A/N: The idea for this is drawn from Greek Mythology. For anyone unfamiliar with this particular myth, Atlas was one of the Titans who, after the war with the Greek gods, was punished by having to hold the sky on his shoulders. Heracles, while performing one of his twelve labors, had to retrieve golden apples from Hera's garden. Atlas performed the task for him, while Heracles took up the task of holding the sky. Atlas retrieved the apples and tried to trick Heracles into taking his position permanently. Heracles pretended to believe him, asking Atlas to hold the sky for a moment so that he could then place it more comfortably on his shoulders. As soon as Atlas took back the sky Heracles grabbed the golden apples and left.
Okay, history lesson of the day is done. Read, enjoy, and review if you wish.
I think I know how Atlas felt after holding up the sky for so long. I think I know how he felt when he passed his burden on to Heracles, how he tasted the sweet rapture of freedom, and then was suckered back into doing a duty he never asked for.
I'm Atlas. I hold up the sky, keep it from falling and crushing the poor little people around me. Atlas was huge, was strong, was beyond capable of destroying everyone around him. He was beyond capable of just letting go, letting the sky fall and fall.
But he didn't. He did his duty. As do I. I hold up the sky; keep the world turning in its slow revolutions, the sun rising and setting every day.
Maybe I think too much of myself. Atlas had the sky on his shoulders; I have only the fate of my world. If I fall, if I falter, the sky will remain far above us, but the ground will drop out from beneath our feet.
There will be blood, if I fail.
There will be blood if I succeed.
The difference is that if I fail the blood will be my friends' blood; if I win it will be my enemies' blood.
Either way my blood will join the rest. I'm doomed either way.
I don't want to carry the world, to carry the sky. I didn't ask for this fate, this duty. I didn't ask to be your Savior.
I didn't ask to live. I just did.
You call me the Boy-Who-Lived, as if it is such a tremendous task. I lived because of sacrifices that were not my own. I lived because a madman was too greedy and blood-hungry to pause and think about what he was doing.
This isn't my war. I didn't ask for it, I didn't cause it, and you know what?
I don't care.
I am beyond caring. All I want to do is turn my back and sleep. All I want to do is put down this burden that you thrust upon my shoulders.
I think I know how Atlas felt.
I think he must have cried and screamed when he was pulled back into the destiny he didn't want. I think the world must have trembled.
But he did his duty. He held the sky up.
I will do the same.
And when this is over, I'll drop the sky, let it fall on your heads.
Soon, I'll be done being your savior, being your martyr.
Soon, you'll have to hold up your own damn sky, because I'm not doing it anymore.
I've been Atlas, for years.
Now it's your turn.
And, unlike Atlas, I won't be tricked into coming back. Unlike Atlas, I'll run as far away as I can get.
Carry your own damn burdens.
They aren't mine anymore.
Maybe, at last, I'll be able to sleep.