cherith: (Muses are Busy)
[personal profile] cherith
Title: Until You Belong to Me
Author: Cherith
Genre: Horror, Supernatural
Word Count: 11,224
Rating: M
Warnings: religious subversion, something very much like dubcon, femslash, graphic/violent scenes, fire
Summary: Sorrow is a demon trying to get away from her master, and she enlists the help of an old friend. Written as a companion piece to last year's: Blind Denial the Long Way Down (also written for OFBB).

Sorrow had sent a message home to Areltheia: the broken, twisted and lifeless form of the demon, Lissandra of the Waking tides. “Liss” as she was called, had stolen a trinket and her life, or the remnants of it had not been the price demanded for the theft, but after a long search, it was the debt that Sorrow had collected.

She returned home, a smattering of Liss’ ichorous blood still stuck on her clothes, in the ends of her hair, and edges of her skirt sopping and trailing water as she crossed the grand entrance. Shaking droplets from sleeves and the curve of the scythe in her hands she looked up to find the room and those beyond, crowded. One could always trust Areltheia to use any situation as a celebration. Such flattery, Sorrow had thought, to have a crowd of onlookers and hangers-on to surround her when she arrived home, successful.

But as she entered the main hall, ignoring the drops of water and blood that fell from her as she picked her way through the crowd to Thea’s side, she found Liss already there. Waiting. Laughing. The both of them nearly doubled over with hysterical laughter, just at the sight of her.

At first, Sorrow said nothing, eager tongue pressed against her lips, if only to keep from telling Liss what she could really do with that trinket. Not that it had seemed of such little value when Areltheia had sent her after it. She started to move passed them, to go to her rooms and bathe and be pleased at least that the search was ended and Areltheia would be content with her - no matter how it stung to see them together.

Then there was an elegant red boot in her way and Liss’s voice was behind her- calling her name, teasing and gesturing. Sorrow turned to face the pair of them and the crowd too was focused on them, on her and what she might do.

It seemed as though it should be easy enough to ignore her, to be the one she knew Areltheia would rather have in her bed. She got to be the one that was most trusted among all those Thea had rescued, had saved, had loved. Loved still. Her eyes went to Thea’s then, looking for recognition, for sympathy on the demoness’ pale and hollow face. She found none. Waiting for her instead was only cruelty, madness and laughter, and Sorrow’s hand twisted around the shaft of her scythe, bone scraping skin from her fingers.

She growled. And in the time it took- which was no time at all- for her shadow to lengthen and cross the space between them, she charged Lissandra of the Waking Tides, though she did not intend to win- not a second time- not with Areltheia watching them so intently.

But win, she did. The beautiful and fearsome Lissandra of the Waking Tides, all shimmering gowns and laughter like raindrops, died at her feet- a final death- a complete death.

For her ‘insolence’, Thea said, for her ‘intolerance’, for her ‘inability to take a fucking joke’, Thea branded her in front of the audience of onlookers and well-wishers and hangers-on that had come to her party to see how the demon queen lived. When Thea was done with her, she left her on the ground, skin rotting and peeling at the place where her new mark lived. Her head was pillowed against the motionless and sopping corpse of Liss beneath her.

And when Lissandra’s body finally collapsed, all the magic gone from it; only water remained and even that was not enough to quench the fire against Sorrow’s neck.

----

It had started that night, when Sorrow had discovered how little she felt as though she belonged to Areltheia, despite the demon’s hold on her and the bed they sometimes shared. Reflecting on their recent years it seemed more rote behavior, built of some sort of fascination Sorrow had built in her mind of the terrifying woman that had both burned her home and saved her from it. Years of dedication and service could be wiped from existence in a single thought if Thea sought to do it and yet, she had pulled Sorrow to her, whispered affections and desires and though Sorrow knew she wasn’t the only one, yet each time she felt as though she was.

Areltheia, even in claiming her life, had made her feel alive.

Sorrow didn’t think she would ever be able to forgive her for that. And more, for the years of love and service she had lavished on her savior from that burning church only to have them unappreciated, ignored, and worse: mocked. She had been mocked for her unyielding servitude.

Sorrow continued along the sidewalk. The blood inside her roiled with the thought of Thea’s betrayal. She had gone out on Thea’s orders to find a trinket, a small thing of hers that had gone missing- stolen, she had meant. Stolen by a jaded lover, stolen and brought and hid amongst humans.

