“Bite Me.”

“Sorry?”

“Sorry…? You incite an entire mob to hunt down and murder my family, and all you have to say to me is ‘sorry’? No heartfelt words of remorse? No attempt to pay for the pain you put me through? No ‘however can I atone for this’?”

“Y’know… That’s not what an apology sounds like. Not from me.”

“Bite me.”

“Oh! You do have a sense of humor! I was wondering if it was really there or not. Guess it is.”

“I expect an apology.”

“You will be disappointed, then. I don’t apologize. Not for inciting mobs, anyway. I only apologize for unintentional, personal injury. You look fine to me, and the mob was intentional, so I don’t think I’m in the wrong here.”

“How can you stand there and declare, in such a brazen manner, that you have done no wrong? My family is dead, burned alive in our home, and you feel no guilt for that? No twinge of remorse?”

“Your whole family died, right? Parents, siblings, everyone? ‘Cept you?”

“Correct.”

“Huh… Now, that is something I am sorry for.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“I’m sorry you couldn’t join them in death. It must be more painful like this. …For that, I am sorry. Separation in life is much more painful than union in death.”

“…I suppose I should be grateful.”

“Why? I incited a mob, remember? I took your family away, I made you what you are… A very dangerous person with a serious grudge.”

“Then what should I do? Seek revenge? What solace would that grant me?”

“None. Revenge is overrated, seriously overrated. But if you want to keep hating me, then go ahead. Hate me all you like. Hit me, break me, bite me. Do whatever you please.”

“Why…?”

“Because if you hate me, and just me, you’ll be able to love others. There are some people out there who need you- need your love. And you can’t love them if you’re busy hating everyone. So hate me. Just me. And love everyone else who deserves it. Love the ones who need it.”

“…My survival was no accident, was it?”

“My lips are, technically sealed. But, Fate kind of owed me a favor, and I’m pretty good friends with Destiny, so I pulled a few crimson-colored strings. Literally, in this case. You’re welcome.”

“…Please kill me.”

“Did you not hear what I just said? I got you out of that fiery furnace because I knew there was someone who would need you on the other side! Jeez, and they said you were the smartest… Look, Willi, I get that you’re depressed and mad, and yeah, you have a right to both, but there’s something more important than all that waiting out there for you to find it.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Twice now, you’ve begged. Stop that. It doesn’t become you.”

“Very well… Does this…? Are we…?”

“Friends? Nah, I don’t do friends. Frenemies is more my style… Don’t worry, you’ll pick up the lingo soon enough.”

“Whatever we are, you are never to call me Willi again. My name is William.”

“Fine, William. I’m Mordecai. But you can call me Mordi all you like.”

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