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Red
by Edmondia Dantes

Disclaimer: Not mine

AN: TWT - Timeline, what timeline?

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Two days - two days since burning pain like fire and he's been running, stealing transport and slaughtering the owners and running running running and -

Two days and he still might be too late.

He sees red. Red and red and red and red coat red petals scattered blooming blossoming her damned geraniums falling withering dying redredredredred.

The shouts of shock, surprise, the hands and guns and screaming don't matter, he doesn't care, can't care, and he ignores the filth for what it is, because there's only him and he is all that matters.

The fire in his chest is hotter now, enough to make him scream but he's already screaming and screaming and screaming and the only one who can hear is blossom-burning red.

Tremor, stir, and bruised eyes - filthfilthfilthwhathaveyoudone?! - flutter open, and he knows he's been waiting, waitingwaitingwaiting because it must end as it began, end as it began, can'tendcan'tendwon'tendnonono!

His eyes are too glassy, he doesn't like it, doesn't like the strange sickly sheen and the way his own eyes burn in response, the heat in his chest is throbbing now, hotstickywetred under his hands, staining his clothes, and foolfoolfoolItriedItriedItriedyoudidn'tlistentome!

There is no hate in his eyes, no anger, and he hates it, hates it hates THEM filth filth filthydisgustingfilth!

Cracked lips part and he wheezes, trying to speak, and nononononohushnonono, nonono. He leans down, touching stickywetred hands to his only-perfect skin, and whywhywhystupidfool? Why didn't you listen?!

"S'not - not anyone's fault," he wheezes, and he grips his hair in his fingertips and squeezes tight, wanting to shake him but he can't because no no nononohe'llbreaknonono! He squeezes his hair and spreads stickywetred into the tangled gold but it's okay, he won't care, he won't care at all even though he hatesithatesithatesit!

He wheezes again, a sick gurgle of sound, and he clamps a hand down over his mouth. Don't! Don't talk don't talk you're dying you idiot you fool you child you're dying dying leaving me dying don't talk!

His lips slowly curl up in a cracked smile, and he hates it, hates it, Stop smiling at me you idiot you're dying why are you here why not a sister a sister to saveyouhealyoumakeyouwhole?!

Another breath, and his own chest burns with the effort. "Too far," he whispers, low enough that even he has to strain to hear, has to put his ear to his lips and holdonholdonholdon! Maybe - maybe maybe he can still be saved, maybe he can take him and runrunrun to find their sisters, sisters to holdkeepsustain him until -

"Too late," he whispers again, softer now, and the pain is a sharp lance through both of their hearts.

End as it began, end together, tangled up and redwetsticky and him, and he tries to will his sluggish body into healing, into stopping, stopitstopstopstopstop!

Hand, bloodywetsticky hand on his shoulder, and he lunges closer and tries to wrap him up, hide him in himself - hidehimhidehimsavehim! - but he's limp in his arms, so limp and the pain is white-hot now, stickywetred and whywhywhyWHYDIDN'TYOULISTEN?! I TOLD YOU I TOLD YOU I SHOWED YOU WHY DIDN'T YOU LISTEN?!

Not their fault... no one's fault...

Quiet! Be quiet shh shh shh I'll find a way to make it better keep you safe find our sister healyousaveyou!

...too late...

End as it begins, born together die together breatheburnfirewhitehotblacknesspainpainpainpainPAIN -

There's screaming all around him, crying and maybe someone's hitting him again and again and again but his brother, stupidbrokenidiotfool mirror is stillstillstillstill frozen still with Rem's geraniums - FILTHFILTHFILTHDON'TTOUCHHIM! - slowly seeping down his skin.

There's no sound but the roaring silence, and somewhere else, a small boy is screaming.

He holds his twin and wonders why it's so quiet.

So quiet.

Quiet.

Red. Dripping from his hair, his hands, and the heat of the fire inside is worse than burning.

End as beginning. He kisses his lips, soft and chaste, laughs a little and wonders why he can't cry.

His twin is dead. He was right. He'd been right all along.

Geraniums litter the floor.

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Comments?

Author's Note, included for clarification purposes: Vash is dead. Knives has just lost what's left of his mind.

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