The ways of man are passing strange
He buys his freedom and he counts his change
- Gordon Bok
It tinged the room purple, glowing with an eerie inner light. Casting long black shadows across the room.
"The eridium. Give it to me. I need it." Lilith's usually smooth voice was rough, demanding and horse. Kneeling on the ground clutching her stomach the siren stared past him toward the shelf, eyes blazing in a starkly pale face lit with a desperate want.
Bile burned in his throat as Roland turned slowly toward the element he was beginning to hate more than anything in the world. The crystals glittered mockingly back at him.
Eridium. It made his skin crawl.
Everything went to hell because of this purple shit.
Pandora had never been a paradise but now...Hyperion had made it a shithole. The entire planet shook from the force of Jack's relentless search for more eridium and more wealth. The toxic leftovers poisoned the very earth, pools of purple twisting whatever it could reach.
"Give it to me. I need it!" Her voice trembled to match her shaking thin body and deadly pale face.
It's eating her alive.
He shut both eyes, unable to look at her now and remember her then. When they had come. She had been brash and fierce, as wild and free as any of Pandora's creatures.
Lilith had been fire and beauty, unchained by anything she had commanded instead.
He hadn't stood a chance.
And then Eridium happened.
His shadow lengthened as he took one slow step toward the purple crystals, the molasses pace of a doomed man headed to the gallows.
"Hurry. I need it." It was enough to make him shudder.
The trembling, begging thing on the floor wasn't his Lilith. Couldn't be her. No, the free beauty he had fallen in love with had nothing in common with the thing that needed more and more Eridium with every fight, who was always thinking of how to replenish her supply.
He couldn't look at her now without revulsion.
He couldn't look at her without guilt.
I ask this of her. She fights for me.
His gloved hand closed over the hard stone chunk, his skin crawling as he held it at arms length, unwilling to get near it. The war was going badly. He couldn't afford to lose her Siren abilities.
The black shadow he cast swallowed the room.
"Roland..." The siren's voice was a pleading moan, a stabbing reminder of other times she had moaned his name. It made his chest hurt, the empty ache for a love he still felt for her. A love he did not feel for the thing on the floor.
He felt nothing but disgust. He could not touch her now.
He tossed it to her without looking and hurried for the door without watching her absorb the glow into her skin, without watching her sigh with contentment and smile again.
I'm sorry Lil. I can't do this. I love you but I can't.
The soldier in him could not afford to lose her strength. The man couldn't tolerate how she got it.
He would never tell her why.
Then he lets the winds his days arrange
And he calls the tide his master
- Gordon Bok
A/N: I personally think Borderlands 2 is so full of plotholes you could strain pasta with it, but that aside the way Lilith asked for Eridium made me think she was addicted.