Winter had arrived, bringing with it the first snowfall that Night Vale had ever seen (At least, for a long time, if it wasn't the first). Cecil watched the snowflakes through the window, staring at the tiny white dots twirling and dancing in awe. Carlos remained silent, his eyes shifting between the falling snow and his friend. Nothing more, just a friend. No matter how Carlos wanted to say something, and how many times he told himself that it could be too late far more soon than he expected, he just couldn't tell Cecil. Not even when Cecil had been almost unable to speak through coughs but still tried to talk and to tell Carlos that his hair looked great like that. Not even when Cecil had said that he didn't have much time left here and that he was going to die from that terrible illness. Not even when Cecil sat before him in that single moment.
Carlos was torn from his thought by a loud hacking cough, and Cecil turning a whiteboard around. "Can we go outside?" had been written on the board.
After a moment of consideration, Carlos nodded. He helped Cecil to his feet, and assisted in putting on a coat and shoes to. His own coat was already on. The pair exited together. Their footsteps were the only sounds in the lightly fallen snow covering the entire town.
Cecil turned to Carlos, and tried to smile. "What does my voice sound like? Any better?" He asked. His voice was hoarse, and hard to hear. Carlos shook his head, unable to bring himself to say a word. Cecil's breathing sounded strained. Carlos supported him as they continued to walk through the white world around them.
It felt weird to be doing this for someone who was just a friend. Carlos wanted to say something, just three simple words. He couldn't get them out, though. As they continued, though, Carlos felt a sudden weight on his arm, heard a sudden noise, and turned immediately.
Cecil was kneeling in the snow, trying to use Carlos's arm to keep himself upright, nearly coughing up everything he still had. Red spattered the white snow before him. His face was as pale as snow. Carlos knelt beside him, trying to find any way to help. Cecil fell on the ground, on his side. Carlos knew what was going on. Cecil Palmer was dying, right before his eyes. And Carlos couldn't do anything to help. "Cecil. Cecil, are you okay? A-are you in pain? Can you at least speak?" He asked, trying desperately to find anything he could do in that moment. "D-don't die on me, please..."
Unluckily for Carlos, his words fell upon deaf ears. Cecil was unable to hear him, unable to listen to his words. Carlos held Cecil close to him, trying not to notice the lack of a heartbeat, the feeling of Cecil's skin being colder than the snow that he was lying in, the lack of breath from Cecil's nose and mouth. Carlos could feel water running down his face, solidifying into icy streaks after a while. He remained silent, hoping that Cecil would speak up to break the fragile silence. Any words would do; anything would be better than just silence. He finally broke it, just to ask Cecil one thing: "C-can you please... Please, Ceec... Can you just say anything.... Even my name, just anything at all...."
He didn't reply, and Carlos finally tried to let go. Cecil's eyes had moisture beneath them, perhaps from the falling snow. Carlos glanced around, trying to find anyone with anything. A defibrillator. A miracle pill. Anything would do. No one at all appeared to him. As Carlos lost his energy to move, his energy to do anything other than hold Cecil close. He couldn't say a word, nothing would come out of his tightly knotted throat. The snowflakes around him danced, landing on everything, even Cecil. The only thing that still moved in the world, it seemed, was the snow.
The snow continued to fall as Carlos sat there next to Cecil, the seconds stretching into minutes, and the minutes into hours. Only two hours had passed before Carlos realized the sensation of his own body shivering intensely in the freezing air. He stumbled to his feet, wincing at the feeling of his frozen legs straightening and his numb feet hitting the chilled ground. He leaned down, and tried to pick up the body-No, Cecil, not a body, Cecil-before him. His attempt fail, and he fell down again. He just wanted Cecil to be there, to listen, to speak.
He looked up at the sky above, at the snow that still rested on him and Cecil. /If anyone can hear me,/ he thought, /I beg you to take my voice and give it to Cecil./ He looked back down at Cecil, realizing how he was the only one who Carlos could actually say he knew in this entire town, and if he was gone, that would leave Carlos alone here. This was the last moment they had together, he realized. He had never said what he wanted to-No, /needed/ to say. He swallowed, trying to breath. Even if he said it now, Cecil would never be able to hear, not even if he yelled it out. But at least saying those words would be something to relieve his feelings. He opened his mouth, took a huge breath, and finally said those three words: "I love you."