He's not even sure why he's still alive.

He remembers being ripped apart...Lacie had been so angry at him. He remembers the agony that her claws inflicted on him. He remembers seeing her hit the Wolf. He remembers the bright red blood...spilled on the ground. He remembers hearing the slight sputter-stop in the Wolf's heartbeat.

So why does it feel like he's forgetting something?

But, in the heated haze of a modification, he can't force himself to unlock the memories and figure it out. Instead, he writhes on the floor, hissing, tongue catching between the razor sharp teeth that have shifted into predator canines. It feels as if every part of his body has been submerged in water. The searing, blinding pain has him screaming to the ceiling with fury. And, oh, when the urges came...

He tries not to think about it, because then...

Then, he just can't stop himself, until the impulse ends.

And sometimes, he can hear a faint sobbing in the back of his head. A part of him can recognize it, and purrs with pleasure, but a greater, wearier side of him is put into a fit of unease by it. Something about it rubs him the wrong way. He doesn't...he doesn't want to hear this sobbing. Yet...he's entranced by it. Like being in love with a harmful substance you can't hold in your arms.

Given is lying there, stiff in every area of his body, when it finally does roll around.

His claws and horns extend, swordarms protruding in reaction, and he can't quite hold back anymore. Blackened fingertips rip into his throat, down his chest, slicing into his biceps, every nook and cranny, tearing off the flesh with each swipe of the hand, ebony blood splattering around him.

He doesn't know why he's alive.

He doesn't know what's driving him to do this--he just knows that he has to do it.

Releasing a torn, agonized roar, the demon sloughs off the rest of his flesh, new muscle and skin regenerating as soon as the old falls away. His wings spurt from his shoulders, stabbing him underneath his clavicle and latching there, hoisting his broken body up off the cold tile floor. His tail slides smoothly from its hiding place just above the curve of his rear, whipping about, alive with its own intentions.

As the last piece of decayed muscle is dropped, Given crashes into the ground again. Day after day, this has been happening, and truly, he hasn't the slightest clue why...when it's over, his eyes are matching colors and pupils, his horns and claws are retracted, and his wings and tail are encased back in the shell of his back. He assumes the appearance of a human, with no intention of ever having done so. Like now, the thought is transparent, drunk with agony as he is, but he can still feel the changes happening, his demonhood shifting to blend in with the human existence.

And, day after day, a voice sounding much like the man he hates the most in the world asks him repeatedly why this is happening, what the symptoms are, how much blood he's lost, how his demonic extremities pull back into his body. He doesn't know, he doesn't know, he doesn't know!

He can't describe any of it. He's not sure why it happens. He was supposed to stop maturing last year. He's not sure what to call this...never ending, painful cycle.

He's not even sure why he's still alive.

The End

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