Sooooo this is the final chapter! Again, sorry if it messes up and makes things hard to read. It still isn't fixed, and I've learned that it's not just my computer? Hopefully this gets fixed soon! I can't post a new story until it does, so you might have a long wait for Golden Eyes :D Anywho. Ugh. I don't feel good…I think I have a fever. I feel hot and cold all over and my eyes are burning. Meh. Blah.

Quick update on my life:

1) Things still bad in family.

2) Not feeling great.

3) Have term paper to write for Sociology that's due in two days.

4) Working on several stories, both on this site and fanfiction.

But anyway, thanks for reading, and I'm sorry for the angst, lol. Just please look forward to Golden Eyes, where I can assure you things will work out! (I think…?)

Onward, for the last time in this story! (Oh and please no hate messages. Honestly, I warned you, so don't say I didn't.)

Chapter Twenty-Four

Cayden skidded on his knees toward Soren and pulled the suddenly limp form into his arms. Red blood coated Soren's front, turning it a frightening scarlet color, and as the color consumed his clothes, it was as though it stole from the color of Soren's face, turning it a still white, pale and slack. "No, no, no," Cayden chanted as though this was a dream, a nightmare he would soon wake up from. He clutched the broken form toward him, not caring about the red that now painted his front as well, his arms wrapped around the warm, still body, Soren's head coming to rest on his shoulder. He could hear people speaking around him - Ross and Gabriel were arguing or fighting with Vayde, he thought - but he didn't care at the moment, because all that mattered to him was the motionless form in his arms. "S-Soren?" he whispered shakily, and then swallowed as he tried to clear his voice of the dread and denial consuming him. "Soren?"

The Green Eye remained quiet and still, even though Cayden could hear his ragged, choppy and uneven breaths as they filtered through his blood-filled airways. A dribble of blood ran down the corner of his mouth, his head tilted lightly to one side.

By the Eyes, why had this happened? Cayden had told Soren to stop when he'd been standing over Vayde, seemingly going in for the kill, only because he'd known that it would have eventually eaten at Soren if he'd taken a life away so carelessly. Sure, Vayde probably deserved it - he did, for what he'd done, and even more so now for what he'd done to Soren - but to have Soren be the killer…it wasn't right. Cayden had tried to stop Soren before he could become like Vayde, a killer and murderer, but now he was wishing that he could just go back and stop himself from shouting out. If he hadn't broken Soren's concentration as he had, then everything would have been fine. Vayde would have been dead and Soren would have been fine. His chest wouldn't be spilling blood, his breaths wouldn't be so shaky, he wouldn't be so still and pale, and his green eyes would have been open and bright.

But he couldn't go back and stop himself. All he could do was stare down at the static form that lay cradled in his loving embrace as tears pricked mercilessly at his eyes. He could still hear the sounds of fighting - obviously Ross and Gabriel weren't willing to let Vayde get away with what he had done, and Cayden was happy about that, but Soren was the important one here. Why couldn't they realize that? He wanted to call them to him so they could get Soren quick help, but something stopped him from doing so. Maybe it was the fact that somewhere, deep inside, something whispered to him that there would be no help this time. There would be no getting better for the Green Eye. There would be no more smiles, no more laughter or green eyes. Just a stillness that settled over Cayden's heart and mind, denial roaring through him like a raging lion.

Choking on his breath like Soren was - though for entirely different reasons - Cayden placed his hands over the wound, trying to seal it even though it was far too large for his hands to hold. Vayde had shifted the blade upward in a somewhat diagonal, deep cut and all Cayden could do was watch and feel blood swish through his fingers. Soren was literally slipping through his fingers and all he could do was watch, because no amount of pressure would stop it. He could see that, knew it deep inside, but still he couldn't stop. He couldn't give up. Not on this - not on Soren. Not after he'd finally found him - not after all that happened between them and their journey together, from the Abyss so long ago to here now.

