"Good. Please, stay there, with me." She smiled wrapping her arms around him. Returning the embrace, he rested his head on her shoulder and let the smile drop. "I'll be strong for you" he told her in his mind. She turned, whispering in his ear:
"I fear you're going to have to be."
"I will be," he whispered back, clutching her to him, "but let's go back to the apartment, yeah?"
She nodded, but found she couldn't hold herself on her feet. "Oh. Damn."
Lazarus grabbed her arm and steadied her. "You okay?"
"Yeah, I suppose I'm not going to be able to brush this away." He grimaced and kissed her quickly. "C'mon. We'll go home." he smiled. She clutched herself to his arm.
"He said he would make sure I'd keep smiling. He lied." She whimpered. He carried on supporting her, before sighing a little and gathering her up in his arms.
"I'm sure he tried." Lazarus muttered a little reluctantly. She looked up at him.
"I don't know. I don't know anything."
"I wish I had the answers for you." Lazarus sighed, glancing up at the apartment block as it came into view. When they reached the apartment main doors Albert was already there.
"I do. I didn't lie. You are smiling." He stated, his hands tucked behind his back. Lazarus eyed the man warily. "Want me to put you down?" he asked Melissa quietly. She nodded. Lazarus set her down on her feet and made sure she was steady again before looking back at Albert, his pale blue eyes colder than ice. "Do I look like I'm smiling?" She stared at him with blank, emotionless eyes. Albert sighed.
"No, you're right, you're not. But are you happy?" He asked simply. She looked at Lazarus, then back at him.
"I was, until you appeared again and turned everything I knew around." Lazarus took her hand and squeezed it gently in plain view. He didn't mean the action to be provocative, just comforting to the woman he loved. Albert laughed somewhat hysterically and nodded.
"Ahh, I see. Melissa, did you really love me?" He queried.
She nodded. "Yes I did." She admitted. Noticing the edge to Albert's voice, Lazarus tensed a little, but said nothing; this was between Melissa and Albert, he was simply there to support her.
Albert produced a bouquet of white roses from behind his back and gave them to her. "To keep you smiling forever." He grinned. Her brow furrowed and she left him there, holding the flowers. She fell backward, feeling the hard ground behind her as she lost her balance. From the ground she looked up at him.
"Why are you doing this to me?"
His reply was simple. "I love you, Melissa." Lazarus stumbled a little as Melissa fell, pulling him with her, but he was quick to lift her back up.
"Albert, if you loved her so damn much, you should have gone back for her. You didn't." He growled, glaring at the beta wolf. She looked at him, her shaking hands becoming still as she broke. She knocked the roses from his hands, spreading their petals over the floor. She gazed into his eyes, her own swirling a deep red. She grazed the back of her hand with her teeth, watching it bleed for a second, before it healed.
"Look what I have become Albert! Look what you allowed me to become." She shook her head softly. "No it's not your fault. You gave me so much." She said, laughing crazily. "Then you took it all away!" She snarled, her head shaking, her mind collapsing under her confused thoughts.
"It would be a really, really good idea if you went, I think, Albert. Like, now." Lazarus told him, crouching beside Melissa as she sunk to the floor, curling into a ball. Albert looked at her. Bending down, he kissed her forehead softly before he left.
"I love you..." he murmured again. She shuddered beneath his touch, curling herself into a tighter ball. Lazarus watched him go, and turned to Melissa.
"L...L...Laza...rus?" She answered, her voice quivering.
"I'm here, I'm here." He murmured gently, putting an arm around her.
"Four hundred years... four hundred... years. Smile, love... death..." Her thoughts merged themselves into one cohesive action and her tears flowed again. He rubbed his hand up and down her back again, as he had before in the lift.
"It's okay, everything'll be okay." he tried to soothe her, but he was beginning to feel useless.
"Lazarus..." She murmured simply.
"Come on, Melissa." He crouched, putting his arms around her.
"Please... will you play for me?" She mumbled her arms clutching to him, unwilling to let him go this time. He lifted her again and walked into the apartment block with her in his arms. He smiled and nodded.
She curled herself up as tight as possible in his arms, "I love you." She whimpered, the words seeming to choke her as she said them.
"I love you too." He mumbled softly. Lazarus took the stairs, slowly ascending them, holding Melissa tightly. "I gotta put you down, sorry." He said when he reached their door.
"Don't be." She smiled. "Please don't be sorry."
"Unless of course you can reach into my pocket and get the key?"
She reached down, twisting in his arms like a cat. She hooked her finger round the key and picked it up. "There." She muttered in a monotone.
"Wanna unlock the door?"
"Yeah." She murmured, unlocking the door with the key before dropping it back in his pocket.
"Thank you." he muttered, pushing the door open with his foot. Kicking it closed again, he walked over to the piano where it was stood, placing Melissa gently on the stool before sitting next to her. "What would you like to hear?"
"Anything to drown my sorrows, angel." He nodded and wordlessly began to play their song, occasionally looking up at her, wishing he could do more. She listened to the song, hearing it play she felt part of her depression lift. She gently pulled his hands away from the piano, holding them in her hands. "What's wrong, Lazarus?" He smiled a little.
"I wish I could do more. I don't feel like I'm doing all that much, just playing the piano, but I'll do it for you if that's what you ask me to,"
"I ask for you to love me, to hold me, to never. Ever leave me, Lazarus. I ask for you to be you and to just hold me close." He reached out an arm and slid it around her, holding her close just like she asked.
"I'm not going to leave you, Melissa. Ever." He promised her, knowing he would do a better job of keeping his promises than Albert.
"Oh I love you. I do. I love you, Lazarus!" She exclaimed, wrapping herself around him.