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Pity the Fool by Website Mutoid

Pity the Fool

by

Website Mutoid

Cally is dead and the night is so very cold and dark.

Tarrant is snoring close to the fire, and Dayna lies next to him. For warmth or protection? I can't tell. I pretend to sleep, because pretending to sleep is easier than sitting awake in silence as Avon does.

He looks like a ghost, but Cally's the one who's dead. I've never seen him so shocked, so pale. Not in all the time I've known him. Cally's dead and it hurts. Hurts so much I wonder if I can bear it without going mad. And then I look at Avon sitting in the light of the flickering flames and I somehow know that nothing will ever be the same. Not for him, not for me. Maybe not even for the other two, although their bond with her is... was... not as deep.

He loved her. He didn't want to, I know that, but he did. Loved her as deeply and completely as any man possibly could, but because he's a fool a brilliant, misanthropic fool he never admitted it. Not to himself. Cally knew. Of course Cally knew. They fought and bickered and quarrelled and loved each other, and I don't suppose either of them ever said the words out loud.

And look at him now, our brilliant fool. The better part of him is dead. And buried.

Something about them fascinated me. Was it jealousy? Envy? I don't know. I'd see all the tiny, intimate clues and wonder why it only seemed to be me who understood what was going on between them.

Our ashen friend looks as if he might cry, but I know he won't. He won't voice the pain, won't throw his head back and howl like a wolf. He should. But he won't. He'll just hate himself a little bit more with every passing moment. Hate himself for losing the one thing he should have held on to above everything else.

I'm thinking about the night I nearly walked in on something I most definitely shouldn't have seen. I'm thinking about how damned tender he was when he kissed her, and how she didn't hesitate to kiss him back. I'm thinking about the tragedy of where we all are now. I'm thinking about how cold it is, and how eerie the noises of the night are.

Pity the fool.

Cally is dead.

I want to shout the words at the dark sky. I want to rage at the stupidity of it all. Instead, I pretend to stir slightly in my feigned sleep.

He looks across at me, and he truly is a hollow man. I remember the way he'd close his eyes, just for a second, if she brushed against him with that mischievous glint in her eye. I remember no-one else ever noticed. No-one else ever noticed how he'd stand with a hand on her shoulder, ever noticed how she'd sit just a fraction too close to him. Ever noticed that when they fought, they cut and sliced at each other the way only those who have shared the quiet night hours truly can.

She knew him. Knew him far better than any of us. She knew him, and she didn't fear him. She'd hold out her hand, and if he clawed it, she'd simply wait for the next opportunity to hold it out again. And I don't dare think how many times our spitting, snarling ball of fury slashed at her with his sharp claws. Infinite patience, Cally had. At least, enough patience to sometimes draw the feral alley cat in to sit placidly beside the hearth.

He's still staring at me, but I doubt he sees me.

There is iron in his soul. We all know it. If anyone survives this, it will be him. Actually, the question will not be whether or not he survives, but what it will cost him to do so.

I loved her, too. That's what I want to say, but I think if I tried he might kill me on the spot.

Unable to keep the pretence going, I sit up. I pretend to yawn and rub my eyes, but actually I don't really care whether he believes the charade or not. Not wanting the others to stir, I keep my voice down as I ask, "What time is it?"

He doesn't answer. I didn't think he would.

Cally is dead. What else is there for either of us to say?

***



Pity the Fool was originally published on the old Horizon Website in 2009

All original fan fiction hosted on Horizon is copyright to the individual authors. No attempt is being made to supersede any copyright held by the estate of Terry Nation, the BBC, B7 Media, Big Finish or any other licensees or holders of copyright on Blake's 7 material.

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