Though the scream from hours ago still continues to resonate through your mind, your weary ears had long since made themselves deaf for the sake of their owner. Chief Eclipse's office had never been small, but as you sit there solemnly, silently, hearing but not listening to the news you had been called to receive, you've never felt so…so suffocated. And yet at the same time the whole place is so vast, and you feel so insignificant, so helpless. All you can hope to do is sit there, eyes weary and arms grasping desperately to themselves in an attempt to prevent a complete breakdown.

"She was attacked in her home last night," Eclipse states, voice far too solemn for your own liking, "She was shot three times in cold blood." She turns away, face sympathetic, and you allow a half scowl, half grimace to grace your features as you try not to become sick. You had never been completely trusting, but this…you can't fathom who would do something such as this, or why. Of course you had your differences – all partners who had been together so long were bound to – but still, she was good. She had stuck by you; always there to make sure you were alright as well. She had been your best friend. And you loved her, more than anything or anyone you had ever loved before.

Chief Eclipse voices her uncertainty to the auditor the moment you are out of earshot; could this be done, was it possible? A life taken somewhere outside of the line of duty; could it be brought back again without consequence? Was it fair to do such a thing?

The others are unable to fathom all that goes through your mind as you make your way down through the GOTT lobby. Tweedledee has her hand on your shoulder, and you face her blankly; but there, standing behind her, is the partner whom she had never lost, not really. So you continue, unable to shed the tears you know you need to be purged of. Un-oh turns his head as you pass him, for once not out of contempt but out of shaken respect, and A-oh next to him nods as if he understands. Viola is, for once, without her usual precocious energy, and instead is behaving much like her counterpart Cesario as you pass the pair by. Sinistra and Dextera are nowhere to be found; you can only guess that they have decided to mourn privately, in the company of each other instead of the far less intimate company of the cold, business like GOTT. You have long since stopped caring about any of them, though you know far too much not to be at least grateful for the support.

You remember the way her lips had tasted that time after the optimization; soft, sensual even in its innocence, sweet even without the help of the grape juice. It hadn't been the first time you had tasted her, but it had been your last, regrettably. And being far less naïve than you gave the appearance of being, you are sure that it will never happen again.

Why? And how does one even go about killing an ES member? You decide you don't want to know the answer and you manage to bring yourself home in silence, without falling asleep despite the weariness that has finally overtaken your entire body.

You had thought that being alone would help you feel better, being at home where you could let yourself grieve on your own would save you more sanity, more dignity. But all you feel is loneliness, despair, and you can sense it as your heart eventually breaks down and shatters into tiny, undistinguishable pieces. And you cry, finally. Heavy, heartfelt sobs that seem to take over your entire body, all those lessons in elegance be damned; all this time, you realize, she had really been the only truly elegant one.

For the first time in what seems like nearly forever, GOTT ES member Lumiere weeps over the loss of her partner Éclair.

A/N: A concept that came to me while watching the episode Lost/Days, and I had to write it down. I hope you like it, and as always, reviews are definitely appreciated.