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She didn't need to stagger far. Tears welling up in his eyes, he closed the distance as quickly as his feet would carry him. He didn't give a damn how dirty she was, or how red her eyes were. She was the most beautiful sight he could have hoped to see, simply because of who she was. If she absolutely had to be in this godforsaken hellhole, there was no place he'd rather she'd be than in his arms, safe and sound, the one place he knew no one could hurt her. Immediately, he wrapped his arms around her, embracing her with every ounce of energy he had left. He sniffed. If Mary Ann hadn't cleaned herself in the previous couple of days, she needn't worry, as she was getting a shower right now.

He had so much he wanted to say to her. He wanted to confess what he'd done. To explain why he had to do it. To ask if she could ever forgive him, if she could ever see him the same way again. He wanted to tell her it would all be okay. That he would stay with her to the end. That he wouldn't let anything happen to her. That if he had to, he would give his last breath in the hopes that she made it home safe. That god dammit, forget what he'd thought earlier, he did love her, and nothing would ever change that.

That he hoped she would please just stay with him.

That he just didn't want to die alone.

He almost tried, too.
<Mimi>: You are much nicer than I thought you'd be!
<Stark>: Shut up, fatty.
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The Cries of the Voiceless · The Felled Forest: North