I saw the movie a few months ago, and this idea kept gnawing at me until I wrote it. Yet another story to add to my quickly growing 'Carrie-Anne Moss Collection'. My idol! I bow down to you! ...Well...not really...but she's still my favorite actress.

Thanks again to Plenilunio, who was very kind (and helpful) in her editing, as always.

Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. I'm just doing what the voices told me to do.

Set during the scene where Leonard is in bed with Natalie before/when he gets up and looks at the picture in the living room. Natalie's PoV.

It is dark. And cold. Very cold. I reach out but my hands meet nothing but cold, empty air. I feel my insides twist sickeningly and instantly grip at my abdomen. My fingers are now met with a sticky warmth. I look down. I can't see. I can't see anything. The space around me is all black.

The warmth moves liquidly down my stomach and drips down my thighs. It is liquid. Thick, warm. It continues down my calves, I can feel it between my toes. Now I can also feel it moving sluggishly across my fingers, even up my arms, my neck...my face. Suddenly everything flashes red before my eyes.

I can see. I look. Blood. It's blood. Dear God, there's blood all over me! It feels like it is seeping through my very pores, seeping under my skin. There's a metallic taste in my mouth. Blood! I spit, frantically trying to rid myself of the wholly unwanted invasion. This is not my blood...not mine.

Then I see him. He's lying prone on a cement floor. His skin is pale, lifeless. No, no. No, no, no. It's his blood. No! He's dead. No! His chest is bare, but I see no wounds, no blood. Only pale, splotchy skin. Dead skin.

Dead. He's dead. My life...he's dead. No. No, no, no! He's dead. Dead, dead, de-

My eyes open, bringing me to the waking world. I can feel the heat radiating from the person under my torso, and for a fleeting moment think that it really was a dream, that he was back. But no. It's him. Leonard. The man who killed Jimmy, who took him - my only chance for a life beyond the crap I've already made of mine - away from me. Forever. My anger flares. A voice reaches my ears for the first time, though it must have been speaking for a while. Him. Leonard.

"...no idea when she left," he is saying to himself. "I know I can't have her back, but I want to let her go."

His wife. The woman whose death he is trying to avenge. By killing. Killing Jimmy.

"I don't want to wake up every morning thinking she's still here then realizing she's not."

I now feel a sudden surge of sympathy, smothering my anger. I know what he's talking about. How I already miss him. Jimmy.

"I want time to pass, but it won't. How can I heal if I can't feel time?"

You can't, I think bitterly. But that gives you no right to kill, to murder, in cold blood. My anger beats back any sympathy still left. How many Jimmys have you killed, Leonard? I want to ask. But I keep my mouth closed. Even if I do say something, though, he'd forget it in five minutes, the freak.

I feel him move beneath me and quickly snap my eyes shut again. He slides out of the bed, leaving me cold and alone. Chill bumps rise over my skin at the sudden loss of heat. I hear his footsteps receding down the hall, to the living room. I open my eyes, letting them slowly adjust to the darkness of my room.

I can feel the chilled air nipping at the exposed skin of my shoulders and neck, but I reach my hand out anyway, letting my fingers move slowly over the warmth still lingering from Leonard's very alive body, but never letting them actually touch the sheets. This was Jimmy's spot. He liked to sleep there, closest to the door and away from the window.

I'd known Jimmy for almost four years. He was a good man, wonderful and caring. He was nice to just about everyone and a good person to have as a friend. Dirty secrets carry dirty prices, though. I accepted his choice of living, right from that movie Blow. My Jimmy was George Jung, making money in dangerous ways that appealed to me. The danger of it all gave me such a rush of excitement, and before I knew it, I had a part in everything.

Jimmy was the best thing that ever happened to me. Not only because of the promise of money, but also because of the promise of love...and a way out of this poor, decrepit town. I really did love him, and he me. There were unspoken thoughts of, of all things, marriage. I remember that day so clearly, and I close my eyes to fully recall it.

"Come here," Jimmy grabbed my hand, trying to gently pull me from the couch.

"Why?" I asked, putting up a bit of resistance and smiling almost coyly.

He stopped and looked at me, laughter in his eyes. "You'll like it. Really, Natalie, you will."

I sighed in mock defeat and let him lead me to the bedroom. Just as he was about to take me through the door, he asked me to close my eyes. I did, playing along.

"Okay," he said, "Come stand here," He put his arms around my waist from behind and brought me to face the way we had just come. I could hear a strange whispery rattling, but couldn't place it for the life of me.

"Open," Jimmy whispered, placing his chin on my shoulder.

The sight I was met with was most definitely not one I was expecting. I raised my eyebrows, a gesture he couldn't see. "Canaries?" I asked, studying the birds in the cage hanging from the ceiling. "You bought me canaries? Why?"

"I know you like birds." He placed a small kiss to the side of my neck. "And their singing reminded me of your beautiful voice."

I grinned and turned slightly so I could see him from the corner of my eye. "Thank you,"

"You're welcome," He turned me fully in his arms. "Why do you like birds so much, Natalie?" I loved the way he said my name.

"They can fly." I leaned my head back and closed my eyes, envisioning it in my mind. "If I could fly I would have left here a long time ago."

I could feel Jimmy watching me. After a moment, he released my waist and reached into a pocket in his jacket, pulling something out. He took my hand and pressed it into my palm, closing my fingers to block it from view.

"Will you leave with me?" he asked softly, "Will you let me take you away from all of this? We can start a new life together."

My eyebrows furrowed as I took in what he said. Breaking the eye contact for a moment, I opened my hand. There on my palm is a thin silver ring. No diamonds or stones, just a beautiful silver band. I gasped slightly, more a small intake of breath. I looked back up at him, words not forming in my mouth.

"Think about it." He smiled at me and pressed a light kiss to my temple. "I'll be back in a while,"

I swallowed, bringing my mind under control. "Where are you going?"

"Someone rear-ended my car this morning; I've got to take it to be looked at."

I nodded, watching as he smoothed his jacket in the mirror. "I'll see you for lunch."

He turned to leave, walking out the door of my room. Quickly making up my mind, I followed him. "Jimmy," I called. He stops and glances back.

"Yes." I slid the band onto my ring finger. It fit perfectly. "I'll leave with you, live with you, whatever you'd like."

He smiled widely at me, knowing full well the implication I just made. "I'll see you later."

It was the next week that he asked me to set up the fateful meeting with Teddy. I didn't want to do it. Neither of us really knew the guy; it wasn't safe. He convinced me, even though all my senses were screaming at me not to. I offered to go with him, keep him company while he waited. He said he appreciated the offer, really he did, but he'd like to do it alone. It was safer that way. Yeah, much safer.

The one time I didn't listen to that woman's intuition in my gut was the one time I really needed to. What a fool I am, to think something so good would actually last for me. I've never had good luck with anything in my life...why should Jimmy be any different? I resist the urge to go right into my living room and smack Leonard for everything he has done to me. Smack him hard, hard enough to see blood and leave a mark. I would kill him, but murder isn't my forte.

That's one reason messing with him is going to be so fun. I can't kill him, but I can make his life as bad as mine. One of the nicknames Jimmy had for me was his 'conniving little vixen.' I liked that one. It fits me well, I'd say.

A noise in the hall brings me back to the present. Leonard's back from doing whatever he was doing. I close my eyes again as he comes back to the bed and crawls in. Putting on the angelic air I know gives him false comfort, I scoot closer to his warm body, leaning my head on his shoulder and putting an arm across his bare chest.

I'm gonna use him. I'm gonna use him good. Don't worry, Jimmy, your vixen is at it again...this time for you. Always for you.