Some days were easier than others. And other days… were not.
The days he saw Alma and saw blood. He couldn't see past a white face and unseeing eyes. The sharp metallic scent filled his nose. He felt the cold sting of metal and the sickening wetness warming his hands.
A nauseating intimacy in one final horrific task.
No amount of water could clean these hands. No amount of worried looks and innocent questions could shatter the image.
Strangely, it was the disapproving flick of a cat's tail that often brought him back to the present. No, she couldn't be told. Spare her.
The days he saw Kamila and his daughter's sobs filled his ears. Stumbling words that made no sense in this world. A nightmare to take on himself.
Empty and broken promises. It will be okay. She was wide-eyed and terrified as he left her alone with only misplaced thoughts for her safety. Lies—it wasn't okay and it never could be. His last attempt at protection failed her.
He failed her in the beginning just as he failed her in the end and she was pulled back in.
There was relief in Sissel's presence so often at her side. She was protected, better than what he had done.
The days he saw Cabanela and saw the glint of moonlight off a gun. Words taunted him in their shining honesty, taunted him in how very wrong he was and his mistaken certainties crumbled in the confines of a pocket watch.
The man, the… friend sprawled over a chair, battered, bloodied and no less determined. Undeserved joy and trust spoken with a weakened voice that betrayed none of his conviction.
What had he possibly done to deserve such acts? How could he possibly make up for those lost five years?
Sissel's words still rang in his mind, difficult to accept. 'Haven't you? Haven't we?'
The days he saw Lynne, freshly made detective, and heard the fierceness in her voice over the phone line. Endless undeserved calls while a small part of him bitterly savoured that connection and the reminder of what he had done.
Her face worried, but eyes lit with determination as they sped toward the pier. The nod in silent affirmation as he passed her the watch and another task she should never have had to bear.
She didn't need to know either, yet he was often aware of the ghost's presence around her, still aiding in a continued but silent partnership.
The days he saw Yomiel and saw the desperation in every word and action. The day he lay still in the grass. He never pulled the trigger, but he may as well have.
A ten year ploy, vengeance and pain, a five year timeout but pulled in just the same. Actions that should never have been were intertwined.
There was a comforting awkwardness between them and a slow shift to something else. There was understanding in words that didn't need to be said. New lives and old memories.
And Sissel on Yomiel's knee, yellow eyes piercing him. 'We know.'
Some days were harder than others. And other days were not.
The days the house filled with cheerful talk, laughter and liveliness. When Alma's voice washed over him and her arm wrapped gently around his. Lynne's head cocked in curiosity before she puffed out a sigh at whatever convoluted absurdity Cabanela had just weaved before she was drawn in with a grin. Kamila's delighted giggles were music to his ears as Missile bounded around her and she teased him with varied toys.
The day a knock at their door revealed the younger couple, one gaze turned away behind dark shades and a nervous set to his shoulders. There was a shy but warm smile on his companion's face as she greeted them.
A sudden black streak resolved itself in Sissel weaving around their legs. Yomiel's startled expression slid into a smile as the pair were invited inside and Sissel rested in his arms.
And some days were to be treasured above all others.