Title: Sometimes at night...
Fandom: Dragonlance
Teaser: raistlin confronts his demons

He hated this, this melancholy that would steal across his mind. No matter what the time, the day, against spells and a will that startled the gods themselves, it came, and he found himself helpless to do anything,
Except remember.

He knew she was watching him, he always knew, and he cursed himself for that awareness. He had no time for romance, even of the basest sort. His schooling, his brother, his own search for knowledge, all consumed his every waking moment. There was nothing she could give him that he couldn't do without. Yet her eyes burned him all the same.
//Frail, too frail to give her what she wants, too scarred//
// Too deadly//
The winter was a harsh one, one in which several of the older residents of Solace fell ill with the fever. As always, raistlin moved among them, unafraid of the invisible killer, a stoic guide to health, or, for all his coldness, a gentle guide into death. Some felt that he wanted to die, that was why he took care of the dying with so seemingly little care for his own life. Too much a coward to fall on a sword or rely on poison, so he walked where no one with any semblance of sanity would set foot.
And as much as he hated to admit it, there was some truth to their words.
//You always were a coward//
Yet she walked with him, with her small knowledge of herbs, and soothed where he could not. They learned from each other, grew closer, even as he tried to pull them apart.
//What did she see in me//
Ziada was a constant companion that winter, a presence that he found himself craving as time went by, despite the constant ribbing of his brother. She was a soothing hand, a ready smile, and so unlike him that he wondered for her sanity.
//You wondered for your sanity//
In the end, he convinced himself it was for the best, and for that reason he pushed harder, withdrew further. Their easy friendship turned into a barely veiled hostility on his side, a cringing acceptance from her, and worried looks from his brother.
//He always knew you better than you knew yourself//
In the end, she was gone. Married to a farmer outside of Solace. Bore his children, two little girls with their mothers gray eyes who would look at him first in wonder, then in hatred.
//You could never save the people who really mattered to you//
He still remembered the evening when the girls ran into the village, covered in blood, screaming for help. Their farm had been struck hard by a band of mercenaries, and their mother hid them under the house. Solace was in an uproar, as armor and arrows were pulled from their storage places. The children were taken to Otik, and the small band headed for the farm.
//Your fault, you know//
There was nothing to be done for Giles. No amount of magic could reattach a severed head. But Ziada...
// You could have kept it from happening//
She was still breathing when they cut her down, barely. He gave her herbs, flying-maiden and dark root to stop the screaming, but there was little else to be done.
//You should have known then that you would be a red robe. There was enough blood to change them from white that night//
She would never recover fully, he knew, she couldn't. The damage would kill her slowly, but it would kill her nonetheless.
//So you let her slip away//
He held her, as the flying-maiden did its work, sinking her into a sleep she would never wake from, told himself it was sweat, and not tears, that stained the blood on his face.
//Her blood on your hands//
"I always loved you Raistlin."

Ten years. So much could happen within that time. The Test, the war, the death of friends. So much to change him, when so little did. Death mixed with more death, hope shattered and mended by the barest of threads.
//A living corpse, that's what you are//
Then, at long last, a tenuous peace, and a price to high to be paid twice.
//I beat you, my demon, swallowed you as you tried to swallow me//
She has Ziada's eyes, and her spirit, but there was something else inside her that he needed, her faith. That first meeting in Palanthas almost undid his resolve. There was no one else who could fulfill the duty he required.
//Fool, stupid blind fool//
Seduction was a game he had little practice in, seduction of the body, at any rate. The seduction of a soul, however, was something he had a considerable amount of practice with. Find the weakness, and anyone, no matter how noble, would be at your feet, and Crysania's was one he knew all too well.
//Pride always carries a high price//
He never dreamed the seduction would carry both ways. Unlike others, she was an equal, an equal in pride, in dedication. She was willing to follow him, in spite of everything she knew of him, of what he planned to do. Despite the warnings given to her from all corners. She was caught like a fly in a web, one that had no intention of leaving.
//And you were caught as well//
He could still recall the feel of her body against his, the touch of her lips, the light that entered her gray eyes by the river that day. She was sunshine and warmth to those corners in his life that were cast in shadow. She was what he never imagined he was missing. And he pushed her away, ignoring the clamoring cry of his body, and his soul. He needed her, but not for his own pleasure.
//Always a coward. who were you more afraid of//
She was different from those women who were attracted to him.
// Her//
She did not want his loneliness, nor his danger, She did not care for his power, nor did she pity him.
//Or Yourself//
Not at first, not until she realized why he was pushing her away so violently.
//Only the truly blind can truly see//
He heard her, in the Abyss, when he left her broken and dying upon those uneven planes of nothingness. Those words seared him, creating a pain in the place he remember, long ago, held his heart.
"Raistlin.. forgive me..."
He would have laughed had it not been so dangerous.
//She had done nothing to be forgiven for. You did//
He saved her, in the end. Found that place where something still beat for someone other than himself, and the brother he so carelessly tossed away. Saved her, and in doing so, unwillingly saved himself.
"She will live, if you take her back.."
She drew him, as he had her, a moth to a flame. He woke in his room, Dalimar staring at him in wonder, and something akin to fear, his brother standing at the window, looking out at the city of Palanthas, smoke still rising from the numerous fires. He saw with eyes seared from the heat of death.
The eyes of a newborn.
//In death, a new life is always forged//
It took weeks for him to recover, and even then he was never the same. The illness that handicapped him for the better part of his life was gone, leaving him weak, but well. His skin was no longer the metallic gold that he remembered, but pink, like that of a newborn. And for the first time in years, he could see all as it was, not as it would be.
// Beloved of the gods, given a great gift, and in return you stole one from her//
It took months to coax the information out of Dalimar. She was alive, she was well.
But Crysania was blind.
And he stayed away.
//Hurt her is all you would do//
Months turned into years, and still he refused to see her, to think on what was, what might have been. Even as dreams taunted him with the knowledge of what would have occurred, he hid in the safety of loneliness. His brother wrote, and he kept up a semblance of communication. The High Tower called, and he ignored them. Raistlin was gone, what remained was a shattered man, a man of great power yes, but one with no will to wield it
//Alone, always alone, and you will be until you can love yourself//
For someone who lived with hate almost his entire life, the prospect was galling.

There it is! Please please please please please send feedback. I crave the stuff, dont be shy, tell me what you think