(I own nothing! Off the Map and the song aren't mine. They belong to their respective owners, which are sadly not me. The song is 'If You Came Back from Heaven' by Lorrie Morgan.)

I watch the tourists dancing and singing. It's Valentine's Day and everyone is celebrating, but not me. I have something to mourn and for the first time in two years I have something to say. I down the last of my drink and walk up to the line for the karaoke stage. There are three people in front of me, all clutching papers with songs titles written on them.

I don't mind the wait. It gives me time to look around the room. I have been avoiding everyone today, I even told Dr. Keeton to take Mina instead of me, the look on his face when I said that was priceless. If it were any other day, I would have gone, just not today.

I spot Tommy and Mina talking with Dr. Clark, probably about the case. Dr. Alvarez and Dr. Cole are acting like they aren't together by discreetly making out in front of everyone. And Dr. Keeton is at the bar, he's probably here because his office ran out of alcohol. I'm not judging, this day is almost as hard for him as it is for me.

Finally after three more painfully sappy love songs it's my turn. I hand my requested song to the DJ and walk up to the microphone.

I don't know why I'm doing this, why I decided to get up on this stage but I did and now the room's eyes are on me. I close my eyes for a moment before opening them, determined now that I have to do this.

"We have heard quite a few happy love songs tonight, but this song isn't so happy." I take a deep breath. "Two years ago today I lost my fiancé in a car accident. This song is for those who remember their lost loved ones this day and wish for more time."

The song starts and my voice slowly drifts across the room.

I wouldn't know what to say
I wouldn't know what to do
If you came back from Heaven
And I could look at you
Would I fumble for the words
Would I be a little shy
Would I bust right out with laughter
Or break right down and cry

I think of Ed and his wife. How they had come back to the beginning to say goodbye, and the love shining in Ed's eyes as he said goodbye.

Oh, if you came back from Heaven
Would it be like it was then
Could we just pick up where we left off
And try it all again
Oh, if you came back from Heaven
It would freeze me in my tracks
And I hope God knows, if He let you go
I'd never send you back

I think of Dr. Keeton and his wife. I never met her, but I know that he loved her. It must have been hell for him going on with his life, the worst part is that not only can I imagine what he went through, but I'm going through the same thing.

Do your kisses feel the same
Do you still have the same touch
And will you whisper softly
'Cause you've missed me so much
Have you heard all my prayers
When I laid down at night
And did you feel my body
When I held your pillow tight

Oh, if you came back from Heaven
Would it be like it was then
Could we just pick up where we left off
And try it all again
Oh, if you came back from Heaven
It would freeze me in my tracks
And I hope God knows, if He let you go
I'd never send you back

And then I think about Leon. I think about his smile and the way he made me laugh. I think about what should have been and what is instead. I close my eyes and I can see his face clearly, smiling and his eyes brimming with love.

And if, God forbid,
You leave this earth
Again while I sleep
I hope He knows, if you go
You'll be bringing me

Oh, if you came back from Heaven
Would it be like it was then
Could we just pick up where we left off
And try it all again
Oh, if you came back from Heaven
It would freeze me in my tracks
And I hope God knows, if He let you go
I'd never send you back
I hope God knows, if He let you go
I'd never send you back

The song ends and I open my eyes to see that everyone in the room was a little misty eyed, either weeping softly or refusing to let the tears fall, but all of them are clapping, except for the owner of a pair of stormy blue eyes. Dr. Keeton is watching me intently and as usual I can't tell what he's thinking. But it's not my job to figure out what goes on in that man's head.

I ignore the still clapping and bawling people and walk out of the cantina. I had somewhere I needed to be.

"Wow, who knew Brenner had a voice like that." Tommy said letting out a low whistle. "I knew she lost her fiancé someday this week but on Valentine's Day?"

"Tommy!" He turns to see Mina stalking back from the bar, the glass in her hand gripped so tightly it was about to shatter. "Did Brenner go back to the cabin?"

"I think so, why?" Mina gives him a look and his eyes widen. "Shit!" Tommy stands, banging his fist down on the table. "I thought you were watching her!"

"I took my eyes off of her for one minute!"

"What's going on?" Dr. Keeton walks over to the arguing doctors.

"That's what we'd like to know as well." Zee says as she and Otis walk over to the others.

"Lily's suicidal. She has been since her fiancé died."

"And what makes you think this?" Ben asks trying to figure out how the sweet, strong woman he works with could want to kill herself.

"Because every night Lily puts a revolver to her head and tries to blow her brains out." Mina says biting her lip. "She's been getting closer and closer to pulling the trigger, and today she might actually succeed."

"She what?" Ben's mind tries to wrap itself around the fact that sweet caring Lily tries to kill herself.

"If she's going to blow her brains out, don't you think we should stop standing here and stop her?" Ryan says her voice tense. If what they were saying was true, they needed to move fast.

