Natalie sometimes-no, often-wondered if there was really any point to it all.

Even the most extraordinary aspects of her life-the parts she would be put in a rubber room for if she ever mentioned, guaranteed-couldn't stop the sensation that she was swimming in a vat of molasses.

She had been staring at the crack in the wall for a few minutes before she broke down in tears. It had to be some sort of bitterly awful cosmic joke. Like God was laughing at her. If there even was any kind of deity in charge of the universe, He or She had a lot of explaining to do.

Or maybe this was Hell. Her own personal eternal torment. Because nothing ever seemed to get any better, only worse.

There was only the preternatural coolth of Nick's arms around her, and the sting of the tears in her eyes, to remind her that she was still alive. As much as he wanted to, as much as she wanted him to, even her vampire protector couldn't save her from her own demons.

It was all she could do to just keep breathing.

A/N: Having battled depression myself since my teens (and only having received treatment in the past year), I wanted to try my hand at a more realistic ficlet on the matter. Natalie was my immediate and natural choice as she seems very depressed by the middle of Season 3.

You can find the Writers Against Cliches discussion posts over at the das_sporking comm on LJ (including the post for Depression, which inspired this ficlet).