Hey all. Not much to say about this one. I started this back in… March maybe, as a way to force myself out of my writing block. Plus, over this year I've become obsess- er, I mean, a huge fan of this anime, and as with all things I'm a fan of, I wanted to write something for it. I was going through a rough time when I began this, and I ended up using it as ditch to pour all of my "emo" into. xD My writing has always floated somewhere between "bittersweet" and "obscenely hilarious", so this is without a doubt, the most depressing thing I've ever written.

Feel free to give me any feedback you have, and any constructive criticisms would be greatly appreciated. But for now, enjoy the sorrow! xD

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"Later, buddy…"

Something dark and heavy stirred inside Simon as the barely audible words met his ears. It wasn't like Kamina at all to say something so quietly, especially after a battle like this one, and after such a spectacular killing blow. He tried to replay the sentence in his mind, but found that he couldn't. The victory cheers from outside the metal walls of Gurren Lagann were distracting him.

"What was that Bro?" Simon asked nonchalantly as the power that raged through their mecha slowed and faded away. The smile left his face as he was answered by silence.

"Bro?" he repeated.

Not a sound echoed up from the cockpit beneath his. That uncomfortable feeling with his chest intensified. He looked at the little pigmole resting on his knee. Boota's head was cocked to the side, listening intently for any sound Kamina might make in reply. He didn't seem to hear anything either; he turned his head and looked at Simon questioningly.

"Bro, are you alright?"

Again, no answer.

"Bro?!" he yelled frantically. Fear welled up inside of him so quickly that he was acting before he was aware of his own movements. Boota scrambled up from Simon's lap and onto his shoulder as the boy quickly stood, opened Lagann's door and leapt outside. He climbed down the mecha's giant body as fast as he could, his anxiety causing him to shiver and nearly lose his balance several times before he finally reached Gurren's damaged hull.

The hole that gaped in the Gunman's side seemed to glare at Simon. His heart seized as his eyes took in the awful sight of the twisted and torn edges of the metal hole , and the still figure that slumped awkwardly in the dark gloom of the cockpit beyond.

Gurren's hatch seemed to open at Simon's unconscious will. A rush of air hit Simon in the face as the metal door slid open, followed by an unnatural sense of stillness in the waiting darkness before him. It took all of Simon's willpower to look into it, and his body trembled more violently. Strangely, his parents came to mind, but all thoughts of them were immediately dashed from his mind as his eyes adjusted to the lack of light.

Kamina still sat at the Gurren's controls, his hands still curled around the piloting mechanisms. His body was slumped in the seat, and his head hung forward awkwardly. Dark rivers of crimson blood ran in streams down his forehead and over his closed eyelids. Even more blood was still pouring from a grotesquely large would that ran from his chest and into is side, staining most of his body, obscuring his tattoos and dripping into small pools on the floor.

"B-Bro?" Simon asked weakly.

No response.

"Kamina…?"

Nothing. He didn't even stir. Kamina remained as still as before, the ghost of his last grin clutching feebly onto his lips.

For a horrifying moment, Simon felt as if his entire body were caught in a vice; he couldn't move, couldn't think, couldn't breathe. All he could do was stare at the lifeless form of his brother. It was as if the world around him didn't exist anymore. He saw nothing around but the nightmare that lay in front of him. There was nothing else that could reach him. He didn't even hear the footsteps and murmurings of his confused comrades gathering behind him, nor did he feel the first drops of warm rain hitting his back.

And suddenly, it hit him. The restraints upon him were lifted. The world became real once more. Far too real.

He screamed.

He screamed louder than he had ever screamed in his entire fourteen years of life.

And then he was rushing towards Kamina's body as tears began to fall unmercifully from his eyes.

