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Into The West (H/F)

Another piece written for the songfic challenge on the Yahoo H/F group, for the song 'Into The West' performed by Annie Lennox. This piece was written in about half an hour and barely edited, and I rather love it but it is a death fic so please don't read on if that's not your thing.
LB x

Lay down
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You have come to journey’s end

He’s so very tired.

No matter how long and how deeply he sleeps, he never feels rested now. The exhaustion has sunk into his bones, his very marrow. Keeping his eyes open for more than a few short moments takes more strength than it should. Lifting his hand into Hannibal’s drains him of what little he has left. Lifting his head is impossible, and has been for days now.

He isn’t getting better. He won’t get better now, he knows that much, and there are worse ways to go. It’s been sudden, and swift, and there isn’t much pain. He isn’t alone.

It won’t be long, he thinks with some relief, but still.

He doesn’t want to go.

Sleep now
Dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across a distant shore

Hannibal speaks softly to him sometimes, when he thinks Face is asleep. He speaks when Face is awake, too, but he speaks more honestly when he thinks Face can’t hear him.

Hannibal tells him it’s okay for him to go, if he’s ready. Hannibal tells him not to stay just for him. Hannibal tells him he’s fought well, and that he couldn’t have asked for more. Hannibal tells him he loves him.

Hannibal’s voice is an anchor in the darkness, Face’s guiding light, but he sounds so very hurt. He sounds as tired as Face feels, and that simply isn’t right.

Hannibal reminds Face that BA and Murdock are waiting for him. All the friends they’ve lost over the years, through war and through illness and through stupid accidents, everyone is waiting for Face. He’ll see them all again soon.

Hannibal even starts to say that maybe Face’s parents will be there, though his voice breaks as he speaks and he can’t finish his sentence. Face wishes he could comfort him, but he hasn’t the strength. He drifts away instead, to the sound of Hannibal’s broken sobbing.

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away

Hannibal begs him not to cry, but Face didn’t even know the tears were falling. He can’t open his eyes any more, and he can barely feel Hannibal’s hand holding his own. It doesn’t hurt, though, not now.

Nothing hurts, for the first time in a long, long time. It’s utter bliss.

He doesn’t fear death. He’s stared death in the eyes countless times over the years, in times of war and in times of peace. Death is nothing. Death means an end to everything, and no more fighting. And he’s tired of fighting. So incredibly tired.

He doesn’t fear what might come after. There might be something, or there might be nothing. There might be people waiting to welcome him, with bright lights and halos or hot fires and pitchforks. There might be Someone, or no one. It’s the next big adventure, the only one he has left, and he isn’t afraid.

The only thing he fears is leaving Hannibal behind, alone.

Safe in my arms
You’re only sleeping

Hannibal’s warmth surrounds him, completely and utterly, and he dimly registers the fact that he is sitting now, cradled in strong arms against a firm chest. Hannibal’s heart beats steadily beneath his ear, a calm metronome counting the final few moments he has left.

I’ve got you, Hannibal whispers, and Face feels safe. He can rest now.

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?

Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come
To carry you home

It’s a beautiful night, Hannibal whispers. I wish you could see the view from your window. The moon is full, and bright. It’s so bright I can barely see the stars. But they’re there, I know they are. Shining constantly from across the universe.

Face can hear the tears in Hannibal’s voice. He wonders distantly why Hannibal is crying when the universe is so beautiful.

And all will turn to silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass

It’s time, sweetheart.

Hannibal sounds very far away, a strange echo in his voice.

It’s alright. I’m here, and I love you. And I think it’s time.

Hope fades
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time

He drifts, and he dreams, and he doesn’t wake.

A dark face with inscrutable eyes, transformed by a wide and bright smile. Crazy hair beneath a bright cap, bright eyes tinged with a different kind of crazy. Friends, he thinks, much loved and much missed. He can’t remember their names.

Silver hair and blue grey eyes, a weather-beaten face, all wreathed in the sweetest smelling tobacco smoke. So tall and so strong. Home, he thinks. This man is home. This man is everything.

Don’t say
We have come now to the end
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again

I won’t say goodbye. I can’t.

Because I’ll see you again, my love, but not too soon, I think. I won’t follow you by my own hand, though I fear my heart is already broken. I will live the life we planned, before you fell ill, for as long as I am granted. I promise you that much.

And you’ll be here in my arms
Just sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?

It’s beautiful.

It’s peaceful.

It’s nothing like he imagined, and all the more perfect for that.

He knows he’s leaving something behind, something important and precious. Something impossible to ever replace. No, not something. Someone. Someone beloved.

But he knows he’ll find them again.

And he lets go.

Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come
To carry you home

And all will turn to silver glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass
Into the west