Taking the Blame [Digital Devil Saga, O'Brien/Heat, PG] Title: Taking the Blame Author:harukami Rating: PG Warnings: Spoilers for DDS2... ... bad language? Word count: 590 Summary: He is dead and beyond the capability to apologize to the present. A/N: For the prompt, Digital Devil Saga: O'Brien/Heat; comfort, "In a way, I fucked things up for us, and I'm sorry.". Crossposted to LiveJournal.
As Serph and Heat fall into the EGG, O'Brien thinks ah.
Truthfully, he's been expecting something like this for a long time; it's not a good thing, no, but history has a way of repeating itself even when it ought not to.
Serph sinks to the bottom; Heat floats to the top and O'Brien follows. The look on Heat's face has changed to grief, and O'Brien lifts a hand, tries to touch Heat's face.
Heat's eyes open and he says, "You," a sound lost to the bubbling of liquid and the passage of time.
"Me," O'Brien agrees, though it's not really something that needs confirmation. Heat knows; they both know that if the Serph and Heat of then hadn't hated each other, they wouldn't be here now.
For O'Brien, hating Serph had been right; Serph had been a user, a god-complex son of a bitch asshole who never saw those around him as human, just as tools. With five years in the EGG with a lonely, scared little girl, it was impossible to think of his anger fading.
Still, he wonders if the Heat of now would have made different choices if he hadn't been so angry, if he hadn't kept Serph's ghost so close to his own heart, because this Serph and that Serph are not the same; Heat is captive to O'Brien's anger and blinded by it.
"I'm sorry," O'Brien says, and hears a helpless edge to his voice; he is dead and beyond the capability to apologize to the present.
As Serph sinks into the EGG, Heat thinks,
No, it wasn't supposed to be like this--
No, fuck, fuck, fuck, why? He was taking her out of the EGG! If she leaves it, she'll die, he was killing her, why the hell should I regret it?
Comrades? I've turned my back on you! I've thrown you all away! How can you just stand there? How can you choose not to move?
Do you think dying will make up for anything? Fuck you! Live and let her live! Live and fucking protect her! Otherwise you're just abandoning her, you selfish son of a bitch, don't you fucking dare abandon her for my sake!
I'll kill you!
Stop fucking bleeding, start moving, swim the fuck out and show them you're okay! You gonna manipulate her until the end? You're breaking her right now! Can't you hear her screaming? It's not all my fault this time, you know! Why the hell do you always have to kill people she cares about in front of her? Why didn't you move?! The first time, everything she'd thought you were wasn't real, everything she thought you were died in a single blow because you'd rather have her die for you than live. This time, you get her out of the EGG and -- what? Don't just stand there! For fuck's sake, take me down!
Move! Son of a bitch, don't just lie there!
The bad data is flowing in; O'Brien closes his eyes, exhausted, as it occurs. That poor girl, he thinks, that poor messed up experiment; her feelings will always be the world's destruction if they go unchecked, and who can expect a girl her age to stop caring?
Above him, Heat rages on, and he gazes up; he cannot touch, he cannot change anything. Not for Serph, whose blood continues to float upwards in a cloud. Not for Heat, changing into a monster. Not for her, either, again, dying and agonized and with her world falling apart in front of her.
He wants to make it better; wants to take what he can and change it.