Disclaimer: commercial law a statement refusing to accept responsibility for something, e.g. a denial of legal liability for any injury associated with a product… oh, and the definition's not mine either, it belongs to Microsoft Word.

Notes: I've been planning this one for a long time and still have nothing in terms of plot, but the temptation to write this scene was too much for me to handle. Basically, this is a promo to a fic I plan on starting once a few of my other projects are done. Since no one has written a Dharin fic (to my knowledge, correct me if you have), and I love Dharin, I felt he deserved a spot in the Pellinor fandom. You can read the basic summery on my profile. Note that the present tense, POV, and title will probably change over time. Enough typing to myself, let's get on with the promo…

Today is the day I die.

Today is the day I die; and now it's too late.

It came too early for me. I was so innocent, so young…

Everyone longs for their youth, but I won't have to. I shall stay forever young. A blessing, or a curse? For better, or for worse?

I can't protect her anymore; I can do nothing; I am nothing, a helpless pawn of circumstance. I can do more, I swear, if I live, but even that seems beyond me as ragged breaths rage through my body.

Am I good for nothing?

I read this same thought from the girl who leans above me, struggling to pry out the bolt that has lodged itself permanently in my chest. Tears gather in her blue eyes, her beautiful blue eyes… have I ever told her how beautiful they were?

I don't remember. There is so much I didn't tell her, so much I will never tell her… but perhaps I can tell her this.

The words elude me. They are so simple, so short and effortless. Surely, even in the brief moments before I fade away, I can murmur these few words, if that's all I ever do…

"It is no good, Maerad."

The words sound foggy and distant, as if someone else controlled my actions, some stranger who moved his lips and forced sound out. It must be some stranger, for I never meant to say these words…

"No!" she cries, and I can feel her heart breaking for me, something I had promised never to do. Somehow, I had wandered my way into her heart…

"You can't die. I can heal you."

The conviction in her tone is fierce, but they are only words. Words can be spoken and ignored; words can be silent and heard. Words can lie, and they can tell the deepest truth, if only I could find them…

My spiritual heart, the one I wish I could claim as my own, doesn't waver, but inside, my failing one thumps heavily but sporadically, forcing blood to flow through my veins.

Blood… Those who died in books always mentioned the blood for dramatics. I hadn't even noticed the blood which had formed pools over my chest, spilling everywhere and tainting the pure snow with a scarlet that would mark this deed so long as the snow lasted. I would be remembered.

But will she remember me? Will she even survive? She needs to leave me, run as far away as she could if she had only hope for survival. That's what I'm trying to tell her, I think.

But instead, I am telling her of how they will kill her as well, how I hoped her death would be more merciful than mine… damn it, am I good for nothing?

"I'm sorry, little cousin."

The words sting. She had always been little cousin to me, in her mind at least. Was that all I was to her? Big cousin? I am right apologize, but the meaning is buried beneath the unspoken words.

My lucidity is only a façade, but it's one I play well. Taking a breath- or failing to- I continue my elegy.

"If you are not killed…"

Have I that little faith in her? I'm failing her; I've always failed.

Now, I'm just going through the motions: tell my mother, say good-bye, promise her I'll see her beyond the Gates, if such a peace existed.

"I will."

She takes my words sincerely as she bites back tears. Still, streaks slide down her face, but they are streaks of blood… my blood…

"I'll do anything."

My fantasies play through my mind in fast motion as her lips murmur the same words over and over. Only now, now that they are real, are they fake. These words were not meant to be said to me.

"I love you."

And the words wound me deeper than any bolt ever could; how sincere she speaks them, and yet how wrong they are, for she will never love me. Not as I will always love her.

If only I can tell her…

"You have nothing to be sorry for…"

If only that were true. Oh, Maeard, you have nothing to be sorry for…

"It's my fault. It's all my fault."

It's my fault, all my fault…

"You can't die."

You can't die. I can't die. Not before I tell you…

Instead, I find myself walking through the path I've always taken. Reassuring her, calming her fears, convincing her it was not her fault. Playing the faithful cousin.

"Nay."

I'm trying to smile, does she see that?

"Nay. It is not your fault."

I can hear the words in my head before I speak, the words I have tried and failed at so many times…

"I love you…"

Did I truly speak at all? Perhaps I am already dead, and this is but a hallucination, an eternal agony. It matters little, for what has happened has happened, and I have no further control. I can rest now. In peace, even, with the knowledge that I tried. If only I could do more. But I can never do enough.

I think of the pain my death will cause her. She was already broken, she can't possibly hurt any more. She had lost long ago, and yet she still played the game because she had to.

I wished I could take her with me. Perhaps then she'd find happiness. With me. Or would that even hurt her worse to know?

"…little cousin."

The words come out unintentionally, and internally, I cringe at the implication. It is too late now to undo my actions, too late for anything but a few more meaningless words. Nothing matters now.

"I am glad that I knew you."

Dubbing it down, as always. Walking the walk, going through the motions, all of it was an act. But, at least I could act for a little longer, for her sake…

Blood. It flowed through me, but only through my throat, blocking my words. They wouldn't have mattered much anyway. They were only words.

Still, she leans over me, and her lips form a word, inaudible through the growing darkness.

"What?"

These are my final words. And, for once, I can't think of anything to say. They won't count. That much I know already. But she doesn't have to.

So I lie.

"It doesn't hurt."

As I say this, it feels like the bolt has split my heart in half, and even more pieces break off of those two, splitting into shards upon shards. Life is so fragile, and like poorly constructed glass, once a crack appears on the surface, jagged lines spread across the whole piece, waiting for the moment to shatter.

I had so little time; I was so young, and so was she. But not innocent.

"Don't be afraid."

Don't be afraid.

I am.

Her face is so close to mine, it would hardly take any effort at all to touch my lips upon her smooth skin one last time, for the first time…

Don't be afraid.

Her brilliant sapphire eyes batter down upon me, desperation leaking down in form of tears… have I ever told her how beautiful her eyes were?

Don't be afraid.

And now it is too late. The moment comes. I shatter.

She is once more alone, with only death left. Death in the past, and death in the future. I pity her; but moreover, and selfishly, I pity myself. Was I good for nothing?

Don't be afraid, I told her.

Because I was.

My name was Dharin à Lobvar, and today was the day I died.

They knew of me no more; I wish I could say I knew no more.


Please review, if only to say that you want it to continue or wish it would go away, I really appreciate feedback or tips on how to improve it! Your reviews determine how eager I am to start this project. Or, at least, how soon I'll choose to write and release it...