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Title: Love You Always
Author: Gabi Fisher
Email: blueeyedxphile@hotmail.com
Feedback: I'd love some :)
Rating: PG
Classification: VA, little bit MSR, character death
Disclaimer: CC, FOX, and everybody down in LA owns them, not me. I'll give 'em back when I'm done playing.
Summary: Never has saying "I love you" been so hard...

*****

He had told me he loved me. He told me that he always had. I froze. I didnít know what to say. I was unable to repeat his words back to him. All I could do was look into his eyes, placing all my unspoken feelings into my gaze and hope that he understood me. But he seemed hurt by my lack of response. It hurt him more that I could possibly imagine I was sure, and I felt horrible for doing so. However, I couldnít help it. I couldnít bring myself to use those three small words. To do so would have been to admit something to him I was barely ready to admit to myself, let alone him. So instead, I gave him a look I prayed he would be able to interpret and left the room. Iím not sure why I left, I just needed my space.

I stood in my room, with my back to him, until he finally rose slowly from the couch and let himself out, his spirits crushed. I was ashamed of myself for doing this to him. I had always sworn to myself never to let him down, but I had. Unintentionally I had let him down in the worse possible way. I had crushed him irrevocably, I feared.

I tried place the blame on him. He was the one who placed his heart and soul in my hands before I was ready for them. It was his fault for broaching the subject too soon, I told myself. But I knew it wasnít his fault. In my heart, I knew that he needed to make his feelings clear before he lost his chance. God knows that our lives are full of last chances. We have been given up for dead more times than I care to remember, and each time we curse ourselves for letting the opportunity to share our feeling with each other slip through our fingers. And yet, when he did finally take the leap, I got scared and erected the walls again. The impenetrable walls between us. Walls that could be erected in seconds, but take so much longer to tear down again.

I would give anything to go back to that evening and tell him I love him. For so long I have regretted not doing so. At times I wonder why I didnít tell him I felt the same way. Why I hadnít told him yet. Why I had not said anything then, as much as I wanted to. Why he, the emotionally scarred son of parents who never really loved him and brother to a sister long missing, was the one who was able to tell me, whereas I, supposedly the emotionally secure one, was unable to do so much as echo his words. I didnít even have to say them first. I have spent many sleepless nights tossing and turning, attempting to answer these questions.

Itís been several weeks now, since that evening. Not a night has passed, however, without me thinking of his unexpected declaration. Amazing, how much it took for me to be able to utter such short words to my partner. My best friend. My soul mate. But what truly matters, I suppose, is that in the end I was able to say them.

I took a deep breath, switched the bouquet of flowers for him from one hand to the other, and neared him. Keeping my eyes on the ground, I took another deep breath and then finally dove in. It was now or never. Quietly, I whispered, "I love you." The silence in the air today was light and tension free. I felt as if a weight had been lifted off my chest. I was sure that the nightmares that had haunted me since he had told me he loved me would now dissipate into the abyss of my soul as all my other past, nightmare-inducing episodes had.

I smiled, for the first time in what seemed like forever, and kneeled down. I set the flowers at the foot of the tombstone, once again whispering, "I loved you then, and I will love you always," before I left, feeling freer and lighter than I had in countless years.

*****

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