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Sleeping beauty

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"Just go to sleep." You told her, and left. Abandoned her.

For all her caution, it was her idea; to go back, set right what had doomed this game and the two of you--doomed her.

"Just go to sleep."

- - - - - - - - - -

The three years you spent with John and Jade were some of the happiest you remembered, laced with the tang of guilt on your tongue.

This timeline, built atop the corpses of both yourself and them, among countless others across the myriad realities that spanned this black stain spinning across time and space.

You started a relationship, and ended it. Shortly before their trip had finished, you left the two of them to be with you from this reality. The "real" Dave. Their Dave.

You wandered.

You even went to high school. Found love again in that dork in the pink unitard. Discovered the horrifying consequences of being a gaming abstraction.

One "route" through a fixed loop in time.

Your heart broke every new game.

So eventually you left.

You drifted, but as Time would have it you found your way back to them as the dust settled; Their foe defeated.

It was the first time you'd seen her since the scratch. Swathed in bright colors, all soft smiles and easy words, it was like she had changed from the moon to the sun.

Your eyes met.

You waited for that slight change, the way their gaze would slide off of your differences. It was a small thing.

Even Jade--bless her heart, had done it. She hated herself for it, and you couldn't let that eat at her.

Instead she approached and reached out, her finger barely brushing your cheek.

She looked across your face, your wings, your wounds, the changes the game had made to you. Tears welling in her eyes as she recognized you. As she remembered.

You were tackled with a noise from you that was most definitely not a squawk and she just

held you.

John tapped Jade's shoulder and dissipated with a grin, The girl popping after him not a second after, space collapsing to fill where she stood previously.

Dave looked at the two of you for a moment, then flitted away.

Then the tears came.

- - - - - - - - - -

The two of you lay there, recounting the time you had both gained and lost, until your wing grew cramped being pinned under you and you were forced to sit up and stretch.

She told you of her actions up to the scratch, of her time on the meteor, and the battles waged when she arrived in this new game.

She told you about meeting her mother and daughter, meeting your father and brother. That she had found love during her journey.

You weren't at all surprised that she had hooked up with a lesbian alien vampire. It broke your heart was probably as normal as either of you were going to manage, to be honest.

She told you that she was still waiting for you out there.

- - - - - - - - - -

It had taken time to reach it, even with the unfathomable darkness laid bare in the aftermath of your friends' battle.

You found her sleeping, just as you left her. Your senses informed you that only scant hours had passed here since you left all those years ago.

 

"Good morning, Rose."