|I Was Gone
Author: ilurandir PM
Written for livejournal's 1 sentence fic challenge. A profile of Chris Dervish, his descent into madness, and the plight of those that love him. And those that don't. Please read and review, rated MARated: Fiction M - English - Drama - Chris D. - Words: 2,325 - Published: 09-01-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6289537
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Chris was like a wild animal on sage, moving this way and that, but always, always seeming to be drawn back to Paul – even when his eyes were fixed on her.
He was the coolest thing Laura had ever seen with his eccentricity and his half-crazy smile.
He was so young, and Laura knew that, but when his cold hand slid up her thigh, her back against the wall behind the bar, that thought faded from her mind completely.
It couldn't last, and she knew that – not with Paul's sorrowful eyes following Chris whenever he got near her, but she would sure as hell make sure she got what she wanted.
Everything was fucked now because she was so high she couldn't see straight, but she could feel enough to know that too many hands had been on her, and too many people had been inside her on this night.
It wasn't Chris who made sure she was all right after that night, it was Paul – of course – now she felt bad for everything she had done, but oh God she still wanted Chris's hands on her, even after what they did.
One more time and that could be that she told herself – it was just the way Chris followed her with his eyes when she entered the room that made her crave him too much
One thousand little shards of glass flew as Chris, screaming, passed his arm, hand already clutching a bottle of vodka - over the table to send the bottles flying.
Chris wouldn't even look at Paul now – everyone at Humbleden just fucking revolved around him and no matter what Laura wanted, Paul was still the closest to Chris and almost at the centre of that violence.
Laura leaned soon enough that being close to Chris meant fucking yourself up beyond recognition – Paul wouldn't speak to her now.
When the cocaine hit – all she could think when Chris mouth slid down past her collarbone to her breasts was fuck Paul.
She had everything she wanted and yet she was still so isolated. Was it the vacancy in Chris's eyes now – even when he touched her that left her feeling this empty?
This Chris, curled in Paul's arms, shivering so hard that it made Paul look like he was shaking too (and maybe Laura thought he was) was so different from that beautiful long-legged singer she had known only a few months ago.
She hesitated outside Paul's door, listening to the voices – Paul asked Chris one more time (once more, and once more) to stop the heroin and Chris, well – "We've already tried that, Paul, now go fuck yourself."
It was still Laura that Paul came to when Chris left the house – Laura he confided everything in and she tried not to let herself believe that she was a horrible person.
Laura and Paul both needed Chris, but Chris only ever needed the bite of that needle.
Laura clutched her knees to her chest, Chris sleeping beside her in her bed – perhaps her religious childhood was coming back to haunt her – mocking her with all of its virtues and values, sins and punishments – because why did she keep dreaming of water, and why did it scare her so much?
Chris's hand slammed into the wall – leaving a mark in the sheetrock of the basement so that everyone jumped and all the laughter, all the talking stopped as they watched Chris raise his bloodied hand to his mouth and grin as his eyes passed over them all.
Laura met Paul's eyes over Chris's head as he bit and licked at her neck - his bruised hand clutching her shoulder a little too hard - and she wondered if anyone would even want to save her soul when she could make someone like Paul look so sad - and not give a damn.
Paul and Chris were far too close and she wondered how anyone could have ignored their relationship – she wondered how she had ignored the fact that Chris hadn't laughed like he did in this photograph for a very long time.
Paul didn't come to her anymore, and she wondered which one of them would be the worse off for that.
When she and Chris made love, she had to remember that that was indeed what was happening, and that she wasn't still back in that red-lit room being raped – but the look in his eyes made her not so sure that she was right.
No one was there to hold her hair out of her face while she retched over the toilet bowl, but then again no one really had been for a long time and she hoped that this was because she'd over-drank herself again, and not because she was...
You had to live in the moment, not in the future and certainly not in the past – the past held you captive and chained you down – and that was the last thing Laura wanted – but still she wouldn't admit to herself that she was frightened of tomorrow and the days after that when Chris looked at her the way he just had.
Sometimes Chris still acted as he had when she first met him, but every once in a while, in these quieter moods of his, she would catch the shadow of something in his eyes – something a little more desperate than sadness, but she never pressed too hard – it was only too easy to send Chris into a rage.
Chris was laughing with Tubs, a cigarette between his index and middle finger, the straw for cocaine between his middle and ring, "Paul," he said when Paul entered the room, but he stopped laughing at the look in Paul's eyes before he turned and left the room – Chris wondered just how long ago Paul had given up on him – how he'd missed that silent goodbye.
Paul spent most of his time alone now – he couldn't talk to Laura, he couldn't be around Chris – he hadn't given up on him, he could never do that, but he knew when he wasn't wanted – or at least that was what he told himself.
