Chapter 7

Glint's shell showed the scars of Spider's implements.

"I'm so sorry." Crow's voice was barely a whisper. For all his strength as a Lightbearer, he looked small seated on the floor in his den, illuminated by the pale glow of a solitary lamp. Crow cradled Glint in his cupped hands. The ghost's monocular eye stared up at him and flickered weakly. "I'm so, so sorry."

"It's all right." Glint couldn't blame Crow. "I—I think I'll be fine. Spider is…" he had to cautiously choose his next words, "…very skilled with modifying Ghost architecture."

"He put a bomb inside you!" Crow hissed, his voice cracking.

"But I'm still here. Still with you," Glint reassured. "And you still have the Light. That's what matters."

Crow looked up to the ceiling, unable to bear the sight of the damage done to his Ghost. He was silent, the room was silent, save for the damnable rattling of those pipes. "I put you in this position," Crow said quietly. "I let this happen."

"You had no choice. We can't change the past," Glint said as he floated up out of Crow's hands a little crookedly; like a bird with an injured wing. "We can only look to the future."

Crow forced himself to gaze down into Glint's single, flickering eye. "My future is with you. You're all I have. The only person who…" he lowered his voice, afraid Spider might overhear them. "The only person who cares about me."

"You won't ever know who cares about you until you meet them," Glint contested, then floated closer to Crow's face. "You aren't a prisoner," he added. "You… you could leave. Live a normal life. Without the Light."

Crow's jaw tensed, teeth clenched together. "No," he said through them. "I won't abandon you. You would never do that to me."

The Ghost looked away in thought for a moment and then bobbed up and down. "You're right," he said as he turned again to face his Lightbearer. Glint floated in and softly tapped his shell to Crow's nose. "I'll never leave you."

Crow reached out and gently took Glint into the palm of his hand. "We're all we have," Crow whispered, pulling his knees in close, and Glint even closer. "Spider will never let us go…"

"…but at least we have each other."