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Lance's hands are empty.

He looks around wildly. Where is the Chrysalis? It was just in his hands. It should still be in his hands, but it isn't.

In fact, as more of his senses come back to him, he notices that there isn't anything here besides a wide expanse of white light. The light is everywhere and while he knows he's standing on something, there is no way for him to distinguish it from the world around him.

"H-hello?" he calls out. His voice echoes as if he were in a large cathedral once.

And then it's gone.

He isn't sure what he expected. For someone to hear him and come to his rescue just by yelling out? One of his hands goes to his hair and he grips on tightly as panic starts to bubble in his chest. 

He didn't know much when he made the choice to step into that circle. But he'd known it was the right choice to make. It was the only thing that he could do to protect the home that he loved. No, loves. He's the only one that left Deliverance.

He hadn't had the time to consider what exactly would happen. But he'd thought his existence would just… end? Was that what he'd thought would happen when everything was over? He's not sure and it's hard to think about that when there were more important things going through his head at the time. There was so much, in such a short span of time…

He needs to move.

He takes a step in a random direction. There probably isn't anything in that direction, but his feet are already moving. And there's something in his gut tells him that moving is better than standing still in this amorphous place.

He'd started just walking, but before he knows it, he's running. The panic fuels him, and, despite how exhausted he feels, it helps him keep moving. He just has to move.

So he runs as if his life depends on it.



Lance has no sense of time anymore.

He doesn't have a phone or a watch to tell him how long he's been running, but he's pretty sure it's been far longer than his legs should be able to run despite how fit he is. That should concern him, but he can't find the energy. So he keeps running, hoping to find something, anything that isn't this foggy room—

Lance stops and takes stock of his surroundings again. The place that he's in has far more definition than he'd first thought. There's definitely a fog, but he can also see his shadow now on the ground where he had seen absolutely nothing before.

"Hello?" He tries again.

There's no answer.

He's not sure why he expected one, but he can't help the disappointment that takes root in his chest alongside the growing panic fueling his heart.

He suddenly feels lost and all he wants to do is stay still. His mom said that he should stay still if he ever got lost from her. He should stay still, then. Someone will find him eventually if he stands still, right?




Lance is pacing.

He's also thinking. But, he's mostly pacing because, while the staying still idea seemed solid, he can't actually stay still. He's never really been one to handle staying still once he's in a stressful situation. So, he has to keep moving. Otherwise he feels like he's going to go insane.

Because, you see, Lance hasn't ever been this alone before. Sure his parents have gone out of town. Or his roommate went home for a break, but there was always someone around. There were his neighbors. And recently there'd been everyone at the… at the…

Lance comes to a stop.

He should know the name of that place he'd been to so many times before, but it's just… gone. He tries to think about… about anything, really. But his mind is so foggy and nothing is coming to mind.

Maybe staying here was a bad idea.

Lance looks around, trying to get his bearings, but there are no markers and he can't remember which direction he'd started pacing in. Should he walk forward or turn around or?


Lance grips his head.

Even that thought isn't…. Isn't working. His brain is— fog. Fog is everywhere. Everything is fog. There's something with it, but he can't. He just… can't. 

He can't.

So he doesn't.

He runs.



Lance's mind eventually starts making connections again.

There's always been something about running that helps him clear his head, but there's a growing part of him that is pretty sure that there's something to this fog. He can't make too many connections or else a slight headache starts forming behind his eyes, but he's figuring out that staying still is very bad and moving is good.

He's pretty sure that a lot of time has gone by between when he makes that connection and when he starts to notice the world around him morphing into something that is just a bit more recognizable. There's something akin to Earth below his feet and the shapes above him look like the boughs of trees.

The fog is still there, but it's much thinner and there is actual color in the world around him. It's taken him a while to piece together that the colors green and brown exist again, but now that he perceives them, more of the world comes into focus.

There are definitely trees surrounding him and a forest floor below him. He hasn't actually had to move around a tree so far, but he's definitely in a forest of some sort.

"Hello?" He tries a third time. 

The echoes that he'd heard earlier that had made his voice almost deafening are lessened. Almost as if he's shouting in an actual forest. He doesn't hold much hope in getting a response, but some of the panic ebbs away as the familiar setting comes more and more into focus.

And then:


He stops in his tracks. There is barely a trace of fog around him now, but he still doesn't see anyone, let alone the owner of that unfamiliar, yet not too unfamiliar voice that called out to him. He feels like he should know who it is, but he can't place it no matter how hard he tries.

"You need to keep moving Lance," the Voice says.

"Where do I need to go?" He asks.

"Forward. Don’t think too hard about it, I'll meet you there at the end."

