Title: With Such an Existence as This
Series: Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle
Summary: Following the desolate deaths of Kurogane, Syaoran, and Sakura, Fai goes crazy. Making small dolls of his deceased companions, he relives each of their adventures. Alternate universe, oneshot.
Disclaimer: Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle is copyright to CLAMP.
What if I died that day? What if, rather than leaving me to live out a pitiful and useless existence, they were here upon this earth, living out their own hopes, wishes, and desires. Fulfilling every single thing they'd ever could've wished for, because I'd died for their lives? I wonder if these thoughts are suicidal…
Blond hair lay scattered across a hard, flat, white surface, the long platinum strands leading back to a young man who looked older than he was. His cheeks were partially sunken, and his pale blue eyes had violet bags beneath them, causing them to appear almost white on white. His thin and lanky figure was stretched out loosely along the surface they called a bed in the hellhole he resided in, one arm hanging off the structure, a doll held limply in one long-fingered, delicate hand, the other hand upon his stomach, rising and falling with every slow breath he took.
His eyes stared blankly into the ceiling, as though able to see through and beyond the simple white padded walls. He wasn't dangerous; he didn't know why the walls needed to be padded. Perhaps they simply wanted him to have fun. He had fun, of course. Making the dolls he coveted so.
Slowly lifting the hanging hand up in front of his face, he twitched his wrist a few times, until the doll smiled brightly back at him, their eyes meeting. His lips moved in the shape of a name he knew, but from a lack of speech over time, his voice was now raspy and cracked every time he tried to speak. After a few previous tries of attempting to speak to himself, he'd given up and now mouthed words to himself.
'Syaoran-kun…' he mouthed to himself, cracked lips splitting further with the movements. The doll continued smiling back, and he studied it for the first time since making the doll. The smooth fabric, with it's rich colour created to give the effect of a gentle tan; the embroidered features; each of the little outfits made for each adventure he sent the dolls out on. Each was laid out along one side of the room, making sure that each outfit matched each doll.
'Sakura-chan…Kuro-puu…Syaoran-kun…and myself.' He mouthed, dropping the doll to his chest, allowing it to fall against the limp off-white fabric of the dressing gown they gave him. He examined his hand, turning it over ahead. The bones were visible, as were a few of the veins. It couldn't be healthy, he decided. So why didn't they care?
It had seemed lifetimes ago since he'd heard their voices in person; Kurogane scolding him for calling him by cute names, Syaoran calling after the princess, and the princess calling after Mokona, who teased Kurogane. Instead, they played over in his head. Each adventure he retold to himself, trying it out from the perspectives of various players in the play known as "life," he heard the words recited to him in their voices. Sometimes it made him happy to hear their voices, bringing back warm memories. Sometimes it depressed him, reminding him of the things he wanted to forget most.
No matter how much he wanted to forget about their deaths, he couldn't. Nothing would let him. They demanded he have a hobby, so he made dolls. His dolls ended up being of his late companions, thus reminding him. They demanded he do something to continue his hobby, so he made clothing for them. More than once, he'd stabbed himself – unintentionally, at first – in the fingers, then simply allowed the blood to be soaked into the clothes. No one else would play with them, after all. Who was there that would know them?
He'd then dress the dolls, taking special care and setting them up against a wall, then trying his best to remember the high points of their adventures in their respective order. Like a storyteller, he'd act out the stories for himself, usually invoking dormant emotions. They'd come to slip him a meal and his medication, and he'd look up some days, a bright grin on his face, as though nothing was wrong. Other days, his face would be streaked with pale marks, and his fingernails would be chewed until they filed them again.
It almost depressed him to remember the way he went through life. It was pathetic, he thought. He could be doing something with his life. They could be doing something with their lives. But they weren't and he wasn't and instead he lay there on his back, struggling to remember the next adventure.
Plenty of time had passed since the first adventure, during which he made them all meet in an alternate way than they really had. Simply because he hadn't felt like making a doll of the Time-Space Witch. Yuuko. Whatever she was known by. He never made dolls of the others they came across. Though once they gave him a piece of paper and a pencil and watched him like a hawk as he lay on the floor scribbling one of Sakura's feathers onto the page like a child.
Rather than trying to cut it out somehow, he'd used it the way it was, handing back the pencil and mouthing a thank you to the guard who nodded and left. Then he'd played with that one feather and the dolls. Sometimes they watched him in interest. What goes on in the mind of the crazy blond whose friends all were murdered before him? They could likely make a reality television show and Yuuko would watch it weekly, almost religiously. Because that was how she was.
Now, however, he was almost out of adventures. He might make them up, or he might relive their grande finale. What would he do after that though? Maybe die with them, maybe live for them. Who really knew? Not even he could define the thoughts screaming through his head. With such an existence as his own, he basically did what thought made itself most prominent.
