Pre-notes:

First off, I would like to point out that this is my first try at a Diego x Mia fanfiction. Any comments would be greatly appreciated :)

I know there's a lot of speculation about Mia's plant, Charley. A lot of people like to believe that Diego gave it to her (myself included). So I threw in my own interpretation of that. Do you guys also remember that at some point, Phoenix examines the poster in his office, saying that it was the first movie that ever made Mia cry? Well, I've got my explanation for that too ;)

I will warn you now: this story has a bunch of contrasting moods. After all, that's exactly what Mia and Diego's relationship was like. Terribly tragic, but it had its high points too. And what better word to describe it than bittersweet? :)


Bittersweet

The first thing she noticed was the scent of coffee.

It hung in the air, and despite the fact that the aroma was unfamiliar, it seemed to welcome her, to beckon at her to come inside.

She stepped timidly onto the doorstep, her trained eyes automatically taking in her surroundings. It was a modest home, not very large, but looked comfortable nonetheless. She was most surprised at the amount of greenery – she hadn't expected him to be a plant kind of person. One thing piqued her curiosity especially – a stout plant with a large pot reading "Charley." Even her damp mood couldn't stop her from turning around and giving him a quizzical look.

"My favourite plant," he smiled, answering her questioning expression. He prodded her towards it. "He's a good listener. You can tell him anything that's on your mind."

She smiled sadly and shook her head. "There's too much…I don't think he would want to hear all of it," she said quietly.

He regarded her silently for a moment. "Kitten…you have to let that go. You know it's not your fault."

He received no response. The broken expression seemed like it had become permanently etched into her face since two weeks ago.

"Kitten, listen to me. None of this is your fault. You did everything in your power to help Mr. Fawles. There was nothing else you could have done."

She looked back up at him, her eyes glistening with bitter tears.

"If I hadn't forced him…if I had talked about it with him beforehand…if I hadn't provoked Dahlia… If it weren't for me, he wouldn't have died," she managed to choke out.

"I'm so weak…I'm useless…I don't deserve to be a lawyer. I thought I was doing the right thing, I thought I was saving him…when in truth, I was the one who killed him." She was sobbing, shaking uncontrollably, and she felt so embarrassed to be crying like this in front of him, but she just couldn't stop the tears.

He reached out to take her hands in his and pulled her closer.

"Mia," he said gently. "You're not weak. I knew that from the day I met you. If you were, how could you have brought up your sister to who she is today? How could you have possibly been able to take a case like Mr. Fawles' as your first?"

He let go of her hands to wrap his arms around her tightly.

"But if you ever don't feel strong enough, you have me. I promise, Kitten, I'll always be here for you. Now and forever."

He felt her shaking slow at his words, and he held her protectively against him, as if letting her go would make her cry again.

He leaned down to brush a tear from her face.

"See, Kitten, I'm not as bad as you once thought I was," he chuckled gently.

This brought forth a hint of a smile from her, as she recalled how she had called him a "caffeine-addicted shameless flirt who seemingly had never heard of personal space" by the end of the first day she had met him.

And here she was now, crying her eyes out in his arms. She would have never imagined herself like this, leaning on someone else for support for the first time in as long as she could remember. She felt her years of frustration and anxiety leave her, surrendering herself to someone else finally, ever since her mother had disappeared.

He felt her relax against his chest and he pressed his lips to her forehead.

"You know, Kitten, I've got something to give you."

She looked up at him questioningly.

"Just something that can act as a stand-in for me, so that I'll always, always be with you."

"What is it?"

"Charley."


She sat there, staring silently at the man who lay in front of her. Even so many months later, it somehow still shocked her every time she saw him like this. It made no sense – she couldn't connect this man to the vivid one in her memories.

The tears in her eyes had long dried out and she had no pleading words left to whisper in his ear. Defeated, she could only clasp his hand tightly in hers and hold it to her cheek.

There were so many words in the world, but none that could explain how desperately she wanted his eyes to open, how much she needed for him to return to her. And none could explain the brokenness and emptiness she felt inside as she stared at the still body that encased the heart of the man she loved.

So many words that couldn't explain how she felt, and only one could surface to her lips.

"Diego."


Neither of them were romance-movie types, so he was surprised at her choice of movie after dinner.

"Someone told me it was good…but if you don't want to watch it, we could pick something else."

He slid an arm around her waist. "No, no, Kitten. Anything that you want. I'm willing to give it a chance."

The movie wasn't half bad, and luckily not as mushy as he had expected. He thought it was a little overdramatic, though. After all, what were the chances that a man would fly abroad for treatment for his life-threatening disease, and just as he returned home recovered, he found that his girlfriend had died in a car accident just a week ago?

When the lights came back on, he glanced over at her and was shocked to see her face red and trails of tears running down her cheeks.

"Mia! What's wrong?" he asked, instantly alarmed. He slid out of his seat and in front of her to pull her into a protective hug.

"Oh…I'm being silly," she said between sniffles against his shoulder. "This is so embarrassing…I've never cried watching a movie before," she hiccupped.

"Why don't we go outside?" he suggested. He knew that she would be flustered by the weird looks that people might give her.

It was dark outside, the only light coming from the full moon. They sat down on a park bench, enjoying the gentle spring breeze.

"Kitten," he prodded her gently, taking her hands. "Tell me why you were crying before. I didn't think the movie was that touching."

She pouted. "Don't make me say it… I told you I was just being silly. It's nothing, really."

"If it's nothing, then why the secrecy? I need to know what made my Kitten cry."

She sighed, surrendering. "Well…I was trying to get myself interested in the movie. So I imagined that I was the girl in there. But imagining something like that happening to us upset me. And before I knew it, I was crying so hard I couldn't stop."

He pulled her closer into his embrace.

"Mia, you silly girl. I won't ever leave you like that. I promise…I'll even outlive you."

She glanced up at him strangely.

"That's a weird thing to say. Even for you."

"Well, Kitten, if I died before you, who would take care of you? And you would be so sad and lonely and missing me everyday. So I'd rather that I be the one to suffer."

She gave him a reproachful look but couldn't help smiling a bit. "You say that as if we're going to die soon."

"We will one day. But I'd rather imagine that we can even die together, like that married couple in that Greek myth."

She rolled her eyes. "What about your promise to be here for me forever?" she teased.

"I'm still keeping that promise," he said, smiling. "I will never, ever leave you."


He knelt at her grave, a bouquet of beautiful lilies in his hand. He placed them down, and brushing his fingers over her name on the stone, felt the memories flooding back to him.

Why must life be so ironic?

All the apologies for broken promises and the unsaid "I miss you"s and "I love you"s seemed inadequate for the moment. The words of regret, despair, guilt and bitterness were stuck in his throat as he whispered the only name that seemed to express all the meaning there was to his life.

"Mia."


End Notes:

I know that the whole Diego-comforts-Mia-after-Terry-Fawles-case may be a little overdone, but I just felt compelled to write it. In an attempt to redeem that, I didn't make it the only scene.

I would also like to apologize if I made Mia seem like a weak dependant, easy crier. She's not. It just happens that I captured her in moments where she may seem so. I really hope neither of them were too out of character.

Oh yes...as for the Greek myth that Diego mentions, have you guys ever read that? It was basically a myth of this married couple (named Baucis and Philemon) who were very hospitable to Zeus when he came to earth. As a reward, Zeus granted them one wish, and they asked that they could die together. He granted their wish, and after they died, he turned them into beautiful trees (or something like that) that were joined at the trunk, so that they would never have to be separated. (Thanks to OneMorePerson for helping me identify the myth! :D)

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed it and I would be very happy if you left me a review!