Had a bad feeling. And my bad feelings tend to be pretty damn accurate.
Writer played us all for fools.
Made us think that we had a choice. Had time. That maybe, just maybe, this time he was playing by the rules. That maybe, we could make all this right. That maybe, August had a little bit of a chance.
There's no happy endings.
He toyed with August, and when I arrived, he toyed with me. He didn't say anything. He didn't need to, because it was written out in front of me. It was written out everywhere. I dropped to my knees. I remember thinking idly that this must be some sort of joke. It seemed funny when I started to pray.
It's not funny now.
"Failure. Failure. Failure. Failure."
written in August's flesh and blood. A portrait of my own ineptitude.
He wasn't moving
And Writer just kissed my cheek and left me there alone. With him.
"H-he's right... about all this."
A cough. Blood comes with it. I crawled over. Grabbed his hand. He shouldn't have had to been alone.
"I-I... think I understand, Boss. I hate you. H-hate all of th-them. Just e-everything, and... and on the way...."
He keeps staring at me, red and azure. Those deep, blue eyes. he's in pain. Oh god, he's dying.
"Christ, was it all a lie...? Was I just...."
"... It was worth nothing because it was finished. I wondered how I'd been able to walk, to laugh with the girls: I wouldn't have moved so much as my little finger if I had only imagined I would die like this. My life was in front of me, shut, closed, like a bag and yet everything inside of it was unfinished. For an instant I tried to judge it. I wanted to tell myself, this is a beautiful life. But I couldn't pass judgement on it; it was only a sketch; I had spent my time counterfeiting eternity, I had understood nothing. I missed nothing: there were so many things I could have missed, the taste of manzanilla or the baths I took in summer in a little creek near Cadiz; but death had disenchanted everything..."
I didn't know what I was saying. But later I would realize what this was from. Fucking pathetic; even as he lay there, it was like me laying there -I could hardly stand it...
And he laughs.
"What is the most wonderful thing in o-our messed up w-w-world, Spencer F-fitzgerald?"
It was then that I held the clear, smooth glass of the syringe in my palm. For him to see.
There was an unspoken covenant between us in that moment. In that one, silent moment... He smiled, just so slightly, smiling at a coward...
"The most w-wonderful thing in the world... Is th-that all around us, people can be dying..."
He flinches as the second syringe enters his flesh.
"And we don't r-realize the same thing can happen..."
"I'm sorry. August, I'm sorry."
I held him close. He seemed to.. .relax a bit, despite how terrified I was. It's hard to hide. It's so god damn hard to hide it... He lay his head on my chest. Listening for a heartbeat that's sporadic at best.
"... N-no, I'm sorry. Looks l-like the whole time, w-we were both just pretending..."
I could feel myself start to shake.
"That's k-kind of..."
He was so brave
Because there was never anything left of him to be afraid with
I could see it. Those blue eyes slowly losing their light. The light that my eyes seem to have lost a long time ago. People live. Then they die.
"... Dinner's at eight."
... that was the most natural hug I've ever pulled anyone into. He hated me more than anything, but...
"Say hi to Allan for me."
And the unspoken plea. Tell him I'm sorry for this. Tell him I'm sorry for everything. Tell him that...
He laughs. A fading mockery of a laugh.
"See you in hell, Spencer."
Closing his eyes. Then, an afterthought.
"Don't be late."
... He never woke up.