Newly arrived and no longer in pain, David Bowie had been spending time talking to and reconnecting with each of his characters, from the young, ill man from the graveyard to the oldest but youngest, 'Button Eyes.' But one man, right in the middle of everyone, he had been unable to visit. The very appearance of the Duke was enough to send him spiralling right back into the memories of that horrible year, and the powdery fog surrounding them. The gaunt figure, stark in its dependence and confusion made him shiver with distaste, and yet he could not not see him. It wouldn't be right.
He sat curled in an obscure position, sobbing, nose running copiously both from the tears, and also from the massive amounts of white powder he had been taking ever since he heard the news of the death. David's heart melted, and he put a hand on the Thin White Duke's shoulder. The Duke flinched and looked up through eyes thickened with tears. His nose was bleeding, David noticed.
'Why are you here?' choked out the Duke. 'You hate me. I hurt you. I could have killed you.'
'Why are you crying? I wanted to talk to you, to apologise.'
The Duke seemed to consider. 'I thought you were gone,' he said softly. 'I thought you went hating me.'
David shook his head and sat on the floor beside the younger man. He found the Duke's hand and took it, running his thumb in soothing circles along the palm. 'I should have looked after you. You were just a confused, scared young man, trying to make it better. At least half the blame for that year belongs to me.'
The Duke smiled, a faded, skeletal half smile that left his eyes dark, and inclined his head until his cheek brushed David's shoulder. David laced his fingers through the Duke's, and the Duke smiled again, an unbelieving smile, as though he believed the dream would soon dissolve, but it did not.