Author's Note: I've always wondered what would happen if I tried writing this scene out... it's not exactly what I expected, but here it is. Based on the piece "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber.

Update, 11/29/12: The advice of a fellow author has led me to add a bit to this fiction - the ending has been extended.


Adagio (adv. & adj.) – A slow passage, movement, or work, esp. in music; A section of a pas de deux in which the ballerina and her partner perform steps requiring lyricism and great skill in lifting, balancing, and turning

~…~

Ion can hear the song.

Somewhere far off in the distance, there are chimes, bells… ringing softy. And Yulia is singing him to sleep, lulling him into a land of tranquility. But there's something else too.

Yes. There is a lone violin… it's being played by a girl, he can tell… and Ion thinks he might know her.

He can't tell though; his vision is going black, forest green eyes clouded with anguish and abstruse tears.

But the playing is beautiful. Beautiful, and yet, sad. Ion thinks he's heard this tune before too. Its familiarity lies perhaps with the one who died in the core, the one who was the same as himself…

There is a room, and this, Ion can see, even through the unusually opaque nature of his tear drops. It is pure white, a chandelier hanging precariously above him.

He can see his friends. They're not there, really, and he knows that deep down, but he's glad to see them one last time. They approach him, one by one, and then, they too fade into the abyss of black just beyond stained glass windows. A mess of red hair is the last to disappear, and then-

Ion can still hear it.

The music's grown softer, but it's clearer here, and there, there he can see her. And he does recognize her, and by the Gods it's Anise. She's standing there, simple silver and white-dress hanging from a trembling form.

The tremors are imitated in the trills of the violin as she plays.

It's beautiful, Ion thinks. Beautiful, and yet, sad.

She too is teary-eyed, and the Fon Master wonders why. He wonders what she feels here, beyond the harsh nature of reality. He knows that beyond the darkness lies truth, but, what of that?

What of her, walking forward, clasping his hand in hers?

What of the moment they share, staring deeply into one another's eyes, like some other couple whose years far exceed theirs?

The violin keeps playing: ostinato.

It's ringing in his ears now, and those graceful notes are almost painful. Anise asks for a dance. Ion obliges her.

The music is simple, and without a rhythm, really. Ion finds that strangely fitting, absent-mindedly twirling the brown-eyed beauty in his arms.

The music climbs higher, and Ion's fairly certain this must be a dreamscape. He can see Anise playing the music, far to the other end of this perfectly white room, but she's here, in his arms, and even though she's with him, he's never felt so lost.

She's lost.

Anise is fading away. He can no longer feel her in his arms.

His guardian has vanished.

And the Fon Master stands alone, slowly walking through the transparent doors which allowed entrance to his safe haven. And here, here it is unbearably hot, and here, he is lying down. He's spread across the red-haired one's lap, reflection of deep green-eyes in those lighter.

Anise is there, but she's standing away. Looking down. Ion encourages her to look at him, please, just one last time. And he's still not quite sure why.

She does, though, and Ion is glad.

Goodbye… my most…cherished…

And suddenly, he feels very light, almost as though he could fly. And the violin is hanging, a high-note, sharp, ringing through the air as his eyes meet Anise's at long last, and he's… he… Ionplease…

Don't go, Ion…

The fleeting moment doesn't last very long.

And then, Ion can no longer hear the song…

He now knows torment, and he now knows sorrow. Here, beyond the boundaries of their living abyss, he has found only stillness, darkness.

Ion is not so sure of what comes next.

He believes there may be a melody, similar to that playing only a moment ago. It's being repeated in a higher register, the never-ending ascent causing chromaticism which chills him to the bone and causes ice to prick upon his veins, raised and pulsing upon his arms.

I-Ion…Ion…

The Fon Master recognizes that voice, and wants desperately to call out to its owner. As much as he tries, his attempts are rendered useless, meek breaths of protest carrying with them no sound at all.

I'm sorry…

And though he knows what Anise is sorry for, Ion cannot forgive.

Because, Anise, there's nothing to be forgiven, he'd say.

Because you've done nothing wrong.

He closes his eyes, prays one last time to Lorelei…

To protect my guardian.

The music, exhausted of its own minimalistic nature, begins to fade. And here, the Fon Master is glad. He knows her to be safe now, knows that she will be protected – just as she defended his life with her own.

And here, amongst the fallen, Ion is a beacon of light. And silently he stands, awaiting the day of his cherished one's final resolve.

Ion knows it will come, for here, Ion knows all…

even if by the soft and fading melody of Yulia's score.


Taking into consideration the use of technical music terms, here are some definitions to help:

Trill - A succession of notes in which the performer rapidly changes between two pitches

Ostinato - Literally meaning "stubborn"; a repetitive part in music which is unyielding, usually found in the bass part, though in this instance, with the violin

Chromaticism - A possible form for music, involving semi-tones which can sometimes blend together in an eerie or unpleasant manner

Minimalism, Minimalistic - Indicative of a style of music in which the main melody loops and rhythms are often insidiously repeated