It never gets easier.

It never gets easier.

It never gets easier.

Teemo doesn’t feel the blade as it pierces his body, but he feels the force of it. It’s like a heavy punch to the back, a warm spill across his fur. He can see the tip of her sword sticking out of his belly, bits of viscera dripping from its length. He didn’t see her coming, and now he’s going to die.


He knows it. He can feel it already, that familiar dulling of the senses, the sudden, impotent panic. He’s felt it a thousand times before, and he remembers each time vividly. Dying is not the sort of thing you forget. Stabbings, shootings, arcane lightning, the white-hot burning of a turret’s ether, the searing pain of Baron Nashor’s acid breath… He’s died a thousand deaths, each unique in its pains.

It never gets easier.

Every time, there is a rush of adrenaline, blind panic. He can escape he can run he can hide he can fight death won’t find him this time because he’s clever and he’s quick and he’s armed to the teeth and he’s got so much experience there’s no way he can die right now. Sona was around here somewhere, she’ll play him that healing song she knows. He might have a potion; he doesn’t have a potion; why doesn’t he have a potion?

He lies in the grass, his back propped against a low rise, letting the river’s cool water flow over his legs. Downriver, the water flows crimson with his life’s blood, and he marvels at the way it clouds and swirls before his vision slowly darkens and he finally lets go.

It never ends there.

Out in the world, maybe. He doesn’t know. The summoners probably won’t let him go that easily. Here, though, it never ends with death. That was the old way, when brothers and sisters would kill one another over a petty land squabble. That was war. Here, death is a matter of inconvenience. It’s a penalty for poor strategy, for being unprepared. A single champion might die a dozen times over the course of a conflict, and no one bats an eyelash.

The conflict has run a long time. The ancient magics that hold him to the service of his summoner grow weaker as the battle rages on. They take longer and longer to pull him back from the brink of void. His consciousness hovers, disembodied, on the very edge of extinction. He’s scared, every time, that this is the time they won’t bring him back. That all-consuming, instinctual terror of death seems to last forever.

Without warning, he can see. The cold marble of the platform feels smooth under his skin. He’s breathing, as natural as if he’d never stopped. There’s a moment’s disorientation, a bit of dizziness, but he doesn’t have time to think. Ahead of him, he can see Fiora piercing a half-dozen minions, pushing relentlessly towards the first turret, and that requires the whole of his attention.

He runs, refusing to let the fear that tingles the base of his skull stop him.

He can’t avoid death forever.

It’s a reality of the arena.

And it never gets easier.

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