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A character, often (but not always) a sickly child, knows she is about to die and asks another, usually an adult, to stay with them until the time comes. Very commonly, this invitation is reserved for someone special to her. As mentioned already, it is not just about dying children, but children make it more heart-wrenching, since it's plain wrong for them to die before the adults around them.

Sub-Trope of Please Don't Leave Me. Defiance of Dying Alone. Related to You Are Not Alone. Pretty much guaranteed to be a Tear Jerker. An excellent way to give The Stoic a Pet the Dog moment, since it doesn't require them to actually show any emotion - just being there at all demonstrates kindness. See also Mayfly-December Romance.

A cruel subversion may occur if the person being asked to stay becomes Distracted From Death. Sometimes, this is why you Don't Fear the Reaper, Death him/her/itself gives you company.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.

Examples of Stay with Me Until I Die include:

Anime & Manga

  • Brutally averted in Vandread. On one planet, the main cast are helping out the sickly people. Bart befriends a young and sick girl, and tells her about adventures they've been through. She begins to make a small doll of Bart as a memento to remember her by, when the alien Harvesters attack. He promises to protect her from it, and she asks that he return to her afterwards. While Bart is up there, having a spectacular Big Damn Heroes moment for her entire planet, the girl succumbs to her disease. As for the doll, she never finishes sewing the hair onto it, so Bart shaves off his hair completely to match it instead.
  • In Hunter X Hunter, the Chimera Ant King Meryem is fatally poisoned by Netero's suicidal Rose Bomb attack. He faces his death with dignity and seeks out Komugi so he can play a few more games of gungi with her. He warns her that the poison inside him is contagious and that she will die if she stays near him. She refuses to abandon him since knowing him allowed her to feel true happiness. After a few games (in which she remains undefeated), Meryem finally succumbs to the poison and asks Komugi to stay with him until the end. Komugi holds his hand as she too succumbs to the poison.
  • Somewhat displayed in Kakashi's death in Naruto. At first it appears that he dies alone, but he gets an internal dying dream sequence where his dead friends, teacher and father all greet him. Although it's clear he dies, it's unclear at what point he actually dies - is it right away? Is it gradual? Is it when he sees his father?


Comic Books

  • In The Punisher MAX comic Man of Stone, Frank was just beginning to like a woman who is his female counterpart when she steps on an old mine in Afghanistan. She has two requests for him, one of which was to hold her until she died.
  • In the "Wolf at the Door" arc of Fantastic Four, Reed tries to talk a man out of committing suicide - only to learn that he's terminally ill and is terrified of Dying Alone in a hospital bed. Reed gives him a number to call when the time comes, promising that he'll be there even if he's fighting Doctor Doom when he gets the call.


Fan Fiction

  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Yuki invoked this trope by calling Kyon after she learns the IDSE scheduled her deletion. She didn't die though, because she never considered Kyon would react by using his Trust Password on Haruhi.


Film

  • RoboCop 2. The boy Hob is mortally wounded by Cain's attack. Robocop finds him and says he's going to call for medical help, but:

 Hob: Don't leave me.

RoboCop: I won't leave you. [takes Hob's hand]

  • In the first X-Men 1 movie, Storm does this for the artificially mutated Senator Kelly.
  • In Heat, Al Pacino's character, the cop, shoots Robert De Niro's character, then stays with him out of Not So Different companionship.
    • Righteous Kill has this in the end except Al is the one asking Robert for this moment.
  • One could argue Collateral's ending when Vincent (played by Tom Cruise) dies and asks Max (Jamie Fox) is this moment.
  • In The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Tibby spends the night with Bailey in the hospital before she dies after ending her cancer treatment.
  • In Quantum of Solace, James Bond stays with a mortally wounded Mathis and comforts him. Much to Camille's shock, as soon as Mathis dies, Bond steals his wallet and throws his body into a dumpster. Bond merely comments that "He [Mathis] wouldn't care."
  • Not a word is spoken by either character, but near the end of The Good the Bad And The Ugly Blondie encounters a mortally wounded young soldier and, knowing the kid won't make it, Blondie covers the him with a makeshift blanket (his duster) and offers the dying boy one last smoke before death takes him.


Literature

  • Snowden from Catch-22.
  • In the first Incarnations of Immortality book, mistakes occasionally bring Thanatos to the side of dying people who don't actually need him to judge them. He stays with them anyway.
  • In the Alex Rider books Yassen Gregorovich asks Alex to stay with him.
  • In The Hunger Games, Katniss stays with Rue and sings to her as she dies.
  • In Artemis Fowl, Turnball Root willingly does this with his wife as she heads into certain death at the bottom of the ocean.
  • In Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, the resurrected forms of James, Lily, Sirius, and Remus stay with Harry as he walks to meet Voldemort in the forest, prepared to sacrifice himself.

 Harry: You'll stay with me?

James: Until the very end.


