Time was not the most prompt or polite of gentlemen. It was gone when it was needed, and there in excess when its absence was desired. It was late or early and never the one wished – in short, it made itself a general nuisance. Even now, time – although it had less of a hold upon him – was able to meddle. The effects were lengthened and almost inconsequential, but it certainly took advantage of its few moments to strike.
Time was also notoriously unforgiving. Certainly, it was a balm to wounds – but did it ever truly heal them or merely seal them in scars? Poking at the hurts just when they were thought gone and forgotten? Time was no physician – it was a judge and an executioner. It was the black-robed figure looming to remind one of their sin; chasing it's prey down like the hailed Javert, and ever reminding them of the number assigned to them with each mistake.
It was the book is Coriakin's house – all happenings were written within, but once a page was turned it could not be turned again. Once an action was done, it could not be undone. Myriad paths lie before; but unlike a fork in the road, one could not retrace one's steps if the outcome were not as one wished.
He sighed, idly turning the dagger over in his hands, looking out to the water. Time became only a burden when it meant nothing. When one would always return to the same fork in the forest, and could always choose a different path, then what was the point of traveling through the forest? What would happen when he had chosen every alternative? Now, Time touched the lives of others and mocked him through his reflection, bitterly reminding him of what had befallen him.
Did he have a picture somewhere? Some warped and aged caricature of him, taking the guilt of his sins? Dorian had not lived nearly so long – what would his picture be? How horrific would be his countenance? He smiled slightly. Perhaps he should look for one! If he could end it all by defacing a single picture... How simplistic.
And how would Henry's look? Would it look like him, or would it have changed with the lives he had led? Would it be twisted by wrong-doings and mistakes, or would it be an older mirror? If the two were stood side by side through all ages, would Time render them equal? Would it allow him to learn from an atone for his mistakes, and would it allow Henry to make the same missteps and warp his picture?
He could faintly recall being Henry's age. He was not alone – an heirloom of sorts passed down through the generations of his family, a secret sworn away for his safety. They were never so naïve as to think that he would be accepted as he was, nor so blind as to think him a god – even Iovannis never suggested that and meant it.
But Henry stood alone and nearly always had. An aquaintance here, a friend there, Abigail, Abraham... So few to fill the two centuries of life and loneliness. And he would not trust again – not voluntarily. Simiel had lived a long life – but he was not immortal. He would be gone soon, and again Henry would have no ties to the living.
In a way, he was surprised that the Doctor was as forgiving and empathetic as he was still – that he still clung to his mortality. It was futile, and they both knew that; but he still used the same name, the same mannerisms, the same style of dress... He was still the British Doctor that went aboard his father's slave ship to rob him of the profits and free the men aboard.
He wondered how much longer it would last. How many more decades would he be able to remain Henry at heart? How long until he lay aside his own name to take up another because the soul finally died and all that remained is a mind that saw only an unending existence where everything else passed as quickly as dandelions gone to seed? Henry looked at him as a monster for killing without thought, for being able to walk away from death without a care; but they weren't truly immortal: with every death, a little more of their soul was chipped away until there was nothing left.
Henry was strong, certainly, to have made it thus so alone; but nothing lasted forever. He was still so young – so impulsive. He assumed when he should observe, and observed when he should act. Given time, he would learn whether by choice or not – but the interim might take away that which he fought so hard to hold on to.
He wished Abigail were yet here, able to warn Henry. He wished Abraham were willing to listen to him, or that Henry would take himself out of the situation to look at it objectively. He had surprisingly only rallied stronger against him after Christmas – if only he would do the same with his life and his humanity. If he would allow his friends to be near him to ground him and to remind him that while Time had no meaning for him and no true consequences, for them every second was precious and finite.
He hefted the heavy dagger, holding it over the water. If he dropped it, would it all go away? Would his death and his undoing together serve to put him back together? He could remember being as young as Henry, but he could no longer be that way – he feared that Henry would age too soon. He was done trying to break him – he wanted to fix him now.
It seems that they Immortals did have a picture. It wasn't a painting or a carving or some sketch stored in a library or museum, it was those whose lives they touched. It was those they harmed or those they helped. As time passed, more strokes were added to the canvas, but the early lines were always there with every single other one in passing. But unlike Dorian's, there was no end to it – just a picture being made forever.
AN: ...this was supposed to be an explanation for the finale, but it ended up being another character study of sorts. Which is probably a good thing as I've not seen the episodes since they aired and the only background I have for this is the world I've inside my head which is hardly accurate. But, in short, Adam knew exactly what Henry would do if he had someone to stand against – someone he thought 'evil' – and he also knew that Jo would keep his secret, so he arranged to give Henry a reason to stay human, and for Jo to find out. Dorian's picture is a reference to Oscar Wilde's book The Picture of Dorian Grey which given the mindset of Dorian I'd only recommend as a classic and would like to eventually read maybe because it actually sounded rather boring... But it fit. Coriakin is the star with the Dufflepuds in C.S. Lewis' Voyage of the Dawn Treader.11-24-2015