Just a sudden idea. Please be kind...

Disclaimer: I own nothing from the musical, Elisabeth, those rights belong to Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay, not me. Death belongs to himself. And the young woman is based off of me and my current feelings.

Dedication: To Death...

The ballroom was so beautiful, it took her breath away. She fluttered her fan in front of her face in order to hide her gawking stare, it wouldn't do to seem like such a country bumpkin in front of the Emperor and Empress. She moved amongst the gentry, really realizing just how terrified she was. She hadn't wanted to come, she had almost thrown a fit when her Father had announced it. But then he had said that it would be best for her to get out again and start getting back into society. She couldn't let her grief consume her forever.

But she was determined that it should. She wanted it to. She wanted to fall back into it and never surface again. She gave a gracious smile as someone complimented her dress and she heard herself reply sweetly as though she standing beside herself. How strange...She continued to talk to the young Countess, smiling and laughing. One wouldn't even have guessed that her fiance had been dead for more than a year.

Trumpets sounded as a door at the top of the ballroom's fabulous stairs opened. She and the young Countess looked up as the Emperor Franz entered with the Empress Elisabeth upon his arm.

"Isn't the Empress glorious, Alexandria?" the Countess cooed quietly, eyes glittering as the Emperor and Empress waved graciously to the crowded ballroom.

Alexandria nodded, her own eyes disinterested. "The Empress is always glorious." she said, her fan fluttering. "She seems to resist the pull of time."

"I heard she bathes in milk!"

Alexandria shook her head in exasperation, rolling her eyes. "That is utterly ridiculous, how could one stand doing that? Especially the Empress."

The Countess gave her a glare. "Wouldn't you do the same if you wanted to be beautiful forever? I know I would."

"No." she said, turning about and leaving the air-headed young Countess, disappearing into the crowds. Even among this glitz and gala, she just could not cope. Her darkness felt like it was growing... She just wanted to leave now. She had stayed long, her Father was just going to have to accept that. She strove to find him in the crowds, sighing heavily when she couldn't.

"What sadness causes such a lovely vision to look so tragic?" She froze at the question, feeling a shiver work down her back. She turned to see a tall gentleman standing behind her, his long curls pulled back from his face. His strange blue eyes pierced hers. She fought another shiver as he moved closer.

"It is not something I care to talk about, sir." she said as nicely as she could, instinctively taking a step back from him.

He bowed. "I apologize for frightening you." He stood, his eyes finding hers again. "And I know why. Allow me to express my condolences. William was a fine man."

It was as if an arrow had pierced her heart at his name. "T-Thank you." she managed, her fan hiding the way she struggled from breaking into tears. "He was a fine man."

"Are you alone?"

She blinked. And said what was in her heart. "Yes...yes, I am alone."

"So am I." he replied quietly, his eyes completely understanding. She felt drawn to him against her own judgment. She stepped a bit closer.

"You? Alone?"

"Yes. I am alone and have been for a long time." he said quietly. "And I shall remain alone until she decides to join me." He looked up at where the Empress Elisabeth was dancing with her husband. He looked so pained to see them together.

"I'm sorry..." Alexandria whispered, her heart reaching for him. She understood the pain, although it was separate from her own. The gentleman looked to her and gave a small smile.

"Thank you." He seemed to hesitate. "Perhaps, we can be alone, together..."

She shook her head.

"Even for one dance?" His gloved elegant hand reached for her softly. One dance...it wouldn't be that hard. She just had to take his hand. Her fan lowered itself and her own gloved hand took his. He gently pulled her into a slow spinning waltz, moving them effortlessly across the dance floor. She kept herself distant, her face remaining blank.

"If I may ask...how did he die?"

She didn't know why she answered him. "Thrown from a horse as we were riding." she replied quietly, looking away. "Death came and claimed him before I could do anything."

"What would you have done?" The ballroom seemed to grow distant, but he remained constant.

"I...I don't know. Bargained? Pleaded? Threatened? Sometimes...Sometimes, I wish I had died instead."

He seemed to tighten his grip. "Would you have? Truly?"

"Yes." she whispered, looking down, not seeing anything. "I would have died in his stead." Tears split over the edges of her eyes, falling to her skirts. His hand left her waist and tilted her chin up; he seemed surprised that she was crying.

"You loved him that much?"

"I still love him." she whispered, more tears starting to fall. "I love him so much..."

He seemed bewildered for a few moments, then he leaned forward as they continued to spin. "Then return to him." His lips weren't two centimeters from hers. "And I am sorry..."

Then he kissed her. Pure bliss as everything slowed and stopped. Alexandria felt lighter for the first time in more than a year. She blinked as he pulled back and smiled at her. "He is waiting for you." he said, gesturing behind her.

She turned, not seeming to notice that she was no longer in the ballroom covered in glitz. The open field was covered in sunlight, a warm breeze was blowing. William stood on the other side of the field, looking over at her in disbelief.

"Alex...!" She heard him call as he started to run. She broke into a run as well, bolting towards him. "WILLIAM!"

Death watched as the two met in the center of the field, the beauty of their reunion nearly blinding. His emptiness seemed to lessen for a moment, then he turned and left them to their happiness, returning to his watch of the one that he loved...Elisabeth....