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A/N: This was my entry for the Dramione Awards Special Challenge. The theme this year was 'celebrate the little things.'

"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

- Antonio Smith


He didn't know it then, the way he does now. Those moments, small fragments in the vastness that is life, were the ones that would haunt him. He can acknowledge this now because he's been without. He's spent the time analysing the infinitesimal details, the little parts of her that come to make the whole.

He doesn't have the whole any more. His memory of her in all her burning glory has splintered into remembered features.

Lips. Pink and wide. Open. The endless stream of clever and frustrating things that tumble from their shape.

Hair. Wild and unruly. Like her spirit, untameable. The way it wraps around one's finger and holds.

Heat. Sun is the smell that lingers on her. Warm skin. Burns to touch. It blazes through the soul.

Eyes. Bright and fierce. Knowing. Always seeing, watching, knowing. They pierce the layers of cloth and skin and lies to see the truth.

Heart. Big and bold and red. Obnoxious in its welcoming. The tendrils of feeling are unfamiliar, even as they close around one's own.

Gone. Once here to coat him in her presence. No longer. Her heart, as big and bold and red as it was, hasn't room for him any longer. It hasn't for some time.

He can see now, with the wealth of age and wisdom that he owns, just what she was to him. She was that transient burst of clarity and light. The glow from the candle before the pool of wax around the wick has swallowed it whole.
Cruelty in youth, and a legacy of stoicism has gifted him nothing. For now he is alone, destined to think only of what he does not have, of what he never had. Wealth and pride – once important, once everything – leave him now bereft.

His eyes, milky and unfocused, stretch back through years to recall the smiles that she sent him, the touches of her hand as she reached out to his own. A gesture that still resonates through the passage of time. She made the call to him; saw something within his depths that suggested he was worthy.

Worthy of her. Worthy of time. Worthy of friendship and soft words and forgiveness.

As his fingers, lily-white and paper-fine, drum across his chair, and his unseeing gaze tilts toward the window, the moonlight falling on his face, he ponders. If he had known it then and understood what they could be, would it have been different?

Would she have been more than the girl who reached out to him, the first to take his hand? Would she have held it firm at an altar, dressed in ivory silk and pretty smiles? Would she be lying encased in the white marble of his ancestors, awaiting the time when his eye-lids close and he joins her once again?

Would she have loved him with the fierceness that she loved another?

He thinks about her lips, her hair, her heat, her eyes, her heart and how she's gone. And wishes it was yes.

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