I tried to grasp exactly what the Fool feared.
"You think that it would hurt me if you came back to Buckkeep. That it would keep me from a life you had seen."
"What if I didn't care about those things? About the cost."
"I still would."
I asked my last question, my heart squeezed with hurt, dreading however he might answer it. "And if I said I would follow you, then? Leave my other life behind and go with you."
I think that question stunned him. He drew breath twice before he answered it in a hoarse whisper. "I would not allow it. I could not allow it."
We sat a long time in silence after that. The fire consumed itself. And then I asked the final, awful question. "After I leave you here, will I ever see you again?"
"Probably not. It would not be wise." He lifted my hand and tenderly kissed the sword-callused palm of it, and then held it in both of his. It was farewell, and I knew it, and knew I could do nothing to stop it. I sat still, feeling as if I grew hollow and cold, as if Nighteyes were dying all over again. I was losing him. He was withdrawing from my life and I felt as though I were bleeding to death, my life trickling out of me. I suddenly realized how close to true that was.
"Stop!" I cried, but it was too late. He released my hand before I could snatch it back. My wrist was clean and bare. His fingerprints were gone. Somehow, he had taken them back, and our Skill-thread dangled, broken.
"I have to let you go," he said in a cracked whisper. "While I can. Leave me that, Fitz. That I broke the bond. That I did not take what was not mine."
I groped for him. I could see him, but I could not feel him. No Wit, no Skill, no scent. No Fool. The companion of my childhood, the friend of my youth, was gone. He had turned that facet of himself away from me. A brown-skinned man with hazel eyes looked at me sympathethically.
"You cannot do this to me," I said.
"It is done," he pointed out. "Done." His strength seemed to go out of him with the word. He turned his head away from me, as if by doing that, he could keep me from knowing that he wept. I sat, feeling numbed in the way that one does after a terrible injury.
~Fool's Fate by Robin Hobb, pages 575-576