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Blythe Lennox

[1837/1838][EN] To reach the end

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Monday the 13th of November 1837 - in the evening - Peter's cottage

 

Blythe was, in all honesty, a little bit piqued. She had just finished her work of the day and was about to ask Peter if he wanted to get dinner together, either at home or a restaurant somewhere, but when she dropped by his office, one of the other editors had to tell her he had already left for home. He was feeling a bit under the weather, apparently, and had gone home to rest. Blythe was immediately worried, Peter didn't seem like a very stubborn person but when it came to his health he wasn't the most sensible man (and that was coming from Blythe), but she was also annoyed he hadn't left her a message. Couldn't he just have quickly dropped by? Or send her a letter? No, instead he had gone home, so she hadn't known for hours.

 

Really, Peter.

 

Blythe thanked his coworker and quickly disapparated home, both so she could take care of Peter and so she could let him know that the next time, he really ought to drop her a message. 

 

She finally found him in bed, covered in blankets. Jeeves had obviously tried to take care of him, giving him tea and what not, but Peter didn't look like he would be better any time soon. "Hey," Blythe softly greeted him as she tiptoed inside. Perhaps the lecture could wait. "How are you?" She pressed a kiss to his forehead and frowned at the fever. "Have you been to a healer yet?" Probably not, the stubborn idiot.

 


 

Private! 

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Yes, really, Peter? Well, yes. Really. He had gone home without notifying Blythe. And he wasn’t proud of it, but he would do it again, because notifying Blythe wouldn’t have done any good. He’d been feeling a bit worse than under the weather, you see. These past couple of days, he’d been feeling worse and worse and it had reminded him distinctly of the last time he’d been feeling worse and worse without explanation. So today, when his fever had reached fever pitch or whatever fun way you would like to put it, it had been accompanied by the plummeting feeling in his stomach that was psychological rather than physical: he had to go see a Healer, and he had to get this checked, and then he would probably have to stay overnight. And he had decided not to tell Blythe for now, because she was working, it would distract her, and it would make her feel obliged to sit at his bedside and fret.

 

There was nothing worse, when you were feeling sick and uncomfortable, than watching Blythe Lennox in a hospital environment. No matter what was the matter with you, she would look worse than you felt by miles easy. He’d send her a note and he’d check in again tomorrow.

 

But then he’d come to the hospital, and they had been unable to confirm that the disease was back, unable to do anything even to alleviate the pain, and unable to understand how he was still walking around. And he’d gotten a tad pissed off and he’d gone home to perish in peace. “Hey,” he said with a smile. “Yeah… early. They’re running tests.” They were always running tests. They had to be in great shape at this rate. “How was…” He coughed, took a sip of water, habitually cleared the blood from his mouth with it. “Your day?”

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Blythe was... yes, perhaps not best equipped to deal with a personal emergency, particularly one related to her loved ones. She got anxious, stuck in her own head, wasn't much of a comforter, wasn't really much of any help, in all honesty. And she wanted to be, she wanted to take everything away, but exactly the realization that she never would be able to, made her only worse.

 

"My day was fine," she said quietly and she sank down on the edge of his bed. The lecture was still on the tip of her tongue, but he looked so ghastly that she swallowed it and tried to make light conversation instead. "I finished my article, I still need to check up on some sources, but overall it should be fine." She thought about making a joke that Peter could edit it now, but it died before it reached her throat. Instead, she started to smooth his blanket, forcing away all the wrinkles. "They're already starting to plan the Christmas party,  someone is trying to vote for an Owl theme, Merlin knows why."

 

But now she couldn't hold back anymore. She shifted a little bit, causing more wrinkles on the blanket and reached for his hand. "You're going to be fine." It was supposed to be a statement, but she couldn't help following up with: "Right?" 

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Article. Ah yes, she had been writing some fiery something-or-other in true Blythe fashion. He was glad of it, she was much happier now that she was writing again, the semi real or not at least so very blatantly useless stuff which she’d been stuck on after her little faux pas at Hogwarts with the kid, the road trip and the whisky bottle. He also thought that it was well-deserved, and didn’t think that he was altogether biased when it came to it in fact. While she had not been a great teacher, Blythe had always been an excellent reporter. She had that drive, that determination, and that utter willingness to be rude and cause offence, that were quintessential for being good at this job. Peter, who by and large was desirous of getting along, had never really had that. He therefore smiled, fatigued but determined in turn. “Ah, I’m glad to hear it… If you…” He closed his eyes for a second. “Put it on the table, I’ll give it a quick scan.” And hopefully not cough blood all over it.

