Sorry I skipped last week! The truth is I had a HORRIBLE case of writer's block, and this morning I basically had to force myself to get this chapter done. Therefore, it was rather hastily put together. And yes, I realize I forgot to put in an author's note last time, because I'm an idiot. =_= Anyway, once again, I hope you enjoy this chapter! Thanks once again to my AWESOME reviewers!

Black*Star POV

What is there to say?

What is there to say?

3rd-person POV

He didn't always remember things easily. He didn't like looking back on anything or anyone—it was a waste of time to consider things that have already happened. Doing so slowed him down, and that wasn't his way. He always had to keep moving, keep pushing himself, keep going forward, forward, never stopping. Even a god needed every ounce of energy he could get in this age: he couldn't afford to waste any on memories.

At least, that's what he always thought.

That's what he thought…before he found himself carrying his limp, fatally wounded partner in his arms.

This was the person who had acknowledged him when no one else would, the warm, kind human being who accepted and even embraced the faults that he himself tried to deny he had, even though he subconsciously always knew they were there. She dispelled his inner darkness and helped the tiny speck of light inside him—the speck of hope amid the inherent insanity of his clan—and built on it. She turned him into someone. She helped him on his quest to become a deity.

Yes, he had risen above the Earth and Sky only because she had stood beside him the entire time.

And now here they both were. She was slowly suffering, dying before him…and what was he doing? Was he trying to stop it?

No, because he couldn't stop it. He didn't have the ability.

What was this feeling? Was it…helplessness?


The dark-haired girl's voice came ever so slightly louder this time. It seemed that the two words used up every breath of air in her lungs.

His head snapped down to look at her, his wide and frantic eyes connecting with her sapphire ones. He didn't slow his pace.

"Don't talk," he commanded, trying and failing to keep all emotion out of his voice. "Just rest for now."

She ignored him. "A…a-are y-you alright?"

He stared at her for several long seconds before rolling his eyes and sighing loudly. Typical—she'd been gored through the stomach and was now teetering on the very edge of unconsciousness, and her first concern was how he was doing. But he had to smile. Sometimes, especially in times like these, that was all you could think of to do. Maybe that's why he was immature and obnoxious sometimes…alright, pretty much all the time. Maybe it was his way of laughing in the dark, so to speak.

And was that why she decided to stay with him? Was that why she willingly put up with all of it? Maybe he was her laughter in the dark, and she his. They faced it together, bound by the ties a meister and weapon shared. And perhaps something more as well…

Wait, what? He couldn't lose focus like this now, not while her life was on the line. He sped up until he was almost running, driving himself through the rain, which had since finally lessened into a weak drizzle. The weather seemed to mock him relentlessly—it seemed that as the heaviness and force of the pour seemed to gradually diminish, so did her wavelength. He could feel it, fading, ever so slowly fading…

"D-don't go…so fast…" Her voice was nothing more than a whisper. But he pretended he hadn't heard her plea, refusing to slow down. Seeing this, she drew in several shaky and seemingly painful breaths before speaking again, this time with a tone that was somewhat louder and more forceful. "Don't."

The boy shook his head. Irritation and grim resolve curled his lips into a frown. "Shut up." He hadn't meant for his reply to be so harsh, but he couldn't help it, not with all the anger that was boiling into a stew of rage inside him. It was a wild animal trapped within the cage of his body, just waiting to escape and pounce on an unwary victim. He was angry that witch, that creature, that thing that had done this. He was angry at his rival deities up above, the ones that were jealous of his greatness, for allowing this to take place. Maybe he was even just a little angry with her, for giving up, for letting herself drift away and leave him alone there.

The truth was, he was looking for someone to blame. But he knew—it was he himself that he was furious with. If she didn't live, it would be because of him…and he refused to live with that, knowing that. He wouldn't be able to go on.

"Do…do you remember it?"

This time, just for a moment, her words made him stop. Slowly, he looked down at her…and she was smiling, almost in a mischievous way. He couldn't help but copy her grin. He didn't have to be told what "it" was…he remembered it perfectly.

The day they met—the day she alone clapped for his performance on the roof of Shibusen—they went back to the small off-campus apartment they had rented. They'd both settled in quickly, and by evening they had already managed to unpack most of what they'd brought with them—it wasn't like they had a lot at that time.

She watched him, as he leapt around the room with his boundless energy, every so often hopping on the coffee table to proclaim his greatness. She didn't stop him; she merely watched for a while, a look of mild amusement on her face.

"You know, you don't have to do all of that around me. You can be yourself."

He stopped in his tracks, and slowly turned to look at her. She wore a knowing smirk on her face, and let out a soft giggle as she noticed the look of confusion in his green eyes.

"You can be yourself…" Had anyone ever once asked him to be himself? Had anyone ever in his life not only allowed him to be what he really was, but wanted him to do so? No…because no one could see beyond the package. No one could see behind his attention-seeking games and his troublemaking nature. But she could. She knew there was something else there.

She was unconscious when they at last reached the secluded hospital. And it was in that time while he waited, anxious, alone, that he had time to wonder…

When was it that he first started loving her? Was it at one specific point in the course of their partnership that it occurred? Or did it simply build up over time?

No, he decided. It was from the very beginning. I just didn't realize it at the time.

Well, he realized it now. A warped smile, bitter and joyless, crept across his face.

Too late for that now.

PLEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAASSSSEEE LEAVE A REVIEW! This is going to sound weird, but truly I generally get chapters up faster if I have a lot of comments!