A/N: I've changed a few things in the beginning since I started work on this one; they're very subtle, mostly a name and a couple of references. I know that it's been a couple of years since I started this one, but I'm hoping to get it done by the end of this summer. This is part one of an at least two part AU series, so please bear with me. Part two will take a while to post, as I have yet to even begin planning it. I've got a really full plate and need to finish what I already have posted here. Thanks for all the support you guys have given me with this fic.

Disclaimer: I don't own them. I make no money from this. I'm just writing for the fun of it.

Between Death and Life

"Come to gloat, Merrill?" Mackenzie Previn asked through clenched teeth, as her one time friend approached the newly filled grave of her young crew mate.

"No," he stared hard at her, "he was a smart, brave young man. I came to apologize for my associate's mistake of killing him. Those were never the orders."

"I find that hard to believe."

"Believe what you want, Mackenzie, but I am sorry. I wanted to say that before I erase you from my memory," he said, tossing a calla lilly onto the freshly packed mound of dirt that was now the final resting place of Gabriel Patterson.

"Why do you care, Gavin?" Mac followed behind her one time lover.

"He was a good kid," he turned to face her, his face a hard mask of anger. "I only wanted your help. It was never meant to go this far or even end this way."

"Why did it end like this? Why did you have to kill an innocent kid, Gavin? He'd done nothing to you, you son of a bitch," her voice was a strained ball of emotion desperately trying not to falter.

"There's nothing I can say to make you believe how sorry I am, Mac, and I really wish that there were."

"Showing up here isn't the way." She wanted to strangle him on the spot, but that would do nothing except disrespect the dead. Strangling the man before her was too good a way for him to die. There were far better ways to kill Gavin Merrill that were far more painful than merely choking the life from him.

"I didn't feel right sending a letter and some flowers." A large black sedan pulled up behind him, its windows tinted too dark to see in.

"You want me to believe that you're sorry," she took a few angry steps toward him and the car, trying to see in the car, "kill yourself."

Caught off guard by her venomous tone, Gavin stared deeply into her icy blue eyes for a long moment. He'd hurt her more deeply than he'd ever known he could. He knew from that day on the dock when he'd chosen to use her young friend against her that he'd struck a nerve, but he never could've dreamt it was such a deep nerve. Her loyalty was never anything he would joke about, but there was something there that went beyond loyalty for the late Gabriel Patterson. She was a great liar, except when she was hurting; then she became terrible at it.

Opening the car door he said, "if I did what you ask then there'd be no one to take care of my son, Erik."

"What son?" She quickly grabbed the door and looked through to the back seat. Gasping she nearly fell over into the soft gray leather of the front seat.