Rating: PG for character death.
Disclaimer: WHR's not mine, yo.
Synopsis: 'Hope' and 'trust' are funny things, and Amon finds himself bound by a promise he no longer wants to keep.
Notes: Once again, I thank auntiemom for lending me her beta-reading skills. Inspired by a conversation over at Harry's.
"I don't know for sure whether or not someone as powerful as you ought to exist," he had once said.
Now the city of Rome was burning around him, and Amon had his answer.
If he was honest, he really hadn't thought that it would come to this. In spite of his threat from so many years ago, he had never thought that he would have to hunt Robin. Robin, who had remained so pure and unchanged through all that life threw at her. Robin, who had been betrayed by the organization and the man who had raised her from birth, yet who had never seemed to really hate. Robin, who had looked at him over the barrel of a gun, closed her eyes, and said that she trusted his heart.
God. Was it any wonder that he had been unable to shoot her?
It was strange, but he somehow felt that the very things that had made it seem unlikely that he would have to hunt her were quite possibly the same things that had led to her fall. For all her strength, the world was not meant for people as soft and sad as his Robin. She had taken all that they had thrown at her, but in the end she had been unable to simply stand by and watch as SOLOMON slowly eradicated her people. In the five long years that they had been on the run, he had watched as she suffered silently under a burden of guilt. Guilt that came from knowing that she was the witches' so-called 'Hope'... and yet doing nothing to aide them. Not knowing what she could do to aid them.
When she finally had crumpled under the weight of that guilt, it had been quiet. No mad rage in her eyes, just a shattering sorrow and the quiet words, "They can't be forgiven," before she had turned from him and walked out the door, black skirts trailing behind her.
That had been three days ago, and whatever madness had been missing then was certainly present now. She had started by destroying SOLOMON headquarters, and with it, the Vatican. Now the whole city was burning. He had no doubt that she could set the whole world ablaze, if she wished to do so.
In the end, that was why Amon hunted her. He could no longer delude himself into thinking that he was killing her because of some vague, nebulous idea of what was right and wrong. He rather suspected that, if given a choice, he would have just as easily sat back and watched in silent horror as she brought the unsuspecting world to its knees. After all, she had brought him to his knees long ago, with a glance out of wide green eyes and a soft word of trust. No, he would not have hunted his Robin for the sake of others, or even for his own sake... But this was no longer his Robin, and he rather suspected that the Robin he had known, the Robin who had come into his life and gently but irrevocably dominated his thoughts from the moment he had laid eyes upon her... the Robin who he loved with a quiet intensity, even if he had never been able to bring himself to say anything... that Robin would have hated the thing that she had become. Even if that Robin now lived only in his memory.
He was planning to kill the woman that he loved in order to honor her memory. There was something very sick about that. The expression that crossed his face at the thought couldn't be called a smile; more a humorless stretching of the lips over clenched teeth.
When he found her, she was standing at the edge of the city, her slender form silhouetted against a backdrop of fiery destruction. With her hair loose and the voluminous folds of her black skirt billowing around her, she looked more like Lilith than Eve – not Christianity's Lilith, the demon, but the avenging angel of the Old Testament, wielding a flaming sword, and almost too beautiful and terrible to look at in her anger. Amon had never been one for vain hope, but he realized that a part of him had hoped until that moment that she was salvageable, that there was something left of the Robin he remembered.
He met her eyes, and there was nothing there that he recognized. It was almost a relief. He didn't think that he would have been able to follow through had he seen some flicker of... Some flicker of her there, some sign that she wasn't the lost soul, the fallen angel that he feared she had become. That he knew she had become.
Almost as if his thoughts had triggered it, some of the madness bled out of her eyes, to be replaced by sorrow so deep and consuming that it was almost another kind of insanity. She had once told him that she could feel the power of the witches who had been persecuted, and the sadness that went with that power. It seemed to him like all those centuries of grief had suddenly filled her eyes, pressing down on him like a lead weight against his chest.
"Amon," she whispered. A sound so soft and sweet that it was like a caress; suddenly he knew, and that knowledge was almost too much for him. She had understood that it would come to this. She had taken that leap with open eyes, had succumbed to the more destructive side of the Craft with the knowledge that he would still be there to stop her, even if it killed him in the process. She had willingly sacrificed herself, and turned him into her executioner in the same breath, all in the hope that it would somehow help to save her people.
Hope. Somehow, he doubted that this was what Maria had intended.
It made him ache, because, in a way, she was still his Robin, in spite of the swirling, all-consuming darkness that filled her gaze and the violent destruction that surrounded her. His arm rose slowly, so slowly, and once again he found himself looking at her down the barrel of a gun. She closed her eyes.
When she smiled at him, it felt like relief.
"I trust your heart."
This time, he pulled the trigger.