The stars are fading, one by one. And there's nothing you can do to stop them.

Locked in immortal chains, you know there's nothing that anybody can do. You are trapped - claimed - tamed. When those powerful metal snakes entangle themselves in your limbs, pulling them and twisting them in a crude knot, you know that this is the end. Your sword has been severed. Your cannon, diffused. Your pride, shattered. Your will to move is all three.

The figure looming in front of you is smirking. It's not crazed, or deranged, or even vicious. No, it is smug. She has won, you have lost. All that training, all that fighting, all that pain has been for nothing. She will leave you there like the demon she is for all eternity, making you rot in shame for all of your years.

You just want to hold her again. You want your fingers to intertwine, for your laughs to be light, and you want her back. Not this creature. Not this thing. This thing, you realize, that you helped create. You caused this heartless being to form; it collected every dark wade of depression that she had towards you, until there was nothing but a demon... nothing of the person you knew.

And then it happens.

For a fraction of a second, you see those coy eyes flicker. You see that smile twitch, and for an instant, you can see her. Her. She was there, somewhere deep inside, struggling to break free of the chains that bound her.

You can't give up. You can't stop believing. You can't let go. Not of her. You can't let her go.

You tug. You start off slowly, and she merely cackles at your struggle. But then you pull as hard as you can, ignoring how it rips your arms or how it yanks your hair.

Don't let go.
Don't let go.
I will not let go.
I will not let go.
You are mine, and nobody else can have you.
Mine.
Mine.
A
nd I won't let you go.
Not now, not ever.

Her expression turns from amused to afraid. You stand up, legs shaking and chest heaving. You call all your strength from the deepest ponds of your memory. Laughter, joy, sadness, fear, love... they all flash in a brilliant flame behind your eyes. You will fight for them, until your last drop of blood is splattered on the walls.

And you will win.

The chains shatter with a metallic clank, black dust sparkling in the darkness. She backs up, utterly surprised. You draw closer, the remnants of them still attempting to bind you - they probably always will. More chains leap at you, frightened and unsure of what to do. But you aren't fazed - you brush them off, eyes and heart ablaze.

The stars will never fade. Not ever, you think, as you walk closer and closer. They will never fade, as long as there as hope. As long as you don't let go.

Your eyes are level as you reach out your hand. Hers are shaky. It's time to end this horrible nightmare.

It's time to light the stars.