"No, no, no, Soren, c'mon - it's just a little cut, right?" Cayden mumbled, seemingly without thought as he pressed down more on the wound. The sound of the blood seeping was making him nauseous. Soren was becoming paler by the moment. "Wake up." Suddenly that was all Cayden wanted - he wanted Soren to wake up, wanted to look desperately into his green eyes, had to be able to do so at least one more time before-

No. That wasn't going to happen. Soren wasn't dying - he couldn't be. Cayden wouldn't let him. He wouldn't let him die for his mistake. It was his fault he'd distracted Soren. It was his fault Vayde had been able to do this to him. All his fault, and he couldn't be the reason Soren was so still and pale, so covered with red, the blood that should have been safely locked in his veins, never allowed to turn red from the rush of oxygen.

"Please…Soren, wake up. You have to wake up. Please, c'mon, you can't - Soren - don't do this - Soren!" Desperate for some kind of response, any kind, Cayden shook him lightly, still managing to keep his hands firmly planted over the dripping wound. "Open your eyes, Soren - wake up!" He could feel a power raging through him, ready to burst, but maybe that was just his denial at what was happening - he wasn't entirely sure, all he knew was that he needed Soren to wake up. He had to. He had to wake up. "Soren - damn it, do you hear me? Hey? I said wake up!"

Soren surprised him by shifting slightly. A pained crease overtook his brow, marring his already pale and bruised face, and then slowly - so slowly - his eyes fluttered open, if only just. Through the barely parted lashes, Cayden could make out the dark green of Soren's eyes. His eyes never should have been so dark, or so glazed and void of color, so flat…This was all wrong, and Cayden silently prayed to anyone who was listening that this would all just stop and go back so he could fix what had happened.

Please…by the Eyes, don't do this. Let me stop this. I can fix it, I know I can, just…please. No. Soren. His thoughts felt broken and shattered, or maybe that was just him. Cayden's grip on Soren tightened.

"Soren?" he whispered. "Are you with me? Please. Soren?"

Soren groaned, huffing for breath, his teeth stained red. "C…Cay…" he murmured faintly, a grim smile sparking briefly across his face. "S…Sorry…"

"You don't have anything to be sorry for," Cayden assured him, tears stinging his eyes harshly, but he didn't want to cry. He didn't want to cry because everything was going to be okay - Soren was going to be fine and they'd laugh at this one day. They would. They had to. "I'm the one who's sorry, okay? I'm so sorry - I didn't mean for any of this to happen, I just…I…I…" He swallowed thickly, his throat constricting.

" 's…okay…Cay…" Soren breathed, blinking sluggishly. It seemed to be getting harder for him to open his eyes each time. They stayed closed longer and stayed open less. The gory blood was stealing all the color of Soren's face and eyes, leaving him so pale and his eyes so dark and dim, two things they never should have been. "C-Cay…"

"Shh, don't talk," Cayden said. "Save your strength." How cliché was that? But it was all he wanted. The more Soren talked, the less strength he had, and he needed all the strength he could get at the moment. "Everything will be okay, you'll see. Just stay awake, okay? Just…stay with me, Soren."


"Don't be sorry," Cayden whispered, "just stay with me." Everything would be okay so long as Soren just stayed with him. No matter what Soren thought he had to be sorry for, Cayden could forgive him anything if he just stayed with him, if everything would just turn out okay. Please, please, please…

Soren's eyes were unfocused.

"Soren? Hey. Soren?" Cayden shook him gently, as a mother would a small child, as though Soren were the most delicate person in the world.

"Mm…" Soren mumbled, blinking slowly. "T-Tired…Cay…S-So t-tired…"

"I know you are," Cayden said, "but you can't sleep, okay?" Frantically, Cayden shook Soren again, every bit as panicked as he was gentle a moment ago. "Soren, no…No, don't, please, just stay with me, damn it…you can't do this to me, you bastard. Not after all this…not after everything we've been through together. Okay? Do you hear me? Soren? Soren?" Tears now began dripping down Cayden's cheeks, unable and unwilling to be kept in his eyes any longer. They came down in tiny rivulets of pain, marching down his cheeks like little soldiers of sorrow and dread.


