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[ dragon ]
The smoke infiltrates his lungs and he can see her. He can see her, but he knows this feeling in his chest isn´t real. He knows she wasn´t the love of his life, and he knows the love he feels for her is that only of replacement. His wife, his lovely wife, is gone, and Mary? Mary´s an Unfortunate. She´s an Unfortunate, and she´s easy to love, because there´s an infinite sadness in Abberline and it lets him feel her pain.
So he goes to the den and he chases the dragon and he knows he´ll never catch it. He´ll never catch it, but it will catch him. And he wants it to. He wants it to catch him because it´s too much. Living, breathing, this loneliness, is too much. Too much pain, too much heartache, too much regret, too much anger. He wants it to catch him and do with him as it will, because it´s easier to be the victim of the dragon than the victim of poor timing.
But this time it freezes. This time he breathes it in and he never breathes it out. His muscles freeze and his heart stops, and all he sees is green pastures of what could have been, what might be. Green pastures, and Mary as he wished her to be, and a child that didn´t die with its first breath. Ireland, and freedom, and no more pain, and this is where he wants to be. This is where he wants to be, and in these final moments maybe he actually can.
The smoke leaves his lungs, but he´s already gone. Lost in the haze, and in the fire, in the green pasture that no one truly ever really gets to have. Sitting in the grass that will never be that green, with the wife that never would have been real, and the child that never would have loved him as much as he did in this vision.
He´ll never know that Godley will be the one to find him, his hair gone white. He´ll never hear the tears caught in Godley´s throat and the whispered words of goodnight sweet prince.´ He´ll never know that he didn´t have to be as alone and sad as he´d always felt, because he´ll never get the chance to see that if Godley cared that much about him, maybe that meant he was worthy of it.
So the dragon caught him, and ripped him to shreds, but he never felt it.
He never felt it, because shreds was what he was already in.
So rest in peace, my sweet prince, as you never truly did in life.
Rest, and be done.