Notes: Thank you to Wynde for her help with this fic. The title of this fic is from a song by The O'Brien Brothers. If you are ever in the San Diego area, check the local Irish pubs and go see 'em. They're good.
Notes (2): There is a companion story told from Ezra's pov. It's called Evening Moon.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Used without permission. Making no money from this.
While this story is nominally set in the ATF AU created by Mog, it fits pretty much anywhere.
The clouds are floating across the sky, darkening the summer blue with the coming grey of fall. The leaves have started to change and the flowers wilt. The earth turns and time moves on. But we stay the same, locked in an endless moment. Bodies pressed close, the fragile rhythm of his heart beats against my chest. We sway gently, moving to an unheard melody. He is almost weightless in my arms, his body ravaged by an enemy we couldn't fight, couldn't con.
It's almost time. We both know it. There are no illusions between us anymore, no false hopes. The end is coming. All the screaming, the pleading, the praying, and still it all comes down to this. He reaches up and tenderly brushes wetness from my face. I thought I had no more tears to shed. He murmurs comfortingly, his voice a soft croon that steadies the world beneath my feet. What will I do without him?
Ever closer we stand, no longer moving, simply absorbing the feel of one another. His breath heats the side of my face, a moist trace of air pushed out by belabored lungs. This moment should last forever, float us away on the clouds gathering above. No more pain, no more loss.
It's not to be. I know this. He moves, drawing slightly away from me. Reaching up, he strokes my cheek with the back of his hand. So much love in the touch, in the deep green of his eyes. He opens his mouth to speak, and I want desperately to shush him, to stop the words. But there's so little time left, I can deny him nothing, not even this.
His voice is gentle, yet the words wound my soul. "We knew this moment would arrive," he tells me, resting his forehead against mine. He whispers of his love, trying to ease my heart. More worried for me than himself, even now. "Think of me when I'm gone," he asks.
I answer, as always, "You'll be in the warmth of the morning sun and the caress of the wind against my face. I'll see you in the brilliance of a falling star, in the turning tides of the ocean."
He tries to answer but his voice breaks, body shuddering with pain. No longer able to hold himself upright, he leans heavily against me. My arms tighten around him, pulling him close, bearing his weight.
He is crying now, silver shimmers that move silently down his face. "Take care of yourself. . ." his almost soundless words trail off for an instant. His eyes meet mine, seeing everything, and the rest remains unspoken. He leans in for a kiss, a soft brush of lips on lips. A bare ghosting of touch.
He breathes no more.
The earth turns and time continues on.