 

Nah, he wasn’t going to do that.

 

He took her hand, played with her fingers, ignored how much effort that took. “Of course I’m going to be all right,” he said quietly. “You’ll… see. It’s just like last time.” When she hadn’t been here, but there had been the same symptoms, there had been the same bewilderment and he had come out of it OK enough, hadn’t he just. “Don’t worry about that. Hey, if you’ve just gotten home… shouldn’t you have something to drink? Eat? Didn't you have a thing with a cousin?"

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Blythe hesitated for a moment, because she didn't want him to work when he looked like this, sounded like this, but saying it out loud made it more real, so she smiled. "I'll get you a copy tomorrow," she promised, "I don't have one here and you should rest a bit." While she was still in the writing process she always took her work home, but if it was in the final stages, she rather left it in the offices. At home, she could start brainstorm over new ideas, start with something fresh, but the real tedious work was for the offices.

 

Yes, just like last time... when she hadn't been anywhere near him. When she hadn't even realised he had been sick. The guilt was sour in her stomach, but she kept a loving smile on her face. "I'll get something to drink and eat in a bit." Jeeves would probably be anxious too, with his master in bed... He would stuff her full, just to have something to do. "Do you need anything?" she asked him, ignoring the question about the cousin thing. Ronan could wait, she would send him a quick note that Peter wasn't really doing well and he would understand.

 

"Something to drink or eat... Or maybe a sleeping potion?" He needed to rest, probably, if it was just like the flu. Lots of rest, lots of fluids, lots of blankets... "If you rest, I'm sure you'll feel better tomorrow."

 

Her smile stumbled a little, but she had faith. Peter would be okay, Peter would have to be okay. 

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She’d get him a copy tomorrow. Oh no. It had begun. He had been declared ‘too ill to work’ by someone he loved and was close to. Last time, from this point on, everything else had been pretty much downhill. He’d minded the operations less. He didn’t like not working. It wasn’t as though he had a tough job like lumberjack or dragon tamer or even cook (those did a lot of standing upright, he could see how that wouldn’t be a good fit). He read things, as a profession. And if he was sick, people would come and take his work away, then leave another book on the nightstand. What was the point? He didn’t say anything though. Peter rarely made a point of doing things differently than Blythe would wish to and right now, he didn’t feel that it was worth it. As though spelling out that she was making a big deal out of this would be making a big deal out of this, too.

 

At least she wasn’t getting grapes. Grapes.

 

“No, I’m fine, really. Jeeves’s been very busy.” Mostly to no avail, because Peter wasn’t actually hungry, but with Jeeves, too, he took the ‘say less and save the effort’ approach and thus he was well stocked on tea and broth and herbal many things. Also grapes. “Join me for a bit, otherwise? Maybe with a book? If you’re sure you don’t want to go say hi – I can manage…” He smiled half-heartedly. “It’s not like I’m thrilling company right now.”

 

All of this had come out very quickly and dapper in his head. Unfortunately, it was a lot slower and quieter and raspier in reality. But well… that probably added some sort of charm.

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Charm? No, not really, Peter. Any charm it might have was quickly erased by the worry that Blythe felt for him. Right now, she just wanted him to rest, deep and well, and then he would feel better tomorrow. 

 

Right?

 

"I'll go eat first," she said with a smile and she softly pressed her hand against his cheek. "And then I'll come back." To sit by his side, like they were a couple of loving seniors. "But promise me you'll sleep if you feel the need? Don't stay awake for my company." She kissed him, softly because he was sick and felt fragile underneath her lips. 

 

When she came back, he was fast asleep.

 

A few days later, Peter was still not doing better. Blythe had gone to work every single day, even if she wasn't getting much work done, but Peter almost forced her out of the house. She had brought her article with her, so he could have a look at it, but hadn't brought it up since. The people at the office knew that Peter wasn't doing well, but it seemed that no one was really willing to bring up the subject, which suited Blythe just fine. She didn't want to think about Peter wasting away... even if it was all she could think about.

 

"How about some fresh air?" she greeted him on Thursday morning, coming into his room with a cup of coffee. "It has snowed overnight, not a lot, but it looks beautiful outside." She nodded to the window, but it wasn't the same as going outside and having a look. "Maybe it's just what you need..." She hoped so, at least, because the rest and keeping him in his bed didn't seem to do him any favours. He practically looked even weaker than before. 

