Hey not all character death is meant to add shock to the narrative.
The existence of a character who is “doomed” by the narrative, whose death is fated by factors both of their creation and not; factors that may have once been in their control but haven’t for so long that they were effectively factors created by a different version of themselves is not “shock”.
This is a gift for Lena on the occasion of her birthday, so first of all you should totally go wish her a happy birthday. She’s wonderful and deserves all kinds of lovely things.
This fic ended up straying a little off my usual path, partly in order to keep the thing self-contained (because several of my initial ideas would have, uh, exploded into epics, and I wanted to have something finished). I had fun, though. Really I should write more things with characters mucking around in each others’ heads, it’s way too much fun. There’s so much potential when you’re writing about peoples’ dreams.
A note: there’s some horror imagery in here, though it remains (imo) fairly mild. Title, if you were wondering, comes from “As I Walked Out One Evening” by W.H. Auden.
Thanks to my ever wonderful beta for a quick turnaround, enabling me to actually post this on time. And happy birthday to one of my favorite people in fandom.