(A/N: I haven't uploaded much, and for good reason, thankfully I think I managed to come up with a simple plan to at least get me uploading consistently (to some extent), I hope it works out, Enjoy.)

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(New Beginnings.)

*Drip*...*Drip*... *Drip*... *Drip*... *Drip*...

It echoed in the tunnels, the dripping… you could pretty much hear the puddle it made, like a clock had miraculously survived the devastation, the wind liked to whisper about it, howling in the wastes as it did…

On the surface, the otherwise dark and unimaginative atmosphere stirred old memories into disturbing emotions, horrific hallucinations and...

The 'occasional' phantoms of dying breaths, and 'muted' distant gunfire.

He was slumped in the tunnels, wearing heavy clothes, a gas mask which had long since met its expiration date from damages, what with the tears cracks forming around it…

If you looked closer you'd notice how dirty and worn out his gear was, the red cross armband nearly blending into the fabric, the ends of his pant legs were wrapped closed tightly around his ankles with duct tape.

Only a burning oil lamp hanging nearby kept him company... prevented the shadows from embracing him.

He tasted only Iron… speaking of...

There was a trail of blood leading into it out of the corner of his eye, the darkness... the blood of a dear friend he suspected, as the stain was not there before when he and his comrades first settled here...

...Where were his allies?

With a suffering gasp of scorched lungs, and a fog of misery polluting his brain, he attempted to speak with warped vocal cords, if only to take his mind off of his slowly approaching demise, even now you could hear clearly the difficulty he had breathing.

"I-...I was ... s-sick, they… s-said it would.. be like falling asleep... that when I would wake up, I would... be all better- *strained oughs*..."

His skin was pale and cold, his voice had two tones, one… deep, hollow and dazed, the other a dull hum... with a 'barely' noticeable higher pitch… like a disgusting insect.

" *heavy gasp* I-I woke up but... I think I'm... still sick.*long sigh~*... s-started spitting up blood pretty quickly... I-I don't…" he paused. "...I don't remember the names of the drugs I was on, just... grabbing a few... familiar ones, and-uh, set of pain..." he trailed off quietly, his thoughts ever foggy and unfocused.

Where's an executioner when you needed'em?

"Y'know h-heh-heh." he chuckles emptily, sending mere droplets of watery whispers into an ocean of phantoms echoing through the tunnels. "I… I imagined waking up to... any kind of utopia, not so naive, gently s-... something..."

"I meann... I knew thiings were ba~ad beforre but… but thiss...?"

"What happened...?"

(Flashback)

An old static radio had a voice on the channel. "For those of you with family, God forbid children… I am deeply, deeply sorry… but you must push on…" his voice quivered audibly. "Do not let their deaths be in vain, we do still have time… we may yet still have a future." the quivering was slowly replaced by a tone of firm, unwavering conviction.

(End Flashback)

A lance of pain pierced his skull, why couldn't he remember?

'Why?'

That was the question wasn't it? while he thought and pondered on the past, his body had grown cold and still (More so than before), even his defective voice-box had officially muted itself as if to prepare him for his final breath, it seems he was finally reaching his own expiration date like many before him…

Earlier than expected… unlike twinkies.

Then again, the moment you're born is the beginning of the end, and you never really know when the end is here… until it is, but instead of feelings of fear, regret, even the self-loathing he expected to feel in his final moments, he felt only…

Peace...

'All this time… I always thought that... I'd be afraid to die.' he thought, watching the lantern flickering, fighting against burning out, just like he was. '… But I guess the real truth is... maybe I was afraid to live…' he thought with some disappointment. 'I don't know where I'll go from here… or what will happen next... but what I do know is… I won't look back anymore.'

'Because the one thing I finally realized, which only took until my last few breaths to finally understand… is that there's always gonna be some battle to be fought… some problem to be solved... some war to be won… but maybe sometimes you just gotta give yourself some... peace… y'know?'

With that being the last recognized thought, he watched the remaining flickers of light, before finally succumbed to darkness.

The lantern, stubbornly burned on.

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"It's up to you now… Loud."

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(Achievement: 'New World')

He felt like he was placed in a stasis, he could barely understand what was happening now, perhaps he wasn't left behind after all! dare he hope?

What he's experiencing right now must be a Concussion! Dehydration of some sort that sent him in a daze!

His body was numb.

It felt small...

.. Perhaps he just overdosed…

He could hear voices... and where had they attained such a light source…? and did they mind taking it out of his face, it would probably help him stay awake honestly (with the side-effect of blinding him obviously), but he'd much rather be dying peacefully in his delusions than to have some fucking troll shoving their 'soon-to-be-extinct' rare (for good reason in his mind) light source! No doubt attracting everyone in the vicinities attention…

If any of them were alive anyway…

He'd rather not take the chance to find out.

… Then the crying started.

"Congratulations Loud's, this one's a girl!~"

'Oh... so I'm not… wait, excuse me?'

