In which Khun Aguero Agnes is dying alone and no one knows.
It’s hard for him to breathe.
Every exhale leaves him with a raspy cough, sputtering out blood as if there’s an endless supply. It sprinkles his clothes and smears on his hands. He heaves, clutching tighter on to himself. He tries to swallow, discomfort growing in his throat, but his mouth is dry from the crumbling covering of dry blood. His mouth is drowning in metallic and he briefly wishes that his death was immediate.
He’s beginning to feel strange.
There is a searing pain in his abodemen, it burns like he’s never felt before. He tries to shake it off, as if frantically tossing his head and grunting would do anything to help. There is a loud pulsing beat in his head, and his head swings, the control in his neck gone. It heavily lays forward, being forced to stare at the blood show that lay on him. Lightheaded, black spots fuzz his vision and his eyes reel back in an attempt to cancel out the sickness. His fingers burn while his toes freeze and he can’t tell if his body temperature is fluctuating, but it sure feels like he was falling in ice water after having his skin burnt off.
Thoughts are becoming incoherent.
At first he thinks of before the tower. He thinks of himself young, cold, and somehow naive. He thinks of Maria and how even now the name can make his eyes widen and turn the gears within his mind. He thinks of meeting Bam. He thinks of how he recognized the innocent and curious eyes, the one thing that could always take his breath away (it’s almost ridiculous how currently his breath is quite literally being taken away) and how he had devoted himself to him the moment they touched hands. He thinks of Bam being taken away- oh would bam react the same as he did? Would he remember his silly wish of becoming the family head and more? He’s foolish, of course he wouldn’t. For unlike him, Bam has yet to devote himself to anyone. For unlike him, Bam had much more to worry about. He laughs ignoring the blood that floods out his mouth. He does not take a moment to think of regrets.
Disgusting and fowl is how he feels.
He can feel the skin on his hands melting into the burning acid of his stomach. His hand is stuck there, on his abodemen. It’s sickly warm, in a way he has never felt before. His fingers are unable to move, frostbit from his own shinsu, and he can only twitch which sends needles up his spine. He knows he’s deranged when he finds himself enjoying the situation. There is blood covering each inch of his body, some his, some not. They are still fresh, pooling underneath him spread out as far as his feet. His vision spins, in ways they should not, pulling out delusions and blurring the world around him. Activating and deactivating his shield, ice forming and shattering, it drained him. It drained and drained, but he could not stop it. His focus was crumbling at the same pace his life was.
He was ridiculous.
His memory was hazy. He barely remembers the fight, his mission. It was a negotiation gone wrong, and that was all he could recall. He was surrounded, but he wasn’t a son of khun for no reason. The enemies were weak, and only the numbers were a problem. He had let his guard down at the end, chuckling as his head pounded from a headache from the double edged sword which healed him. He had failed to notice the needle flying straight at him, piercing him, and exploding. He was left with a gaping hole in his torso. He had fallen back, braced against the wall, the coarse brick doing nothing but only adding more pain as it rubbed against his peeling skin and sensitive flesh. Who knows how long he had sat there. The pain was numbing at this point, no clear distinction between alive and dead. He thinks in the in-between, in which his body is already dead, cold and growing stiff, but his mind still functioning. He does not try to fight death, for it would be futile. Even if he shall be revived, he would drag the others down. Drag them behind.
When Khun thinks of his teammates, he remembers that they do not know of his disappearance. He remembers that they sleep peacefully, in the comforts of their friends. They would not know. They would not know until it’s too late and somehow it's comforting. It relieves him that he would need not face them in such pitiful state. He does not know how he would explain himself. He isn't sure he'd be able to handle their panic. They would be too late anyway. He had hidden himself, this place, with all his skill. It'd be near impossible. He wonders, if they did search for him how much time would it take? Would he be dancing in the state of rigor mortis as his limbs lock up like frozen pieces of butchered meat? Or would he be soft, peacefully passed away and yet to be disdainful like a corpse
Pitifully and thankfully.
He's glad that this is not something Bam will blame himself on, or if he does, it is something that he cannot be blamed for. It is only Khun who is to be blamed. For his recklessness, for his individuality. His teammates will understand. If not them all, then one. One who has lived through the death of many teammates and friends. His breath slows. He is longer taking in large amounts of air like earlier, he is no longer struggling to grip on reality and keep his eyes focused, he is no longer feeling the overwhelming pain of his pierced stomach. For once. He is thankful.
As night sets in, as the sun whisks to slumber, there is an overwhelming silence in the heavy tension between teammates. When molten gold makes the empty mistake of opening his mouth, the world crashes down faster than they are ready for.
"Hey... Where's Aguero?"