“Let them try,” Caitlin urged quietly, urgently. “I already tried magic and couldn't do anything, I'm not strong enough, not skilled enough.”
Jim stood there helplessly as Caitlin let him go. Rick and Robin both leaned against the wall, hands clasped tightly together while Meghan and Andy loitered outside the door in a similar pose looking absolutely miserable. Even with Caitlin standing right next to him, even with Rick and Robin and Meghan and Andy there, Jim felt nothing but an emptiness. He hadn't felt this way since Sharon was lost—but this was worse, Sharon was just gone but he had agonized over Devika all day and now had no choice but stay and watch her fade away from him. He thought back to meeting her when he turned Crimson down. She had wept then, admitting her own shortcomings and selfishness but they had united quickly to help Meghan. She had been selfless since then, volunteering to keep an eye on Meghan, then going out in a desperate attempt to find her before the demons could. She had fought not only a demon-creature but a creature on a level with Crimson himself. That she had lost was a small matter, she had done what she could do.
All at once there was a general slump around the medical personnel and Jim watched in mounting horror as they looked at the wall clock. The doctor walked towards Jim with a grim look on his face. He opened his mouth to say something, then changed his mind and shook his head putting a hand on his shoulder. Jim barely heard him speak to Meghan and Andy as he approached Devika.
“Jim...” Rick began but Robin held her husband back.
Jim looked at Devika's face. The dark, perfect skin rent with the slashes from Lust. Her long wavy hair, still glossy, framing a beautiful face with only a few scratches. Her full lips were slightly parted as if for a kiss but it was her eyes that struck Jim. Empty gray eyes that reflected the ceiling lights. It hurt more than anything he could imagine, but he ached for her even more than himself. She should have had the chance to be free. He leaned over her, embracing her and whispered her name.
She never noticed a dry-eyed Meghan approach his side, and never noticed how she stared at Devika as if from a great distance and never noticed when she raised a shaking hand and placed it on the woman's cooling arm. But he did notice what she said.
“I wish... I wish Devika was alive.”
Wed Aug 30 15:27:13 2006