Disclaimer: I don't own Pandora Hearts. I haven't even finished reading it! Please enjoy. Lyrics are from French Film's 'Take You With Me'.

x

Time

everybody says they've seen it all
everybody knows everything
but all the time don't change you in my eyes


It has been a

long

long

time

He would have made the most of that last sunset, the night before the ceremony, if only he had known. He would have watched how ray after dying ray caught in Oz's hair more closely, he would have marvelled at how the shadows fell against his cheeks and eyes and seemed to vanish into his brightness. He would have stayed outside a while longer, in the clean air, if he had known this was the last evening he would feel unbroken.

Gilbert is young, but he has lived a very long time. Oz is younger, and perhaps he has lived more lifetimes than all of them. He is still a child, frozen on the cusp of maturity, locked forever in the ay where everything fell apart. And every time he looks at him, Gil can only see a knife against his throat, held in traitorous hands.

That will fade, he tells himself. It will fade.

But it has been ten years unfaded and perhaps he isn't quite so sure.

When Oz collapsed, so did something inside Gil. With every rise and fall of the boy's chest, it has been slowly reinflating, and Gil has been coming gradually back to reality. Nothing is right. Nothing is real. Everything is real, and it really, really shouldn't be.

Break smiles and Sharon bows her head and sips tea, and he tips his hat to shade his eyes from the evening light. Things carry on much as they have before, much as maybe they shall forever. Things hang unchanging in the day's last gasps, and Oz has not aged a day. He is fragile in his sleep, fragile in a way that Oz Vessalius simply is not, for Oz is a golden cacophony of bravery and heart, a coming together of honesty and beauty and boldness. The last thing his master has ever been is frail, and seeing his body like this is killing him.

That will fade, he tells himself. It will fade.

Let it fade.

It has been a

long

long

time

and more ought to have changed than just the date.