A/N: I haven't finished the seventh book yet…I'm kind of scared to…I've grown so attached to all of the characters, and they're about to do this thing with the Breakers, and all of them have this niggling feeling that one of them is going to die. I couldn't bear to see one of them die, not after Flagg…He was my favorite character, so mysterious and yet constant in other books as well as the Dark Tower series. I was sure he and Roland would finally have it out, escaping at the last minute, but hindering them no further as they reached the top room of the tower. But instead, he died in a foolish semblance of a boring chain of events. Not a good death for the most involved character ever written by Stephen King. Anyway, I imagine Roland would have some semblance of knowledge about the death of his one true "rival" (I like to think there's a little something-something that Flagg feels for Roland. He's had so many opportunities to kill him, personally or through others, and he still fails. I choose to believe his failures are intentional. After all, the most powerful man in all the worlds could not really settle for an actual defeat.) This is my take on Roland discovering Flagg's death…in an overly romantic, dramatic, uber-gushy way…okay, it's fluff. I'm woman enough to admit it! It's AU, obviously, but not incredibly. Takes place one of the nights before the (I'm only guessing here) gory battle with the Breakers.
Roland crouched on ground, giving an open wince as his hip pained him, before settling back against the rock behind him, sliding down to sit on the hard ground. Jake already sat about a foot away, leaning against the large rock with his legs drawn up and spread apart, elbows settled on his knees as he let his head fall forward, sighing heavily. Roland silently rolled two cigarettes and passed one to the boy, who took it gratefully. He lit a match with his thumbnail and held it for the boy to drag on his cigarette before lighting his own. They sat in relative silence, the wind howling around them, for a few moments before the boy stood suddenly.
"Ugh, I hate these things!" He exclaimed, throwing the cigarette aside. "Roland, why do you smoke? It's so bad for you. You risk your life enough already, why add to that?" The boy asked in a voice that was not his own.
Roland's head shot up at the voice coming from the boy and stood abruptly, ignoring the pain in his joints. "Marten!" Was all he could say, staring at the boy, and grateful he had left his guns in the cave as his fingers itched to shoot the entity possessing the boy.
The wind picked up and dust encompassed the boy in a wind tunnel before disappearing as swiftly as it came, leaving the wizard where the boy stood. The man grinned, stretching his arms and arching his back. "Yes, Roland, it is I. I suspect you knew I was dead, and I am surprised myself to be occupying the body of a boy. Your boy, no less. I can't say I'm not pleased, though, to be so near to you again."
Roland shook his head, gritting his teeth. "What trick is this, sorcerer? How are you here, and where is Jake?"
Marten shrugged, his grin unfaltering. "The boy is here, in a deep sleep. Only one of us can come forward at a time, but he's a struggler, so I put him to sleep. It's a lot like those doors. The only difference is, it's not just my mind that inhabits his, but my soul as well. I was given a second chance, it would seem, to do good in this world."
Roland glared at the man. "What could you have done in your life that could possibly brook a second chance from Gan?" He asked angrily.
This time, the wizards smile did falter, and he allowed the sadness he felt to shine in his eyes. "I thought that was obvious. I proved that I was capable of falling in love, which meant there had to be something pure in my heart, my soul, and the Gan deemed this as a good enough reason to give me a chance to correct all the wrongs I've done to my love."
Roland huffed a snort of indignance, then sat back on the ground, tossing his half-forgotten cigarette. "My mother is dead, what good could it do to fix anything in this world? Why not just apologize to her in the clearing at the end of the path?" He asked, tugging angrily at a strand of his own hair to distract from the arthritis digging at his joints. His joints were currently protesting loudly from his sudden, jerky movements of standing and sitting.
Marten sighed. He stooped before the man, who he still saw as just a boy, and gripped the hand that was tugging at his hair with one of his own. "Stop that, pulling your hair out will not make the arthritis go away, it will simply make you bald. You misunderstand me, I was never in love with your mother, and I never really slept with her. I just needed you to think I had, so you would comply with ka. It was underhanded, and admittedly, I did enjoy pissing you off like that, but only because I loved seeing you that passionate. I have spent most of your life trying to encourage that passion in you. The fire in your eyes warms my cold heart."
Roland looked up suddenly, realization dawning. "Why, Marten, why me?" He questioned, his voice gruff from emotion.
The wizard rolled his eyes and sighed, kneeling before the man. "For so many reasons, Roland. You are the hero, here. Yes, you are gruff, you show so little emotion where it's overwhelming in others, you'd sacrifice everything for a stupid quest," Roland's eyes narrowed at the description of his person and quest, making the sorcerer chuckle, grasping Roland's hands in his own. "And you have a passion that no one else in any of the worlds could possibly compare to. You love unconditionally and I regret being unable to alter ka to save the girl in your past. I will do whatever it takes for you to trust me, Roland, and I am here to help you complete your quest. If you ever have need of me and the magicks I possess, simply call out my name and I will pull myself forward. I suppose you would like to settle your thoughts and then inform your ka-tet of this chain of events. I will take my leave of you." He made to pull away, but the hands he was grasping gripped tightly and pulled him closer.
Roland looked up into his eyes with a look of nervousness on his face. "Take away the arthritis?" He pleaded.
Marten looked shocked for a moment before studying the man before him. "You know how I would do that. Are you sure?"
Roland nodded, thinking back to how uncomfortable the man had looked those many years ago. Roland, just a boy who did not yet completely mistrust the wizard, had asked why the man refused to take away anyone's arthritis, but would fix everything else for a simple service. The wizard had shifted uncomfortably, looked reluctant to explain it to the boy, but had finally given in and explained that he did not enjoy biting his tongue enough to make it bleed and then have to kiss the person desiring relief. The blood was necessary to "bleed" the magic into the person, and the kiss was the easiest way to get the magic into someone's system.
Marten looked unsure, but opened his mouth and drew a sharp nail across his tongue, drawing blood. He leaned forward slightly, glancing into Roland's eyes, before focusing on the lips before him. He cupped Roland's cheek gently, almost reverently, and pressed his open lips against the closed pair of the other man. He ran his bloodied tongue across the thin, cold lips and Roland sighed. His eyes slid closed as Roland's did, the boy -man- opening his mouth and swiping his own tongue across the gash in the muscle sliding into his hot cavern. Roland's hands flew up and tangled in the wizards hair, pulling him closer, as something sparked between them forcing a shiver across both forms. They kissed passionately for several minutes, forgetting about the world around them. Finally, Marten pulled away to breathe.
He grinned at the man before him, who was flushed and breathing harshly. "You should feel better by morning, but I may need to do that again a few times for it all to disappear. Arthritis is like a poison to the joints and requires regular treatments for a small while. I forgot to mention that to you when you were younger, I think. I hope you don't mind."
Roland shook his head, pulling the centuries old wizard forward again to crash already bruised lips together once more. Marten sighed happily. This would be a long journey, and teaching the whole ka-tet to trust him would be difficult, but for now, he was content in the arms of his beloved. Who knows, the man below him may learn to love him in return.