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No, he hadn’t gotten better. He’d been getting gradually worse, fading in and out of consciousness, with consciousness being a more and more loosely defined term as well. It wasn’t brilliant. It took one of the few charms of bedrest, the opportunity to read, and ran roughshod over it, because though there were a few books by his bedside, as well as Blythe’s article, he simply couldn’t read and remember a page, and thus could never progress beyond it. He would spend a couple of minutes – or hours, he had lost the track of time – turning pages back and forth and then fell asleep again. He was glad Blythe had gone to work every day. He didn’t want her around for this. He didn’t want anyone around for this.

 

Today, however, he was clearer, though out of energy still, but that didn’t matter as much when she came in; he was just glad that he could smile, and process, and not fall asleep. “Some fresh air sounds nice,” he nodded, happy that it was a suggestion he could work with, that she didn’t seem to have completely written him off forever. “This place always looks so beautiful in snow.” He summoned a sweater and a cloak, struggled a little to get the sweater over his head, had to lean into the pillows to catch his breath, but refused to ask for her help, though he knew that he might as well: it wasn’t as though she wouldn’t be perfectly able to see how weak he had become.

 

“How’s it going?” He used his wand to keep himself upright, but stumbled, sighed. “I…” He Summoned a walking stick from upstairs, sacrificing pride to not falling over and her having to help him. “How’s work? Oh, look…” A squirrel was hiding nuts under a tree.

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It broke her heart to see him struggle like that, to see that even such a small action as putting on a sweater was almost too much for Peter to bear, but Blythe tried to keep a courageous smile on her face. He would get better, he would. He was just winded now, too little exercise of late, and he had such trouble with his lungs... As soon as that cleared up, he would be able to breathe without a problem. 

 

Despite herself, she reached towards him as he stumbled, but he summoned a walking stick before she could do anything, so she quickly retreated her hand. "It's going well," she said, a little too cheerful, so they didn't have to address it. "Work is fine. People miss you, of course, especially the other editors." But he was going to come back soon and then everything would be fine. They would joke a little that he wasn't ever allowed to get sick again, because they had to pick up the extra work, that even taking a holiday would be rude, and then everything would be normal.

 

She hovered near his elbow, stupidly not daring to touch him, while she tried to keep acting like she wasn't doing anything differently. "Ah, how cute!" She smiled at the squirrel, but her attention was completely for Peter. "I read that a lot of trees only exist because a squirrel forgot where he buried a nut." 

 

Ugh, she used to hate smalltalk. Now it was the best she could manage. 

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“Yeah… I miss them, too. And their endless quarrels about punctuation and font…” He forced a chuckle, but it was true, he did miss the office, he missed being at work, he missed doing different things every day and talking to people. “Maybe someday soon I’ll be able to drop by for a bit, just say hi again.” He could not work. He knew that. And hated it. For he also, apart from the work and the life, just missed… the normalcy of it all. Missed being healthy and missed people dealing with him as though he was healthy. He could sense the awkwardness between them, he knew how much Blythe disliked small-talk, he noticed how she wasn’t touching him, but looking at him all the time as though he might crumble if she took her eyes off him. He hated it. Hated also that he couldn’t easily tell her that everything would be okay. Not anymore.

 

He smiled, as widely as he possibly could. “Well, that’s brilliant. Poetic, in a way, isn’t it? Such beauty, created because of a flaw, a mistake?” He had to stand still for a second, to catch his breath, and feel less faint. “It makes you feel differently… could make you feel differently… about things you don’t like about yourself.” He coughed, tried to keep it small, failed, and succumbed to a fit.

 

“How’d your interview go? You had one, right?”

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Maybe someday soon... it sounded terrifying, those words, as if they had agreed to drop the pretense that this was just a small illness and moved on to accepting that this was something big. But something big they weren't doing anything about, something big that Peter waited for alone in his room, without proper medication, without healers, without... anything. Just Jeeves' help and her own and what good could she possibly ever do? She wasn't good at this, she wasn't even good at comfort, just good at confrontation and ruining things. "Yeah," she just said, trying to keep herself together for his sake.