"Stay with me. If you don't, I…I'll never forgive you. Do you hear me? Hey! I said stay with me!" Soren's eyes had begun to close. "Soren, no - damn it, don't! I'm sorry! I'm sorry I stopped you! Stay awake! Stay with me! Don't you dare go, not after all this! Soren!" More shaking, harsher this time. Soren's head shifted with Cayden's efforts.

Soren's fingers brushed against the fabric of Cayden's shirt in a light scratch, just a numb movement of fingers. Without thinking, Cayden instantly released one hand from the wound - his mind already whispered it was futile but he couldn't allow to be as such - and grabbed Soren's hand with his own, holding it tightly, as though his mere grip alone would allow Soren to stay with him, as though his hold could keep him there with him.

"S-Sorry…Cay…l-love…y…y…" Soren swallowed painfully and closed his eyes, taking heaving, tired breaths. His body trembled with the effort as though simply breathing took more strength than he had. Cayden held him all the closer as though to offer him the little strength he did possess.

"Please don't leave me," Cayden whimpered, tears dripping down his face to splash on Soren's forehead. They cleared away dirty streaks as they slipped down his face too. "Please, Soren, don't do this - stay with me. You're strong enough, I know you are - please don't go. Stay with me!"

"L-Love…y…you…" Soren breathed, finishing what he'd been trying to say before. His eyes came open again, and as Cayden stared into them, he knew then that it would be the last time he would ever be seeing into those clear green depths, no matter how dark and dim they were now, not matter how glazed and unfocused they appeared. In them he could see the truth in Soren's words, the feeling the Green Eye did possess for him, and the tears ran down his cheeks all the more, even as he tried to swallow them back. Silent sobs shook his frame even as he held onto the stilling form that was growing heavier and heavier in his arms.

"No - No, Soren, don't, I-"

Soren closed his eyes, a ghost of a smile playing on his face. With a sigh ended his last exhale, for he did not breathe in again. He went still and limp, his hand loosening in Cayden's hold, his head lolling even further to the side, further into Cayden's shoulder. For a long moment, all Cayden could do was stare, because surely this wasn't real. This was just a dream - his mind was playing tricks on him. It had to be. Soren wasn't - he couldn't - no.

"Soren." Cayden shook him. "Soren, no, no, no, don't you dare, you can't - Soren - no - what are you doing? Stop playing around!" He shook him all the more, both hands leaving the wound this time. He shook the Green Eye with everything he had. "No, no, no, you don't get to say you love me and then leave me! Soren! Don't do this! Don't leave me! Soren! Soren! You don't get to say you love me and then go away before I get to say it back! No! It doesn't work that way, do you hear me? Soren! Wake up - damn it, no - wake up!"

No one should have ever been this still. No one should have ever been this quiet. It was unnatural, especially for Soren. No one should have ever looked like this, so white and yet so red all at the same time. Droplets of blood stained the dark auburn hair, matting it down somewhat. Some of the strands were damp with Cayden's cascading tears, a waterfall made of pain and sorrow as he clung to the Green Eye with everything he had, as though if he just held on tight enough, he might offer Soren some of his own life and rejuvenate him.

"No, no, no…Soren!"

Ross watched grimly as Vayde disappeared, this time for real. Exhausted and bruised, blood marring his forehead from a cut, Gabriel didn't go after him, instead bending over at the waist to catch his breath, his hands on his knees. Panting just as much as the Topaz Eye, Ross did the same, thankful that Vayde had finally left, even though he'd wanted nothing more than to wipe that smug smirk off that arrogant ass's face once and for all. Right now, though, there were more important matters at hand.

Ross turned his head and stared in disbelief at the sight before him, his heart jumping into his throat, becoming a painful lump that he forced himself to swallow. Cayden was settled on the ground, the Green Eye pulled tightly to his chest, the auburn head resting on his shoulder. The Blue Eye's shoulders were shaking and he could faintly hear Cayden saying something, but he couldn't tell what it was from this far away. All he could see was the look of anguish on the Blue Eye's face, and he could guess at what was happening, or what had already happened. Soren was so limp and pale, his chest painted red like a carved up canvas.

