It felt as if he was always rising out of darkness. As if no matter how low he had been thrown he could always pick himself up. There always seemed to be no limit to how much pain and torment he could take. No limit to how much darkness could surround is soul-- mercy, hadn't been shown to him in decades. Nor would it come in years. He doubted that even in the next few minutes or seconds would he find any comfort or solace. The world just didn't seem to think he needed it.
A dull gasp sounded out in the night, vibrating around a chasm of fallen splendour. Gold tarnished and the earth soaked in blood and death. It was a rather depressing place really, no place for life at all. Yet, what was life? He didn't think he was alive, most certainly he had found hell finally. Yet, as his conscious slid in and out of reality he grew steadily aware of the fact he was unfortunately not dead. Anger seized his next round of reality, and he cried out in anguish and torment. Surely he had lived out this hellish existence? What more had he left to give?!
It took several more collapses back into the darkness before he could bring himself move. He moved gingerly, like a corpse that had been re-animated. Rubble broke away from the tomb he had been buried under, and a hand emerged out of the darkness yet again. Clawed fingers dug into the boulders around him and he shuddered as he wormed his way from the ground like a filthy insect. His breaths came out in wispy shudders, wheezy and hard drawn. Blood tinged down the side of his lips, running a path through the grime that covered his abused form.
Once free, he collapsed into a heap on top of his prison. His breath sent sharp jolts of pain through his abdomen and even still he laid still for along time listening to his own raspy breaths and feeling the sharp objects of debris under him. His temporary freedom left him exhausted, oddly hungry, and darkness found him once more. A gentle name on his lips dieing off into the sound of solitude a round him.
Albert startled awake with a cry, his breath heaving in his chest as he gripped the rough sheets under his fingers for support. He could still see those dulled mix-matched eyes, and it slid a shudder down his spine and caused him to bite his lip from uttering another sound. The walls were thin, and he didn't need to draw any unwelcome attention to himself. He took the time to calm down, glancing over towards the open window that allowed in the autumn breeze. He observed the sun, not needing to glance over towards his watch to know it was still early in the morning. Looking at the sun however caused his throat to tighten as he remembered the extravagant floating replica that had hovered in the depth of the Counts private estate. Yet, that masterpiece was shattered into the depths of that equally fake ocean—the whole estate lying in ruin.
He swallowed hard and decided to close his eyes. But there was no escape from his dream as he fell back into the unyielding surface of his bed. That voice echoed endlessly around his head, so smooth and deep. Edmond had such a wondrous voice that had captivated him easily when he had first met him—but the dream voice had been filled with a husky edge of pain that left him shuddering all over again. It had seemed so real, frighteningly capturing every sense he had with its details. He could smell the salty water curling around the rocks in the distance. Taste the metallic stench of blood that hung in the air, he could feel the desperation and agony that flowed off of the count. He needed no thing about how much he could hear— because he was still hearing it. The images served as a deep enough intake of his sight, and he found himself filled with a strange urgency. That name was calling him, drawing him like a lover to an embrace.
Albert suddenly pulled himself up right, and tossed off his sheets in a flurry of drab colours and fell to his knees. He reached around blindly in the dark under his bed– and there! His fingers closed around the hard edge of a case, and he hauled it forward and into his lap. As he sat back onto the balls of his feet he blew off a small layer of dust that had gathered on top of the box. His nose twitched, threatening him to sneeze but he held down the noise—thin walls he must remember.
With a diligent touch he lifted the lid of the case, and set it to his side. Nimble fingers shifted through the protective cloth he had filled the box with until he found what he was looking for. The golden metal was cold against his finger tips, and he held his breath as he gathered the pocket watch into the palm of his hand. It was dinted severely, as he had never had the heart to go get it repaired. It was the one soul object he possessed as a memory towards the man that had left his life a living hell. A hell it seemed, that was plagued with nightmares of his very death. Albert pressed down the turner on the watch, and observed the golden trinket as it popped open faithfully.
Shards of glass still littered the depths of cogs and arrows, its strange details altered by the damage he had done to it. He stared down at those arrows, which ticked slowly around the circumference of the watch. He continued to stare—even as his grasp went slack and the watch clattered the short distance to the floor under his fingers. His gaze was wide, and his mind raced in a muffled manner behind those shocked blue depths.
No, he thought with an uneven voice. The watch had not been working the last time he opened it. In fact, if he recalled correctly—it had not been working since he had stolen it from the counts inner coat pocket. He had been surprised to find the man had kept it, and even taken with more surprise at his own desire to keep it...
