Title: Cave In

Summary: She lets herself grieve for him, because for a little while, they were the same.

Author's Note: This is just a short, rather sad little piece that I came up with. It's not my best work, but I like it. Enjoy! :)

Carly watches him with curiosity. Not the bright thirst for knowledge that she had felt as a reporter, but an almost detached kind of blank interest.

She wonders what he's thinking about. Probably the same thing they all are; how to defeat the Signers. Except for Carly, of course. She's sitting and wondering about him.

She's wondering about two 'hims' actually. One, sitting alone at the end of their long table, the newest among them. The other – her unbeating heart wrenched. She wouldn't think about that, she decided. Not until she had to.

So she just sits and watches him, and wonders who he's going to take vengeance against. Rex Goodwin, the man who he had said was the cause of his troubles, was out of reach in the City. She supposes that he might go after Yusei, since Yusei had foiled his attempt on Goodwin's life. Or maybe he would just take out the first Signer he came across.

Her thoughts are interrupted when he turns his head and looks at her. If her heart had still been beating, she is sure it would have stopped when those black, empty eyes meet her own. Almost as an afterthought, she wonders if he knew she was watching him the whole time.

Without saying anything, he rises, and she realizes that everyone else has left already. Hurriedly pushing back her chair, she rushes to leave the room, but trips over her own feet just before she reaches the door. She closes her eyes and braces herself for the impact of the cold stone floor, but it doesn't come.

Instead, there's a strong arm around her waist, steadying her and pulling her back to her feet. She looks up at him in surprise as a large, unexpectedly gentle hand brushes her hair out of her face, and she sees that he's frowning lightly.

"...Greiger?" She murmurs his name, and is almost pleased when she realizes that it doesn't feel strange coming from her lips. He pulls his hands away from her face.

"Be careful." He says it quietly and walks past her without another word. She doesn't know if he's referring to her clumsiness or to something else, but before she can ask, he's down the hall and gone.

Carly feels Greiger's loss the instant it happens. As she watches the whale mark disappear from the sky, she can't – nor does she want to – stop the thin trails of tears that begin making their way down her face.

I barely knew him, she thinks. It seems silly to grieve, but she lets herself cry anyway. For Greiger and for herself. Maybe a part of her cries for the Signers too, but she mostly cries for the two of them and everything they had lost.

They had lost their lives. They had lost people close to them, but most of all, they had lost themselves. Just two people whose lives had come crashing down around them, who had fallen into the darkness.

So she lets herself cry for him. She grieves for this man that she hardly knew, because, for a little while, they were the same.

When Carly hears the rumble of the approaching D-Wheel, her cheeks are damp, but she is no longer crying. She takes in a steady breath and turns to meet her fate.

And somewhere in her heart, she is glad. Glad that she met Greiger, glad that she cried for him. She looks Jack in the eyes as he comes to a stop next to her, and she is glad that this will all be over soon.