Death said nothing. He did not reach out, but Forgiveness didn’t back off. They waited for him.
Finally, Death reached out one hand, palm upward, and waited. Forgiveness felt it, felt what it was that Death was trying to avoid, even if no part of their body reacted in the way that one might have expected. Forgiveness dropped flame into his hand.
Neither of them said anything. There was nothing to say, it seemed. Forgiveness looked up into Death’s face. Death did not look back, not immediately, but eventually Forgiveness could tell that Death was staring them back. Two abysses in his face, calling to them. A call Death couldn’t stop, but one that he always gave.
Forgiveness stayed put, but smiled tiredly up at him.
“Take the angel back to her, Pup,” Death said, fingers closing around the fire. “Before they get into more trouble.”
Before Forgiveness could do or say anything more, the hound picked them up by the scruff of their shirt and placed them back on his spine.
There was something they had needed to say, a word to Death about the gift, even if they had no need to explain the reason behind it. Death knew what this had been brought for, didn’t he?
The angel wondered about this. The rhythmic motion of the hound, moving along back to home. Back to Life. The warmth pressed up against their chest. They wondered what Life’s reaction would be, if she would have a word to say about it. If she would understand as quickly as Death had.
Whether or not either would then… return to acceptance.
Forgiveness, with a smile upon their face, drifted off to sleep.