He wakes up, sort of, to the sounds he always hears. The screams, the promises that 'he don't mean it, he's just drunk' are quickly drowned out by the sounds from below. The sounds of the ghettoes. Traffic, people, shouts.
Unlike usual though, for some reason, he doesn't start awake. Then he realizes... its the music, 60's blues rising from one of the apartments down below him.
'Mothers, tell your children,
Not to do as I have done.
Spend your lives in sin and misery,
In the house of the Rising Sun.'
'I've got one foot on the platform,
One foot on the train,
I'm going back to New Orleans,
To wear that ball and chain.'
He smiles, before coughing. Blood.
That's ok. It reminds him of the music Tara used to play, when he could sleep. When he could wake up and feel invulnerable, because she believed he could do anything... in the morning.
Not feeling up to using the ring to rise in his usual fashion, he puts his hand down to help push himself up, and it slips, sending him back to lying down, slightly propped by a chimney.
A few moments of confusion, and he realizes its blood. His own. His jacket is still full of holes - tatters by now mostly. Somehow the ring isn't covering him in his 'costume' anymore. No more black leathers, just some old, comfortable things.
Then he realizes that almost everything he's getting is through sound and touch. The ring has plenty of charge left... its only been a couple hours, but its using everything it can to try and keep him stapled together.
And he smiles again. Its cold up here... a lot colder than he remembers space being. Thinking back, he realizes that his gambit against Sur was only half bluffing. The ring, without anywhere to go, just gives him the power to tilt at windmills. Things haven't gotten better. No matter how hard he's fought, the next time he goes out, everything looks and sounds the same.
And if he no longer keeps fighting with all his will... the real power for the ring, maybe it will be one less poor kid, and maybe then he can sleep.