Author's note: I really loved this movie, but I hated the fact that Annie had to die. I know artistically it was the right choice, but that doesn't make it any less sad. Anyhow This is my first fic for a movie, but I've done plenty for anime so hopefully I don't disappoint:


Annie may have survived death, but she isn't so sure if she can survive the life that she has got herself into, but then again at least she has Nick, not that she deserves him. Nick and Annie, of course!

Life is Harder than Death

Life is harder than death.It is cold, cruel, and unforgiving. Death is fair. There is no feeling, and it is the end of everything, the pain, the sorrow, and the hate. It is also the end of hope, joy, and love. The reason for struggling in such a thing as a Life is not its cold, cruelty, or its lack of forgiveness, but its beauty, warmth, and most of all love. These are the reasons we live.

Chapter One: Coming Back

Annie's head was on his shoulder, her curly hair sprawled on him her delicate hand which was once just pale was now covered in blood, and it seemed all of her was slowly paling, she could feel the life flowing out of her. So, this is what death feels like? At least I did one good thing, she added to her thoughts as she felt his heartbeat under the hand that held her mother's necklace.

Nick finally noticed the blood stained on her hand. How could he be so blind? God please don't let her die, not after all she has been through…Not after all he had been through…Not after all they had been through. His voice was weak from not using it, but luckily for him, it had not been too long so he shouted as loud as he could, "Help! Help!" Struggling to pull himself up, he kept shouting with all he could. "Help, nurse, anyone!"

Immediately coming to his side was his mother. "Nicky, honey calm down," she tried to get him to relax, brushing his hair lightly and somehow ignoring Annie. "I can't believe you are awake," tears began to pour down her cheeks at the feeling of relief, her eyes gazing down at his; however Nick wouldn't let Annie be forgotten.

"Mom, please look at her!" he pleaded moving his head downward in the direction of Annie. The older woman eyes followed where Nick was looking at to see the girl, who she believed had cause such pain, but at the same time brought the most precious thing in the world back to her. She knew regardless of the mixed emotions she had about the girl no mother could deny her son anything at such a moment. "Help her please," she gazed upward to see his tears coming.

Quickly, she left his side to find a nurse coming down the hall, "What is going on?" The woman who asked had bright blue scrub shirt with deer on it, and wore pants to match; her red hair was wrapped in a tight bun, holding a chart in the one hand. "Is your son alright?"

"Yes, but the girl with him isn't. She needs help immediately," Mrs. Powell said in a rush. The nurse quickly made her way past the mother into the room to see Annie, who seem to be at peace with the world, lying on the chest of the young man whom she almost killed. Looking downward, she noted that the girl had indeed been shot. "I need a gurney asap!" she shouted out. As fast as she said it, the nearest attendants went to an elevator to retrieve it. The nurse checked the girl's pulse and a couple of other things. Annie was fading away from the world.

"Is she going to be alright?" Nick asked staring at the young woman in his arms. You saved me more than you'll ever know.

The woman had soft and kind blue eyes that stared into his with sympathy, "I can't say now. She is probably going to be in critical condition for awhile, if she does survive."

Nick didn't know what else to say as he watched them take her body away. Fear pulled at his heart. His mother came back in offering the best smile she could, "Oh Nicky!" The tears were still there, and more seem to be following, "If I had let you…" she cried, throwing herself on him.

"Mom don't…" he stroked her hair. "I think we both made mistakes. I never tried to understand what you are going through, but right now all I am concerned for is Annie."

"I know, though I don't understand why." She hid her anger horribly. She blamed Annie for everything, but most people didn't have the opportunity to see things like Nick had. His near death had been something he hoped not to repeat until he was old, gray, and ready to go but he got to see things in another light. "She almost killed you!"

"Mom, please, can we talk about this after I'm better and we know what's going to happen to Annie?"

His mother sighed. "Of course. I'm just so glad you're okay. I'm not sure what I would have done…," she put his face in her hands, "without you. I could live without your father. I don't like to, but I can't live without you. You understand don't you? You are my world now."

"I know mom." There was nothing but silence for a moment.

