Disclaimer: Nope.

Author's Note: This idea was conceived and executed in the wee hours of the morning. Therefore, it's more of a stream of consciousness ficlet than anything else. Consider that your warning. XD;




Never leave my side.

He doesn't need to say it. Knows he doesn't need to say it. Knows it's stupid and redundant and makes him look a fool. For why should such directive statements be necessary when he already knows He's Always There? Not a day goes by that he doesn't feel the eyes upon his back, the shadows on his shoulder, the noose around his neck— slowly tightening, tightening, tightening, its red-welt kiss invisible to all except One. A leash. A brand. A binding scarlet thread which winds between them, marking their souls as one.

He will never leave his side. Cannot leave his side. Does not want to leave his side. Would not leave his side, even if he were to…

So he tells Him to stay, and pretends that this was his wish from the start.

Stay with me until I fall asleep.

The demon only smiles. Only smiles. For there are no words appropriate (necessary) to convey a response that is so obvious. Not when promises can be easily expressed in the slide of white-silk gloves (gentle, cloying, mocking in their candor); when the truth can be seen in a single, sweet stab of His luminous gaze (like rust on a razor, flaking dried blood); when he has already been ingrained with the knowledge that There Is No Escape.

Yes, his right eye weighs heavy, even when closed— forever playing host to seals, grave soil, and worms. The wriggling reminds him: there is no respite, no reprieve. Black-molasses dreams are all that await him in the bosom of the night, and oh, they swallow him with vigor: ensnare his subconscious, bleed into his brain, and turn all into soundless, motionless, timeless midnight— dragging him deeper and deeper into the claustrophobic depths of Truth, until he's fallen so far that he's reached the Other Side. Then, and only then, does awareness return: violently, and with a silent screech, as if breaking the surface of a lake. As if fighting to live. And even when he finds himself amidst a familiar sea of tangled sheets and clammy nightclothes, his lungs remain frozen.

He is too tired to move. He cannot grab his gun, cannot loosen his collar, cannot turn his eyes away from the (unobtainable, plaster-covered) Heavens.

A silhouette obstructs the sun. Blurry eyes focus…

Above him, his butler is still smiling. The same smile as before, the same smile as always— eternally bent into a subservient bow.

Never leave my side.

He never does.

"Good morning, young master."

And so another day begins.