This is the part they don't show on the vids.

I can't blame them really. This is the part that doesn't test well in front of an audience. It's long and dull and full of wasted tears. Everyone just wants to get on with the party. Well, almost everyone.

He's been like this for days. So have I for that matter. Not sure why I'm stuck here, though. I could wait pretty much anywhere, yet here I am. Yeah ... here I am. And there he is, buried in what ... his fifth bottle of the day? Liquid courage, right? That's what they call it. Not sure what he's trying to find the courage to do, though. Maybe that's why I've been sitting here for so long. I'm waiting to see what he does when he finds the courage he's looking for.

He's beautiful, even now. Even so drunk he can barely hold his head up and yelling at the walls, the words so slurred that I can't understand a single one. I could never get enough of just looking at him. I watched him while he slept and while he worked. I watched him striding across battlefields, tall and strong and deadly. I watched him, and I loved him.

Now, here I am watching him again. Only this time, I'm not sure why. I'm not sure what I'm hoping for. That's the problem, I guess, falling in love so completely. What do you do when one of you just isn't there any more? You make promises, and then you break promises.

"We do this together? Right to the end?"

"Right to the end."

"There's something worse than dying by your side. I don't intend to do it again."

I promised, and then I left him behind. Twice, really, if I'm being honest about it. I left him behind when I sent him away with the Normandy, then I left him behind when the explosion took me. First fire and pain, and now here I am. Watching. Hoping for something, but I don't know what.

Hoping to find a strong streak of selflessness, maybe? To set myself and what I want aside long enough to tell him to snap out of it and get on with his life. It's what I should do. I know that. He has decades ahead of him. He can find happiness out there. The grief will fade. I'll settle softly into his memories as a woman who once loved him. He'll find someone who makes him remember why his heart beats. Maybe even someone who can hold him together, give him everything he poured into me. Give him everything I never could have. Kids, family ... sanity.

Why do I hate that idea so much? If I love him, why can't I let him go?

Lifting myself onto my knees, I lay my hands on his thighs. His eyes open. Those beautiful eyes that announced everything he felt no matter how hard he tried to hide it. Now, they're clouded and raining tears. I reach up and touch his face. He leans into it as though he can feel it.

I don't know what I'm hoping for here, big guy. I really don't. You've got to help me out.

You've got to give me a sign. Decide to pick yourself up and leave this room. Go out there, let them console you. Leave me behind, because I don't have the strength to leave you. God knows I wish I did. I don't want this for you.

I push off his knees, standing, and pace the length of the room. Waiting.

Waiting. I need to leave. I need to walk away. Why can't I just walk away?

Noise. Light. Movement. Pain.

Behind me the bottle hits the floor with a sad sort of hollow ring. I turn, watching it roll across the floor, slowly looping into a circle before bumping into the wall with an even emptier sounding clunk. It rocks back and forth, captivating me.

In the corner of my vision, I see his hand fall, fingers brushing the floor. The bottle stops rocking, and I know what I've been waiting for. Smiling, I step towards him, looking up just in time to see his other hand move. Light explodes around me as a terrible roar echoes through the small space.

"We've found her!" someone yells.

Lights. Movement. Pain.

No! No, no, no ... wait ... I didn't get a chance to tell him. I need to tell him. He needs to know what I've been waiting for. That I'm still here. Please God, anyone, just let me … .

I see him. He stands maybe ten feet away, his expression confused. He's waiting.

This is the part they can't show on the vids.

"Get a medic up here!"

I smile as he meets my eyes. I reach out my hand. When his hand envelopes mine, it's solid and real.

"She's in cardiac arrest. We're losing her!"

"We do this together? Right to the end?"

I nod and wrap my arms around him. "Right to the end.

"There are worse things than dying at your side."

This is the part they'll never show in the vids.