A/N: Comments and Favourites are appreciated!

Takane Enomoto's personal hell always started like this.

The sound of crying, the crash of rubble, and the sight of murders of crows flying across the red-stained apocalyptic sky. The sound of banging resounding in her skull, the sickening bang-bang-bang clanging alongside debris and cracking earth.

The end was still far away, way out of her reach, leaving her no choice but to experience the end of the world over and over again in some sort of hellish cycle.

Takane put on her headphones to stifle the sound, but that didn't stop the feeling of her heart pounding against her rib cage.

She couldn't think — she didn't have time to. But, with music blaring in her ears, distracting her from the sounds of the screams and the smell of death around her, one little thought slipped through her mind:

Do you want to try and survive?

The announcement of: "the world is ending today" was a surprise. And now, instead of the science test she had been dreading for the last week, she dreaded the end of the world.

Paper littered the streets, spilling out of the torn-apart buildings. She didn't have time to focus on them — not when her chest was burning and her legs threatened to give out under her. Some were pamphlets, some were tearful goodbyes. Others were simple — from a time before the end of the world, with doodles on them and math problems that never got solved.

As much as she complained about it to , she didn't hate school. If anything, she only hated tests and having to get up for class in the mornings (though she would never admit that to her teacher. knowing that she didn't mind class would totally make him think that he had the upper hand for once).

She supposed that learning was cool... sometimes.

…Haruka was a big part of it too. Sure, she had her gaming friends and the people she talked to online, but having someone — someone whose smile lit up every room that they entered and someone who genuinely seemed to want to be around her despite how grumpy she could be — was nice.

Takane blinked awake, grumbling when she found herself roused from an admittedly uncomfortable slumber. She should really bring a pillow or something to school — that would help out a LOT with her naps. And what would say about it? He couldn't exactly her that she couldn't nap when her condition is literally why she was in his class.

Smirking to herself, she glanced up. Through her bleary vision, she saw that there was no sign of her teacher at the front of the class. He was probably on his lunch break or something, so she'd been asleep for about an hour or so. That was fine. She could probably even sleep through the whole school day if she wanted.

She was tempted to do so, and was going to, before the sound of the scratch of pencil on paper grabbed her attention.

She turned her head to the side, her head still leaning on one of her hands. Next to her, Haruka was scribbling away on a worksheet, working intently.

Crap. Takane thought, Did give us worksheets or something when I was sleeping? Gee, thanks for waking me up, Haruka.

She knew that Haruka didn't wake her up because he "didn't want to disturb her!" (A line he had used so many times). She didn't doubt that at all. If anything, it was a little endearing. However, she also hated having homework, so a warning would've been appreciated...

She grumbled quietly to herself and looked down at her desk. There was a little post-it note on it that said "Sweet dreams" in 's handwriting. Smartass, Takane thought, rolling her eyes.

Haruka didn't seem to notice that she had woken up, too busy working on whatever he was working on. Takane knew him well enough to know that he was probably doodling. He always put effort into his schoolwork, but he always seemed to enjoy doodling a lot more. The joy on his face as he looked down at his paper was enough to reveal that yeah, he was probably drawing.

Not wanting to disturb him, she watched him draw. Well, she wasn't really watching him draw, she was more watching him, but you get the point.

Haruka furrowed his eyebrows and slouched over a little more, fully engrossed in his drawing. Takane had to fight back a scoff because the last time he was this engrossed in drawing was when he had to design all the characters for their Headphone Actor game, where he spent most of his time saying things like "This one reminds me of you, Takane!" while pointing at every single one of the tired-looking monster balloons he had designed, despite the main boss literally being her.

She smiled fondly at the memory. That was a fun week. A busy one, sure, but fun. It was weird for her to think that that was nearly a year ago.

Her eyes wandered down to the page he was drawing on — the back of their worksheet, by the looks of it, and immediately blanched at what he was drawing. It was an extremely detailed sketch, drawn with such precision that if you squinted hard enough you could see the outline even through the messy pencil lines.

