This fic's female character is not named for a reason. She is whoever the reader wants her to be. Whoever the reader thought should win His heart in the end. Whether it be the reader, the reader's character, or one of the original character's in the Angelique series.

Only a Nightmare
by Magnum

She watched him. His slow raspy breathing was the only sound in the room besides the endless tick tock of the clock. His lips were dry and cracked despite the water she had given him an hour ago. She removed the cloth from his forehead and washed it in the cold water. She placed it back on his forehead gently so as not to disturb his sleep. She could feel the heat of his fever through the cloth. She watched him furrow his brow and turn his head away from her. She sighed and went back to her hard chair, watching, waiting. She couldnít feel the pain of the rough surface of the seat. She was long past feeling any pain past the emotional distress. Her eyes and head were aching from lack of sleep for the past three days. See could barely focus without feeling the soft comforting feeling of sleep beckoning her. But she couldnít sleep. She needed to keep a steady watch over him. One never knew when he would reach the crisis point. When it did occur, she would finally know if he lived, or if he...

Stop that! She admonished herself. He will live... he has to. She blinked back tears that threatened to spill for a week now. But she wouldnít give up on him. Not in a thousand years. She went back to watching him for any little sign of consciousness. She had memorized his face by now. Mountains of stringy black hair surrounded pale skin. It needs washing, she thought to herself. But she knew she wouldnít go so far as to do that.

She leaned over and tucked the blanket back under his chin. She pushed a few loose strands out of his eyes and watched, as his frown seemed to relax. She sat back and continued her tending, though her head sometimes fell forward only to snap back up. She finally drifted off only to be awoken by the sound of his thrashing around in the bed. His voice came out in a whisper, but the words she was able to decipher made her rush to his side.

"No... please...leave me now... you are gone..." he murmured quietly, raising his arm as if to shield his eyes. She tentatively shook him and whispered his name. "Please, wake up! Itís only a bad dream... only a nightmare." She said quietly, desperation forcing her to use more strength. His eyes slowly opened and he shot up out of the sheets. Confusion filled his eyes as he looked around. He saw her sprawled on the floor from where she fell from his sudden awakening. Her eyes were wide with uncertainty and shock. He looked at her for a while, then reached out to her. She blushed when she remembered she was still on the floor, and took his hand, standing back up. He looked at her closely, a look of amazement on his face. He touched her hand and kissed her palm. "You saved me from it." He said softly, kissing her sore and dry knuckles. She watched him with surprise as he placed her hand over his heart. "I-it was only a bad dream... thereís no need to thank me... " she said, matching his softness. He didnít answer, but pulled her closer to him so he could look at her better.

It was then that she saw how clouded and glassy his eyes were. She moved away a little, to gather her bearings. "Who... who do you think I am?" she whispered. He ignored her question and touched her face. "Youíre beautiful... Iíve always thought you were. We are finally together... like it should have been years ago. I-" he stopped, uncertain as to what to say. She looked him in the eyes and frowned. "Who am I?" she said again, her voice shaking a little. He looked at her then, long and hard, the confusion and misty look still in his sickly eyes. "You are... everything... my world... my heart and soul. You are the one woman I will ever love, Angelique."

She closed her eyes then, and drew in a shaky breath. She turned away from him, and pulled away from the heart she thought she had almost won. "Rest now. You... you are still sick," she stammered, her back turned to him. She walked away, a lump building in her throat. All the while she could hear him call his lost love.

"Angelique! Angelique! Please... donít leave me... not again..."

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