There is no cold harsher than the cold embrace of death, even if it only lasts a few moments.
Warnings: Talks about death. Drabble.
Notes: This game made me wonder about a lot of things. The concept of death was one of them. It's not as long as I wanted it to be, but anything else I try to add just seems to ruin it.
Dying Again and Again
Marche clutched his arms tightly and shivered.
He was the farthest he'd ever been from being cold, he was almost sweating. The night was warm even without the fire and wool blanket he had tightly wrapped around him. There was no reason for him to feel so cold. Thelma fed another log into the fire and sparks spiraled up into the air. He watched them disappear and shivered again.
The retrieval mission had been much harder than either he or Montblanc had anticipated. The clan they'd fought had been too strong for Nutsy to handle. It was over in minutes. Marche hadn't even seen the other clan's ninja circle behind him.
The blade had burned cold as it went through his back and pierced his heart. The panic that had built up as his people fell one by one receded, and for one perfect moment he'd felt absolutely nothing. It ended as the blade was wrenched out of his body. He had cried out in pain and his vision blurred. The ground had caught him and he had died.
Marche had woken up a few hours later just as the Judge was climbing up onto his chocobo to leave. Montblanc had taken one look at him before firmly declaring that they would sleep there for the night. The moogle had then gently pushed him towards the nearby creek. Marche had to strip his armor and shirt off to wash the sticky red blood off.
The boy shivered again. He'd died. A sword had torn into his heart and stopped it from beating. There was an inch and half tear in his shirt that perfectly matched the scar below it. He could still feel the icy burn as it entered his flesh, it felt like it had burned away something important.
He wondered if that was how it felt for everyone else. When he killed another clanner in battle was this how they felt? Did they stay up at night looking for the piece of themselves that had remained dead while the rest had been brought back by the Judge? Was this really what dying was like? You took one last breathe and then nothing?
It wasn't a game, it wasn't fake. It was all real. He could kill and die here. And while death might not be permanent under a Judge's watch, the hollowness in his chest told him there was still a high price to be paid.