A/N: A warning about this: I'm experimenting. This is really experimental. And…yeah. Hope it paid off!


War paint.

Neon green, glow-in-the-dark. I want to see that they're with me.

My own is red.

Red for blood.

Red for war.

Red for fighting.

Just plain red though, nothing glow-in-the-dark. They don't need to see if I'm there, the beeping will tell them that.

But if I don't see them, they won't hear me, and we'll all be even.

I didn't know it would be so dark. The minute they turned the lights off I said turn them back on. Then I found the brightest pen I have.

And carefully, not breaking the spiderwebs snaking through my body, I draw whiskers on Tiger, a star on Estelle, and my life on A.

I give A everything with that pen. I give him the day we met, right on his cheek. Then the day we ran from the witch on his other cheek.

And on his forehead, I give him today. I give him me lying on the cold metal and him sitting near me with neon green all over his face.

And he gives me real war paint with his red pen. Horizontal under the eyes, vertical under the lower lip. You're the fighter, he says. You're our fighter, you deserve it.

And so I fight and fight but I don't want to. I just want to rip the spiderwebs open and make the beep a drone. The things in me just want to live, and I'm letting them. Fighting a war against them will kill me, even with help.

The hardest part will be leaving A.

I find his glowing cheek and smile at it. I feel his head turn to me and watch me, the soft light of the beeps illuminating my war paint.

I rub at the paint a bit, and it smudges. I wipe my face as hard as I can, then examine the spiderwebs as closely as I can.

They're thick, the spiders who weave them are talented. I trace one of them to my arm and wonder what it does.

Do I want to cut it? It would be like deactivating a bomb. Maybe it would all blow up and the drone would start. That's what I want. So it's not deactivating a bomb, it's activating one. Or maybe the wire I cut does nothing and the spiders crowd around me and suffocate me and restrain me, leaving me to just watch the cat, the star, and my life sit in silence.

It wouldn't be dying, my life belongs to A now. On his cheeks forever.

And so I find the sharp tip of the spiderweb, tracing it briefly before pulling it out.

Then-


A/N: Abrupt ending, I know. Please review!