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It was nice while it lasted.

Chapter Text

Goodbye.


  Such a cruel word. Goodbye. 
  I never thought I’d have to say it to someone. I never thought I’d feel pain doing so if the time came around either.
  I usually tried not to think about what would really happen after the war. I never thought of who I’d have to say goodbye to. I kept myself busy in my thoughts, busy in libraries. I tried to push down the fear that seemed to bite at my hands while I wrote letters, wrote books. The fear that kept my eyes awake when I tried to drift off into a peaceful world. 

 Goodbye is such a cruel word.  

 

Streamless felt everything get farther, the ice spinning underneath him. He no longer felt warmth, he just felt a horrible pain throb in his chest. He brought his hand up to his green sweater and clutched it as his legs gave up, and let him topple to the ground. Streamless tried to look up, everybody was staring at him. Everybody.
 He looked over at Skye and Daxi, Daxi had Skye pinned to the ground, trident at the cloaked cat’s throat, but now Daxi stared at him, mouth open. Skye looked as far from worried as you could possibly achieve, in fact, she looked like she was trying to laugh. A large smile plastered onto her face. She looked like him.
 Streamless then turned his attention to Scuorge and Wallflower fighting.
 Wallflower didn’t seem to stop fighting, until they made eye contact. His weapon dropped to the floor as his arms fell limp on his body. Scuorge didn’t look as surprised, or maybe scared might be the better word to use. Instead she looked like she expected this, she expected him to die in this cold, far from home place.      
 Everyone else blended together, even the people he could make out seemed to blur with another shot of pain. He felt himself crumble more, edging towards the ground with every tear that made it’s way out of his eyes. Death was more painful this way than he believed. Streamless felt someone grip his arm and tug him after them, he wanted to shout, to bring out his sword and demand to be unhanded.
 But he was so tired.

 Wallflower let his sword clash against Scuorge’s, or Selene’s. He wasn’t loosing this battle. There was no way in the world he created he would let Selene win. He went with Selene’s attacks, blocking every one. The sound of metal hitting metal rang in his ears, white sparks shined, and fell off the swords like tears when they met. He felt himself smile the more Selene tired, a sickly smile. Though he accepted it. He was loosing his energy as well. Wallflower could feel his sword lightly dragging across the ground, while he ran forward to land another blow, he could feel his eyes drooping, screaming for rest from the blazing heat of the sun, he could feel his legs shaking from trying to stay as still as he could on the ice battle field. But he swore to the sun he would win this fight even if it meant he dropped dead in the aftermath.
 Selene stopped.
 Wallflower stopped as well, confused, he turned his head with a scowl to where the moon goddess was looking. 
 Streamless.
 Wallflower felt the sword in his hand drop, as his fingers didn’t have the strength to hold it any longer. His mouth dropped open slightly, as his eyes shook looking at the defeated man fall and clutch his chest with a firm grip. Streamless looked up, they met eyes. Wallflower couldn’t help the small tear that ran down his cheek, he felt himself sprint forward, he didn’t want to. He didn’t want to help Streamless.  
 That isn’t what I’m doing. I’m doing what’s right. He deserves at least this. 
 Wallflower grabbed the other man’s sleeve. Tugging the person after him.
 Wallflower finally reached a place far enough from the battlefield, and let the other man sink back to the floor. Worry covered Wallflower’s face. It shouldn’t have. He couldn’t help it.    
 “Streamless, what’s happening?” He kneeled down, putting a hand on Stream. Letting his voice sink deeper, quieter.    
Wallflower was met with silence, silence he returned as cold as it was received.
 Silence was sickening. 
 Streamless felt the grip loosen, and he couldn’t find the strength to stay up any longer, he fell to the floor, almost curled up, hand still firm on his chest. His breathing was heavy, raspy, painful.
 “Streamless, what’s happening?” A familiar voice quietly whispered. The small words rang in his mind, stinging as badly as the pain in his chest did. It was Wallflower. Streamless didn’t have the will to respond, nor the energy to run away. Wallflower didn’t seem to respond. So he had to force sounds out of himself.
 “I’m dying. But, why would you care, W-Wallflower?” His voice cracked and seemed to retreat as another wave of pain consumed him.
 “Why wouldn’t I? I don’t hate you Streamless. I suppose I owe apologies if you ever believed so.” The voice of the man responded, he sounded level, the words he spoke almost sounded like honey, or a cool breeze. They flowed, with no emotion that you could pick out.  
 “I guess that doesn’t m-matter now.” Streamless laughed, it felt hollow. Like him. He felt hollow. “You should say your goodbye before I die, if you’d want to of course, I would understand if you’d wish to leave and never look back. L-laugh at me while I cower and slowly wither away. You might not wish to say goodbye to someone as fowl as me. Or perhaps you’ll be happy, like you were before.”
  “I wasn’t glad to say goodbye to you. When did you think I was?”
  “When I almost killed you? I’m guessing you were overjoyed to say goodbye to me.” 
  “Well that’s a different situation. I’m not in the same position. And that wasn’t a goodbye, that was a situation in which I had to flee.” 
  “Why do you refuse to leave me now?”  
  “Not even someone as cruel as you deserves to die alone Streamless. No one deserves that horrible fate.”  
  “Thank you Wallflower.”  
  “This isn’t a goodbye Streamless.”
  “It is for me Wallflower. I’m not coming back. No one would ever revive me. You can’t even say that’s not true.”

