*"One third of the brain has already been destroyed. It's remarkable that he lived this long."*
Why didn't anybody catch this sooner, when they still could have operated?
Why didn't anybody notice, or care, or remember that he had a tumor removed just a few years ago?
...Why didn't I remember?
God, I failed him.
I failed him; I killed him through my carelessness. How could I have let things get so far?
I should have noticed.
All the symptoms where there. The dizziness, the vertigo...he never had problems with things like that before.
I should have forced him to go to the doctor. I should have forced him to see Gorma, forced him to take better care of himself.
I should have taken better care of him. And now he's gone.
Oh Keith, why didn't you say anything? Why didn't you let someone know?
If you hadn't been so fucking proud, if you hadn't been so fucking stubborn and just let someone _help_ you, we wouldn't be here, in this room of death, waiting. Always waiting. We could have been dancing in the sky, right now, weaving intricate patterns in the clouds--instead of sitting here, sitting in this room that smells of lost hope, of lost souls, of dying rattling breaths and aching loneliness.
...If you had just let someone help you when the signs had first started, you wouldn't be lying here, one of those lost souls. You look so weak...so
thin. You're dying too fast, Keith. Dying here, among the sick and wasted, among those who have long since given up hope. Where is your hope? Where is your spirit, your fire? Why aren't you dying the way you're supposed to, dying in a spurt of adrenaline, of aching, racing muscles, of fire and pain and glorious oh so glorious battle?
You're a warrior, not an invalid. You should die this warrior's death.
Oh God, your voice, your voice is so weak, so thready and whispery. I can barely hear you.
"I'm right here, Keith."
"Where am I?"
I want to add that you are dying, want to say aloud the words that plague me, but to give them voice is to give them power. And I will try to hold onto the slim hope that maybe...maybe there is a cure. There is some way to save you.
You nod, what's left of that once proud mane, bobbing up and down so slowly. How could you look so much like an old man? You're only twenty-six.
_I'm_ only twenty-six. There's so much left to do, so many things left to say.
How can I tell you everything that I want to?
"Get me out? I don't want to die here."
"Lance, I know that I'm dying. I've known it since I was sixteen. The tumor is incurable. I'm just glad that I had this long of a life, especially since you've been by me for most of it. Now please, let me out. I don't want to end my life here."
How can I refuse? Especially since you have already begun to rip the wires from your body, the tubes from your veins. Always so determined.
The doctors are going to come soon, called by the klaxons that ring as machine after machine looses contact with your body. But I don't care.
Oh God, you're so light. You're too light. I barely feel you in my arms as I carry you out the window, carry you across the asphalt drive, over the crusted and cratered surface of this miserable planet--far too close to Doom for my comfort--to where Red waits patiently. But, you don't know this, for that fit of anger has worn you out, until your head thumps against my shoulder, your body unable to keep it upright.
But that is all right. If you knew what I planned, where I have sent Red flying too, armed with my anger, you would try to stop me.
We've run out of time, Keith, my love.
Run out of time to save the world, to save ourselves.
Run out of time to be together.
But I'm not going to let you go so easily, my heart. You deserve a warrior's death, a final blaze of glory.
And I will be beside you the entire way.