The characters from Moonlight are copyrighted by CBS, and no infringement is intended.

Get out your tissues, maybe—this one is pretty sad.

Two takes on the same scene…

Either/or

EITHER

The late afternoon sun slanted through the blinds in a warm honey gold, highlighting dust-motes dancing on the faint current of air in the room. Beth plucked peevishly at the bedclothes, trying to adjust them more to her liking. She regarded her hand with more than a little dismay. She barely recognized it, and she wasn't sure when the smooth, strong, capable fingers had transformed into the wrinkled, weak, parchment-skinned parodies she saw now. She supposed it had been gradual, but it seemed like only a few days ago, she'd been young.

Weak. That seemed to be an apt description for her whole being. It was a struggle just to draw in each breath, and she was so tired. She knew that soon, very soon, she would have to rest. But not just yet.

"Mick?" she said, her voice barely audible even in the hushed atmosphere. "Are you there?"

He moved out of the shadows, slowly. "Of course. I'm here. I've always been here."

Beth tried to smile at him. "I think…I think it's going to be over very soon now."

"I know."

She turned her head with an effort, wanting to look at him again. She'd always loved to look at him. "Was it worth it?" she whispered. "Was everything worth it?"

Mick smiled at her. "You asked me once, why I went on living. It was for you. It was always for you. So yes, I'd say it was worth it."

Beth felt the tears gathering in her eyes. "I always loved you," she said.

He nodded in response. "We love each other, Beth. Forever."

"Hold my hand, Mick."

He took her hand, and she lapsed into silence. As the sun set, her breathing slowed, and finally stopped.

Mick sat with her for a long time. When at last he stood, fumbling for the cane he had needed, these last few years, he looked down at her hand, still in his. She had thought her hands unbeautiful, as they aged, and he'd once joked that his wrinkles and hers fit together perfectly. He put her hand gently beside her, and looked at her one last time. "My Beth," he said.

OR

The room had that still quiet that only seems to come at the very tag end of the night. Beth plucked peevishly at the bedclothes, trying to adjust them more to her liking. She regarded her hand in the dim light with more than a little dismay. She barely recognized it, and she wasn't sure when the smooth, strong, capable fingers had transformed into the wrinkled, weak, parchment-skinned parodies she saw now. She supposed it had been gradual, but it seemed like only a few days ago, she'd been young.

Weak. That seemed to be an apt description for her whole being. It was a struggle just to draw in each breath, and she was so tired. She knew that soon, very soon, she would have to rest. But not just yet.

"Mick?" she said, her voice barely audible even in the hushed atmosphere. "Are you there?"

He moved out of the shadows, slowly. "Of course. I'm here. I've always been here."

Beth tried to smile at him. "I think…I think it's going to be over very soon now."

"I know."

She turned her head with an effort, wanting to look at him again. She'd always loved to look at him. "Was it worth it?" she whispered. "Was everything worth it?"

Mick smiled at her. "You asked me once, why I went on living. It was for you. It was always for you. So yes, I'd say it was worth it."

Beth felt the tears gathering in her eyes. "I always loved you," she said.

He nodded in response. "We love each other, Beth. Forever."

"Hold my hand, Mick."

He took her hand, and she lapsed into silence. As the sun rose, her breathing slowed, and finally stopped.

Mick sat with her for a long time. When at last he stood, with the smooth youthful grace he'd always had, he looked down at her hand, still in his. She had thought her hands unbeautiful, as they aged, and he'd once joked that if he could have wrinkles, his would be far worse than hers. He put her hand gently beside her, and looked at her one last time. "My beautiful Beth," he said, his voice breaking. "My Beth."