Not the ghost of a chance

E/O Drabble challenge, word: compete.

Summary: A tag to "Swan Song". There is hoping and there is knowing – and the gap between them is growing bigger.

A/N: What can I say? 200 words on the dot - just couldn't help it. Perhaps I'll manage only 50 next time?

She listened to his shallow breathing, could feel his haunted soul fighting against the restraints of consciousness under her light touch.

Only sleep would crack open the gates of silence, let slip out murmured words and whispered pleas of pain and desperation. In the daylight he'd smile and wave her goodbye and go to work from 9 to 5 and have a drink or two with the neighbor, he'd play football with Ben and help her with the dinner kissing her neck and before he went to sleep he'd check all the doors and shutters and furtively hide his gun under the pillow and it gave her the creeps, watching how he prepared for someone, something to attack this haven.

She had wanted to give him shelter, owing him so much more than that. She hadn't planned to love him, knowing full well that none of this could compete with what he really wanted. Not his job nor his new friends, not the picket-fence-life he once might have looked for nor her love, not even Ben. Because there were monsters in his closet and someone waiting in his personal hell and someday they'd come and take him away for good.