Until she spoke, "Well," she let go of his face, "I think you need some rest. I'll have some water brought in here. So why don't you rest and…," she hesitated at first, but she knew in her heart it was what he wanted and so for now it was the right thing, "I'll check on Annie after I finish some paperwork."

"Thanks mom and…," she stopped at the door. "I love you."

"I know, Nicky, I know, and I love you, too."

"I know," he replied managing a small smile, before she left. With that he feel asleep.

Annie wandered the halls of the hospital. So this is what this was like for you Nick? She thought to herself. "I can't be dead yet, then," she sighed. Part of her wished she would die already, knowing it was a fate she couldn't run from. Another part was glad she would be able to spend more time with Nick. Why would she be so glad though? I almost killed him! What do I expect us to be buddies after this, no way! He should hate me, why doesn't he? "Oh Nick, why didn't I see you before?" she whispered to herself leaning against a wall. "If I had it wouldn't have to be this way. I wish I could take it back, I really do, but I am glad I met you," she said before heading down the halls, searching for his room.

Finally finding it, she was relieved he was alone. Sitting down on a stool next to him, she brushed his bangs away. He was so handsome with his brown hair and bright eyes. How did she not see him? "Can you see me?" she asked in a soft whisper. She watched as his eyes slowly opened, looking up at her.

"I see you," he told her with a slight smile. "How are you?"

"Well, dying obviously," she retorted, "but I think I am okay. I did one good thing, so I'm ready to let go."

"No," Nick grasped her arm in panic. "I'm not ready for you to leave. Please don't go! You wouldn't let me so I won't you!" He held on firmly and his beautiful eyes gazed into hers, his voice barely a whisper, "I won't let you."

A soft smile was on her face and tears began to form. "Why? I almost killed you." It didn't make any sense to her. "Why do you pity me?"

"I don't," he replied, "I could never pity you." He began, "I admit I was pretty pissed at first but then..." Nick coughed roughly a few times. She reached over for the water to hand it to him, but before he could get it, it returned back to its place, as if it had never been touched. "That goes with being invisible you can affect nothing by your own hands."

"I see. That had to really suck," she replied, wiping her tears away. "I think I should go. Maybe I'll check on Victor." He nodded in understanding then reached over to touch her hand before she went. Looking over her shoulder, she seemed shocked by such a kind gesture, but then regained her composure before disappearing.

Arriving at her father's house, she found her father weeping with her step-mother at lost what to do. "I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't say this, but she had it coming." Her father turned to his wife.

"I know," he admitted. "I know."

"If she makes it what are you going to do?" she asked.

"I don't know. I won't be taking care of her. God please help because I do love her, but I can't take care of her. I'm trying everything to make sure Victor doesn't turn out like her."

"Then perhaps it is for the best if she doesn't make it," the woman said with remorse. "She wouldn't have a much of life anyhow."

Annie wasn't surprised at the lack of love from her step-mother; from the moment they met, the woman had thought of her nothing but a nuisance. The curly brunette, who looked so much like her mother, had done everything to get rid of the woman before her father married her causing them to get off on the wrong foot immediately. That was right before she started stealing. Until now, she really couldn't remember why she started stealing:

Annie walked angrily down the street. She hated her step-mother, HATED her more than anything. That woman had changed her father into a man she didn't even know anymore. He had been with that woman while their mother was sick. The man thought his children didn't know, but Annie sure as hell knew and would never forgive him for it. How could he do that to their mother?

Annie shook her head. "I really hate that bitch. Wouldn't even let me borrow money to buy my brother a present!" she complained to herself loudly as she continued to walk down the street. Something caught her eye in the window. There was some really nice jewelry in the window. If she had something like that she could…buy her brother a gift. Didn't her step-mother have some diamond jewelry? Two birds with one-stone would be killed. She would get Victor something nice fore once and she'd get her revenge, with her mind set she went home immediately.

Once noting that her step-mother and father had gone out for the evening, she made sure Victor was sleeping soundly. She watched him for only a moment. He was so tiny sleeping in his small toddler bed, and so peaceful too. "I'll get you something nice," she stated firmly. "I promise." She walked away and heading to her father's room.

