Just so you know, I didn't plan to write this. I really made myself cry writing it, and after my last tragedy fic I swore I'd never write another one. But I guess I needed the cathartic release or something... anyway. Here it is. Don't read if you can't handle character death!

Disclaimer: I don't own any part of the show.

The Hardest Part

The hardest part of death is living; knowing how to exist when the person you love is gone, knowing how to make your lungs take in air, your heart keep beating, your limbs keep moving when all you want to do is dissolve into nothingness.

I kissed you, even after you had stopped breathing. I whispered into your ear, even when I knew you could no longer hear me. I touched my palm to your heart, even though I knew it was not beating. What I did not do, in the moments before you were taken from me, is tell you, over and over, how much I love you.

I tell you now, and I like to think that you can hear me. That wherever you've gone to, you can see me, hear my voice, feel how much I love you still.

We had some time together on this earth; if you count the years when we were just friends, it totals almost a decade, and I am grateful for that. But it's not enough. And being with you – really with you, in the way we'd both wanted for so long – for such a short time before you were taken is the cruellest joke the world has played on me. But I know I will never let go of you, and I know that, if you don't limit the definition to including when we were both alive, the time we spend together will last an eternity.

People try to comfort me, in a number of ways. Some just keep their distance, hoping that time will heal me and I'll be able to move on. But when I close my eyes it's still your face I see. When silence settles around me, I hear the echo of your voice from somewhere deep inside me. When I have news, I whisper it into the darkest corners of the room and hope and pray it will reach you somehow. Knowing that you are not there to reply to me hits me hard; when I realise, again, that I will never hear your voice again, speaking words to me anew, I fall apart all over again.

I think of moments we shared over the years; they all jumble together in my mind, a slideshow of pictures and a reel of film, playing over and over. Every smile, every kiss. Our first kiss. Our last.

I think of the moments we never shared; moments we might have had, if life hadn't snatched you away from me too soon, moments we might have shared in another lifetime, if we'd met sooner, not married the people we did. Would we have married, would we have had children, somehow, would we have had the life we'd always dreamed of?

The hardest part about losing someone you love is learning how to live without them, and I don't think I ever will. I feel you in every breath I take, in every whisper of the wind on my face, in the light of the morning sun, every morning that I wake without you. I feel you, and I miss you, and I don't know how to live my life without you.



A/N Yes, it's ambiguous. This is deliberate. I welcome reviews, but please don't message me and ask who has died. This is for the reader to interpret. Even I keep changing my mind about who it is!