If, after the final tale of adventure and romance, the first thought was to die, that's what he'd do. If it were to make more dolls and redo it, with all the characters and more feathers – perhaps even feather dolls – that's what he'd do. If it were to beg the first guard to let him try to live normally, that's what he'd do. With such an existence, he could truly live life in the moment.
What decision could he have made? He could have chosen the easy way out; the hard way out; the normal way out. The natural choice was the easy way. It was plain human nature. Escape with his friends and finally meet them again. Unless he was superstitious, then he'd never see them again, as suicidal souls were doomed to the life of a god of death.
But he wasn't, and he had nothing against it. From time to time, he still thought that he shouldn't have been spared. There was no logical reasoning behind it. Unless the powers that be had a secret agenda for him that he didn't know about and thus couldn't fill the quota of.
Now, I think that these thoughts may be quite suicidal. But if they died, as well as myself, it would be a more logical solution to the problem. Rather than sparing the one who needed to be around people, take him as well. Makes perfect sense…
He sat against the opposite wall, the dolls laid out before him. He gently selected one to tell the story from – himself – and began mouthing it to himself, acting it out using the dolls. A rather deranged puppet theatre for the demented.
He moved Syaoran before Sakura, protecting her from the fate that she was meant for – that everyone was meant for eventually. Prodding his finger into Syaoran's stomach, his face fell and he sighed, dropping the doll limply. It was much less gory to recreate. He then pressed the tip of the same index finger into Sakura's stomach. Both had been gutted by the same spear, like a shish kebob, but it was too hard to depict that, and he could see it perfectly in his mind anyways. Quite unfortunate.
That left himself and Kurogane. Should he modify it or play it like it was? Play it like it was, he decided. Kurogane had stepped in front of the smaller man, then glanced back, and genuinely smiled. He seemed about to say something, but had been stabbed through by the guards. A solitary tear ran down Fai's cheek and he poked his finger against the warm cotton of Kurogane's clothed stomach. That left him. Alone and wounded.
He dropped the Kurogane doll, lifting the doll of himself higher. The small beaded eyes met his own dead blue, and Fai sighed. He dropped the doll to the floor, ignoring it for the time being, and gathered his supplies. He questioned why they gave him the items so willingly. Because he had a record of being calm and collected? Because he was allowed to wander freely? Possibly, because before that day, he'd never thought of killing himself. Never dreamt of such a morbid thought.
And yet, there he was, tying loose strips of fabric together in a braid to form a rope, and finally, a noose.
Looking the form over for quality, Fai sighed again, more deeply and heartfelt. They were dead; the dolls were dead, in a way, as well. Thus, he should die, and so should his doll. He lifted another thin strip of fabric between bony fingers and began twisting it, to form a weak rope. He tied it in the same manner that he tied his own in, and fit it around the neck of the doll sullenly. He tugged on the end, making sure the doll wouldn't fall out, and tied a small knot in the loose end.
Standing up weakly, he glanced around for anything he could tie the ropes to. He'd never really noticed the detailing of his room. It never came to his mind, and he'd never desired for such a morose end. Above him, though he'd never noticed, due to the glaring white of the ceiling, was a set of crossbars, likely strong enough to hold the weight of a human being.
He dropped into a crouch, eyeing his bed, seeing if it would move. It appeared that it would, so Fai rose once again and tried to pull it closer to the centre of the room. It was quite light, despite the hard surface. Getting into bed at night - or whenever he was tired, really - was easy, though actually rising to the level of the bed proved a struggle for his weak body.
Finally, his doll and he stood at their final point. Their last breaths would be taken at that spot and the guards would find them both at that spot. Using nimble fingers, Fai tied the doll's noose to a rafter, but held the doll steady with one hand. It wasn't time to die yet.
His own noose, he'd draped about his neck. Not in a manner of tying it, but instead just a manner of carrying it. Using his one free hand, he removed the makeshift rope and began to loop one end around the rafters, making sure it wouldn't fall beneath his weight. It wasn't as though he was heavy though. Far from, in fact. Skin and bones were all he was, little to no muscle in any place other than the muscles used for sewing. He didn't dislike his appearance, but he hadn't looked in a mirror since they died.
Still, he supported the doll, as he tugged his own noose. Slipping his neck through, he felt a lump grow in his throat. Would this really end his problems? He disliked that human emotion of regret. He had too many, and still they grew in him. He heard at one point that every suicide victim had felt a pang of regret in their last moments, realising that this wasn't the way to go.
Shutting his eyes tightly, he prayed for little to no pain.
There was a crack, and his hand fell limp to his side, the doll swinging beside him effortlessly.
That was the end. The end of the adventures, the end of their lives, the end of everything. No worries remained, simply the perfection of a wretched life left behind. And does anyone care, he wondered. Would anything matter if I lived? Instead, he spent the last moments without regrets, no care for the past, no care for the future. After all, what future was left for one with such an existence as this?