and to quote from ign, "the only way you will be able to help your former comrade is to put him down. Hard."

He isn't human anymore, isn't soft skin and warm flesh and red blood, he's something bitter and cruel and not fully there. Mistakes. Regrets. Wasted second chances and greying hair.

"Now we match," Hope jokes, and the silence settles on his tongue like sawdust.

"It's been six-thousand four-hundred and thirteen days since you last visited. When are you going to kill me?"

"Never," Noel says, and leaves because you're already dead unsaid.

There's a girl in his monochrome dreams with soft hair and softer eyes, who opens her mouth but doesn't speak, who begs and pleads for something alien to him-something alien to all of them.

She begs for change.

The only thing he can give her is a sword through the stomach and rivers of grey blood.

A hand on his neck and lips on his ear. Whispering bitter nothings during the night, biting remarks in the day. It's an old friend and his only companion.

"Useless," it says. "Failure."

"I've missed you too."

He learns to love the pause between heartbeats and the moment before he takes a breath, the things that tell him, for a second, that he's not there. He learns to talk to people that aren't there, people that stoop to kiss his lips and pause to scar his face.

After all, a blade at his throat is better than nothing.

They call him shadowhunter, but can you hunt something you are?