|Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
Author: DragonyPhoenix PM
What if ruining Ian Blackpoole hadn't helped Nate?Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - Nathan F. - Words: 481 - Published: 12-22-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5601407
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The first Christmas after they'd ruined Ian Blackpoole, Nate found himself back in Boston, sitting on a park bench, bottle of whiskey in hand, as the snow started to fall. He took another swig, fell back against the side of the bench, and closed his eyes. After a few moments, his hand loosened around the bottle, which slipped down to be cradled by the snow.
The temperature dropped ten degrees. Nate's dark coat and hair had long been obscured by a covering of snow by the time the young boy, whose hair was the exact same shade as Nate's, joined him on the bench.
The snow didn't seem to settle on him.
As the boy kicked his feet back and forth, Nate opened bleary eyes and gazed over. "What are you doing here? Park at midnight is no place for a kid. Your mother must be worried sick."
"Mommy doesn't need me," the boy replied.
Nate reached down for the bottle but couldn't find it. "You can't be here," he whispered.
"You can't be here," the boy said.
"Don't play games with me, son."
"It's not a game." The boy was silent for a moment before adding, "You hurt that man."
"He deserved it."
The boy turned and looked at Nate, full in the face for the first time. "Did he?" Nate twitched and tried to look away but found he couldn't turn his head. "It didn't help," the boy added.
"I," Nate started. His lips tightened into a thin line as he thought of all the things he could have done. I could have taken my case to the board, gone over Ian's head. I should have stolen something for myself, long before you needed it. If I'd told them to go ahead with the operation, I could have found the money later. If I'd done something, anything, you'd still be alive.
"It's not my fault," he shouted.
The boy stopped swinging his legs and Nate waited, wanting, almost needing, the accusation. "It wasn't your fault," the boy told him, "but you don't believe that."
Reaching out, the boy laid a hand on Nate's shoulder. "Sleep," he said and Nate found himself fading back into oblivion. "Heal," the boy whispered after Nate had fallen back asleep.
The next morning, Nate woke at dawn, stretched out on the bench and covered in a blanket he'd never seen before: baby blue decorated with angels. He never understood how something so thin could have kept him warm on such a frozen night, unless it had been the blanket of snow that had fallen over the cover while he'd slept.
As he rose and walked towards the sunrise, Nate cradled the blanket. It felt like his son's breath against his cheek.