Rating: G

Disclaimer: I own no rights to Dark Angel, or to Enya

A/N: Okay, I've somewhat purposefully been taking an extended vacation from Dark Angel fan fic writing/reading/etc. I'm not back yet, but the idea for this fic just came at me outta nowhere. Anyway, this fic is kind of like Ende Neu...I'm feeling cultured lately. First gave you some German...now, enjoy some Gaelic! Also, I've been told that imagery is one of my strong points, so I thought I'd run with that a little bit here (i.e. I know characterization is off...don't bother telling me).

By the way: Collin, this one's for you! Probably not exactly what you envisioned when I said, "I'm writing you a fic!" but I hope you like it :-)

(A Thought)

"Smaointe, ar an lá
Raibh sibh ar mo thaobh
Ag ínse scéil
Ar an doigh a bhí
Is cuimhín liom an lá
Gan gha'sgan ghruaim
Bígí liomsa i gconaí
Lá's oích."

There he was, just standing there like all of time, heaven, and hell had frozen in place. I think he was surprised to see me, I know I was surprised to see him. For a few moments, I myself thought for sure that everything had stopped except the incessant pounding of my heart. It thrummed in my ears, playing its own little song of joy...of relief. Against the heat of my blood coursing, I drew a breath.

My heart...my strong, willing heart opened, bleeding a liquid honey that quickly overtook my system.

One moment, one fragile thread of time and fate twining together - he and I, it was all we needed.

He blinked, slowly...lazily. I could read a thousand thoughts in that simple movement - thoughts I'd always known had been there and a few I didn't want to see. His love, his pain, his sacrifice, all were born into my world with that achingly simple glance. I suppose he didn't realize that all of his walls were broken, his mask stripped of its fancy paint and feathers. Light as an ancient dust, they'd fallen gracefully about his feet.

Breathing, somehow, was no longer important. Suspended, my lungs drug to a lethargic stop. As the last bit of air left my body, he tilted his head, coming toward me. I was afraid that if he touched me, he would disappear - dissolve into the night like a distant echo. I'd known him so long, and he'd meant so much to me. Yet, I knew that his strong, handsome features would never again infuse me with such overwhelming peace.

I'd thought that I would never see him again, that I would go to my grave having left hundreds of things unsaid, a thousand thoughts pushed into the dark recesses of the back of my mind. At the same time, I somehow knew that none of those things needed to be said. The spoken word was inane. Frustration only resulted from my attempts to put my feelings into words, to forge a tangible likeness in the English language of the heavenly sensations that washed through my mind.

"Max." My name rolled from his tongue, wafting through the air until it surrounded me, closed in upon me. I'd almost forgotten the sound of his voice, the dark timber that was as smooth as silk and rich as the world's finest chocolate. I relished that sound, the idea of his tongue and breath creating something that clearly referred so wonderfully, so sweetly to me.

My erratic heartbeat slowed as he neared me, his presence strong and nearly overpowering.

Just a few more moments, moments like that, and Heaven would have nothing left to offer me. Such bliss, such deep seeping peace was surely of an unearthly source.

His blue eyes searched mine, his lashes low and casting crescent shadows across his cheeks. I'd never noticed them before, never noticed how they were showered with flecks of gray, green, and gold that shimmered like the last remnants of a setting sun on a high, clear mountain lake. I'd never noticed how he'd avoided eye contact with me, always casting his gaze down or to the side. Except when he wanted to make a point, he would look at me then - but those were different eyes than the ones I was presently faced with.

The idleness that seemed to fill him was contagious. His wide shoulders and broad chest were relaxed, easy. I don't honestly remember ever seeing him quite so relaxed. There was a kind of freedom within him, one that I envied. There were no bindings holding him down, no needs preoccupying his ever busy mind. It was as if he'd spouted wings and come to me from the sky, descending upon my consciousness with the grace of a butterfly.

"Shh," he commanded when I opened my mouth to speak. His finger came forward, landing on my lips with a gentle pressure. Slowly, his long body lowered itself down beside me, all of his movements languid and watery. It was like watching him swim toward me, moving the air aside to find me hidden in one of its hollows.

Ours was a relationship to which he had always been the giver. He'd given me everything, gifting me with an unconditional love I didn't deserve and then the very essence of himself, filling a dangerous void that had brought me within a stone's throw of death's door. It had never occurred to me before that he was the passionate, devoted type. I'd taken all of that for granted, until he'd sacrificed until he could give no longer.

His head loomed close to mine, and I could smell him. It wasn't a cologne, or even the clean scent of a soap. The scent was purely him - nothing over the top, and nothing underneath. I locked that smell away, saving it forever in the depths of my deepest memories. Still, it was difficult to believe that he was actually there, sitting beside me as if nothing had changed.

I wasn't quite prepared when his forehead came into contact with my own. The feel of his hot skin brought me crashing through all of the tangled thoughts and emotions that had come to cloud my mind. In a moment of remarkable clarity, I closed my eyes. His fingers were brushing along my jaw line, from the back near my ear all the way to the tip of my chin then back again. Back and forth, his touch was hypnotizing.

"Max." He breathed my name again, and I felt like crying. It took me a few moments to recognize that the hot drips on my face were not tears of my own. His cheek brushed mine, and he nuzzled me lovingly, almost sadly. It was frightening to see him cry, like watching a strong megalithic monument crumble to pieces. His salt tears ran from his skin to mine, bathing me with his sadness. I could taste them on my tongue, and all I knew was that I wanted him to stop.

"I love you," he whispered, his voice broken, but mending. There was healing within him, and I recognized his sadness as being different from any that he'd ever shown me. It was farewell that spawned his tears, not depression.

I closed my eyes again, unable to watch the very semblance of strength in my life leave me. He pressed his lips to my cheek, merely a brush of contact that sent shivers racing up my spine. It was at this point that I felt my own tears spill down my face, and when I opened my blurry eyes, he was gone.

My brother, my blood, my life...faded into the darkness like a shadow. Left behind were the remnants of his goodbye, the salty taste in my mouth and the pounding of my heart - his heart. He was gone, yet we were one. Together, forever...Zack had found me once again.

I let a long breath go into the dark night, and laid back again in my bed. The downy pillow and covers welcomed me into their folds, cradling my grief and supporting my new found sense of peace.

The sound of my heartbeat filled the night with a soft, rhythmic thumping. For long moments, I felt that he was still there beside me, standing in the shadows and listening to the life within me. A life that was no longer just mine, but shared between us. A gift from him to me, one of love and sacrifice.

With his tears still drying on my cheeks, I let the low hum of my body lull me to sleep.

"I think of the day
That you were beside me
Telling a story
Of the old life
I remember the day
Without want and without gloom
Be with me always
Day and night."