It felt like time froze.
Eyes felt his heart beating. He heard his breath escaping his lips. He tensed. His mind tried to make sense of it but nothing seemed to work anymore. He couldn’t even… He could not…
I don’t understand, he said slowly, shaking his head.
He turned towards Sin, who was smiling. Sin spoke softly and kindly — When we began, I told you that this journey would be one of redemption. Do you remember that?
Eyes nodded numbly, glancing back at the couple in the room. He didn’t know what to think anymore. But he remembered.
Sin’s voice broke through again — I told you that you would see yourself and the things you have done. And once you’ve seen all that you needed to, you would be given a choice, a choice to redeem yourself.
Eyes looked away from the couple, turning back to Sin, still desperately wanting to understand.
It felt like Sin knew what he was thinking because Sin didn’t stop speaking. His voice was terribly kind as he said — Reed Williams was never in need of redemption, young Eyes. He never needed to atone for any grievous sins.
Sin paused, his gaze searching Eyes expression before continuing — But Elliot Sims, the man you have been watching this entire time? He was one who needed help. And that’s why you are here, Eyes.
Eyes did not speak. He barely reacted to the fact that Sin had just revealed Elliot’s — his — surname. Eyes’s tongue felt parched and dry. He wasn’t even sure that was possible in this reality.
Sin moved closer and placed an arm around Eyes’s shoulder. Eyes did not protest as Sin began to walk him away from his parents’s ward. Sin did not speak any further.
They were still his parents, he understood that. But that baby in their arms, that baby was him, was Elliot, was him.
It can’t be, Eyes thought. He hated Elliot. He hated him with a fiery passion. He hated Elliot for what he had done to Reed, who was supposed to be the real Eyes, who was no longer the real him.
He had hated himself.
Kill me, Eyes whispered softly as Sin led him through the hospital. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t… I can’t…
Hush now, Eyes. You chose to believe that some part of Elliot was still worth saving. That meant something.
Eyes looked up at Sin. He’d never realised how much taller Sin was.
What does it mean? he asked.
It means that you believe you can still be saved, was Sin’s kind reply.
So what happens now?
Eyes’s voice sounded sad and hollow even to his own ears. He wasn’t a good person. He was never a good person. He didn’t know how to come to terms with that.
Sin spoke warmly, comfortingly — Elliot was a man with many second chances, Eyes. You can be too, if you choose him. All you need to do is to choose him.
Eyes pulled away from from Sin’s embrace. He looked at the dark haired man and asked — What happens if I don’t choose him?
Sin did not respond immediately. But eventually, slowly he said — If you do not choose him, you may join us, Temptation and I. You could become one of us. But it is not an existence I would wish upon you, Eyes. It is terribly lonely.
Eyes shook his head. He didn’t not want that. He had no choice. He steeled himself before he took that last leap and then, hesitantly but surely he said — I claim the name Elliot Sims as my own.
And the world went dark.