They say it's easier to suffer in silence if you know someone is watching - and he knows there must be someone observing from afar. After all the work they put into him, after all the hopes and restless dreams they rested on his shoulders, it is impossible to imagine that they wouldn't want to keep tabs. So when he finds himself mute in the face of strangers and lovers alike, when he realizes his voice is as gone as his memories and his own, broken body, he grits his teeth and bears it. Not simply because there is nothing else to do, but because whatever is left of his sanity depends on whether he can find it in himself to keep going.

And he has to keep going.

So in silence he suffers with his head held high, fighting demons and shadows and the perpetually encroaching darkness, determined to earn his way out of damnation. Determined to carry on. Determined to ignore the only voice he has that whispers, softly, in the back of his mind that it's already too late; he's already gone insane.