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No More Variations

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"You can't do anything, Anna." For once, Richard's voice was muted. The sarcasm drained away as he floated nearby, both of them watching the horizon, awaiting the inevitable.

"Everything we've tried..." she trailed off, closing her eyes, fighting down the urge to scream. Anna Gray should be able to go back in time and fix the causes of the end of the world. But they were too complicated, too big. Even Richard, being dead and having a better view of how the events fitted together hadn't found them the wiggle room they needed.

"I've never been so proud of you." The murmured words made her glance sideways, eyes narrowed. That sort of sentiment from the man who'd tried to murder her more than once, uneasy alliance they had now aside, made her suspicious.

"Not something I was ever looking for," she replied stiffly.

One side of Richard's mouth tipped up in his signature smirk. "I know. I'm as surprised as you that I said it aloud."

There was a flare on the horizon, and Anna turned away from her father. Perhaps she should have been here with her husband, but at least one of the timeline changes she'd made had negated his existence. In trying to get him back, she'd found other things spiraling out of control even worse than it had been until they were here.

"I hope it hurts," she whispered. Anna didn't close her eyes as the swathe of destruction sped towards her. She may not be able to stop it, but she was a Gray, and she would not cower before death.