Disclaimer: Voltron is the property of World Events Productions. The lyrics to Cain or an Open Vein belong to Apocalypse Theater.
If I told you I was dying, would you close your eyes?
If I told you I was dying, would you whisper goodbye?
If I told you I was dying, would you scream from the inside?
If I told you I was dying, would you miss me?
Would you miss me?
Would you kiss me goodbye?
-Cain or an Open Vein, Apocalypse Theatre
The garden was painted in tones of gold and green from the warm rays of the late afternoon sun, creating an oasis of beauty amidst the destruction of warfare. The air was too silent, the lack of voices or birdsong a testimony to the violence of the preceding years. None of that seemed to touch the garden. The slanting shadows of the trees provided shade from the heat of the sun, pools of twilight in the middle of the afternoon. The only discrepancy was the young man resting in the shade of an ancient oak tree.
There was nothing about his posture that gave him away. He seemed almost relaxed, his face tilted towards the softly rustling leaves overhead. Rather it was the way the sunlight seemed not to touch him, even in this place of solitude and serenity. The shadows seemed to sink into his dark hair and eyes, creating more of a ghostly impression of a former life than accenting the vitality of youth.
It was a scene she'd seen many times before, yet it never failed to take her breath away.
I can feel her watching me again. They're always watching me, as if they're afraid to leave me alone for a single moment. I don't quite understand that. What exactly do they think I'm going to do? Blow something up and take as many people with me as I possibly can? Do they really think that I've fallen that far?
No, they don't understand. How could they? I'm not even sure that I understand myself. All I know is that you're gone, all of you, and I should be with you. I should have listened. I should have understood. I should have SEEN.
I didn't though, did I? You tried to tell me, that last night. Our last night together, and we spent it fighting. That alone hurts more than anything else. It plays through my mind again and again and again until I'm not at all sure that you're not really still here with me, glaring at me with that look that could burn me as readily as any flame I ever felt.
Why didn't I listen? I've asked myself that question more times than you'll ever know. And as much as I hate to admit it, I don't care much for the answer. It's simple. I didn't want to hear. If I heard you, it would mean that I had to believe, and I couldn't face losing you. Losing any of you, much less all of you at once. We fought so hard! How in the Hell could it end that way? What good is freedom if the world you're fighting to free no longer exists?
So I refused to hear, refused to believe, no matter how many times you insisted that it was true. I could feel the frustration practically strangling you, but I still held fast to the belief that you were wrong. You HAD to be wrong. God would never be that cruel.
Shows you what I know.
I still miss you all so much. The pain should ease over time, or so everyone keeps telling me. They're lying, but that's all right. I'm good at hearing what I want to hear, and I don't know if I want the pain to ease.
It's over now. The war, I mean. It's finally over. The final strike did everything we thought it would do when we so painstakingly planned it out, except for the chain reaction that we seemed somehow to have overlooked. The elation of victory followed by that sickening moment of pure terror, accentuated by the echoing sounds of your screams cutting off one by one. It's the only sound I'm conscious of anymore, the lullaby that carries me through the day and sings me into my nightmares every night.
And still I can see your face when you told me that you were going to die.
Why didn't I just listen? Is there anything I could have done?
I'll never know, will I? I wonder if you blame me. I don't think you do, somehow. How could I see you on days like this if you were angry vengeful shades like the ones that run through everyone's ghost stories? I can see Hunk chasing Pidge through the darker shadows, glints of sunlight shining from Pidge's glasses as he turns to taunt Hunk from just out of reach. I can hear Allura's laughter as she dodges out of the way. And you. You I can hold in my mind and never let go.
There's no place else I want to be.
The nurse sighed and shook herself out of her reverie. As much as she might like to leave Keith out here in the sunlight for the rest of the afternoon, she did have a schedule to maintain. Walking into the clearing, she took the young man's hand and gently pulled him to his feet. He followed with a mindless obedience that wrenched at her heart, sightless eyes still gazing deep into the shadows of the golden green leaves.
History always tells that the survivors are the lucky ones. Sometimes, if you listen closely enough, you can hear the dead laughing.