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Despairing

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        He'd been staring for what felt like hours - days. He'd only been able to stare, and fade in and out of consciousness.

        He scarcely remembered who he was. All he knew to associate with himself was the freely-bleeding, gaping wound left by the absence of a hand. What happened there...?

        The sun was harsh, quietly stifling his vision. He shifted his face down into the sand, attempting to hide from the relentless sun. It hurt him to look at.

        He breathed the particles of dust, eyes fluttering closed again. He really was becoming one with the shore. But he didn't even know who he was - or where he was - so there was nothing he could do to end it.

        He felt the air shift, but could not open his eyes, for fear of the oppressive sunlight.

        His body shuddered involuntarily.

        He just felt heavy - like perhaps he should be dead. On the verge of suffocation, but not quite there.

        Not only that, but pain all over his body.

        It took a few moments for the violent crashing sounds overhead to stop, but every second was like torture. The gradual descent of the sound, whipping about his clothes, his hair, crating nails on the chalkboard of his mind.

        He wanted to beg for it to stop, but he couldn't. The terrible, loud sounds grated at his sanity, causing him to smile quietly. Ah... that hurt. But it was more unpleasant than it was pleasing.

        He felt like he was going to be sick. The closer the sound grew, the louder it was. Like it was trying to shake him, destroy his ears and violate his hearing until it simply killed him.

        Finally - finally it stopped. The air was still tainted with a stinging whipping noise.

        His breaths were already hard enough to grasp, but the floor of sensations put him into a shock he could not quite recover from. He could only wait. His body felt on the verge of of an uncontrollable fit, but he could not move.

        Someone - someone was coming. He couldn't see them, but he could hear them.

        He lay there, aware of his own helplessness, but not entirely sure what it meant.

        The person - they were close to him now. Even if he couldn't will his eyes open, he could hear them breathing. He could feel them crouching down, and pressing a gloved hand to his neck.

        Beneath his eyelids, his gaze shifted back and forth. He could feel his head throbbing - who is that? What did they want? Were they here to help him away from this terrible light?

        He heard their voice: "He's alive."

        ...Alive... He wasn't sure how to interpret the word, for he didn't know for what reason he could have been at risk of losing his life. Who wondered the same question?

        It was a woman's voice. Somehow - somehow of all things, her voice was somewhat familiar, but he had no hope of placing it.

        He finally drew his eyes open as he watched the bleak outlines of people approaching him. He was surrounded - they blotted out the sun. ...Yay...!

        Someone else began to touch him, but he didn't care. He just wished they would lower their voice - but any escape from the sun was welcome.

        "Cervical fracture." This person was not familiar. None of these other people were. Just her. "Bad one, too. Looks like the collar saved him. He'll need a brace."

        More people began touching at his neck, and all he could do was exhale a light wheeze.

        "-Careful." That was her. Her warning was brief.

        He felt a weight being gently unfastened from his neck, before finally the weight was gone.

        His vision was nothing more than a smear, but he could see out of the corner of his eye what it was. A thick ring of metal, now opened like iron jaws, trailing a long chain behind it.

        Had that been on his neck?

        -But he didn't have time to think about it, because something much stiffer and much more restrictive replaced it. He was facing the sun again - he squeezed his eyes shut as tight as they would go.

        All he'd been able to breathe had been sand and smoke. The attempt to align his neck only served to choke him. Not in a pleasing way, either.

        "Looks like a concussion," another unfamiliar person added.

        "...Mm." That - that was her again!

        Who is she...? He tried to squint past the searing gaze of the sun. Who is she?

        "Careful. Might be spinal." That wasn't her.

        He felt himself being moved gradually. He wanted to pay attention to what was happening to him, but focus was impossible.

        He was being - strapped down? Was that right? All he could feel was movement and restriction.

        For a moment he inclined his face - hoping to catch a glimpse of her - but quickly someone else chose to tilt his face the other direction, holding open his eyes and shining a small, deadly light in them.

        He could only rasp out his discomfort in response, trying his best to look away. It was a futile effort.

        "No pupil dilation. He'll need a transfusion - and some air."

        "Surgeon, too."

        "He's lucky to be alive."

        None of them were her - none of them were her. Focusing on her was so difficult.

        "...I see." Her voice.

        He attempted to tilt his face in the direction he'd heard her last, but his gaze was redirected again. Nnnnnoo...

        "He needs to be treated now - should we set up here, Kirigiri?" One of them asked, glancing off elsewhere.

        That was the name.

        ...'Kirigiri'... He knew that name. No - he didn't. Did he? Krrrgrrgr...?

        "Yes. Don't leave yet," her voice confirmed. "There's still Tsumiki."

        Kirigiri... 'Kirigiri?' Kirigiri... Who was that? Who was that - who was he - where - how-?

        Oh - he was being moved. Wheeled? Rolled...? Going somewhere.

        Where - no no no he wasn't done yet - who was that?

        As he was being transported, he snapped his face to the side before it could be placed back. He squinted. ...There...

        In the near distance, already crouched over the sand, seemingly in search for some kind of clues.

        Her lavender hair was tied back with a single, black ribbon. She looked different now than she had on TV - not that the Servant would be able to properly recall her face on the TV screen. Not for as long as he suffered from his concussion.

        But somehow, despite thick, walled barriers of mismemory, he remembered her.

        ...That's all he needed.

        He closed his eyes, willing his eyelids to shield him once more from the ruthless beatings of the sunlight.

        Then, without a sound, he allowed the world to fade around him again.