Title: "With a Whimper"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "General Hospital"
Rating/Classification: NAC, angst, NEm/ZEm, second person pov.
Disclaimer: Nope, I don't own the character.
Summary: This is the way Emily's world ends. Not with a bang...but...

Your life begins and ends with his face.

Barely a teenager, shivering despite the warmth of your fluffy leopard-print coat as you hung out on the driveway with the new boy who was too shy to leave the safety of his fancy car. You don't remember what you said. Stupid things. "Hey." "How you doing?" "Do you like Port Charles?" Things that somebody who just got her period blurts out accompanied by a deep red blush. Things that run together like the thick coat of mascara that you didn't learn to thin until you started modeling.

You gave up make-up altogether after the accident. It was too painful to lift your hand to apply the lipstick, to make the lines of the liner perfect along your lids. You spent your mornings cursing your therapists and your afternoons avoiding calls from Zander.

But every night, you dreamt of eating brownies at Kelly's. Of listening to bubblegum pop music as Lucky and Liz waltzed in the candlelight and Nikolas slouched in the seat across from you.

Oh...oh how you wanted him to ask you to dance. To hold you close.

And he did.

Too late.

Your life begins and ends with his face.

Barely a woman... held in the circle of his arms at a grand ball on Spoon Island...turning to Juan, to Zander, when he let you go. And you do love Zander. You're hoarse from saying that. Not from the tube down your throat or the awful medication they keep pumping into your veins. But from the truth. You do love the boy who fed you grape Pixi Sticks at gunpoint and made gentle love to you in your grandparents' boathouse. You taught him there was more to life than violence and drugs... you taught him how to feel...

But...but Nikolas Cassadine taught *you*.

You can barely hold your eyes open... and when you close them, the scratchy faux leopard-fur coat is gone and an elegant gown is in its place. The boy isn't leaning against his car and feigning disinterest. He's not new in town and scared. He's been here forever. He holds out his hand to you and it's familiar... he says "I love you" and it's everything you always wanted.

You ran away, once, with Lucky, to the desert. No one understood you and you wanted to go home.

You can't go to the desert now.

You can't go home.

You know your husband is resting his head on your chest... and the weight is so heavy...so beautifully heavy... you wonder if he can hear your heart struggling to beat. You wonder if he can translate the murmurs in between.

And you hope not. God, no...

You're cruel. You're selfish. You're awful. You're going to die and burn in a special Hell made for silly girls who lead men on. But he'll...he'll be at peace. That's all that matters. Zander, your husband...your devoted, sweet, passionate husband... who has wanted nothing so much as he wants you. You'll be gone and he'll have your memory. He'll remember the carnival and climbing in your window and a bridge in Canada...

You'll have the lingering taste of chocolate.

Seeing the sunrise over the Grand Canyon with your mom.

Your first photo shoot.

Watching t.v. with A.J. at midnight when no one else is awake.

Seeing Jason cry for the first time.

Your grandfather's blustering and Grandmother's gentle hand on your brow.

The first real hug from your parents.

Watching Lucky and Elizabeth dance like no one else existed...because, back then, no one else did.

And...

And...

Your life ends with *his* face.

Barely a teenager.

You're not ready to die.

But you will.

For Nikolas.

Over and over again.

Or maybe just once.

Your story begins and ends... with his face.

 

--end--

September 2, 2003.



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