The rain fell and the mourners wept. Children dreamt of ice-cream amidst the stench of grass and sodden tissues. One figure remained dry-eyed, heart squeezed so tight she couldn't breathe. Palms bloody with the imprint of nails.
"We are gathered here today to pay our respects..."
A drop of blood swam between trembling fingers. Memories flooding into the empty caverns of a desolate mind.
"A woman so unlike any other..."
A choked sob fought for freedom, as tears pooled in unseeing eyes.
"She was an inspiration. A role-model..."
Anger. Fury. Rage.
Lies told and lies believed. Platitudes to soothe the souls of the guilty and mar the arrogance of the dead. Obscure the essence of the unique.
The lies clouded her mind and turned her stomach. The pathetic sniffling of the mourners made her want to scream. Two-faced liars! Beloved? Didn't they mean exploited? Ridiculed? Terrorised?
"She gave so freely..."
She gave because she didn't know how to take. She gave because they'd convinced her she owed them her obedience, her love. She gave until there was nothing left to give. She gave them her life.
Blood smeared against the woman's covered thigh. The red soaked into the black, as if it had never been. Just as her love had soaked into the cover of her marriage; masked by a feigned indifference that could no-longer withstand the light of day.
"We shall miss her..."
B'Elanna turned. The charade of grief made her sick. The loss of the only woman she'd ever loved made her run.
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