A/N: I don't know what this is, and I know it could be considered overdone, but I hope you like it regardless. It started to stray into M territory, so I cut it off short... On a completely unrelated note: TONIGHT IS OFFICE THURSDAY, YA'LL! (I am pee-my-pants excited. I hope Jim "ties his shoe" again.)
They're going to die.
Someday soon – maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, next month, next year – they're going to die. It won't be easy. It won't be the sweet, peaceful surrender into an infinite land of dreams. It won't be a last breathing look at one another, a last kiss for love, a last glance for all those fragile memories they strove so hard to capture perfectly in their minds. It won't be a delicate drifting away or a fairytale goodbye.
They're going to die, and it will be painful. A killing curse to the chest. One too many stunners. The slow torment of the minority, the fate of the "good." Maybe they'll die apart, have to live without the other for a numb stretch of time, the ticking of the clock far worse to hearing ears than the ominous, echoing footsteps of death. Maybe – maybe – they'll die together, but that is far too hopeful, too unlikely; death is cruel and torturous in this age, a shadow that stalks even the daylight. Maybe he'll have to watch her die. Maybe he'll be forced to kill her with his own treacherous hand, a parasite Imperius in his brain, filtering through his waking nightmares and pushing him to murder his own heart.
Any way it happens – whenever, wherever, however – they're going to die. He's fighting a losing battle; the most important thing is going to be stolen from him no matter how hard he fights, no matter how many lives he saves, no matter how many spells and charms and curses that he learns. It doesn't matter. They're going to die.
The fire mocks him, flaming brightly like the life he wishes he could have, a lasting and forever spark. He sits and stares at it with his fists clenched on his thighs, his glasses tossed carelessly on the cushion beside him, his vision a little, admittedly, blurry. He can see her in that fire, her hair like a deep crimson leaf, her smile trusting and wide. He can see his hand reach towards her, a blast of green that rivals the brilliance of her eyes shooting from the tip of his wand, her head falling back, back, back –
His eyes close, the vision gone. He can feel it there, that parasite, that horrible nightmare, but he's here, now, alive, breathing. Her hand is a feather's caress on his shoulder, her voice a beacon in the storm. Wiping at his face, he looks up at her, his wife in her white chemise, her hair tumbling over her shoulders, her beauty agonizing and unfair, a scalding reminder.
She'll die one day.
He stands up and pulls her face to his. It's rough, forceful. His hands tangle within her mass of curls to pull her closer, his mouth probing, pushing, persistent. He wants to wipe clean the possibility of her death, wants to annihilate the mere thought of it, wants to make it disappear, to turn her into his own eternity, so he takes her in his arms and he breathes her in, bites at her lower lip when she presses herself against him, every line, every curve, breathing and alive. His hands roam, touching her face and her shoulders and her waist, the curving slope of her back, the warm, delicate feel of her neck underneath his hand.
With a sigh into his mouth and a steadying grip of her hands on his hips, she opens her lips to his, surrendering herself with a little throaty moan that almost undoes him. He pulls his face back before he can lose himself in her, crushes her against him, buries his face into her hair. She smells like citrus and laundry and their bed sheets, everything he wants to envelope himself in when he dies. He doesn't want the scent of blood or smoke or carnage anywhere near him; he wants his heaven, and that is this.
He wants this.
"You are forever," he murmurs against her ear. It's not exactly the most articulate thing he's ever said, and he's pretty sure he might be tearing up, but when she shivers against him and her nails slide against his back, her heart picking up the tempo of a song they orchestrate like a masterpiece, he knows that she's here, that she knows.
She's everywhere. She's alive. And when she pulls his face down so she can kiss his jaw, his neck, the shell of his ear, her hands warm and threaded into his hair, when she whispers into his ear and he shivers against her, he knows that this is providence.
Someday soon, they are going to die; tomorrow isn't guaranteed, choice isn't an option, and there is no running. But they've got tonight, and they are forever.