Lance nods. He's pretty sure the Voice probably can't see him, but he doesn't care. Relief washes over him and he continues forward, hope sparking in his chest.

He's not alone anymore.



There's someone at the edge of the forest.

Trees started popping up a while ago, and the ground is a lot harder to navigate. But, the fog is completely gone now, and it feels like his mind has almost completely returned to him.

"Lance, " the Voice says, relieved, as he approaches them. They're turned towards him, but their face is still blurry at this distance. "I almost didn't think you'd make it out of there, kid."

"I didn't either."

The Voice laughs, and then Lance is stopping in front of them. Their features are familiar, there's a resemblance to his own. Almost like a relative that he's never met before, but who is unmistakably known to him. "Who are you?"

The person smiles, kindly.

"I suppose we've never officially met before. I'm Faith."

The air leaves Lance's lungs. Not…

"Like… The Faith who brought the Chrysalis to town?"

Faith frowns. "Yes. I suppose that is what I shall be known for now. I apologize that you and your group were left to deal with all of that, though I am grateful that it has finally been dealt with."

"It's okay. I'm pretty sure you didn't know that it was going to do everything that it did."

"A sin performed in ignorance is still a sin," Faith says, gravely. "But, that soon will not matter anymore."

A sliver of ice slips down Lance's spine. "Why?"

"Our time in this world is over. Now that the Chrysalis has been taken care of we can rest."

It stabs him in the heart as the gravity of the situation finally dawns on Lance.

"I'm dead."

Faith nods gravely.

"Yes, I'm sorry."

All of the air in Lance's lungs leaves his chest in a rush. This whole journey he'd hoped that his first suspicion had been wrong. Deep down he'd known it was probably true, but to hear it aloud hurts more than he'd realized it would.

Faith pulls Lance into his arms and hugs him tightly. He saying something, but Lance can't hear him over the waves of his thoughts rushing past his ears.

He's pretty sure he's crying, but all he can focus on is his last request of Rowan. How his parents will no longer know who he is. Suddenly, despite how selfish it is, he wishes that he hadn't asked them to wipe their memories. What's going to happen now that they no longer know that they have a son?

Will anyone remember him?

"They will," Faith is saying, while rubbing circles in his back. "Your friends will hold you dear in their hearts for the rest of their days. And, once it is your parents turn, they will remember again."

Faith's words are equal parts comforting and painful.

"How do you know?" Lance demands.

"Because I do not believe that God would be so cruel."

Lance is pretty sure that Faith means well with his words, but they don't touch him in the way that they were designed to. They fall through the hole in his heart and out the other side.

"What if I don't want to go to Heaven?" He asks, pulling away from Faith. He wraps his arms around himself and puts some distance between the two of them. "What if I want to go back instead?"

There is a moment of time as Faith considers this. "I suppose that could be arranged, though it will not be in the way that you might hope."

"What do you mean?"

"It will probably be in the same way that I continued to return to Earth time and time again until you completed my mission. You would most likely be reincarnated into a person other than yourself. Someone who has their own motivations and quirks."

Faith smiles knowingly at Lance.

"If you would like to go back until you feel comfortable with moving on, that is your right. But, I will warn you that it does wear on the soul. Sharing someone's life can be a beautiful thing, but it is not what souls were made for."

"Can I go back as a ghost?"

"Do you have unfinished business?"

Lance thinks of his parents. They'll be alone without him. But, then Rowan comes to mind and he can't say that he doesn't have a feeling that they'll do everything in their power to make sure that his parents are taken care of. In that moment he realizes he trusts them to fulfil his last wish without any problems.

When Lance doesn't say anything, Faith continues. "If you do not have unfinished business, then it will be hard to become a ghost. It will most likely not stick, and you will end up back here."

"Then I have no choice do I?"

"There is always a choice, Lance."

"You mean Hell?"

Faith pauses. "Perhaps. It's hard to say, I haven't crossed over yet myself," he laughs. "Who knows, maybe you can choose to live in a world made of jello. Unless that is your Heaven, then—"

"Aren't you supposed to be a priest who believes completely in God or something?"

"Well, yes. I do. But He does tend to work in mysterious ways…"

Faith winks.

Lance can't help the laugh that explodes out of him. Faith joins him and the two laugh for some time together. Eventually the laughter dies down and they are left in the silence of the forest. It's not nearly as oppressive as it had been earlier, though, and there's a part inside of Lance that seems to have settled.

"I think I'd like the jello one if they have it."

Faith smiles and extends his hand. "C'mon, let's go find out."

Lance nods and takes his hand. "Let's."

The two then walk out of the forest, in pursuit of what may come next.