((This started off so fun. I just wanTED TO HAVE FUN. WHAT HAVE I DONE.))
The call came early in the morning.
Roxy was up within seconds of her phone ringing, stirring Eridan awake from his usually deep slumber. He watches as, in the dim light of the hallway, Roxy stands there, talking softly at first, her one arm crossed over her middle, hugging herself.... and then slowly that hand moved up to cover her mouth, as she stood absolutely still.
Then, within seconds, she is throwing on clothes.
"Eridan, get up."
He's already up, though, having pulled on his jeans and was in the process of buttoning up his shirt.
Within what felt like an instant, Roxy and Eridan was making the the 12 mile drive to the hospital. The streets were nearly empty, as it was late at night, so it was only a few minutes before they were there. Despite Eridan's obvious grogginess, Roxy looked alert. Awake. And... scared?
When they arrived at the hospital, Roxy hopped right out of her car in the ER parking lot, handing the keys to Eridan. "Find a place to park." And so he did, following in after her. The person at the front desk recognized him, smiled at him, looking obviously sad, and motions for him to head on inside. He does, heading down to the same room he'd been visiting for almost a year now.
When he enters into the room, he is met with emptiness.
Roxy is there, and she is sitting, staring down into the pale face of Calliope, who is struggling to keep her eyes open.
She smiles this small smile as Eridan enters, only turning her attention back to Roxy when she feels Roxy's hand touch her cheek.
"Look at me, Callie." She says, her voice shaking.
Eridan approaches the bed silently, as he did the first day, staring down into the bed at the tiny skin-and-bones frame, the pale skin, what only a few months ago, held at least some semblance of the possibility of a long life. Eridan's grip on the side of the bed strengthens a bit, as anger swells in him.
"Th-They said you were getting better." He choked.
He didn't even feel the sobs at first, nor the warm tears that now rolled their ways down his cheeks.
Callie doesn't answer, but her eyes do. She just allows her smile to droop a bit, be he shakes his head.
"No, no. Keep smiling. I'll be okay."
Roxy is sobbing too, but she doesn't let it stop her.
Callie looks over at her, making a slight "Mmm?" sound at her.
And she starts singing.
"Greenfinch and Linnet bird, Nightingale, Blackbird, How is it you sing... How can you jubilate, sitting in cages, never taking flight..."
Calliope, weakly and softly, sings with her, continuing the song.
Eridan listens quietly, continuing to sob harder, covering his mouth with his one hand to keep his sobs light and small.
"How is it you sing, anything? How is it you sing...? Greenfinch and Linnet Bird, Nightingale, Blackbird, how is it you sing?"
He joins in as well.
"Whence comes this melody, constantly floating, is it rejoicing, or merely aloaming? Are you discussing, or fussing? Or simply dreaming?"
Callie looks up at him as he sings with her, the smile that crosses his over his face grows as he sees the tears bubbling at the edges of her eyes, trying her best to swallow and keep the sobs down. She motions with her hand to the cup of water, and Eridan nods, only stopping his singing to quietly help her drink, and then Calliope, louder this time, sings the next verse.
"My cage has many rooms, damask and dark, nothing there sings, not even my lark. Larks never will, you know, when they are captive... Teach me to be just a bit more adaptive..."
Eridan watches as she sits back, the smile on her face growing as they come to the next part, Roxy continuing as Calliope's eyes slowly begin to drift shut, though she still sings with her.
"Ah, Greenfinch and Linnet Bird, Nightingale, Blackbird, teach me how to sing..."
Eridan stops when he realizes that the steady rising and falling of Calliope's chest finishes.
"If I cannot fly...!"
The room plunges into silence. Nobody breathes. Roxy stares down at Calliope, standing up and lightly placing one hand on her cheek, before whispering, her voice shaking as her body is wracked with sobs.
"I will sing..."