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- THE BEAUTY OF DROWNING (by Kuroya) ((Written: 2/15/05 Published: 2/22/05)) -

The sky was falling.

He saw it in his dreams- the blacks and reds and grays, tendrils of color reaching out to embrace all that lay beneath.

And he, helpless, watched as it consumed him with all the fury of an uncontrollable fire, destroying his memories and eating away at his mind until he could no longer think no longer see and the world became white.

It was like watching someone drown. They screamed and flailed at first, then slowly sank, dissolving below the surface of the visible world. After a while, they would return to the glassy surface as a shell, dead empty hollow eyes baring nothing souls, and flesh as white as bone.

The sky was falling.

It wasn't as if he hadn't expected it; oh no, he had seen this coming from a long way off, ever since that day they had tried to save Mio.

So why hadn't he fought it?

Sometimes, after the sky fell down to blanket the land in a mist like blood, he would rise above the world and look down upon it like an angel... Or a demon, perhaps. He was the only being left alive, and he would watch the shifting shades of black and red paint below. The sun never rose to bleach these pigments to white, nor did the moon come to soothe the world with its soft silvery glow.

There was simply... Nothing.

And then he would laugh, a hollow sort of sound that echoed dismally through his lungs and throat. He laughed until his heart exploded from the constant pressure, laughed until his lungs crumbled into dust, laughed until his body shattered and splintered all across the broken planet.

When he woke up, he was always very careful not to smile. He was always so very careful about what he said and what he did, lest the sky crush him like a bug... Lest he destroy the world.

But he wasn't afraid... No, never afraid.

There was a sort of beauty in drowning, he decided; the beauty of paints splattered across a torn canvas, the beauty of pure white. The beauty of a broken world...

Nevertheless, he was careful not to give in. He protected Ren with all that was left of his sanity, and protected him from the laughing demon inside of the mirror.

Broken glass. Shattered souls. Pure white paint... And the beauty of drowning.

The sky was falling.

And he wasn't even afraid.