Grimly, Ross stepped toward the two of them. Gabriel teleported there and looked sick to his stomach at the sight. Ross stopped next to Cayden and knelt next to him, seeing the stillness of the Green Eye. He placed a gentle hand on Cayden's shoulder and wasn't surprised when the Blue Eye roughly shook him off, still shouting at the Green Eye.

"Wake up, Soren - you have to wake up. This isn't funny anymore! Wake up! Soren!"

To hear the turmoil and anguish in those words tore violently at Ross's heart. Swallowing thickly, he touched a hand to Cayden's shoulder again. "Cayden…I'm so sorry…I'm so sorry this happened and-"

"No. He'll wake up in a minute," Cayden said, his lower lip trembling. Ross's heart broke at the sight. "He'll wake up and be fine. You'll see. Everything's going to be okay, he's just…being mean right now. He's sleeping. He'll wake up soon. He's okay. He's sleeping. He's playing a mean joke. He's sleeping."

Ross knew how much Cayden wanted to believe what he was saying. He could see the hopeful yet hurt expression written all over his face. He enveloped the Blue Eye in his arms in a tight embrace, his arms skimming over Soren's still-warm body as he did so. Cayden stiffened for a moment and then shoved him away.

"Soren likes personal space," Cayden declared. "You shouldn't hug us in case he wakes up."

"By the Eyes, Cayden…" Gabriel shook his head, still looking sick to his stomach, a saddened look overtaking his face. "I'm so sorry. He's gone, Cayden, he-"

"No! He's not!" Cayden said sharply, glaring at him. "He's just sleeping. We need to be quiet so he can rest. He'll be okay when he wakes up."

"No…" Ross grabbed his shoulder again and refused to let himself be shaken off. "I'm sorry, Cayden, but this time…I'm afraid it's not that simple. He's not going to wake up."

Soren would never wake again.

They buried Soren a day later. Ross had levitated him to Steven's house - it had been a long journey but worthwhile - and Cayden had taken to cleaning him up, stating firmly that Soren was just sleeping. It was sad to see, but they all had to watch it. Ross had announced the news as soon as everyone had arrived at Steven's. Sam had been crestfallen and had been pretty quiet since. Steven had pursed his lips grimly, and Marcus had looked mildly confused - no doubt because he'd only just woken when he'd received the news.

There had been no ceremony. Ross and Gabriel had gone out early in the morning and had dug a grave. Later that day, after a brief break from the digging, they'd allowed everyone a moment with the fallen Green Eye and had then buried him. Lex had kept Cayden in the house and kept him occupied so he wouldn't go out and stop them. Ross feared for the Blue Eye's state of mind, and how he seemed to be living in denial that this was happening. Cayden would get over it with time, though - they all would.

It was amazing, really…

A Green Eye had been the cause of all of this, of all of them meeting. If he hadn't run into Cayden and helped him, they never would have met Lex and Ross. Then neither of them would have also been taken to the compound, where they met Marcus, and they wouldn't have met Steven, Gabriel, and Anna after. All because of one simple choice a Green Eye made seemingly long ago in the Abyss.

Actions indeed had consequences. To think, if Soren hadn't helped Cayden that day, Ross, Lex, and Steven may never have gotten over their prejudice of the Green Eyes. And Marcus would have still been with the Blue Eyes and Vayde at the compound. All of these events since then had happened because of a single choice.

A single choice made by a young man with green eyes.


Hope you liked it! …if you can like death…? Heh. Anywho. Don't yell at me 'cause I warned you, in the past few chapters, that there would be character death. If you read my little notes at the top, you would know. On the other site, people got mad at me for 'not warning them' when I clearly did, it's not my fault they don't read it. Anywho :D Thanks for reading. I was in an angst-writing mood when I wrote this, otherwise it might have turned out differently at the end, though not for Soren. I always planned on killing him at the end, to lead into Golden Eyes otherwise it couldn't happen. Heh…so…sorry about that. Thanks again for reading and please review and read Golden Eyes when this site gets fixed and I am able to post it!