All of Team Gurren knew, then. Kittan's eyes were wide with shock and utter disbelief. Beside him, his three sisters began crying. Gimmy and Darry held onto one another and wept unashamedly behind Leeron and Rossiu, who hung their heads without making a sound. Not far from them, Yoko stood rigidly, her hands covering her mouth as strangled whimpers escaped her throat. There wasn't one among them who went without showing some sign of mourning; most were crying, some hysterically, others screaming and swearing in anger and denial. Only a few remained silent, their tears blending with the rain that began to beat down harder on them.

But none of them mattered to Simon anymore. He had crashed to his knees beside Kamina, his hands grasping the older boy's shoulder and frantically shaking him.

"Bro, Bro! Wake up!" He shouted, his voice unstable at first. "Please! You.. You need to wake up! We won! You beat him for us, Bro! Bro, please, please!"

Everyone listened as Simon continued to scream, words tumbling uselessly from his mouth and desperately trying to call Kamina back to them. Eventually his words faded into nothing but strangled sobbing. He gathered what he could of his brother's body in his arms, and buried his face in Kamina's shoulder, crying out his name whenever his hitching breath aloud him to.

Only one person in the crowd dared to approach the scene unfolding in Gurren's cockpit. With tears running down her face, Yoko stepped into the Gunman and laid her hand on Simon's heaving shoulders.

"S-Simon?"

She was fighting the urge to break down and was barely able to choke out the boy's name. He didn't respond to her at all.

"Simon, please. I-I know you're feeling…" She trailed off, unable to find the right words. "But… he's gone, Simon."

Simon only sobbed harder at her words. Yoko stifled a sob of her own and looked behind her for any sign of support. Leeron was descending from the group and was nodding kindly to her. Kittan wasn't far behind, his face buried in one of his hands as he walked towards them.

"We need to move him," Leeron told Yoko gently.

She turned back to Simon, and gently tugged at is shirt. "Simon… we need to get him out of here."

"No…"

"But, Simon, you can't stay here like this," she pleaded. "And we can't leave Kamina like this either."

"I… don't… care…" he answered between sobs.

Suddenly furious, Yoko, wrenched him away from Kamina with all her strength. Simon struggled and screamed in protest but Yoko managed to hold him long enough to force him out of Gurren and onto the wet ground outside. As soon as she saw Leeron and Kittan, and now Dyakka making their way inside Gurren to retrieve the body, she let Simon go.

Simon remained crouched where Yoko had left him. His sobs intensified, and he began cursing and slamming his fists into the mud, doing anything possible to keep himself from watching them take Kamina from his seat in Gurren.

The rain beat down even harder around them as Kittan and Dyakka finally laid Kamina gently on the ground near the Gunman, away from the sight of the crowd. The members of Team Gurren shifted uncomfortably and began to talk quietly amongst themselves. It was Kittan who silenced them. He stood up before them and began talking about what a great man and leader Kamina had been, about sacrifice and carrying on as a team.

But his words went unheard by Simon. He only heard Leeron say "Let's clean him up. We'll bury him in the morning."

After a time, Kittan's speech ended and the crowd began to disperse, making their ways solemnly to their shelters and Gunmen. By then, Simon's sobbing had eased and faded into silence, but he had lost the strength or will to move. All he could do was stare at the mud he kneeled in.

He felt a hand on his shoulder, and heard Yoko desperately saying his name. He remained as he was, completely indifferent to her as she wrapped her arms around him from behind. But when he heard her breath begin to hitch with sobs, he immediately turned around in her arms and threw his own around her torso. She tightened her grip on him in response, the two friends embracing and finally allowing themselves to be comforted.

After a while, Simon forced himself to look up. Through the haze of rain, Yoko's hair and skin, and his own tears, he saw the form of their Gunman towering over them. The face of Lagann was drenched with rain, and rivers of water were washing down its face, seeming to pool at the eyes and run down the metal cheeks.

It was as if Gurren Lagann, the unfeeling symbol of humanity's determination to survive, were mourning too.

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Don't forget to review! Part two coming soon.