The Beginning
Notes: The prompt was the song title/soundtrack piece At Wit's End. I was inspired merely by the song title. Please note that Lyrael looks much like Zafkiel minus the purple streaks.

Later, Hanael never knew what woke him. Maybe it was the shifting weight of Lyrael moving across the bed. Maybe it was the way the wind blew through the suddenly opened windows. Maybe it was the premonition of what was to come. He never knew, and sometimes he wished it had never woken him at all. That he had slept blissfully on until the end.
But he woke. He opened his eyes, sleepy, his mind still fogged with dreams. And found Lyrael perched above him on the bed, knife in hand, the blade glinting in the candlelight as it came down.
He barely had time to register, he had not even a moment to understand what was going on, and yet his body moved somehow. He twisted away from the knife that was aimed for his chest, the blade candlelit golden and yet cold and unyielding as it came for him, and somehow he got out of its way. Lyrael had him pinned, but he was still the larger of the two of them, and the stronger. He used his body strength all day at work, while Lyrael cloistered himself in chairs, reading -- or writing in -- books. He broke Lyrael's grip with ease and the knife missed its mark.
But not quite. The blade slashed into his arm, hard and fierce and deep, and he screamed in shock at the sudden pain that pounded into him. All at once his arm went numb.
"Lyrael!" he found his voice, finally, amidst the screams that rent from him. "Lyrael, what are you doing?!"
Lyrael's only answer was to pull the knife free from the bed, and from his arm, and to raise it again. The candlelight touched his eyes, and they seemed to reflect the same thing back to him as the knife blade had; cold, uncaring death.
His mind seemed as numb as his arm. His thoughts could not get around the idea that Lyrael was attacking him, that Lyrael was hell bent on doing him real harm. Only hours ago they'd gone to bed together; only hours ago Lyrael had murmured a whispered 'goodnight, dear heart' and kissed him gently on the forehead. How could that be the same Lyrael that was moving toward him now, his blood dripping from the knife blade?
He reached up, almost unconsciously, and wrapped his good hand around Lyrael's, catching the knife and holding it away from him. Lyrael tried to twist it out of his grasp; his other hand came up and tried to pry Hanael's fingers free, but he held fast, desperate, determined not to let go.
"Lyrael, please, stop! Lyrael!" He kept calling, kept crying his name, desperately hoping that somehow the mantra would get through to him, would break through the craziness that had taken over him.
Lyrael twisted and tugged desperately against him, and he fought back, refusing to let go of the knife. And then they were falling, rolling off the bed, slipping with the sheets onto the floor. Hanael's back met the hard wood of the floor with a loud crack, and he gasped, the shock ricocheting through him, his hand unconsciously letting go of the knife.
The sheet tangled around him, clouding his vision, but for a moment he saw Lyrael above, him, haloed by the candlelight, his beautiful long hair in disarray, his face dark and drawn and somewhat confused. His eyes seemed to be damning Hanael even as they pleaded with him for... what?
Then the knife hit his face and everything went red and black and drenched in agony. And even as he screamed, as his throat was ripped hoarse with his cries, he wished -- not for the first time, and not for the last -- that he had never even woken at all. That he had slept until the first blow had hit him and taken his life, just as Lyrael had intended.