|Worth The Price
Author: Lady Shaye PM
He had always been so damn careful with her. But he'd forgotten to protect her from herself. / One-shot. Future!fic. Warning: character death.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Tragedy - R. Marron & F. Farmer - Words: 2,613 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 3 - Published: 04-25-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8059805
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Do I look old enough to own The Bodyguard? I better not! Because I'M NOT! (You can't really answer that question, though, can you, considering you can't see me? Can you? 0_0! Creeper!)
A/N: I actually wrote this almost a year back, when I saw The Bodyguard for the first time. No, I did not write this in tribute of Whitney Houston's death. I actually wrote this a few months before. I just always took the ending of the movie two ways: 1) they stayed together and lived happily ever after, or 2) their jobs made it impossible and they only ever met up a few times. And this was what happened when I pondered the second ending to myself. (The first would have been too boring for me to write, I think.) Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.
The article said that she'd turned to alcohol and drugs after her sister's death and the incident at the awards show.
Bullshit. It was more than that. It was always more than that. Always.
Frank had often wondered about Rachel. Over the years, he had kept track of her, which wasn't very hard to do, considering her career. Though she had never had any other significant threats on her life, she had hired him every now and then. Every time led to them being together again: they would hold hands, he would love over his shoulder, and she would chide at him and laugh and kiss him. He'd eventually leave and she'd beg him to stay, telling him that she loved him more than anything, more than everything.
But what kind of pop star falls in love with her bodyguard? That thought was always in the back of his mind.
He wondered if he'd attend the funeral. Somewhere in his mind, though, he knew he'd be there. He had to be. He had to go, simply so he could remember it. So he couldn't remember the last part of her, the last piece that he would ever ever get. Standing in the background, holding a black umbrella and staring in silence. As always.
He had always been so damn careful with her.
But he'd forgotten to protect her from herself.
Fletcher would be there. So would most of her team, and fans would be crowding at the gates. She'd be buried on the grounds of her home. She had always wanted that, he instinctively knew, though they'd never talked about that specifically.
Frank sat down at the kitchen counter and wiped at his eyes. His dad would be flying over (for "emotional support," as he'd said over the phone) and he'd come bursting through the door soon. And Frank didn't want his own father to walk in and see him crying.
Damn it. Why did she have to die?
His father would be here soon. But until then…until he heard footsteps coming up the stairs and until he listened to the sound of his father turning his spare key in the lock…he could be weak.
Frank had always hated funerals.
Ever since his mother died, he had hated them. It wasn't so much the loud crying, or the lamentations, or the impersonal preachers—as the thought of saying goodbye. Even if it was someone he barely knew, he had never been good at saying goodbye. And considering his profession, that really sucked.
His dad clapped a hand on his shoulder from behind him. Frank schooled his features so that they looked impassive, as always.
Fletcher, still just a little kid, barely even a teenager, gave the best speech. His eulogy spoke of love and happiness and better times, and that even though his mother had "gone on," she would always be with him. It was the kind of clichés that you expected at a funeral, but strangely, they didn't sound like clichés when Fletcher said them.
Frank did not give a speech. He couldn't.
Months went by, and he missed Rachel. He missed her like he'd never missed anyone before, not even his mother. He'd been so young when his mom died. But with Rachel...now he could fully appreciate, and fully despise, the grief caused by her death. The full impact of the sorrow, the whys, the howcouldthisbes, hit him full in the face.
They had never been the truly perfect couple, in all the ways that you would imagine a perfect couple to be. What they had had was strange and argumentative and yet still somehow lasting. It had been weird but wonderful. Her short hair in his fingers, one of her hands tracing some odd design on his bare arm in the moonlight that shone through one singular window. Blankets thrown about in sleep, nightmares, tears, kissing wet eyes and dry lips.
Beautiful. And in his mind, in his vision of perfect... it was flawless. It had been flawless.
She had had so much promise.
Screw that. They had had so much promise. Together.
But now, it can never happen. Because she's gone.
Four days after the funeral, he goes home after escorting his dad back to the airport ("I'm fine, Dad, please, you can go!") and tries to get drunk. He remembers how she used to take her shots, quickly throwing back her head and downing the drink. She winced at the rum and smiled at the scotch. Strange woman. Perfect, but damn odd. And she loves...loved wine. (Like she loved him. Until the very end, damn it. And he'll love her beyond that, he just knows.)
So, instead of getting drunk off of cheap light beers like he'd planned, he ends up drinking wine—her choice alcohol—all night. Red wine, white wine, every kind. He eventually goes down to the local store when he runs out, and comes across her favorite, and buys three bottles of it. He only drinks half of one, promising himself to save the rest for when he absolutely needs it.
Morning comes, and while he's not exactly stone cold sober, he isn't as slobbering drunk as he'd hoped to be. His words are a little slurred, but he doesn't really mind all that much. It's not like he's gonna see anyone today.
Fletcher visits one day.
It's out of the blue, and totally unexpected. He certainly liked the kid, and wouldn't have minded being his stepfather, though he's not quite sure if he would have made a good dad. After all, with his job? Traveling all the time, no holidays for the targeted, etc., etc. He and Fletcher got along, though, even though it's been forever. They didn't talk at the funeral, so…years, really, once he really thinks about it.
Fletcher's a little more grown up now and being raised by some relative of Rachel's. A cousin or something, perhaps. He tries not to think about someone else living in Rachel's mansion, someone else sleeping in her bed. No one deserves to sleep in her bed. He never even got to sleep in her bed, though she rarely did herself, to be fair. She was always on tour, or in his bed. (He tries not to think about that, to forget her soft kisses and husky, throaty voice, and passion-filled limbs rocking over and over to the same rhythm with him. He fails.)
