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Grasping at Flaws

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Forest all around. Is that important? He can't remember. He doesn't think so. Where is Allen? Allen is dead.

Allen is dead.

Allen is dead.

He collapses to the ground. When he stretches out his hands, all he reaches is mossy dirt. He wonders if that's what stars feel like, dirt and plant matter, cool and damp and gritty. Allen would know.

Allen is dead.

But he would know.

Allen is dead.

Death sounds nice.

He digs into the earth with his fingers. It falls from his hands as he lifts it towards his face, trying to see if it will shine like the stars. He grabs at it again, but it slips from his grasp again and again and he's tearing at the ground trying to hold something he can't and making a mess of it and himself and everything over and over and over

(and what else is new really)

and over and over and over and he can't stop but it doesn't matter because Allen, Allen is dead

(everyone is dead)

Allen is dead and it's his fault and he's so tired of reaching for things he can never reach. He's tired of wanting Allen and remembering Allen and forgetting Allen and remembering him again. He's so tired of living. Allen should be here. Allen should be Trump. Allen was the one who taught him what it meant to be alive, the one who embodied life itself, so why is he dead and why is Krauss alive? It doesn't make sense, nothing makes sense, and there's no one to make sense of it except him and a boy who died a long (short?) time ago. It's not enough.

Allen is dead.

Yes, and?

He goes still, so struck by the question he forgets to struggle, forgets everything. It's everything. Allen is everything and he wouldn't have spent so long desperately forgetting his death if he wasn't, wouldn't have kept finding excuses and substitutes, wouldn't have–

(killed everyone.)

He wouldn't be lying in the middle of the forest with dirt caked beneath his newly-regenerated nails with half-formed tears waiting to spill from his eyes if Allen wasn't the only thing that had ever mattered, would he? He supposes it's possible that he could find something else that matters, but he hardly thinks it's worth it. He has already lost so much.

He has already taken so much.

He will take more, he realizes, and he is repulsed by the thought even as he blindly accepts it. Even if he were to keep digging, even if he were to bury himself in the depths of the earth, it would only be a matter of time before he was unearthed. Time is his one constant companion, and because it cannot end him it plays spiteful tricks on him. Like... like... the name slips his mind, but he can picture him, with the girl's features and the overwhelming scent of Allen that made him forget.

He will not forget.

He must not forget.

He is already forgetting.

Allen. He must not forget about Allen. Allen is...

Allen is not here.

There's something vaguely wrong about that statement, but that's not as important as the truth of it. Allen is not here. Where is Allen? He must not forget him. He has to find him. He has to


find Allen.

He pulls himself to his feet and spares a second to reach toward the sky, a self-mocking smile twisting his lips, and sets out to begin the search anew.

Perhaps it will end differently this time.


(It never ends differently.)


(It never ends.)