A man's voice broke into the peaceful world of Will's dream. It was a sunny day, clear and happy, like when his mother was alive. Before everything bad had happened. The voice jarred the white clouds into dark billowing storm clouds, the wind picked up, and a torrent of rain began. The earth shook below Will's feet as the voice shouted louder.
"Will! Wake up, Will!"
Will looked around startled, reaching out for his parents. His smiling mother dissolved into a skeleton, her bones shaking as they fell to the ground and blew away in the wind. Turning to look at his father, Will saw the warm fatherly smile turn into a hardened glare.
"You aren't my son!" his father's voice echoed. And as Adell turned away, the wind whisked him like a scene straight out of The Wizard of Oz.
Will's eyes were wide and baffled. He cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted. "Hey! Come back! Anyone!"
"Will!" the voice broke through the wind, howling with the fierce gale.
He covered his ears, starting to fall in on himself. Closing his eyes tightly, Will shouted and screamed, "No! No! Why did this happen? I just wanted a break from it! So why—"
"WILL!!!" The shout interrupted, jerking the winds into a large gust blowing Will to the ground. It sounded more desperate and concerned.
Then, the dream around Will vanished. With a gasp, his eyes shot open to be blinded by the light of the sky above him. He instantly closed his eyes and re-opened them a moment later, squinting, to see a shadowed figure leaning over him. He groaned, letting his eyes focus onto the figure.
A sigh came from the figure as the head was hung, and Will could make out the dark navy hair, and then the pale skin as the face turned back up with those golden eyes looking him over. "Thank god." He paused, "Are you all right?"
Will blinked a moment, not saying anything. He shifted a bit, sitting up to his elbows. Crow backed up and watched as Will straightened up to be sitting. Will looked around them a bit seeing that all the white fog had disappeared. He was laying on the ground next to the stone fountain, only it had water running through it now. He could also see small white flames and lights moving around them, leaving a wide area clear though so as not to interfere.
Then Will looked back to Crow with his answer, his voice soft and plain. "Yeah."
Crow sighed again in relief, shifting a bit to stand. "Can you get up?" He offered Will a hand, who didn't take it. Will shifted a bit, getting up slowly, drunk on sleep still. "What happened? Why were you out here?"
Will continued to look around them. The area was a courtyard of some kind with all city buildings, like 100 stories tall of apartments, and taller. Their tops vanished into the dark clouds of the sky above them.
Then he looked back to Crow. "I was dreaming."
Crow gave him a confused face, his lip tilted to one side harshly with his brows down. "Dreaming?"
"Yeah." Will looked up and around them, looking for any sign of the whiteness that had enveloped him before. "It was a good dream. A goddess came, and offered me a cloud to sleep on."
Crow's eyes widened instantly and his jaw dropped open. "Wait," he raised a hand, "Goddess? Offered you something?" Will nodded shortly, looking to Crow. Crow could see the sleepiness still hanging on the other. "For free?"
Crow's eyes thinned a bit, "Well… That's uncommon."
"She seemed nice."
Crow waved a hand, "They all do, more or less. Until they tell you what they want." He sighed a breath of frustration. "Anyway, let's get back." He reached for Will's arm, but looked up to the blue eyes when Will stepped back from him.
"What? Why not?" Crow asked, his arm still outstretched.
"I'm not going back there." Will answered, his brows ever so slightly showing a look of anger as they arched downward.
"You have to." Crow answered. He put his hand on his hip. "Gods eat souls. And you are a soul that's unprotected; A fine delicacy to them."
"Then take me back."
Crow looked away, sighing a bit, then back to Will. "I told you. I can't." He grabbed Will's arm. "What did that goddess do to you?"
"Nothing." Will protested, a bit of anger sparking through his voice in a crackle. He stepped back again, trying to pull his arm away. "She just gave me a nice dream."
Then, like a lightbulb went on in his head, Crow knew exactly which goddess Will had run into. He grabbed the collar of Will's shirt and pulled him forward. "No! She didn't! It was a trap. She was trying to kill you." Will settled his face back into its dull look, with a slight hint of a glare burning through the blue to Crow. "Don't you understand? If I hadn't woken you up, you would've died!" Still, Will didn't say anything.
Crow yanked Will's face close to his in his anger. "Why don't you care?!"
Plainly, Will questioned Crow back. "How would that help anything?"
Crow grit his teeth, his frustration boiling over. "Look here! If I hadn't have found you, you would've died! And death doesn't let you escape anything! Not reality, not sadness, nothing! All your pain and sadness that you refuse to feel right now are multiplied by ten when you die, and you are stuck living with that pain until you pass over again and are reborn as a human!"
Will's blank look tipped the frustration Crow felt over the edge. His golden eyes burned and glinted. He jerked and shoved Will down to the concrete. He loomed over him, grabbing Will's collar up, he pulled an arm back and was poised to punch him.
"Don't you get it?!"
Will just then shouted. "Stop it!"
Startled, Crow let go and stepped back off of him.
Will panted with gasps of frustration, his eyes wide. He himself was startled that he had yelled. Crow watched as within seconds Will had composed himself back down to an emotionless young man. He watched as Will shifted back to standing, but refused to look at Crow. Crow opened his mouth to speak but stopped when he heard Will's voice.
"Even if death was right on my neck, it was a happy dream." He paused, speaking softly. "And, I haven't had one of those in years. So… Please, don't… Don't tell me about the sadness and the pain that's waiting for me when I die." He forced a small smile, fake and amused, but a smile. "I kinda feel like I have enough already." And at that he turned his head, looking up to Crow's golden eyes with a smile on his face.
Crow's lips and jaw loosened and relaxed as she saw that sad look in Will's eyes. He looks like a kicked puppy! Crow wanted to ask: Why don't you tell me about what you feel? But, he felt that asking that of Will, right now, would be too much. Instead, Crow swallowed his question as he felt a haunting chill writhe over his spine.
Crown turned and started to walk away. He stopped, looking over his shoulder. "C'mon. Let's head back." Will's small bitter smile had melted away to a blank look once again.
"Summon him closer." Came the haunting man's voice inside Crow's skull, rattling his core.
"I know you don't want to…" Crow added, "But, I'm asking you to."
Without another word said, Crow started to walk back toward the building he had come from. It was noticeable because of a few certain stains and engravings of symbols on its wall. Even if it was just another one of the many apartment-like buildings, the engravings on the door of large cursive and decorated N's was all Crow needed to distinguish it from another. That, and there was a tug inside at his eyes such as a anchor's line would keep a boat steady.
Will looked around him a bit, rubbed his forehead a bit groggily. Then, slowly started to walk after Crow. Crow had left the door open and was already back inside at the kitchen getting a cup of water. Will came in quietly, closing the door behind him. Crow glanced to the kitchen door as he saw Will walk by. Even though he was walking upright, something about his demeanor looked dejected and sullen.
Crow looked to the water in his hand, thinking about going to talk with Will.
But a voice stopped him. "If you go, it'll interfere."
Crow's eyes thinned. His gut twisted into a sharp knot. Anger raged inside him like a torrential tribute to the damned. With a tightened grip on the glass in his hand and glare inward, the only thought that went through Crow's mind was: You're sick.