"I am broken," she whispers, and though the words are carried off by the wind, his keen ears hear her. "Why would you want me?"

"That which is broken may be fixed," he replies. "I will repair you, and you will serve me. I will protect you, and you will belong to me."

He is brutally honest, but she is glad for the truth. There have been four before him, but each one has whispered honeyed lies into her ears.

They were her angels, her knights in shining armour. The first one was the epitome of darkness, always brooding and sulking. Black wings sprouted from his shoulders and the cloth in which he was clad was black as the nights with no moon.

She followed him around, wanting to be with him forever (such a hopeful, naïve child she was).

And he left her. In the dark of night, to match his heart, he knocked her out with two words and left her on her own with no way to protect herself.

And those dark feathered wings became the hands of the devil, and she no longer recognized him when she saw him again.

Where are you? Why did you go? her heart cried when she woke. Why didn't you take me with you?

But the silence was her only answer.

The second angel was bright and cheerful, and he promised over and over – he swore – he would always be there. He would never leave her (never never never, 'ttebayo), and they would always be together.

Always was such a short time. This angel with the blond hair and the warm, welcoming smile and his white, white wings mended the crack in her heart; and for a while she believed that forever would last… well, forever.

Then he was taken away from her by a foolish promise made in the ignorance of youth, and when he left, she let him go. She couldn't stand to see his sorrowful eyes when he was trapped and helpless, unable to resist going to the first angel, but unwilling to leave her.

The dark angel mattered more than she did. He left, and she was alone. Her heart cracked again.

Her third angel was grey and silent. But he stroked her hair and held her and murmured soothing words to her when the silence became unbearable. He was her shoulder on which to cry.

Stay with me, she begged him. Heal me, and do not break me again.

But he was afraid of commitment, afraid that agreeing to protect her would end in her death, and so he left her.

He had ghosts to remember, had people for whom to mourn, and he had no room in his life for her.

Her third angel drowned in his own memories, forever surrounded by the dead and the damned. Her heart was in pieces.

The fourth was a pale almost-angel. He was false and rude but he was learning, and she cared for him.

He drew for her and painted her and taught her how to create a mask, smoothing plaster over the cracks in her façade of happiness.

Her heart whispered that it was only a matter of time before he left her, but he stayed – for a while.

But her heart craved someone to put it back together again, and how could she expect him to do this when he had no idea how to use his own?

How can I expect to be healed by someone who is shattered himself?

In the end, he was ripped from her by death, and though she mourned him, she knew that it would not have been a happy ending even had he lived. Her fourth angel was flawed and imperfect, and in the end it killed him. Her heart shattered.

And he is the fifth now. He stands before her, extending a patient hand and an invitation to join her. No, it is a demand, an order.

"When will you leave me?" A thin thread of sound leaves her lips.

"Never," he answers roughly. "I will never leave you."

"I can see your wings," she tells him, reaching up with a shaking hand. "Dark, like the first one. Your eyes are the colour of blood. You are an angel like him. Like the first. You will leave me."

"No," he persists, opening his arms – strong arms, warm arms. "Come to me. I will fix you."

"Why fix me, only to shatter me again?" she wants to know. "And how do you fix something that is in a million tiny pieces?"

"With time and patience," he murmurs, drawing her closer to him. "I will fix you, and you will belong to me. No matter how many eternities it takes."

"Very well," she relents. "You may have what is left of me."

There were four angels before him, and each one has had a hand at least in breaking her and shattering her and destroying her.

This time, he enfolds her in his wings and spirits her away. This angel, her fifth angel, is no angel at all. He has done the task no angel can do.

He has fixed her, and she is his.

- - -

Ooh, drabble/oneshot type thingies are fun. I'm addicted. Yes.