It had to be her. No way was the girl on that sheet of paper not her. It wasn't the game-version of her that he had sketched up for the school festival last year — it was her from a few minutes ago, asleep on her desk.

Maybe she'd be more impressed at the skill of the drawing if she wasn't too embarrassed just looking at it. Takane felt the blood rush to her cheeks, and she vaguely wondered if sleeping people blushed. If Haruka looked at her now, there'd be no hiding that she was awake.

She sighed, before taking a deep breath in through her nose and out through her mouth to try and calm herself, only to have it end up coming out as a strangled gasp when her eyes settled back on the image. Yeah, that was a perfect drawing of her.

Even with just half the piece fully coloured and outlined, she could see the effort and skill that was put into the drawing. Her sketched-out dark hair curled messily around her face, and her gaunt cheekbones were prominent enough for anyone to see from where they stood.

And, honestly? She looked.. pretty.

Haruka saw the beauty in everything. (Even her, at least, enough so that he'd actually be willing to be friends with her). And he let everyone know that with each and every little expression of his. So when it came time for him to draw, even for fun, he'd sketch out whatever was on his mind, and he'd smile, regardless of any mistakes he'd make. You could sense his appreciation for his subjects in each little drawing of his. With each stroke, each line, each colour. He'd paint, always carefully and meticulously making sure not to miss anything.

He always managed to give life to subjects other people might not give a second thought about.

And somehow, he managed to draw her perfectly.

…All in all, it was a really good drawing. Like, really good. The kind she'd probably keep in your desk just so she could smile at it each time she saw it. And for god knows what reason, that made her heart race.

Haruka's pencil scratching stopped abruptly, and Takane wondered why he stopped. Her sleepy eyes drifted up to look at his expression, and she froze when her eyes met his.

She blinked. He blinked. And almost Immediately, Haruka slapped his hand over his drawing in an attempt to hide it (so much for being meticulous), his own strangled noise caught in his throat.

"Good morning, Takane!" He chirped, his face red as he smiled a pained smile.

"Good morning," Takane said dryly, trying to play it cool by taking her time to stretch as if her face wasn't as red as his, "would've been nice if you had gotten me up"

Haruka smiled apologetically, "sorry! I didn't want to-"

"Wake me, yeah I know," she yawned, and blinked the remaining bleariness out of her eyes, "did assign any work while I was out?"

Haruka's apologetic smile widened, and Takane groaned as he shuffled through the papers on his desk (covering his drawing of her in the process) and handed her a worksheet.

…She didn't know whether to mention the drawing or not as she focused on the worksheet he gave her. She sighed and picked up her pencil with one hand, turning it between her fingers in an attempt to distract herself. Why was she so focused on it, anyway? It was just a stupid drawing. Well, not stupid. Everything Haruka did was great. To rephrase: it was just a… detailed drawing. One that required passion to pull off. Man, she was a mess.

"..You're making a lot of noises," Haruka noted, his tone soft but concerned, "are you okay?"

Takane jumped, startled at the sudden question, and looked over to Haruka, to his overly soft and worried gaze. She huffed even more and slunk down a bit further in her seat, "Yeah, I'm fine."

They sunk into a bit of flustered silence for a little longer, and there was no way Takane could focus on her worksheet. Her brain felt like it was fried. It had to be because she didn't sleep well on her crappy school desk. Not because no one had ever taken the time or care to do something like draw her (or care about her that much) before. Yeah, it had to be the sleep thing. Nothing else. A hundred percent.

Just as she slammed her forehead onto the desk once again, Haruka opened his mouth to speak.

"Hey, Takane," He spoke, sheepishly uncovering the drawing, "I'm sorry, I should've asked first."

She knew he was talking about the drawing. What else would he be talking about? She huffed, and could only hope that the desk her forehead was resting on could obscure her embarrassment, because what could she even say? "Thank you for drawing me?" She didn't hate the drawing or whatever. It was just that the thought of it made her feel flustered. And she didn't like being seen as not in control. But Haruka always managed to make her lose her cool.

