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Empathy for the Devil

By Rigel99

Romance / Horror

Chapter 1

Every element in existence has its polar opposite; had it not, it would cease to exist. 

And just as the senses cannot truly be independently isolated from each other, the same in both cases can be said of myself and Will Graham. 

Before our plunge into dark waters, from the cliff where stood the place I had undertaken the fall and rise of Miriam Lass and Abigail Hobbs, I felt within what it truly meant to fall. I had given up experiencing anything so fresh and invigorating in my life. That was, of course, until I met Will. I permitted myself the luxury of feeling what it meant to lose myself and share the definition of my very being with another. I merged with his empathy and he saw my true psyche in all its raw darkness. He shone the light of his own nature into my soul and understood.

Life, it seemed, had rewarded my patience with the gift of Will Graham. I had no intention of letting that gift slip away.

Yes, the gunshot was deep but it had not penetrated any vital organs - well, immediately vital - or major blood vessels. I trusted my propensity for quick healing would not fail me now. The act of killing may come easily to someone as dedicated to the craft as I, and while I take life with relative ease, my own, by definition, is decidedly difficult to end. The essences I have consumed through the years have afforded me a vitality and vigour for which I am truly grateful. Grateful now in this moment more than ever.

The fall was brief, the impact of the treacherous water, hard. But my grip on my treacherous empath was equally so. I had, after all, no intention of letting my Phoenix endure such a bright but brief existence in this world. I could have let him die, but the threads that bind our souls are so inexorably weaved together, it would surely mean my own demise. Not necessarily in the physical sense but certainly in that of the metaphysical. Such a scenario would be simply unacceptable.

I hauled our broken bodies onto the nearest rock and assessed the damage inflicted by Francis Dolarhyde. My empath was breathing. Life had not left him and my instincts told me that it would not any time soon. Together, from the life we had taken only minutes before, we had absorbed the essence of the Dragon. I had given brief consideration as to why I failed to experience even a slight tinge of regret at having robbed the world of something so beautiful, but the Dragon had been struggling for release from Dolarhyde’s betrayal. It was but the design of the Universe that it be released from Dolarhyde's hold. Will and I had welcomed the Dragon with open hearts and minds, providing a new home in our shared souls. 

The tide already begins its retreat. I look to the horizon. Dawn approaches. And with it, the FBI would soon be circling the blood-soaked scene above, marking the end of one life and the beginning of two more. Of course, our bodies would never be found, which undoubtedly would lead to endless speculation. I would expect no less given the tenacious nature of Jack Crawford.

I gaze at the face of Will Graham and begin to design our foreseeable future. Dominance. Control. Death. These things may come to me as easily as drawing breath, but I have no such plans for Will Graham. He will come to me yes, but he will do so of his own volition. After all he has given me, I owe him that much.

The sea had calmed. 

Her normal ruthlessness, it seemed, had offered a reprieve. She had swallowed us up with every intention of devouring us whole, but she hadn’t been prepared for the strength of her prey. I may not harbour any overwrought sentimentalities towards the human herd, aside from the quality of the meat it yields and the nourishment it provides, but the unbridled force of Nature on the other hand, was something for which I possessed unwavering reverence. 

Having stemmed the bloodflow with a sock and my shirt tied round my waist, I made the short swim to the boat that sat moored on the other side of the cliff rock face. I returned to retrieve the still unconscious body of Will. Taking a deserted line of the coast, I basked in the sun’s slow ascent, it and the moon the only witnesses to our creation, our beautiful homage to birth and death. This night would never fade from my mind. I would hang the tapestry of blood-consuming annihilation in a special room in my memory palace. I would carefully dissect each moment, each sweep of Will’s knife, each line on his face and the changing hue of his eyes as he bathed in the Dragon’s blood, erupted from the throat I had ripped from our prey. Piece by piece, I would analyse and reconstruct the glory of the night. My work in the field of psychiatry had never yielded such a beautiful opportunity, such an exquisite mind… 

I looked over the wheel and down to the deck at his prone body, carefully wrapped in the blankets I kept on board. Granted, I never considered they would be employed for this purpose, but preparation for all eventualities was one of my many strong suits. 

As I permitted myself the luxury of admiring his almost serene expression, his face now washed clean of the blood that had slicked his skin hours earlier, I paused in my musings to study my motives. After the night we had both shared, could I delineate between the personal and the professional? Will Graham had begun blurring those boundaries some time ago. I could always effectively judge and define the moments we traversed as colleagues and those which we occupied as friends. But on the Night of the Dragon? Would this shared experience make differentiation impossible? I must admit to a rising interest in such a possibility. I had thought I had discovered and defined all there was to know of myself. I was comforted by that knowledge and the control it afforded me. It seemed Will Graham’s propensity for standing beside the Devil and defying the deep blue sea had revealed new potential.

But first things first. I set my mind on the priorities at hand. Our physical traumas required immediate medical attention. I would find us temporary accommodation and tend to us both. 

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