"Bad idea. We can't all go since we need people here in case of an emergency. If we startle her, she might accidentally pull the trigger, and if we send the wrong person to talk her down, she might pull the trigger." Tommy says looking lost. "It's my fault, I should have been watching her."

"You guys stay here." Ben says. He has to talk to her, has to see for himself what he's missed all these weeks.

"Where are you going?" Otis calls out after Ben's retreating back.

"To talk to Lily." Ben says, stopping to look at Otis.

"Did you not hear what the man just said?" Otis asks staring at Keeton.

"I did. I also know that if we don't try… I can't live with knowing we didn't try." Keeton's blood boils. How had he not noticed it before? The grief when a couple came to the clinic, the longing in her eyes when lovers kissed, the sadness in her voice when she talks.

"I'll go with you."

"No, Ryan, I'm going alone." And with that Ban runs off into the dark.

"He's the best choice." They knew that Zee is referring to the odd bond that had cropped up between Brenner and Keeton.

"I know, but it doesn't make it hurt any less." Ryan said looking at where her lover had been. He wouldn't be coming back, at least not to her, not this time. And she is oddly okay with that.

I pour the amber liquid into the mugs and light the candles. We did this every year on our anniversary, and now I do it every year to mark his passing. We used flutes filled with champagne, rose-scented candles on a rug in front of a fire. All I had was cheap whiskey, chipped ceramic mugs, a threadbare mat on the floor, and deformed penguin candles I bought in the market. And the very idea of a fire is ridiculous in this heat. I raise my glass to the picture of Leon in front of me.

"Happy anniversary, Leon. I love you." My heart hurts as I say the words, because they're not the words I said last year. Every year before I said that I loved only him, but I can't say that now. It isn't true because it isn't Leon I see when I close my eyes at night to sleep, or the first person I think of when I open my eyes. Because when I go to sleep or wake up I think of Ben, his blue eyes staring into mine, stripping me bare for him to see.

I shiver at the memory and look down at the gun in my hands. I stroke the revolver, running the tips of my fingers over the cold uncaring steel.

"Why do you do this to me?" I don't know who I'm asking, if it Ben or Leon or someone else entirely, or what answer I'm looking for, but all I know is that I don't get it.

I raise the gun to my head and place the muzzle against my temple, leaving a cool ring where it touches.

Give me a sign, something to tell me what to do, who I'm supposed to love, anything that will make this life make sense.

I pull back the hammer and rest my finger on the trigger. The bugs chirp and in the distance a bird of prey calls to his mate. I close my eyes and pull the trigger.


My eyes snap open as pain shoots through my back, the bullet lodging in the ceiling of the hut and the revolver skittering across the floor. I wince at the pinch in my neck before my eyes adjust and I'm startled to see a very angry looking Dr. Keeton hovering above me.

"What the hell are you doing?" His voice his furious as he pins my arms to my side.

I stare at him.

"How?" I breathe, "How did you?"

"Mina and Fuller told me. What the hell were you thinking? You would have died!"

"That's the point." I say my voice dry of emotion. His eyes go wide before growing even angrier. "Why are you here?" I ask looking into his eyes.

"What do you mean why am I here? I'm here to stop you from doing something stupid!" He hisses at me.

"No, Ben, why are you here?" The anger in his eyes flickers at the use of his name and understanding flashes on his face.

"I don't know…" His blue eyes are confused with the answer hidden just behind them.

"Why? Why didn't I die?" I feel tears roll down my cheeks.

"Because you didn't want to." His blue eyes look into mine; they have a look to them that sends my heart into overdrive.

"I wanted to die!"

"No, you didn't. You're hiding behind that gun because it's the last part of something you let go of. It's scary to move on but you have to, because you're past it, you just won't admit it." I glance at Leon's picture. I still feel love course through my veins at the sight of him. I look at Ben; I don't love him like I loved Leon. I can't, because they're not the same person. Loving Leon was easy, but loving Ben scares the shit out of me. "Why are you hiding?"

"Because you scare me." Confusion rolled over his eyes like gathering storm clouds.


"I love you. And that scares me." His eyes go dark and I can't tell what he's thinking. "It thought that Leon was it. He was my one and only and then after he died, I met you. And now… now I don't know what to think." He moves above me as if to get off of me, than his mouth is on mine. His tongue slides into my mouth, teasing my lips apart before slipping past my teeth and meeting my tongue in a duel. I wrap his tongue in mine and suck on it gently. As he pulls away I nip his bottom lip teasingly.

"Does that answer your question?" He looks at me and it hits me just what that emotion is.

"I love you too. And it scares the hell out of me." He smiles. My heart for the first time in two years feels light and whole now that it has another one to keep it company.

"What does this mean?" I ask as he pulls me to my feet.

"I don't know, but I'm curious to find out." He wraps an arm around me and kisses me, it's a chaste kiss, but it still leaves me breathless.

"Come on. Let's get back to the others before they think you went mad and killed both of us."

And as we walk into the night I can't help but think maybe I did just the opposite.