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15 June 2011 @ 06:06 pm
Forever was so many different things. [Count Cain]  
COUNT CAIN and all characters/ideas/concepts/places therein are not mine, although the writing certainly is.



Title: Forever was so many different things.
Characters/Pairing(s): Riff & Cain
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Holding on, while the world falls apart.
Warnings? Contains spoilers for the Godchild half of the series, particularly events within and after Volumes 11, 12 and 13.
Notes: The title is taken from the 31_days theme for July 14, 2009.



Forever was so many different things.


As the tower collapses around them, as the air fills with the sound of the screams of thousands and part of the very world that London knew breaks apart, Cain Hargreaves leans against the chest of his one and only manservant and contents himself with the sound of the last beats of his heart. Riff moves with him rather than against him, and without a word of complaint. It seems as though he still knows exactly how he had to position himself in order to serve his master perfectly – grace under pressure, with the shadow of certain death being the greatest sort that anyone could face. The thought makes Cain laugh, soft and tired. It is becoming hard to breathe now, with the smoke of distant fires and great clouds of dust and shattered stone smothering everything. He wonders, idly, if that is why his thoughts drift, lazy and strange, so totally disconnected from everything.


The sight of the skeletal remains of Riff’s left arm draws Cain out of his contemplation. Riff notices it almost immediately, but Cain manages to stop him before he can draw it out of sight. He entwines the bones of those fingers, in fact, with his own, gentler than he has ever been with anything or anyone, and lifts the white knuckles to his lips. He shows Riff through small reverent kisses that his master does not care, and as such, he had no reason to be ashamed. In fact, Cain has never cared, and even if they were not lying together, quietly dying in the shadowy remains of an organization they gave their lives to destroy, he never would.


“Merryweather will be most upset with me, I think.”


He only becomes aware of the fact that he is thinking out loud when Riff responds.


“Are you breaking yet another promise to her?”


“Well, yes. Dying is quite a deal breaker, don’t you agree?”


Silence, then, coupled with the slightest twitch of the fingers of Riff’s right hand from where they rest upon his shoulder. Cain cranes his neck up, to plant another kiss against Riff’s jawline. A wordless reassurance, and an admonition. To remain had been his decision, and his manservant was expected to give nothing but his approval.


Riff, of course, is obedient as ever. This much is made obvious, by the fact that he returns the gesture in kind by kissing his master’s mouth.


“She was looking forward to having a grand tea party once all of this was over,” Cain goes on to say, once they finally break apart. “We were to invite everyone, all of our allies. All of our friends.”


“That would have been difficult, my lord, given the fact that our best teas were taken by that convenient little explosion you arranged at the mansion.”


A hushed laugh against the crook of Riff’s neck. “I am certain that you would have been able to whip up something, given time.” Another kiss. “It would have been glorious.”


“Perhaps they shall have one anyway.”


“And part of me is loathe to miss it, almost. I think my sister has the perfect dress for the occasion.”


“Oh? The blue one, is it?”


“Mm. The one we bought for her during that trip to the countryside.”


He feels more than hears the sound of agreement Riff makes. “And you, my lord, would have had to wear that suit she insisted on matching to it.”


“Ugh, that dreadful thing? It has too much color for my tastes.”


“But it would have made her very happy. Besides, those shades would have suited you. They’d bring out the color of your eyes.”


Some distance away from them, someone was sobbing in the dark – a victim, shaken and alive, but likely not for long. Cain barely notices it; what is more important to him is the fact that Riff’s heartbeat has slowed, as has his breath.


“We should sleep, Riff. We can talk more later.”


For once, there is no protest. “Perhaps someone will find you yet, my lord.”


“I would not want that at all,” Cain murmurs much later, as he hears Riff breathe his last. And the last thing he remembers before shutting his eyes is how, even in all of their years spent together, he had never been given the opportunity to watch Riff at rest. It is a beautiful sight, he decides, in his own final moment. A good way to end everything.
 
 
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