Author: Svendances PM
A relatoinship on the rocks ends and two years later tragedy is apparent... its a little sad. Please read and review.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Angst - Words: 2,742 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 3 - Published: 09-10-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3778896
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I had my friend read this before I posted it and it made her cry... so I'm sorry if it does the same to you... have a chocolate on me.
You see it, I don't own it. The song is called "An Afterword" by The Getaway Plan, which is an Australian band, very cloes to home there. Enjoy... hopefully...
If you would let me hold you
the nights would never be this cold
If morning has its romance and midday has demands,
if I could rest my head forever in these fragile hands
"Joe, what's wrong?" Stephanie asked, finally sitting up in bed, unable to handle his silence anymore. He had been giving her the cold shoulder all evening and she had no idea why. Morelli rolled over so that he could see her face in the dim light cast by the small lamp on the bedside table, yet he remained silent. The look in his eyes stated clearly that he was not happy, but gave no indications as to why or with who or what. He sighed heavily and rolled back over, moving as far away from her as he could in the queen sized bed. "Why won't you talk to me?" Steph asked, placing a hand on his shoulder. Joe shrugged it off and moved still further away. "For fuck sake Joe! What the hell is your problem?"
Suddenly, Joe jump up from the bed and stood at its foot, staring at his partner with such fury it would have burned right through the wall if it was given a chance. "What do you mean, 'What the fuck's my problem? You know perfectly well what my fucking problem is!"
Confusion fell hard on Stephanie as she followed Joe's manic pacings with her eyes. "No, Joe, I don't," she stated calmly, "You haven't spoken to me all evening, how could I possibly know what your problem is?"
"How could you not know?" he practically screamed at her. "You're at the centre of it all!" He was now so furious that he kicked the door of the cupboard as he passed, causing immense pain in his big toe.
"I don't understand, Joe, what did I do?" she said this more meekly than calmly, but felt sure that if she was to keep up this tone of voice he would certainly blow his top before long.
"Never mind," he clipped. "It doesn't matter, I'm going to sleep in the other room. When you feel you've got your memory back and want to apologise, you know where I'll be."
A cold dread fell over Stephanie like a sheet of ice, it mingled with the confusion she was feeling and left her feeling physically sick. What had she done? Why was Joe acting like this? Eventually she managed to cry herself to sleep, her hand placed delicately on the place where Joe's head would have been in an odd gesture of regret.
Stephanie felt the bed dip early the next morning as Joe slide in between the sheets between her. He sidled over right up behind her and wrapped an arm around her waist while lavishing her neck with hot wet lips. Joe half smiled as she wriggled back a little into him. "Morning Cupcake." He whispered into her hair before nipping the shell of her ear.
Stephanie turned her head a little to look into his eyes. "Feeling better?" she enquired a little cautiously.
He smiled at her as he claimed her lips. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have been so harsh."
"No, you shouldn't," Steph agreed placing a hand on the side of his cheek and pulling him back down for another heated kiss.
Before she knew what was happening Joe had rolled her over and was lying on top of her, covering her face in light kisses. "Have I told you lately that I love you?" he asked as he tore the sheet away from her body and began work at undressing her.
Stephanie giggled a little and gave in to the sheer wonder of the situation. An hour later she lay tangled amongst his warm limbs and the sheet happily sated and ready to get on with the day. Joe grunted a little as he tried to slip off the bed, but otherwise let her go without a fight. She showered and dressed leaving a note on the coffee machine that she would be back for dinner.
The day seemed to go rather slowly and it seemed like an eternity later that her phone rang around lunchtime. She whipped it out of her pocket where she had stashed it when she entered the crack house to make an apprehension. "Yello?" she said as se flipped it open, "You're on speaker, so you better be nice and clean."
Morelli's voice came across the line, filling the small storefront office, "Take me off speaker Stephanie," he seethed.
Stephanie did as she was told with some curious eye things from Lula and Connie. "What's up?" she asked, trying to be positive.
"Where are you?" His voice was no less angry than it had been when speaking to the room at large.
