PROZAC ALERT: As this story has already engendered some rather strong love-hate reactions in the proofreading stage, it should perhaps be forewarned that due to sometimes intense, sometimes highly controversial subject matter, some readers may find this story depressing, infuriating and/or not in keeping with their personal image of these characters. It may well be all of the above. (It's just not, IMHO, as depressing/ infuriating/ out-of-character as "Last Knight" was.) "A State of Grace" is, I am told, a "Forever Not" story. It's how I'd have ended the series. Maybe, just maybe, it provides a teeny bit more hope in the long run than we got from TPTB.
"I know I've ruined it now, and you have every right to hate me for that," he went on in a small voice that was nearly a whisper. "But I thought, at least for a time, that we had something... special, you and I."
"_Almost_ had." She turned back to face him, and the tears began escaping in spite of her determination to contain them. "I can't live like this anymore!"
She knew she was echoing Nick's own words from another time, and hoped against hope that somehow, that would help him to understand why she must do this. "I don't want to die, Nick." It came out as a sob; she could do nothing to stop that now. "And I don't want to be brought across. But I don't have any other options with you, do I?"
She could see tears forming in his eyes now. "If I were mortal..." he began.
"You're not." That was harsher than she'd intended, but her anger had begun to get the better of her. "And let's admit it, Nick. _I don't think you want to be._"