Come back home, Wraith
Tw: deathtrope, pain | SOC duology spoilers!
Thank you so much to @emmaannaelisabeth for contributing your ideas into this ( that one conversation we had lol ) and also this was inspired by the song Surrender by Natalie Taylor
He was still standing there, before sunrise, at Berth 22. He heard whispers from each and every corner of Ketterdam that made his spine shrill. ‘’Have you heard? The Wraith’s ship is gone.’’.
Yet Kaz still visits the harbour every morning, hoping for her return.
It was impossible to imagine that Inej was gone. She would’ve found a way out.
The other dregs told him that it was no point, that she was gone forever but still, Kaz was in denial. He could still hear the silence loudly. Well, that was what he kept telling himself. His friends have been trying to be strong for him, especially Jesper. But Nina could hear the dead whispering in her ears. She could hear Inej, the guilt Inej held.
‘’I should’ve stayed. I shouldn’t have drifted away.’’
‘’You listened to your heart, Inej. You chased your dreams, you saved lives.’’
Kaz was still at the harbor. Head down, hat off. His bare hands were resting on the crow’s head of his cane when Jesper found him. He needn’t have to announce his presence. Jesper stood next to Kaz, looking far out at sea, both of them in silence. ‘’Kaz,’’ Jesper said suddenly, his voice softened, ‘’you think she’s still out there?’’
‘’I know she’s still out there.’’ But that was not true. Kaz Brekker has lost all hope that his Wraith would come back home to him. He never heard silence so silent before. He just needed his crew to think he was brave, stubborn and still in denial.
‘’Well then, I believe you.’’ Jesper lied. He knew damn well that Nina could hear the dead but he just needed to be strong for Kaz, his brother. Kaz had been acting as if nothing had happened but he felt empty deep inside, and Jesper knew it. They were both standing there once again in silence.
I needed you to stay, Inej. But I let you drift away.
Jesper sighed, lowering his head and walked away quietly, leaving Kaz there alone.
Memories filled his mind. He remembered the time on their way back to Ketterdam from the Ice court when he had asked her to stay. He clearly recalled what happened then. I will have you without armour, Kaz Brekker, or I will not have you at all.
My love, where are you?
His thoughts brought him to the time in the hotel bathroom where he bandaged her, after a knife-battle with Dunyasha. His lips gently brushed the soft spot on her neck. How he wished he could do that once again, just once. He remembered how he clutched her tightly as she was bleeding all over his shirt as they were about to leave for the Ice-court heist. How he said she was nothing more than an investment to him. Foolish, foolish, foolish
Kaz looked down, a tear escaped from his left eye. He couldn’t help it. His Wraith was actually gone.
She’s not coming back. He shivered at the thought of that. Why was love always taken away from him? He was still mourning Jordie and now he had to mourn Inej, the love of his life. Another one lost to the waters. How was he going to resume life with the emptiness inside of him?
The sun was about to rise and he needed to leave before people saw him at his lowest, most vulnerable moment. He needed to put on a brave face again, letting people believe that he truly had no emotions, letting them be frightened of his ruthlessness. For the people of Ketterdam, he was the monster under every bed as one slept in. They knew him as the coldest, ruthless criminal without a heart. They believed he didn’t need a reason. But as far as he knew, t’was only Inej that knew what he truly was. Only she knew his secrets, not using it against him for her own benefits. But Inej was gone, gone to the sea, forever lost.
“Whenever you’re ready ‘Nej,’’ he whispered, ‘’whenever you’re ready... Come back home. Please?’’
It was suddenly windy, which doesn’t happen often in Ketterdam as the sun rises. He felt his face openly exposed to the breeze.
Keep her safe for me, Jordie.