Music

 You are the moon pulling my black waters

You are the land in my dark closet

Stay by my side until it all goes dark forever

When silent, the silence comes closer


Live Action TV

  • On Doctor Who, Rose got the Doctor to take her back to the day her father died (hit by a car), because in the original history he died alone which was a regret of her mother's. Rose held his hand as he died.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer does this for the Sex Bot April, when the latter breaks down and runs out of gas.
    • Ironically this causes Buffy to lose an opportunity to save her mother's life, or at least be there when she died.
  • In Criminal Minds, the killer from " Pleasure Is My Business" asks for Hotch to do this. He does.
    • Gideon did it more than once also, of his own accord, memorably for one of the unsubs in "Open Season".
    • Garcia does this for a victim in "Exit Wounds". When Morgan asks her why (as she'd run directly towards the killer), she told him that when she was shot, the only thing she was thinking was that the last thing she was going to see was her shooter's face and she couldn't let the victim die like that.
    • The whole team gets in on this. There's a woman trapped in her car, which she thinks is going to explode. While they're frantically trying to defuse the bomb, Morgan insists on staying with her at her request. The others are, understandably, distraught at this choice. Later, Prentiss tries to defy this trope, but he insists on staying with her while she's "dying".
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, the Doctor is told "if you stay with me, I won't be scared" by his dying holographic "daughter".
  • In Prison Break, Michael stays with Roland until he takes his last breath. Luckily, he goes quickly as sirens can be heard in the distance.
  • Happens word-for-word in Grey's Anatomy.
    • Cruelly subverted with Denny. After Izzy spends weeks by his side, falling in love with him, she's not there when he dies.
  • In Stargate Atlantis ("Poisoning the Well"), the dying scientist Perna asks Dr. Beckett to stay with her. He then kisses her forehead.
  • In an episode of Touched By an Angel, a young prostitute is brutally beaten by her customer. As she lies dying in an alleyway, Andrew, the Angel of Death approaches. Not realizing who he is and assuming he's just a random pedestrian, she begs him to stay with her, never knowing that he's come to do exactly that.
  • In the two-part NCIS episode Engaged, Gibbs and Zivz travel to the Middle East to rescue a captive Marine. While there, Ziva bonds with the Marine's commanding officer Captain Quincy. He is shot in the neck during the rescue, and despite being surrounded by both his squad and the Corpsman, he asks Ziva to stay with him. She does.
  • Cruelly Subverted in In Deep Space Nine. Kira Nerys' father Kira Taban was shot by the Cardassians. Although she was by his side for most of it, she left with the rest of her resistance cell to the kill those responsible. Her father died alone, calling out her name, and she only missed it by a matter of hours. It haunted her for the rest of her life.
    • The episode that reveals this, Ties Of Blood and Water, also has a Cardassian who became a surrogate father-figure to her dying. After learning of something he did during the Occupation she storms off, only to be convinced to return as "he doesn't deserve to die alone." She returns and stays with him until he dies, and then buries him next to her father.
  • Inverted in chinese drama Sword and Fairy: a mortally-wounded Ling'er spends her last moments assuring her husband that he is not alone and that she will never leave him.


Theater

  • In Les Misérables, the dying Fantine sings "For God's sake, please stay til I am sleeping" to Valjean.
    • Also, Eponine stops Marius from getting help for her, saying it's too late and that she just wants him with her as she dies.
  • Hamlet doesn't ask, but Horatio stays with him until he dies, bidding him farewell with the famous line "Goodnight, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." Many directors have Horatio cradle Hamlet's head in his lap, or something similar.
  • The play Touch invokes this trope off-stage. The murdered wife apparently asked one of her kidnappers to do this. The moment of peace just before she died left a smile on her face, which, ironically enough, causes more anguish for her family and friends when they find out about the smile and what happened to her.


Video Games

  • In the end of Dreamfall, Zoe actually has to talk her long-lost little sister Faith into dying and all she asks in return is to play with her for a while.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic 2, you can talk Visas into killing herself in order to weaken a major boss. If she agrees, she then asks the Exile to stay with her until she passes away. You can agree or take The Dark Side path.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood, after Guybrush is stabbed in the chest by LeChuck's Cutlass of Kaflu, Elaine becomes distressed and runs to Guybrush's side, cradles him and stays with him until he breathes his last, even going so far as to reject LeChuck's advances and watch him regain his voodoo powers from La Esponja Grande and become the demon pirate once again. (Funny thing is that Guybrush never asks her to stay with him until the end, though she tries reviving him and he barely regains consciousness as he mumbles "Is that you, mother? I washed my hands..." and later asks her in his final words to destroy LeChuck for him, a vow she tearfully accepts.)
  • Kleine from Fire Emblem: Shin Monshou no Nazo asks her stepsister Katarina to stay with her during her last moments. She does so.


Western Animation

  • When Ace dies in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue," she asks Batman to stay with her until she passes away. This causes her to die in peace, preventing her from psychically blowing up the city with her death agony.
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