 

"Nature is good at making its own mistakes beautiful," she laughed a little, eyeing Peter all the while, but really? Poetic? Sure, this was, but not all mistakes were poetic. Some mistakes were simply awful, some character flaws so persistent, so destructive... And some other mistakes, illnesses, were so horrible... "Ah, yes, it went fine." She shrugged. "He was very obtrusive at first, but finally he spilled all the secrets, after that third glass of wine." She grinned a little bit, despite Peter, despite everything, she was still a little proud of herself. "Now I have more information than I can ever put in one article." 

 

"Peter..." she hesitated for a moment, but then kept pushing: "Are you sure you don't want to go back to the hospital? You're not getting better..." She clasped her hands together, to have something to do with them, while she carefully glanced up to his face. "You're only getting worse..." 

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“That’s great,” Peter said with a smile as bright as he could make it. And it was quite sincere. He was proud of her too. “Perhaps you could do a three-piece buildup? They’re a bit of a fascination of Paul’s, so he’ll probably go for it.” All this talking was preventing him from allowing to catch his valuable breath, but he was out for a walk with his fiancée and so oxygen simply had to yield for dignity and stubbornness at times. Of course, he didn’t need to tell Blythe how to do things, but it was always nice to be able to give a bit of inspiration or suggestions, and perhaps he also liked how it pulled him back a little to that old, comfortable world where he knew the patterns so well, where he was almost etched into the surroundings for having been there so long. He’d been at the Prophet as a kid, playing with old newspapers as his father sat in meetings, being taken to the quidditch games about which his dad had to write... 

 

Blythe, unfortunately, pulled him firmly back to the here and now. Back to hospital. He hesitated. His first instinct was to say ‘no’, to scream it, because no, he didn’t want to go back, he hated it there, but he could hear the quiver in her voice and recognise what she was going through, and he could no longer discount what his choices were doing to her. So he nodded. “I... don’t want to go back to hospital. But I’ll get a Healer in tomorrow and if he says I should go back, I will.” He took her hand, played with her fingers, pressed a kiss on the back of it. “It’ll be okay.”

 

But in hindsight he’d wonder if he’d meant that. Because he didn’t want to go back to hospital, he didn’t even want to ask a Healer, and it might have been that on some level he had already known what they were going to say.

 

The next day, he waited for her on the sofa in the living. Jeeves had prepared a favourite meal of Blythe’s, but had excused himself from serving it, for once not because his honour was impugned by not being able to ensure that they ate at the dining room table rather than on the couch, but because he had been too overcome and that was unbearable for any butler. Peter had been touched.

 

“Hi, Blythe... sit down...” Merlin, she looked beautiful, her cheeks reddened by the cold of the outside, forming such a marvelous contrast with the blonde hair, pretty in the dark and the candlelight and he postponed what he must tell her like an idiot. “A drink?” He poured them both a Scotch without really waiting for a reply. “And there’s food.” 

 

Why was he nervous about this? It wasn’t like he was going to fail at it.

 

Dying was the easiest thing to do.

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It was in all honesty a miracle she had managed to stay away from the cottage until dinner. She hadn't wanted to leave this morning, but had finally dragged herself away, knowing that Peter would prefer it, that he liked to control the message perhaps, always the editor. So she had forced herself to the office, sat at her desk and tried to work, but not a single word had flowed out of her pen, despite various attempts. At lunchtime she left, but she hadn't gone back to the cottage. Instead she went home, home home, where her mother for once in Blythe's life hadn't said anything, but had just given her a basket of laundry to sort. The smells and little sounds of home had been comforting for once, instead of stifling, feeling like a warm blanket of normality.

 

Maybe she was only able to appreciate it because for once she could give her mother a hug and then leave.

 

"Hey," she greeted Peter and smiled at him, simply because she always wanted to smile at him, but she eyed him quickly in the meantime. How did he look? Worse? Better? No, not better... Not better as if the healer had immediately found what was wrong with him and given him some drugs that worked like true miracles. "Thank you." She took the drink, but ignored the food, settling down on the couch next to him. 

 

For a moment she was silent, the needs to ask the question and to tell him she loved him battled in her mouth. "I love you," she finally decided to start with. "You know that, right?" 

