Author's Note: I suck at the moment, but I will be replying to old reviews as soon as I stop sucking. Hang in there!
A probably-unwanted special thanks to my Milton professor, whose explanation of the Apocalyptic connotations of the first line of "Lycidas" had her reading us Hebrews 12, which naturally wormed its way into this fic a few hours later…
Dialogue from the scene in the manga. Spoilers and so on.
He's shouting. It's undignified—and loud. What if someone hears? What if someone knows?
But he can't stop. The words bubble out of his mouth, and the world, his world, trembles, pendent, in the balance.
"Write it, Dad! Hurry up and remember his name! Dad!"
The pen drops to the coverlet and bounces once, twice, before coming to rest. It lies still.
One long beep. It won't end; it will never end; he wants to claw out his eardrums, but he can't lift his hands.
"I'm sorry," the man in the white coat murmurs, but he's not, he's not, he has no idea, the conciliatory bastard, he doesn't know—
"Dad!" He's screaming now, and his voice is cracking, breaking, shattering to pieces, because it's not right, not right at all—he's crying, those are tears blazing down his face, hot and helpless and angry, because it's not fair—
It's Matsuda, bandaged arms thrown across Light's chest to drag him off, to pull him away; Matsuda, who believes in him.
The tears are cutting into his skin; why isn't he bleeding? Or perhaps he is bleeding; perhaps this is how ichor looks after all.
The tears are partly for his father, partly for the loss, partly for another fool who had to die to save others like him—who gave until he was empty-handed.
And they're partly for himself. They're partly for the god with no father, the god who fumbled, the god who has sacrificed one of the few things he promised to protect. His father is—was—would have been the model for his new world. Noble to a fault, and the fault has shaken, and the Earth has swallowed her due.
His mother—bereft again. If his father has given his life for the new world's white souls, what does Light have left to offer them?
Nothing. Nothing left. Nothing more.
Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
His knees won't hold him; Matsuda lets go. He buries his face in his arms, the bedsheet cool against his hot-flushing cheek.
He listens to his heartbeat, quick, darting, desperate—but consistent. True. Steady, now.
He's breathing—panting, but the air flows in, fills the lungs in his heaving chest, feeds oxygen into his blood, so the blood slides to his brain.
The biological processes are in order. The rest must fall into place. The emotions won't help him; his tears can't heal and won't confer invincibility.
He raises his head, heavy, and his hands tingle as he clenches his fists. It's just another body. Just another corpse. The dream lives, the goal lives, the world persists.
And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken will remain.
He gets to his feet, back aching, and sets his shoulders.
"Everyone," he says, "please come outside."
He can't look at it any longer. If he mourns it, he gives it significance, and it becomes something else than what it was. Something greater than what it is.
It is nothing.
It's just one more.
He leads, and, one by one, they follow.
For our God is a consuming fire.