"You're foolish!" A blonde haired woman exclaimed, watching in horror as the brunette before her tossed together the clothes he had but only hours ago unpacked. "You told me yourself that he died, Albert. Died! The man's gone, let him rot in hell!" Oh yes, the women was defiantly displeased. It was seen in her body language, as clear as day. But, perhaps for a certain male he was blinded to the clear signs of feminine displeasure. The hand on her hips eluded him as a clear warning, and he seemed unable to notice that fierce light in the depths of her eyes.
"It was too real." Albert exclaimed, turning around to meet his determination against the pianist. "I can't just ignore it, Eugénie..." He added as an after thought, his voice dropping in tone to a much softer edge. With an utter of displeasure the women turned away and let her hands fill the air before her. There was no arguing when Albert had his mind set on something. He was as stubborn as a mule, and would seldom listen to reason. The blonde paused at the door, her fingers tightening around the handle fill her knuckles turned white.
"Your inability to control your emotions is the reason Franz is dead." She hissed out before leaving a stunned male behind her as she opened and slammed the door closed. Blue eyes clouded with a dulled expression of raw emotion-- his heart clenching at the memory of death that plagued the long line of his bad decisions. There had been so much death, that the young man had not yet time to grieve for it all. There had been so much pain that it had swallowed him whole and made him almost numb. Albert had only a few select people in his life that he had once been so close too. There was only so much his ex-fiancée could do to comfort him before his emotional--childish as she so loved to tell him-- self started to rake against her nerves. Albert was aware of all this and through it and could not blame her for anger towards him. He wasn't even sure why she had taken it upon herself to allow him to come to visit in New York...
The brunette went back to stuffing his few personal effects into his luggage bag before closing it and tossing one final look around the dingy hotel room. It wasn't the best he had ever lived in, but it was most certainly not the worse. He had to be careful lately how he handled his money-- as it could link back to his birth name; Morcerf still stung with anger in the hearts of many people who would love nothing better then to take their anger out on him. His father had certainly gone out with a bang...
Agreeing with himself that he had packed everything he slipped on his jacket and exited the room. With the brass key in his breast pocket, suit case in one hand he slip his other hand into his pocket. A hand held system was withdrawn and he thumbed through the various lists of names before he located the name of one female. Albert realized that if his dream was true, then he would defiantly need help to attend to Edmond. He selected the Aliens name and hoisted the black device up to his ear. There was a moment's pause before the machine altered and attached to his ear-- a metallic ball being deployed at the same time. The ball served as a camera and hovered up to a vantage point to capture the young mans image, while his ear piece now war[ed and shifted till a display screen was presented before his right eye.
The image of a white skinned women appeared in his right eye, a look of confusion over Haidee's features. "Albert?" She questioned, unsure of his reason for contacting her. "How are you..?" She added, trying not to sound rude-- but he had taken her by surprise.
"Good, thank you miss." Albert voiced softly, ignoring the glances from people around him as he descended the stair well towards the lobby. "I've called for--well..." He hesitated, wishing he had thought this part through first before calling. "I had a dream this morning…" He started, watching the confusion on the women's face darken further. "and... I think Edmond might have survived..." The last part was spoken quietly, and he coloured slightly at the pained expression that took over the women's features. The fact that Edmond's body had never been found upon searching left many people uneasy.
"Albert... I know you miss him, but, we all do..." She breathed out a shaky sigh here, and as Albert deposited his key onto the desk before the clerk he winced. He paid no attention to the man's questions on if he had enjoyed his stay and merely tightened his grip on his bag and headed for the doors. A silence had drawn between him and his contact, and Haidee could see the slight clench in Albert's jaw. "If... it will make you more reassured, I will ask Baptistin to go take a look..." She offered gently, unsure how to approach the topic now-- she had obviously upset the young man with her disbelief. The female had no idea just now deeply Albert cared for The Count-- she had assumed that eventually he would be filled with hate towards the man that had taken so much from him, but Haidee could still only see grief and longing in Albert's eyes when he spoke of the man. The Alien found this peculiar, but she said nothing on the topic as she listened to what Albert said next.
"Have him meet me at the shuttle gates-- I'm leaving for Paris now." Albert voiced stiffly, as he was tired of people doubting him. He knew he had watched the man die-- held his very hand till it went slack with death, and yet... Something just didn't feel right. With a tremble of scorn he ripped the device off of his ear, later regretting it due to the pain that throbbed along his skull.
Well now, I've decided to do myself up one of those more famous 'what if' stories. I was equally displeased by the ending of the anime as I know a lot of people were. I'll be taking the time to explore Albert's grief with the death of his parents and how much of an impact it will have on him. As well, I've got some sneaky developments planned between Edmond and Albert-- you'll just have to wait and see. Read and review, I highly appreciate it!