By: Manna (Kitten Kisses)
Where has everyone gone? He pondered on that single thought for a long while as he lay gasping for breath on the ground. He could feel his life slipping away slowly, as if his soul was leaking from his physical body with every second that passed.
A part of him wanted to laugh- what was all that crap about seeing your life flashing before your eyes? All he could see was nothing. Nobody. No one. Where were they? Why was he dying alone? Where was Serra, or Priscilla- or gosh, anybody at all- when he needed them? What had he done to deserve a fate like that?
His hand went to the lance that was poking through the front of his stomach, and he could feel the warm blood that left his fingers sticky and his heart cold. The strength that he had possessed- which could be used to fight, or perhaps to woo women- was nearly gone, and he could not pull it from him.
I'll just die faster if I pull it out, he thought. He was slowly getting dizzy, but he was already on the ground, and nothing he could do would keep all of Elibe from spinning in every imaginable direction. Perhaps I went too far with my attentions towards the women and they have left me here because of it.
He felt a dull ache in his heart when he thought about it- thought that maybe he would die, and nobody would even care- but there was nothing he could do about dying. Death itself was inevitable, and he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do. Wasn't a dying person supposed to be begging St. Elimine for forgiveness for sins and transgressions and wrongdoings and… his mind whirled through the many possibilities.
No, Sir Sain, the gallant Knight of Caelin, vassal and sworn protector of the Lady Lyndis, lover of humanity and all things good and righteous… only wanted one thing as he took his last breaths… a friend.
His eyes closed slowly against his will as he tried to catch his breath. Of course, the pointed stick jamming through him- damn it all- made doing that as difficult as attempting to breathe underwater, and he struggled to stay awake, because he certainly didn't want to die alone.
After a few moments, the sounds of the battle that had been at the back of his mind ceased, and in his half-aware state, Sain could hear footfalls echoing through the field that he was laying in.
The tall grass moved lightly in the soft summer breeze that Mother Earth and Father Sky had offered to them on that day, and the dim lighting shielded him from anybody who would happen to walk by.
I am right here, he wanted to say, but I can't speak loudly enough for you to hear, so you won't know it.
A minute or two passed, and then he heard a voice that sounded shocked at first, and then nearly terrified, but his mind was slowing, and he couldn't see them, so it took him a minute or two to recognize their voice.
"Sain? S…Sain!" At first, their tone had registered relief, and then he could hear something in their voice that he had only heard when Lord Eliwood had held his dead father in his arms. "Don't… don't worry, I'll get someone," they said, and though the pitch of their voice had gone up a bit due to their own worry, Sain realized that it was a man who had found him.
"…No," he rasped, and coughed a little. Speaking took a lot out of him, but he would have never thought before that it would feel like somebody was strangling him. "Stay."
I do not wish to die alone, was the thought that he tried to project to the person who was now kneeling beside him, lifting his head off of the ground.Death is unavoidable, but if you leave, I will die by myself.
"I…" he tried to say, but was cut off before he could say anything else.
"Don't speak," the man said, and Sain realized that it was Kent who was lifting his head and watching him with eyes that he could imagine were full of the same serious determination he always had in a situation where it concerned someone he knew. "You'll kill yourself if you keep speaking."
Sain could feel his sweat-soaked sandy hair sticking to his forehand, and his fellow Knight's gloved hand supporting him in a half-seated position, and he could feel his very essence draining from his body, as if his soul were trying to fly to the heavens.
"I'm dying…Kent," he choked out, knowing that he sounded stupid by saying it, but he did not make an attempt to stop himself from stating the obvious.
"I… I know." Kent's normally serious expression was drooping, and his dark eyes were filled with fear and regret. "I'm sorry, I should have come sooner."
Sain could hear the self-berating in Kent's voice, however distant it was starting to sound, and he wanted to shake his head and say something smart. Oh, it is okay. Just find yourself a woman, or I'll come back to haunt you for all of eternity, or, Don't forget to dig that grave exactly six feet deep…wouldn't want the wolves to get me, you know, were options that he had considered before, in a time where he thought that it would be amusing at the very least, but when he had originally thought of it, he had not known that he would be unable to say it, least of all in a joking manner. He attempted a smile instead, a much easier task.
Kent was not an overly emotional man, and though he usually managed to stay composed in nearly any situation, regardless as to how he felt about it personally, when he saw the weak smile that Sain had tried nearly a full minute to accomplish, it nearly crushed him. He had to stay strong for this man who had been with him through thick and thin… from being merely two recruits among many, to full knights…to vassals of Lord Hausen himself… to Lady Lyndis and all the adventures she had managed to pull them all into.
Where were the words that were supposed to come tumbling from one's mouth to comfort a friend as they lay dying, like in the plays and books? His mind was a mess, thoughts jumping on top of one another in their hurry to be recognized and acted upon… and though his mind was full, it still felt so utterly empty.
He wanted to say something to his friend that would be comforting, and helpful, and insightful… one of those touching speeches that would leave him feeling like he had said the right thing, but the only thought coming to mind was, have a nice trip, and damn it, that wasn't going to work. Not for someone like Sain.
So he settled for the next thought that came to mind. "I'll…miss you, Sain," he told his companion. "Even though we did not always agree on things, you…are a good friend."
He was startled when Sain started to shake his head, though at first he didn't know what the dying man was doing because his movements were jerky and hard to follow.
"B…boo," he started to say, his voice weak. He knew he would be dying soon- all too soon- and he wanted to hear it. Just once.
"Oh," Kent said, his voice one of a defeated man. "Not just a friend," he said quietly, and Sain could hear his friend's voice slowly drifting away as he spoke. "You did well, my boon companion. We will all surely miss you, though we will never forget you."
A few seconds of silence passed, and Kent feared that Sain had not heard the last words he had to say to him while he was around to hear them, but he heard a low, rasping sound that came from his friend's mouth, almost unrecognizable as a whisper.
"Than-" he started to say, but the once tall and brave Knight of Caelin slowly heard his own voice fizzle out as a dark calmness washed over him, and he felt his soul slip from the confines of his body as he let himself separate from the world that suddenly didn't seem to matter as much as it once had.
I just… I was listening to Creed's "One Last Breath" the other day… and this idea just jumped into my head. It was originally going to be different, end different, et cetera, but this actually turned out a lot better than my original idea.
I didn't mean to slap humor in there, but it just…happened, and for some odd reason, it kind of fits. In desperate situations, a lot of us tend to just think of something that will do absolutely no good.
As for the "dark calmness"… one time, I had a dream that…well, stuff happened, and I died. In my dream, I died. (And they said that was impossible?) I remember solid white just washing over me (color due to the fact that I died via an explosion), and then calm silence… When I woke up, I swear my eyes were still burning, and I was just so…peaceful. It was very odd.
Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on this. And if you see any mistakes or anything and have the time to point them out, I'd really appreciate it. Also, constructive criticism is always appreciated!
Thanks for reading!