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Red Roses

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Donna placed the flower down where the ground rose slightly. The red of the petals stood in stark comparison to the gloomy day. Rain fell in fat droplets, drenching Donna from head to toe. She didn’t notice the rain. She only saw the flowers. One for each day she visited, thirty-seven of them in total. She could have counted the flowers, some shriveled and browning, others vivid with life. She didn’t need to, though. She kept track of the days – the hours, the minutes – since the news had been broken to her.

She would never forget Oliver’s face, crumpling with each moment; the way his voice cracked as he tried to tell her the events that had transpired at Sanctuary. Donna had gone into a rage, cursing her sister and the rest of the Trinity. How could they let this happen? They said Sanctuary would be safe. They said they would protect and help those in need. Sanctuary hadn’t been a safe haven, it had been Abaddon.

Over a month later and Donna still blamed her sister and her friends. They were the reason why she was at a grave site. They were the reason why one of her best friends was buried inside of a wooden box, six feet under wet dirt and grass. None of them had gone up to her during the funeral, not even Diana. Her sister hadn’t tried to comfort her, hadn’t tried to offer so much as any condolences. Maybe that was the point. Maybe Diana believed she had done enough, that she would only make things worse. Maybe she blamed herself as much as Donna blamed her.

Donna blamed herself a bit, too. Deep down, she felt that she was at fault – and maybe she was. If she had only been more open, more understanding, more something, he wouldn’t have needed to seek out support from someone else. He would have gone to her or Lilith or any one of their other friends and he would have been alive.

Or so she told herself.

There was really no way of knowing; too many “maybe’s” floated in her head. The only thing she knew was that she wanted him back. She wanted Roy back and alive and standing next to her. She couldn’t stand it – that he was laying in an eternal slumber right under her feet – gods, how she hated it.

Whenever she started to feel desperate, she would tell herself that people like them always came back from these kinds of things, they always came back stronger than ever. But Roy wasn’t like the others. He was human, he was flesh and bones and blood, and those tended to stay dead. They stayed dead and rotted in the earth. Those that came back were the outliers, the fortunate exceptions.

He was just as dead as those damned red roses lying on her bedside table. He had never been able to give them to her that day, not really. She had found them in the trash the day the team disbanded.  She hadn’t realized they were for her at first, the withering stems and petals crunching under her hands so unrecognizable for what they actually were. Then she’d read the note and she understood what they were. The note only had her name written across the white card but she recognized his handwriting. She kept the roses, wanting something of his nearby her whenever she felt lonely in the Justice League’s satellite. He may have never been able to give her any roses but she would give him some in return. She would give him one for every day he was gone, for every day she missed him.

Thirty-seven red roses. Tomorrow it would be thirty-eight and the next day it would be thirty-nine and then the next day would come and the next. She didn’t know where it would end, only that it wouldn’t – not until she was six feet under too.