Is This Justice?

This little scene was inspired by a phrase prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth (the dead cannot cry out for justice).  This was the first thought that came to my mind.

**

“Murderer!”  That was all the warning they were given.  Then, someone had knocked Johannes off his feet.  As he lay, sprawled in the dirt, his attacker drew a sword and swung it down on him.

Konrad darted forward and swung his sword around just in time to catch the blade of the other man on his own.  “What is wrong with you?” he rasped, glaring daggers at the attacker.  There was something familiar about him, but Konrad couldn’t put his finger on what it was.  “What do you mean attacking an unarmed boy and calling him a murderer?”

Growling, the attacker tried again, but Konrad blocked each attack before it could get anywhere near his youngest brother.  Finally, the attacker stepped back panting.  He kept his weapon up defensively, as if expecting Konrad to attack him.  However, Konrad held his ground, sticking close to Johannes.

“He killed my brother,” the man shouted pointing at Johannes.  “My brother’s spirit cries for justice.”

Now, Konrad recognized the man.  The Singer they’d purified the other day had taken this man’s younger brother as a host.  “A demon killed your brother,” he snapped.  “Killing Johannes won’t bring him back.”

Johannes touched his arm and peered around his shoulder.  Meeting the other man’s gaze steadily, he said, “I’m sorry for what happened to your brother, but… he’s not crying out for justice.”  He sidestepped, so that he wasn’t hiding behind Konrad anymore, however he also didn’t leave himself open to another attack.  “You’re hurting and you want to hurt someone else, but… will that really help you hurt less?  Will it really make you miss your brother any less if you kill me?  Do you really think your brother would want this?”

The other man mumbled a curse and sheathed his sword.  Then he turned to walk away.  Konrad stared after him for a moment before he sighed and banished his own weapon.  Then, he looked at Johannes.  “All right?” he asked, his voice soft.

Johannes gave him a weak smile.  “I’m just glad that worked,” he said, softly.

“You and me both,” Konrad agreed.

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