Stillig had loved a lot of people in his twenty-one years of life. He had loved his parents, his brother, his friends, and his partners. But after changing from Saren to Stillig, and becoming someone new under the influence of Eleanor, he wasn't sure if he would really be able to love anyone again.
That all changed once he met Bronze.
As the light of his laptop screen shone on his face, Stillig sighed irritably and typed out a reply to someone, fingers hitting the keys hard with annoyance. Talking with people over Pesterchum frequently felt like a chore, and the feeling was often reinforced by insults from various contacts he had on there. He didn't mind the insults; he just didn't want to seem weak infront of the people he liked.
More often than not, Stillig would lie awake at night and think about various things. About his family, Eleanor, Neil, Bronze and her friends, how big the universe is, how much money he had made that day, whether there was enough milk in the fridge for breakfast in the morning- there was no limit to what he would think of. And in the darkness of his bedroom, it felt okay to cry, to be scared, to let himself be him.
If there was one thing that Stillig wanted more than anything, it was to find redemption for everything he had done. To be forgiven by Neil for letting him die, to be forgiven by Eleanor for lying to her, to be forgiven by Pieter for the way he had treated him before they became friends. He wanted solace from his bad deeds,nothing more.
In moments of desperation, of stress, of self-hatred, Stillig would allow himself to break away from Stillig, and go back to being Saren, even if it was only for an hour or so. But it didn't feel right, being Saren. Nor did it feel right being Stillig. So was it really breaking away?
Stillig was innocent, once.
He was innocent for quite a long time, actually.
And he would have given anything just to be innocent again.
Stillig died once, too.
In the middle of a raid with Team Plasma, he had been shot in the chest, and had an artery partially severed. He didn't remember much of the experience- he had blacked out shortly after the bullet hit him. He hadn't felt his heart stop.
But he had felt it beating again when he was revived. He had felt himself breathing again. He had felt his muscles twitching as they became oxygenated, and his head thump as his pulse pumped blood around his body.
He'd never felt more relief than in that moment.
The happy memories Stillig had tended to be pushed back by the bad ones, but he could still remember them. The warm spring days when he and Neil would fly kites and have picnics on Route 11, the kiss he shared with his first boyfriend and the dates they went on, the laughter he and Eleanor would share at a funny joke one of them had told. Times when he had felt elated.