No Other Dream
This story begins when "Seige" ends, just after Vincent has rescued Catherine and the tenants of the building.
Vincent looked out over the city—how familiar it looked, and it had never failed to comfort him. But tonight was different—comfort was nowhere to be found and even the city seemed strange.
He had just come from her apartment, where he had left the book of sonnets on her balcony, the book he had been reading when he first felt her fear. He couldn't remember when he had put the rose there; it was long ago. That sonnet had brought him such solace—and pain—over the years. It was like Shakespeare had ripped the very words from Vincent's soul. How could he have known? He just did—like the quote he had written for her; Shakespeare knew everything.
He had left the book there for her as a keepsake, something to remember him by. He didn't know how else to say goodbye. The last time he had seen her, just before he had left Mischa's building, they had held each other's eyes for what seemed like lifetimes. He wanted so desperately to go to her—the look in her eyes, what had it meant? Was it just relief? Regret? Was she saying goodbye? He would never know.
He sighed. She was most likely with him now. Elliot. The thought made him sick. Even though the last part of the sonnet had finally come true for him, even though he had finally found the love that made the rest of his life bearable, it was gone—she was gone. All he could hope for was ... he sighed again. There was nothing left to hope for.
He wanted to be happy for her, happy that she had found love with someone who could give her what she deserved—more than he ever could. But he ached for her. As much as he had told himself that she would eventually go, that it was for the best, now that the moment was here, he could find no joy for her or himself. He was ashamed to admit that despite all of his noble gestures, he had always wanted her to find her happiness with him.
He shuddered at his last words to her—some day, someone will come and you will live another life, and dream another dream.
She had told him she didn't want to lose him, but he had only walked away. After she had left, he had closed the bond, only leaving it open a fraction so he would know if she was in trouble. After he had felt that kiss ...
He made himself stop—he couldn't go there again. He had to be strong now—as weak and hopeless as he felt, he had to be strong. A better man loved her; he must never forget that.
He jumped from his perch and scaled down the building. Within minutes, he was below again, walking slowly toward the central chambers. His head hung low—every cell in his body resigned to more years of solitude.
Suddenly Geoffrey was in front of him, out of breath from running. Vincent kneeled to face the child, waiting for him to catch his breath.
"What is it, Geoffrey?"
"There's a woman!"
"I don't understand ..." Vincent started.
"A woman ... in your chamber. I think you are friends. Her name is ..."
"Catherine?" he said at the same time Geoffrey did. Was it possible?
"She came below, from some basement near the park. She was wandering around the tunnels and then Sarah and I found her. She said she was your friend, that she wanted to find you. We took her to your chamber—she's waiting for you, Vincent." Geoffrey said, waiting for Vincent's reply. He was worried they would be in trouble for bringing a stranger deep into the tunnels.
"Is it okay, Vincent? Did we do the right thing?" he asked.
Strangely, Vincent didn't say anything, but he gave Geoffrey a big hug before running off.