She wondered what it meant about her, that she, rotting and dead flesh kept alive by the blood and love and magic of a demon, had human friends. Had friends. That she had anyone on this side of the veil that she would call on in a time of need seemed a preposterous idea. Yet, her feet carried her, an odd marching gait with a cane tattoo against the sidewalk, right up to the house of peeling blue paint and a clattering noise from a door near the garage.

It was strange to think she had once, not known that noise- would have never recognized it were it not for the humans on the other side of that door. She nearly hummed, skin tingled at the memorized phrasing and the trilling of a voice as she faded into the shadows and passed into a room where there should’ve been none.

Her shadow crept into the room long before her, faint tendrils of ink crawling along the concrete floor, tugging at carpet and teasing shoe laces free and wrapping oh- so- slowly up a microphone stand. She watched and tasted, and once licked at the scruffy cheek of a man playing a keyboard. There was a brief hitch in the song, a note missed at the cold of her shadow against his face and she recognized even that, not there- not that note- but that he had missed one at all, with the chill of her, and it brought a smile to Sorrow’s lips.

She watched them play, the five of them, who she called friends though she should have no right to do so, but allowed her to, all the same. Each of them she knew by name, by sight and some, two- the red headed singer with the freckles that Sorrow swore connected in the constellations, and the piano man who fingers caressed the keyboard in front of him as though it had all the weight and importance of ivory keys set in a grand piano- she knew by feel, by taste.

The fresh death, the coursing of blood under her skin, made it easier for her to stand there, hidden in the shadows for as long as she chose to listen. It gave her shadow a leash she had yet to test the full limits of, even in all her years. There was a wildness to it and spirit of its own, as it spun away from the microphone, spiraling down and collapsing for only a second on faded rug under the band, before it moved along. She could feel each thread of the carpet, each heavy beat as it nested inside the large drum and vibrated with the kicks of the pedal against the skin. She didn’t always tell her friends, her friends, when she watched them practice, couldn’t explain the pleasure she and her shadow found in the sounds and the tastes and the feel of their music.

Sorrow had once tried to explain. Mark, sweet, naive and nimble-fingered Mark, had given her a strange look at the idea that their music was anything more than five friends in a basement banging away at instruments and wasting away their lives. She knew he didn’t believe that anymore than she did but when Liss had taken everything from them - when she had taken everything from them, by taking away Liss - it made him feel better to believe they were worth so little. Their limited success was only a fluke, an unorchestrated force of nature and when it was over, he was just as content to be done with it.

Whatever the truth of the impact of their music on anyone else, Sorrow knew what it did to her. And so she watched and she listed and she felt every note, every beat until she was numb with the exposure of it all.

Sometimes, like this time, they stopped before she was ready for them to, before she could feel full of the sound and empty of the shadow, and unsated, she let the darkness return to her, coiling around the end of her cane to rest. She slid into a chair and waited as the glamour fell away, to be noticed, though these days it never took long for one of them to land a gaze her direction.

---

“What do you need from us?” Cate asks. Responsible Cate. Always willing to lend a hand, lend her voice, always ready to meet a new friend, or save an old one. She leaned back in a large, stuffed chair of a pillow, and twirled a strand of flame-colored hair around a finger and Sorrow sighed.

She had already pulled back her hair, exposing her brand to the five of them, and they had each leaned in and had a turn to look at the rings of raised skin, a spiral of shame and loathing and had they been any other people, she would’ve had to fight the urge to run through through with the sword in her cane. But, they weren’t any five random strangers and though the urge was there, it was very distant and the hand on her cane barely shifted at the thought.

They had each winced in pain, at the thought of the mark she bore and how she received it and the idea that she had fought Liss a second time. Mark had grabbed at her hand only to pull it back a moment later with a flush in his cheeks and an awkward smile. They would offer themselves only because she had saved them once, though she had not done it for them, not really- not at all. She had done it on Thea’s orders to retrieve the item Liss had taken- stolen- or been given, she was not longer sure, other than to know that it hadn’t been for them. They had been deceived by the demon that wore Liss’ skin, had been given things the water could not give them.

Lissandra of the Waking Tides had only ever reflected what was at the heart of the humans under her sway.

