He clutches his rosary, and whispers his prayers.

He can't help but shudder a little as he feels the edges of his conscious fray.

He doesn't want the shivers that come after, or the soft sounds of footsteps as his own personal demon approaches. He feels the cool edge of a knife, and holds still as the rhapsody takes hold of him. They do not burn with pain; that will come later.

The patterns are lines and circles, the words of the angel Gabriel. He cannot resist a little quiver as a knife-edge digs a little too deeply.

He never opens his eyes, refusing to stare at the one who did this to him. Perhaps he merely lacks the courage of his conviction.

His faith is strong, but all things crumble.

Angered, the knife digs in a little viciously at the end. It is rewarded by a whimper.

The battle is fought inch by inch. A sound, a flinch, a sigh signals the grounds taken, and little by little it is being won.

Every scar brings the two closer to the end.

Neither one knows what they will find there.

Damnation or Ascension.

Neither one can stop.