Then she snuck into the lovely jewelry box, having long ago remembering the key was. She used to love playing with her mother's jewelry when she was younger. Why did her father let that woman touch something of her mother's. He told her, 'it might as well get some use' and that her mother wouldn't want it to go to waste. She briefly wondered as to why her father didn't give it to her then. Cracking it open, she saw beautiful jewelry. She stole the first thing that caught her eye, quickly putting it in her pocket. She quickly went out into the night, looking for a man who promised her some money for her mother's necklace. He was a man working at the club not too far from her house.

"Hey, I have something for you." The man looked strangely at her.

"What are you doing out here by yourself little one?"

"I'm not little. I'm 13 and a half," she retorted, "What will you give me for this?" she held out a beautiful, glimmering diamond necklace.

"Where did you get it?" he stared questionably at her.

"Does it matter?" she asked. She was a tough little girl by nature, but was frightened by the older man's presence.

"No, I suppose not, 2."

"2 dollars? You got to be kidding me," she whined. He laughed lightly.

"No, two grand little one," she looked at him surprised. "I'll take it."

"I knew you would."

And that was how it started: stealing from her step-mother out of revenge. Eventually, she got caught, so she quit stealing from them and began to steal from stores, making thousands of dollars a week. Most of the time after that it was for the thrill more than for the money.

She sighed, "How did I let my life get so screwed up?" After asking herself that, she let her father and his wife continue their conversation as she headed towards Victor's room.

He was playing with his airplane. "Hello Annie," he greeted as he looked up at her. It surprised her that he could see her, when he wasn't supposed to be able to. She understood why Nick could, because he had been so close to death and their recent bond.

"You can see me?" she questioned walking towards him.

"Why wouldn't I?" he wondered back, twirling his plane around.

"I don't know," answering honestly, something she hadn't been able to do with him for a long time.

"Your hair is down. I like it."

"Thanks. I think I do too, though it is probably a mess."

"No, it's perfect."

"Really," she walked over to the mirror, wondering if she could see herself, surprised indeed that she could. Even more shocked that she was perfect. Her outfit might not have been beautiful, but there was no blood on it. Actually there was no blood on her at all, and her hair. Every curl was in its place, and there was no frizz. It was perfect. She looked perfect. She couldn't help but grin, realizing something she had forgotten a long time ago. "I am pretty, aren't I?"

"Yeah, I guess so," Victor replied. Not really thinking she went to tickle him, making him release the grasp on the plane he had been painting. Everything seemed to go back as if time was turning back. The plane came back into Victor's hand, then he went back to the position in was in before.

That was weird. "Well, I got to go now," she stated. "I need to go check on something."

"Are you coming back this time?" he questioned gazing up at her.

"Victor, I love you, you know that," she crouched down to be eye level with him.

"Sis, are you okay?"

"I…may not be coming back…," the tears began to well up, but before they could fall she disappeared…

Doctor Michaelis sighed. He had been in surgery for hours working on the young woman, Annie. It had been one of his most difficult operations, considering the girl could die on the table and since she seemed to be half way there anyway. But she hadn't died, it was a miracle and he knew it. He never been a spiritual man but tonight, he was considering it. He never came so close to a patient dying on the table, who had actually made it. Though, he knew she had a long road ahead, he couldn't help be hopeful that she would make it where others hadn't.

"Doctor," a woman with a clipped board called. "Her vital signs are well. I think we should inform the parents immediately."

"Yes, and could you please tell Mrs. Powell as well?" he looked up at the young dirty blond girl with her hair in a ponytail, wearing purple puppy embellished scrubs.

"But sir," she retorted. Yep! She was no doubt new—about to preach protocol to him.

"I know what we are normally supposed to do dear," he pulled himself up, his tired brown eyes looked into hers. "But could you do me this one favor, please,"

"Of course Doctor Michealis. I'll inform her at once," giving him a light smile before he left.

He sighed. "New Nurses, always think every rule is not meant to be broken."

Author's Commentary:

The story came from was inspired by the fanfiction You Understand by snowstargirl, if you haven't read it yet, please do it was amazing! Anyhow I'm going back through and editing things. I also plan watching the movie again, so I can get re-inspired and write a little better. I also want to say thanks to my new beta:

Bellatrix Kale