in·car·na·dine • adjective • \in-ˈkär-nə-ˌdīn, -ˌdēn, -dən\

1 : red; especially: bloodred

2 : to make incarnadine: redden

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The first time it happens, she fails to grasp the significance of such an event. She is a girl of nine in a white house-dress, blood dripping down the corner of her mouth, eyes deadened by what her wide eyes had witnessed. She does not even remember how she ends up lying in another empty house, body sprawled carelessly on the wooden floorboards; the cold seeps from the ground and up her skin and into her bones, her bloodstream, but she is numb to it. Nerve endings burn and die within her. Blood ceases to move through her veins, settling instead inside her skin. Darkness clouds her vision, and vaguely she keeps her eyes open, but everything is gone into obscurity. There is a resounding ringing in her ears that grows louder and louder and louder and louder and louder until it swallows her whole and claims her entire being.

But when they pick her up and hit her hard enough for her to see stars, snapping her back into her senses, she recoils and instinctively fights back. Her closed little fists meet the warm skin of someone very well alive and feeling. Why, you little shit – the man hisses through his teeth, grabbing for her hands but failing, for she is fast, fast, fast – don't you think I'm above hurting you, you're useless to us now, anyway – and she doesn't notice when he picks up the knife, where it comes from, but she crumbles to the floor on her weakening side, back again into the comfort of the cold.

Now she is nothing but a spreading stain of red. When she gasps out her final breath, the life deserting her battered body, she doesn't notice –

She had long been gone anyway.

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His father tries to pry him away from such a sight, but he pushes on and surprisingly his tiny frame holds more strength than a nine year old boy's body should have. He has stolen an accidental glance, and he figures if he can't unsee it, he might as well stare it dead in the face.

He looks down at her unbreathing body, the blood-red of her dress, and he feels an uncontrollable anger rush through him, singing in his veins and consuming all thought.

I was too late. His fists clench tightly at his sides, scratchy fingernails digging deep into his palms. I couldn't save her...

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a/n: not a reincarnation, but a second/third/fourth/fifth/sixth(? I think it ends at sixth) chance fic. definitely eremika.

this has been stuck in my head for a month, and was meant to work before chapter 50 and before canonverse, but i was too slow and the chapter came out; i've adjusted a couple things. also, this was meant to be a oneshot of snapshot fics, but got too long for comfort so have a collection instead. retellings, a couple headcanons maybe. also, once again, warning: death/gore/dark themes!