Hold On

by Timesprite



Disclaimer: Cable and Domino are the property of Marvel, ect, ect. I'm not making money off of this. Thanks go out to Lynxie and Sparks who betaed and offered opinions. This is totally divorced from any of my series.

I reach out and brush hair the colour of silver from his brow, softly, so I donít wake him. Peaceful. It seems impossible that he should ever seem that way, but he looks that way now. Heís not dreaming, not haunted. Just asleep. And I let myself admit just how much I love him for a heartbeat. This is the only time I can. Any other time it would hurt too much. To feel that intensity while he was awake, watching me, or fighting demons in his sleep. I can only admit it when heís not fighting. When thereís no trace of the battle that brews behind those eyes of his. Intense.

I almost want to cry, but thatís a luxury I wonít afford myself. I canít. If I did, Iíd never be able to lock it away again, and every time he looked at me, touched me, Iíd cry all over again. Instead Iím quietly angry. Angry at the universe that gave him this destiny that tears him apart, awake or asleep. Angry at the virus thatís killing him by inches and years. Angry at everyone whoís ever tried to hurt him, blamed him for things he never did and could not help to prevent. I rage silently at the injustice. Heís so strong on the outside, and he projects an aura of that strength, but Iíve seen him stripped bare. Been witness to his naked soul. Iíve held him while he cried in his sleep, calling names of people long dead and at the same time centuries from being born. Been helpless to soothe that pain. And I hate the people who did this to him. Who tried to drive the kindness from his heart and make him cold inside, cold as ice.

His brow creases, he makes a soft noise. I lean over and kiss his forehead to smooth that wrinkle away, to calm his dreams. I feel a darkness on the horizon, see the storm clouds gather. And I ask myself how I can love him, when itís so unfair. Unfair to me, and to him. I know I only add to his struggle. Without me, heíd have no regrets. He could die with a clear conscience.

Instead, he holds on. I could ask him not to. I could tell him itís okay. Iím strong. Iíll survive once heís gone. Itís a matter of time. Of years. Of months and minutes and seconds. And even as I hold him, wrap my arms around this man whoís mystery and strength and fragility all balled up in one, even as I love him with all I am, Iím preparing to lose him. Iím learning to live with his loss. I watch the clock tick slowly by and I know with certainty that he will die and I will be left behind. It makes it hard to breath and I allow myself a few tears and a strangled sob. Just a few. And I hold on.


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