Thomas Raith (godofcologne) wrote,
Thomas Raith
godofcologne

[scene] - I'm gunning down romance It never did a thing for me

The tombstones popped up overnight like mushrooms after rain. Thomas had ignored them at first, dismissing them as another quirk of the strange place he'd found himself. He'd been busy anyway, rearming himself with a rough, rust-pitted kukri he salvaged and an old cavalry saber. It didn't fit quite as well in his hand as his own did, but that would change. In time.

So it wasn't until the second or third day that he took the time to look at the tombstones themselves. He wouldn't have then, even, if a glint of gold hadn't caught his eye. A pentacle of gold set in white marble. Directly above it, the words HERE LIES HARRY DRESDEN,. Below, HE DIED DOING THE RIGHT THING. Once Thomas saw those words, his eye never stopped seeking them out even as he forced himself to look away. Which was how he noticed the other tombstone.

It wasn't as well cared for, simple grey stone instead of polished marble, worn and covered in a thick coat of moss and ivy. Only two words could be read amid the ivy and crumbling stone, but they were more than enough to convince Thomas he didn't want to see the rest. JUSTINE... BELOVED. And no matter how quickly he walked away from the pair of tombstones, the twin monuments to his greatest failures, he would find them again in the fog, appearing ahead the moment he thought they had been left behind.

It was fitting, somehow.

***

The nightmares had woken him up, as they had ever since he'd come to Adstringendum. Without the steady stream of expensive alcohol he'd insisting on drowning in, the dreams came back. Every night, the pain of the Skinwalker's ministrations. The touch of dull claws ripping flesh from his body inch by torturous inch. The indescribably glory that was the kill, the cessation of gnawing, all-consuming Hunger. The sounds of madness, of a hopeless war fought against thousands. The moment of triumph. The imagined smell of blood as his only brother died alone in the place where Thomas had sent him.

He woke up covered in cold sweat, the now-familiar flashes of memory still as painful as they had been the first night he'd had those dreams. Thomas didn't bother trying to go back to sleep. Long experience had taught him that it would be useless. That the dreams would always come, that rest would never be long. He'd rather stay awake. It was a slow drain on his reserves to do so, but it was better than the shock of waking up again and again and again to the scent of blood and the quiet lap of water along the shore of Lake Michigan.

Thomas didn't bother putting on more clothes before he went out, only remembering to strap the cavalry saber to his hip out of some small bit of self-preservation. He wouldn't even have put on shoes if he hadn't tripped over them on the way to the door. But he made his way out of the clinic, or maybe it was the halfway house he was staying in tonight, he didn't particularly care at the moment, and walked the streets.

Even disheveled and under-dressed as he was, the Hunger's touch hung heavy on Thomas, lending him the air of a lean, hungry predator angel stalking the fog-filled, tombstone speckled streets of Adstringendum. He walked without conscious purpose, passing countless iterations of Justine's headstone, of Harry's grave marker, until something shifted, something in him either started thinking or gave up. He walked until he heard the sounds of the lake, faint lapping waves, an occasional splash. Then he sank to his knees, his shoulders resting against the back of that pure white marble headstone. In front of him, the crumbling, moss-covered one stood silent. Thomas' head drooped as his body settled against Harry Dresden's tombstone, and his eyes began to close. Beneath the sound of the waves, he could hear a quiet, familiar voice, trembling as she spoke, as if from far far away...

"You'll tell him for me, won't you?"

"You'll tell him what I said? That I love him?"

"Thank you, Harry. You've always helped us..."
Tags: [adstring], event!tombstones, harry, justine, scene, welcome to emotown: population - thomas
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