A/N: I saw a couple of threads that mentioned this concept and the heartbreaking beauty of it sparked my muse. I thought about making it an extended one-shot but it seemed to fit a multi-chapter mold better. Tell me what you think?
Disclaimers: I don't own Blindspot. Unbetaed, all mistakes are mine.
Chapter One: Evil Aim
She didn't go to work today. She couldn't, not that anyone expected her to be there anyway. In fact, she had been told to take a break. She'd stupidly agreed to one if they let her help find David's killer and Deputy Director Mayfair had personally escorted her out of the building and driven her home when the case was finished.
Home. Only it doesn't really feel like home without David. It's funny how laughter and good times can make the space between walls feel warmer than turning up the heat. It's odd how you think you love a space when you spend most of your time at work only to realize it isn't the apartment but the person you come home to.
She used to love her place. Or she thought she did. Before David. Back when it was just a safe haven to watch movies or have breakfast. Back when her board game collection just collected dust because she had no one to play with and no one came behind her to tidy the dishes. Now everything reminds her of what she lost, she admitted as much to Jane.
Without him she can't even bear to be in her own bed, so she sits tangled in a blanket on the sofa. Two of the fingers on her left hand are bandaged from where they were sliced by the stem of the wine glass she snapped trying to pour herself a drink. She's hardly slept a wink since they told her. Her eyes are so puffy they're nearly swollen shut from all the crying, yet she couldn't even cry herself to sleep.
The Firefly logo blazes across the screen. It was the best way she could think to be close to him. His shirt. His favorite show. His spot on the couch. She watched the entire series and the movie, the whole time hearing David's voice running commentary. Malcolm Reynolds is awesome. Cowboys. In space. How cool is that?
Sci-fi wasn't really her thing, but watching him light up? Feeling his hand tighten around her own as they shared a quiet evening? That was heaven. Being with someone you could sit with and have it not matter whether you said a word even though you both knew the depth of intelligent conversation you could have? That was a whole other level. One she now fears was once in a lifetime.
Even though it's been weeks since he's been there, little traces of David are all over her apartment. She's found comfort sleeping in the shirts he never came back for and brushing her teeth with his toothpaste. Some things - like the tiny bit of his cinnamon bun creamer - were used up immediately and others she's used sparingly. If she closes her eyes, she can almost pretend he's just on a business trip.
Or she could've. Until her worst fear came true. It's her fault he's gone. She pushed him away to keep this from happening, to keep him from getting hurt. Instead of spending what time she could with him, she threw it away. She wasted a chance at happiness for what? To be more cold and alone than he was? He's not out of town or at his place. He's lying on a slab. In the morgue.
She wonders if she should have fought harder to see his body, if that would've made it easier or harder to deal with. At the hospital, Mayfair held her in an embrace that was somewhere between mother and boss. Weller and Reade held her back when she scrambled for the door in disbelief. Jane and Zapata rubbed her back and held her hair out of the way in the bathroom when she emptied the pizza and beer from her stomach in her distress.
After holding it together for the better part of 24 hours, she'd cried on Jane's shoulder. She'd tried to hid in the lab with her equipment and bargained with Mayfair, pleading that she not be made to go home. After breaking the glass, she switched to tequila and plastic shot glasses.
The only thing worse than waking up hungover is being hungover and remembering the man you love is dead. David would've cut her off. He would've kissed her and taken her to bed before straightening up their mess. As it is, she wanders into the kitchen and groans before cleaning up the wine she left spilled on the countertop and floor. At least it had been the white, not the red. Red would've stained the tile.
Coffee started, she opens the door to retrieve the paper. Even before David, her instinct was to go directly to the puzzle page, now it's just another reminder. That was how they met. In a coffee shop, working the Sunday crossword in the New York Times at neighboring tables. His pen died and she'd handed him a spare because not many souls were brave enough to work a puzzle in ink. They ended up spending the rest of the day together.
Her lip catches under her teeth and she sucks on the delicate petal when she remembers one of her favorite Sundays. They hadn't been together long. It may've been the first time he spent the night - all night - at her place.
She'd awoken to the scent of her favorite coffee brewing and sunlight streaming through the sheer curtains. Stretching like a contented kitten, she twisted in the soft sheets and waited for him to emerge with the paper and two mugs.
He wasn't wearing his glasses yet and his hair was still mussed from a combination of sleep and her fingers. It was adorable, or adorkable as she often liked to tease. But what was even cuter was the way he dove under the covers, pulling them over their heads and kissing the daylights out of her surrounded by the soft, white glow filtering through the material shrouding them.
The coffee was stone cold when they came up for air, but it hadn't matter. She was his and he was hers. Nothing mattered but the joy in their laughter and the sparkle in his eyes when he looked at her.
How had she been so stupid? How had she not recognized it before? She hadn't even told him she loved him. She'd been too surprised when he said it the first time, too unsure he meant it. But he said it more than once, that he wanted her and wanted to move in with her. And then she was scared, afraid to admit he held her heart for fear he'd smash it like the other before him.
Now she's alone. She has nothing, no one outside of work. Does she love her job? Yes, very much. But as much as she thought she could give David up, she was wrong. She didn't love work that much. Work wasn't that important. She wasn't married to her career.
Pouring her coffee, she sits at the table in David's rumpled shirt. It's almost 11AM. She needs to go to the store and pick her clothes up from the cleaners, but she's a mess. She was never this lazy before. Well not unless he was with her, giving her an excuse to stay in bed or keeping her from getting dressed.
"Which is why you don't have reason to be now," she chastises herself, opening the desired section of the paper despite knowing she has grown-up things to do. She frowns when she finds there are numbers and letters circled on her crossword clues even though the paper was perfectly folded. Not only that, but they're circled in ink.
Disgusted and more than a little annoyed, she abandons the puzzle and heads for the shower. The water runs hot, but it doesn't soothe the aches or make her feel any less puffy. She still has shampoo in her hair when she wraps a towel around her dripping body and finds herself settled at the table and reaching for the paper again.
It isn't just numbers. It's letters in the predeceasing clues. A2. C4. B6. D7. E10. A13. B15. It's a code. Like the book in the library.
She scans page A2, searching for a circled letter. I. Page A13's letter is a V. B6 is an A and B15 is an E. Her hands shake as she picks up C and turns to page 4. An M. Two more... D7? L. And E10? Another I.
She takes the letters and writes them in the order they appear on the list, not expecting them to be correct on the first go. If it's an anagram, it'll have to be solved, she tells herself as her mouth falls open. Her pen hits the table and her knees go weak when she tries to stand.
It couldn't be. Someone had gotten a hold of her paper and was fucking with her. Who would be so cruel?
She finds herself on the floor in the shower. Tears fall in a hurricane and she finds there are more when she was sure there were none left. She sits beneath the spray until it turns to ice and pricks her skin. Even then she doesn't move to get up.
Rationally, there was no way David could be alive. The nature of the wound he suffered meant he'd have died from blood loss in seconds.
But the thought is there. It's in her head. And she does the only thing she can do.
She picks herself up, gets dressed and goes to look for more clues in their favorite places.