Title: "How About 'Merry Christmas'?" 1/1
Author: monimala
Spoilers: 12/26 episode of GH, the X-mas ep.
Rating/Classification: SAC, angst, character deaths, ficlet.
Disclaimer: Somebody else owns "GH".
Summary: A horribly maudlin "what if" expansion on the horribly maudlin Christmas surprise the writers gave us.

Zander: "I...I don't know what to say."
Emily: "How about 'Merry Christmas'?"
********

There's a moment of silence...of perfect, hushed, clarity before the noise explodes. A moment of beautifully choreographed slow-motion before the flurry of broken movements and too-fast falls. It's the beat of minutes, the pulse of seconds, between life and death.

As his eyes fall shut, he is aware of the snow against his face. Cold. The pavement. Hard. Something distant and throbbing that might be pain. Gunshot wounds? And he is aware of her. Love.

His voice is in a box locked too tight to open. His lips cannot form the word. As the pitch blackness of night roars in along with the squeal of tires and the dulling stillness of his agony, he knows his mind is the only thing still moving.

Carly, it whispers. Carly, I won't leave you. Sonny Corinthos feels his body breaking the promise...he struggles to keep his word. He fights, because he is a man of honor. He fights, because he barely remembers kissing his wife a few hours before. He fights, because he has a son at home who needs him. He fights, because he loves them.

And yet he loses.
**

There's a moment of silence...of perfect, hushed, clarity before the noise explodes. A moment of beautifully choreographed slow-motion before the flurry of broken movements and too-fast falls. It's the beat of minutes, the pulse of seconds, between life and death.

As her eyes fall shut, she is aware of a weight pressing down on her stomach. Of the heaviness of death. Of the sound that continues to echo in her ears. Of the ludicrous concept that it is not some age-old vendetta that has killed her, but a new one. Joseph Sorel has succeeded where Helena Cassadine failed.

He should be proud.

And her mind fills with things unsaid...with screams she cannot release. NedohgodNedI'mdyingandI'llneverseeyouagainI'msosorryNed.

She feels her dreams slip away. She feels Alexis Davis and Natasha Cassadine, and the Mrs. Ned Ashton that will never be, all swirl up into the night sky. The perfect night sky.

In the end, it is as vast and nameless and lost as she is.

And she becomes what she always feared.

One of many.

Indistinguishable from the masses.

Unremarkable.

Nothing.
**

There's a moment of silence...of perfect, hushed, clarity before the noise explodes. A moment of beautifully choreographed slow-motion before the flurry of broken movements and too-fast falls. It's the beat of minutes, the pulse of seconds, between life and death.

As his eyes fall shut, he prays that Emily is all right. He hopes he has covered her and that the numbness spreading across his chest means that he took the death into him...that it can't touch her. That the last of his ugliness, of his sins, has not destroyed her.

And he wonders if this is finally the freedom he has been craving.

The gentle dance of snow against his face. Of her hair. Of perfect anguish in her arms.

She fought for him. And now here he is. Out in the night, in the fresh air.

A death sentence he never anticipated.

But one he welcomes.

Zander Smith is free and clear.

For the first time.

And the last.
**

There's a moment of silence...of perfect, hushed, clarity before the noise explodes. A moment of beautifully choreographed slow-motion before the flurry of broken movements and too-fast falls. It's the beat of minutes, the pulse of seconds, between life and death.

As her eyes flash open, all she sees is whiteness. Glaring, bright, whiteness. And she feels phantom arms clasping her close...the tender, lifeless arms of the kidnapper who couldn't take her with him. Not this time.

And she screams.

One long, wordless sound that somehow encompasses the names.

Sonny.

Alexis.

Zander.

As the nurse comes in and jabs the needle in her arm with quick efficiency and Monica's hand soothes her brow, she rolls to the edge of the hospital bed and sees only an abyss. She sees only what might have been. And she asks 'why'.

Why them?

Why not her?

Why now?

Emily Bowen Quartermaine sobs into her palms words that will never hold joy again. Words that will always speak of this night, of the selfless sacrifice of two men and one woman that mirrors a sacrifice made exactly 2000 years before. Words that will always remind her of the perfect silence of death.

"Merry Christmas."

--End--

December 2000.



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