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The look was always the same, had been the same for days on end. The ‘how is he doing’ look. She hardly ever asked but she always looked, ever the reporter, relying only on the perception of her own eyes and preferring those over witness testimony; preferring, too, of course, not to ask, as though by asking him she might remind him that he felt sick, or remind herself. Remind the world, so that his illness might catch up with him. The last couple of months had been incredibly tough on her, he knew. She pretended they hadn’t but she was a lousy liar. And it would have been all right, he would have felt bad about it but would have let it go, if things had gotten better, if he had had cause to think that soon again he’d be okay, soon again he’d be able to take her on all those trips they’d wanted to take, soon again he’d marry her and they would have that lovely life together toward which they had been waiting so long but which had never quite materialised. Everything she deserved. Everything he had, and had wanted to give her.

 

But he now knew that it would not be so.

 

“I love you, too.” With all his heart, from the moment she had stormed into his office to yell at him it had been set alight. He remembered every second of their quizzical courtship. Memories that were so precious now, now that their time was as limited as his, for though they would not fade in the time they still had, they would vanish when he did. Memories didn’t last. He had no ambition to make his last, not ordinarily, he’d always wanted to write a book but he’d never gotten to it, feeling like he had little enough to contribute and indeed he still felt that way. But he wished these memories would be given grace. Because he knew how Blythe struggled, and wished she could see herself through his eyes. “Blythe…” He took her hand, wondered at how his voice stayed even in this moment. He hadn’t wanted to cry but he had thought he would, he was that way… but apparently not. “The… my muscles are failing. The Healers can’t do anything for me.” He looked at her beautiful eyes. “I… They don’t know how long. But I can’t be cured.” Say it, Peter. Say the words or you’ll have to listen to her struggle to turn this into a positive sentence and then you’ll have to stomp it down. You owe both of you better than that. “I’m dying.”

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I'm dying.

 

Blythe had always known about the power of language, she wouldn't have become a journalist if she didn't understand the weight of words, how life changing they could be. People could so easily be healed with a few words, but so easily broken too and these two, little words where the most heartbreaking she had ever heard.

 

He was dying. 

 

She grabbed his hand as if it was a life line, because there was nothing she could say, no words strong enough to fix this. Her favourite medium, the most important thing in the world,  and it had failed her. Not for the first time, but definitely the strongest way. He was dying and there was nothing she could say to make it alright. There was nothing she could do. All the articles in the world were suddenly useless, all the things she had ever written, all the lives she thought she saved, suddenly it was all as useless as dust in the wind because Peter was dying.

 

"I'm..." She tried to force herself to say something, to push words out of her mouth, but what good where they? What could she even say? That she was sorry? That it all would work out? That she loved him? It all tasted like ash in her mouth and so instead she climbed into his lap and kissed him, trying to let her body express something her words couldn't.

 

It still wouldn't save him, still wouldn't keep him alive, still wouldn't save her along with it, but it was the one thing she could do now. 

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She might not say anything, but the expression on her face could not be denied: in her eyes, he watched himself die, and he felt his heart break for her, rather than for himself, because he knew that he was getting the easy, the inevitable part of the equation. Not that he thought that dying would be easy. Well, it would be, the dying itself, but it wasn’t easy to live with. His every breath right now felt painful, not because of his illness but because of the knowledge of how numbered they were. Of everything that he wouldn’t be able to do anymore, of everything he wouldn’t be able to see anymore. Everyone he would have to say goodbye to. Whether or not he would miss them… whether or not he’d be able to… he missed them now already. And he wanted to fight, and he wanted to scream, and he wanted for this not to be happening because he wanted… he wanted to live…

 

But he wouldn’t.

 

And there was nothing he could do.

 

He kissed Blythe back, with all of his broken heart, abandoning for a moment the conversation, abandoning thought as he put his arms round her, but soon enough reality caught up with him because he wasn’t well enough to end his life on a kiss. He drew back, ran a hand through her long, sweet-smelling hair. “Well. If this is always the reaction, I think I’m going to play that card more often,” he chuckled half-heartedly. The joke was in poor taste, but he had to say something, anything. Dying was in poor taste. So the jokes would just go along with it. “But seriously, though…” He sighed. “I think we should break our engagement… I don’t want to keep you here… Maybe we''ll take one last trip, to Japan or something, and use that as the end?”

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The joke was in poor taste, but Blythe smiled nonetheless, for him, for herself, as if smiling at his joke made the idea that he was dying less bitter. It didn't, of course it didn't, but what at this moment could? So she would forgive him the bad jokes he made.

