He wakes up.
It doesn't even seem like he was asleep, at first. It seemed more like he was dead. But he sits up, in the shallows of the river. In the distance, a horses' hooves pound into the dirt and water, but he doesn't know it yet. Soon, though, the Bishop will arrive, and this one doesn't like order being changed.
As he walks to the opening of the cliff face, they move to look over them. He pauses and looks up at them, but soon, he continues to walk, movements now shakier, more uncertain. He turns, starts to run away from the opening in the stone, back to the precarious safety of the rock. He trips as soon as he breaks into a sprint, sprawling across the pebbles.
"C'mon," she hisses, "get up." Her hand clenches around the yellow petals.
"Shh. It's Nico. He's here," he responds, glancing over at her.
He gets up and brushes off the pebbles clinging to him, and it's at that moment that he sees them turn. He, too, follows them, and sees the horse.
He sees the veiled rider astride it.
He doesn't move.
His eyes slide closed, and though they can barely see it as Nico thunders ever closer, his face twitches in fear.
They all hold their breath as the rider steps down, walks closer. The air feels heavy as the old man reaches forward, and gently paints four lines of pitch black on each side of his neck. As Nico goes back to his horse and his eyes blink open, it's as though a cavern is in his chest opens up as he watches him continue to walk, to start the trek back to Dema. As he walks, though, he looks down, at a patch of yellow flowers. His head snaps up to them, and, a smile invisible beneath the bandanna over his mouth, he throws the first petals. The action itself is harsh, but they fall softly, as do the others that follow, the rest of them flinging the yellow petals over the two figures below them.
As the horse whinnies and bucks slightly, its' rider trying to control it, he takes a few steps back, before turning and running once again. He runs faster than he should be able to, able to keep away from the Bishop that quickly turns and snaps the reins, crashing towards him.
Almost a cruel mirror of before, his legs give out, and he falls, motionless. But now, he's much farther in, now, he's managed to outrun Dema, again.
Before he loses consciousness, he reaches towards a yellow flower, pulls it from the harsh earth. The others, including her, turn back, make their way down the cliff, walk away. They tried. They tried all they could, but they couldn't beat the dark and the red that they'd--that he'd fought so hard to get away from. They walk away, and he can see her shoulders shaking with silent tears as the rest of them abandon him. He's left standing, the yellow on his jacket somehow dim in Trench's overcast light.
He still stands, even as Nico steps down from his horse once again, and stares up at him, up at the him with his yellow bandanna, glaring back from under his hood.
As he looks at Clancy, he curls his hands into fists.
Memories flash by him as he stands on that cliff. Of cold cement and orange fabric, of guns and shouting. Of highways and speeding cars with no driver and fire. This is just another one. Except he thinks, this is the one where I save him. He knows, as he locks eyes with Nico, with that cursed Bishop, that here is where it ends. With Clancy, with Dema, with Trench.
A layer to the right of reality, Clancy pulls his jacket from the trunk of a burning car.