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015. Breath

Night time had become a danger zone. Sleeping had become a battlefield. Dreaming had become a war. For Rinoa at least. I sometimes dreamt about her succumbing to some awful punishment or curse or sinking too deeply into despair with her dreams. I'd wait in a rickety the night to be awoken by a sharp breath, and the tears and shaking that came with it.

She wasn't dealing with the aftermath well. She'd seen too many things, watched as too many died at the grim hands of the malevolent sorceresses before her. I knew that she feared one day losing all of her control and becoming evil - just as Edea did. I could only sympathise to an extent - I could not empathise with her entirely.

She'd told me once that she had dreams. She'd dreamt of finding me on a dingy outcrop of dry, cracked land, being slowly sucked in by the grey ether. She'd had dreams of the flowers and feathers in the field we promised to meet in. But she'd also had dreams of seeing a girl with black hair and slate eyes, looking in terror at something, and seeing her blood on my hands. That worried me too - I promised her that should she ever become too powerful, too far from what she was, that I would kill her, as her knight. I never thought I'd have to make true on that promise, and the forecast that maybe I would, terrified me.

But she had violent dreams of terrors gone by and terrors still to come that would never come to pass now. Of Ultimecia's booming, rasping, lisping voice shouting her down into oblivion, forcing her into a body she never wanted to become. Of watching me die in space, my helmet shattered and watching me suffocate until I couldn't take just one more breath.

I began staying awake at night, waiting for her to awaken. I've almost fallen asleep myself countless times, but her sharp breaths of fear wake me up, and I comfort her until she can sleep again. I never thought it would come to this, but I don't mind wasting away my sleep so that she can rest better at night. She means more to me than anything else, and so it follows that her health and well-being means more to me than my own.

I'm going to the doctor in Esthar today though, to get some remedy for her. Something to ease the pain in her mind and quell the terrors at night. Maybe then she can reclaim her sleep, and I can rest alongside her, without fear of waking up to the sound of her sharp breath.