In This Life

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Title: In This Life
Pairing: Reed/Sato
Category: Songfic/Angst
Rating: PG
Summary: "In this life, I was loved by you."
Author's Note: Mush added by Lora. Angst courtesy of yours truly ;)

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o


He sat there in stunned silence, feeling the galaxy move around him, waiting for the universe to come to an end, if it hadn't already. For a day and a night he had only been faintly aware of people coming up to him, like strangers would, trying to offer him a dozen condolences and too many insights on something they knew so very little about.

As if she was already gone, gone and not ever coming back.

But it wasn't true... he wasn't going to lose her. Not now, not today... not tomorrow... not next week or next year... not ever, not if he could help it. He wouldn't... he... he couldn't.

Finally, movement registered on the edge of his line of vision. An eternity later he moved his head from his hands and looked up. The blue and grey apparition that stood in front of him nodded twice, closed its eyes briefly, said something unintelligible, inaudible to his ears and motioned his arm in a particular direction; he could go inside.

As he moved time seemed to slow down so much that he was somehow able to register every single motion, every single detail around him; the way the pale shadows danced on the walls and ceiling and floor, the exact positioning of every piece of moveable equipment and furniture...

And there she was, lying deathly pale on the biobed after the emergency treatment that had been administered, hands down by either down side of her chest, moving up and down with each shallow breath. Her eyes were wide open, tracking him as he slowly moved closer to her, and sat down to her bed.

"Hey," she whispered, turning and shifting so that she could see him.

"Hey yourself," he replied in a whisper. A hand came up and traced the side of her face before finally settling on the edge of the bed.

She smiled and took his hand in one of her own. "You look terrible," she said seriously.

"So do you," he lied.

"What have they been doing to you?" she asked with a small smile, watching his eyes for any sign of a reaction.

He shrugged slightly. "It's strange," he said, playing along, "but every time I try and concentrate on anything, I keep thinking of you."

The smile grew. "Should I be flattered?" she asked.

"I should think so."


They lapsed into a calm silence, both watching the other, neither willing to say or do anything except for simply being there, with each other. Right now, in here, time had no relevance, no meaning, and no welcome.

For all I've been blessed with in this life
There was an emptiness in me

"Are you awake?" he asked suddenly, brushing back a stray strand of hair that had fallen over her face.

Eyes closed, she nodded, and a second later they opened. "Are you okay?"

He nodded. "I... I just wanted to tell you something. I'd forgotten until now... I think you deserve to know."

Wincing a little, she propped herself up on one arm and regarded him critically.

"It's nothing like that!" he protested half-heartedly. "It's just... have you ever dreamt that you were in a dream, and that no matter what you couldn't wake up?"

Slowly, never taking her eyes off him, she shook her head once.

I was imprisoned by the power of gold
With one honest touch you set me free

"That's what you're like," he said, trying to find the words he knew he wanted. "It's you. You're the storm after the calm, you're the red sky in the morning."

She raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.

"Sailor's warning," he explained. "And you're the person who woke me up from the dream I've been living all my life, and you're the one who helped me see what was really happening all around me. I just wanted to say thank you, that's all."

She smiled in response, and lay back down on the bed, unable to hold herself up any longer. "You're welcome," she murmured. "I wouldn't have changed anything either."

He couldn't help but smile as well, tightening his grip on her hand, not wanting to let go.

Let the world stop turning
Let the sun stop burning
Let them tell me love's not worth going through

She turned on her side to face him again, and as she watched, his shoulder wavering slightly as he moved a little closer to her, she knew she loved him.

His eyes met hers again, and in them she could see a quietly reflected pain, something that only matched the pain inside her heart. She reached out with a hand and let her fingers trail down his cheek, her chest heaving slightly as it became harder to breath.

"I love you..." she managed, her voice weaker and more faltering.

"And I you," he replied softly.

She smiled at him again, her expression slightly strained. "I always will..."

"I know."

"Remember that... promise me you'll remember."

"Scout's honour," he whispered, blinking back tears.

The smile stayed there. "How did I know you were going to say that?"

"Because you know me," he told her, brushing his fingers across her cheek.

Her eyes closed again; she took her hands away from his, and with one she found his face, letting him lean into the caress. "I know this," she said quietly, "like I know that two plus two equals four and that tomorrow is another day. Like I know that if my world ended tomorrow, you'd be there waiting to help me pick up the pieces and fit them back together again." She stopped and took a slow breath. "Like I know that you changed my life."

If it all falls apart
I will know deep in my heart
The only dream that mattered had come true

"You... you need to rest..." His voice was laced with grief as he watched her breathing falter more and more.

"Mm..." Her shoulders shook as she struggled to breathe in one more time. "Goodnight Mal..."

Her chest stopped moving, and she became completely still.

"'Night, Hoshi."

In this life, I was loved by you...

"Sweet dreams."

Onto the sequel: see the sun

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