I'm not sure how I feel about this fanfiction. I think it makes me sad, but in a little bit of an unfocused way. That didn't make any sense, did it? This is a long one; at least on word it totals four pages. I'm proud of it; it's a piece that stands alone as well as plays nice with the book. I'm rambling, here; I don't own the characters (though for the most part I don't name them).

The world was blurry as she walked; walked out, out, out of that place that made no sense, walked out to the one place that always did. Maybe it would make this entire night meld into something with some hint of logic. She didn't understand, she couldn't understand, everyone, so many people that she had known, lying there so still, so, so still. He had been still, but then he moved again, but he was the only one to recover life in a war weary body, nobody else was coming back.

She found herself running, she wasn't sure when she had transitioned from a painful limping walk into a galloping run, but she had done so. She ran and ran as she cried. She ran until her breath was ragged and her sobs tore her throat hoarse. She ran until she doubled over to empty her mutinous stomach of its contents.

Everything was so peaceful, more peaceful than ever should have been allowed. The pitch looked almost exactly how it had during her numerous night time practices; she was no stranger to the need to move during times of unrest. She ran whenever she was scared, or felt misunderstood; she had run a lot in the past year.

Her insides churned as she felt poisonous bile pass through her lips once again. She heaved and heaved and allowed herself to feel pleasure in the burning pain of her throat. The thought of how pathetic she must have looked passed her mind; she paid it no heed as she bent to relieve more of her misery.

She stumbled to a tree and leaned against it. Her body shuddered and spasmed with sobs as she slid down, down, down to the blissfully cool earth. She became aware of the goose bumps that had erupted down her pale, freckled arms. She was cold. This was a laughable thought, that she felt uncomfortable in this brisk night. At least she could still feel.

What separated her from the bodies of the dead that lay inside? How was she different? Her heart was still racing from her run, it thunked an erratic rhythm in her chest. Tears still coursed down her face, the memory of his body, limp and lifeless. How silly she was to cry over one of the few still alive. How silly she was to be crying at all, instead she belonged inside still helping. She couldn't, she couldn't help anymore.

She was so strong; she knew she was so strong usually. Now, now however she was broken. Broken like a little child's toy tossed away after strenuous play. A haunted smile graced her face as she imagined a marionette with cut strings taking her place against this gnarled tree.

The sky, the sky was unnaturally beautiful. With navy, her favorite color, she reflected, and shimmering green, the color of his eyes. Her own eyes still were unable to distinguish any details of the scene before her, burnt and red from the many tears that had passed down her cheeks. She felt raw, unsheltered. She felt baptismal; she had come from one place and under the wet tears, had ended in another.

The forest lay before her. It, she reasoned, was a terribly beautiful place. Though before it had been scary, now that thought was a joke, what ever could be scarier than what she had just lived? Her heart ached and bled for the time that she had been as innocent as to believe that darkness meant fear. It never had, instead it made her calm. Darkness she could understand, darkness meant safety because you could never see those chasing you.

What was fear? What was the swooping sensation of dread she had felt as she had surveyed the pile of corpses? What was the feeling she had caught fluttering in her stomach, the feeling of a dying dove, of hope lost, when she had seen him dead? What was death?

The moon, the moon was bright tonight. Mocking her, she decided, it was mocking her and the house of death she had fled with its brightness. She, too, had shined once, shined and smiled, but she wouldn't now, couldn't now. The lake looked still, peaceful. It had no right to be peaceful when there was so much turmoil, both in and out side of her. No right.

There were footsteps, footsteps coming. Coming, coming, coming to remind her to work, to focus on the matter at hand instead of just herself. Coming, coming to take her back to confront her own mortality, to confront her own imperfect luck. Coming, coming to take her away from this peaceful tree on this, now peaceful night.

She looked up through dark wet lashes, looked up and saw him. The light from the traitorous moon formed a halo around him, a halo of white, pure light. She wanted to reach out for him, to touch him, to kiss him. Instead, she bit back more bile, the product of her stomach rejecting her ambitions.

Once more she pictured a marionette, cut from its strings. Did the one who cut it believe they were setting it free? Was it free? Now it was under its own control, but it couldn't move anymore. Was that freedom? She felt herself become the sad, broken doll, felt her limbs go limp and her face slack.

