AN: no idea where this came from, let me know what you think :o)

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They where an illusion, always had been and always would be.

And the thing about illusions is that the closer you are to them, the easier it is to see them for what they are.

If you spoke to them, individually of course, about why it never worked then she'll tell you that they tried too hard; he'll tell you they didn't try hard enough.

There was just something about their friendship that they couldn't carry over into a romance, a piece that would never quite fit. They went through all the stages but never managed to achieve the perfect balance they had believed would come so naturally. The things they loved most about each other, and their friendship, faded away until they where nothing more than just another couple; talking too little, fighting too much and touching too coldly. By the time it ended both their hearts where so much more than broken.

He'll say that she took him for granted, she'll say that the person he thought she was only existed in his mind, an idolized version of herself that she would never match up to. He'll never be so hurtful as to tell her that his idolized version disappointed him just as much as reality had. She'll never have the strength to admit she didn't know how to need him like he needed her.

At first it was easier, pretending that they worked so well, pretending that the harshness in her voice didn't sting him or that his tight grip wasn't suffocating her. Reluctantly they'll admit, when full of alcohol and sorrow, that the problem was never that their relationship was never what they dreamed it would be.

They tried to live the dream for awhile, tried to pretend that things where great. They each wanted it so bad and everyone around them had expected that it would be. When they finally separated, months after they probably should have, there where tears and words that should never have been said and they came out of it wounded beyond repair.

He was mad that he couldn't make this thing, that for so long had been his guide, work; he'd wanted to keep trying until everything fell into place. She was angry that she could never fully open up to him and at his attempts to make her stay, that he couldn't just give up. She'd never been one for the long haul.

Their new friendship was never what it had been, it would never be what it was before. Their was still jealousy when a new relationship started that they couldn't explain. When he finally got married, she didn't attend. When she fell into bed with Cam she realised that what she had ran from was being changed. What they shared isn't totally gone; she's still only ever loved one man but there's an acceptance now that came with trying, a realisation that maybe settling was the best thing to do.

Loving each other was never the problem. Their burning chemistry was the only thing they ever managed to acknowledge but they where better apart and they knew it. It shocked them both, that the thing they thought would be so easy and right turned out to be so difficult and wrong.

Though their friendship is fractured, their still glad they tried. They no longer had the possibility hanging over their heads, clouding their view of others and blocking out a light they each so desperately needed. She still brings him coffee in his office when he's working late, he still confides in her but now there's less banter, fewer moments, and none of their 'almost' moments that their lives used to be filled with. It's just them and the quiet, broken pieces of themselves that they've created, and shared, over the years.

Still, there are nights when they wonder if maybe they should have given it one more chance.

She tells herself that she would be kinder, less demanding. He would give her more space, not be so afraid that letting her go meant she would never come back.

She remembers moments that still bring tears to her eyes; his hand on her shoulder, in her hair, around her waist. He remembers moments that still make his heart pound; her legs wrapped around his, her lips on that spot behind his ear, they way she whispered his name in her sleep.

Sometimes they wonder if giving up was the wrong choice after all but then he'll kiss his wife and she'll kiss Cam and a new feeling will form deep in their chest. That's when illusion meets reality and they are made to feel the tangibility of loss.