Disclaimer: If I owned Season of the Witch, Kay and Anna wouldn't have been the only survivors. Nothing against them, it's just depressing when practically everybody (including my favorite character!) dies.
Warning: implied PTSD, brief mentions of violence and alcohol abuse
Pairing: Behmen/Anna AKA The Witch if you squint and tilt your head
He should be happy. Felson had demanded that the cardinal of Marburg dismiss all charges against them in exchange for transporting the so-called 'witch' to Severac; after completing their mission they're allowed to go on their way without the threat of arrest for deserting the Crusades hanging over their heads - not that Behmen cares much whether he's thought of as a knight or deserter, hero or rogue. He's just glad to be free of the church and far away from its 'holy' wars.
His problem is that, no matter how far from the battlefield he goes, he can never truly leave the Crusades behind. For years he's fought and killed in God's name, but he no longer believes it was God's will that everyone the church deemed infidels be slaughtered. Stripped of his conviction that what he did was for the best, Behmen can't even be proud of his victories in battle anymore; instead he now sees the Crusades as nothing more than mindless butchery, and knows he is no better than a murderer.
He thinks Felson feels the guilt also, but it's hard to tell. No weight ever seems to stay long on Felson's mind while he has women and drink to distract him - and they are good distractions. Behmen makes use of both more than he cares to admit, yet can find no respite from the nightmares that plague his sleep.
Night after night, he finds himself unable to close his eyes without images of his final battle appearing behind his closed lids. Sometimes he thinks it strange that he had only a fleeting moment's glimpse of the girl before she fell to the ground, but still she is indelibly fixed in his memory - her eyes wide in pain and horror, her blood-dripping mouth open in a silent scream, his sword plunged deep into her chest. He can still remember that moment in perfect detail, and he relives it each and every night.
Sometimes he thinks the nightmare won't stop even after he wakes. When that happens, then he will know he has truly gone mad.
There are other times when Behmen's nightmares of the Crusades are interrupted, when he thinks of her instead. He never knew her name until they reached Severac; it was only after a harrowing battle with the demon that had possessed her that he found out she was called Anna. He knew her only for a short time, but he will always remember her. She is the girl he saved, his one good deed.
In his darkest moments, he forces himself to think of the way she looked at him after the fighting was done - when she awakened on the stone floor of the abbey, confused, disoriented, and frightened at finding herself lying naked among strangers, his eyes had been the first she had met and held with her own, and she knew that he was her savior. And he knows that there is someone (besides Felson) who sees him as more than a rogue with blood on his hands.
One night, he jolts awake from yet another nightmare of the countless people he's killed and, unbidden, thinks of the day after Eckhart's death, when Anna saw how deeply the senseless loss of life troubled him and reached out from her cage, offering solace even though her predicament was much worse than his. Allow me to ease your pain, she'd said.
He wonders what would have happened if he had taken her hand.
So...my first SotW fic! Not sure what to say about it except that it was begging to be written, and since I thought the movie was WAY underappreciated I complied with my muse's urgings. Oh, and if you've read this far and have anything whatsoever to say, it would make my day if you reviewed.