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Brody's Monologue After Halifax

May 6, 2008

The door swings to a close, shutting with an uncomfortably loud *thud* that split the silence with unplanned force. Eugene continued clutching his press pass, Bojan's ashes still tangibly warm inside the clear plastic. "Prince Wright..." the woman said, quivering voice betraying the otherwise convincing projection of composure - "not that it helps, but... well, you did well. I'm proud of you..." She trailed off, clearly unsure of what to say next. "Thank you," Eugene spoke curtly tightening his grip on the pass. "Thank you, Delaine." For a while, they simply stood there, in the entrance. Finally, she took her leave wordlessly. Hands still shaking, Eugene Christian Wright placed the makeshift container with his friend's ashes on the coffee table, collapsed into a chair, and stared. After another small eternity, he broke the silence himself.

"So. This is what it comes down to. 'sjust you and me again, Bojan. Was... could it possibly have been worth it? After everything that's happened, was it honestly, truly worth it? *"This isn't what she'd have wanted..." *Godammit, Petrov! It's fucking *not*! You said-" he begins to laugh, softly. Bitterly. "-said you didn't want any more blood on your hands... that you'd seen *enough*... what the hell, Bojan. Do you know what this means, man? Do you *get it yet?* Because I do. Now, here in this stupid hotel, talking to your goddamn ashes - *now*, I get it." He stands up, emotion beginning to get the best of him.

"I idolized you, man. You were... I mean, you were like a superhero - 'Unstoppable Bojan Petrov', this larger-than-life figure. We're supposed to be ageless, but *you *were *immortal*. Immortality: what a fucking punchline *that* turned out to be. You were everything I wanted to be: Confident. Capable. Sure of your actions, and determined to do the right thing, regardless of the consequences." He pauses, and his tone and demeanor soften considerably. "But that wasn't you at all."

"It didn't take me long to realize that you were totally overwhelmed. You were pretty clearly in over your head, and wondering just why the hell you were still here, giving and giving with no end in sight. When I realized how much you'd been through, how much... I mean, the people you've *lost*, I just..." Nearly overwhelmed, Gene chokes back the torrent and clenches his fist. "-and yet -" his voice wavering, "you never forgot who you are. *Were*. And I realized that. When we saved Anastasia... and we *did* save her. Bojan, we saved her! Because of *you.* When everything in the world was crashing down around me, and people's lives were in my hands - *that* was when I saw it. You were scared. You didn't know what to do. You felt outsmarted, outplanned, outmatched." He closes his eyes.

"You were *everything that I was, *with one crucial difference - you refused to abandon someone, just because you didn't know what to do. Because you were *afraid. *You wouldn't abandon her - and that was when I knew. I knew that I could do this thing - I could be Prince. And we would save her, even though it wasn't a good 'tactical move.' Even though I clearly had no idea what I was doing. We could do this, because it was *the right thing to do*. And I knew that I could pull this off, because *somebody* believed in me." His fist shaking, he knocks a lamp to the ground, and it the shards scatter with a dull thud. "SO WHERE DID I GO WRONG? Why didn't you *tell* me, Bojan? Did you think I'd stop you? NOW LOOK AT YOU! That girl didn't deserve to die in your goddamn bloodlust! Do you see it now, Bojan? You killed her because she was in your way, just in the wrong place - and it doesn't *matter* what you meant to do, you fucking killed her anyway. History doesn't record intent, only action - and you go out a fucking *murderer. *Is *that* what she would have wanted? Hell, maybe it is." At this, a silent well of crimson wells up behind tightly clenched eyes. He drops to his knees, almost whispering. "What am I supposed to do now? I can't do this alone, Bojan... I can't. I'm not cut from the same cloth as you and Roske... I'm just not. Reino was supposed to be my hands, Delaine my eyes... but you? You were my heart, brother. You were my *heart*. I told you I'd always listen... so please, tell me... 'sjust you and me...

Was it worth it?"

In death, Bojan Petrov was much the same as in life. His ashes remained still, and silence covered the room once more. "Yeah," said Gene, sounding like a man coughing up gravel. "I thought that's what you'd say." Hesitantly picking up the lanyard which contained his friend, as though his mere touch would shatter it like glass, Eugene lifted the cooling remains, placing them on top of the television. "I don't care what she wanted, or if it was worth it or not. I don't care if you really loved her, or if she was every bit the evil maniac history's made her out to be. None of that matters anymore. I'm taking you back to New York, Bojan... there's someone you need to catch up with."

Looking back at the sad little lanyard, Gene exhaled deeply. Closing his eyes, and hitting the light switch, he uttered one last thing, barely audible above his labored breathing.

"You should be together."

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