He knows that he should have retreated to bed, but as the sun continues to rise it is hard to pull himself away from the words. He reads hungrily, pausing only on occasion as a well of emotion surprises him. He is vaguely aware of his wife greeting him in the morning, taking one look at how enraptured with the story he is before deciding to leave him alone. When he is like this, there is no point trying to convince him to rest.
Footsteps approach from the stairs. He already knows who they belong to; it’s hard not to be familiar with them after all this time, even without vampire hearing.
He pushes the journal away, swallowing back pain. When his friend arrives into the room, he is greeted with a pitiful look.
“You might want to read these,” he says, nodding to the notebooks as stoically as he can. Given the circumstances, he does surprisingly well. His friend cocks an eyebrow and reaches out for one, flicking through the pages and then –
“Oh,” he says in surprise. And then again; “oh.”
His friend levels him with a perceptive look. “Sorry for reading them before me, or sorry for all the things you like to blame yourself for?”
He smiles humourlessly. “I am guilty for them, whether you blame me or not.”
His friend answers with a sigh, skimming the lines with a drawn expression. “I haven’t thought about them in so long. God, dad and Jasmine…” Law shuts the book and knuckles away a tear. “Immortality has its downfalls, doesn’t it?”
“It does,” he agrees quietly, steepling his fingers.
“You look like hell. Have some of my plasma OJ. Can I take these? I think Chase would like to read them, too.”
“You’re very peppy for someone who’s been given the journals of all the people he’s lost.”
Law shrugs a shoulder. “I would have grieved for my parents anyway. And as for Echo and Lukas… Of course it still hurts.” He swallows thickly, eyes misting again. “But I knew the choice I was making would mean I’d watch my family grow old. In fact, becoming a vampire was probably one of the few reasons they got to grow old. That includes you, too, longface.” He peers at the next journal waiting to be picked up and grins. “I hope you realise how much of a prick you were back then.”
“Trust me,” he says around a groan, “I do.”
“Good.” Law pauses, reaching out to clap his friend’s shoulders. “Because you really were a prat.”
He shrugs his friend off and brings the next journal to him. It holds a story very close to his heart, and he thinks – wrongly – that this will be the most painful part.
“Here we go,” he murmurs to himself, taking the letter labelled ‘3’.
One morning, many years ago, a boy threw a handful of pebbles at my beautiful window. Little did he know I was right behind him.
“Why?” I asked. “What spurred you to do this?”
He turned and peered up at me. He was a stubborn boy; I could see it in his eyes. “I wanted to break it,” he muttered.
My window is stained glass. I am proud of its beauty. “Why?” I questioned again.
Now he became petulant. “I don’t know.”
I did. Many people want to break beautiful things. They will hunt foxes and burn buildings and scar children – beauty is uncontrollable, and there are those that take joy in killing what they cannot control.
These are the people we fight, but as always, it is a matter of personal preference on how far will we go. This is what you found out here, wasn’t it? It was this decision that made me truly think you could replace me. I am only sorry that in my paranoia I continued to test you, or at least I allowed you to act without my help. I hope that you can see why I did this, just as I hope that you do not judge yourself too harshly for what, in reality, is my failing.
a/n: so, you now see why I chose to focus on Law instead of Echo. He’s going to be around for a long time to come!