[identity profile] atelierjoh.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] abyssianmelody
Who: Raven Ecks, Casey Canaria.
Where: Keterburg.
When: ND 1999.
Author(s): [livejournal.com profile] atelierjoh
Warnings: Raven's true identity.


The machines continued to make rhythmic sounds which Schwann continued to tune out, as he sat next to the hospital bed in Keterburg. It seemed rather surreal with everything that had been going on, and he still couldn't bring himself to believe it; Casey was dying. A congenital heart defect, and there was absolutely nothing the doctors could do aside from making her last days more comfortable. 'Comfortable'? Supposedly more so than writhing in pain, but it meant Schwann couldn't break off their engagement. The shock of him leaving her would probably be the final nail in her coffin.

He couldn't help it that he didn't feel for her the same way that she felt for him, but far from it be that he wanted her dead. Schwann didn't wish this on anybody.

"Look at the bags under your eyes; maybe we should switch. You take the bed while I watch over you, now." Casey's healthy glow was almost nonexistent now as her raspy voice emanated from a ghostly smile. Her eyes still had a glow, though, when her eyes met with Schwann's, a faint glimmer of a struggle to live for just one more day.

Schwann simply chuckled, his grin half of what it used to be. "Or we could both share the bed. It's freezing in here."

"That would be a first." She commented

Silence.

Schwann didn't know if Casey knew of his rumored 'world conquests'; he was a notorious ladies' man. However, he never consummated his relationship (even lack thereof with Casey... he's used women as a distraction on the job before, yet he respected Casey more than that. He just never loved her, either. The only woman he loved was
"It's fine, Schwann; I didn't mean to let that slip out." Casey simply smiled. It was never a hollow smile, not with Schwann. However, she then turned her head to the ceiling. "I know you have work to do, right? It may be best if you went back to your station at Grand Chokmah."

"I'm not going anywhere." Schwann sighed.

"... not while I'm still alive, right?"

Silence again.

"If you want to talk about this sort of thing, this ain't the way to go about darlin'." Schwann sighed, leaning back.

"I'm frustrated, Schwann!" Casey raised her voice, turning to glare at him. Her eyes were welling up as she glared at him. "I'm dying, so I don't need your half-assed kindness! I didn't mind it when I thought I had all the time in the. world to make you love me, but now I don't! I'm dying, Schwann! So why won't you just leave me alone?!"

"... this is a bit of an improvement, I guess." Schwann leaned forward, and placed his hand on Casey's shoulder "Casey, I..."

"I'm trapped in this room for the rest of my life You're the only one who visits anymore... I've become a burden. Be free, Schwann, like a canary in the sky."

A canary in the sky... huh. She wanted freedom... and who didn't? Casey didn't like this hospital room, her cage. Certainly, her days would be extended by a few weeks at most, but with so few visitors... Schwann nodded.

"You're not a burden. So don't consider this a favor." Schwann smirked, grabbing a wheelchair and a coat.

"Okay, open your eyes." Schwann grinned, as Casey found herself on the snowcovered rooftop of the hospital.

"I was wondering why you covered me in blankets." Casey smirked, as she looked around. The crisp winter air was refreshing in comparison to the musky hospital room. As she exhaled mist emerged from her lips, blowing away a few snowflakes gently falling from the sky.

"The doctors probably won't be happy about this..." Schwann scratched the back of his neck. "So... if you wanna get back inside, just lemme know. Being cooped up in a cage... well, that's grating to both of us."

"Birds of a feather flock together, right?" Casey giggled. She placed her hand on Schwann's, which was resting on her shoulder. "This is nice of you, Schwann. Do you often take your lady-friends up to high places such as these?"

"... No."

"I suppose I shouldn't be asking questions I'd rather not know the answers to." She read through his transparent lie.

Casey certainly was difficult at times, though it was that feisty quality he typically liked in a woman. Growing up with her, knowing what she loved and hated, knowing the things that really mattered to her... certainly, he felt for her as a person, but she was far more of a little sister to him than a potential lover. He loved her... but he didn't feel an intense longing for her, and for him, there was no chemistry. However, this was the least he could do for her.

"It's so frustrating... even by your side right here, right now... I miss you." Casey welled up, her tears hitting the air and freezing. She attempted to wipe them away. "... was our engagement really a mistake?"

Schwann shook his head, not that she could see with him behind her. "I don't know what else I can do for you, Casey."

"... You've done more than enough." Casey smiled, leaning her head back into Schwann. "This... is your penance, after all."

"... It's not a crime, not wanting to deceive you."

"It should be."

"Dammit, Casey..." Schwann gritted his teeth. "Why do you act like you're still trapped in a cage?"

"Because I am." Casey exhaled. "You'll never know what it's like to have a broken heart... one which could break down at any second. The only thing you know is being trapped by our engagement. And you know what? I'm going... to set you free, Schwann."

"... you're the one who should be free. Like that canary you're always talking about."

"If I'm a canary, then you're a raven, black and foreboding."

"..." Schwann sighed, thinking nothing of it.

"I love you so much... so much, that I hate you." Schwann could feel Casey's resentment; he could only stand there in silence.

Several minutes passed.

"... Casey?" Schwann circled around and looked at Casey.

"... I hope you're free, now." Schwann couldn't even manage a tear, as he wheeled her body back into the hospital. "Now and forever... nevermore."
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