Author's Note: My first Desperate Housewives story. It was written sometime pre-finale - I found it in my notebooks for this past semester, so I'm not sure when it was written exactly. Set in late season 8. Lynette, with Tom/Lynette undertones.

Lynette slid the dress over her head - brilliant flashes of orange and red and yellow, undulled by the passage of time - and looked at herself in the full-length mirror. There were more lines in her face than the last time she had worn it; her body had never quite recovered back to its old self after five children and twenty-odd years.

Despite the changes she knew all too well, she could only see her twenty-something self looking back at her: a young woman hopelessly in love with the love of her life and looking ahead to what she hoped was a bright future.

She sashayed and twirled a bit, watching the contours of the fabric flip and twist in the movements. And all she could hear was the distant echo, from another place and time, of ghostly salsa music, and the even more faint refrain of Tom's hoarse whisper, as he said, "Wow, you look beautiful."

She believed it then. She would believe it now, too, if only he'd repeat it to her.

She feared though, more than anything else, that it was too late, and her memories of their relationship and the faces of their children would be all that sustained the beauty of what they had been. The distant beats and faint whispers faded into the dusty corners of the past as she lifted the fabric above her head and laid the dress on the bed in front of her. She smoothed out a wrinkle in the skirt.

There was nothing she wanted more than to give this dress new life, she mused as she spread the fabric back on the hangar and slid it into her closet behind her other clothes she never wore. Pity it would never happen. The dance had ended for them a long time ago.