This is my contest entry for the "Winter Blues" Contest for the 9 Club on deviantART. The contest was to write the most depressing fanfiction story possible. Fingers crossed I did that.

Enjoy. And wish me luck. :)

Chapter 1: The Dream

It was bright outside. The flowers swayed gently in the breeze as 9 and 5 walked through them.

"So this is how everything used to be?" 9 asked with a small laugh.

5 chuckled. '"I guess, I wouldn't know. I woke up while the war was going on, remember."

"Oh, right…sorry." 9 bowed his head.

"It's alright," 5 assured patting 9 on the back.

The two friends smiled at each other and 9 slung his arm around 5's shoulder before they continued onward.

"Why don't you come live with 7 and I…and the twins? We're living in the twins' library," 9 said.

"Eh, I dunno."

9's face fell. "Why not? Don't you want to live with your friends?"

"Well, of course I do, it's just…"

"It's just what?"

"I can't."

"Why not?" 9 was heartbroken.

"I died, remember?" 5 asked.

9's eyebrows pitched downward. He was confused. "What are you talk-?"

He was interrupted by a bright red light. He gasped as the Fabrication Machine advanced on them.

9 immediately ran. He turned around to see that 5 had fallen behind.

"5!" 9 cried as 5 was scooped off the ground by the Machine.

9 rushed to save his friend when he felt two metallic hands closing around his wrists. "9! Stop!"

9 tried to struggle out of 1's grasp. "There's nothing you can do!" 1 repeated over and over again.

Suddenly, the talisman sprung to life and a green light lashed out at 5. He screamed in agony as his soul was ripped from his body.

"NOOO!" 9 screamed.

"9!" 1 cried as 9 broke free of his grip.

9 rushed to 5's body as the Machine dropped it on the floor. A hole had burned through 5's eye patch. 9 shivered at the sight of his deceased friend.

"9!" 1 shouted.

The Great Machine looked down upon 9 with it's piercing red eye. As it's eye closed, the talisman sprang to life again. 9 gasped.

"9! 9!" 1's voice dissolved into 7's and 9 woke up.

Bolting upright, 9 gasped and shook violently. 7 and the twins were staring at him, concerned. 7 reached out and touched 9's shoulder. "Are you alright?" she asked.

9's breathing slowed down and he shook his head. "Yeah. I-I'm fine. I'm alright."

He got to his feet and walked off. 7 sighed and looked back at the twins who were clinging to each other. Sighing, 7 stood up and followed 9. The twins trailed behind but they never approached her.

9 sat by the pool were the group had held the burial for 2. 9 wondered where 2's body had ended up. Was it even still intact? His mind wandered to the others that had died.

9 had been the only one in the group to see 8 die. Although 9 himself never became close to 8, he could tell how heartbroken his death had made 1. His body couldn't possibly still be intact for it remained in the factory and that had been destroyed. Of course, the Machine had survived the factory being destroyed. Still, 9 highly doubted 8's body was still in one piece.

9 knew 5's body was mangled. A hole had burned through his eye patch and the Machine had stepped on one of his legs when chasing after the rest of the group. 9 knew this because he had accidentally come across 5's body while wandering around the Emptiness the previous week. Perhaps that's what gave him the nightmare.

9 had no idea what condition 6's body was in and never would. He knew where it was though and had a pretty good feeling something horrible had happened to it by now.

And 1's body, well, it had been crushed underneath the Machine.

9 felt sick thinking about it. How he had hurt all his friends.

"9," 7 said quietly.

9 turned to face her. She sat beside him and pulled him into a tight hug. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," 9 muttered.

"Something's bothering you."

9 sighed. "I keep having these horrible dreams." There was a long silence.

"Once when you were asleep I heard you muttering something. It sounded like you were talking to 5," 7 said.

9 said nothing. He stared at his saddened reflection in the water.

"You miss him, don't you?" 7 asked.

9 looked at her. "I could tell you two got really close."

9 sighed. "Yes. I've been thinking about everyone, actually. Everyone that died. How it was my fault."

"But you set them all free," 7 reminded.

"I know but…I just feel like I could've prevented it. Well, not really but…they'd all still be here if it weren't for me," 9 said.

7 said nothing. The twins were watching them silently from a distance. 7 rubbed 9's back and said: "Try to sleep."

"I can't sleep. Every time I do I just see everyone getting hurt!" 9 curled into a ball.

"9, you need to rest," 7 said.

"I thought you said we didn't require sleep."

7 paused. "We don't, but 2 always said it was a good idea to rest our bodies and our minds every now and then."

"But that's just it! I can't rest my mind!"

7 bowed her head. "9, please. For me."

9 avoided 7's eyes. 7 sighed. "Is there anything I can do for you?" she asked.

"I don't think so. I'll be fine." 9 stood up and walked off.

"Where are you going?" 7 asked as she noticed 9 heading for the exit.

"I'm just gonna walk around for a while. I shouldn't be gone long."

7's lips formed a thin line but she shook her head and said: "Alright."

The twins watching as 9 left. 7 said nothing to them and wandered back to the book she had been reading.