The woman stands on a platform outside Newgate prison. A guard stands on either side of her. The executioner adjusts the noose.
The sky above is gray and cloudy and casts a murky light upon the scene, casts everything the color of ashes. Casts a silver, unheavenly resplendence upon the woman that mutes the shine of her eyes and shadows the hollows of her cheeks.
A crowd is gathered around the platform. They are loud and jeering, waving their arms in the air, shouting insults and curses and taunts.
The man is among the crowd. The man is still and silent. His arms grip a clothed bundle.
The woman steps up to the noose and the executioner fits the loop around her neck. He asks if she would like to say any last words, but his voice is drowned out by the noisy crowd. The woman shifts her eyes about the gathered townsfolk until they find the man.
Their eyes meet.
She smiles at him. Mouths, 'I love you.'
The man is pale. The man is silent.
The executioner springs the lever. The door beneath her feet drops and she plummets out of sight and the man looks away, walks away, pushing through the crowd until he is surrounded by only empty air, walking away from everything.
The clothed bundle in his arms wiggles and emits a soft cry.
The man keeps walking, but he parts the fabric and brushes his fingers against the baby's cheek.
A/N: -covers face- Please don't hate me . . .
Anyway, yes. That's the end. I'm a lot sadder about this story ending than I thought I would be. It's been a fun journey, dear readers. ^^
I again want to give a humongous thank you to Robynne for betaing this fic. From encouragements to critiques to virtual shoulder pats, she makes me a better writer in every way.
Also an equally humongous thank you to my other loyal beta, Morgan. She is always there when I need an ego boost, an ego check, or an extended analysis of knees and sniffles and smirks.
And finally a just as humongous thank you to every single one of the readers of this story. I often like to lament that the ST fandom is not nearly as large as it once was. While that's definitely true, you all have proved to me that though the fandom has certainly shrunk, it's still going strong. I thought I'd be lucky to get a thousand hits and twenty, maybe thirty reviews total for this story. Instead I received well over 2,500 hits and seventy-five reviews. You guys rock. Seriously.
And I do believe that I've babbled more than enough by now. ^^; Thank you again.