 

  Wallflower couldn’t release the breath that got trapped inside his lungs. He was right. Wallflower would never see Streamless again. Never. He couldn’t help the tears that found their way yet again down his face, Wallflower was close with Streamless at one point. Streamless must’ve felt the same way at least once, they must’ve had some sort of friendship. Enough of one that it was hard for Wallflower to let go. So hard. 
  Wallflower heard a light, painful laugh echo from the broken man beside him. 
  “I’m guessing you want to leave then.” Wallflower didn’t respond, instead, he sat down, and brought Streamless up beside him into a sitting position. Then into a slight hug. 
  “No one deserves to die alone.” 

  Streamless perked up from where he was putting things away in a chest, and looked behind him. 
  “Hello wallflower, what are you doing here this early?” 
  “Thought I’d stop by, check up on you after that whole prison escape. You seemed pretty beaten up.”
  “I’m always beaten up, it’s a trademark at this point.” Streamless laughed, walking towards Wallflower and elbowing him lightly in the stomach. Wallflower smiled a little and walked outside with Streamless. The sun shone and blinded them both. They were used to it. “Hey Wallflower?” 
  “Yes Streamless?” 
  “Thanks for being here for me, y’know, breaking me out, and checking up on me and stuff. Actually means a lot. Even for me.” Streamless laughed again a little at the end, passing the whole sentence off as a joke. Wallflower knew he meant it. 
  “Yeah man, anytime.” 
  “Anyways, could you check on Daxi? We have to get ready, and she’s seemed sorta off lately.” 
  “Course, I’ll see you soon, Streamless.”  
  “Goodbye, Wallflower.” 

 

“Goodbye, Wallflower.”

 

“I’ll see you soon, Streamless.” 

Chapter Text

I was once a kid, like you.

 

 

"Would you like me to stay?"

"Mhm!"

"I can read you a bedtime story." 

"She doesn't need a bedtime story, Opia."

"Arrow."

"She doesn't need a story to put her to sleep, just put her in her room."

"She can at least sleep out here." 

"Fine." 

 

 

  Adder yawned, small fangs poking out when she closed her mouth again. Opia stood up, tail gently flopping over Adder's head, as the small kitten tried to catch it, embracing it, and biting the fur on the other cat's tail. Opia laughed, and bent down to pet Adder. 