Hesitating a moment, Stephanie gave a glance to Connie and Lula and walked outside, phone still attached to her ear. "I'm at the Bond's office, why? Was I supposed to be somewhere?"
There was a moment of silence, broken only by the cars whizzing past Stephanie. "Get your cute little arse down here now," Joe stated, trying to sound less angry.
"Where's here?" Stephanie asked innocently.
"The Station!" Joe yelled, "Where, the fuck, else would I be on a week day?" Before another word could be said he hung up. Slamming the small phone down hard on his desk as he stormed from the room in pursuit of coffee.
"Why would you do something like this?" Stephanie was yelling at Joe less than half an hour later. "Why would you do this to me? What did I do to deserve this?"
"It's more like what didn't you do," Joe said simply taking the slip of paper from Stephanie and placing it back on his desk. "I've been trying to understand you for years now, but you just won't let me understand."
"What do you mean?" Stephanie demanded. "You've been trying to understand me? I think that's a little callous when you're the one keeping me at arms length every other day. If I didn't know better I'd say it was you're time of the month most of the time. What do you want from me?"
"I want you to let me inside that convoluted brain of yours so I can get closer to you and love you more. I want you to be sane. I want to know you're safe every minute of every hour of every day. I want you to come to your senses and get some professional help!"
"Professional help?" Stephanie fumed getting up from her chair. "So you think I'm crazy, is that it? I'm in sane? Peculiar? Outlandish? Weird? Mentally unstable? Psychologically incapacitated? Have you ever stopped to consider your own mental state? And besides, the psychologist isn't going to give you tips in understanding me, haven't you heard of doctor-patient confidentially?"
Joe was sitting forlornly on his desk by now. "I just want to love you more!" he whispered imploringly. "I just wanted you to love e more."
Stephanie shook her head, this confrontation was a little beyond her powers of comprehension. "By sending me to a psychologist?" she asked, a little softer now. "Morelli, if you want to love me more and want me to love you more you have a funny way of showing it." She turned on her heel and removed herself from the room swiftly. She sat alone in her car in the parking lot across the street from the cop shop, head in hands, covering her tears streaked cheeks, wishing the world would just swallow her whole rather than torture her like this.
If evening has its moments...
Joe watched as Stephanie stormed through the house, removing every last item that belonged to her and placing it in a basket near the front door. Tears were running down her face again, but she did not bother hiding them. It was hard to think that all the protection she had built up around her over the years had been torn down in a few short hours. Now she was baring all, vulnerable to a world of abuse. A world where she could not even say how she felt for fear of being labelled a head case.
Finally, she picked up her bag and reached for the front door handle, but Joe grabbed her savagely and pulled her into a kiss so passionate that all her rationalising flew out the window for a few brief moments. "You know I'll always love you?" he asked letting her go.
"The evidence is overpowering," she replied removing herself from his house and his life for ever and a day, yet somehow she knew she would be back someday, just like every other time she had permanently left him.
If you can keep a secret from me
Then I can tell you things that you'd not believe
If I could write a letter and sign it with your blood
and send it with the truest of intentions my love,
if breathing was this easy, intentions would be lost
To hold a conversation with a voice that cuts so soft
She was trying to make the most of her time. Trying to live while she still could. Trying to be.
It had been scarcely two years since that day and when she arrived on his doorstep she could not help but relive those last few hours in her head. Finally she came to that brief, yet enthralling kiss and she shook her head to clear it. Her mother's hand tightened on her elbow making sure she didn't sway too much. "Are you alright?" she asked. Silently Stephanie nodded, not willing to let her mother know how tired she felt, as she feared that it would bring an end to the excursion at once and she would not be allowed to venture out of her bed again.
Ellen Plum leaned forward and pressed the doorbell, giving her daughter an encouraging smile as she did so. As they waited side by side on the small porch she rubbed Stephanie's back gently.
A moment later Joe stood in front of them, a smile fading as he took in Steph's pallor. He had watched from the upstairs window as they made their way to the front door and saw that she was slightly weak, but did not realise the extent of her apparent illness. "Steph, you look like you should be in bed!" he told her.
