but quick to tell me goodbye
rating: +7+x

The girl stands there in what should be the moonlight. If you look straight up, not tilting your head at all, you can imagine the two of you are evenly spaced in a field. The infinite shelves of books are far apart here, and they curl upwards in spirals. The ceiling fades into clouds, not entirely covering the pinpricks of light. They shine through the grey wisps in constellations that don’t match the skies of any world you’ve wandered through.

She's seen this night sky before, though. There’s a familiarity to how she walks this floor.

The wind tastes of the wild. Of earth and blood. The Way is open, and the foreign air dances through, twisting her midnight black hair into patterns like ink in water. You don't stop to breathe it in, but it floods into every inch of you anyway. You feel her destination in your fingers, know her reckless intent by the sickeningly sweetness of the flowers. The breeze carries the chime laugh of fairies.

"Hey,” you call out before you grab ahold of the back of her gown with your unearthly strength. "Allison, stop.”

“That’s not my name right now.”

“It’s your name to me. It’ll always be.”

“Let go,” she orders, like she expects to be obeyed. There's power in her pitch, but you don't follow the command.

"So you can go gallivanting off on another suicidally stupid mission?"

She tears herself out of your grip, fabric ripping beneath your nails but mending. A simple charm. A waste of magic, to keep clean. Pristine. You bare your teeth at her, growling with an ancient power in your throat.

“That isn’t any of your business,” she insists.

“Why? Cuz you know I'd've stopped you before you got this far?” you snarl, bitter, with your hand tight. Your heart pounds too fast against your chest.

“No. ”

“You think I'd get hurt? I can take care of myself. I've been taking care of myself, ever since you broke things off, if you haven't noticed.”


"Is it because I'm reckless? Cuz I'll piss off your precious contacts? Push them over the edge, make them fuck you up as badly as you've fucked up your long list of enemies? That's gonna happen anyway, you know."

She doesn't say no for a third time.

"Whatever it is, just tell me. Or face me and tell me no then. You won’t even fucking look me in the eyes. You won’t even say my name, Allison.”

She doesn't look at you when she answers, “You're right. It is dangerous. That's why you can't come."

The lack of a real answer makes you want to take that swing even more, but you hold yourself back. It takes every inch of restraint that you don’t have.

"Is this the pity thing again?" you demand.

"You always have to phrase it like that. Reducing complicated feelings down to a simple 'thing.'"

“It is. isn't it? You saved my life. You think I'd be just fine as a fool? If you’d think I’d rather live in ignorance than in this bullshit, you’re as bad as the rest of the pseudo-scientific-condescending-piece-of-shit bastards out there!”

You spit out the words.

She doesn’t react to that. Like she doesn’t even care, like being compared to the people she hates the most doesn't make her blood run cold. Maybe she doesn't. Maybe, in these months apart, she's You've loved her before, and for some time, she might've even loved you too. You made her feel human. At least, until you got stronger. Until you were her equal in any sort of power. Until she couldn't ignore your relevance to her big grand fucking destiny.

You didn't negotiate for your power from eldritch forces with carefully worded contracts, didn't spend months researching and reading. You didn't build up layers of protections over a course of years. You seized your strength with your own hands, bent this fucked up reality to your will. Of course there were consequences to that rash choice— this is magic. It scars those it touches, inevitably and irrevocably.

Her rules and regulations will only protect her for so long. You've long since figured that the only way to survive in this world was to ditch the belief in normal. The binary between human and monster is as bullshit as the one between male and female, good and evil, but she didn't dedicate her life to exposing the truth of the world and bringing down groups like the Foundation because she saw through their lies about the separation between "the dark" and "the light." She's fighting because she thinks showing everyone what truly lurks in the shadows will make it less scary. Make it easier to explain.

"You were happy. You were safe.”

“I was powerless and ignorant, and I would've thought you of all people would know that nobody is safe. At least this way, I’m strong.” You flex your powers, feeling the wind in your shock green hair, and your eyes shine golden.

"You’re not human, not anymore. “

"You say it like it's a bad thing!”

“I never should've kissed you.”

She’s as silent as you’re loud. Sad? Disappointed? Angry. You can’t read her, not with the red that's blotting out your vision, pounding in your chest. Not with the rage that’s choking you. You dig your nails into your leg, drawing blood.

“If you remember, I was the one who kissed you. You just reciprocated, and you don’t get to act like it doesn’t fucking matter because it obviously does. I don’t want to be pitied. I’m not going to be another fucking reason you hate yourself.”

She doesn’t answer you, and you need to scream louder. You need to hit her, even as you know she’s stronger. She’s got a destiny, and you’re just an everyday self-made monster.

“Look at me.”

She refuses to turn. You feel bile in your throat, threatening to rise up and burn her. You want to let it so badly. You’ve taken what you’ve wanted ever since she freed you from your naïve understanding of the world, and yet, she's out of your reach.

“Look at me.”

You wait a second before you say it a third time, and in that time, she takes a breath. She addresses you by name.

“Quetzal, I don’t pity you.”

I don’t hate myself, is what she doesn’t say.

“Bullshit,” you respond, spit flying from between your lips. “I see you.”

She turns around, at last. Her fists are clenched and shake violently, but her eyes are cold. Her black hair frames the harden expression, and the light of this Library hallway reflects off her silver crown, off the black onyx in its center. When she stands like this, she isn’t the vulnerable girl plagued by impossible choices. She’s a queen, and like every royal before her, she sees too far. Too big a scale, for the little monsters like you.

It’s her choices that decide the fate of millions, but she’s unblemished. Human, to a fault.

You feel, rather than see, the guns strapped to her thigh and the knives in her heels. Her magical defenses are laced into her bone and dress alike, but her body is still delicate. No scars, not like you. Your body heals wrong, and you're fine with it. You chose that. All her wounds are healed without a trace. You want to mark her up, drag your nails across that flesh and press your lips against her neck so hard she bleeds.

“You don’t know anything about me.”

She’s beautiful when she’s cold.

She strips you bare, even as she lies.

She doesn’t leave you with anything. Not your ignorance. Not your humanity. Not your dignity. You’d still rather leave all that behind, drag it through the mud, than live in a world without her. Without any of her.

Damnit. You feel the tears running down your cheeks, even as blood runs down your leg. A war rages inside your chest, and you can’t inhale. Not the ragged winds of the wild, not the layered magical storm of the Library's air.

You’re not burdened with destiny like she is. There’s no allegiance of other selves tearing you away from your home, no tangled web of string as red as blood. No quest. Just you and the people you claimed for your pack. There's no nobility in your violence, and you're fine with it.

God fucking damnit, you're fine with it.

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