Step out the door and it feels like rain
That's the sound, that's the sound, on your window pane
Take to the streets, but you can't ignore
That's the sound, that's the sound, you're waiting for

Violin chords crashed like waves against his mind, a stormy ocean of sound to match his mood. He lay in darkness, eyes open, unseeing. The mattress supported him, but crushed his wings into his back. He crossed his arms behind his head. No one would know who he was, what he was. He looked like a normal man, staring at the ceiling of his apartment. No one would know. No one needed to know. They could not perceive his wings. They could not perceive his blindness.

A bitter smile twisted his mouth. They were blind to his blindness. He thought it funny in a gloomy way. He had done a good job of hiding it from all but his family. It wasn't a secret, but he liked to know that it didn't show. He was more than adept at living without sight. He had heightened senses of hearing, touch. He could cook and work. That was not the problem. Maybe there wasn't a problem. He didn't know.

A steady rhythm beat below the pulsing melody of the violins. Rain? He tilted his head, got up and unerringly found the window. He pressed his palm to the chilly panes, traced his fingertips to the ledge, and lifted it open. Cool drops hit his face and torso. He lifted his face to moisture, eyes closed. If there were tracks on his face that were not caused by the rain, he didn't admit it. No one would know.

He just wanted to see, just once. He could barely remember what it was like anymore. When the Flock had settled, he had moved out, wanting independence, needing to prove himself perhaps. Unfortunately, it left him alone with his sightlessness, his curse. He no longer had Gazzy to be his eyes. It had been too long since he had seen the Flock. He missed them, and it put him in this melancholy mood. Thankfully, they were coming over for dinner. He smiled genuinely, remembering how Max had complained about not having him to cook. She said Fang's cooking was almost as poor as hers. He remembered hearing Fang's indignant retort in the background, Angel's quickly stifled giggle.

He closed the window broodingly and shut off the music. The quiet soothed his emotions. He paced restlessly, needing...something. He strode to the door, deciding impulsively to go for a walk, even though it was raining. He had enough time before the Flock showed up for dinner, and a little water never hurt anyone, especially not a bird kid who had been through much worse.

His feet hit the concrete with a distinct wet sound. He could hear the sound of a car trundle down the road. Wet leaves rustled in the stormy breeze, shredded by falling rain. He walked down the sidewalk, getting drenched by rain. He didn't particularly care. Rain was nothing when compared with what they'd been through.

He walked forward like a fallen angel. His light extinguished by too harsh circumstances and dreams unfulfilled. He cursed the blindness that stalked him, his own personal demon. It whispered his destruction to him from the shadows, his constant foreboding. It promised to never let him win, told him he could not succeed. It was there whenever he failed, the constant reminder of his inadequacies. He couldn't vanquish it, and it was becoming harder to ignore. All of his triumphs were tainted with its inky presence.

He heard a clock bell chime from one of the old building down the road. It was later than he had originally thought. He began to get a foreboding feeling as he easily avoided people walking the other direction. The Flock should have been there already. They should have arrived before he even decided to go for a walk. He turned to go back. Maybe he had missed them because of his little walk. It wasn't unlike Max to be late.

Then he heard it, that sound he'd been waiting for, the swish of avian-human hybrid wings. His spirits picked up. He turned to greet the Flock. The smell of blood mixed with the scent of rain, and his heart nearly stopped. Fear flooded his veins.

"Iggy..." An anguished voice spoke.

"Nudge, what happened? What-" Staggered footsteps moved towards him, and he just managed to catch her body as she slumped forward. He knelt on the concrete, cradling Nudge in his arms. He could tell that there were no more people around; everyone had gone inside, away from the rain, so it didn't matter that her wings were only half folded. He brushed her hair away from her face. His hand came away sticky with blood.

"What happened? How badly are you hurt?"

"I'm fine." She waved his concern away with false confidence. "We were attacked...right before we left." Her speech was starting to slur, her words separated by pauses when the pain became too much to bear. She stuttered in anguish. She had lost too much blood. Her mind was becoming foggy

"There were so many. I've never...seen that...many...So much blood. They killed everyone...Angel...and Gazzy...and-and Fang...and Max." Her voice broke on a sob. "I-I had to-to tell you. You're the...only one...left." She drew a labored breath.

Horror filled him. If he had been there...if he hadn't left...if he had noticed how late it was getting...He didn't know that Nudge was watching him with sorrow filled eyes. She raised her hand to touch his face. He covered it with his own.

"It's not...your fault." She managed. It was getting harder to speak. He heard her weakness and let her hand drop, running his fingers over her injuries.

"How badly are you hurt?" He felt panic. He was dawdling, feeling sorry for himself, while Nudge was dying. He started to pick her up. He was good at playing doctor, but Nudge needed a hospital. He had to get her there. His mind filled with determination. She put a hand to his chest to stop him.

"Iggy, it's too...too late." He knew it too.

"If I can just get you to a hospital-"

"I'd rather...die...out here...with you...than in bed," she said. He couldn't see her blood mixing with the water on the sidewalk. He couldn't see her tears falling with the rain, but she could see his.

"I...probably should've told you...sooner-" She couldn't keep going, but she had to. "Should've told you that I...that I..." The words wouldn't come. She was struggling just to draw breath.

"It's okay. You don't have to say anything." It was strange for Nudge to be without words. He didn't see her mouth form the last words, didn't see her last breath leave her. He held her until the tension left her body, sobs racking his frame. They made a terrible picture. Her body, painted with blood. Wings bloody, half open, shredded by the stormy flight. Tears leaking from his sightless eyes. His body racked with emotion, with guilt. Both of them, besieged by the harshly falling rain.

He lifted sightless eyes to the sky in a wordless cry of agony. Why? What was the purpose? Why her? Why them? He couldn't help but blame himself, blame his blindness. He knew that any of them would have blamed themselves. There was a strange comfort in that connection, but it didn't dull the pain. He was alone. The darkness pressed in around him, promising hope. He knew that there was no hope to be found. The demon smiled a wicked smile. I told you so.

If ever your world starts crashing down
Whenever your world starts crashing down
Whenever your world starts crashing down
That's where you'll find me (yeah)