World's End

Disclaimer: Not mine, alas. I would have never brought them even close to this end. Unbeta'd, so any and all errors mine.

A/N: This has spoilers for "Buried" and "Reset". If you have not watched the end of season 2, you might not wish to read. This is merely a "what if" ficlet, a glimpse into what might have happened.

She had failed.

It wasn't supposed to happen like this. When she'd slammed the trident into the hard, dry earth for the third and final time, she had been expecting…more. Something more, something to make all those endless years of hell, all those decades of guilt and anguish and torture meaningful. An apocalypse of Biblical scale, a rending of the earth, fire and brimstone, a blotting out of all light. And then, then a sheet of ice and snow spreading out across the plains, a killing distillation under the thundering hoofs of four horsemen.

Not this. Not this slow, tedious death, the frost creeping across the land with all the speed of an ancient tortoise. She had dreamt of a new ice age to wash the world clean. What she had created instead was a new age of greed and malice and violence, as the strong preyed on the weak, as marauders disguised as governments picked at the bones of those foolish enough to believe they would be saved.

It had all been for nothing. She had stolen, lied, killed, betrayed, all for nothing. She had meant to find some expiation in sending the world hurtling into darkness. All she found was more guilt. Each night as she closed her eyes, she saw Myka's face, replayed in slow motion the squeezing of the trigger, the bright burst of red that scattered to the wind and then the horror as Myka's lifeless body sank to the ground. She had murdered the one person who had cared for her, trusted her, the one person who just might have been able to save her. And for what?

For this chaotic dystopia that not even she, in her wildest imaginings, could have ever written.

The gun lay cool and comforting in the palm of her hand. She had sat here night after night, watching as the world died, inch by inch, and dreamt of ending it all. Once or twice she had even managed to press the hard, cold tip of the barrel against the tender skin of her temple, but she could never quite manage to pull the trigger. Myka had told her that if she was going to die, it was going to be by Helena's hand, not as a casualty of some cowardly cataclysm. It seemed that Myka had been right. She was a coward.

Myka had forced Helena's hand, in more ways than one, forced the gun to her brow, forced Helena to choose life over death. If only Helena had been able to remember how it felt to be alive, been able to remember anything beyond the dark abyss that had swallowed her whole, things might have gone differently. Now, sitting in the eternal darkness into which she'd plunged the world, Helena tried one last time to finish what she had begun.

Raising the pistol, she shakily held the barrel to her head, the metal cold and unyielding against her skin.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang, but a whimper.*

*from T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men"