Author: Genevievey PM
Little oneshots that capture moments in the life of Assumpta Fitzgerald and Peter Clifford.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 5 - Words: 6,291 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 03-18-12 - Published: 08-07-09 - id: 5282751
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a short plot-less oneshot that popped into my head, and I'll post other such little stories in here (which is bound to happen, because Ballyk makes a prolific writer out of me!)
"Ballykissangel" belongs to Kieran Prendiville and the BBC, not myself. Please read & review!
Patient was perhaps not the best word to describe Assumpta Fitzgerald. Tenacious yes, stubborn definitely, but patient..? She liked people who spoke the plain honest truth, and spoke it herself often enough; sometimes rather harshly. She had no time for mind-games or two-facedness. And this was the way she liked it; Assumpta believed herself to be perfectly secure in her judgements and beliefs, and felt that nothing would change who she was. At least, that was what she'd thought…
Fitzgerald's was busy, that night. The landlady sighed, grabbing a moment of respite as she leaned against the back wall. She let her gaze wander across the room, a familiar feeling washing over her. What was it, exactly? The faces and the chatter of her friends brought a gentle warmth, but it felt…incomplete. Not for the first time, Assumpta felt alone amid a sea of people. Oh, they'd notice if she disappeared, there'd be no one to pull pints—but all of these people would be gone at closing time, to their own homes and their own families, and she would be alone again. Naturally.
Well, there was one person who didn't always leave immediately after closing…Sometimes he'd linger, give her a helping hand (a partly-listening ear…) but in the end, he always left too. And she always cursed herself for feeling disappointed.
Her eyes fell on Peter (as they did far too often), sitting at a table by the window with Padraig. They were engaged in a friendly game of chess, hiding laughter behind competitive poker-faces. She sighed in frustration; Peter was too damn good at that face, the one that kept everything inside carefully hidden. Sometimes their relationship really did feel like a game; bluffing and second-guessing and losing pieces along the way…At least they were evenly matched; she could keep a straight face as well as he could. But Assumpta couldn't quite stop herself from hoping that one day he might slip up, make a false move, and then she could break through. Perhaps.
God, she felt like a drink—a strong one. Assumpta reached for a glass, averting her eyes from their table; but their voices still reached her ears.
"I think we've got ourselves into a stalemate."
That was it, really. A stalemate; he couldn't move, and neither could she. She knew she ought to, but instead of settling for a pawn Assumpta was just staring wistfully at a knight she'd already lost. Pointless, hopeless, helpless…It seemed like a lose-lose situation, for the both of them.
Peter made a move, and Padraig threw up his hands in frustration. "Darn you!"
"What can I say?" the curate grinned, getting to his feet. "I think I'll quit while I'm ahead." At the door, he turned to look at her, and the little smiling nod he gave her settled warmly in her stomach for a moment, until the door swung shut and Assumpta shook her head to clear it. It was ridiculous, but even though Peter's presence could make her uncomfortable, his absence was almost worse.
Thoughtfully sipping a glass of wine, Assumpta suddenly came to a realization. As tortuous as it seemed, this eternal game of silent glances and unspoken feelings—it was almost preferable to losing the game. Not knowing was killing her slowly, but knowing and hearing what she didn't want to…That might kill her instantly. At least, with it all still up in the air, she could speculate and hope that maybe, just maybe, things might turn out the way she wanted. God, that made her sound pathetic, childish, unable to face reality. But it was how she felt.
Drinking more deeply from her glass, the publican glanced at her watch. Another two hours till closing; till she would have nothing to distract her, but a dark empty bedroom and her own thoughts, which invariably wandered to the one man she could not have. And she'd probably think of him before closing, too. Assumpta sighed again. However brave a face she put up, she was just no good at this game.