Ellen gave a tight smile and replied for her daughter, "She insisted on seeing you as soon as we brought her home."
"Brought her home?" Joe asked, a little confused. "Where has she been?"
"You didn't hear then?" she asked.
Joe looked from Stephanie to her mother and back. "Come in and sit down," he requested moving aside to allow them entry. Ellen led Stephanie to the couch in the living room and sat down beside her, a reassuring hand on her thigh. "What's wrong with her?" He directed his question at Mrs Plum.
"I have a tumour, Joe," came Steph's raspy voice. "A brain tumour; they can't operate."
Joe's jaw dropped as he sat there, staring at the woman he had given his all to at one point in his life. "Are you serious?" he asked, disbelievingly. "How- how long have they given you?"
Stephanie swallowed hard, trying to moisten her dry mouth. "They're hopeful-." Her voice cracked and she dissolved into tears. Joe looked to her mother a question in his raised brow. Ellen shook her head. "Mum, could I have a moment alone with Joe?" Stephanie croaked, wiping her eyes.
Ellen agreed and stood, letting them know that she'd be in the kitchen.
As soon as she was gone Steph laid her head back on the couch, her eyes closed. Joe took up residency in the recently vacated seat next to Steph and held her hand. "This is my punishment isn't it?" he asked her quietly, squeezing gently.
"Punishment for what?" Stephanie half laughed, the thought of Joe blaming himself for her condition brought some humour to her drab world.
"For not telling you," he said. It sounded as if he was going to leave it at that, but then he went on. "For not telling you that I wanted to marry you."
Stephanie's eyebrows gathered together. "Joe, don't, it's too late. I just want to have a few special moments with you without bringing up insignificant details from the past. Forget about anything you feel the need to say in order to redeem yourself, I forgive you." Relief washed briefly over Morelli and he hugged Stephanie lightly. "Now," Steph continued, coughing a little. "I need to get something off my chest. Please keep in mind that this is all said with the most sincere meaning and I don't mean to cause you any anger, I just need to say this to you once." Joe nodded and prompted her to go on. "I want you and Ranger to be friends. I want you to be able to have civilised conversations. I want you to be able to work together. Most of all I want you two to compromise."
Joe looked at her curiously. "But why Steph?" He was beginning to get scared, surely she was not in her right mind.
Stephanie opened her eyes and raised her head so that she was looking into his eyes. "Because I want the both of you to look after my child."
"Yes, it's too much of a burden to thrust upon my parents at this late stage in their lives. I know the baby doesn't belong to either of you, but you both love me so much and I want that kind of love to be given to my daughter. I know you've had trouble getting along in the past, but I want to feel that I made a difference, even if it is only in one life." She broke off, she was feeling exceptionally tired. She just wanted to sleep. Just wanted to fall into slumber.
"Joe," Stephanie asked. She was having trouble breathing now and her vision was fading. "Joe, hold me." He did as she requested and felt her heart beating faster than it should be. "Promise me, Joe. Look after her." Her voice was becoming softer by the second. Joe feared that this was it, he did not want her to go.
"Ellen!" he called, thinking that she should be with her daughter now if ever.
"Joe promise me!" Stephanie beseeched in barely more than a breath. All she wanted to do was fall asleep, give in to the compelling darkness and let herself drift from here. At the same time, though, she wanted to here the answer she so coveted. Her breathing was laboured as she waited for the reply.
"Of course, Cupcake," he said in a whisper. And Stephanie let go, surrendering to the sleep that pulled on her, it was so easy, it was natural.
Joe held her for a few long minutes after she was gone, tears running down his face and onto her blouse. Ellen Plum stood a step back from them silently crying also. It was a peaceful face, a peaceful departing. After a moment Joe stood and went to the kitchen to grab a bottle of Stephanie's favourite beer, which he downed in little more than one gulp in her honour. A new beginning; a new life. He sat down heavily in a chair in the kitchen and thought of the few moments it had taken for her to journey from this world.
If breathing was this easy...
Please review, I'd love to hear you thoughts.