Title: Leaving
Author: Admarem
Category: Vignette
Spoilers: Emily arc
Rating: PG

Summary: A different kind of Emilyfic

For Dreamer, who brought me around.

Darkness. So dark. Cold.


I can feel time like a heartbeat.

I see it in the face of my sleeping child. I watch her in the dark. She has so little time left, so few moments. I know.

Each remaining moment echoes in my breast. Something primal keeps me by her side as she dozes, her small features slack and -- for now -- free of pain. I want her to stay this way; I want to keep her from the agony she has endured, from that which she will endure when I can no longer protect her.

I want to rail against those who've done this to her. Hurt them the way I instinctively want to hurt those who would say she is not my child.

Damn them.

They can't understand. They haven't seen her. Haven't seen her eyes that reflect my childhood back at me, her soft pink cheeks that darken a shade in her sleep. They don't know her. I do.

And I know she will not be with me much longer.

One part of me wants to end it now, to cover her button nose and rosy lips with one maternal hand. Selfish. I can't watch her suffer anymore.

I would die for her. It is small comfort to me that she seems to know this. Understand it. Our connection is more than the physical. Let that remain a comfort to me.

Whom can I trust when the world conspires to harm my child? She's not an experiment. Not a lab animal. She is small and pink and very, very vulnerable. She is mine.

When she looks at me, her eyes are wide enough to swallow me and hide me from those who would destroy us. I wish she could. I wish my embrace were enough to protect her, but my arms are but a slight interference to the larger powers working against us.

You have suffered enough, I tell her silently. Silent communication. It's how I spoke to her during the tests, watching her tiny body engulfed by the cold machinery.

When I stroke the dampness from her brow I imagine I am wiping away the hurt, the sickness. If only it were that easy.

A knock at the door.

Emily, we have to say good-bye.

Another one. Insistent. Loud.

How can I leave you and stay with you?

Banging. Splintering. On the door. In my head. Oh, God.

Can I carry you with me now, the way I hold your image in my purse?

No. No!

I ask whoever hears to watch over my baby.

Let me go. Leave me. Oh, I can't fight it. I can't. Help me.

Emily, I'm sorry.

Foggy. Bright and dark behind my eyes.

I can't fight them anymore. I can't fight for you anymore.

They've won.

Darkness. So dark. Cold.


Padding feet. Little feet. God, no. No.

"Mommy? Mommy!"

Screams. Too loud.

Another voice. Too loud. Too deep. Too late.

"Emily, what's -- what the hell -- Roberta? Bert, c'mon, oh God..."

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.



The End

Thanks for reading.
If I was oblique and confusing (wouldn't be the first time), this story is narrated by Roberta Sim. I felt Roberta deserved a voice in the swimming mass of Emilyfic (including Carter's), just as I feel Emily is *her* child. She died a frightening death for her daughter, and I wanted to hear what she thought of it.

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