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Kayla was comfort, small circles drawn on his back when he woke from a nightmare, soft words soothing him back to sleep-wrapped up in her arms.

She was laughter and brightness, as refreshing as an evening's rain, her smile always putting him at ease. She was tight hugs and warning touches, half concealed smiles when she was trying to be serious and barely restrained joy when he kissed her, warm lips against his, feather light upon his skin and upon his soul. She was hair flowing in the wind, dark curls wrapped around his fingers, smooth when he ran his hand through the silky strands. She was the sepia dusted film that rolled back and forth, glitching at unfortunate moments as her face glowed with dimmed light.

She was the slow curve of his smile, when he'd think of her at work, sweating beneath the harsh eye of the sun, cutting trees and trying to make something of himself-all for her. She was the blood upon his hands as he howled, and the betrayal flashing in his eyes, and the weak defeat he'd seen on her face as he'd scooped her into his arms, her shirt blooming with crimson.

She was the sharp echo of pain in his skull, the moment that became darkness, and she was blurred vision, waking for what felt like the first time. She was a body lying on the ground, prone and limp and lifeless, glassy eyes upturned and skin as pale as the moon.

Kayla was so much, so very alive and whole and there, and then she was nothing and dead and gone.

...

Jean was understanding, pure and unhindered by the trials of life, small smiles when he made a joke.

She was bright and lively, reserved when he didn't expect it, and she loved with all she had-maybe too much. She was a fleeting glance from across the room, a turned head as she walked away, held within someone else's arms. She was forbidden, and her fingers were like velvet, splayed across his cheeks as he kissed her, the look in her eyes caught between want and rage, and she never returned the gesture with either emotion-she never returned it at all. But he knew. Because she was open, and easy to read, even if she tried to act as if nothing could faze her. She was whispers of warning that held the betraying lilt of tenderness, and she was half murmured confessions, despite how they tore him apart.

She was sacrifice at its greatest, tears upon his face as he stood, helpless, and she was rushing water and screams and sobs and denial. She was denial, and regret, and then she was empty, a beacon of hope smashing across sharp rocks, her eyes fiery. She was revenge, and cruelty, and instability at its worst, and she was destruction and death and chaos-until she was tears, whimpering in his arms, and then she was crimson blood dripping down her shirt, a gasp and a smile and a release.

She was gone, dead but still alive, buried within his memories to resurface at every moment he closed his eyes, and she was bitter and cool and icy, but loving and kind and sultry. She was warnings and warm murmurs and soft smiles, moments taken from the life he could have had with her, and she was heartbreak and loneliness.

Jean was acceptance, and sadness, and wobbling smiles, and then she was a ghost vanishing out the door, gone in a flash of blinding light, just like she was never there at all.

...

Mariko was hesitance, glances thrown away from his own with lightning speed, discomfort as she sat next to him, drinking in the silence.

She was hard-to-come-by conversation, and ignorance and naivety wrapped within a fiercely beating heart. She was reluctant smiles and shaking voices, odd laughter and shining eyes, soft skin as he touched her cheek, pulling her into his embrace. She was anger and unfamiliarity and strange, gazing over at him like he was the oddest mystery. She was bedtime stories and hopeful smiles and dark gazes, sweet murmurs as he slept against her back, his chin resting on her bare shoulder.

She was lazy mumbles in her sleep as he watched over her, just as she always knew he would, gazing down from his mythical perch on the moon to ward away the monsters beneath her bed. She was fragile and willful, strong and timid, hugging him with an iron grip as they clung to one another, the bitter tang of goodbye lying on their tongues.

Mariko was a face on the news, taking up the power like she was born to do it, a form getting ever smaller in the airplane window, like the tiniest ant in the world.

...

All left alone-lying in the bloodied dirt or walking away with tear tracks or watching the sky with deflating hope-just like Logan.