I guess this is an au to A Name’s Witness where Manco goes back and says what he means to Mortimer right away :’)
There were a lot of things I wish I’d said, while my head was still throbbing from the goose egg on my forehead, lips burning from the rasp of his mustache and the warmth of his hand.
I’ve never had anyone I could trust like you.
I don’t regret it.
I’d do it again.
I still want to do it again.
The cart is piled high with the hell-bound corpses, but I can still see Mortimer’s horse on the horizon. He’s far, but I’m pretty damn sure his horse is slower than mine.
You know you’re the first person I’ve told my name to in years? The only one that’s still alive.
And what’s gonna happen to him, now that he’s closed up that chapter of his life’s work. I glance over to the impressive pile of bounty. Well, hell. What’s gonna happen to me?
Without thinking too hard about it, I sling one leg over Riddle and dig my spurs in hard. He can hear me coming, because he slows down his ride.
“What are you doing, boy?”
“You forgot somethin’ of yours, old man.”
“Alright,” Mortimer pauses, eyes downcast, lingering on my face. God above, why won’t he look at me? I swallow, not about to let fear stop me now.
I put my hand into his outstretched, then before I loose my nerve, lean over and kiss him on the lips. It’s clumsy and I almost fall of my horse, but– it’s what I mean, really.
I turn my eyes up, a little afraid I’ve scared him. But he seems thoughtful, if still staring ruefully at the horizon.
“Alright. Alright,” he shakes his head, looking me in the eye for the first time since I rode back. The things I should have said to him rush through my mind like a herd of wild horses.
“Next time, nothin’,” is all I manage.
He smiles, and even with that. I know I’ll get a chance to say everything I want to.