With Every Heartbeat
By: Manna


Dedication: To Loulou.k! Thank you for the amazing amount of support you've offered me since I've come to this fandom. I really do appreciate it; I can't even express how much. You're such a sweetheart!


The air was quiet except for the sound of his breathing.

It was incredibly foreign to her, and yet…strangely familiar. And comforting… Ah, she didn't even know if she could describe how much his mere presence soothed her troubled heart. After that night, their lives were in fate's hands… But for this brief bit of time, this fleeting moment, they had control of their own lives.

A part of her wanted to wake him, wanted to beg him to take her away somewhere, to Arras, even, where they could be alone and where she could recover some of her strength.

She was dying. She knew it, and she suspected that he did as well. Earlier that afternoon, in fact, she remembered feeling as if death gripped her throat with icy fingers. She didn't want the last thing she remembered to be the bitter taste of blood on her tongue.

She scooted closer to his warmth, feeling his arm tighten around her, and watched his face in the little bit of moonlight that streamed in through her window. She could not remember seeing him look so peaceful since…since they were mere children… It was sad, she thought, but it was true…and there was nothing she could do to change that, now.

"André," she whispered, not knowing if he would hear her or not. "I love you…"

How many times had she said it? It would never be enough. Oh, if only she'd had the courage to say it sooner! If only she'd have recognized this love years and years ago… It had existed for so long, she thought, that it was impossible for her to see it for what it was. Somewhere deep down, she knew it had been there from the beginning, from the first time she'd seen those wide green eyes and that tousled dark hair.

She ran her fingers through it… It was the same as it was back then, only longer… She loved his hair.

The feeling of her fingers threading through his curls made his eyelashes flutter, and he sleepily bent his head to rub his nose against hers. "What is it, Oscar?" he murmured, his lips finding hers as his fingers spread across the skin of her back.

Ah, why was it that she could only ignore the fact that her illness was killing her, that her body was so very weak, when he was right there next to her?

"I love you…" she answered, her voice so soft and gentle that she could hardly believe she was the one who said it.

"I love you, too."

Oh, God! Did he know that he was everything to her, now? That he was her anchor, and she was nothing but a tiny rowboat with a hole in its worn bottom? She wanted to get away, and she wanted him to fly away with her, far from this uncertain future they were headed toward.

He held her close, and she drank him in; he was far more intoxicating than any wine. His hand rested over her heart, and she couldn't figure out why her chest ached so badly at his simple gesture. He did nothing, only let his hand sit there; she wondered if he felt her fear of the unknown in the unsteady rhythm that thudded against her ribcage.

And she wondered if he knew that he was the only certain, concrete thing in her life, now.



"It beats for you…"


Author Notes:

Well, this was lame. Anyway, the idea hit me at work, and you know how I am… I have to write when I get ideas. We never see what happens after Oscar and André actually get together that one night. (This is going a la manga, if you did not notice.) Oscar is afraid of being alone (as she says in the manga, asking André not to leave her), and I think she might be downright terrified of what lies ahead of her at that point—she doesn't know. And neither does André. But she knows she's got him, she can count on him, trust him… He won't leave her. And that, to Oscar, is comforting. She can only trust in one thing—and that is André himself.

Feedback is appreciated, as always!