Warning: Spoilers for episodes 32.



Saya cries after the battle, half-naked and bleeding and unable to keep the tears from streaming down her face – exhaustion and distress and hatred leaking out of her eyes until she is blinded. She leans on her swords and screams, howls; it nearly sounds like a child being slaughtered. Hagi watches her through heavily lidded eyes, waiting for the life to flow back into his fingers. When he can move again, he wrenches the ruby shards from his chest, breathing heavily. (One of Karl's feet was just barely a stump, and Diva's dress had been torn into a skirt, but they were both still laughing as they left, sharing a madness so strong and searing it made him almost weep to hear it.)

He presses a hand to his wounds, feeling the skin start to stitch itself together. When the blood has stopped flowing he walks over to her, unbuttoning his cloak and draping it unceremoniously over her shoulders. She tugs at the fabric, unable to say anything, unable to move. She is delirious with sadness. He reaches for her hand, and her body jerks at the contact, the sword gives way – he catches her before she can slump to the floor, bundling her up like a baby. She is too weak to do anything else, and she collapses sobbing into his arms.

"I couldn't stop her." Her eyes are red darts though a waterfall. She coughs, she sputters, she has to take sharp, serrated breaths. He does not say anything – he cannot – the words have dwindled over the decades, becoming less distinct as his notes grew cleaner and sharper. He has traded a bow for his tongue and strings for syllables – but it's the first time in a long time that he has realized, it isn't enough. She digs her nails into his arm. "Riku –" she gasps. "Riku, he –"

This time he does not stay silent; the anguish in her voice is too painful. Perhaps it is selfishness, but he can't stand to see her suffer so much. "Saya, please. Don't say any more." She gives up. The words melt into screeches, into shakes, into her fingers squeezing his hand as her cuts slowly disappear. They didn't have time to watch the ship sink, with Karl flying around them, attacking, and Diva in his arms – but the empty, ruined harbor was proof enough of all the souls swallowed by the sea.

She is trying not to die; she is scratched and torn and broken inside out, and the tears won't stop. He holds her as the fire burns and the debris flutters around them like ash-gray butterflies. He holds her as the silence composes a tuneless lullaby, until even Saya grows limp and silent, the tracks of tears against her cheeks vivid in her dirty face. He holds her as a burning sun sets the sky aflame, eyes sad as he watches her dream of nightmares they all know to be true.

A/N: Thank you for reading. Comments would be well appreciated. Part 2 will be up soon enough. :D