Word Count: 1441
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be.
Timeline: Post 3x08. Not 4x01 compliant.


He told her once that they were for eternity. She believed him then.

But now…well, now she's not so sure.

.

She thinks about him some days. And by some days she means all of them. Every single bloody day. She sees him everywhere–in the cups of tea she refuses to make, in the guilty eyes George refuses to look at her with, in that stupid tropical painting on the wall she refuses to let anyone paint over. He's always there, watching her with those stupid eyes and that bloody hair in one those ridiculously tight pants. Everywhere she looks. She can't escape him.

Annie may be the ghost, but he's the one who haunts her.

.

"I don't want to live without you. I can't live without you."

Funny how that worked out. He never did have to live without her. Not really. She was always there, down to the very last moment. To his dying breath.

Thing is, what is she supposed to do without him now?

.

She never tells George or Nina about the pain, the hole that suddenly fills her heart (her body, her soul, her everything) the moment he turns to dust. How it feels as if something has been ripped out of her. How she's not sure she'll ever be whole again.

She hides it the best she can. She smiles and jokes with George and Nina, helps them prepare for the baby. She finds the perfect cradle with Nina and paints the nursery with George. Annie does everything she possibly can to distract herself, to avoid even considering that something so very important is missing.

Sometimes it helps.

Sometimes it doesn't.

.

She never goes to his room anymore. She doesn't think she could survive it, seeing his old room without him. So alone, so empty, so haunted.

The door just sits there shut, night after night, day after day. Untouched, but never unnoticed.

.

She always makes sure to give George and Nina their space, especially at night. They're still lovers after all, and they deserve time to be alone and do (lover) things. So she spends most of her nights wandering the streets–watching people, helping people, meeting other ghosts. She watches every film in the cinemas at least twice, visits every museum, peaks into every pub. Other nights she spends in the house, cleaning, organizing, trying to form some order out of the chaos that they live in.

It's on one of those nights that Nina comes to her. She doesn't say much, just watches Annie while she babbles away about how George always buys the cheap dish soap as tries to scrub the grime off of a dirty pot. After a moment, Nina brushes her hand against her shoulder. She speaks before Annie even has the chance to turn around.

"He wouldn't want you to be like this. He loved you, Annie. He'd want you to live."

"What are you talking about? I am living. Look, I'm doing the dishes. I don't know any many not-living people that do that."

Nina gives her a sad look and suddenly she can't meet her eyes anymore. No, her silent answer lingers between them, you're not living. Not really.

Annie knows she's right, but she doesn't answer.

.

She's always known that things would change when the baby was born, but knowing something and experiencing it seem to be two completely separate things. It isn't until she's born, until Annie holds little baby Eve in her arms that she realises exactly how different things really are now. Because, you see, for the first time since his death, it feels as if there is life in their house again. They have someone to look after, to take care of, to protect.

As utterly cliché as it sounds, for the first time since it happened, Annie realises what's worth living for.

.

She goes to his room late that night, after Nina and George and the baby are all asleep. There's no amazing conclusion, no brilliant magic when she opens the door. The room looks the same as she remembered it: a made bed, a few shirts lying around, his favourite DVDs still scattered on his desk. And even though it's not magical, a smile still pulls at her lips.

She spends a few minutes wandering around the room, her fingers brushing against his old things. She picks up one of his shirts and without stopping to think about it, she slips it on. It almost fits her perfectly and a small chuckle escapes her lips. Of course it would fit her, it's not like Mitchell wasn't skinny enough.

The smile stays on her lips and she sits on his bed. After a moment, she takes a deep breath and lies down. She can still smell him on the on the pillow and she instinctively pulls it closer to her. A few tears fall from her eyes but she laughs when they do and buries her face in his bed. And, for the first time in months, Annie realises that she really will be alright.

.

"I don't want to live without you. I can't live without you."

She doesn't want to live without him either, but she thinks that maybe that's the difference between them. Because, you see, she can live without him. It hurts and it sure as hell isn't easy, but she knows can do it.

.

She tells herself that she stays for George and Nina and Eve, and that once they're gone, she will leave too. They're her life now, after all. And she stays for it all: George's bumbling proposal to Nina, their small and beautiful wedding, for their entire lives. Eve's first day of school, her first date, when she grows up and goes off to uni.

Annie even stays when Nina passes away and when George follows her. She stays, because she knows that Eve needs her more than ever. But she tells herself that after Eve, she'll cross over too. Except then Eve meets the most perfect man and has her own perfect baby boy. He's completely healthy, not a werewolf gene in sight, but he can still see her for some reason. And so she stays for him.

She lives a very long 'life'. Much longer than she ever expected it to. Every time she tells herself this is the last one, she finds another reason to keep on living. Until, eventually, the werewolf gene fades out, and after some time, none of George and Nina's family can see her. Still, she sticks around for a bit longer, just to make sure they're safe.

They always are.

.

Crossing over isn't nearly as difficult as she expects and not nearly as painful as the time she was forced into it. It's almost too simple: the moment she decides it's time, the door appears, as if it's just been waiting for her this whole time. And she isn't scared when she opens it; she knows there's so much of Earth she will miss, but there's so much more that she misses already. It's time for her to leave. Time for her to go home.

George and Nina and their family are the first ones to greet her, followed by her family. Everyone she's ever met, ever cared about are there: Tom, Gilbert, Sasha, Hugh, and so many more. Every life she's ever touched comes to meet her, to welcome her. And last (but never ever least) she sees him standing behind everyone else.

She isn't exactly sure what happens, but the next thing she knows, she's running faster than she ever has before and she all but leaps into Mitchell's arms. He spins her around, holding her as close as he possibly can, and it suddenly occurs to her how perfectly they fit together.

"I was so frightened that you…you wouldn't…"

"I wasn't. They brought me here for you, for your heaven. You saved me, Annie. Just like you always have. My guardian angel."

Tears are running down both of their faces and they're both an absolute mess, but she doesn't even care, she takes his face in his hands and kisses him. When the pull apart, she rests her forehead against hers and breathes him in. "You saved me too," she mumbles.

Mitchell just smiles and kisses her again.

.

He told her once that they were for eternity. She believed him then.

She will always believe him.


Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

- Christina Perri