"I can't believe it! twins Rita! twins! twins...! I-I'm a father! just wait til Pop-pop hears about this!" exclaimed the excited 'masculine' voice, apparently pleased about the expansion of his family or something.

'Despite the huge debt mine had.' he mentally grimaced at the thought.

And by that, I mean he decided to stare soulessly at all of the adults figures in the room whose attention was entirely focused on something he could care less about.

Until that is, when a pretty (blurry) lady with the red cross on her uniform set something hazardously Loud to his health down next to him.

At first he wanted all the noise to end and just recover in peace, so he could figure out what to do with his life from here on out, after all it wasn't every day you get a sec-... a thir-... a f-... another chance at life!

That's when it finally calmed down enough for him to grant it a moment's attention, if only to make sure it wasn't killed, or worse, stolen by raiders when no-one was looking.

When he looked over, he didn't expect it to be staring at him.

It as he so affectionately named it, was pretty much a clone-copy of himself, he almost checked if it was a mirror, when he noticed a few key differences, like the fact that it was probably a girl, or maybe it just had girly eyelashes, or maybe it was because it wrapped in pink, or maybe that her eye color was freaking Silver!

Or perhaps his favorite thus far… it was definitely a baby… but this time he could relate unfortunately...

He felt like his existence was being challenged.

It was exhausting.

She on the other hand looked to be quite invested in studying him for whatever reason, as she watched him settling down, before he soon drifting away from the exhausting 'day.'

Hearing snoozing from both her 'reflection…'

And snoring from her birthplace…

She decided to follow their examples and call it a day, attempting to scoot closer to him, until pretty much cuddling, before exhaustion from sheer effort finally took her, drifting off to the soft and warm embrace of sleep.

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'… Wat?' thought the boy as he was transported… out of a hospital some time later… understandable in his case… sorta… after all he did just die… again... and make no mistake he did die.

But apparently not for long… 'life', as it turned out, had other plans, most likely to screw him and everyone else involved over in some way shape or form.

Was he complaining about it…? no~ not at all~, he only just experienced his death… again… and came back again so it's not like he should be…

Should he be complaining? maybe… but then again, the last time he came back he woke up in a wasteland, where all natural life as he knew it was extinct, and anyone that survived hated each other's guts… so that time was definitely justified...

Except…

The last time he died… hospitals were still extinct too… so were medical professionals for that matter… that's part of the reason why he became a medic in the first place, he thought God sent him back to help people or something… a new purpose.

But~ no, it feels like he was replaced… was this life's way of telling him that's not why he was sent back? or maybe it was taunting him?

The differences didn't end there…

When he was still inside the hospital, everything was so clean and pristine, the halls were active with life… sure it kind of smelled like death, and that was probably normal, but when he was taken outside…

He didn't know what to do, let alone think… he had never encountered an intact world since before the war… guess there was a first time for everything eh?

Jokes aside, he was in complete shock… he better not die of a heart attack or something this time… even if it was just a dream, he'd rather die in here, then live out there.

But was it a dream?

Of course it was!

… right?

… He couldn't tell for sure… even when the vehicle's door opened up to reveal a seemingly familiar structure, which he only vaguely recalled in his nightmares…

Maybe it was a nightmare…

Especially since he could still hear the wasteland whispering in his ears.

He had a sickening feeling he wasn't going to know for certain anytime soon… at least in the tunnels, he knew he was hallucinating to some extent.

He didn't have much time to consider that thought as he was taken through the front door...

… only to be greeted with a deathly silent house…

(To Be Continued…)

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'I hope mommy comes home soon.' thought a six and a half or so year old Lori, ever since she left for the hospital all her sister's seemed pretty down… mostly her, since she had a feeling she was going to be getting less attention than usual… she knew they were going to meet the stork… but since her mother's been gone for so long she was probably picky about which one she wanted… 'probably daddy too since he wouldn't bring her back sooner.'

Couldn't they just be happy with the ones they had now? They missed them so, so much!

She might forgive them if she was cute… but she knew no matter how cute they were that she'd still get less attention than they normally would… maybe if she-, before she could finish someone *slammed* into her room, clearly excited for some reason.

"Lori, come on! Daddy's back, and he brought mommy home too!" five and a half or so Leni didn't bother for an answer as she snatched Lori's hand and practically dragged her away from her room and down the hall, apparently to- 'wait, MOMMY'S HOME?' as soon as she understood that, both Leni and Lori were in the living room in no time to the sight of the rest of her younger sisters crowding around her father and mother…

and two white haired babies… she didn't know they came in white… why didn't she?

she'll just have to ask later.

(To Be Continued… for real this time...)

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(A/N: Here it is! Please leave a Comment, Review and Criticism, they help, thank you for reading!)

(Q.o.t.d. :Question/Quote of the day!)

(Qotd: Reciprocity anyone?)