She's smoking on the roof again, leaning back against the railing with her head tilted up to stare into the rotting orange sky. There's no point in looking down or out, no point in letting her gaze wash over the city so far below. She's seen it all before.

The way down's lit up by her halo's spotlight, shining painfully bright against the night's uneasy shadows. Each inch of the fall thrown into sharp relief, from the ease with which she could tip back over the too-low railing to the places she'd have to flare her wings to escape the skyscraper's setbacks, gathering speed all the while, plummeting down faster and faster and faster—

There's the place her whoops of triumph would turn into screams of regret, and there's the place she'd find peace in her last few moments, and there's the solid ground waiting so far below for her to splatter against it: the end of the spotlight, her life's waiting terminus.

Her body would carry on, as these things do; no funeral awaits her but high-pressure hoses to wash the gore away, a spray of cleansing water sending her pancaked ruins streaming down through half a dozen storm grates to reunite and rot in the tepid water of storm sewers that haven't been washed clean by pollution-laden rain in longer than she can remember, with the past as far away as it is and the future promising never to arrive.

She's here now. She always will be, up until she isn't.

Nothing to look forward to; nothing to wait for.

But she's seen it all before, seen the path her remains would take and seen the way down; there's nothing new there, and her halo is just whispering the same things again and again, a litany of emptiness that's gone on far too long—

So she just tilts her head back and looks up towards stars that no one's seen from the city in decades and decades, watching the smoke slowly drift up until it loses itself among the night's dark, swollen clouds.

There's rain coming, rotten with incandescent city-light and filthy with the gaseous effluvia of ruined lives and useless factories. She can taste it in the air, a bitter acidic tang so far removed from what rain once was. It will strip the paint from walls and leave putrid stalactites dangling down from overhangs and run in hungry oil-slicks down and down and down, down into the sewers and through the city's secret channels and out to pollute the bay—

She sighs and peers at her cigarette; barely halfway done.

“Well,” she thinks to herself as the first drops begin to splatter down, as thick and heavy as rotten berries, “fuck wasting the rest of it. I can take a little rain.”

When the water finally finds her face it burns her skin so beautifully, so painfully; it's almost enough to make her feel alive.