These five young humans, the ones she called her friends, the ones who called themselves a band, Tinamou- as if they were a collective, a small bird to share their song with the world- hadwanted. And Liss had reflected the perfect rise, to a fame they so desperately thought she could give them. Without her, they had fallen, but not so far as they might have had Liss been able to have their way with them over years instead of mere months.

“I only need you to know,” Sorrow replied at last, taking Cate’s chin in one of her cold and pale hands, though Cate did not flinch at the touch, or the chill against her skin; she merely smiled.

“There isn’t anything we can do to help?” This from Christian, who did not sit so close to her as the rest of them did. He had drawn a chair from across the room and sat some feet behind his brother, Ray, who sat near on a nearby couch.

She shook her head slowly and her shadow, as though it had woken up from a nap, trickled across the floor towards Christian. He did not see the web it made on the floor, curling in around the rubber of his sneaker soles, but when it slid beneath the cuff of his socks she could feel him shudder at it’s tickling embrace. Grinning at him she called it back to her with only a click of her long fingernails against the cane. She played as though he trusted her like the others did, even when she knew he did not. A part of her hoped he would see it for what it was, a spirit of camaraderie, her apology for the things she had done, the physical blow she had struck to him so many months before. Someday, he might forgive her, but he kept himself apart from the rest and she felt sadder for it.

Still he would not stay his hand if there was help to offer, and maybe that was all the sign she needed that he might close that space between them yet.

“I need to do it on my own,” she said, focusing her dark eyes on Christian. “She will know if you are there, I cannot know what trust she had with Liss, nor what secrets she may yet keep. If you are there, she will not hesitate to use you against me.”

Then why- why did she tell them? She frowned, the curve of her lips wrinkling her face and narrowing her eyes. She trusted them, though her words were true enough in that they could not help her. Well, not all of them could help her. But she would not keep these from them, it was a part of their story, even as she was a part of theirs, and something in the tapestry would reflect that even when Areltheia’s days were ended.

“I can help,” Cate whispered and it was so faint that Sorrow suspected that only she could have heard the words, no matter how close the others might be.

Her eyes swept from Christian to Cate’s emerald gaze and Sorrow fought not to nod her head, not to agree, not to give Cate entrance into the quarrel between her and Thea, as though she had not come here to ask that exact thing. She wanted to build to it, to find Cate alone and ask in private when the rest would not hear, would not want to join in. She should have known- would have known if she had better formed her idea or the request she wanted to make. Not that it would have stopped Cate from concluding what she needed before she asked for it, because that was Cate’s own special purpose, the ability she had she did not share with her friends, but that Sorrow had seen in her from their first meeting.

She swallowed, her throat thick with the favor she didn’t know how to ask and Cate understood.

---

No one wanted to leave, but Cate ushered each of the four men from her house, one by one, until only she and Sorrow and her shadow remained. Sorrow hadn’t moved from her place in the chair at the far end of the room, and when Cate had show the last man through the door (of course it had been Mark, he had been concerned, sweetly concerned for her) she pulled her pillow to Sorrow’s feet and sat. There too, was a look of concern and worry and Sorrow could almost not bear the emotions of her friends.

But, Cate sat and put her hands on the bone tips of Sorrow’s boots and even though there was no real way to feel it, there was a warmth there that sunk into her skin at just the thought of her touch.

“What can I do?” Cate said. It was an echo of earlier, but there were no men, no unskilled and frail humans between them now, it was only Cate and her flame colored hair, pale skin with dots like stars upon it and her knowing green eyes. Knowing. That’s what Cate did. It was her skill, her talent... her curse in life was to know.

Not that she knew all things.

But, she knew too much. It was no mortal gift.

Still, when she asked, Sorrow fixed her with a questioning glare as thought to say, don’t you know, can’t you guess?

Cate shook her head and whispered, “You have to ask.”

There was an edge to Cate’s words and Sorrow reached a hand down to her, cupped the other woman’s chin in her hand and tilted her gaze up to hers. Her thumb caressed along Cate’s jaw, finding smooth, soft skin under her own rough and calloused fingers. Cate’s green eyes met hers through long, blonde lashes.

“I need you to ask me what you want to know,” Cate clarified. “It only works if you ask.”

“I didn’t know,” Sorrow said, voice pitched low as a whisper, as an echo. Cate had never explained her talent to her, other than acknowledging that she had one and it had always seemed a bit more ethereal and uncertain.

