17, November 2023
With some help from Connor, namely the healer's hand gripping him by the shoulders and helping him up to his feet, Vincent finally stepped back away from that spot of the hallway. He tossed one more long look back there, at the handprints on the wall, and then it was as if the boy had slammed an adamantium wall down between him and the seven year old bloodstain.
He turned away, and started up the hallway, slowly walking towards the door at the far left end of the hallway. That was when the door opened.. and then closed. Twice. With no one near it. No one touching it.
Connor did an unhappy little dance up there in the hallway, and glared over that way. Vincent, quietly, followed Connor's gaze and then turned very slowly as he caught sight of something flitting back up the hallway towards them.
When she passed through the healer, Connor let loose with a whole assortment of complaints and insults, starting to give off a bit of a glowy white aura around him. Vincent, when she passed through him, didn't even react at first. He just was watching Connor, then squinted his eyes as the glowing started, and turned around to look.
He very quickly wished he hadn't.
"Why are you still here." He spoke, tone completely flat, without looking at the ghost. "You should have passed on years ago."
"The door is locked to me." She answered, and when the boy turned his back on her again, she reached one ethereal hand out, as if to touch him. They'd been denied that small, every-day thing for years when he'd been younger. She was going to do it now, at least.
"Well it's not locked anymore." Vincent replied, numbly, and jutted his right hand out to the side, a swirling vortex of black appearing up there in the hallway. "Go on. You went through enough. You should at least be allowed to rest."
"Not yet. Look at me, will you?"
"Because the last time I saw you, you were--"
"--please don't." He jerked his head up at Connor's tug on his arm, and then gently extricated his arm from the healer's hand. "I'm sor--"
"Don't you start THAT! Now LOOK at me!" The ghost snapped suddenly, and despite himself, Vincent found his spine straightening and found himself turning, almost as if in slow motion on his heels, to look over at the spirit. "That's better." The ghost huffed. And then really looked at him.
"Pasha is right." She marveled, staring intently at the young Shaman. "Your eyes are the wrong colour. They were green. What did he do to change them? But Pashais right.. you look just like him. I suppose it shouldn't surprise me. Most of the boys in the family looked a lot alike."
Vincent looked away, looking over at Connor. What the ghost didn't pick up on, was that the boy's skin was growing whiter by the moment. "Are you done?" He asked, quietly.
"I suppose. You don't smile, do you? Your father used to smile a lot..."
"...mother." Vincent said, almost pleadingly. "Stop. Please."
"Well your not going to have much chance to--"
"Yes I will. He's right here." And he pointed to the side, causing the ghost behind him to glance down over the railing and stare at the spirit that had followed the boy in. "He CAN'T cross. I'm NOT letting that happen again." Vincent intoned bluntly; determinedly.
Victoria just stared across at the first floor. James' ghost managed to give a sort of half-wave and a faint smile over that way, but he didn't speak. If anything, the ghost seemed more saddened than he had been up until now.
Victoria held the other ghost's gaze for a long, long moment and then turned away, looking back over at the boy. Vincent had already turned his back to both of them by this point, and had lifted a hand up, working at his forehead and temple a little bit. He couldn't leave her here; but he wasn't going to deny her the ability to say her good-byes.
Which she did, and then she was floating there, staring intently down at the young Shaman. Vincent didn't look over there. And he didn't pull Connor's hand off of his shoulder like part of him wanted to. He recognized the gesture as Connor trying to show some sort of emotion.. though he didn't really know what emotion exactly.
"Go home, Mother." Vincent said, very quietly, and finally turned around to look at the ghost, eyes on her intently. He lowered the right hand and then turned it at the wrist, gripping the spirit around the middle with that inky, swirling blackness of his. Her eyes widened, and the spirit shot a look of alarm from the boy over to the glowing healer and back again. Once more, Vincent brought that vortex back into being. "You need to go home, Mother. You don't belong here anymore. You more than earned the rest. I know you tried. I'm sorry I did it. I'm sorry."
But he wasn't going to leave the house and leave her stuck there like this either. James being stuck and bound to him was bad enough. He wasn't going to have both of them incapable of resting.
The ghost didn't even have time to argue with the boy before she suddenly found herself thrust through that black vortex. The wail was enough to cause Vincent to stop in his tracks and just go very, very still. It was rare anymore for a spirit's wail to rattle him, but this time it did.
The gate snapped shut, the blackness disappearing quickly as if it had never been there, and there was silence once more inside the house. Even Connor wasn't talking.
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