Opposite Sides

All business now, wasn’t he? Raziel was so accustomed to the Blue that latched himself onto him and looked at him with warm eyes. In the darkness and distance, he couldn’t make out Blue’s eyes but he had a feeling they no longer looked to him so fondly. His voice said it all, but so did the tilt of his head, the set of his shoulders, the way his brows were lowered. Even if Raziel couldn’t see his features in great detail, he could see all these things–and they made his heart sink, the guilt deepening.

What did he come out here to tell Blue? To give him the keys or else? Was this a declaration of war? They were on opposite sides, should it come to that but Raziel couldn’t see himself hurting Blue, not any more than he already had. If it came to war, could he really sink his blade through Blue’s throat and watch him take his last breath? The thought alone sickened him.

He didn’t know where he stood anymore, that was his problem. His blind loyalty and faith in Charon had been shaken. The man seemed to be losing his humanity. He was caving into the monster inside him. Blue was so obviously repentant and yet he was exiled, left to die out here. They knew he would be attacked and gave him no provisions and no way to protect himself. They even stole his ability from him, leaving him helpless, wounded, and alone.

Raziel saw it happen more than once to others before Blue. He saw their friends and family fight for them, he saw them spit on them, he saw them cry for them. Once or twice, there were deserters shortly afterward, those who decided their love for the exiled exceeded their love for the community. “Let them go,” Charon said bitterly. “They’ll die beside them. There is no room here for bad seeds.”

Slowly, Raziel dropped down on one knee and lowered his head, heart thumping hard in his chest. He stared at the leaves beneath his boot.

“…Blue, I’m sorry.”

Rachel Aseltine

R.A. Aseltine is an author and roleplayer living in California with her husband, guinea pig, and five cats.

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