A/N: I had this scene clear in my mind, and I just needed to write it down. Sidenote: that stupid Hollingsworth tradition of plastering the same name on each first-born made this bloody thing a lot harder to write. I hope you can appreciate the effort.

EDIT: I had an epiphany on the way to work as Spotify played me this song (the Fall Out Boy one) and realised it'd be a much better title for this fic. It was previously called "Nothing More To Say, Nothing Left To Do", in case you saw it before and you're confused.



"The drugs make me better"

"Miles, they're going to kill you!"

"And then you 're going to have the happy little family you always wanted, right?"

"That's not true!"

"Yes it is, you don 't care.

"I do!"

"You don't! You brought Dad back! And when I'm around him I can't breathe, and I tell you all the time but you don't listen to me! And these drugs are the only way that I can make anything better, and the only way I can have control!"

[Next Class 1x07, #ThisCouldBeUsButYouPlayin]



"Miles, we need to talk."

Diana had barely entered her ex-husband's apartment, her coat still on, but she wasted no time in setting the tone of the conversation they were about to have. It was unlike her, to be this straight to the point, she knew that, and she could see it reflected in Miles's puzzled expression. There was no time for pleasantries and manners, though, for tiptoeing around him as she was used to doing. The scare she had just had, yesterday at the hospital, had taught her that time is not always a commodity that can be spent without care.

"Your son overdosed," she stated, matter-of-factly.

She watched his face drop at the news. There was no point in specifying which son she was referring to, either.

"What- what happened?"

"He's fine," she clarified, her voice shaking. "He's home, now. We've just spent the night at the hospital. He passed out on the street, the doctors said he took a bunch of random drugs..."

"Why didn't you call me?!" he cried out accusingly, visibly agitated. "For God's sake, Diana, he's my son too!"

She stared straight into his eyes, holding his gaze.

"Because... it wouldn't have been good for him, to have you there."

Her words had finally silenced him. Miles seemed taken aback; he looked at her puzzled, not knowing what to reply.

"Miles, I don't know how this has happened. But something very wrong is going on, with our son, and we can't keep ignoring it." She paused, taking a deep breath, gathering the courage she needed to continue. "I think... we should stop seeing each other. This cannot work, I'm sorry."

The look he gave her was that of a broken man, and she could barely keep her tears from flowing herself. The hurt in his eyes was unbearable to watch as he came closer to her, reaching out hesitantly.

"You don't... you don't mean that."

"I've never been more serious," she replied, and he could see in her eyes that it was true. "Our son is suffering, Miles. And right now, he can't deal with you being around the house. He needs to know that I'm on his side, and that you're not going to come back to stay."

She was hurting him, she was very aware of it. She didn't mean to, either. The memories of the utter fright on her son's face were too vivid, though, for her to really care.

"Miles... he broke down, completely. He cried — you know he never cries."

Miles shuddered, suddenly reacting to her words. He let out a sigh, looking for his words, but nothing came.

"Do you really think that ending our marriage will make this better?" he asked, after heavy moments of silence, his hushed voice sounding almost incredulous.

"You didn't see him, Miles. I can't just do nothing," she just replied.

"Come on, honey, he's just seeking attention, you know that," he tried to reason, but it only rubbed her the wrong way.

"I won't let him seek it until he's dead, Miles!" she spat out, louder than she intended.

A long pause followed, in which her words resonated. Her husband was obviously startled by what she'd just said, the strength of her language, the image of their son... dead. She knew he was not indifferent to all this. He was a tough man, Miles, but not an unloving one. She never lied to her children when she reassured them that their father loved them; she was sure of it, she had seen it in him.

"He's got my attention, now. And we can't just pretend that nothing happened," she finished.

"I... I don't know what to say," he admitted. He leaned back against the clear surface of his desk, looking defeated.

"There's nothing more to say, really." She slowly took a seat on his expensive sofa. The first one in his adult life that she hadn't chosen, she couldn't help but think. She forced the thought away, taking her mind back to the conversation at hand. "We've been hiding from reality for long enough, and it's about time that we started seeing them, giving some attention to our children."

