A/N: And here we are . . . This is it! Enjoy!

Something inside me clicked, and another part of me began to emerge; and he started planning.

Well, if he were going to clear his – and my – name, he would just have to find the person who had framed me and kill him. Even if that meant he had to kill everyone. They had turned their back on me, and he was going to show them that those who are back-stabbed, stab back.

--

Chapter Two: Stab Back

"Who are you?" I asked this part of me.

"What a silly question," he replied. Don't worry. I've got this all under control. Now, sleep."

His voice made me shiver involuntarily. "What do you mean? I can't sleep! There are things I have to do . . ."

"And I will do them," he replied calmly. "You are a silly child. Do you not trust me?"

"No, actually. I don't. I don't think anyone else would trust you either. That is why I must not sleep."

"And when they look at you they see a confused child. Will anyone else trust that?"

"And then they look at you? What do they see then?"

"A man."

"Ah."

"Your classmate is dead. They see his blood on your hands. I will wash that blood away."

"I can do that, too."

"And by what means? They've turned away from you. Your village, your neighbors, your teachers, your comrades, your family . . . Your sister . . ."

I was speechless; I tried to object, but my throat closed up. Was he laughing at me?

"And, slowly, you come to reason," he said, his voice smooth.

I felt icy silk-gloved hands brush my cheek, and grip my wrist.

"You've done your part, and now it's time to rest."

I don't remember a time when I had been so weak-willed. My vision blurred, and grayed out as I sunk into depths of my own mind.

--

He opened his eyes to the dimly lit room they were holding him in until morning. He smiled grimly and rose to his full six feet and two inches. He made his way to the door and knocked quietly.

He grabbed the unfortunate man who was watching outside his room as he opened the door. He pinned the man to the wall and pressed his left forearm against his captive's throat, crushing his windpipe. He met the man's eyes coolly, eerily at peace with what he was doing.

He stepped over the fallen man into the open hallway. He moved like a shadow, heading back to his old rooms. Everything was the same as he left it that morning. He took only what he absolutely needed. Several daggers, his belt purse, and a few strips of cloth. And, of course, the sword he had been training with for five years.

This sword was very different than most. It had a thin blade, only about an inch and a half wide. Instead of the normal "T" shaped cross-section at the hilt, it appeared that there was a small metal disc between the hilt and the blade. The hilt was oval-ish, wrapped in leather. The blade was curved slightly at the end, and it was only sharp on one side.

He left his room and shut the door quietly. He was ready. He made his way out of the school. He killed anyone he ran into, showing mercy to no one. It would be hours before the majority of the school knew what was going on; he hoped to be long gone by then.

When he got to the village, he released all of the animals from their pens. If anyone survived, they'd have to spend long hours rounding up their animals. He cut open sacks of grain and smashed barrels of provisions. He intended to put these people through the same hell that he himself had gone through.

He had to change his thought process if he were to be an assassin now. He would have to hit them hard and then melt back into the shadows; he couldn't risk being seen. Numbers were his enemy now. If he missed his first chance, it would only be that much harder to get them on a second try.

The first to come out after the animals would be the farmer. And after the farmer would be the farmer's wife. And then the children . . .

People are so predictable. Killing them is a simple task.

Soon the entire town was in a panic. What was going on? Why were people being brutally slaughtered; dropping dead left and right? Soon they were running about in a panic.

What fools. Only so much easier for him to kill them.

He was just rounding the corner of a building, clinging to the shadows, when a door creaked slowly open. He looked at the door, and then up at the house and a small smile played across his lips. His family's house. His house.

Moving fluidly, as if he himself had become a shadow, he slid into the house. He knew he would have to reckon with his parents; with his sister. He had forgotten about that fact for a moment, caught up in the thrill of the fight. His control wavered and almost died as he saw his sister sitting with her knees pulled to her chest beside a table.

She whispered his name, reaching for him and standing up.

He reacted in the only way he knew: he raised his weapon, putting it between him and his sister.

"I know you hate me, and that you have turned to killing," she continued, smiling painfully. "You with to kill me, do you not?"

He did not reply.

She shook her head and took a step towards him, her arms still reaching for him.

"Then kill me."

A flicker of surprise crossed his face; he couldn't find the words to say anything.

She reached him, gently placing her hands on his arms, his sword still between them. "I betrayed you. Let me have a traitor's death," she whispered, a strange look in her eyes he had never seen before. "I doubted you, even just for a moment, I lost my trust in you as my brother. For that, I feel I need to die. This is something I cannot live with." When he didn't reply, she continued. "You are no longer the brother I knew. I can't help but think that if I had trusted in you, you may have made it through. Let me die, and in death I will be with you always."

Finally, he spoke. "Couldn't you stay with me here, in this life?"

She shook her head. "No. How I betrayed you is tearing me apart inside, and eventually I will die. My spirit may rest if you claim my life as your revenge." Still he did not answer. She smiled sadly and reached up, tugging out the binding that held his hair back. "You still have it?" she asked, fingering the little strip of pathetic stitching. "Let me keep it; this will connect you to me."

He nodded, finding no other way to respond.

"Thank you."

He felt her press a knife into his hand.

"Please. Let me repent for what I have done."

He dropped his sword and held the knife in his hand.

"Release me forever."

He met her eyes for a moment, and she sent him a silent message.

Without a word he slid the knife between her ribs; the blade cut through her flesh like a hot knife through butter.

A sigh escaped her lips and the life dimmed in her eyes.

"Remember," she whispered faintly, smiling painfully. "Remember . . . My death whisper . . ."

He held her silently as her last breath escaped, and with it her soul.

And so, he left the village behind, silently wiping his blade clean with a cloth. There was no fire, no screaming . . . Not a cry was heard from the village. Only silence.

The silence of death.

--

And that part of me did not recede, as I expected it to. No, nothing like that. It seems now that he is a part of me. He is me. He and I are now one.

I'm not going to say I regret what I did. I do not feel guilty. I do not feel what I did was wrong. Through time the memory is receding.

I am not who I was before.

Who I was in my past no longer matters. I am who I am now. And so I shall remain until I utter my own death whisper.

A/N: I tried to refrain from uber-corniness. D'you think I managed? Lemmie know what you think . . . Make sure to tell me what needs work! Hmm . . . . Linkin Park's C.D "Hybrid Theory" fits this story very well. In fact, that is what inspired it. ;; All right, enough of my senseless babblings. On to reviewing!!