"I have a request for you though, the song in question for the fic is Nightrage's Wearing a Martyr's Crown."- Hairul the Nightrage Beast

About time I get this up. I've probably been working on this request on and off for a very long time. Life being dumb and all that. Anyways, this story isn't specifically what you had asked for Hairul, but I think it's pretty boss. Please enjoy everybody!

I do not own the song, "Wearing a Martyr's Crown" by Nightrage or the Titans. Just a very tired college student playing for a little bit. – J.M.

The crown of emptiness,
As night descended slowly
Maybe it's an illusion...

It doesn't hurt.

Waking up in the morning is just as easy as it's always been. Going about his day is simple. It all just seems so effortless now. Time slips by like water through a sieve. Every day without her is like a dream. The normal rules just don't apply anymore. Nothing holds any real meaning. His biggest source of concern and worry is gone now. It's all just become a big, pointless game now that he has nothing left to lose.

It's hard to be happy playing along when you know there isn't a point or a prize any more. But his disconnected world somehow pulls itself together when he's on his own. In all honesty, the only things that feel real now are his dreams. So who can blame him if he locks himself in his room and locks the new sickeningly, bright, candy-colored world out?

It is the only place he can find a semblance of peace any more.

One fake dream, one grey plastic
Reality of tears and of repentance.
I felt my life crossing like a stream of sadness

At least until her face rises up again out of the night again, like it always does. Then it's all he can to do to wait out the memory. It takes all his strength to grit his teeth and attempt to keep breathing through the clenching of his heart. In those moments, he's lucky to keep a grip on his sanity.

That's when it hurts. In those never ending seconds, her memory might as well be physical torture. No injury or battle has ever left him as aching and exhausted.

Wearing a martyr's crown
The crown of sadness

The crown of emptiness
Mortified by his rudeness

The memory of her touch leaves him trembling with sorrow and longing. The breeze is like the whisper of her voice, calling him gently from the dark. She is a flickering memory barely noticed from the corner of his eye. But no matter how fast he turns, she's never there.

Some bittersweet nights, she won't disappear when he searches for her. In his dreams, she's still just as stoic and calm as ever. She won't smile or run to him. She never speaks to him, never answers him. She doesn't offer him comfort or closure. All she does is look at him.

He can't touch her. Nothing he does brings him closer. No matter how far he tries, she is always just beyond his reach.

She never ever reaches back.

All she does is stand and watch with a smile so soft and sad, he feels guilty to wake up in tears.

Souls sunk in despair
Futile actions the enemy of life.
Like an ego that's trying to rip your heart out

It's like finding an old copy of a favorite book. But long ago, someone used it to preserve flowers. So you find pressed flowers scattered through the pages every so often. Beautiful forgotten surprises littered among the expected words and phrases. Something once so vibrant and full of life reduced to nothing more than a fragile and faded memory.

Everything carries some reminder of her. There isn't a street in their...no. There isn't a street in his (just his, only his) city that she didn't walk through at least once. Each moment brings a thousand memories. Another page turned and another forgotten flower discovered. Another saved memory, so heartbreakingly delicate and beautiful that he can't bring himself to touch.

After all, he's always been so clumsy.

I felt the fear for what I saw.
Trying to save something, this incredible heap of mistakes
Stigmatized my soul

He hopes she never loved him. That it was all just an act. He's desperately wishing that she pretended everything. It's just one of the hundreds of things he prays for now. He hopes she was lying through her teeth every time she whispered how much she loved him.

Somehow it helps. Imagining that he is simply mourning for unrequited love and a lost friend is infinitely less painful. It doesn't grip at his heart and strangle all hope from his mind the same way. He can stumble through each day instead of completely falling to pieces.

He does all he can to pretend that he has simply lost a friend instead of being permanently made incomplete. It's the razor edge of difference between surviving and existing now.

So he lies to himself until every story he tells turns to truth.

Wearing a martyr's crown
The crown of sadness
The crown of emptiness

She never loved him. Why would she have? That was always so laughably impossible. They were barely even friends. She expected so much from him. Nothing he did was ever good enough. Apparently, she had always believed he could do more. She had always pushed him so hard.

As smart as she was, she just hadn't been able to understand. All the things she thought she had seen in him didn't exist. There was no deeper meaning behind any of his actions. He wasn't settling to stay in the role everybody boxed him in or refusing to try. His cover really was the only thing worth judging, forget his contents. He was exactly what he appeared to be: shallow, unruly, immature, and inept. It wasn't worth spending the time and effort attempting to understand him any further.

Most importantly, he really was sincerely happy before her.

I felt the plainness and all the errors of this tragic truth
Wearing a martyr's crown

They had clashed on nearly every issue. He doesn't know how many times their days ended in fighting. Or how many times he had to drag himself down that hallway to apologize. He doesn't even remember what most of those arguments were about. Just the way her face looked when she screamed at him, how his name flew off her tongue. Almost invisible vulnerability in her eyes when he came to apologize. He was only forgiven when she smiled the tiny, sad smile that now haunts his dreams.

She was his total opposite. Calm control to temper his wild impulsiveness. She was the voice of reason always attempting to tame him. Cool logic subtly trying to encourage him to be brave and try to be more. There was once a nagging voice in his head that told him to think before instinctively lashing out that had sounded just like her.

The quiet one that used to whisper he was important had sounded like her too.

He really misses that now. He misses all of it now.

But at least he's freer now. There isn't anybody to hold him back. That has to be what matters. He can't handle anything else.

I felt the waves of sadness, breaking my heart
I felt the fear of what I saw
I held my head up high, wearing a martyr's crown

He has to walk on eggshells inside his own head now. One wrong step, a single careless thought, and his carefully constructed world shatters around him. The lies around his memories will split at the seams. He will be forced to stare down the brightest moments of his life long after his eyes are stinging from the truth and tears.

From the beginning, she had treated him differently. She had let herself argue with him. They had fought and fought only to reconcile just to fight again. He was the only person that was allowed to step inside her private world without asking permission. The frustration and anger she had felt because of him had never been bottled up or hidden away.

Everything had always been on full display. She was unashamed and unafraid in a way that took his breath away.

He had been the one that made her happy. Sure, there were other people that made her smile or laugh. But it was different for him. Just like the way she lectured him was different from anybody else. She had always been able to look straight through any mask he tried against her. He was forced to give up lying to her and vice versa. They had argued, but never once she had misunderstood him. He had rarely felt her anger, only the strength of what she felt.

I felt the waves of sadness, breaking my heart
I held my head up high, wearing a martyr's crown

For some incomprehensible reason, she had loved him. Somewhere within himself, there had been something she found valuable. She had thought he was worth caring for and protecting because of it.

She had never told him what it was. Now that she's gone, he's terrified that part of him has died with her. And that's the reason behind her sad smile in his dreams, why she doesn't comfort him when he cries for her. Even his dream Raven can't force herself to care too much for him now.

Considering how much he has started to dread his dreams, he doesn't blame her.