And the thing is, she had seen him. She had seen his face drop as she happily announced she was dating his father again; she had seen how tense he was every time Miles came to the house; she had seen him coming back too late and visibly altered every time she persevered in organizing a family dinner. She had just chosen not to look at him, too lost in her fantasy of their perfect family reunited.

"Mum... when were we ever a happy family?"

Her son's words resurfaced from memory, the accusation lingering in his eyes.

"Was it when he cheated on you? Or when he used me as his punching bag?"

Yes, she had chosen not to look at the reality of things, lost in her perfect fantasies. And she had almost lost a son in the process.

In her defense, she had truly believed to be acting for the best. Sure, her son and husband were always fighting and bickering at each other, but isn't that normal teenage rebellion? Old-style pushing of boundaries? Being cheated on hurt like hell, and precipitated her in a deep state of self-loathing, but aren't we all constantly told that children need a mother and a father? That divorce brings such trauma, that the lack of a male figure causes irreparable damage? She hadn't been weak for staying with him; God knows how much strength that had required, at the time. She stayed because of them, to shield her children from the ugliness of adult life, and imperfect marriages.

Then the violence came, and she couldn't lie to herself anymore. Because an absent father would still be better than one who hits his son, and she finally found the strength to look her man in the eyes and kick him out of their home.

But things weren't simple, and the ugly truth didn't change the fact that she loved him — the father of her beautiful children — with all her heart. And when she had seen him try — end his affair, put in work to mend his relationship with the twins, take anger management seriously... Months had passed, he was making a real effort, she saw he had actually changed. She had truly believed that things could go back to how they had been once, when they were happy. She had truly believed she could have him back, and life would be good.

Her mistake had been to underestimate the long-lasting consequences on her son. She had even grown irritated at him, for not wanting to see the positive change in his father, for being stubborn as always. She had quickly dismissed him when he had tried to explain to her how stressed, and anxious, being around his dad made him feel; she hadn't understood it was a cry for help, but she knew now. And God knows, she would never make the same mistake again.

"He's terrified of you, Miles," she pleaded, her voice shaking despite her effort, "You should have seen him..."

Miles started pacing back and forth, his hand tugging nervously at his face. He turned his back on her and stopped to gaze straight out of the window of his high-rise, looking down on the rooftops of Toronto.

Minutes passed in silence before he finally turned around to face her, a weird mix of resignation and resolution on his tired face.

"Diana, love... there has to be another way. I can try harder, we can make this work. I know it!"

She responded with a sad look. God, how she wished his words were true.

"There's nothing left to do, Miles. I'm not ready to gamble on the safety of my children, not anymore."

"Honey, come on, you're being unreasonable..."

"Am I?" she abruptly asked.

Is that what you told him, when you hit him? She mentally added — without the strength or courage to let it out — that he was being unreasonable? The unvoiced question lingered between them, and maybe even Miles could feel it, as he looked pleadingly into her eyes.

"You really hurt him, you realise that," she said, carefully.

He lowered his gaze at her words, unable to face her, the image of regret if she ever saw one. His visible anguish hurt her deeply, but she had already made a choice on where to stand, and she wasn't going to look back.

"I wish he could forgive you; I really did think he would be able to do it, with time, that he would have to see how much you're trying. But it's not going to happen — at least not anytime soon. The scars you left are too deep."

She walked up, getting closer to him. She placed a hand on his cheek (freshly shaved, as always) and she watched him close his eyes at the contact, taking in the warmth of her gesture.

"I guess there's nothing I can say, to that," he whispered back, defeated.

For almost twenty years, she had woken up every morning next to this man. She had been at his side on every step of his political career, proudly calling herself his wife. For that long time — almost half of her life — she had defined her self-worth entirely in relation to him. It wasn't easy, letting go of him. It hadn't been easy the first time, and it certainly wasn't now, for she knew it would be the last.

"Goodbye, Miles," she said, her voice soft and low, as she leaned in to kiss him one last time.

He didn't move, nor say anything; he didn't try to stop her. He kissed her back, softly, and he just watched in silence as she collected her things, and left.

Soon she was out, once again, the cold air of that late-autumn morning hitting her face. She forced back the tears that were begging her to let go; for she was Diana Hollingsworth, and she won't be found crying her dignity out in the streets anytime soon.