Retcon Heir

There are few things worse than a loved one gone missing. At least one of those is not knowing if there was anyone to miss in the first place.

This is a tale of tales. Of gods, memories, mythtellers, a Muse, an Author, and the friend She seeks in the world She helped knit into Being.

http://archiveofourown.org/works/974474?view_full_work=true

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7. Chapter 5

JOHN: well yeah, when you say it like THAT it sounds dumb.

 

Half of John’s face glows with sunlight. In an interesting coincidence, the storm that had surrounded the area had almost instantly cleared when John stepped out the door, so you had decided to take your conversation outside. Calliope is enjoying the pleasant weather as well, though a ways away from the two of you. The mythtellers are crowded around her in a semicircle, almost entirely entranced by her words--save for the occasional glances shot in your direction.

 

More likely than not, they’re more interested in him than you. Aside from the fact that you pulled him out of a flat object the size of a book, John just plain looks more the part of a god than you do (even back in your usual wardrobe). Bright blue ensemble and windsock hood aside, he’s definitely the bigger presence here, all six feet of long limbs and broad shoulders, a somewhat surprising background to his glasses and slightly lopsided teeth.

 

If those hunched shoulders are anything to go by, he’s a) very aware of their glances and b) not liking them. Casually you move between him and the others.

 

ROSE: Personally, I don’t think there was that much embellishment to be done.

JOHN:

JOHN: maybe.

ROSE:

ROSE: If this whole mess has proven anything, it’s that I don’t understand you at all, John.

 

He cracks half a smile at that.

 

JOHN: what? rose lalonde, superpsychologist extraordinaire, not able to stick her weird metaphoric fingers in someone’s headstuff? say it ain’t so.

ROSE: Despite my fondness for poking my bony little digits in everyone’s heads, I accept that I’m not necessarily the best at it.

ROSE: And if I can sink to that level of humility, I think you can too.

JOHN:

JOHN: right. fine.

JOHN: i’m sorry. this was all really dumb and silly of me.

JOHN: i just-!

JOHN: well. i guess she told you everything.

ROSE: She told me, but she didn’t make me understand.

ROSE: How the hell could you think so little of yourself that the only acceptable option for you would to be to erase yourself from the lives of your loved ones?

JOHN:

JOHN: god, i don’t know, rose.

JOHN: it’s always felt like this.

JOHN: i mean, it wasn’t so heavy back then. before...everything. it just came out in little ways, like those posters.

JOHN: but during the ship ride, it just started coming out more and more.

JOHN: and then, when we won and everything was so great, we all began talking about everything. you know, remembering and stuff.

JOHN: and i just...i realized how little i really did. and how most of what i did do was because there was someone smarter than me helping along the way. and i thought about how silly, and honestly dumb i was sometimes--

ROSE: Yes, how dare a thirteen year-old commit the sin of being silly.

JOHN: --and how really competent everyone else was! like, dave had to do all that time shit, jade fucking lived alone on hellmurder island for ten years, and don’t even get me started on roxy or dirk, or jake or the trolls or

JOHN: or you.

JOHN: i mean, you went through SO MUCH shit! i can’t even imagine what it was like, being all possessed and tentacle-y

JOHN: and having to see your mom like that.

JOHN: and having to put up with an idiot babbling his head off during all that.

ROSE: ...John.

JOHN: and then the whole thing with the green sun, having to go through all that!

JOHN: honestly, the thought of me being on par with you guys...

JOHN: it felt a little like i was insulting you or something.

ROSE:

ROSE: John, I think you should know that everyone handles things differently. We are no exception.

ROSE: All of us reacted to the stress of the game in different ways. Some with humor. Some with dedication. Some in more

ROSE: destructive ways.

ROSE: I’m not exactly a paragon of virtue on that front.

ROSE: But more to the point, just because you had a slightly different role than others doesn’t mean you were any less important. And like I said, I truly believe your role in uniting us was one of the most vital roles in our path towards victory.

ROSE: And I think it’s worth noting that your omitting yourself from our memories was about as subtle as a slap to the face.

ROSE: John, you can not fathom how important you are to us.

ROSE: Even aside from the game.

ROSE: Before it all happened, we were all just a bunch of awkward teenagers with all our own hangups. Hell, we still are. But you’re always the one who knows exactly how to confront them.

ROSE: You inspired Dave to seek his own identity.

ROSE: You inspired Jade to persevere against trouble, even when things were uncertain.

ROSE: You inspired me to try and let my guard down more.

ROSE: And...

ROSE: And so much more, honestly. If you had any idea of how much you helped me...

 

There’s a sudden dryness in your throat. John is looking at you with an unfamiliar expression.

 

ROSE: At my lowest points, you offered me your hand. Even if I hissed at you like some interdimensional snake, even if I tottered towards you on the bad end of a hangover, you were always there for me. You accepted me, for the good parts of me, and the bad.

ROSE: John...

ROSE: No offense, but if you ever try to claim that you are not important ever again, I may have to smack the stupid out of you.

ROSE: Because as much as you fear that being our companion was “an insult” to us, the only way you have ever insulted me, truly insulted me, was to think you aren’t important.

ROSE: Because I can’t think of anyone more important than the boy standing in front of me now.

JOHN:

JOHN:

JOHN:

JOHN: shit, rose.

JOHN: what do you even say to that?

ROSE: ...You could say that you’ll never try anything like this again.

ROSE:  You could say that you’ll try to care about yourself as much I do.

 

You take one of his hands in between yours. Slowly, but deliberately, you lift it to your mouth. The sound that passes between your lips and his skin is almost inaudible.

 

ROSE: And you could say that you’ll come back with us.

 

You politely pretend to mistake the reddening of his face for the last remains of sunset.

 

JOHN: ...geeeeeeeez.

JOHN: if i HAVE to.

ROSE: I know, I’m just so demanding.

JOHN: i know!!!!!!!!

JOHN: good thing you’re so cute. :P

ROSE: ... :)

JOHN: :)

 

His hand is warm in yours, palm slightly too wide for your fingers to close around. You think you could get used to the feeling.

 

ROSE: Come on, John.

ROSE: Let’s go home.

 

~ ※ ~

 

by breath, by light

by space, by time.

i spin my words,

i weave my rhyme.

 

and so the heir

did see the light.

he took his wrongs

and made them right

 

the toxic voice

which filled his head

was snUffed right out

and better dead

 

for then he knew

that in the end

that when Unsure

he had a friend

 

and all aroUnd him

helping hands

were always there

with no demands

 

and then he knew

deep in his heart

what he had seeked

he had from start

 

his pUrpose found,

he and the seer

did join their hands

and leave Us here

 

so what will come

to be of them?

i gUess, for now

 

CALLIOPE: it’s Unwritten. UωU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROSE: ...Speaking of writing,

 

ROSE: Calliope.

ROSE: I’m just DYING to hear where your followers got the inspiration for some of these stories.

ROSE: I just heard the most interesting one not too long ago.

ROSE: What was it... “The Creation?”

ROSE: Maybe you’ve heard of it.

 

CALLIOPE:

 

 

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