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A Letter To My Beloved

A quill was lifted from an inkpot, the metal tip gleaming in the dimly glowing palefire that hovered over the desk's main writing area. The tip, filled with ink, was set to parchment, and the quill's owner began to write.

My dearest one,

I've just put our daughter to sleep. She woke in the night, wanting to be fed, so I fed her and didn't even finish her bottle before she drowsed off again. I suppose she only wanted a little midnight snack. I couldn't bear to put her down just yet so I stood there gazing down at her tiny face, all pale in the moonlight. Her mouth was slightly open, a small o. She has your lips and eyelashes, dear heart, simply made for kissing. I did not want to disturb her, so I kissed her brow instead as I rocked her in my arms. I wonder at her size, so tiny is she, yet I can hear how strongly her heart beats in her chest, feel the strength of her grip around my smallest finger. Her own fingers are so impossibly slender, and they cannot reach around my finger, yet she clings to it as though she means to wrestle with me in her sleep.

I watched her smack her lips in her sleep and her features settle into a slight pout, as though she were concentrating. I supposed then that she was dreaming about something. Call it a parent's pride, but I think she has your strength of character, my love.

No, I know that she has. She will grow to be just like you, beloved.

Watching her, I felt such joy, gazing down upon the life you and I have made. I wish you were here to see her now, sleeping peacefully and content, beautiful in her infancy. But you're not, and my joy turns into a sorrow beyond imagining. It hurts that you are not here to see her, that you cannot hold her as I hold her now. The pain would've driven me mad if it weren't for the love that I bear for our child. For her, I must be stronger.

I miss you. You cannot believe how much I miss you. I know that you are here in spirit, watching over us both. I can feel you sometimes, feel the love you have in your heart, but o my beloved, my dearest, my treasure of treasures, I would give almost anything for you to be in my arms again, holding our child as we gaze upon her with the pride all parents feel for their newborn, and all our love. I long for your touch, to see you touch her cheek as she sleeps, to see your lips part in a smile of gentle ecstasy.

I can only hold you in my dreams though. In my dreams alone are we complete. Torn between a waking dream and a dream of a reality I cannot have, I must remain awake.

I saw a tear…my tear… splash upon our daughter's cheek, and gently I wiped it away. My sorrow must not taint her so early. She will have her own in time, though by all the gods I will try my best to keep her from it as much as I can! She will have joy and sorrow enough to fill the world – as all beings must.But not so early, and not with mine.

I put her back in the crib Gourry had given us when he and Sylphiel had learned of our daughter's coming and swung the mobile Zelgadiss had given her back over her head. With the greatest of care I put the little gray wolf cub plushie that Xelloss had given her on her birthing day next to her head, and tucked the quilt Filia had made for her around her chest. I lit the glow lamp Amelia had devised to keep her room lit and gazed down at her, tears in my eyes. I wanted to cry, but not here where she slept. I would not disturb her peace.

I went back to our bedroom, and lay on your side of our bed. I fancied I could still smell the perfume of your hair on your pillow. I closed my eyes against the moonlight and wished that you would wrap your arms around me and snuggle close once again, letting me bask in the warmth of your love. When I felt only the emptiness of the room, did I begin to weep in earnest. Oh Ceiphied, I want you back with me, in our bed, not where you lie now…

I cannot sleep. When my tears had all been wept anew, my grief still remains. I write to you, beloved… so that you might know my heart and my thoughts. Know that you will remain in my heart, mind and soul for eternity, and that without you, I am forever incomplete.

I love you.

The quill was replaced, and the letter folded. The writer rose from the desk and walked toward the brightly burning fireplace. The letter was lifted to the writer's lips, tenderly kissed, then dropped from numb fingers into the fireplace.

As the flames began to blacken the edges of the letter, the door to the study opened slightly and a tousled head poked in. "Couldn't sleep again, Milgazia?" Xelloss asked, stepping into the room unasked.

Milgazia did not answer, nor did he turn to face the Mazoku Priest who had become his caretaker along with Memphis and Zelgadiss.

Xelloss walked to stand next to the grieving Dragon Lord. "I felt your sorrow… it woke me up." He explained needlessly, his eyes opening to look down upon the letter as it burned. "I did not know that you believed in the human belief that if you burn something, it will be sent to the one you meant it for…"

Milgazia raised reddened eyes to him. "I miss her, Xelloss… and I love her still." He said simply. Then he went back to watch the flames. The letter was almost completely consumed now.

Xelloss laid a hand on Milgazia's shoulder, his face serious and sad at the same time. "You will always love her, Milgazia, as Lina will always love you and little Maiya."

Milgazia sighed and looked at his unexpected friend. Softly, he whispered, "You loved her too, did you not?"

Xelloss blinked, but then he nodded slowly. "Yes, I did. But she chose you, Milgazia." He stared at the Ryuzoku. "I did not know that you knew."

Milgazia looked away. "I knew from the day that Lina and I were wed. I saw you looking at her, and I knew. You could not hide your feelings for that one instant…and I feared for my family." He gazed numbly down at the letter. "But in the end, it was not you who took her away…"

"Xelas commanded me to discover the truth of her death. Lina Inverse does not simply die in her sleep, you know." Xelloss patted Milgazia's shoulder. "You were never suspect."

"I saw it was not you who stole her from me." Milgazia replied, his voice cracking with grief. "She is lost to us both now…"

Together, they watched as the letter crumbled into ashes in the fireplace.

AN: Sorry, everyone. I might not write this into a series. I wrote this simply for the letter.

Fan Fiction

Shades of Sorrow and Sadness