Yes, its another oneshot. Oops. But I read the final volume – at last, silly England – and it made me cry and yell and on several occasions, throw the book down and claim I wouldn't read the rest.
Just now, I stumbled across a fic by Vanus Empty named Our Kingdom – which you MUST read, all of you – and since this idea had been playing in my head, it spurred me into writing it. So here it is, my perfect ending.
This whole fic is a spoiler. If you haven't finished the series and don't want to be told, DO NOT READ ya hear?
"How could you think we wouldn't face this together?"
Cain's voice was distorted by the noise of the collapsing building; the glass, the rocks and the screaming of metal foundations breaking under duress. Once he words had left his lips, he was sure they were the last he would ever say and this upset him. Not just because it meant that he was going to die, but because there were other things to be said still, at this moment, with this man.
Riff. The only person he would ever have considered dying with. He would have died for others; Mary, Uncle Neil… but he would never stand by and let them die with him. He wasn't sure whether this was a good thing or not but had the horrible feeling that he was being romantic and not talking about it.
He buried his head into Riff's shoulder and squeezed him tightly. Hesitantly, Riff's arms came up to embrace him in turn. The realisation that one arm was disintegrating did not revolt him at all.
"I didn't think we wouldn't face this together." Riff answered softly into Cain's hair. The young master froze; he hadn't been expecting an answer but was glad he was getting one. It gave him an opening to say…something. Something right.
"What do you mean, you didn't think?" Cain asked, eyes squeezed shut.
"I mean that, although I knew you would be here with me at the end…I wished it wouldn't end this way. I would rather that you lived happily-"
"As if I could!" Cain yelled suddenly, pulling back a little and grabbing the lapels of Riff's jacket angrily. "I could never live happily without you by my side! You wanted to condemn me to a life of misery, is that it?"
"You would rather die alone than let me be with you?"
This time, Riff's reply was not cut off by Cain. It was cut off by the large window smashing above and the razor sharp daggers of glass falling towards them. It was cut off by Riff's cry of agony as they plunged deep into his back and his arms, miraculously avoiding his neck and head. If you could see such living hell as miraculous.
Cain's eyes widened and he gingerly wiped a speck of Riff's blood from his face. With a jolt, he realised that if e hadn't moved, the glass would have pierced his skull and he would have died instantly…but now Riff was dying in even more agony then he had been originally.
"Oh, Riff." He whispered. "I didn't mean to get angry at you. I didn't mean to cut you off. I-"
"Then let me finish now." Riff managed to whisper, a trickle of blood escaped the corner of his mouth. "I wanted you to escape and live happily, not because I am entirely concerned for your welfare but because of a much more selfish reason."
Cain frowned in confusion and Riff smiled gently.
"I wanted you to live because I cannot stand to see you die. I love you too much for that."
Cain gave an incoherent cry and flung himself against Riff, unintentionally pushing the glass deeper into his back. Riff made no sound at all, as all his attention was focussed on the sobbing man in his weakening arms.
"Don't say that." Cain shook his head. "Don't say that now when nothing can be done of it. I had been dreaming of the day when you would tell me that and never, never did I see it as being in a place such as this."
"You dreamed of it?" Riff asked, his breath coming in laboured gasps now. "Why?"
"Don't be a fool." Cain murmured. "You must know it's because I…I…Riff?!"
Riff's eyes had closed and he was still as a statue. Cain raised a hand to touch his cheek gently and, fearing the worst, through caution to the winds. He leant forward and placed a kiss on the lips that were as cold as ice and began to cry silently. Suddenly, Riff's eyes opened again but their colour was turning milky. The last thing he saw before passing out of the world was the love in Cain's eyes, that had never needed to be said. Cain wasn't a man of words and luckily, Riff had never needed them.
He smiled softly, serenely and then gasped a final time before becoming motionless. A moment after, another section of the roof collapsed and Cain was buried beneath the rubble, although he barely noticed. Until the moment his eyes lost their sight, he had focused on the man in front of him.
The one to protect him until the end. The one who fought against even himself to save him. The one who had never complained, never resisted and always cared. Riff…who was smiling like an angel with glass wings.