Cate shrugged freckled shoulders rose and fell and Sorrow slid her hand down to thumb at the thin strap of the red headed woman’s dark blue tank top. She looked down at Sorrow’s hand and sighed wistfully, even as gooseflesh rose on her shoulder. Sorrow canted her head, hair falling back to cover her neck and the brand on it. She kept the forward motion of her hand pulling at Cate’s arm, letting her skin slide between her fingers until she had a hold of Cate’s hand and brought it to her lips.

She whispered against Cate’s fingers, “I want to know how it will go. If I’ll live, if she’ll die, and whether or not she knows I’m coming for her.”

The other woman’s gaze followed as Sorrow pulled at her hand, letting it go, letting Sorrow take it to her lips and shuddering at the warmth of Sorrow’s breath in contrast to her cold touch.

“I’ll try,” she said softly as she looked once more at Sorrow. “I don’t know her, I won’t see her- or I don’t think I will. But, I’ll try.

“I still can’t tell you how it works... not exactly.”

“That you try will be enough, Catherine.”

She smiled at Sorrow’s use of her full name, a blush settling into her cheeks as she pulled her hand away and placed it in her lap.

“Everything is in my room.”

---

Like the basement, Cate’s room had an old, worn rug of many colors with threads coming up around every loop of the braid and Sorrow resisted the urge to spread her shadow across the length of it. Cate had gathered herself onto the rug, sitting with her legs folded and arms hanging loose over her legs, and her head bowed while she just sat and breathed.

Sorrow watched.

She sat awkwardly at the edge of Cate’s bed as though she had never laid on it, as though she had not spread Cate beneath her and teased and tasted at her dotted skin and tried to see if the freckles tasted differently than the rest of her. She thought they did, even if Cate strongly disagreed. Sorrow waited while Cate did whatever it was that gave her the ability to see and know, and to reach into that undefinable thing that was the future. For all her strength and knowledge and granted abilities, Sorrow had been taught long ago by Areltheia that the future was woven, was threaded together and could not be unravelled.

That Cate was somehow connected and could reach through the veil of the world and touch that tapestry and bring back some knowledge- any knowledge, it was mesmerizing in a way that her body wasn’t. Not that Sorrow couldn’t be distracted by both- and was as she sat on Cate’s bed and swung a boot into the air, child-like and impatient. She wanted both.

More than that, she wanted the freedom that came with both.

And strangely, even though it was possible that Cate would return from wherever it was she went when she searched for the future, that she wouldn’t know anymore than either of them did already; Sorrow was already confident. While she would not bring the members of Timamou with her and felt a twinge of weakness just asking Cate to indulge her, that she had Cate to ask, that she had humans she considered friends- it was as much a revelation as anything in her unlife had ever been.

It was an hour before Cate’s eyes opened with a strange, nearly audible force and stared at her as though she could look through her. Cate murmured something, but her voice was contorted and hollow and the words weren’t right at all- they weren’t anything Sorrow recognized as a language. She swallowed, hard, blood pulsing at muscles in her throat and seeping through the skin until she could taste the salt and iron of Pastor Brady on her tongue. Sorrow’s limbs were frozen in place, as though all the blood had finally been used up or turned solid under her skin.

She managed to croak Cate’s name and it sounded odd, heavy and strangled and burbling with blood.

… “Sorrow?”

She watched as Cate crawled on her towards the bed, used her hands to climb up Sorrow’s legs until she was standing in front of her, pressing her pale, but warm hands to her as if she was searching for someone that had gone absent. Sorrow didn’t feel like she had gone anywhere. She could feel the warmth of Cate’s hands on her skin, but it didn’t sink in, and like the lightening of skin with fingers pressed against it that darkens when the pressure is removed, Cate’s warmth didn’t last. Her eyes were fixed on the place where Cate had been and the movements of her friend so close to her, were large and blurred as her vision struggled but couldn’t refocus.

“Sorrow, are you okay?”

No. No, she wasn’t okay and Cate stepped away from her and there was a trail of mixed fluids of red and black as her hand came away from Sorrow’s lips. Cate stared at her, then at her hands, then was gone from her line of sight for long moments, returning with fabric. There was an unsteady hand and the feel of a towel against her lips, her chin, her neck as Cate wiped away what had bubbled forth from her mouth when she had tried to speak.

It was nearly a half hour before she could speak again. An hour before she could move.

