Warning: This fic contains major spoilers for Ptolemy's Gate. If you haven't read the book already, please read no further.

I suppose this is a sort of companion fic to Bowles' "Forgive Us Our Debts". There's a bit of a Nat/Kitty slant, but not too much. I'd appreciate constructive criticism for this one.

Disclaimer: Not mine.




I might have guessed you'd do something like this. Really, I shouldn't be surprised. After all, it isn't like you haven't gone back on your promises before (a notable incident springs readily to mind here, but I'll just leave it for now).

You know, it's probably a good thing that you can't see this place. It's all in ruins: broken glass everywhere, scorch marks, assorted debris…it would probably give your neat little mind a nauseating turn.

Or maybe not. I could be wrong, but your priorities seemed to have shifted a bit as you drew nearer the end.

Maybe I really didn't see it coming. Or maybe I did, deep down, but didn't want to accept it. It would explain why I stupidly believed you when you said you were all right, even though your shattered body screamed the opposite.

I didn't want to think that you would die. And so I let you go off to your heroic demise, taking part of me with you in the process. It's strange, because your deed was the ultimate sacrifice, and yet from one angle – the angle I'm stuck viewing it from, I might add – it's probably the most selfish thing you've ever done because you took that part of me away. And now I've got this stupid, raw feeling in my chest and it's making it hard for me to think straight.

And that was difficult enough for me already, I'll have you know, what with all the action that's taking place now.

I wanted you here with me during all this. I can picture you raising a mocking eyebrow at my suggestions during these meetings, making me want to hit you but also smile at the same time. I took it for granted.

I guess this is what I get for it: a carpet of shattered glass and twisted iron.

A sentimental idiot would probably choose this moment to say something like, "It's fitting – it mirrors the state of my heart" or some similar form of rubbish. But I'm not a sentimental idiot, Nathaniel.

Just an idiot.

An idiot for believing you would be okay, that you would walk out of that encounter alive. For turning away and saving myself instead of remaining at your side, where I should have been. For not giving you this stupid Amulet, at least – would you be alive now if I had?

No. I don't want to think about that.

It's strange. For three years I regretted saving your life as I read those ridiculous slogans and pamphlets, so transparent I'm amazed I couldn't see through the text. But now I don't remember how I did it.

It's selfish of me, but I sort of wish I hadn't been around to witness your change at the end. At least that way I wouldn't feel like this now that you're gone. Empty, I mean.

But I guess things wouldn't have worked out if that had been the case. It may not look like it now, Nathaniel, but soon London will be back on its feet, with a new, hopefully more stable government to keep control this time around. I'll do my best to make this vision a reality. It's the least I can do for you: you saved the city and the people I love.

And even though it's hard to be grateful for what you did (you'll never know how hard)…I am. Because this was bigger than what you, me, and Bartimaeus wanted. The fact that we put up with each other for even the fleeting time that we did proves this well enough, in my opinion.

It's stupid of me, but I keep thinking about how you called me beautiful. No one's told me that before, at least, not the way you did. I think I'll remember that for a long time.

Hey. A breeze started up, and for a minute there it sounded like someone saying hello. I almost wanted to look around, half-believing you'd be standing there grinning at me.

But I guess that's stupid, too.