I believe this is the first post-"Ptolemy's Gate" fanfic, so of course there are huge spoilers for the third book from this point forward!

That said, I think the viewpoint in this is very obvious to anyone who's read Book 3. And the shipping slant is possibly even more obvious.

But without further ado, enjoy (I hope). Although constructive criticism is accepted with open arms.

Disclaimer: Jonathan Stroud owns the Bartimaeus Trilogy.

Forgive Us Our Debts

"Say hello to Kitty for me."
–'Ptolemy's Gate', UK Edition, Page 515

You really were the best thing in my life, weren't you? You were the bedrock beneath me, you were my safety net. You were the one I went to when it was all on the line, when I had hit the panic button.

It's safe to say that I owe you much. I owe you my gratitude, my congratulations, and my life. But most of all, I owe you an explanation.

But let's go in order, shall we?

First of all, my gratitude must be expressed. You couldn't possibly have any idea how much you meant to me, how much you still mean to me. You, more than anyone else, should be credited with my success. You gave me a chance, an opportunity to redeem myself, and for this I am grateful. I didn't deserve it. I never will.

Secondly, my congratulations! You are one step closer to your goal, aren't you? Commoners are gaining power all over the Empire. Hell, you were offered a seat in Parliament!

But that wasn't for you. That's just not your style. You don't stick around to reap the fruits of your labor. You're always working towards something. There's peace in London, for now. But you know that this is only temporary.

You're staying one step ahead of the game. You've finally figured it all out, haven't you?

Enough about that, though. There are more important things to say.

Namely, how you saved me.

You really shouldn't have. I never really did understand why you did it, why you destroyed that golem. I suppose it wasn't to save me, but to save everything, yet still I cannot help but marvel at it all.

Could you ever have guessed that by saving the life of the very magician who had betrayed you, that you would save everything you ever loved?

It's funny in a way. By saving the one you hated, you saved what you loved.

I won't even bother wondering whether your opinion ever changed of me. I don't see why it should have. Maybe it did, just a little bit, but really I doubt it. I did nothing to gain your trust.

Yet you gained more than my trust.

I really did start caring about you, you know? I still care about you, enough to hope that you'll live a long and healthy life and not see me anytime soon. Life is for the living. Thus, it's not for me.

This leads me to where I have been going all along: an explanation.

Truly, I can't explain how it happened; how a former terrorist, a convict, entranced me, made my heart soar with her voice. You gave me strength, confidence. You made me feel invincible, as if I was whole again. It's been a long time since I was pure, since I was Nathaniel, and not John Mandrake. For a few moments there I actually could feel it, my name, running in my blood and fueling my actions.

Yet that's not the explanation you want. You're wondering why I did it alone.

That, I can't explain. Except for the simple fact that it was all because of you.

I knew I was going to die. I knew it, as soon as Lime hit me with that Detonation. Bartimaeus tried to hide it, yet I faced you, lied to you. I don't know what the point was, really. I shouldn't have been dishonest. You couldn't possibly have cared if breaking the Staff killed me.

Sadly, part of me thinks you did, that you do care. I saw you, standing in that battlefield.

"So much for your promises," you said.

I nearly broke down, right then and there. I wanted to curse you, yell at you for making me hurt so badly. But I couldn't. You have a hold over me, a hold that I can't break. And honestly, I don't really want to break it.

I'm sorry. I really am.

But I did what I did. It's nothing to dwell over. You'll get over it in a few days. I wasn't anyone to care about. I was cruel and vile. I was horrible. I was a magician.

Quite plainly, I was a bastard.

Dismissing Bartimaeus was the most decent thing I might have ever done, and that kills me. Not to say that I'm displeased with my decision. It was effective in breaking the Staff, in saving the Empire.

And I kind of wanted to save him while I was at it. He didn't deserve death.

Though don't you go telling Bartimaeus all of this. He'll have a riot over it.

I'm hoping that eventually you will try to summon him, even so. You probably think he perished with me. But it's human nature to hope, isn't it? You'll keep hoping until you summon him, one day in the distant future, just to see if he's alive. You have a bond, don't you?

Maybe you'll ask about me. I'm hoping you will, although I'm not counting on it. You have no reason to care about me. But you have a bond with Bartimaeus.

You have no clue how much I envy him for that bond.

It really does make me sound pathetic, doesn't it? I don't care anymore. There's a sense of understanding now, that what I always wanted was what I couldn't have. Death makes one understand life and all of its glory.

Between you and me, there are moments when I wish I could take it back. I wish that I could just have run away from it all, instead of charging ahead. Usually these moments occur when you're laughing, or crying, and I want nothing more than to touch you, to feel your warmth and joy.

Then I realize that you, at least, can still feel because of what I have done. I'm not happy, but you're happy, and I've been finding that recently, that's all that matters anymore.

I'll wait for you here, but that doesn't mean you need to hurry. Take your time. Live life to the fullest. Trust me, it's good advice. I would know.

But when you do get here, I won't bother you too much. I'll say hello, and have a small chat if you want to. I won't stay around for too long. You probably will have more important people to greet. I completely understand.

And I was telling the truth when I said you were beautiful. Just so you know.

Before I go, I have to confess: I was wrong. There is a bond between us, Kitty, a bond that can never be broken.

It's no big deal, though.

I only owe you everything.