Brazil and a wizard
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T/w: blood, violence, death, near death.

Rhea raises a hand and the small cavernous space fills with that awful screech. Dei freezes and immediately hates his first thought. Winter.

He turns to see Winter rushing towards him, his arms outstretched as he pushes Dei out of the way. Red fills his vision as the raven sinks its beak into Winter's chest, burrowing itself there and ripping out a blur of red. Winter's face freezes as he sinks to the floor, his eyes wide with pain and shock.

Dei tries to catch him, but Winter slips through his fingers, leaving blood all over his hands.

A low laugh fills the chamber, echoing off of the rock and returns to Dei as his own. Rhea steps forward, sweeping her gaze past Winter and her raven to Dei.

"Do you understand?" She says. "This is what you did to me."

Dei falls to his knees, cradling Winter's head in his lap as he stares down at his eyes. Slowly, Winter's eyes grow dim as he smiles up at Dei.

"Well," he begins, his voice strained and weak. "That was not a success."

"Shut up," Dei curses, bringing his shaking hands toward the gaping wound in Winter's chest and stopping just short of it. He can't do it. He can't help Winter. "Why? Why?"

From the folds of her clothes, Rhea procures a dagger, the shining ivory hilt glimmers in the darkness as she raises it above her head. "Don't worry, Amadei," she drawls. "You won't be alone for long."

An arrow whizzes past his head and burrows itself in Rhea's thigh with a sickly sound. A thundering of steps crashes into the chamber as Viktoria's voice rises above it all.

She's shouting for Dei as more arrows fly by, digging into flesh and feathers. The raven screeches, twisting and turning its body to escape and protect Rhea, and fails at both. Once the last arrow has been shot, Mal steps over the ravens body and digs his hand into its wing, every black feather shinign with even darker blood, and pushes it aside.

Rhea lays against the crook of the ravens body, her eyes remaining open in death and her body is littered with arrows, Mal admires the sight.

"Stupid wizard," Winter groans, too much anger in his voice for him to truly be dying. "Always a little too late."

"Too late?" Mal grins as Viktoria kneels beside her brother before catching sight of the person within the glass coffin. "I'm exactly on time."

"What?" Viktoria exclaims as she inches closer to the corpse of her mother, recognising the too thin woman with her faded eyes and hair only dimly.

Dei sits frozen as Winter closes his eyes in his arms, too tired and weak to remain awake. He has half a thought to shake him, to keep him conscious, but can't get himself to move. He whispers his name, tries to get the vowels to come out twice before he finally realises the tears falling onto Winter's face are his own. "Don't die," he begs, his voice cracking with desperation. "Don't leave me behind."

Mal squats down beside Viktoria, whose unreadable face collapses as he brings a hand to her arm, steadying her as she falls to her knees. The goddess of the berg opens her blind eyes, and turns towards her daughter, unrecognizing. Blind and mute, she closes her eyes once more, unaware of the blood and the years that have passed.

With the death of Rhea, the magic keeping her alive slowly slips away, leaving her to an endless sleep, one she will never wake from, and her daughter cries the last of her tears for her. Mal presses his hand into Viktoria's and lets her sit for a moment before turning to Dei.

"Go," he says. "We'll follow close behind."

Dei does not move, he watches as the color drains from Winter's face and feels his body fill with so much self loathing, he's sure he can never get up again. He looks up at the blood sprayed over the amber rock and the corpses of the raven and Rhea and he looks at his sister and he realizes with a start that he's useless. A soft sound drags his attention back to Winter, who has opened his eyes wide in pain as Mal digs his fingers into the wound, staring up at Dei.

"I said, go. Unless you want me to kill him here."

"Fuck you," Dei spits, but finally feels his limbs again.

The chamber with its echo and its corpses and the tunnels and its rock carvings pass in a blur as Dei carries a heavy Winter on his back. The cold wind cuts into his skin as he is spat out onto the mountain. Night has brought itself over the forest as the moon shines high onto the ghostly limbs of the birch trees, casting an eerie glow across Winter's pale face.

Despite the snow and the cold, Dei does not stop moving until he has found the path down and he continues onward, the burning of his legs only edging him forward faster.

"Don't you dare die," he whispers, his ragged breath stretching each word out until they cut his throat. He takes in a shaky freezing breath and watches as Winter's breath sends small clouds into the dark air and feels a certain calmness take over.

The night makes strange that which is known, and Dei passes everything he is supposed to know. The streets he used to play in as a child, the coffee shops he used to eat frequent during exam season, the tall and enduring apartment buildings rising to his left and his right. Only the weight on his back, still warm with life, remains known.

When finally, his own front door comes into sight, Dei's shaky legs give out under him. He falls on the street hard, with all of Winter's weight on him. He takes in a mouthful of snow and tries to get back up, failing first, then twice, before he feels Winter's body shiver against him.

"We're almost home," he whispers, tiredness setting in. "Hold on."

The last of the night is taken by exhaustion as he lays Winter down on the bed, not caring for the blood soaking through his sheets or his coat or the wooden floor.

"Just live," he begs, kneeling down by his side, his hands hesitating over the wound. "Please."

Winter looks at him through heavy lidded eyes. "Would love to," he says, dragging the word out slowly.

The doorbell rings and with part fear and part hope, Dei goes to open it, finding Mal and Viktoria on the other side.

"So," Mal says, pushing past him. "How was Brazil?"

Dei keeps from cursing by keeping his gaze fixed on Viktoria's red rimmed eyes. There's anger in her stare, but she says nothing as she follows behind Mal.

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