• Tavorie J

An Aside: Fathers.

They sat at the opening of a cave, watching the rain fall to the ground. It was a cacophony of crystal hitting rocks and other crystals. Loud, ear piercing, annoying. Still, they'd rather sit here in shelter thinking about life and how strange it had become.

"When the silence hits is when I miss him the most." Sylus murmured.

Jeron turned to him.

"It was for the better, though. We all know that. It just," he pulled his legs tighter to his chest, "it hurts to think about sometimes."

Jeron put a hand on his back.

"It's been years since I've seen my son. Decades, even. For him it was no time at all while for me it's been agonizing." Sylus rolled his head on his knees to face Jeron. "But that's the price of being a parent in this kind of world, isn't it?"

Jeron moved closer to him. "I know it's not easy, Sy. Losing my mother devastated me. Losing my father, well, I'm still a bit numb to that." He patted Sylus' leg. "But Daniel's still out there. Alive and well."

Sylus nodded. "But he doesn't even know I exist anymore. He doesn't know me from anyone else. I mean look at me. Do you think he'd want to?" He gestured to himself, emphasizing his eyes and tentacles. "I'm not the father he grew up with so even if he did remember me," he sighed. "I'm not the same."

"Sure you are." Jeron slipped his arm around Sylus'. "You're the same person you always were. Sure you look different, but it didn't take me long to recognize you as the person I always loved."

Sylus grimaced.

"Sy, you're a good father. You gave up so much to keep your son safe. Don't you think that matters? Even if he doesn't know it happened at all?"

Sylus sighed. "I did what I had to to protect him. He'll never know the true horror of this world and that's all I'm grateful for."

"My old man would've never done something like that for me. He woulda told me to just deal with whatever came my way. 'Cuz it'd build character or some shit." Jeron leaned his head against Sylus' arm. "I would've died a looooong time ago if you hadn't been around."

Sylus scoffed. "Liar. You're more than capable of handling yourself."

"Maybe." Jeron sat up, keeping his arm entwined with Sylus'. "But I know without you I would have never come into my own like I have. My old man was never a fan of actually mentoring. His whole thing was trial by fire. You actually helped me cope with myself."

Sylus gave a weak smile.

"I think Daniel would be proud to know you're his father," Jeron continued.

Sylus shook his head. "It doesn't really matter as the nature of the deal means he'll never know I even exist."

Jeron shrugged. "You never know. This world's a strange place. Strange even to the Void. Maybe something will happen and things will change. You never know."

Sylus stared out at the rainfall. "I'd rather assume its impossible and be pleasantly surprised."

"And I'd rather hope it can happen than accept futility."

Sylus turned to him again. "Glad one of us has a positive outlook on things."

Jeron patted him on the back. "That's how it's always been, Sy."

"Hm." Sylus grunted as he looked back out at the crystals falling from the sky. "Maybe someday." He murmured.

Jeron laced his fingers between Sylus' and squeezed him gently.

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