|Recovering the Satellites
Author: brightblue PM
Grace thought she was following the plan life had for her. But now, nearly ten years later, she's still trying to deal with her choice. (L&G fic) UPDATED, January 16th!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Chapters: 5 - Words: 12,260 - Reviews: 62 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 01-16-05 - Published: 01-02-05 - id: 2202534
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Recovering the Satellites
Category: G/L future fic, with some A/J, but minimal. Grace POV.
Rating: PG-13 (Nothing you wouldn't see on the show, probably, but written out it's always a wee bit worse. People don't always have censored thoughts, after all!)
Spoilers: General spoilers for the second season (as of now, up to Dive).
Archive: Ask first, please.
Summary: Grace thought she was following the plan life had for her. But now, nearly ten years later, she's still trying to deal with her choice.
Disclaimer: Yeah, right. Characters, etc. property of Barbara Hall and CBS and others. Lyrics that precede each chapter written by the genius that is Adam Duritz, not me.
Author's Notes: So, the last thing I need to be doing right now is starting a long WiP. Yet, this story continues to be written. I have it all outlined and have some free time the next few weeks, so I shall do my best! This fic is perhaps an uninspired, cliched idea, but I had to do my take on it. It is largely inspiried by the Counting Crows album Recovering the Satellites, from which I will steal lyrics that fit the mood and theme of each chapter (and obviously stole the title). I recommend that CD as a soundtrack for this story. (Though, the "acoustic" versions of some of the songs as found on the VH1 Storytellers disc of the Across A Wire double CD fit the overall tone better, musically--especially the acoustic version of Catapult.) Okay, enough with the plugging of my fave band-- onward to the story! Enjoy!
wanna be the light that burns out your eyes
'Cause I know there's little things about me
That would sing in the silence of so much rejection
In every connection I make
I can't find nobody home
Grace Polk stood at her boyfriend's front door and gathered her courage.
Strength of will was something she'd always prided herself on, her inability to back down from anything of importance. Stick it to the man, deny social convention—those were the mottos she liked to live by. And then there was Luke Girardi. Her weakness, her contradiction to everything else she believed in. Around him she became someone else, a little softer around the edges and sometimes, most times, even happy. He had saved her life. Breathed air into her lungs just as the blackness had begun to close in. She often wondered if he truly knew what he'd done for her, if he really understood how much she owed him.
And now, in thanks and gratitude, she was going to crush him.
It was inevitable. From day one, she knew that though he carried love and light and affection and everything she'd never had, it could only be hers for a moment. At first that's what kept her away, but soon the temptation became too much. She thought she could control herself, touch heaven for just a moment and be renewed. It became the same old story, though. Like any addict, she fell quickly down that slippery slope and then it was too late.
Grace closed her eyes and took a deep breath. It's for the best. Don't let him throw his life away, not for you. Never for you.
And all too soon she was in his room, watching him count his graduation money over and over, practically drooling over the possibilities ahead of him. She smiled then. A detached feeling came over her body. Maybe she was merely the pawn in some bigger game of life, fate's hand pushing her into play. She was doing the right thing. She had to be. Still, she took a moment to burn this image of him in her brain, the endearing bundle of nervous energy he became when he got excited about something.
When he launched into his detailed itinerary of the summer ahead, Grace knew it was the time. One fell swoop, like a band-aid. She dropped the crumpled envelope in front of him.
"Grace?" He looked up at her with questioning eyes.
"Just read it, Girardi." It was all she trusted her voice to say. He would figure it out easily enough, genius that he was.
He fumbled with the letter at first, until finally his eyes fixed on the page, darting quickly through the few short paragraphs. He didn't take long to figure out what the implications were.
"New York University, Grace? Are you serious?" She could only nod. He looked panicked, worried. "I uh, we, I mean, we didn't talk about this."
She had to look away from him, his clear brown eyes able to see too much about her. With a final step, she plunged into there's-no-turning-back-now.
"I saw your acceptance letter to MIT." Grace was able to edge the hurt out of the words with cold accusation.
His face fell. He knew what was coming. He had to have seen it before. Where did he really think they were headed?
"You lied to me, Girardi." Emotions were turning in her stomach faster than she had time to process them- hurt, anger, sadness, confusion, regret. She swallowed the lump in her throat. "You lied and now you're throwing your future away for no good reason. I'm not going to let that happen."
Luke jumped out of his chair. "I'm not throwing my future away! This is my choice, my life!"
"Your future is not with me, Luke," she whispered, his name sticking on her lips. The hurt was obvious on his boyish features.
"You don't know that, Grace." His voice was rough with emotion. "Free will, remember? I choose to stay with you."
Something inside her died when the tears started free falling from his eyes. She dug her fingernails hard into her palms and forged on.
"My aunt is letting me stay with her for the summer while I find a job and save some money. I can't go to Arcadia Community College forever, you know."
"Grace, no. I thought—we had a plan!"
She ignored him. "I'm taking a train tonight. I called the MIT admissions office. You're late on the deposit but they were willing to overlook that for such a promising student." She smiled through watery eyes at that. "You might get stuck with a shitty living situation, but at least you'll be there, right?" She shrugged, looking anywhere but at Luke, finally settling on snatching her acceptance letter from his desk.
"This is ridiculous. This is…" He shook his head, searching for a logical argument. Reason failed him for once; he resorted to begging. "You can't do this, Grace! Please!"
She just shook her head and crossed the distance between them. He stared desperately at her as she gently brushed the tears from his face. She wanted to kiss him again, for the last time, but knew her resolve would crumble if she tried. Instead, she picked up one of his hands and gave it a tender squeeze.
"It's for the best, Girardi. I promise." He shook his head.
"Grace," he pleaded, "I love you." He tried to pull her to him, but she was quicker and easily moved away.
Then, as she moved toward the door, she turned with one last smile and a few errant tears and said, "It's been fun."
It's been fun? She hated herself.
She heard him shout as she shut the door behind her. She wasn't two steps away when a loud crashed followed. She paused, expecting him to chase after her, but she must've done a good enough job because he didn't. The sobs she heard next echoed in her ears as she dashed down the staircase and out the door. His broken eyes were all she could see as she stuffed random possessions into her bags. It wasn't until she was safely on the train to New York City that she allowed herself to breakdown and cry.