Sometimes I go inside my head.
It was an innocent little phrase, was it not? Understandable. How else can a madman explain what happens when catatonia overtakes? A convenient excuse for the inexcusable, when viscera and brains and Red runs down too-big hands and freckles across shocked eyes and stuttering lips. It wasn't me, It wasn't me; I was inside my head.
She has lived such a long time.
He has lived even longer.
He had no control over this, once, this thing that Myrkeners had mistaken for Catatonia, and he himself could only describe as going Inside His Head
. And when someone like Glenn asked him his age, asked him the Time, the Month, the Year
, his only answers were a frustrating mixture of blank looks and telling the mapmaker what he
thought Glenn might like to hear.
Even now, partially put-together, Catch is not quite certain why no-one really understands how they cannot look right and see themselves, look up and see themselves, look left, look down
he is speaking to a man in a dingy bar, the lights low, the feeling uncertain
he is creeping along the path towards the Tavern. Behind him there are more of him, further and further down the line, and he could take each step if he needed but he was looking for -
he casts himself out into Nothing, where he Knows he is not, because he Knows he is Not where Fionn is Not. His hooves strike into smoke and into glass, shattering callously through obstacles, stricken by wave after wave of Wrongness, Outrage at his audacity -
yes, I am Wrong, and you can do nothing.
He slithers between the Cracks Between Spaces when they thicken them against him, turning to silver smoke and curls of light. They cannot do it all. Every attempt is met with flexible adaptation on his part. And his nostrils flare; his eyes seek; and first he finds One of her. And then Another.
He is no gentle weaver like his Mother. He has not the hands for it. And there is not Time
for gentle explanations.
So he Grasps. And he Pulls. And he exerts unfathomable, unimaginable pressures upon her, pressing, and pressing, and pressing
Until it all pushes back into place. Until her she is no longer conscious that she can
exist like this, can see all Multitudes. Until she is rightfully ignorant of how Time works.
There are hands to grasp her. Black tar grips a human jaw, set so tight that teeth creak, that muscles jump and twitch. Catch is naked, but he doesn't care, has never
cared, and he carefully takes Fionn's battered body into his strong arms, heedless of the horrors of her burns, of the writhing mass that seeks to Rejoin with him.
Mismatched eyes flash, animal-like, in the reflection of falling embers, jabbing at Glenn Burnie. They are full of unspoken accusations, and of Rage.
Because why wouldn't
this be his fault?