A/N: A bit longer (400 words) cause I wanted to wrap this up before the new series starts. Thank you all for the wonderful reviews. Hope you like it.
She waits for him to speak. There is no protest like the years before.
She does not cut him off with her poetic words of unrequited.
She does not stroke his cheeks in her hands.
She does not press her lips to his to stop him.
She just waits;
waits for his declaration;
a declaration she still isn't ready to hear.
He doesn't mean to say it like that. It just comes out that way. He realizes his careless phrasing when he sees the look on her face. The memories that are ingrained in his soul surface to greet new pain and longing.
He is tortured by her stare. Once long ago she gave up her career, her life for him. And now he's returning the favor.
'Albany isn't real,' he says.
As quick minded as she is, she is having a difficult time processing what she hears.
'What?' She doesn't believe him.
'It doesn't work. It never did.'
She shakes her head and lets out a breath. Tears light her eyes with the realisation. The weight of so much lifts from her weary body.
'You did this...you did this for me...a-and no one no one will die?'
'No one will die.'
Her hand is to her mouth to suppress her sobs.
'I wasn't going to let you die for some phony document.'
Her brow knits together in sudden concern for his well being. Only now does she realise what he's done, what he's given up.
'Harry,' his name escapes her mouth.
'Please Ruth, please can you forgive me?'
She stares at him. Forgive him? Forgive him of everything? There has been so much. So much she has blamed him for.
He continues when she doesn't respond. 'Is it still unfair?' He takes a step forward. 'Do you blame me now? Can you forgive me now?'
He is closer than she thought she would let him to her. She doesn't look up at him though her eyes are trained on his chest.
'Can you forgive an old fool in love? Is it still unfair for me to love you?' his fingers dare to brush her hair from her face. The gesture brings her eyes to him. 'Please let me love you.'
Her breath catches and a tear escapes.
She smiles as she slips into his arms.
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