part of his oxygen-starved brain couldn't believe that he was thinking about superheroes in a time like this. But Steve was watching him with Peggy by his side, how could he not think about it. His hand loosened for a brief half second and Peggy disappeared but Steve looking slightly different remained. Then his hand re-tightened.

That's when Bucky showed up. He was standing on the other side of Steve. He seemed pleased to be with Steve and Peggy. But Bucky definitely did not seem pleased to see him. It hadn't been his fault that Bucky had fallen in battle. Nor had it truly been his fault that Steve and Peggy had fallen either. So why were they glaring at him so? It hadn't been his fault didn't they realize? He had been scared, he didn't know enough to survive in this world without his weapons. It wasn't his fault that they didn't like the ones he used.

Bruce was there now. He was standing by Peggy looking like he was overjoyed to see the others again. Also, like that was the only reason that he wasn't over here with him becoming the Hulk. A hazy figure was beside Bruce, but that was probably Betty Ross. He had heard that Bruce had gotten married. He'd even heard rants of a child being born to them. All of them had finally focused all their attention on him. They did not look happy. He sighed as they started becoming more and more clear. Didn't they understand that he did what he must? Did they not realize that anything that had happened had been their own fault? They had overstepped him and underestimated him. It wasn't his fault that they had thought he was a superhero or a civilian. It had been their mistake to assume those things when he was the Vulture instead. The tunnel ended with the firm belief still in his mind that it wasn't his fault. How long that thought remained after death, is for someone else to decide.

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In a land of myth and a time of magic, Merlin was alone. In the beginning, he had had King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Gwaine, and Mordred. King Arthur and Queen Guinevere had overcome obstacles to be together. The Knights of the Round Table served the nation. All was well and great. Merlin with his magic was a bit on the outside, but he still felt the love and friendship from their Majesties and the Knights.

But then Mordred turned against the King. Merlin even now could not puzzle out the reason why. Arthur had treated the knight like a brother. Yet Mordred still had turned against him. Mordred betrayed the king and both the King and Queen had fallen in battle. Merlin had taken Excalibur along with their bodies to the Lady of the Lake. There they were to rest until Albion's greatest need.

Merlin could not imagine how they could have fallen then though. Camelot's need for them was great at the very moment. Who would care for their son? Who would reign Gwaine in? Who would understand the magic Merlin produced? Merlin couldn't do any of these. He was an outcast of society without Arthur and Genevieve. He had no knowledge of taking care of children. His powers scared even him at times. Gwaine was off somewhere fighting, using his grief to power him.
But time passes even for Merlin. Gwaine returned and fell to the turmoil still in the land. Merlin met Freya, a woman who understood in her own unique way, his powers and being an outsider. Arthur and Genevieve's son was growing into a fine young man.

Yet Camelot had fallen, Albion was no more. Merlin had fought, Gwaine had fought, Perceval had fought, and so many others had fought and died. So that Arthur's son would have a kingdom. That he might never know the pain of war. That his sword training would never be put to use. But Mordred still remained, Morgana fought by his side. Nimue twisting her magic alongside them. Lancelot fought for himself along, no one remained sure which side he remained on.

Merlin had fought for so long, had taken so many burdens on his shoulder. That he fell. For who could fight against so many! Morgana and Nimue had won, they had finally twisted the magic just right. The scream from Freya ripped through the night. His poor son, poor Arthur's son too. They had fought for a better world for them both.

Instead, the light came rushing toward him, he felt sadness and anger. He had failed them. He saw Arthur's son pick up Excalibur and lead on into battle. Merlin knew that he did not know Merlin had fallen nor would it hit him as hard as it would if Arthur had lived. He could see the castle that had so many memories in it in front of him. As he fell towards the ground, he realized that this was the same spot, where he had become such good friends with them so many years ago. Fate is a funny thing, isn't it? He hoped that it might never be forgotten, there was for one brief shining moment, a land called Camelot.

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It had started out with the best of intentions. To teach the world, to guide the next generation, and to help the young ones not make the same mistakes as their parents. But seeing what had been accomplished, had it been worth it? The elves had fallen prey to swearing oaths to the point they held themselves above and made no oaths. The dwarves had fallen to gold, the depths of the earth and greed. Men had fallen to war. Tiny little hobbits still had a wide-eyed view of the world but was that hope or naivety in their eyes. No one was sure anymore.

Helping the Company of Thirteen had been good and a wise decision. But they had all fallen, several to gold sickness. Then many of the same to death. If the Company had not been allowed to form, would the ring of been safe longer? Would war of been avoided? No one was sure anymore. The ring was found however and brought to the Shire. To be under the nose for the longest of times. Eventually, however, the ring was able to start making footholds on even a rather strong-willed hobbit. It had almost imprisoned Bilbo. Frodo was there to take up the banner however with his friends and new friends that had heard of what his Uncle Bilbo had accomplished.

But the war had happened. There was so much loss of life. The time of elves and dwarves was fading. The time of men was rising but was they up to the task. The orcs rose and fell, evil clearly never vanished from this world. The Age of Heroes was ending it appeared. What would happen next? Would men rise and take their spot in the Ancient Ones. Or were they fools for trusting them?
Were they fools for helping them? But of course, they had had to help fight. Help teach the generation. But then why did it feel almost endless, why could not evil be turned aside?

Had the failure been not the Company or the Fellowships fault? Had it perhaps been our own? Had they not been taught enough? Self-sufficient enough? Guided enough? What if they had ruined it all? Tell me what were we supposed to choose? Have knowledge and tell them all about it, even at the loss of more people. Or were we supposed to act like we knew nothing and let even more people die instead? Trying to train them up when you have knowledge given to you from one with more information than you. Are you accidentally manipulating someone or are you being used as the puppet for them instead? How are you supposed to know?

She put the book down as her eyes slowly slid close. Somehow she suspected that Frodo had not given her the book because he saw her as Gandalf. The great helper when convenient, but hiding information. He had forgiven the one who had the strings and the best of tryings and intentions. But she was the fool running and she was Gandalf the Grey.