The Survivor

Fanfic/songfic about Kelsier, a character in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. Lines in bold are song lyrics. 

~

He stands on the rooftop, and the mists pull at his hair and tangle the tassels of his cloak. The city is quiet, a light flickering here and there among the Great Houses—so many of them are broken now, crumbling, and he knows with warm satisfaction that it is his doing. Far above even the Venture’s lofty roof towers the Lord Ruler’s palace, its spire piercing through the mists, as if in a vain effort to touch the sky.

But even the Lord Ruler cannot do that.

I will stand and watch you crawl. 

He turns, stares out past the city’s limits, knows that beyond those walls are skaa, thousands of them, laboring without hope, without a future. Not for long, he thinks and smiles grimly.

The paper burns in his hand, the letter to the crew. He closes his eyes, imagines their reactions—horror, grief, maybe even anger, but after that, determination. They will carry out his plan. He trusts in them.

Many sorrows I have seen, but I don’t regret, nor will I forget, all who took the road with me. 

Trust—he remembers how hard that had been for her, at first. A small smile curves his lips. But now, now look at her! A dark blur in the mists, embracing them more fully than perhaps any other Mistborn had before, those intense eyes shining. Ah, Vin. His smile fades as he imagines what she will do, what he is asking her to do. It is dangerous.

She could die.

But she won’t. Somehow he knows it. She will do what he could not. She will kill the Lord Ruler, and she and the others will turn this city of tyranny into a symbol of freedom.

Let’s take this city. Our souls are singing, and there’s a fire in our bones. 

He lets out a long sigh, so many emotions swirling inside of him, mimicking the mists that whisper by his cheeks.  It is about to happen, everything he has dreamed for—and yet, his heart aches.

He misses her.

I need you with me as I enter the shadows. 

She should be here, he thinks, clenching his fist savagely. But no, don’t be angry, not now. 

“I”m doing this for you,” he whispers. “Because I love you.”

Vin had asked him once, if the risk had been worth it. And he’d said yes, he would do it again, even knowing that he would be betrayed.

Love alone is worth the fight. 

The scars on his arm suddenly itch, and the sensation brings a flood of memories—memories of pain. So much suffering—and now, to achieve the victory, he must suffer more.

I am so broken, he thinks. We all are. Are we fools, to think this will work, that we can win? Is the pain worth it? 

Crooked souls trying to stay up straight, dry eyes in the pouring rain. The shadow proves the sunshine. 

He laughs a little and shakes off the doubts. Yes, it is worth it. Yes, they are fools, but they will win despite that. Maybe because of it.

And yes, there was pain, but there would be so much joy in the end.

They call me Survivor, he thinks. Ah, but it will be they who survive in the end. And they will live in a world of flowers—yes, flowers, Mare, and green trees. 

They must remember that, to achieve the final mission. They must think of the dream of flowers, for that will give them strength.

Hold on to the world we all remember fighting for, there’s some hope left in it yet. 

Some men might wonder what was in it for him. They might think it was unfair that his friends got to reap the benefits while he … well, lay in the ground unseeing. But it doesn’t bother him, because he knows what his reward would be.

You will remember me for centuries. 

~

{Song lyrics in bold, from top to bottom: RED’s Watch You Crawl, Billy Boyd’s The Last Good-bye, Everfound’s Take This City, RED’s Shadows, Switchfoot’s Love Alone is Worth the Fight, Switchfoot’s Shadows Prove the Sunshine, Flyleaf’s Arise, & Fall Out Boy’s Remember Me for Centuries}

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14 thoughts on “The Survivor

  1. I love this so much. The different songs are so perfect, and you do an amazing job weaving them in as smoothly as you do. It made me tear up the first time I read it. Ouch, the feels, my heart, but gah, the beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

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