A/N: My best friend, sSophisticateds, always suggests books for me to read. Oh boy, I'm so glad she introduced Nevermore to me. Why aren't there fanfictions of this yet? Why? -mumbles- It's a very good book... And it has Edgar Allan Poe... POE! I don't understand what more one could want...

Hmm, so alot of fangirls gush over Varen, who I won't deny is quite likeable. I just like Pinfeathers better. Dunno why, but I got excited whenever he was in a scene x3 Am I the minority here?

Anyway, this takes place in the dream realm in the Purple Room after Isobel finally finds Varen. This fanfic is dedicated to sSophisticateds, without whom this wouldn't exist. First Nevermore fanfic on this site for you, Lis ;D Please enjoy, all -bows-

It's the Fear

Supposedly this is what normal people called fear. Varen Nethers didn't know what fear was for a long time. Night held no power over him, death was inevitable and shouldn't be feared, and his father was noise; pointless noise that could be drowned out by his music.

Fear was enticed by not knowing the unknown. It was born from the heavy thud of a heart, sending ice into your veins and frozen tendrils to grip your mind. From then on, terror could have its way with you. Fear, Varen heard once, could not be easily escaped. Fright, it seemed, was something no one could prevent. Trepidation lived in the unseen, which was fitting since fear blinded all reason. It was a dance no one could escape – a vertigo that revealed in impossibilities and the unknown.

Illusion was just a word. Everything became real with terror.

What did that make this realm? What did that make Varen?

Isobel. Isobel, please, please, don't go! Don't leave!

With a shaky breath, Varen sank to his knees, staring at the gaping, chipped hole that Isobel had spoken to him through. Seconds ago, she had brought her sweet presence, her strong words, promised everything to this abysmal emptiness he had become.

Slowly, he brought up the hand that had a pink sash tied loosely to it – the one Isobel Lanley had wrapped to his appendage, touching him, breaking herself into his world.

"You have to keep it safe. For me. Do you understand?"

The soft material comforted him a little – this spot of light and hope just when he was beginning to give up on himself.

She was gone too quickly. Varen was afraid. Afraid that she wouldn't come back. Afraid he'd forget what her face looked like, that her voice would be forever lost to him. She was gone too quickly. I couldn't memorize any of it at all.

She wouldn't return. Varen was certain of this. The blood-curling screams still echoed horribly in the dark mansion. Isobel had left already to rescue her ex-boyfriend, Brad, plunging herself knowingly into the shadows – into Varen's darkness.

She won't forgive me. She'll see what I did to him... Isobel won't come back...

"Just wait here for me. Hold on. Hold on and wait. For me. I'll be right back…I promise!"

He was scared. What would his dreams, now his nightmares, do to her? She was never meant for this place. Neither was Brad. Varen's breath had gotten heavier, and he tightly clenched his pink-wrapped hand. It hadn't been intentional. He tried to keep it all at bay – these feelings of anger, of resentment...they were supposed to be kept back.

There was a crack, a slap, followed by more wailing – a cacophony of tortured music haunting the walls of the shadowed mansion. Varen's eyes were staring mindlessly at the black hole in the middle of the purple glass, pretending to be deaf to Brad's chilling cries of suffering.

He deserved it, he deserved it... Isobel wouldn't think so. Varen shook his head, his body trembling as Brad continued to scream out both of their torments. He bit his lip, tugging on his piercing hard until he felt the blood on his tongue. He deserved it, he deserved it... It was like a mantra, a way to justify everything. Maybe if he told Isobel that, she wouldn't be so horrified with him.

What would happen when she saw what he had done? This place used to be so beautiful to him. He'd participate in those mindless waltzes, laugh without abandon, wield shadow on a thought...

Now it felt like the shadows would reach out and choke the life out of him.

"PLEASE, PLEASE STOP IIIIIIIT!"

Tears were falling down Varen's cheeks. He hadn't even realized that one of his hands was gripping broken purple glass.

She'll hate me... She's seen it; Isobel has seen all of it! This is me, all of this place is me! Varen's thoughts were running into hopeless conclusions, his head polluted with the rain of a thousand raven feathers. She'll see what I've done, what I've thought and created...

"I'm scared," he whispered. An invisible creature clawed up his stomach and chest, its claws wantonly slashing his heart to tatters.

"I'm scared," he said again, voice hoarse, raw, like he swallowed glass. The sharp, gleaming shard in his hand dug into his palm as he gripped it tighter. His other hand let the sunset-pink ribbon fall gently to the floor until his hand was uncovered.

"Isobel...I'm scared..." The overlapping sound of wings flapping and screams wailing went back and forth in his mind. Varen closed his eyes tightly, not knowing which darkness was better – the one with his eyes open or closed. The sharp tip of the purple glass bit his skin like a viper as he dug it into his flesh as much as he could take while still leaving a print. He grunted in pain, carving the words, forcing himself to believe them...

"HELP ME, PLEEEEEEASE! GOD, STOP IT! STOP IT!"

Supposedly this what normal people called fear.

The purple glass clinked on the stone floor like the cry of a silver bell. Mixed with his blood was ink the dark color of lavender-hued poison – the purple ink he always wrote with, proclaimed promises with, and continued to weave the story.

Varen didn't want to know the truth, and he wasn't sure if was going to be the truth that presented itself when he saw Isobel again.

He had to believe that he'd be able to distinguish between his fear's illusion and the frightening truth. The odds weren't in his favor, but...

"Varen?" came a soft, lyrical voice. "Where is my darling Varen~?"

His insides clenched as he got up, grabbing Isobel's sash and wrapping it around his bleeding hand, where the crimson fluid and amethyst ink smeared the words he had carved into his palm. Quickly, he set to work widening the window's hole, chinking off pieces and pieces of the glass to give himself room to escape.

Varen wasn't good with fear. That much he was finding out as he too crawled through the window's gaping jaws and into the mansion. It didn't fit one who could create a realm on a thought to be afraid of something. But Lilith is someone I can't fully control. I'm sorry, Isobel. Change in plans – I can't wait here.

Brad wasn't screaming anymore. Varen had to guess that either Isobel had succeeded in saving him or...or she had been too late. I'm so sorry. I'll fix this, I'll fix all of it, Isobel. Please don't hate me. Don't think that this world is all I am...

And so Varen ran deeper into the darkness, avoiding and waiting; searching and yearning and fearing. Mostly fearing. Whenever he heard the chatter of Nocs, his blood froze. Whenever that voice akin to nightly mist whispered down the dank hall, Varen almost stumbled, knowing if he fell, he'd curl up and pray his nightmares wouldn't catch up with him.

"They call this terror," he whispered to himself, the fright growing in his stomach, threatening to tear out all parts of his flesh. But that wasn't real. None of it was, right?

Isobel is real, he told himself, clutching his hand wrapped in her scent, her warmth, her flower-pink ribbon, once around her waist as his palms had been.

"Isobel is real," reminded the bleeding-inking wound.

And Varen had to believe it.

It kept the fear away.