A/N: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaangst. Not really my best writing ever. Done during school hours, of course.

Not especially romantic. Well. If you want it to be, I guess it could be. Mostly, again, just an aaaaaangsty one-shot. PoV is simultaneously Chrno and confusing, due to lack of proper nouns and multiple tense changes. Leave me alone. It made sense in my head…-.-

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Sometimes, when things are quieter, I sit and contemplate her pain.

It wasn't raining that day, he remembered. It should have been. But irony takes a wicked turn at the expenses of others, and this was no exception. The day had been bright and beautiful, with only the occasional silk-spun cloud marring the sun's rays. In an ideal world, it would have been storming, hailing and thundering and raging to mirror his own hurt. Of course, in an ideal world, it would have never happened at all.

I think about our contract. I wonder if she ever regrets it, pledging her soul to mine. I know I would, in her shoes.

The two of them had fought demons of immeasurable number and kind. With every vanquished enemy, there had been a greater victory for them both, as if their lives had taken on the sole purpose of conquering devils by each other's side. And with every accomplishment, there was a fleeting moment of true purpose, of true inner peace. But the next foes arrived all too quickly, tumbling their bliss back down to the real world. However, with the continual slaying, the continual bloodshed, there came a complacency, a feeling of routine in which they could take comfort. At least until Aion had come.

She never complains. Doesn't surprise me, really. For as long as I've known her, she's never been the type to wallow in self-pity. Even when Joshua was taken.

Things had changed with Aion. He wasn't the kind to favor brute force; no, instead he used his own cunning to ensnare their hearts and entrap their minds. She had never forgotten the damage Aion had wreaked on her precious brother; he had never failed to remember how close Aion's presence summoned him to the edge of his own insanity. So when Aion had appeared that day, it had struck a discordant tumult of shock and anger in both of their souls.

She's in pain sometimes. I see her clutching at that goddamned pocket watch, when she thinks I'm not looking. It's times like those that I feel truly hollow inside.

It hadn't been like the other times, not at all. Azmaria had stayed behind, for once, and yet Aion didn't care. They hadn't known any motivation behind those murderous steel-gray eyes, but, then, it didn't matter. Aion had been willing to slaughter for whatever he had craved that sunny afternoon.

I truly hate myself because every day, I'm killing her a little more.

Aion had called to him, enthralling him, begging him, seducing him to come back to the other side. To return to his own kind. But with a glance at her disheveled features, he had declined. Aion hadn't liked that. They could tell by the bloody rage in his eyes.

I wonder if, deep down, she hates me too.

Her own eyes had never flashed with fear, not even as Aion turned his deadly gaze toward her. She had simply gripped her weapon tighter, telling herself what she always did—that she could never give up, because Joshua depended on her. Too late, her companion had realized Aion's murderous intent and her danger. Too late, she lay bleeding in his arms.

I don't even like to think about that point when the ticking clock will inevitably die, and she with it.

He had felt his control loosening the very moment she had fallen, to Aion's gratification. His breath had come faster, lungs straining against his ribs as he fought to inhale through the pain of it all: his pain and her own. The intense pressure inside his skull had built and built until he would rather have died than face the hurt of it all and the only way to release it was to throw back his head and howl, filling all his rage and grief and loneliness into one inhuman shriek, and he had felt the air heating around him and his sanity slipping farther and farther away—and then, she had said his name.

It has to happen, I know. And she knows. Demons live on, while humans perish and perish and perish again. But we both will suffer for it, in the end.

It was only a whisper, really. But enough to pull him back to his own eyes, enough to make him realize how bad losing her would truly make him feel. His best friend, his contractor, his family lay dying in his embrace and he could do nothing but sit and cradle her and grieve as he felt her life slipping away from her. She had whispered nothing more to him after his name, but he had known what she would have said, had she the chance. And she had known what he would have said, had he the words.

I hate the thought of her suffering.

When the pocket watch on her chest had clicked open, he had truly known that she was gone. Yet still he did not move from his spot, mourning in his own silent way. He had possessed no wish to see the shocked and sympathetic expressions painted on the others' countenances like masks on paper dolls. She and only she had been his confidante, and if she had gone, who else did he have? So he had remained on the dusty ground, looking up only to verify that Aion had gone. An unfortunate thing, too, for if Aion had remained, he would have had a deserving victim on whom he could inflict all of his own pain. But no, he had been left alone, his tears marking spots on the dusty ground where she had died, and his own soul with her.

I can't bear to a think of a life that she isn't in.

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A/N: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: aaaaaaaaaangst. And not very well-written angst, at that. Ah well. Blame the Goo Goo Dolls. I've been listening to "Acoustic #3" over, and over, and over..

Yeah, I know the tenses were confusing, but at least I kept them mostly consistent. Ish.

Review, please. -)