  "I'll see you in the morning." Opia purred, ruffling the kitten's hair one last time, then walking over, curling up in a farther corner, near the fire. Adder whined, Opia promised her a bedtime story didn't she? She small cat looked around, scanning the room. Opia laid down at the fire, the candles glowing slightly behind her, though it was just dark enough you could see her stripes glow. Glowvines dotted the room, just as their berries seems to grow on them. Hanging down, producing a small glow like Opia's stripes. Just- yellow. 

  Arrow was pressed against the far wall, near the lever that activated the door. He pressed his back to the wall, laying back his head, and closing his eyes under his mask. At least, she hoped. His legs were thrown across the floor it seemed, his left one tucked slightly under his extended right leg, his back paws twisted slightly in an awkward way, pressing, and scraping the ground. At the bottom of the strange skull mask, you could see a small scowl plastered on his face. 

  So he wasn't asleep.

  Arrow brought his head up from the wall, tilting it down and matching the small kitten's gaze. Adder hopped a little, and rushed to to the fire. Away from Arrow, who just scoffed, and laid his head back down, pulling down his mask to cover his whole face. 

  Adder approached Opia, and laid down on the other side of the fire. Laying there, scraping at the stone underneath her. It was lonely now. 

  She couldn't sleep, she really wanted a story, and maybe to be close to someone. Adder brought herself to her paws, walking forward, gently setting her paws on the ground, to be sure she didn't wake anyone. Opia looked dead asleep, if it wasn't for her deep breathes, Adder would be worried. Adder frowned, there was no way she could possibly get all the way over to Opia without getting hurt, the fire was almost raging, and the stone looked sharp.

  The small cat turned her head to find Arrow. He wouldn't like it, but she didn't want to be so alone. And plus, he wouldn't know till he woke up, maybe she'd wake up before him? She spotted him, and approached the man, he didn't seem to have moved much, if he moved at all. Unlike Opia his breathes were sharp and short, like he was hesitant to breathe at all. Like he thought of each breathe before it happened. 

  He scared her. 

  Adder silently walked towards him, once she reached the hybrid, she looked at his right hand, which was rested on the ground with his forearm, while his left hand was rested on his right leg. How could someone sleep like this? She crouched down and pressed her nose to the clawed hand, throwing herself back, and into a crouch, ready to sprint to Opia. Arrow didn't move, didn't even flinch. Adder blinked and approached it again, bringing one paw over his hand, into a gap between his arm, and his body. She brought another paw in, and turned her body, so she sat comfortably in the gap. She then let herself shift her weight, to lay on the taller man. Adder yawned, the sound coming out shrill, and louder than she intended, she was too tired to care. The kitten snuggled to the hybrid's side, laying down slightly on him. 

 Arrow opened one eye, lifting his left hand, and tilting up his mask to get a clearer view of the creature pressing to his side. Adder was still awake, eyes pried open a smudge. Her breathes coming in different paces. He brought his right hand up, causing the small cat to flinch and stand up. He rested the clawed paw on her back gingerly, letting her relax again. 

  "A-Arrow?" 

  'What."

  "Do you have any stories?"

  "Only real ones."

  "Can I hear them?"

  "If you want to." 

  "I do!"

  "Fine, don't wake Opia."

  Adder rested her head on his side, shutting her eyes as his hand rested on her head. Arrow didn't change the way he sat, or how he breathed. 

  "When I was a kid-"

  "Once upon a time?"

  Arrow sighed, "Once upon a time," he looked down as Adder who smiled, and shifted to be closer to him. "Once upon a time, there were two kids, they grew up together, staying side by side. One a spirited young boy, one a more mellow young one- -and I ended up here, with Opia and you. Good enough of a story?" Arrow flicked his tail, looking at the kitten. She was dead asleep, he suspected she fell asleep at the first few words. He scoffed, taking off his mask, and setting it gently on her head, the skull was much bigger than her, and might give Opia a fright, but Arrow smiled a little. 

  Sweet dreams.