The world tells us that the Baudelaires are monsters, beasts that should be put down in the dead of night in acts of cowardice and rage, animals that should never be mentioned in a lady's company or seen by anyone, things that should stay in hiding for always and eternity, never to be seen by the rest of the population.

The world is wrong.

A small girl sitting on a swing reflects. The world is often wrong. It is rarely right. it holds a few amazing people up on pedestols so high that they cannot hope to not lose their balance and fall, and ignores the rest of the truly remarkable people. Few humans are immortalized. Few will live beyond their own lifetimes in anything but the hearts and minds of a few close friends and family. The world is cruel in this way.

The world is cruel in many ways. It locks away people for who they are, for who they could become, for who they have once been and for who they have wished they were. It turns its back on those it once suipported, leaves people to rot for the smallest mistakes because it cannot see past its own. Genocide and war are common. They should not be. Pain and suffering should never be common. It is such a pity that they are.

The girl has known this for many years, for nearly as long as she can rememeber. She will sometimes have flashbacks, small little memories, of times before all of the hatred that still follows her, before a man with a single eyebrow and a tattoo on his ankle, before three mysterious letters and pain and death and loss and oh how she wished it would all just stop, just for a moment, just a moment to give her some rest...

The world is quiet here. A last message from a dying group, the last haunting refrain of a horrible ballad of pain, of love, of wishes, of schisms… the world is not quiet here, here where she is. She wonders from where the saying, the message was concoted. She would like to visit it someday, for the world never seems to be quiet where she is, where she has been, where she will be. She wonders if it is possible for it to be. She doubts it is.

Doubts. Doubts in her reasons to go on, to go on with all the world's horrors, to go on with everything that has happened to her and everything that ever will… to continue to live on the outside when on the inside she is dead, always has been and always will be…

But no. That's not true. She remembers her sister, her easy smile even in the times of trouble, her way to think past any problem… she had been alive on the inside when Violet was there, the world may not have been quiet but the noises had been muted, just for a moment, for those moments she had smiled… smiled and said everything would be alright…

And it always had been alright. Always, exc ept the last time. She remebered that day, the horror of being dragged up the slope in Olaf's arms, and Violet telling them to stop, to take her instead, that she was the one they truly needed to inherit the money, she was eldest, she would have access first… her said smile as she tickled her, told her once more that it would all be fine… the girl's own cries as her brother held her and her sister was driven away in the company of madmen, in the company of men and women who would kill for no reason other thhan money…

The girl angrily brushes tears off of a thin face, all traces of baby fat gone, even at her young age. There is no room for baby fat on the run. You must be quick, lest the world spots you, and all pauses for a moment before it is louder than ever, and then it all ends… Perhaps there is finally silence at the end. Perhaps Violet's end has come, and she has finally found the elusive place where the world is quiet, where you can catch your breath even if it is just for a moment, where you can hear yourself think… perhaps she is at peace.

The girl snorted. Delusions were calming, but they were not the truth. Violet was alive. Her birthday had not yet come, though it would in several months. And then she would inherit the money and be forced to write a will signing it to that monster, the self-proclaimed count… for who could be fooled into naming the man a counbt, even if they could not see past his foolish façade? But it did not matter, for in a few months, if they did not find her, Violet would die, and Olaf would get the money, and perhaps he would leave them alone, but in all likelihood he never would, and they would never get their peace, never be free to feel the wind on their faces and not be shunned by the world, the foolish world, the world that abandoned them when they most needed help…

She hears her brother calling her, and she stands, ready to face another day of searching, another day of nev er finding, another day of unbearable loudness… She runs towards him and he picks her up and spins her aroud with a laugh, and she doesn't talk to him about it, she can never talk to him about it, because maybe his world is quiet, and she never wants anyone else to ever have to hear the noise of life, the noiose of her life, the noise of a useless life, the life of someone who is just a shell, who cannot truly live any longer, for she never truly lived to begin with…

The two walk off, the tall man with the dark brown hair and the little girl with the velvet black curls, both in shabby clothes, both thin, both haunted by the worst the world has to offer, and neither willing to speak of it…

Perhaps the world is quiet here, here where these thoughts are being read. Perhaps they are read by someone who is at peace with themselves, with the perfect life, with no pain, someone not haunted by the terrible noise… the noise of suffering…

And perhaps, just perhaps, Sunny Baudelaire will allow herself to believe this before being lead away by Klaus to continue their silent search, their search for a sister and a place where the world is quiet. Perhaps she will allow herself to be blanketed in comforting lies.

Then again, perhaps not.

A/N: This is based off an A/U premise I had taking place from an alternate end to the Slippery Slope.

Aerin