An angel walked into the room at the end of the world. He was not alone.
It entered silently, draped in uncertainty and couched in the spirit of the night. A woman stood opposite the entrance, staring past a window to the few glimmers remaining beyond. She was ambiguous and constantly shifting; perfectly still, yet never appearing the same from second to second. Nevertheless, she always stood perfectly straight, full of poise and grace. She did not acknowledge the angel, even as it took up a position behind her, assuming a similarly statuesque pose. She was powerful beyond compare, but when she finally spoke, her voice shook and creaked with the weight of innumerable stars:
"Logically, I know this needs to happen."
The angel did not move, simply closing it's eyes and bowing it's head. She continued, still staring out the window, "Has happened. Has, and will continue to happen, across glorious infinity. I know this, and I remember this - buried deep under memories of the billions of cycles since the last time, but still there. I remember the slow death of everything I swore to protect, and the rebirth that followed."
She broke her pose, shuddering and drawing her arms around herself. "I know, I know. I know that it'll only take a moment, Just the tiniest, most infinitesimally small nap. Less than a blink, and it's over. But I have been awake for so, so long. I watched these worlds come to life out of the corpses of stars, and I have been here since this space was nothing more than a graveyard for that galaxy before. And I have done this whole song and dance, many, many times before, but still…"
She turned to look the angel in the face, with eyes reflecting the echoes of lost worlds. "But still, I worry that this time, it'll be different. Even with an eternity of experience to the contrary, I worry and worry and now, I am nearly certain that this time, I won't wake up. Logic and reassurances do nothing. If I have learnt anything in my tenure, it is that the universe still holds surprises for me, and I worry that the greatest surprise of all is yet to come."
She stared at the angel, with it's eyes still closed, for a long time. Until finally, she turned her back on it, and returned her gaze to the expanse outside. Finally, she whispered, more to herself than it, "So I will wait. And I will sit here, delaying the inevitable, and watch as the last flames of life in this galaxy disappear. And then - only then - I will close my eyes, and hope against hope that I get to open them again."
There was silence in the room for a while. After an eternity, or maybe seconds - there was little metric for comparison anymore - the angel opened it's eyes and spoke. "However long you need," it said. "However much the Architect might complain, there is no hurry."
And it turned away form her and left the room as swiftly and noiselessly as it had entered, and the woman at the end of the world was alone again.