I'm just taking a short break from my other fic. right now, and this idea sort of sprang to me while I was becoming depressed over Romano's death. The person in the cemetery is just some random persona... not necessarily male or female. Anyway: Enjoy... and... Review please. Thanks!

~Natalie~ ***********************************************************

I was walking through the cemetery when I noticed a red-haired woman kneeling beside a freshly dug grave. She intrigued me to no end because she looked so sad, yet she was not crying. She merely stared at the headstone, as if she were waiting for it to speak to her. As though the death of whoever laid beneath her was not a reality, as though it were nothing but a dream.
I had always marveled at the amazing manner in which people were unwilling to let go. But this beautiful woman was different. She didn't seem to be holding on, and it made me wonder why. Perhaps she had no hold to begin with. Either way, her downcast eyes seemed almost foreboding, as though the person buried underneath the earth had unfinished business. Or perhaps she was the one with business left undone. I couldn't tell. All I knew was that the woman I saw before me was in pain. But it wasn't normal pain. The kind written for everyone to see. It was a private pain, almost as though she didn't want anyone to know. And that is why, I suspected, she visited alone. Her face had written a million things upon it, and I knew she was hurting, but I also knew that she wasn't suffering. Her pain was tranquil as she stared at the tombstone, waiting for something, or someone, that would never arrive.
She knew her being there was futile, useless; she wasn't the type to believe that the spirit remained at a gravesite. She wasn't the type to be solaced by the comfort of a grave. She knew better. But still, she came to the site just in case she was wrong. It gave her a sense of closure, a sense of finality, and as I watched her, I felt her pain, I felt her sadness, and I felt her strong sense of loss.
As the woman stood from her crouching position, I watched intently as she placed two fingers over her lips, gently kissed them, and brought them back to the tombstone. A symbolic gesture of love, of kindness, that I believe was not lost on its recipient. I knew whomever she was there to see knew it, and would forever be thankful for her peaceful visit. As she began to walk away, so did I, but she paused, as though trying to make a final decision. And as she looked longingly at the gravesite, she took something from her pocket and placed it at the head of the grave. She then gave one last meaningful look to the grave, and then slowly walked away, head down. She got in her car and swiped away a tear, then drove off to the future. I began to leave as well, but this woman had intrigued me, so I made my way over to the grave, and looked at what lay at the head. It was a long envelope with a name scrawled across the front. I picked it up and turned it over, it was left unsealed. My craving for knowledge about this woman, and about her situation led me to read the words printed in black ink hidden inside the envelope. And what I read nearly broke my heart:

Dear Robert,
However can I say the things that have been left unsaid? I don't feel there's a way. But still, somewhere deep inside, I feel that I must try. If not for myself, then for you, so that you may know the truth. Your death has haunted me since I found out about it. You were a great surgeon, Robert, one of the best I've known. And though you put on a tough exterior, I know that inside of you was a man in pain. I knew you loved me Robert. That's the shame in it. I knew the moment it happened, but I was too worried to confront you, or tell you how I felt. I always thought there would be time. There would be time for me to tell you the things I held so deep in my heart. I now know how truly mistaken I was. My only regret is not telling you what I thought of you. I thought you were a man that was self-assured, and despite your fa├žade, I knew you to be a compassionate gentle man. Work with you was trying at times, but it was the most fun I'd ever had. The tragedy that struck the day you were killed is one that I would give anything to retract, and perhaps, have one more moment with you Robert. Because, you see, you deserve to know the truth. I knew the truth, but I never had the courage to tell you. I was a coward Robert, and for that, I am sorry.
So it is now, in the wake of your death, that I reveal the truths of my heart. And it won't take but a minute to speak these long awaited words. You see Robert, the truth is: I loved you. I loved you as you loved me. And I never found a way to tell you, I always waited for tomorrow. But now the time has come, and I know that tomorrow will no longer come. So I'm sorry that I couldn't speak to you in life what I now convey in death. Know that you meant something to me Robert Romano, something great.
Know that you made a difference in my life, in the lives of many, despite the exterior you portrayed. But know this; above all, you were loved. In every single way imaginable, you were loved. As a friend, as a brother, as a comrade, but most of all Robert, you were loved as a man. I loved you Robert and I still do.
Please forgive me for never having told you the truth I kept so deep within me.
I love you.


My heart trembled and my hands shook as I placed the paper back in the envelope. And at that moment, I experienced Elizabeth's pain, and I cried Robert's tears. I didn't know either of them, but it was the only thing I was capable of doing. A love so strong, not told of in life, but crossed over into death, I knew their amazing story.
And as I stood to walk away, I felt a breeze sweep across the cemetery, and I was certain that Robert knew what Elizabeth had to say, and I felt at peace for the both of them. Life had kept them apart, but death had brought them together, and I was filled with a joy, and an utter content, that I had never before experienced.
Robert loved Elizabeth.
Elizabeth loved Robert.


There `twas. I know it's quite grim and whatnot... but in the end it's happy.

Unfortunately, it doesn't abate my anger that Romano was killed off... nor does it give me a sense of peace... it just allowed me to get my emotions out. This is what should have happened... well, actually, Romano should have lived. But if he had to die.... This is most definitely what SHOULD have happened.