Cayde thinks his ribs would be broken, if he still had ribs to break. As-is, the plating on his sternum is crumpled like an aluminum can at the bottom of the seafloor, half his jaw is hanging off, and he can’t feel anything on his right side. The Ace has fallen- maybe 4, 5 feet away? It’s hard to tell, with his vision fading in and out. He coughs a little, dragging himself back on an elbow.
“This is awkward. Uh—you got a gun I can borrow?” He asks to the vague silhouette of a hooded form, backlit by the hole in the wall. The eyes are glowing, if he squints. Awoken probably, but not Razel. Definitely not Razel.
“No.” Definitely not Razel then—his voice is calmer, and he’s holding himself too still. “But I do have a bullet. With your name on it.”
He coughs, and turns it into a chuckle. “Any second, my partner is gonna roll in here.” Another cough. “And kill... every last one of you.”
More coughing, harder to control. “And you, my man.”
The awoken raises a shadowed finger to his lips. “Shhh.” He whispers out, looking down at Cayde. For not the first time in his life, Cayde wishes he could spit.
There’s something in the background—something Cayde is pretty sure isn’t just the pounding in his ears. It sounds like footsteps, if those footsteps were coming from a centipede wearing roller skates. It makes his pounding headache worse.
Uldren—he’s convinced himself it has to be Uldren, that’s the only man he knows who fits the center of the venn diagram of “trying to kill me” and “dramatic bitch”— raises the gun until it’s level with his face.
“This is going to hurt. A lot.” He says, almost smiling. Either he isn’t hearing it, or he’s elected to ignore it. “Any last words?”
Cayde raises himself to his elbows. If he’s going out, if it’s really his time, he’s going out with a bang. There’s a moment where he’s sure the whirring of fans has to be audible as he stretches himself, looking for the perfect line to finish a life with. Something devastating. Uldren squints, but not quite at him.
More towards the wall from whence he came.
And then that wall comes hurtling towards the pair of them, with extreme prejudice. It misses Cayde by feet and for the upteenth time in his life he decides he’s glad to be luckier more than he’s skilled. Uldren gets blown back, the Ace flying out of his grip and towards Cayde. What bursts through the wall after leaves Cayde’s optics blinking, and he’s suddenly no longer sure he hasn’t died. Or passed out. Or is halucinating.
It’s… huge. The size of—of a—of something that escapes him. It fills the hallway at least, and seems to coil further back out. Currently, it is roaring at Uldren, who blinks and starts to run. It could be there’s a mane attached, but mostly his attention is on the eyes. They’re glowing and a beautiful orange, and looking at them feels funny. Cayde thinks he likes it, if he wasn’t busy definetley-not-dying.
It looks at him, and the noise it makes sounds like it might be purring. Then it takes off, running over Cayde’s fallen body and after Uldren who is making a mad dash down the hallway. The second roar shakes the hallway and Cayde can feel it echoing around his chest. Something in his hind-brain, used to keeping him alive, shivers. He manages to flip over on to his chest, craning his neck to try and follow their passage but by the time he manages it, they’ve already disappeared beyond the curve of the hallway.
Time goes fuzzy after that, and he starts to drift in and out of being conscious. Half of him wonders how long it could possibly take Razel to arrive. The other half of him remembers how far he fell, and just hopes he isn’t pinned under a rock somewhere. He keeps coughing.
When he blinks his eyes open, a haze of blue-pink-orange is rounding the corner of the hallway. In the opposite direction of where he thought it’d be coming from. Or maybe he’s just been flipped around. Both are possible.
“Hey, buddy.” He says, trying to crack a smile. His jaw drops a little looser. He coughs.
“Cayde?” Razel says, and that’s a voice he’d recognize anywhere. The warlock starts running for him, bouncing awkwardly on unsteady legs.
“That’s me.” Cayde decides to refrain from smiling, and rolls onto his side.”Glad to see you one last time.”
“Don’t say that.” Razel sits next to him, and scoops Cayde’s head up onto his lap. “Not true.”
“Don’t have a lot more left in me.” Cayde pats his hand, feeling comforted by the hand cupping his cheek. He looks up at Razel, and thinks he sees stuff splattered across his face. “You’ve got a little something there.”
“Cayde, do you want to live?” Razel’s voice is insistent, more direct than he’s ever heard the warlock be. “Do you want to stay with me?”
“‘Course I do, bud.” Cayde’s breaking a little, looking at his face. He reaches up to wipe some of the gunk of Razel’s face. It looks oddly like blood.
“I think I can save you.” Razel leans in closer. “You just need to do something for me.”
“What?” Cayde frowns, shaking his head a little.
“I need you to make a wish.” His eyes are the same shade of orange. “Can you do that for me? Make a wish?”
If he’s asked later, he’ll say it’s the fugue state of pain and blunt-force head trauma. Or maybe he’ll blame it on thinking the offer was a joke, or just wishful thinking on Razel’s part. It’s the eyes, though, that really sell it. He could never say no when Razel looked at him like that.
“I wish we could spend the rest of our lives together.”
“Of course, o partner mine.” Razel smiles wide, and when he squints Cayde thinks he can see far too many teeth in that mouth. He doesn’t move away when the Warlock leans in for a kiss. And then the world goes white.