Peeking up from where she was leaning her head on the desk, Takane glared at him, because she hated it when he apologized for things as small as that (and because of his stupid kindness that always made her lose control). He smiled apologetically, and she could only sigh.

"Haruka, really, don't worry about it," She leaned over and nudged his side with her elbow, before pausing for a moment, hoping her cheeks weren't as red as they felt, "...You're a good artist."

Haruka had smiled shyly, covering his drawing with a hand. But his eyes never left her face.

"You're a good model, is all."

A faded face, a smile that rivaled the sun.

Takane blinked, and suddenly she was once again staring at the apocalyptic sky. She didn't have time to bask in the memories of the sunlight that was his smile; she had to go. She had to see him again.

So she ran.

There was a hill up ahead, one of the few things that didn't seem to be on fire. She had to get to that hill. It wasn't because it hill would probably withstand the destruction and be far away from the crumbling city — it was because her heart pulled her towards it, with the hope that he'd be there — that they'd all be there; her friends, living and laughing like always.

She hated gym class — and for good reason. She hated being sweaty and moving so god damn much. So it was a good thing she often got out of participating in gym class with doctor's notes.

But doctor's notes didn't apply in situations like this. If they did, then she had some pretty damn good insurance.

So she did the only thing she thought she could do: Run . To get away from her guilt and misery and failure and hurt. Running was an easier option than thinking. Her feet carried her, without direction, through broken streets. Through piles of rubble, under fallen structures. Over broken cars with twisted frames. Under fallen trees, broken bricks, cracked concrete. All to get away. Get far, as far as she possibly could, away from it all. To the hill that was supposed to be her salvation. And away from her stupid feelings, and her memories of his smile that was more blinding than the sun.

As she reached the top of the hill, her legs felt like jelly, her lungs burned, her ears rung, and the pounding of her heart felt like it was about to explode.

I deserve it , she thought, staring down at the hellscape in front of her, I wasn't fast enough.

It was her fault for always pushing everyone away. It was her fault for prioritizing her pettiness and leaving Haruka in the classroom when he was struggling. It was her fault that he was dead and she's more alone than she's ever been.

The end of the world was fitting, she supposed, because it was also the beginning of so many things. The red-stained sky, cities turning to rubble, people losing their lives.

..It was the beginning of how much she realized she needed Haruka by her side.

Why did they always have to deal with things like this? First their illnesses, and then not having friends, and then having your only friend — your best friend and maybe something more ripped away from you without even a fucking chance to say goodbye.

It was almost as if whatever god was out there was having fun toying with them — keeping them stuck in this game where they had to race each other even when their last breaths were squeezed from their lungs. It was their own little race, the kind where they were running for the sole purpose of seeing who would trip and fall and die first.

She had stumbled, but she had yet to fall.

The pounding in her ears had intensified, and her ragged breaths could do little to quell the pounding of her heart.

"I guess this is it, huh?" A familiar voice said. She whipped her head around, hoping that there was another survivor amidst the rubble.

But alas, there was no one, and it took her a moment to realize the voice was her own.

"Sorry for everything."

She wanted to laugh at the insanity of this whole situation. But she couldn't find humor in her situation, not anymore, not after the pain and suffering she suffered. Not after all the death and destruction they had wrought and brought upon themselves. Not after she failed the one person she cared about the most.

After everything that has happened, how could the end be more horrible?

(She knew how it could be — and how it is. Being left alone, struck down by each and every one of her failures and her sins piled atop her back. The feeling that made its way into her body, slowly but surely seeping throughout her, leaving her shaking, cold, and helpless with no will or strength left to live).

So now, as the ground shook beneath her atop that hill, the sky red and cloudy from the smoke that came from the destroyed buildings, with the end of the world as her witness, Takane knew that she had failed.