 

But not for the suggestion he made, not for assuming she'd leave him right now. "No," she said, mostly trying to be stern, yet it sounded more like begging. "I don't want to leave you." He was dying and what, she was just supposed to pack her bags? Go home? Pretend this never happened, that she hadn't met him, hadn't fallen in love with him and wouldn't be losing him? How could he ever think she would do that? Could do that? "I don't want to go about Japan, I don't care about Japan, not if it's the end of us." She clung to him, wrapping her arms around his neck, realizing that even if they weren't go to Japan, they would still end.

 

It would still be over.

 

"Just let me stay here, please," she whispered against his neck. "I won't be any bother." 

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”A bother?” he asked, incredulously, because how, how even with her utter lack of self esteem had she gotten to that conclusion from his proposal, how could she think that that was what he was worried about? “Blythe, you could never bother me. I love it when you’re here, you know that.” Or if she didn’t know that it was not remotely due to him. He knew that for certain, that every day that she had lived with him he had shown his appreciation, every day she’d been with him he’d shown his love. On that score, he had no regrets. And that was nice, was it not, nice to die knowing that you had given it your all, that you wouldn’t take it back... except it wasn’t, because it wasn’t nice to die. Still, he had very little regrets all in all. Right now, it didn’t feel like that, right now the grief, the regret for the future lost to him, was still too near. But he knew, when he stopped to consider it, that he regretted only things he had not done. Nothing he had. He’d been content. He’d been entranced. He’d been happy, truly happy. He knew love, and understanding. 

 

He was lucky, amidst it all. 

 

“It’s not you bothering me that I’m worried about. You could stay as long as you wanted, if that was it. But...” He bit his lip. He wanted so badly to have her stay here. At the same time, he felt as though it was incumbent upon him, his duty in fact, to send her away. The healers hadn’t given him a timeline. It could be two months, it could be two years. It was madness, for her to have to live with that. However, he knew that kicking her out against her will would be his first and last regret. And he didn’t want to go there. He just had to explain. “I won’t have you waste months of your life on a vigil. I... don’t you see? Then neither of us gets to live.”

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Okay, fine, so she wasn't a bother, but he was still trying to get rid of her, to kick her out, while at the moment, Blythe wanted nothing more than to be near him, to hold him, to face the void together, even though she knew it wasn't the same, because he would die and she would not. And there was nothing she could do about it, no way for her to make it better. And brave, sweet Peter thought only of her.

 

"You think I would live if I left?" she asked, drawing back a little so she could look him in the face, even though the sight of him hurt her. "You think I could just leave it behind and pretend that we didn't happen?" Tears started welling up in her eyes, but she stubbornly didn't blink, hoping it would somehow make them disappear, instead of freeing them to roll over her cheeks. "I'm hurting anyway, Peter, but at least when I'm here..." She'd know. She'd see it. The news of his death wouldn't catch her unawares, while working or having dinner or while pretending she had some sort of a life without him. 

 

"I love you," she said and the words caught in her throat, but she forced them out nonetheless. "I don't want to leave you." 

 

She sighed and wiped away the years, forcing herself to remove all evidence of the destruction on her face. "Come, let's... eat." If she pretended life was normal, he would go along with it, right? 

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A few weeks later.

 

She knew it was dumb, but somehow Blythe had started to believe that Peter was doing better again. 

 

After that night, they had packed their bags and took a portkey, ending up somewhere far away, where her strawberry hair got excited gasps from the public, where the food tasted like something she had never tried before, where she saw more new things every single day than she could ever remember. They didn't talk about what happened when they would return, they talked about books they read instead, they went on walks, they spent hours soaking in the sunlight. And he seemed to be doing better, he seemed to have more of a breath, more energy, more... life. And so Blythe had slowly let the thought that he was dying drift to the back of her head, until it felt like just a nasty nightmare she had once had, but without any consequence to the actual world.

 

But all holidays must end at some point, or real life will come settling in to exchange long walks with chores and to switch books for bills. And so, after a long day of travel, but so much shorter thanks to magic, they came home again. The cottage was still covered in snow and it looked so the same that Blythe had an unsettled feeling in her stomach, but she hid those behind a smile. 

 

"It's so nice to be home again," she said, putting the suitcases down in the hallway, for Jeeves to take care of. She glanced at Peter from the corner of her eye, did he seem paler?, but she just happily babbled on: "It would be nice to take a trip again soon, wouldn't it? Peter?" 

 

Peter? 

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