Cool, burning. The air in his lungs burns like an arctic blaze. Yet when said lungs deflate, the ache in his ribs pushes him to inhale again.

It feels like this goes on an eternity, frigid burn and sharp sears coming in turns, before he can sense anything beyond it. The first thing to catch his attention is the heavy feeling in all of his limbs. It's kin to sleeping under a mountain of clouds. Heavy, but not crushing.

But there is something important. Something he has to push the mountain away for. It seems like an eternity before the muscles controlling his eyelids have the strength to contract; granting him a blurred panorama. Grey shapes and white blurs swim laps around him.

Blinking doesn't help but soon he is aware of another sense more willing to reveal his surroundings. From beside his head, the telltale annoyance of a heart monitor whirred and beeped in soothing pattern.

Somehow, despite the pain and dizziness, he recognizes what the pattern stands for. He's safe. Rize can't get him here. It's this thought that sends Kaneki slipping into the darkness waiting patiently on the edge of his vision...

Strong vitals, good brain activity. Marvelous. Akihiro Kanou could not have chosen a better candidate if he had the chance.

No living relatives, so no chance for unwanted exposure too early into the process of legitimization. Not overwhelmingly fit, but not obese or frail, either. The results would be fairly easy to measure with such an average physique. A perfect variable.

And so far, a success. Although there had been some resistance from the subject's immune system upon initial introduction, medication had quickly suppressed any defense. Even now, the ghoul organs were adapting to a new host, becoming more deeply ensconced within the form of Ken Kaneki. His RC cells were already rising from their previously low count.

Upon glancing up again for more vital information to scribble onto his clipboard, Dr. Kanou froze as he glanced and the subject. While there was virtually no change- the subject was much too weak after such an invasive surgery- there was an important difference that had Kanou's lips curling up. Kaneki's eyes were open. One gray. One red.

Kanou held the smile in place as he continued writing on his clipboard when the eyes closed. A perfect candidate indeed.

AN: I'm sorry! I know my first priority should be Timbermanes and Hagar's Bane, but I just couldn't help myself! The idea of giving the TG universe a happy ending has been swirling around my head ever since I first watched the first season of the anime a few years ago. However, for the main inspiration look to Timeless Tears. They are the amazing author of Research And Smoothies. It's a wonderful half-crack two shot with the same alternate principle at the beginning as this is going to be based off of. Pleas check that story out and leave a review. It really is worth your time.

I am one of those people who both loves and hates sad endings. I love the personal struggle in character that is usually seen in them, but I hate that it is eventually all for naught. And the moral/ emotion struggle seen in TG fascinates me. I love the majority of the characters. A lot of them have good reasons for doing the wrong things and some have bad reasons for doing the right things. This leads to a very diverse and interesting cast. And they always keep suffering heart ache. As a reader/ watcher, I have the good- or bad- habit of becoming really attached to the characters in shows, especially if they have a lot of moral/emotional depth or development. And Kaneki is a cinnamon roll. He's so sweet at his base character. So instead of continuing to read/watch TG and keep getting my heart broken when he gets his heart broken again and again, I have decided to write my own happy ending for him.

Do not read this paragraph and think there will be no hardship for Kaneki in this story. I understand that adversity aids growth of character. However, I see no point in taking the sweetest character in the whole series and breaking him again and again in new horrific ways. People should not torture cinnamon rolls with no healing afterward. It's cruel.

Also, its been a while since I wrote, so I apologize for errors, contradictions, and other issues that may pop up in this prologue. To improve this, please leave a review giving a detailed explanation of said error and I will do my best to adjust my writing accordingly.

I think I've said everything I was planning on saying, so DC out!