All of a sudden, at that thought, there's an aching, grieving desire to touch her bed. To feel the silk sheets that he's never touched (silk, he just knows it) and the softness of her pillow where she hasn't slept in months and will never sleep again (never say never, she used to say, but now she can't say anything anymore) and to just know her, and to know where she slept and what the last thing she saw at night was, on the rare nights when she actually slept in her own bed.
Her son is polite, refusing anything to eat or drink—while Frank, on the other hand, tries to remember how to be civil to company—but also being courteous about it. They're mostly quiet, occasionally making small talk about Fletcher's schoolwork or Frank's infrequent jobs in-between long moments of silence.
They talk about his mother, and her smile, and her voice, and how she'll be missed. And although it's the first real conversation that Frank's had in weeks, it still feels like he isn't even saying a word.
He's leaving so many things unsaid about Rachel, because he can't think of any words to speak.
It's ironic, to him.
That he was the bodyguard. He was the one who was always in the line of fire.
But she died.
He only visits her grave one more time. With Fletcher's permission, and a little tricking of the guards—it's still way too easy to get in there, he thinks with a bittersweet smile, memories echoing in his head—he gets in, and walks down the path.
He bought her a ring once. It was a little gold band with a small diamond. Small, simple, easy. But undeniably beautiful.
He never gave it to her.
But it's time.
He pulls the ring out of his pocket, careful not to drop it, and sets it on the headstone, flat on the ground that reads her name and those two unforgettable dates: the date she came into the world, and the day that she left it. The day that the news screamed for grief, and the day that he gave it. The day that he couldn't help but grieve.
He's still grieving.
Taking his own golden band out of his pocket, he places it on his finger, whispers a goodbye and an I love you, and walks away, unwilling to let her go but also knowing that he has to leave her behind, physically. He has to get back to work.
It will be his work that kills him, he knows, but also his desire to be with her once again. After all, having a death wish at such a high-risk job can't really truly help.
Exactly one week later, the EMTs arrive at the scene two minutes after the call is made. There were emergency units on call, barely even a few moments away from the scene, but still, they're too late. The business owner is fine, but he says that the bodyguard took a shot.
Grace Jackson, a twenty-five-year-old EMT, approaches the scene with just a little disgust, and quite a lot of pity. This poor guy never had a chance, but she has to take the pulse—or lack of one, in this case, anyway—and declare him dead for sure. She steps over the blood and crouches over the corpse, thankful that her blond hair is pulled up in a ponytail so that blood won't get on it. It's odd, how you get used to these scenes, that blood and dead bodies are truly just common everyday things now, and you can get used to focusing on trivial things in order to just get by.
He's older than her, she can tell, but still handsome. His eyes, wide open until someone shuts them for him, are a bright, light blue, and his hair is a gorgeous dark blond, with just a few streaks of something faintly hinting at distinctively brunette. He has a beautiful body, something she wishes she had, something only accomplished by hours of workouts a week. A body that most trainers would kill to have, honestly.
Enough. She's edging into necrophilia. Which is just creepy.
She takes the lack of pulse in and calls the approximate death time. One clear shot to the heart. She wonders if he had someone that somebody needs to call. She checks out his hand with her glove, and sees the ring.
Hours later, she remembers, and asks about his wife.
The answer mystifies her. "He didn't have a wife. He wasn't even engaged."
Some weeks later, she's off visiting the home of Rachel, the long dead star. She's known mostly by just her first name now, like Madonna or Elvis. In fact, Rachel's home is now almost the equivalent of Graceland, in some ways. She's touring the grounds when she notices the gravestones. It's their next destination.
The two graves, the tour guide explains, are, quite obviously, belonging to a couple very much in love. The first, clearly, belongs to Rachel. And the second is that of Frank's, the man she loved. Both of their wills stated their desire to have him buried here with her, and since her will corroborated with his, it had to happen. Besides, Fletcher, who is now the young heir, pleaded with his guardian for it to happen. So it did.
Slowly but surely, she remembers the name of Frank, and remembers light blue eyes and a clear gunshot to the heart, and wonders if he even felt like he had a heart when his lover died. She supposes that he didn't. Love does crazy things to you. Or rather, it did, in his case.
Grace stares at the graves for a moment longer, gazing at them, wondering what their love was like. It certainly wasn't very public, or she would have heard about it through the news before Rachel's death, and she definitely would have seen more on TV about him. Recalling dimly, she remembers the awards show where Rachel's bodyguard was shot in her place, and thinks it might have been him.
When she goes home, she researches it on the Internet, and finds an article confirming her thoughts. With that support in mind, she returns the next day—thank God for weekends off, though she is on call—and finds the ring on the gravestone. Well, not on the gravestone exactly. Someone, someone who was just as in love with Frank and Rachel's love as they were in love with each other, or perhaps just someone who cared about what they would have thought, had placed the ring in a glass box, like something on display, and put a plaque next to it. It sits next to Rachel's grave.
For the bodyguard and the star, two lovers forever intertwined. Even death could not separate them for long. When she left him, he gave her a ring still, and then he joined her. R.I.P., Frank and Rachel.
the plaque reads.
Grace wonders if she'll have that kind of love someday, and if it's worth the price.
For some reason, she thinks that if that man were still alive, and with his lover, then they would both agree that it is.
A/N: I know it's terrible, but I simply had to post it. I've been feeling unproductive lately, though I've been spitting out one-shots like a manic lately. Do you know how many stories I've been half-writing whenever inspiration strikes? I think ten maybe. Probably more of them. And I wasn't even like planning this one. And my history midterm is tomorrow! Actually, it's my history final. So I should go now and study, hm? Yes. Review if you wish!