---

Cate held her close long after she could move, long after the need to run and to fight an unknown and invisible force left her. Cate had pushed her to the bed, swung an arm and a leg over her and pulled her close, her body pressing to Sorrow’s back as close as limbs and clothes could allow. She whispered lyrics to her songs, both ones Sorrow knew and didn’t know, against hollow at the back of Sorrow’s neck created by her prominent spine and the long curtain of her hair that Cate pushed over her shoulder. Her breath was warm as it reached Sorrow’s skin and it kept her warm and flush with the heat.

Cate knew.

But, she wouldn’t say what she had seen in all that time with her eyes closed and her body folded and stationary. Sorrow had not the strength to press her for answers, had not the strength or the will to leave the embrace of Cate’s body, or the softness of her bed. So, Cate held her and Sorrow closed her eyes until the shock of it faded, and the image of Cate’s emerald eyes thrown open by some malevolent force was replaced with the need to turn, to see them caring and focused and kind.

For all her heavy and constraining clothes, Sorrow slipped under Cate’s arm easily, turning on the bed to face the other woman. Cate’s eyes opened slowly as she moved, and she smiled and murmured a pleased noise as though she woke from a pleasant dream. Cate moved her hand as Sorrow slid closer, her own arm going around Cate’s waist, fingers splayed against the small of her back. She didn’t breath, didn’t move, just met Cate’s sleepy gaze with her own.

When she woke, it was with Cate’s breath in her ear.

…”Sorrow? It’s dark. I don’t want you go to go, but I know you have to.”

I know you have to.

She felt stiff under Cate’s arm, body rigid with sleep and the lack of any fluids but her own, even less after what had happened before. But she rolled forward, arm encircling most of Cate’s waist and pulling their hips together, their breasts, her head tilting to steal a kiss from the faded peach of Cate’s lips. There was a thick darkness, cold and oppressive as it slid inside her boots and up her skirt and found it’s way up the curve of her spine. It wiggled and pressed against her, sending her forcefully into Cate’s embrace.

“Catherine,” she whispered. A kiss on her throat, her tongue trailed between the freckles on her neck and shoulders and she kissed again at the pulse she found beneath her lips.

“... You need to leave. I know-” Cate’s breath hitched as Sorrow’s fingers worked their way from her back to her hips, feeling at the hem of the shorts Cate wore.

“Tell me.”

A breath. “No.”

Sorrow reached for the waistband of Cate’s shorts, slipped her fingers beneath the elastic and used her hand to push it down over one hip. She kissed at Cate’s ear, alternated between sucking and small, quick nips against her earlobe and then a breath, her own, cold against Cate’s ear and a shudder went through her that Sorrow could feel in her arms.

“Tell me.”

“Sorrow,” Cate murmured though it was half a moan, breathy and needy. But she followed it quickly with a more determined, “No.”

With another push, another pull of the waistband, she had Cate’s hips bare, and Cate wiggled her legs, to slide the shorts down and off. Sorrow’s hand was between Cate’s thighs, cold against her skin, but gentle and with smooth motions until she could feel the soft curls and warmth between her legs. Her hand rested there as her shadow moved swiftly and with curling tendrils from behind her to slip around Cate’s ankles.

“Will you ever tell me?”

It was a gentle question after it, as she waited for an answer, Cate walked her fingers to Sorrow’s skirt, carefully lifting it by inches.

“No.”

“Then, may I stay?”

“No.”

Cate would make her go when it was time. When she knew the evening was ending and Sorrow wouldn’t be able to stay any longer, when if she stayed Thea would know what was coming. And who worked against her. But, there, she didn’t think of Thea. Only smooth skin next to hers as Cate pushed and tugged until the garments between them were gone. Sorrow’s hand remained still. Waiting.

“Will you turn me away?”

“No.”

---

Cate slept soundly, curled with knees nearly touching her bare chest as Sorrow slipped carefully from her bed and collected her cane. It was not yet morning, but the tenderness in her joints- the stiffness in her movements, had her shuffling as she left Cate’s room.

The pre-dawn air was chilling and she shivered as she reached back and pulled the hood from her cloak up and over her head. The clasp was shut high around her neck, but she pulled the corners together to block the crisp air. Tendrils of fog clung to her as she walked from Cate’s house to the graveyard two silent, suburban blocks away.

To cross from sacred burial grounds in the human domain to its foul and corrupt mockery took only a few steps. Finding her way on the well-memorized path to Areltheia's residence required little more than a single though. The air inside was still and quiet and the keep was dark upon her arrival home.

