+Hopeless Opus

You have been warned for borderline mature content and serious topics.

It was a clear sunny summer day. The sky was a stretch of blue, never ending and comforting. Katie looked from on top of the skyscraper. The city shone of glass and metal, flashes of cars, pulsing, living, ever moving, never stopping. Her hand touched the hot metal rail guard, burning between her calloused wiry fingers. Pidge didn't look down, instead she closed her eyes, imagining the vivid world in monochrome and red.

The city changed, no longer glittering, glistening, but instead dull and light by lights. The sky's dark upon them, leaving them with their own stars, glowing indoors and in the streets in a warm yellow. The cars still flashing red and yellow, the red lights changing to green. The bitter smell of rain and smoke mingling entwining desperately.

Imagined him holding tightly, so tightly onto the last memoir his wretched life gave him. And fell. He let go, falling endlessly, dreamless, down, down, down. Airborne like a bird, and the world melting away. And suddenly-

Katie wonders what his last thoughts were. When his red scarlet blood and remains decorated the cement road, the horrified scream of a woman alerting everyone else. Katie wonders if she could have stopped him. But she knew that she would be the last person that could.

It was a dreary hot day, the sun burning down, condemning in its heat. Trapping her, suffocating her. It was humid, and overwhelmingly so, clinging piercing, wrapping her around, smothering her. Despite that the graveyard looked undisturbed. Rows of white stone in rows, some with flowers and others with their effacing worn away from wind and time.

Katie stands before her grave. It is a simple grave, unfitting for her. A single carnation is placed on top of her grave, the blooming bud already withering away. Katie knows that she deserved better, that this simple nameless grave doesn't fit her. Even in death, she was regal as she was elegant. Katie doesn't believe in god but she prays anyways, fervently muttering words to the stone as the heat pulls her down.

Katie knows that if she could change places with her, she would. That person would do so much more than Katie who was already dying. Dead and lost, but she wasn't. She had a plan, a world, a miracle. Katie curses the gods, and curses her own misery. Katie wants to live, damn it.

But she doesn't plan to.

It was a rainy day, a light drizzle, nothing too hard, but she is reminded of him. He loved water, the rain, the scent of it, the lightness and the way it washed away filth and grime and showed the world anew. She listened to the softly falling raindrops. She could hear his laughter and childish joy pointing out the rain.

Softly she smiles, trying to remember them, trying to remember she isn't the last person alive. She wishes he was here by her side to chat and obviously chase away her worries. Her hands absently finger her throat. She also imagines, beside his childishness and friendliness, the misery the distrust behind his eyes. The shattered look of betrayal and his face, his wonderfully happy face, frowning, screaming, hitting. She imagines the tightening choking necklace and the desperation behind them. Did he claw at his neck? Did he cry out? She imagines the rope around her own throat. She isn't smiling anymore. Katie looks away.

It's dusk. The sky still looks a bright shade of blue and the moon has yet to come out. The city seems well enough, people still walking around mind their own business. Street lights illuminate the night. A delicious wonderful smell wafts into her nose and she walks. Then jogs. Then breaks into a run, wild and free, and stops before a shop with the same smell. She growls to herself bitterly and stalks away, expecting a warm face staring back at her, but there isn't one.

She was stupid for hoping he was back.

She was stupid she even tried.

"Hey, do you remember me?"

"Yes, Pidge how have you been?"

". . .I'm fine Shiro. What about you?"

"The green cat says you should take better care of yourself. She worried for you."

"Oh. Really?"

"You're not planning to die are you?"

"No. NO! Of course not!"

"Pidge I hear them talking, and they say you shouldn't do it?"

"They?"

"Hunk visits me sometimes."

Pidge stares at Shiro and feels like crying, with fat hot tears down her cheek. She never wants to see this place again.

Or did she just not want to see him anymore? What was the difference?

