Disclaimer: Don't own it, don't make money from it, just couldn't resist the idea of Ben and the Craggy Ginger Love God. XD Originally written for slashthedrabble on LJ. Unfortunately, I can't post the rest of my Mirrors slash up here, or I'll get banninated for porn. XD

________

Regret

Falling through the mirror left me entirely unable to effect anything around me, and all I could do was stand by helplessly, like a ghost, and watch the world fall apart around me. For a short time I stayed with my family, but it hurt too much to see them - my daughter heartbroken, my son in denial. It hurt far too much to see my wife take solace in the arms of another man, though I'd half suspected it for some time.

Aching and despairing, I did what I'd always done when I needed someone, and went to Larry. I found a man broken, a hollow, empty shell that went about his work mechanically, and I half expected to watch him lose himself in the bottom of a bottle, like I once had. He didn't, though. He was always a better man than me in that regard.

He couldn't see me or hear me, but I stayed with him. I felt the same pain of loss as he did, and would have given anything to take it away. I followed him to my memorial service, but it was all a blur except for him, silent and still as they lowered the empty casket into the ground. He stayed, stayed long after my family had left, long after the ground had been filled in. Staring. He had two rosebuds, and finally he moved to set the white one among the other flowers on my sister's grave, then crouched down next to my headstone, letting the red petals of the other bloom rest against his lips.

"Oh, Ben," he whispered softly, and I tried to touch him, heart aching. But though his shoulder was firm and solid, I knew he couldn't feel me.

"I'm not dead," I said, hearing my voice crack. "I'm not. I'm here, and I'm not going to leave you."

He touched the stone, then set the bloom down and stood, though he made no move to leave. I pressed against his back and wrapped my arms around his chest, leaning my face against his shoulder and breathing in deep of his scent. But it didn't prepare me for his words.

"I wish I'd told you how much I loved you," he murmured, shuddering, and I felt my heart twist painfully in my chest.

"I wish I'd told you how much I loved you," I echoed, and broke.