By Kin Ryu

Half-dead. It's just a pop-phrase people use to describe being worn out or hurt. They've never really been half-dead.

I have.

That fight with Ultimecia, the one that saved the world, the one that no one but us seems to remember. I died during that fight. I died then and I knew what was meant by half-dead.

I'm half-dead now, my eyes closed, just barely able to see through the lashes. I can see Squall's gunblade shining like a light. I can see Rinoa's hand fly to her mouth as she whistles. I can see Angelo come running in. But I can't hear any of it.

The ground has become colder and it feels so painful just to lie still. Just to relax and let my muscles slacken, it hurts. I can feel Save The Queen roll from my hand, 'cause I can't see it anymore. All the colors are blurring together and it's fading to black.

Rinoa tries a Phoenix Down on me. I can feel the adrenaline pump through my body. It just makes the pain worse as my muscles try to move, spasming from the overdose. I may die now, from that one gesture alone.

And it's getting colder and I'm only biding my time, held on by chemicals. I've lost the will to live. It just hurts so much.

I can still feel some things, though that sense is shutting down too. Like the blood dripping down my cheek, Rinoa's violent shakes though they're softened. I've almost lost all the feeling below my waist. I didn't have much there when I had fallen.

My spine was severed and I knew I was dying.

The ground below me rumbled deep and I could've swore I heard the earth itself scream in rage. It was Brothers, Squall's GF.

My sense of touch left me. I was blinded now, deaf, couldn't feel anything. But I still knew, somewhere in the back of my mind, I was hurt everywhere.

The attack that had taken me down, Holy. I'd been so careful to junction it as a defense. She blew it away though. Dropped that stat to nothing and brought me to my knees with it.

The GFs cried somewhere in the dark. I wish I knew where. I knew why. They were crying for me.

These monsters, I'd been so careful to keep them happy, to convince them to like me and in the end, they cried for me.

In the end, as the adrenaline wore out, they were what clung me to life. What kept me attached to that glimmering end of the tunnel. But it was the wrong way. I was walking backwards, away from white light and into the golden one. The side that represented life.

My Guardians carefully held me away from the pain, kept me on that pedestal as the waves of anguish and despair bounded the sides of it. I waited for the water to wash it away.

I waited to die.

The Guardians could only do so much. They slowly came to the realization that were only hurting me more by prolonging my death. One by one, they let me go. One by one, they cut the leash that tied them to my consciousness as it slipped away.

Cerberus wouldn't let go. He held fast to me, trying to convince me to survive, to stay alive. Just let go, boys.

They fought amongst themselves. Two of Cerberus' heads wanted to allow me to die, to sink into that blackened ocean, but the other said no. She is our mistress and we must protect her.

'She is dead!' the other two roared, tearing at his neck. Trying to make him let go of that tiny thread of my existance he held bared in his teeth.

'She will live if we are to help!' Growls exchanged and eventually, the third head gave in.

His released that last piece of me and allowed it to float in the distance. Cerberus turned his back on me and ran, far away, into the darkness to find a new master.

I died then. I felt the spark of life faint and I watched it be extinguished. The light dimmed and turned out. I died.

I could feel my subconscious come to and watched everything that happened. As Ultimecia dissolved my conscious back into Time, as those few glowing lights left my body while it fell to pieces. Alexander's silver light floated in one direction, Eden's pale blue in another.

Cerberus' soft brown stopped in front of me. It watched for a second, flickered around me, then left.

My subconscious gave up and that last final realization that I was to die glimmered again, its light brighter than ever. As I closed my eyes one last time, the world became dark and silent and I died.

Kin Ryu's Fanfiction