+Wayward liar

It's the middle of the night. Katie checks her clock, two o twelve. It's late but she's wide awake. Her doorbell had rung. Slowly, cautiously, Katie approached her front door with a taser. Feeling endlessly trapped and fearfully she prowls near, closing in on her prey. She opens the door slowly.

She cries. It's Coran. She opens the door and fiercely throws it open as she runs to hug the tired man. She feels him hugging her back as her snot and tears rub all over his fine suit. She invites him inside. He enters. There isn't much Katie can fix him besides a cup of milk.

"Coran, what are you doing here?" asks Katie between soft sniffles and wiping away her cheeks stained with wet unforgiving tears. She stares at the man, drinking him and his presence in. He is the same as always. His bright orange hair smoothed back, his skin flawless with slight wrinkles. Despite his scarily old age, Coran looks to be only a bit older than Shiro.

His silly mustache is gone, gone ever since her death. It makes him seem somber and younger. More fragile and more weak. His eyes are weary and haggard, his posture slumped. Everything about him screamed loss and grief. Katie liked him better with the mustache.

"I came to check on you Pidge." Coran tells her fretfully, worriedly looking over her. Coran was too self-sacrificing and caring, and as a caretaker was expected to do so. Katie takes comfort in the worry of others, breaking into a fragile thin little smile, flighty and eager to get away. "Ever since they've all left, I'm worried for you."

Allura, Shiro, Hunk, Lance, Shay, Keith, Matt, dad. . . .more and more. . .

"I'm fine Coran, but I appreciate that you checked on me." She tells him ignoring the hatefully words running amuck in her head, they left us they left us they left us. "I've been so tired recently."

"Yes, yes understandably so, I got you a little gift." With flourish, he presents a small chocolate box. With trembling hands she takes it, gratefully. She holds tightly onto it. They talk. About silly things. The way Allura laughed, Hunk's food, Keith's temper, Shiro's smile, Lance's horrible jokes. They're easy to talk about. As if they were here. As if they could just walk downtown and greet them. Coran is quickly taken away by a phone call. He apologizes and hastily rushes off.

Katie notices that he didn't drink his milk. He didn't even touch it. Slowly Katie opens the chocolate box. Inside are fourteen little chocolate pieces. She tastes one.

Dark chocolate.

Katie cries again. She has cried too many times and she cannot even believe her tears are this endless. She stuffs her face with the chocolates, hoping to soothe her heart with the taste of chocolate.

Her heart will not be soothed and remarks that Hunk's chocolates are much better.

Katie feels like crying all over now that sticky chocolate is over her fingers and her tears dry leaving a crusty mark on her skin. The bitter but sweet taste lingers in her saliva and her mouth. She rushes over to the sink, knocking the box off her lap clattering to the floor to spit out the taste. She spits and rinses her mouth until it feels clean again. Until it tastes normal.

With an oath she notices she is crying again.

Katie thinks today is a nice day. The flashflood from yesterday had drained away, leaving surprising cool winds and a refreshing sense of change. The earth is still damp and the sky still slightly gray. It smells like earth and rain. Katie approaches the house. It is a tow story mundane house, albeit a little crooked and in a bad need of a paint job. The rotting wood and the brittle paint desperately stand tall as if to prove defiance to the world.

Katie walks onto the porch and the wood squeals at her weight. She brush a finger across the wood, splinters and paint flake fall. She unscrews the oil bottle and starts drenching the entire house in oil, trailing after her like a trail of tears.

The living room once with her dad reading the news, her mother commenting on her clothes and Matt excitedly talking about a new project at Garrison. Her dog, lean and quick would trot up to greet her.

Then her mom alone, crying for their return, sobbing for everyone had left her. Matt, dad, Rover, Katie. The miserable ill-fated mother who had nobody anymore.

It's just an empty living room. She pours oil over everything. Most of the furniture had already been shipped out, the couches, the chairs, the tv. Nothing. The windows are open and the drapes flutter in the wind like phantoms. When she's done the bottle is empty. She takes another out.

