Since David came to Everworld he's been stabbed in the side exactly four times. He's had his arm broken twice, and his head cracked open once. He's gotten more wounds than most people could keep track of – five on his back, four on each leg, six on his right arm and nine on his left – and there's a tiny line and bump across his nose from when David and Christopher fought outside Taco Bell. There's a scar on his stomach – appendix, when he was nine – and another on his chin from when he split it skateboarding.

That leaves exactly six scars unaccounted for.


David can't drink to save his life.

Christopher doesn't take advantage of this fact nearly as much as he could. In the ways that he wants to.


Whenever they win a battle, the soldiers steal, rape, and pillage their way through the nearby towns and temples. Christopher won't say that David turns a blind eye to it – because what kind of fucking human being does that? – but he knows that it happens and he knows he can't stop it. It's the price we pay for winning, Jalil says silkily, tiredly, and he looks at David as if it's a worse price than the one they pay for losing. It's another weight on David's shoulders, that disapproval, and Christopher can't do a damned thing about it either.

Once, though. Once, after a battle somewhere outside the Western Viking territories, Christopher saw David go completely apeshit. They passed by a temple where a couple of full grown Viking warriors were entertaining themselves with the temple foundlings. There was something in David that was almost Godlike, then. Something that made Christopher understand why Senna had chosen him for her Knight and Athena for her General. Something in the depth of his wrath, in the speed and skill of how he killed. Something in the set of his jaw.

The marble floor was sticky with blood afterwards, and with that tainted offering spilt all over the altar, it was as if David became human again. Emotional. Irrational. Strong in a different way. It was in David's face when he handed the kids their clothes, in how he looked them straight in the face and no where else. It was in whatever he said to the little girl to make her stop crying. April was back at camp and Jalil wasn't paying attention. Not in the way he should have been, anyway.

Christopher's the only one who saw anything.


David can fall asleep anywhere. In a bed, on the floor, in the middle of a field, even in the branches of a tree, for Christ's sake. He sleeps folded up and curled in on himself, fists clenching onto whatever is nearest. His teeth sit on edge. If you touch him he'll whimper a name and curl up even tighter.

The name he whimpers isn't Senna's.


But David is never more relaxed, more Zen, more fucking perfect than when he is on a boat. He's only slightly less perfect when swimming. His favorite place in the world is one surrounded by water, slick and sleek and weightless in more ways than one. As if he's been washed clean of everything.

Only Christopher and Senna could possibly understand how much of a miracle that is.


Christopher knows more about David than anyone else in the world.

He knows that it's not nearly enough.