Author: Bad Faery PM
In trying to help her, he broke her beyond repair. After Todd's fall from the roof, Marty learns more about herself and their shared past as she slowly starts to put the pieces of her life back together. x Tarty xRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Chapters: 4 - Words: 6,580 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 02-14-09 - Published: 01-02-09 - id: 4763950
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Marty's lips parted on a silent scream as she watched him fall, realizing that until that very moment, she hadn't believed he'd actually do it. His words of love meant nothing; they were just another way to manipulate her; he didn't actually mean them.
"Todd?" she whispered, leaning over the edge of the roof, her eyes searching the dim landscape for some trace of him. Far below, she heard a splash and the rushing sound of the river.
Could he swim? Was the fall alone enough to kill him? How far up were they anyway? She took several steps towards the stairs, her left leg buckling from the stress. She caught herself on the edge of the door frame, resting her face against it for long moments, knowing there was nothing she could do. Even if she'd been in the peak of health, there was no way she could get to the river fast enough to do anything for him. For all she knew, he was already dead.
Her eyes filled with tears, her breath coming in harsh gasps. Todd couldn't really be dead, could he? He was too evil to actually die. Feeling suddenly lost she made her way back to their room at the Palace, gathering her belongings robotically, leaving no trace of herself behind, just like she'd planned.
There was commotion outside as she left the building, and it took all of her strength not to join the crowd, to try to find out what had happened to him. Any power she'd had over the situation was long gone, and she'd be no more than a face in the crowd and an instant suspect if anyone connected Todd's fall to her suspicious presence.
Instead she went home, her body far colder than was justified by the chilly Pennsylvania air, feeling like the central focus of her life had been ripped out from beneath her.
* * * * *
She winced as she stepped into her bedroom. The house was dark and deserted, and she would have bet anything her absence hadn't been noted until she saw the tangled piles of her research covering her bed, her journal open on the floor. She'd been discovered.
Hastily she started gathering the printouts together until she had a neat stack, a physical record of every evil thing Todd had ever done. All the evidence was in her hands. He was the scum of the earth, a user and a villain who'd made her his latest victim.
"What am I? Chopin?" he joked as she tried to get him to unclench enough to rest his fingertips against the keyboard. Despite the tension in his fingers, beside her his body was loose and relaxed, the faint smell of his cologne pleasant in the air as they laughed through their duet.
His hands on her arms brooked no argument as he coaxed her to her feet for her first steps. The hope and pride and confidence in his eyes was enough to give her the courage to try to hold herself steady. "I'm not going to let you fall," he promised her.
Her eyes opened, but suddenly all she could see was the moment where he let himself go, plummeting through the air at her insistence.
I'm not going to let you fall...
I won't let you fall...
"No, no, no, no, no..." she muttered, her fingers groping for the television remote. She had to know. Surely it would be on the news by now, with the crowd outside the Palace. Surely someone would be reporting on the incident.
"...former acting police commissioner John McBain pulled Manning from the river and performed CPR until paramedics arrived on the scene. Manning was taken to Llanview Hospital where he is currently in serious condition."
Hands shaking, she switched the television back off, relief arcing through her. Her world, which had been on the verge of spinning off its axis, slowed to a normal speed. Todd was still alive.
She told herself that she was relieved because his survival meant she wasn't a murderess. Even she didn't believe it.
Once again, she gathered up her research, adding a box of matches to the pile as she crossed to the bathroom. Kneeling beside the bathtub, she carefully started to burn the papers a few at a time, praying she didn't set fire to the house.
Somehow she succeeded and in less time than seemed possible, she was left with nothing but a pile of ashes that were easy enough to wash down the drain. If only she could wash her treacherous feelings away as neatly.
Feeling suddenly exhausted, she dressed for bed, for the first time not surrounded by Todd's image as she climbed beneath the covers. It didn't matter. Behind her closed eyelids she could see him clearly; she could read the agony in his face as he realized why she'd asked to meet with him.
"I'm not sorry; I'm not," she whispered fiercely into her pillow. Todd deserved everything she could do to him and so much more. He didn't love her. He'd been playing with her feelings from the start.
Or had he?
He'd said he'd do anything for her. And when she called his bluff and told him to die for her... he had. Or at least tried to. Were those really the actions of a man who didn't love her?
"I hate you, Todd," she hissed, relishing the familiar surge of anger that accompanied the words. She hated him for lying to her. She hated him for manipulating her. Most of all she hated him for making her love him.
Because, God help her, despite everything, she still did.