She visits the bathrooms and the master bedroom. There is nothing inside. Everything is gone. Her mother's vanity, her father's closet. It's empty. She walks up the stairs.

Matt's room is also empty. She could remember the posters that hung up in festive colors, vibrant and energetic. Models of airplanes and books of astronomy. Now nothing but a shell is left. Feeling particularly violent Katie dumps the rest of the oil in his room. She had three others anyways.

She walks into the bathroom and out. Then finally her room. It's empty except for a tape recorder. Frowning she drops the oil bottle and examines it in her hand. It's small and black. She presses play out of curiosity.

Everyone's gone. (sniff sniff) Ha, I've been crying, stupid of me right? I c-can't help it. Anyways, uh Matt, I'm not s-sure if we ever found you(more sniffling) but I'm going to be joining my friends too. I-I know it's selfish of me, I k-know that I shouldn't. . .but Matt forgive me. I r-really love you and mom and dad. . .oh god I love you a lot. I love Rover too(muffled crying). Matt don't hate m-me, please.

T-this is Pidge, your sister, Katie.

Pidge drops the recorder, her heart swimming in anxiety and her stomach a wave of terror. She had thrown away this tape from the time she had planned her suicide. She obviously gave up because she knew it was unfair to Matt, Coran, and Hunk. Clearly, she had chucked it into a garbage bin and sobbed for days after. What was it doing here?

She hears the distinct snap of a match and her eyes widen even further. She rushes down the stairs, but a brilliance fire is burning brightly at the porch. She curses vehemently and runs up the stair. She had planned to burn the house not her along with it!

When she reaches the top stairs, she sees Lotor's figure in the street, smiling cruelly up at her. She screams. She bangs at the window with anger and fury, she hits until her fingers bruise and her knuckles bleed, but oh she's screaming. The smoke trickles upwards and her head is running with thoughts drenched in irony. She's handled plants and always took great care of them, always protesting burning any species no matter how dangerous. Now the only time she cared to burn a plant, and it decided to burn her along with it.

Her outburst and the smoke leaves her dizzy and weak. She flops to the floor and accepts her fate. She will die in this house just like the day she had been born in it. The fire is nearing, she sees the hellish glow as it greedily eats up the house, the char and the smell of burning plants and the cinders flying. The recorder on the ground stares at her, almost diabolically up at her. She rushes to her room and tests the windows, it's jammed tight. Then she goes back to thoroughly inspect the bathroom. The water doesn't work anymore and the smoke is trickling up her nose, making her cough. Hastily she covers her face and tries the vents in the bathroom. When she peers through the metal shafts she sees a small white paper.

It had fancy calligraphy on it and she reads, Paladin, it's time to say goodnight.

And she screams again.

. . . .it's time to die~. . . .on the westward road. . .I don't know where you're going but. . . .a horrible fire seems to have ravaged the house, unfortunately a person was found burnt. . . .I navigate the end, this rise and fall. . . .a recording was found confirming the identity of K. . . .push my back against the wall. . .the reply of the poor mother of the Holt family interview. . . .I curse the feat to take it all. . . ."my children, oh, my children!". . .

"Katie wake up."

"You can't die now."

Is that you Shiro? What? How? Where am I? Why are you here?

"Green says I can't let you die like this."

"Can you wake up one last time for me Katie?"

"For one last try?"

. . .I d. . .o. . . .n. . .t. . . .

Pidge woke up in a cold sweat, panting heavily as the moon shone down into her room.

"What the fuck was that?" she whispers, brushing off the sweat on her forehead. It was a horrible mind swallowing dream. And the worst part was that she had nothing she could remember about. It was an empty gap that taunting her mind.

"Go back to sleep Pidge." The soft sleepy voice of Lance soothes her frangled nerves of the horrible sensation of fear and importance. She listens to their breathing and sighs.

The dream wasn't important.

She had many dreams like these.

And when she woke up she could never remember.


And thus ends Fall from Grace. The next chapter holds an explanation for Hopeless Opus & Wayward liar.