She was scaring him, she must be. She knew she wasn't responding as he wished she would to the stroking of her knuckles. In truth, she didn't know how to respond. What did he want from her? This lust, this undying lust she was feeling was wrong, so, so, so wrong with the dead bodies piled up not so far away. This feeling of sadness, that too was wrong, after all, it was all over now.

Mixed up, confused, bewildered. She didn't know how she felt, how she should feel. She settled upon tired. She felt tired. So, so tired that her eyelids drooped and her head turned until it rested on his shoulder. He smelled good, so good, spicy, smoky, and a bit salty with blood and sweat. He smelled so good she could just lay there for hours and sleep, eyes shut tight against the horrors of the world, laid up against him.

He was there, stroking her, mumbling things about how everything is now fine. Didn't he understand? Nothing was fine; nothing could ever be fine again. She wanted to hit him, to make him hurt so he can finally feel exactly how she does for once, then she wanted to hit herself, he has hurt enough that night.

Her thoughts are so jumbled, mixed up and crammed into her head. She wished she could sort through them and toss out the irrelevant ones, but relevancy and irrelevancy have been lost like so many lives tonight. Flames, she thinks, flames burning unwilling but strangely compliant tinder, burning down, down, down to the damp fresh earth.

She has lost it, she knows, it being some semblance of control. Control, control, that fleeting grasp that humans are allowed to have never seems to be good enough. She wished that she had some control over how this night ended, knowing that if she had, she would have been one of the bodies that would never move again.

Never, what a strange and final word. Never meant that something was not allowed, barred, from ever happening. She wished this night had never happened, though then she wouldn't have been reunited with the boy next to her. The boy next to her never gave up, should she? It seemed so nice right now, the thought that she could just end it all.

The lake, the lake, it was so peaceful still, not one ripple even. Would there be many ripples if she attached some heavy stones to herself and waded in? She couldn't do that, she thought, couldn't do that to her mother, a woman already crumbling. If she were to die, what would be left? The world won't just stop spinning; there would be life for those who lived out their full spans, just as there wouldn't be life for her who cut hers short.

She laid there, head against his chest, lay there and contemplated everything. She wished for an ending, a cheerful little voice to announce 'they lived happily ever after'. That voice would never speak in the real world, especially if she herself was dead. There could be no happily ever afters in death; there was no resolution in death, just a strange and abrupt ending.

She knew that it was time to move, time to get up and get back on with her life, time to grieve the way she was expected to. But, time had lost all meaning to her in the same way so many other words, phrases, ideas had floated out of the range of her comprehension. Time, time, time, she chanted in her head, time to get up, time to leave, time, time, time to hold her mother, to stitch herself back together and stay strong.

What was strength? The boy she leaned upon was so strong, but right now even he was crying. Was strength all it took for her to get up and walk back? Was she weak? She ached for him, for his voice and his touch; she also ached for what she had lost, and for what he had never had.

Her loss, her loss opened a hole, a chasm in her chest. She felt like she could never again be whole, like she was incomplete. She felt like it was a sin to be alive but a sin to end it all. She felt, in one word, ungrateful; ungrateful for the second chance thrown at her that so many wouldn't get, ungrateful for not taking advantage of it.

She lamented the loss of her brother, the world felt dismally cold and empty without him, but, by the same note she felt that Fred would have never, ever wanted her to stop living. She had thought about it, thought about ending it all. She shouldn't have, Fred would have hated that.

So, she lay there instead. She lay there with him and silently searched for her own answers, her own truths. She looked inside, she looked outside, she looked and looked until the sky was streaked with light and his breathing was deep and regular. She looked but she couldn't find anything. It wasn't that she found no responses; it was that she couldn't really put her finger on her question. Yes, there was to be life and day and maybe, maybe even laughter. Yes, yes there was to be some imitation of normality for a little while, but, but yes, yes she would learn to live.

Yay? She has a happy ending at least, right? I think that this is more artsy, abstract. I love the idea of her thoughts jumping around; she is so unsettled that she becomes quite a bit unhinged. Please review, I took the time to write this, if you took the time to read it I'd love for you to spend just a minute of your time telling me what you think. As always, I appreciate you giving me a couple minutes of your life. Thank you!