AN: Um, yeah. I really don't know where this came from. I was originally going to write a lighthearted romance inspired by a song I've been listening to, but it decided to take a mind of it's own and turn into something completely different. Oops. :-P

TITLE: Sacrifice
AUTHOR: LadyBianca
RATING: PG-13. Warning for character death.
SPOILERS: Trance spoilers. I think.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything.
ARCHIVE: Go ahead, but let me know that you have.
SUMMARY: A dark one-shot Trance/Dylan. What's the point of knowing what will happen if you can't change it?

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

They sit side by side on the cozy sofa, his arm around her shoulders. Snugly, she slides into a comfortable resting spot against his side. They fit together like puzzle pieces, and it feels so right.

They sit together in contented silence for a time, until she feels a slight change in his body position. He is not as relaxed, and as she looks over at his face she can see the worry etched into it.

"You can't fix every wrong in the universe, Dylan. You know that." Her tone is carefully gentle.

"I know, Trance. But you know that I have to try. They need someone to negotiate peace. I have the training." He answers, his tone not so gentle. An undercurrent of tension crackles in his voice, though it isn't directed at the woman herself.

"What if I told you that you weren't going to help anything by doing this. What if it caused great pain?"

The man turns his head to look at her, but she stoically keeps her gaze on the wall in front of her. "Do you know that for sure?" He asks, his voice softly insistent.

The golden woman didn't answer for a long while. As the silence stretches, they return to some semblence of their previous affectionate resting position. When she finally speaks up, he has to strain to catch her words.

"You're not going to make it."

"Trance..." he begins in a warning tone, but the woman stiffens and draws away from him, cutting him off before he can finish. She looks at him, a strange vulnerability showing in her eyes.

"You're going to try, but before you can even get planetside, your slipfighter will be destroyed. The crew will be torn apart. Beka will take over as captain, but she won't have the same power you did to hold us all together."

The man merely looks at her for a moment and then asks, slightly indelicately, "And what about the planet?"

"Your death will shock both sides into ending the war, and you'll be honoured as a hero." She answers, in a clipped tone.

He sighs. It is a tired sound, the sigh of one who has fought many battles. The sigh of one who has lost. "Trance..." He begins again, but this time it is he who can't finish the sentence. She looks at him, but neither of them can hold the other's gaze. They know each other too well.

"How can I place myself over the lives of millions?" He says. His statement carries the undercurrent of a decision, rather than a question. "I can't be that selfish."

She turns to him, her eyes clearly showing all of her want, her need. "I can't help being that selfish." The woman replies, in a whisper.

"I'm their only chance for peace, Trance. I can't ignore that."

"I know." A small tear glistens on her cheek, and he wraps her in a tight hug.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

It happens slowly, at least to Trance. First, the slipfighter seems to glow from the inside, and then a brilliant burst of orange flame slowly grows until it envelops the entire vessel. The fireball slowly contracts into a pinpoint of light and then winks out, leaving the afterimage burning behind her eyelids. An intake of breath and a muttered exclamation behind her makes her turn from the viewscreen to meet the shocked eyes of everyone on the bridge.

"Rommie, scan for life signs!" Beka calls out, her voice tight with anxiety.

"There are none." The answer comes back moments later, but Trance doesn't hear it. She doesn't need to. Before Rommie can finish the sentence, Trance flees from the bridge, leaving the rest of the crew stunned.

The passageways blur together as she runs, but eventually she emerges into a small compartment furnished only with a low wooden table. On top of the table sits a bonsai tree. The tree almost seems to glow, the leaves are so vibrantly green. The golden woman approaches the table and stares at the tree for a moment.

"I tried, Dylan." Her words come out in a broken whisper.

Slowly, deliberately, she fits the blades of a pair of clippers around the largest branch and squeezes.