Dying, Again

"BLEEP... BLEEP... BLEEP"

Shion had tears in her eyes, which were slowly dripping down onto Satoshi's hand. Her green hair lay covering her face from all but the unconscious boy, and however much they both wanted it, he could not look upon that face. 'He can't, he can't, I couldn't live with him dying again.'

Irie watched her sadly through the glass viewing panel. He had told her that day that Satoshi's condition had worsened, and he had only a few hours left. The doctor had taken him off the sedative, so that at least one last time, Shion could see the eyes of the boy she loved opened. At least, he hoped Satoshi would wake up before the end. Irie was certain the end would come soon, there was no miracle that would save him now. Irie turned away and left the crying girl, and the silent boy.

Shion continued to sob, 'Two years of waiting for him to come back, just for this? I can't believe it...' She coughed, the tears still coming quickly. Then she gasped out, "Satoshi, just please, wake up! I need to see you awake again... I need to tell you..." She broke down again, collapsing to her knees. "Sato... Satoshi-kun, please..."

"Shi...Shion, why are you crying? And where are we?" Shion looked up to see the two dark orbs that she loved so much. Through her addled brain, only one thought continued to run: 'He's awake, my Satoshi-kun...'

She tried to smile, it came out a little lop-sided, "Satoshi, I'm happy you're awake, but..." she sniffed.

"I haven't got long left have I?" Satoshi asked, a distant look in his eyes, as though he were wishing he were somewhere else, far away from this clinic, far from this short life he had been given.

"I'm sorry... I... I..." Shion's tears came back again, flooding her face. Satoshi sat up and put one of his now unbound arms around her.

"What is it that's killing me? I don't feel unwell, just tired..." He looked at the girl crying onto his lap. He slipped his free hand under her chin, and tilted it up so they were face to face.

"Satoshi, I don't know what it is exactly, but now..." She glanced away from him. She suddenly felt herself being pulled up, so very gently. Of course, Satoshi was weak at the moment, but she helped him pull her up. The two teenagers looked into each others eyes, their faces only an inch or so apart now.

"Shion, there's something I want to tell you..." Satoshi gave a small smile. In truth he could feel the full effects of his illness: his body had lost its fight against the syndrome, yet around Shion, he did not feel as if everybody were out to kill him. Was this happiness? If so, he wished he had felt it more often in his life. "Shion, I want to thank you for everything you did for me back when I was still around, and what you've done, coming here. I worked something out while I slept, I didn't want to run away any more, and it was all because of you..." His arms pulled her closer to him, "Shion I worked out something else... I love you."

Shion took in what he had just said, slowly passing it through her mind, before she smiled, "Satoshi, I love you too."

They kissed. It was not a perfectly co-ordinated film-style kiss. It was not a particularly well-executed kiss. It was a little rough, their noses knocked each other at first, and their tongues were a little out of control. It mattered, to quote, not a whit. To Shion, it was the best moment of her life. For once, she was happy, not worried any more, calm.

Too bad that the calm has to come before the storm. As they broke off the kiss, Satoshi smiled then fell slowly back onto the bed, "Shion... I think it's about my time..."

"No, you can't, NO!" Shion's tears returned in an instant, "Don't leave me!"

"Shion, I'll wait for you, if I can. But if there is an afterlife, you deserve Heaven, as for me..." He half laughed, "Well, see you in Hell." His eyes closed again, and the heart monitor's bleeping slowed.

'BLEEP...

BLEEP...

BLE~EP...'

Silence.

-----

Shion stood by the Furude shrine, looking out over Hinamizawa. It had been a few hours since Satoshi had passed away. She had stopped crying: she had no tears left to shed.

'See you in Hell...' so cliche, yet... Shion knew that if the demon inside her awoke, then she would be given a one-way ticket to Hell herself. She did not want that to happen, not to repeat those memories of the other world, so she had made up her mind.

She pulled herself up, so that she sat on top of the stone barrier. She had decided, as Satoshi had died, she would likely have an attack of the syndrome. If that happened, she could kill the others, even Satoko again. She had promised to look after Satoko, and that was what she was doing: protecting everybody from herself.

She stood and looked out over the village one last time. A single remaining tear trickled down her face. She had wanted to live in this world with Satoshi, but that chance had been snatched from her. The bright sun shone on her hair: how ironic it seemed. The world hardly cared for her suffering, and the sun kept on shining. But Shion knew that it did not matter any more.

She stepped forwards and off the edge, 'I'm coming to join you... my love.' As she fell, she closed her eyes, and saw his face, the happy smiling face, and remembered their one, all too brief kiss.

Nobody heard the dull thud a few moments later, except for a group of higurashi, and their sudden, startled cry fell upon the forest, just as Shion's tears had fallen upon the hand of her beloved.

When they found her, broken as she was, her friends were desolate. Keiichi was shocked, Rena was too. Rika, who had seen it a hundred times before, still teared up, as she had hoped that no more people would have to die. Satoko cried for weeks for her Nee-Nee.

Only Mion knew why her sister had jumped, and only she knew, that on that cold morning that she was lain to rest in the deep earth amid the swath of black-clothed family and friends, and with the rain beeting down as the heavens cried at last, only she knew that there was not one body in the coffin, but two.

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A/N: poor Shion. This is my favourite pairing for an anime, but I felt somebody needed to write what might have happened this way. If you liked it, please review, if you hated it, please review, if you're in tears over it... you're excused.

Bis Bald

BW