• How will I start tomorrow without you here? Whose heart will guide me when all the answers disappear?

    It had been an entire year since Panthera Pardus, a faithful friend, loving mother, and compassionate wife, had passed on for the final time. The white uni man could still remember the day clearly. He lay on the bed, weary and weak from lack of proper sleep and food, his red eyes bloodshot from his latest bout of crying. His face was raw from the tears, and his mind was on the verge of breaking from the strain of losing someone so close to him, so dear to his heart. His thoughts wandered to her again, and a fresh flood of tears came to his eyes as he began to sob into his pillow. What memory was he being plagued with this time, you may ask? It was none other than Pan's final moments in this world.

    Is it too late? Are you too far gone to stay? Best friends forever should never have to go away.

    Pan had somehow contracted a deadly illness, one that should have been completely curable. And it was. But the spectral kougress could not be treated for the same reason that she could not be operated on by doctors and surgeons. It had started as a simple sore throat. She had gotten better within a week, but about 20 days later, she had gotten ill again. Rheumatic fever was what the doctors had called it, and they had said that it was curable in a normal situation. But this wasn't a normal situation, and the doctors were unable to give Pan any antibiotics that would help cure her. She only had about a week left to live, according to the doctors, due to the damage done to her heart valves.

    What will I do? You know I'm only half without you. How will I make it through?

    A week after being diagnosed, Pan had collapsed due to her increasingly arthritic joints, fatigue, and sudden breathlessness. Her breathing was staggered and strained, and he had rushed to her side in distress.

    "Pan, are you all right?!"

    He had asked her, and he had received no answer from his wife. She was struggling to breathe, and her heart was beating at an accelerated rate. He continued to ask the same question over and over, his voice panicked as suddenly, Pan's sides ceased heaving.

    "Pan?! Pan, answer me!! Pan!!"

    He practically screamed the words in his terror and panic, bringing Pan's body up into his arms and rocking back and forth as if that would bring her back. Anguished tears flooded his eyes and he began to sob powerfully at this tragic loss of the love of his life.

    If only tears could bring you back to me. If only love could find a way. What I would do, what I would give if you returned to me someday, somehow, someway. If my tears could bring you back to me.

    The vision faded, leaving the man to mourn the death of his one true love once again. He sobbed for hours, the tray holding his dinner sitting forgotten on his nightstand. Finally, he managed to cry himself to sleep, only to be plagued by her memory again. This time, it was a memory of their engagement.

    I've cried you an ocean, if you'd sail on home again. Waves are in motion, will carry you and all they can.

    Right after placing their engagement band around Pan's left foreleg, she had slashed at his chest. He had yelped in pain and backed away from her, speaking fearfully to her.

    "Pan? What's going on? Whatever it is, you need to fight it!"

    But she couldn't fight it. He had turned tail and run as fast as he could to get away from her, only to be tackled to the ground as she gave a feral roar.

    "Pan, stop it! Please, don't do this!"

    He had screamed, right before Pan had ripped out the back of his neck.

    Just let love guide you, and your heart will chart the course. Soon you'll be drifting into the arms of your true north.

    Suddenly, the vision ended and Dark's eyes shot open as he sat up quickly, terror and grief shining in his eyes. It was in these fearful moments that he realized what he had to do. He had to join her where she'd gone...Myu would be fine, Michiko would take good care of him...he was absolutely sure of that. It seemed he had forgotten just what his death would do to his son. Sitting up on the bed quietly, he reached over to the nightstand and grabbed his revolver, the one thing that would end his misery. Another vision appeared before his eyes, this time a memory of when Pan had lost her face.

    Look in my eyes, and you'll see a million tears have gone by...and still they're not dry...

    Das loomed over Pan, as Dark made so many pleading comments. The blue grundo brought down the scalpel on Pan's face, and the kougress screamed out in pain for what felt like hours. When Das was finally finished, Pan's face was a mess. Her left eye was missing, and so was most of the skin and muscle of her face. Dark was released by the men holding him back, and he rushed over to Pan, speaking to her and trying to soothe her pain.

    If only tears could bring you back to me. If only love could find a way. What I would do, what I would give if you returned to me someday, somehow, someway. If my tears could bring you back to me.

    The vision faded and he placed the barrel of the gun under his chin, and without a single moment of hesitation, he pulled the trigger. His body fell lifeless to the floor, the gun resting limply in his hand as blood began to surround his body. The gunshot had woken Myu and alerted Michiko of danger, and both rushed to Dark's bedroom and flung open the door to find the horrifying scene.

    I'd hold you close, and sigh the words I only whispered before. For one more chance, for one last dance, there's nothing that I would not endure.

    Myu rushed over to the body of his father, tears flooding his eyes and streaming down his face in his unending grief. No! He couldn't lose his father! Not again! The boy pulled his father up into his arms and desperately tried to wake him, refusing to believe that both his parents were dead and gone. Michiko stared at the scene with horror and grief for several moments, horrified tears coming to her eyes and streaming down her face. She then sat down on the bed and proceeded to mourn the death of her brother.

    If only tears could bring you back to me. If only love could find a way. What I would do, what I would give if you returned to me someday, somehow, someway...If my tears could bring you back... to me...