This was partially inspired by 'Dear Rayla' by LovelySheree, so if you must blame someone, she's your girl. :)
I meant to finish this earlier, but it still took me three weeks because I'm incredibly weak to angst and was half-blind from tears while writing this.
HUGE thanks as well to the amazing Jelly for beta-ing this! She is a constant source of inspiration and very kindly let herself be wheedled into this beta job.
Once again, angst ahead!
You know that I've never been good at talking about how I feel. It feels like there's a thousand things racing through my head, and there's a lot I want to say, but the most important things are in this letter.
For what it's worth, I wasn't lying when I said we'd go together. Not at the time, anyway. I couldn't imagine not having you beside me.
Do you know how many times I've snuck up on you and found you drawing me? It happens so often I've even gotten used to waking up to the sound of charcoal scratching on paper. And sure, I might roll my eyes at your dumb jokes most of the time, but they make me smile all the same. Maybe mage wings can be a bit handy, too, especially when it's cold and I need fuzzy warmth. And maybe I don't mind it either when you steal glances and sneak in kisses when Opeli isn't looking,
But as I sit here, writing this while you sleep, I've come to a realization:
Our journey together is over.
We've returned Zym to his mother. Ez is king, and you've discovered magic. At least for now, there's peace again between humans and Xadia. You have so much to look forward to. All is right in the world, and you can move on with your life.
But it's different for me. You can sleep peacefully at night, and I can't. Not while Viren is out there. I haven't slept without nightmares since that day at the Spire. And it's the same every time—Viren takes you from me.
I've gone to find him. Alone.
I have to know what happened to my parents. I have to know what he did to Runaan. Maybe there's a way I can get them back, to bring everyone back.
The journey I'm taking is only going to get more dangerous. I'm not leaving because I think you're weak. It's because I know I am. I don't know what I'd do if Viren were to capture you, too.
It's because you jumped after me at the Spire. Then you jumped after me here, in the Moon Nexus. And while I'm thankful you got to me in time on both times, it was still incredibly risky. This isn't a game, Callum. We've been lucky so far, but sooner or later our luck's going to run out.
And so I can't—no, I won't let you jump after me a third time. Not this time. Not again.
But knowing you, you'll try to follow me anyway. And I've tried to think of ways to convince you not to. What would you want to hear? What can I even say? Is there anything at all that would make what I'm about to do hurt less?
Should I say this was all a mistake, after all? That humans and elves can't be together? Maybe I should tell you that I've gone home to the Silvergrove and you'll never see me again?
That I don't love you anymore?
But no, I don't think that would work. It wouldn't work because it isn't true and you'd know it the moment I told you and you'd see right through me, wouldn't you? Like you always do.
I don't want to hurt you any more than I have to. And it hurts. It breaks my heart that I'm about to break yours. Leaving is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I'm sorry. It's the only way I can keep you safe. This is how it has to be. This is the only way. So by the time you read this, I'll already be long gone.
And in the morning, if you wake up and find that you hate me for what I did, I would understand. I just need you to know.
I need you to know that these past two months have been the craziest and somehow the happiest of my life.
I once told you that there's magic everywhere you look. You're proof of that. Not because you can do magic—well, that too—but that we even found each other is crazy to me.
We've spent nearly every waking hour together ever since we met. Who else would be dumb enough to dance with me even without music? Who else knows how to find me when I hide away?
How do you even Who am I going to have conversations about nothing and everything until I fall asleep? How could I Who's going to wipe the tears away and sing softly to me when the nightmares come? And where there are no more words who's going to hold me close and tell me everything's going to be okay?
Who do I cling to if you are gone?
If you go with me, and something happens to you...I can't There isn't If he takes you like he's taken everyone else, then I'd truly be alone.
And that scares me more than I ever thought possible. All my life I was taught not to show fear, but I don't care about that anymore. I'm afraid of losing you. Before I knew it, my greatest fear has shifted from being in the water to a life without you and it's a pain much worse and much more unbearable than any Moonshadow binding.
You are everything I
Can you ever forgive
Could you love me even after
Even if I find my parents, even if I get Runaan back, the Silvergrove wouldn't be home anymore. And I could never go back to Katolis knowing you're not there. Anywhere would feel incomplete.
Do you understand, Callum? Do you understand that I have nowhere left to be but with you?
You are home now. Wherever you are is where I belong.
Who knows what's waiting for me when I find Viren? I don't even know if I can do this without you.
But this is my fight.
I know it's what I have to do. And it feels like the right thing for me to do. I can handle going after him by myself, because then I'd know that you'd be back in Katolis, safe and happy and alive.
This time I won't hesitate.
This time I won't let you jump after me.
This time you can't follow.
This time you can't come with me.
A/N: I hope I did the letter enough justice and I hope you guys liked it! Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to binge on fluff for the next 15 years.
P.S. I still haven't actually read TTM, so there's that.
Comments and constructive criticism are welcome! Just...take it easy on me, okay? :)