A/N: Because Starmz cheated, that means I can, too.

I finished the Revenge of Seven a few hours after she did and holy balls.


Obligatory WARNING that there are spoilers for the Revenge of Seven, obviously.

Chapter Title: cosmos of fear

Author: Immoroita

Summary: It just keeps turning.

It takes a little while for it to sink in.

She should be grateful, she supposes, that they even got to say goodbye at all.

"Hi," he'd said with that smile of his, and it was like they were falling in love all over again.

It had felt like they had new beginnings. For a single, solitary, beautiful moment, Marina had seen nothing but hope and light and wonder strewn across the path that suddenly stretched out in front of them.

It seems like that was a long time ago.

She can still feel his warmth on her mouth.

It pounds, a mantra that courses through her veins, sending paralyzing jolts of electricity sparking down her spine and feverish goosebumps skittering across her skin. A painful reminder that will stay with her forever – a shadow, lurking behind her, always whispering in her ear –

He's never coming back.

He's never coming back.

Never, never, never, never.

What a harsh word, Marina has always thought. Harsh and sharp and cruel. A word that slices at your throat and leaves you gasping for air.

His last words (the last – oh, God, they actually are the last ones this time) are the only thing that she can hear. From now until forever, he fills her, seeping through the cracks in her armor and creeping under her skin. She doesn't hear the screaming or the war or the bloodshed because all she can hear and all she can see is Eight.

"I really wish you would."

She really wishes, too. She really wishes for a lot of things.

In her darkest moments, Marina wishes that she'd never met Eight. Perhaps her life would have been better if they'd never met each other. If she'd never known the joy of seeing him smile.

Maybe he'd still be alive.

It's so strange, she thinks, how love can make you feel immortal.

Marina had thought they were immortal, too.

It was just that, in the end – a thought. Baseless conjecture.

Because people can be erased. Human, Lorien, Mogadorian – all it takes is a little nudge, and before you know it, they're falling out of the realm of existence and into some distant world where happy endings actually exist and nobody is really dead.

In his last moments, Eight is warm.

Even as he burns and the light is blinding, Marina still can't remember seeing anything brighter than his smile.

Too little, too late, she thinks.

The time they shared was too short. The universe sent her a tiny beacon of hope for the merest moment, only to take it away a short while after.

Marina has learned, above all else, that the universe is cruel.

As Eight is reabsorbed into the cosmos and slips through Marina's fingers like sand, she tries to cling onto him, but she knows in her heart of hearts that it will never be enough.