DISCLAIMER: Star Trek Voyager and its characters are the property of Paramount. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: No idea exactly what motivated this little bit of story. It's just one of those notions you feel more than you think out. Writing is such great therapy. You'll have to forgive me though as I can't remember how to spell holo-deck for the life of me.:}
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Heaven and Hell
By Artemisrulz


Have you ever hurt so much you couldn't breathe? That it seemed as if the mere act of forcing one more breath into your body might just stop your heart from beating all together? It's a pain that nothing can ease, that nothing can make go away. Like your heart is being squeezed in a vise, centimeter by torturous centimeter. It is a sensation I have become quite accustomed to, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. The last betrayal is always the most bitter, until the next...and then the next...

This disquieting occurrence is generally accompanied by a feeling of utter hopelessness. A darkness so heavy and black that it totally surrounds you and slowly but surely absorbs the light, until it's just you alone in the bottom of a black, black hole. And you knew if there was just one reason, any reason at all...you would fight it, if there were one thing you wanted, one thing to reach for...anything...

Then your eyes start to burn and you clench your teeth really tight and try to fight off the panic because you are so afraid that this time...this time you will just let go...just let it happen...just disappear. Who would notice anyway, who would care...No one knows how lonely you are, how empty...Oh god, it hurts so much, to be this alone...No one to hear you, no one to touch you...not even a voice inside your head, not even your own...and you wish you could just stop everything, just say I don't want to play anymore...Oh god, please just let me quit...If I could just fade away, like some Fey creature who has lost its glamour...

The physical pain doesn't even help anymore. The pain and the blood used to make me feel something. If I could bleed, If I could hurt, then I could still live...I smell the smoke, the bodies reeking of death lay piled all around me. They have a unique aroma...sweet and sickly, alluring and appalling. The fear of death, the draw of it's dark peacefulness. I fall to my knees; the hot, steely taste of my own blood on my tongue as it runs down my forehead and into my mouth as I pant in exhaustion. I want to scream, but I can only sob helplessly. Oh god it hurts. It hurts so much.

My world starts to narrow, to spiral inward, tighter and tighter it curls...and I know this time...I can't do it...I won't make it back...there will be nothing left but an empty shell...and no body sees it...no body knows...they see what they want too...they believe the illusion I have created...they need the illusions for themselves...and when I am in public I laugh, I smile.... I pretend I am in love with him...they are all so blind...but it was all I had...all he could give...what else was there for either of us? But I can't pretend anymore.... It's over...It`s not really so surprising that he should stray again and again...and yet, they will all wonder why I did this to myself...

Ahhh...I cry out and cringe as a bright light slices across my eyes...taking away my perfect darkness...I raise my arm in self defense and look upward...and I see an angel...perhaps I am already dead.... And then the angel is kneeling in front of me and I can feel her hand against my cheek and I sob out loud...oh god.... Her touch is cool and gentle.... Oh god it feels so good...I look up into eyes so blue...sad, yet loving and shake my head.

"You don't understand" I say. "Oh but I do." She replies. "I know only too well what it is to be alone among the many. To feel too much and nothing at all." And as I look into her eyes I see that she does understand and I reach out for her and she stands drawing me into her arms. I cling to her and hold on tight. She tilts my head backwards and runs a thumb across my lips. She smells like heaven. She is an angel.

"I see you." She whispers. "I have always seen `You'. I have always known you. I have always wanted to touch you this way."

"Then...Why didn't you." I whisper back to her. My throat tight. Afraid to speak too loud, afraid I will offend the god that has brought me here.

"Because you would not have heard me. You were not ready to listen." She dips her head slightly and kisses me and suddenly I can feel again. I can feel everything and it hurts. Oh god it hurts, but in a good way. Like pins and needles as the blood rushes back into a deadened limb. Slowly but surely my heart beats again and I crush her against me, so desperate to feel, to live again. She is that one thing I have needed for so long. She makes me.... want again...and at last I can see clearly, what was right in front of me all along.

She finally breaks the kiss and pulls gently back from me. "Are you ready?" she says. "Yes" I reply. She smiles again and this time the joy she feels creeps into her eyes and her face is radiant, beautiful and I wonder how I could ever have been such a fool to insist this beautiful woman was incapable of feeling love. "You are stubborn" She says. "I am?" I say trying to sound unsurprised by the fact she also seems to be able to read my mind. "Yes.You are."

I just laugh and it feels good, very good. She really does know me. I just shake my head and laugh again. "And you are always right aren't you." I say as I take her hand and we walk towards the door of the holo-deck. "If you say so." She replies dryly as she cocks her head to the side and arches a fair eyebrow skyward. And I suddenly realize that that cocky little smirk that always irritated me so much before, is sexy as hell.

The End

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