Summary: Watching your family die around you leaves a different kind of scar.
The continuation of this headcanon I posted last night because I have no self control. Is anyone surprised because I’m not
The dream starts out the way it always does. Will is standing on the banks of a river while the sky falls around him and a bridge collapses, taking his brother with it.
Will wasn’t there to watch Michael Yew die, but his mind is always more than willing to fill in the details - the groan of metal on metal as the bridge’s hinges give way, deafeningly loud against the backdrop of Manhattan’s unnatural, twisted calm. There are screams in the distance, explosions. The Hudson river tastes like brine and blood in Will’s mouth.
It is with startling clarity that he watches Michael disappear, night after night.
Sometimes, he sees others, too. Selina Beauregard, who taught him how to knot a tie when he was ten. Lee Fletcher, who ruffled his hair on the rare occasion when he managed to hit a target in archery practice. Luke Castellan, who corrected his grip on his very first sword. Charles Beckendorf, who had a laugh like thunder and a smile like lightning.
There are whispers, in Will’s ears, inside his mind. He died a hero, they said, when the shrouds went up in flames. Well, Will doesn’t have much time for heroes. Nobody’s a hero when they’re choking on blood, when the light’s fading from their eyes and they grab Will’s hand and beg for their mother or their father or more ambrosia or the end.
Tonight, though, the dream shifts, and instead of seeing the dead, Will sees Nico.