A Pact Between Strangers
❛ rasmus would rather see him lose himself to his madness and rage, ❜ don juan explains with fleeting glances thrown rouven’s way. he’s unique, and he has more guts than the horse masked woman dares to admit; coming here. coming to the apartment that jacket always ‘mysteriously’ wound up in. her eyes flutter shut for a moment. he came with purpose, though it was unknown to her. she supposes he may kill her for what she’d done, for what they’d done to him. taking away everything, turning him into a monster, but he willingly became one. he turned into one before her very eyes and as much as she had tried to give him humanity - to show remorse. she was drowned out by rasmus, richard remaining true neutral hadn’t been enough.
❛ i can’t save him, you know that. ❜
His eyes were tired. Sunken, hollow, utterly exhausted. There was a mutual calm shared between them. He wondered how he got here. He wondered how anyone got here. There was never a set destination in mind, no one went, they just seemed to appear on a whim. Maybe it was a dream. Maybe it was a non-corporeal reality. Maybe Rouven was drunk again, an attempt to drown his own personal demons.
Whatever the reason, he was there now. It appeared to him as a decrepit apartment, bugs and rot and black mold leaning oppressively on him, overwhelming, crushing. And yet, there was no fear, no hesitation. No sense of drowning under the rank smell of gum disease and the sound of static in his ears.
Just him, and a scantily clad, horse-masked woman.
Rouven sat down, crossing his legs at the calf and tucking his feet beneath his knees, hands resting folded in his lap and expression placid. Breathing deeply, calm, trying not to get swept under the proverbial tidal wave that threatened to roll over him. What a strange place, what a strange place. They both knew who she was talking about. Who he came to seek answers for, or perhaps just to talk about. Just to solidify that he was there, and what he was doing was real. He felt the urge to cry, tears forming behind his closed eyelids, but didn’t threaten to spill over. She couldn’t save him. None of them could.
Why was he here again?
“I know.” He said, voice suddenly a hoarse croak.
He had spent so long trying to fix him. Trying to fix himself, more like it, trying to vicariously make everything better and failing. In failing his friend, he failed himself. He failed so much.
“Why would you do that?” Rouven asked, opening his eyes and staring at her through tears, jaw trembling in slight. “Why would you do that to him?”
The Lieutenant wasn’t foolish enough to say that Richard wasn’t truly like that. But he had the capacity to turn away from that cliff’s edge, and instead, Don Juan sent him barreling over.
Or maybe he just didn’t want to accept the truth that he sent himself over.