Author's Note: Lyrics to 'Missing' by Evanescence are not mine. 'Black Swan' the movie is not mine. Reviews will be all mine.

Summary: The Black swan is dead. The White swan is fatally wounded. Nina is the only one left, but is she still standing?

MIA: Missing In Action

The bright lights blind her, and Nina can't see the looks of horror and revulsion cast her way. She is lost inside her world of perfection, the joy of a mission accomplished to its full extent still coursing through her veins. This has been the unreachable peak of her journey for so long, and finally she has made it. The rest doesn't matter. The emptiness she became aware of after Lily's interruption in her dressing room is nothing but a distant memory in this moment. The only thing that has any resonance for the young dancer, is that she is perfect. For one instance in time, she is exactly who she wants to be.

Please, please forgive me

But I won't be home again,

Maybe someday you'll have woke up

and barely concious, you'll say to no one:

Isn't something missing?

The doctor's eyes are full of questions, and strangely tempered with pity. It is obvious that Nina tried to kill herself, and yet no one seems able to understand why. The girl herself least of all. It is only at night that the truth reveals itself, or rather herself. The space inside herself that Nina associates with the Black swan is an empty hollow. She hears the wind whistle through it, haunting moans that both frighten and sadden her. When she wakes with tears on her cheeks, she doesn't know why. When her scar throbs in sync with her heartbeat, she spells her guilt in code. She finally gathers the courage to ask if any piece of glass remained inside, possibly festering; a plausible reason for the feeling of dread crawling in her breast. She is strangely dissatisfied with their answer.

You won't cry for my absence I know;

you forgot me long ago.

Am I that unimportant?

Am I so insignificant?

Isn't something missing?

Isn't someone missing me?

Even though I'd be sacrificed,

you won't try for me, not now.

Though I'd die to know you love me,

I'm all alone

Isn't someone missing me?

When she is discharged, Erica is there in all her caring, over-protective glory. Nina thinks she remembers a time, brief and sweet, when she was comforted by her mother's embrace; when Erica's arms were safety and protection and everything-will-be-okay. But that is long ago, and all she sees now are bars. She wonders if escape is possible, but where woud she go? Does the world not still scare her? she wonders, when a surge of bravery follows her innocent query. What is this emotion threatening to dismantle her entire system? Wasn't she still her mother's sweet girl in the end? Why then do these wings no longer chafe?

And if I bleed, I bleed

knowing you don't care.

And if I sleep just to dream of you

and wake without you there,

Isn't something missing?

Isn't someone missing me?

Lily visits her at home, and Nina convinces her mother to leave them alone. Her one-time rival is full of useless gossip about the Company; but the never-ending drama of the dancers has never penetrated Nina's focus while she was a part of it, and doesn't interest her now that she is an outsider. She knows suddenly that it is, for Lily, a ruse. A comfortable mask to show her concern yet hide her true intention.

"Ask me," she interrupts as Lily re-enacts another insult-filled dialogue between herself and Veronica.

"Ask me what happened."

While the other girl deliberates, Nina says goodbye to innocence; she is not blameless, she finally acknowledges. She practices saying the words, lines them carefully on her tongue. Her mother will be disappointed, and the rest of Thomas Leroy's Company will call her crazy. But perhaps Lily, her almost-friend, her almost-foe, will hear; will listen. And help her to search for Nina.

She hopes that there will be an answer; that there is an end to this journey her mind insists on taking. She hopes that Nina is still hoping for that too.