Home.

No matter how she felt or what she had done- what she felt prepared to do, something about it still felt like home. More so than the phantom memory of a burning church, or a warm, human embrace could ever be. It was as though Areltheia’s presence was soaked into every inch of the building, so no matter where she stood, the demon was always watching. Sorrow’s heels clacked loudly through empty rooms, each open space as cold and driftless as she felt inside.

She had barely crossed the expanse of the grand hall when she heard a gentle tapping, not unlike claws on stone. And with the few seconds she had, Sorrow gathered her shadow and wrapped it around herself. A beast snuffled against the far wall, pacing, as though it could smell her already. Little could ever set her legs trembling even as she stood her ground, like Areltheia could, yet she stood, rooted to the stone as a roar reverberated off the pillars and rattled the bone chandelier overhead, as the beast charged.

It was a dark, a roiling mass of shadows and muscle and as it heaved itself up from the ground to attack her, all claws and darkness, she smelled putrid, rotting flesh. Sorrow choked on a breath as she fell under the weight of it’s attack.

Her shadow shrugged off the brunt of the attack as its claws and teeth sunk into her skin. She bled, but it was a slow, thick trickle of dark fluid, dripping lazily onto the stone. The creature raged, a beast of fury that seemed more ravenous than her decaying body could satisfy. She snarled at it and there was a beast inside her too, all sharp edges and cold metal.

Sorrow turned, prepared to heave the creature off of her but with the next moment, it was a light weight and nothing at all to move the sickness of it. It sunk towards her and wisped between her fingers. She felt over-crowded as it bled it’s rotted, hulking mass into her and the stone beneath and it darkened her eyes until there was nothing left to see but the cold edges inside her own mind.

She was consumed or subsumed by whatever it was and somewhere, there was a whisper like a breeze in her mind of Thea’s voice a quiet reminder of who she was, of where she was, of the demon she called home.

Home.

There was warmth all around her, like the sun in the afternoon when every inch of her skin wasn’t covered and there had been blood pumping in her veins. The scent of burning wood and oil and the heavy acrid taste of smoke threaded into her. When she opened her eyes, there was a wooden cross in her hand, and flames surrounded her in nearly every direction, save one. And at the end of the corridor of flames, a beautiful woman stood, pale skin and ebony hair and with a fearsome visage that called to something deep inside her. Sorrow, a multitude of rainbows reflected on her skin, was called like an invisible hand pushed against her back, and she walked through the open spaces and embraced the woman.

Her savior.

The woman kissed her, with tender and needy lips that curled around her own. Home was warm and soft as her eyelids fluttered, then closed and low in her throat moaned a name neither of them knew. She returned the kiss like she could never remember another.

---

Cate woke with a hole in her heart where moonlight should have been. She jerked up from the bed and stared at the two dark red and curling memories of faded tears on the pillow next to hers. Her fingers traced the swirled markings and like a fading dream, a memory tugged at her through the pillow to her fingertips. Her chest ached and as she put her feet to the cold rug beneath her bed, she spasmed with great choking coughs.

Her lungs felt as though there was no room for a free breath and she fell to her knees, her hands the only things between her and the floor. Black dots swam in her vision as she gasped, trying to push air between the acrid smoke in her throat and lungs.

When she fell to ground the first fresh breaths finally seeping into her system, her cheek pressed against a dark stain on the carpet. She brushed at it with her fingers, trailing around the edges just at the corners of her vision as though willing her memory of its origin to return.

It was like there was a hole in her lungs when the flames went out and she could feel it burn to ash on her tongue. The sun left drops on her floor, tiny sliver shapes that warmed her skin and made her heart ache as though they too traced a shape in her.

Her ear to the carpet, a sound not unlike rushing water swam in her head and the pain her throat subsided and sleep claimed her again, there on the floor.

---

When she was a girl, had a different name. She dreamed of it sometimes. It was there on the tip of her tongue when she woke, but as is the way of the small things left from dreams, she could never quite bring herself to remember it. She doesn’t have a name now, and a sweet voice whispers in her ear to tell her that soon- very soon, she can have one again.

She does not mourn that other name. Whatever it might have been, she does not have it in her to mourn anymore. If she had tears to shed they would be trails of flame on her face, dying to ash on her cold skin.

Yet, even the dead must sleep.
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