Laura had long ago given up on believing that everything happened for a reason because she knew the world was nothing more than chaos – at least that's what fortune seemed to have brought her and everyone else that Zak brought together under this one roof (a mistake if she had ever seen one).
Paul found he didn't mind moving like a ghost through the house because he was used to it anyway (he should have known not to trust Laura with anything, or Chris for that matter) he was safe like this – safe in isolation and dark corridors.
Laura had never been more relieved to find the blood in her underwear, but now she drew her legs against her chest on the bathroom floor and wondered why she felt so empty – the ghost of a child that had never been inside her had departed and she never realised until that moment just how lonely she was.
Paul's eyes stopped somewhere in the middle of the page and when he looked up Chris was framed, backlit in the doorway and even though Paul couldn't see his face for the light behind him he felt that something was very wrong – but Chris slipped away before Paul could even say his name.
The eye of the storm – Paul had never seen Chris so quiet for so long and twice that night he almost reached out to touch the hair that covered the back of Chris's neck, but he didn't – and he had never been the type to know what to say.
The backside of Chris's hand connected with her cheek and the next thing she knew she was on her hands and knees on the floor and she didn't look up – when Chris walked out she knew that she had never hated anyone quite as much.
Chris felt Paul's eyes on him as he sung that song – I Am a Sock – he had always fucking hated this song because the emotions it brought out in him were far too human and he had stopped feeling human a long time ago.
The car was cold, but Chris leant against the driver's door as he wound the tie around and around his arm – he would be warm enough soon.
Zak Bedderwick walked into the recording room and Paul was so startled to see him that he didn't even push the guitar off of his lap to stand up and greet him – five seconds later, Paul forgot how to move at all – "He's dead."
And so The Noize was dead – as dead and cold as Chris was and Paul stood in the middle of his new bedroom in his new flat – shivering because there was no heat hooked up yet and not giving a fuck – it wasn't until the room started to grow brighter with the coming day that he must have been standing there for a very long time.
Laura stepped off of the train and looked for a sign that could tell her just where the hell she was because she hadn't paid attention to where the train was going – the first light of morning was white and she liked it because it was clean – stripping her of everything that had happened in the past year.
Zak had Paul's things sent up to him – everyone cleared out of Humbleden pretty quickly and it was Paul's job to sort through what he wanted of Chris's things because Laura was nowhere to be found – figures he thought – but those boxes were still sitting in the centre of living room where Zak's employee had left them and he wasn't sure he could do it.
When he did – because the apartment was far too small for Paul and Chris's boxes, it took hours and all of it – all of their past was here and it left Paul feeling colder than he ever had in his whole life.
Chris had had a power that drew people too him as much as it pushed them away and even now, when Paul came across the photographs he hadn't been able to throw away he had to turn them over to avoid falling back into the depression he'd clawed his way out of – and half-welcomed.
Just when Laura thought she had escaped it all she was asked to write an article on Chris and his death – but that meant going back there, that meant facing Paul and she sure as hell wasn't going to do that.
That was the name that they all cried out against Paul's sweat-soaked skin because names were trivial when all you wanted was a good fuck – only Chris had ever said his name when they...
Zak kept in touch and when he called Paul back to Humbleden to work with two conjoined-twin boys, Paul accepted – it was the hole in the wall where Chris's fist had gone through that really made him stop and remember.
Laura froze when she entered the recording room and Paul stood up – because he knew everything about her, her past and she would really, really rather he didn't and for a moment cold dread and hot anger flooded her because no one had mentioned that Paul was going to be here – but then he smiled at her and said "Well hello, how are you sweetheart? Good to see you," and she fought back her guilt as she kissed him on the cheek.
Paul opened the door of the van – he was the most sober and therefore the one who was sent out to get stuff so he could stop being the most sober, when the kitchen door of Humbleden swung open and Laura stormed out – she caught his eyes, the half open door and said "I'm coming with you, Nick's being a-" It was almost fun before the conversation was inevitably drawn towards The Noize – because that was what they both knew.
She hadn't meant to hurt Paul and he knew that and she certainly didn't want to hurt him again but when Barry leaned up to kiss him she found that she began to worry about what that would mean for her and Tom.
Paul stared at Laura incredulously and for once in his life he didn't bother to hide his anger before he turned away because Barry was the only person that had meant anything to him since Chris, and now she was trying to tell him no.
Paul had at least learned not to let Laura Ashworth decide things for him because when Barry's curious hands reached out for him in a way that was no longer casual he knew that this was more than just him seeing Chris in Baz like she said it was.
Zak didn't even bother to come to Day's flat to tell him that the boys were dead, he rang him and told him over the phone and listened to the silence on the other end, but he knew that Paul was still there because he was too polite to hang up – as Paul carefully put down the receiver he wondered how he had ever believed that Zak was a good man.