Your smiling face from the distant days passed by;

I can't find it save for in my memory.

If I am the cause of all your pain and grief - then someday, I want you to...

There is no warmth in space, and your hot core is suffocating in an endless coffin of ice.

It reminds you of him.

The overwhelming sense of loneliness doesn't bother you as much as it used to - you figure that you've just finally realized that nothing has really changed from when you were on earth. /Except for you./

You haven't slept since your 'old friend' left you here. To be honest, you really didn't think he'd had it in him.

Proved you wrong, didn't he?

Even though you don't sleep anymore, that doesn't mean that you're always… fully aware of what's happening around you. A therapist would have called it a 'coping mechanism,' but you're Vlad Masters, and Vlad Masters does not cope. It's simply a way to keep yourself from loosing the last strands of sanity you have left.

You can't change back into a human, because the pressure would kill you within a minute. You tried once, but you're a survivor. You may have been informally banished from the Earth, but there way no way that fool was going to claim the award for ending your pitiful life. No, you'll survive.

You feel something different, something here and near you that isn't a part of the same monotony you've been half-living until now. The world focuses back in around you as you drag yourself back into your cold reality.

If there had been air in space, and you had been able to breath, your chest would have tightened and the breath in your lungs wheezed out as if you had been kicked. But air and breathing were unfamiliar concepts to you now, so instead your eyes widen and your dried up mouth hangs open in shock.

Standing only a few feet away from you, with his hands stuck in the rumpled pockets of his blue jeans, is the boy. He looks exactly like you remember him - young. He has you fixed with an annoyed glare, and the weight of /who knows how long/ being truly alone crashes down on you. Even though it's the insolent brat here, you truly can't think of the last time you felt this… happy. A rushing elation and euphoria is filling you at the sight of another person.

You vaguely realize that you should probably be alarmed that the boy is casually standing in the airless vacuum of space /completely human/ and fine, but you can't find it in you to care, and the thought is quickly swept from your mind in the tides of confusion and glee.

Opening your mouth, you try to shout, talk to him, say anything at all, but your throat is empty. Just like you've forgotten how to breath, your voice is no more than an ancient, lost knowledge to you now.

The boy hesitantly smiles, and waves lightly at you.

You stumble to your feet - it's been a long time since you've done that as well - but at least you can manage to walk. You go to move forward, to /do what? Hug him? Hit him?/ You're not sure, all you know is that he's here and you're not alone any more.

You feel like laughing to yourself merrily, and you would if you remembered how. Of course the brat would come for you, why didn't you think of it sooner? He's the hero,and heroes save people. /including you?/

But you slow when you see his face twist and drop. He stares at you, mouth set and eyes solemn. This stops you in your tracks /you don't remember this./ He always looked at you with contempt, or humor. /don't forget the hatred and the rage/ But this… this is new, and it unsettles you.

He shakes his head calmly, never taking his blue eyes off you. They are the same color as ice, and it sends chills up your spine. You don't like the cold anymore.

/You shouldn't come any closer./

Although you shouldn't have been able to hear his voice - at the beginning you'd tried to turn human, and it had only taken one second for your ears to implode from the inside out /being a ghost is safer/ - it reverberates loud and clear throughout the blank void of stars.

You're almost angry, but the confusion rattling your bones outweighs the fury. You can do nothing but try to close to him again, and there is a sick bile bubbling in your gut now. You trip over your own feet as you move closer to him /it's been a while since you've moved you should rest/

He continues to meet your wide eyes, and his own are sorrowful. He tells again to stay away, /it's for your own good/ but you don't listen and reach your trembling hand out to -

It falls through his body like cutting through smoke, and he vanishes in less than the blink of an eye.

You stand there, lost and frozen in the cold, and it feels like time passes for a thousand years. A terrified understanding dawns on you, and you know you've broke even if you don't remember when because you can see the cracks. /they're all right in front of you now/ You topple over, a puppet with it's strings cut, and clutch your head hard. Some of your hair is ripped out. Your mouth is stretched open in a silent scream, but in your head it is not so quiet. A cracking whimper gains more and more force until you're howling and screaming like a pained animal within your own mind. You're trying to force the sound from your throat, but it rips it to hoarse shreds and phlegm coated ectoplasm starts leaking from in between your sharp teeth.

The truth that you're still alone grips you with cold hands, and you're screaming.

The next time it shows up, the first thing you do is weakly try to attack it. You don't want this reminder. Your fist goes right through it, and it disappears.

The third time it comes, you barely even blink. You have no idea how long it's been since you saw it last, but it doesn't matter. It seems sheepish, and says it's sorry while scratching the back of it's head awkwardly. /not your fault/ You can barely bring yourself to look at it. It's a sign of how far you've fallen, how much you've changed out here and alone.

It sits down next to you slowly, and starts talking. It talks and talks and talks and talks, telling you about things that have happened since you've been gone, and how strange it is without you always looming around. You can't think straight, can't focus on what it's saying because you can't pull your diseased mind away from the fact that you shouldn't be able to hear it's words at all.

Oblivious to your turmoil, the thing keeps on talking.

Though it comes and goes, you've formed a sort of… companionship with your own derangement. You still can't talk, but it seems to be alright with that. It loves to tell you stories, and you know they're all fake and empty lies you can't help but enjoy them.

For the first time since you were stranded, you really want to go home.

The thing still looks at you sadly, and apologizes for not being able to help. You just shake your head and watch the boundless void of stars continue to spin.

Floating only a few feet away from you, with its hands crossed over its chest, is the thing. It looks nothing like you remember him this time - it has adopted an older ghost form of the boy. He has you fixed with an annoyed glare, and you don't understand anything.

Its mouth is moving, but you can't hear it talking.

Even though your core is still frozen solid, you feel the licks of flame within you coming back to life.

/it's time to go now/

The boy hesitantly smiles, and waves lightly at you.