The Empty Hill
[A calm breeze causes the grass to sway.]
[And with that, the factory crumbles and falls, leaving nothing behind.]

[The incubus goes home — for good, this time.]

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|I’m baaack, my love..|

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… heh. Of all the forms you could take, you chose that..?

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[He takes one final stroll around the office.]

[Memories flood his mind at every glance. The rebuilt wall after the impromptu dragon attack. The spot where a nest of pillows and blankets were the temporary bed of at least two former friends. The gifted fridge — by one of said former friends, naturally — and the stove that had been “given” by being thrown through the window. The balcony.. or what was left of it. (It was almost completely collapsed, now.)

The desk and chair were given the most thought, though. New acquaintences. Sexual encounters. The births of.. way too many jumping spiders for anyone’s liking. (Completely unrelated to the sexual encounters, mind you.) Paperwork. Monitors. The seeds in one of the drawers — long gone, of course, waiting for the curse to be lifted so they can grow in full.

Creep takes a deep breath and lets it out as a slow sigh. He — they — would miss this place.

He turns on his heel and heads out of the factory, locking the doors out of habit, but ultimately just leaving the key behind in the dirt as he heads off to what used to be the home of one of his brethren — Macab-ler.]

I am very prouuud of you darlings who overcame your nervousness to come speak to me. But even if you coullldn’t, that’s okay, too. It’s a difficult thing.

I love you, regarrrdless.

Be good, okaaay? You don’t know who may still be waaatching you.

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ask-genie whispered:
She smiled and hugged him one last time, kissing his cheek. "Good bye, my friend. I will miss you so very much. I pray you find the peace and happiness you so deserve." She said, pulling away after a moment and walking towards the door. Her body shook with the effort it took to go, but she turned and gave him one more encouraging smile through her tears. Then, she was gone.

[He watches her go, smiling back at her when she turns around.

He stays there for a moment after she’s gone before giving a slight sigh.]

ask-genie whispered:
She nodded an little. "Of course. I suppose I'll leave some flowers with Marcus then." She mused sadly.

[He forces a tiny smile.]

|I would appreeeciate that. Thaaank you, dearest. … You’re really such a good friennnd.|

ask-genie whispered:
She sniffled, rubbing the silver tears from her eyes. "Y-yes... I think I would like that... If it is possible. W-when you... pass on, I-I'd like to know where you're to be buried, if that's alright? Pay final respects and all..." she asked.

[He frowns a bit.]

|I.. would prefer if nobody visited my resssting place. If you please. I.. won’t be burrried.|

ask-genie whispered:
She choked on a sob. "I-I know... It's just... I may never see you again, Master Once-ler. I am cursed to never die. B-but... even so, I hope that you find the peace you so need. I will miss you so much. I-I had so hoped you could have gotten the chance to meet Isaac." She said, rubbing at her eyes.

[He manages a weak smile, pressing a kiss to the other’s cheek.]

|I’ll missss you too. But.. maybe you could talk to Markus, once he’s back to his own body.. he could figure out a way to take you to seeee me, maybe..|

ask-genie whispered:
She sniffled a little and hugged him back. Despite her efforts, her tears began to spill out and she began to tremble slightly in her grief. "I wish... I wish I could save you, Once-ler. I wish I could have saved you and Macab both."

[He rubs at her back comfortingly, doing his best not to cry with her.]

|.. S.. Sometimes you can’t save evvveryone, dearest.. but that’s okay. Everything will be okaaay.|

ask-genie whispered:
Genie was silent for a moment, trying to keep her tears at bay. "I-I know you will not die but... I think I shall miss the Once-ler. And this valley. It truly is a beautiful place... Bur... I suppose it's... nearly time to go."

[He slowly pulls Genie into another hug.]