A/N - Hey, it's been awhile since I wrote a fanfic, this is a short, one-shot deal. I hope you find something in it. If you do, leave a review in my basket, thanks! :)


It didn't make much sense to a man of science like himself. Things happened for a reason, and it wasn't as mysterious and holy as everyone made it out to be. There were causes, effects, reactions, consequences.

Consequences can be prevented, this he knew. It was how he worked. You didn't let the ion codes get too close, lest they switch traits. Don't dangle your lab coat sleeve too close to the Bunsen burner. Don't spill hydrochloric acid.

Don't let the only girl who ever made you feel like this die.

It was too late.

And now, she was gone.

And now, he sat, tears trembling in his eyes, slowly tearing the play apart. He clenched the pages tightly in his grasp, as if they, too, might slip away if he didn't keep it from happening. The normally-satisfactory ripping sound couldn't penetrate the echo of words in his ear, like a skipping compact disc, over and over....Luke's voice.

Matthew, something happened to Judith tonight...

Luke had never called him Matthew before. He wondered mournfully if Judith had even known that was his first name.

He stared, isolated, as the pages fluttered to the floor, mixed up and in no kind of order. Kind of like how his life felt right now.

Life is an experiment. There are variables, controls...and he, he was a scientist. He was supposed to keep it all in control....keep it all together. But he couldn't bring himself to ask her that night.

He had done it. He'd memorized the whole damn play. Hamlet, Ophelia, Polonius, all of it, feeling as exalted as a child eyeing a brightly wrapped gift, knowing exactly what was underneath the paper, something they had been waiting for for so long, and if only they could be patient, it would finally be theirs.

Judith was gone.

And now...

Would she ever know how many kinetic theory chat room meetings he'd blown off to read Shakespeare, just to prove to her how great she was?

He wondered if she had been scared. They had all just ran, left her there. And he was wearing a space helmet. He was wearing a fake space helmet as she died.

What are the odds of finding another girl just like her? He could've easily calibrated the ratio, but he didn't feel like it. What was the point, now? Science had failed him. Science was the reason he had lost her. Abandoning science for something deeper was the one thing that had brought him as close as he would ever get, and now, it was too late. He tore another page out, and his eyes hung on one line. The most famous line in the entire play.

To be, or not to be?

It wasn't a question for him, not anymore.

Without her, he just...