Sensing You Near

A/N: You pick the pairing for this one-shot.

Response to Prompt 22: Senses on the Tammy Drabbles site.

He feels her tension and tentatively he touches her arm, "Be careful." She says, voice so quiet, he barely hears it. "I will" he replies, wishing that his heart didn't hurt so much. He feels her hand on his cheek and smiles grimly.

He moves away, to stand at the window, staring down at the world he calls home. The sun is bright and the sky is blue, but nothing he says or does can stop the pain that builds in his chest. He hears a rustle of silk and briefly notices her form standing by him. "Please…be careful," she whispers, voice choked by tears.

"I will." He says again, not believing his own words. He turns to her and in the silence that follows, embraces her, smelling her faint almond perfume as he nuzzles his face in her neck. "I love you." He murmurs, feeling tears in his eyes.

As he exits the room and hurries down to mount his horse, she watches from the window, her face a mask of hope for his life.

0o0

As he charges down to face his enemy, an arrow hits his side and he falls into the dirt with a cry. Blood spurts from the wound and he bites his lip from the pain as sweat drips into his eyes and memories flood into his mind.

Memories of her and the love she gives him.

Slowly, as hours crawl by, he feels the blood loss take its toll and his body drifts in and out of consciousness. Dizzy and confused he doesn't see the sword come down on him until too late and his face is forever a façade of horror, an unuttered cry in his throat.

0o0

Soldiers bring him home and she collapses to her knees in utter shock, for seeing him there, not alive but dead, is bringing back painful memories of his life.

That night, she dreams of him, tossing and turning in her sleep, tears on her cheeks.

In her dreams she hears him speak and laugh. Whispers and murmurings and things he said come back to her.

In her dreams she feels his kiss. His lips upon her own, the simplicity of those moments, come back to her.

In her dreams she sees him. He, so full of life in her mind, and now so different with the paleness of death come back to her.

In her dreams she knows his familiar scent. The faint smell of soap and cleanliness fills her nose and she smiles in her sleep.

Upon the morning, she wakes up with a flame of grief in her heart, and as she slowly dresses for the funeral, she lets a few tears fall from her eyes, as a memory replays in her mind:

She hears him whisper: "I love you" in her ear again. Feels his touch, warm against her skin and feels her own heart beat in fear for him.

She never says anything back for her fear of losing him is too great, so she keeps silent.

And instead a smile appears amid her tears today, as they light the pyre, for she knows he hears her quiet whisper above the roar of the flames.

"I love you."

She lingers, staring at the ashes, tears falling into the dust. She feels his hand on her shoulder and turns to instead see nothing but the tranquility of the courtyard. Sighing heavily, she turns back, but casts a final glance behind her.

For she knows he is near.