Perfect Beginning by AndromedaMarine

"I don't want to lose you," he breathed, his hands trembling as he reached out for her. Tears clouded his eyes when he felt her warm skin meet his. "I can't – I can't let you go." He lifted her hand to his lips and pressed them against her palm. "It wasn't supposed to end this way." His voice was barely audible.

She smiled weakly and moved closer to him, letting herself fall into his embrace. Her legs could barely keep her standing and it was a relief to sit on the balcony with him. "It's not the ending that matters, John," she said with a rasp. "It was the beginning, the perfect beginning that meant everything to me, John, not this." She reached up and cupped his cheek with her other hand, tenderly running her fingers across his sideburns and stubble. "Every little thing was worth it, even if this is the end."

A stray tear worked its way onto his cheek, where she leaned in and kissed it away. "Can't be the end, not now. Too soon."

"Beginning, John. Remember that. Right now is the beginning." She pressed her lips to his in a chaste kiss, lacking the energy to do more. "I don't have any regrets, John. My only mistake was not seeing the truth sooner."

His bottom lip trembled as she spoke. He couldn't take it. "Are you sure they can't do anything? More radiation, more Ancient treatments, or chemo? There must be a sarcophagus in Milky Way – we can get you there, just hold on..." He took her face in his hands and pulled her tight against his body, not able to accept that she really was leaving.

"No," she whispered as she rested her lips and head against his neck. "Not this time, John. If this wasn't supposed to happen then it wouldn't have. Remember this: you won't lose me. I'll always be by your side, even if you can't see me. Take care of Gabriel. I love you."

He felt her go limp in his arms and the tears came heavily, making it impossible for him to breathe, he was drowning in this hell – this horribly demonic hell... "I love you," he said for the last time, kissing her lips for the last time. A brilliant white light appeared and he no longer felt her body in his arms. He opened his eyes, still crying, and saw a faint image of her face in the whiteness. She reached out a shimmering, white hand and he leaned into it, barely feeling the pure energy that she now was.

"Not the end, my love. It's the perfect beginning," Elizabeth said, and she disappeared into the night.