Say Something

Summary: Spoilers for Pac-Man Fever (8x20) regarding Charlie's backstory. Charlie visits her mom in the hospital. Takes place sometime while Charlie's on the run.

Disclaimer: I own neither Charlie Bradbury, her mom, nor the song Say Something by A Great Big World, which lyrics are used in this and also inspired the fic.

Author's Note: Because Charlie and her mom.

She sneaked her way into the room late at night while the nurses were occupied. She then lowered into the chair by the hospital bed's side, gently taking the bag off her back and setting it on the ground.

"Hey," she murmured to the bed's occupant. "Hi, Mom. How… how are you?"

Why she even asked, she didn't know. It wasn't like her mother had ever responded before. But maybe—just maybe—today would be the day.

"Um, I'm doing good," she said. "Great, even. I'm kinda not supposed to be here, 'cause, you know, stuff, but I had to see you again. I don't… just want to leave you, you know?"

Her mother hadn't stirred from that bed since she was placed there. Not of her own accord, anyway.

"I, um—I miss you." She leaned forward and took her mother's hand. For a moment she sat there in silence, absently rubbing her thumb where it rest on the hand she held. Then, in a moment of vulnerability, she whispered, "Do you miss me?"

It'd been a year since the incident. Every day seemed to just get harder and harder. She used to think time healed things, but that wasn't true. If anything, she felt worse.

She waited for an answer, but there was nothing. She blinked away the moisture welling in her eyes. "Come on, Mom," she pleaded, her voice wavering. "Say something. Anything. Everything. Say something, I'm… I-I'm giving up on you," she admitted softly, lowering her head to inspect the hospital floor. She couldn't admit that to her mom's face.

Saying that little bit was like opening the flood gates; everything began to pour out. "I feel… so small, and everything's over my head. I don't know what to do, I know nothing—at all—and I'm expected to just—to just do and know and survive with zero guidance or even a friendly ear to listen to—I'm like a baby just starting to crawl. Like, really, that's how I am. I'm stumbling and I'm falling and I'm doing everything wrong, and there's no one around to catch me or help me up, and I just really need you and Dad, but he's gone and you're—you're here and you won't just say something or let me know you're listening, and that's really hard!" She inhaled sharply as a few tears slipped down her cheeks. "It's really hard, and I just really miss you, okay? And I—I love you, a-and I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. This is all my fault," she choked on the last word. And with that, she could say no more. Instead, she folded her arms and rested them on the bed, her mother's hand still entwined with hers, and she buried her face.

And she cried with the tears of knowing her mother couldn't say something. Nor could her mom hear anything—not consciously anyway.

She was only speaking to herself.