A/N: I do not own lfn

Pathway to Hell

My whole body aches, but I barely feel it. The muscles in my back scream in pain, but I am deaf to it's pleas. My eyes sting, and soon tears overflow to sooth the daggers.

Everything inside agrees - all I want to do is crawl in to a dark corner and die. Well, I managed the dark, cold corner at least.

Today has been hell. I can't imagine how much worse it can get. I can't imagine how much more of these terrors I can stand to bear.

Madeline died right in front of me. Just an hour or so ago. She stared straight at me, then went limp. When she left the room, it was by a stretcher. She was wheeled out of the evaluation, her pulse gone. I had to watch Operation's tearful, public goodbye to her.

I'll have to live, from now on, knowing that her death is on my conscience. At this point, I'm not so sure why that matters. After all, killing is what I do for a living. It's my job. One more is not so bad, right? One more to add to the dozens. The hundreds. The too many.

But this is personal. Madeline wasn't always someone who I thought was a cold, heartless woman. She was once someone I looked to with respect. With awe. She had been my teacher. The one who taught me oh so much. The woman that Michael had called, just before introducing me to her, my new Mother. For at least a little while as I worked on getting my bearings in such a strange, then new world, she had been a mother figure to me.

Memories that I've never cared to remember before start to hit me full force. The way that she used to put aside certain clothes she'd know I'd like so that no one else could take them before my next lesson. The way she wiped away my tears as she helped me work through my tearful sessions with her. I now know she was only building up my pysch file, but it had meant so much to me at the time.

She had even overlooked many of my mistakes. Gave me sympathetic smiles and warm hugs. True, it all stopped when my relationship with Michael started. When she viewed me as a threat. But while it lasted, it was nice. She had been the mother that I should have had long before I met her.

But now she was dead. I killed her. I killed the woman that had acted motherly to me. I know that there had been many times where I hated and despised her for things she had done. I know that by now, I should have a heart of stone when I think of her. She had tried to kill me. Tried to kill Michael. Yet still, it hurts more than I could have ever expected it to.

Not for the first time, I regret taking the dirty job of being Oversight's mole. I had wanted it before because I wanted change. Well, I was getting change. I just didn't want it to be like this. Somehow, my fantasy had built it up that everyone would be happy in the end. At least, I'd be happy and Michael would be too. But I'm not happy. I'm miserable. I haven't seen Michael yet, but I know he must be in his own private agony at my terrible betrayal towards him. And Madeline, she was dead. Operations's heart was broken at seeing his lover gone. At one time, I had compared those two to my relationship with Michael.

I fear that our fate are one of the same. Madeline is gone, Operations's lover is gone. I betrayed Michael. Surely he'd hate me now and he'd be gone from me as well.

I shudder. My thoughts refuse to tred upon further ground. About what I must tell a hurting Michael when I see him next. Not words of compassion, but words of condemned fate. Of death. I'm sentencing him to cancellation - something he should have done to me before I ever graduated to being an operative. I've done so much wrong. My mistakes outnumber my good. I've hurt everyone around me, anyone who's ever put an ounce of trust in me.

Yes, I believe cancellation for me all those years ago would have been better than how things turned out this way.

I check my watch. It's time. Mr. Jones had given me some time alone to sort out my thoughts after what I witnessed. So that I could have a level head while talking to Michael. He had even granted me privacy when I talk to my love. Or, my former love. He won't want that title soon. Mr. Jones has been very agreeable. It's on my part where I find all the fault.

Standing up, I stretch out my trembling, cramped muscles in my back and legs. And then I start walking. Up stairs, many of them. Up to my fate. To my doom. To witness the further death of everything that means anything to me. I've sentenced myself to this. I'm forced to go through with it.

It's almost over. And then I can go home and fall apart again, before reevaluating my life. Before I open my eyes and look around me, knowing this is how it's going to be from now on.

My guilty conscience is heavy enough to force me to continue stumbling and falling as I walk up the pathway to my own, brought on hell.