There is a spark of something that might be fear. It seems too incriminating, assumes too much to call it something so strong. It is a flash of wrongness, but even then, that's not right - you are the stranger in his blackwagon. You have always been, even when you didn't know it yet. For all the moments this has felt like home, you have still been an intruder.
You don't have a right to be afraid of him, but it doesn't stop the hair on the back of your neck from standing up.
Oralech's eyes rove over the blackwagon's shelves, and you're uncertain if the distasteful judgment on his face is real or imagined. He doesn't seem even slightly bothered by your presence, paying the keepsakes of your travels far more heed than he does you yourself. He peers at the leafy foliage of the Downside clinger - the plant you and the moon-touched girl spent all of an afternoon repotting into the blackwagon. It continues to thrive, even now that she's gone - even now, under a demon's heavy gaze.
It shifts to you.
The railing that wraps around the blackwagon's walls is slick with sweat beneath your palms. If you let go, you'll fall. You can't run, just like when they came for you in the Commonwealth. It should frighten you more. Oralech cuts an imposing figure before you, broad and tall, someone who could take your life as easily as breathing, but you still reach an immediate understanding as your eyes meet his for the first time.
He won't hurt you. It is a certainty, more than the fading stars in the sky. Here, now, you are safe with him.
Your grip on the railing relaxes. He looks at it, towards your shaking hands, down to your legs, hidden under your robes. Briefly, you wonder if he sees the rails as an intrusion too, more junk cluttering his old home. Hedwyn and Jodariel made them for you, went out to gather supplies, and once they were assembled Volfred sat at your side, talking and laughing as you both sanded the gnarled wood to a smooth mirror sheen. It had not been an act done out of frustration, to ease the burden on themselves of having to help you around. It was one of love and compassion, a desire to make your own life better, something you were unfamiliar with until you were cast down the river.
The red and black bandages wrapped around Oralech's gnarled blue horns have the same uneven pattern as the little one Ti'zo wears.
"A full recovery, then," he'd said when he saw the imp again, his low voice full of relief, the first time you'd heard any emotion in it at all.
Your keepsakes from the Downside, your storm in a jar and your bottle of fireflies and the impossibly, aimlessly floating Gries stone - they may be frivolous trinkets in his eyes, unwelcome additions clinging to his memories like barnacles on a ship. But the silent judgment from before is nowhere to be found as he runs a clawed hand across the surface of the rails your friends built for you.
Instead, there is a spark of something that might be warmth.