A/N: Feeling depressed…it's summer and I'm stuck in school and working. I've been listening to sad love songs in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and English (it's a universal thing.) And just saw a sad movie so be prepared with tissues.

A Slow Goodbye

"A man never knows how to say goodbye; a woman never knows when to say it." ---Helen Rowland


"You can't have me." She declared proudly and the words stabbed his heart until he felt a hole taking over where the red beating flesh use to be.

"Farewell, my love." He solemnly struck the ground with his sword.

She wondered quietly what the captain was playing at. A pondering expression on her face as she tried to gauge his mysterious words.

He took one step. Another step and he can smell her sweet perfume. The faint scent reminded him of the days when the battles were heated and the lines were clearly drawn. There was yes or no and never maybe so. They knew who was right and wrong. Everything was simple and matter of fact without hesitation. It was ignorant bliss.

But those days were over. A faint memory like a passing shadow at night never coming around. He knew the end was near but to prolong its eventuality was futile. He regretted the time he spent daydreaming without considering the consequences. One thought was enough. A thought means you consider it. A thought means there's a possibility. But there's no possibility, there's no way the heavens will allow this. Like the frustrating answer to an equation, their relationship was undefined. Even they themselves have no solution to this seemingly simple problem.

Killed or be killed.

That's all there is to it. So why is a simple act so complicated?

He can't kill her.

She can't kill him.

"I can kill you." But her words were hollow and they didn't register in his mind.

"I won't do it." He declared proudly and she felt as if her world just shattered to a thousand pieces only to be put back haphazardly in order to make sense of those words.

"I hate you."

"I love you."

Simple words but they mean so much than just love and hate. Their lives were built and destroyed by those words. It is impossible to rebuild the exact same thing because there can only be an original. It is possible to rebuild a similar thing but it will never be the same.

She lost love before and now here it is again, in a different form. This vision was entirely distinct, so unlike her dreams, nothing like what she wished for.

He didn't want to be anyone's dark angel. He refused to see that he could be good for anyone. However, here he is, standing next to this guiding light, close enough to feel the soft rays of warmth. He took a step forward. Leaving his weapon behind…

She gasped. The Queen froze.

He stopped in front of her.

A cold hand caressed her cheek.

Liquid azure eyes drowned her conscience.

She felt the whole earth disappeared. Swept into the ocean, Tessa's legs buckled as the tide was too strong for her to stay upright.

Strong hands held her in place. Hard, cracked hands that stroke the faded scars of past battles through the fabric.

She couldn't breathe.

He couldn't move.

"I left you a long time ago." She cried into his arms.

"I won't let you go." He promised.

"You can't have me…" She tried again.

"I know." Grisham sighed. "I know…"

"Then why are you…" She wanted to push him away, but the currents were sweeping her further away from the shore.

"Let me go." A soft hand nudged his shaking chest.

"I can't. It's too late." He whispered.

"Forget about us. It can't happen. You know that." Her mind tried to convince him and her heart.

"Another lifetime…would that possible?" He questioned.

"Maybe. But everything's connected. This lifetime and the next. What happens here and now affects the next." Clear pearls of water appear on her sun-burned cheeks. She looked up into the now red sea that revealed the captain's response.

"Then I will wait a thousand lifetimes to be with you."

He was hurting her. He thought if he dared to loosen his hold she would disappear in the fog.

She sighed. "I don't love you, Grisham." Inside her heart screamed at her untruth.

"I never ask for your love, just your attention." He lied.

"This has to end now." She was anxious, he was holding her too tight and Tessa could feel her insides raging a war.

"It never began." His hands moved.

One last touch of her strands, his knuckles traced her jaw. His arms left her waist, his hands followed.

Air took over.

The land reappeared. An empty space surrounded her. And Tessa felt she lost something.

Breathing heavily as if she just ran miles from her hacienda to the ocean, she looked up into his empty eyes.

Nothing.

Her heart cried at the lost. Gone were the warm feelings from his embrace, the lightheaded feelings were replaced with a sudden clarity of being abandoned.

Tessa wish the heavens can just take her away with him.

"I can't love you." She knew it was futile, but somehow hoping he would listen to her. "I can't hurt you, because I mean nothing to you."

"Stop it. I know what you're doing." He glared but managed a weak scowl.

"Go away." She glowered when his accusation stroke a chord.

"Soon." He bowed.

"Why me?" She looked hard into his blank eyes. The forever unanswered question.

"Because you see me." His voice cracked. "I'm not invisible around you. You're the only one who doesn't see right through me."

"I don't…I…" In that moment, she wanted to hold him endlessly. She wanted to fill those vacant eyes with warmth and above all else, love. But her fear of the consequences prevented her from doing so.

The flashback of those tarot cards spoke a terror she didn't want to remember.

"I love you…I love you…I love…" The words echo more faintly as time tried to erase her memory.

"I want to hold you." She blurted out. Realizing too late this was the end.

"But you can't." He spoke near the edge of the rock cliff.

Her eyes widened behind her mask.

"Turn around." He commanded.

"No…wait…" She moved with her arm outstretched towards his back.

In one blink and he was gone.

"NOOOOOOOOOOO!"


do it. joy to love.

love me. let it snow.

love. it's holy night. love me

do it. fallin' love.

love me. let it glow.

love it's "I love you"

holy night. always love

joy to the love


"Ai shiteru" (I love you) by Mika Nakashima