You told him so many times, over and over again. Gasped it into the air, breathed it into his mouth. I love you. I love you. I love you. A hundred, a thousand!, I love yous. And you meant it. You meant it every single time and you would still mean it now but the words trip on your tongue and refuse to come out.
He was never very good at articulating his feelings, always so closed up and hidden. But it was those glimmers in his eyes that made your heart falter, and in the heat of the moment he could declare love in hundreds of different ways.
(He murmured it into your skin, kissed it along your collar. You feel it, even now, the warmth of his breath, and you knew he meant it, know because that hasn't changed, even though so much else has.)
So many promises made. Whispered to you, his lips warm upon your own, his eyes gazing into yours, as if by studying them alone he could find answers, and your heart twists at the memory, at the way his eyes flickered, and the tears trickle down your cheeks.
He invited you to lie beside him, to lie with him and forget that anybody existed outside of that door, forget responsibilities, forget duties, to pretend that you two were the only two, the only survivors of the world, and you lay beside him, and he wrapped his arm around you and that was all you needed, all you wanted. And you lay pressed to him for hours, until the illusion shattered and it was time for him to leave, with a kiss to your forehead and a squeeze of your fingers and a promise that he would be back.
You were to meet, that night. To meet after the show. The standing arrangement. And you went to your dressing room when the commotion had settled and waited for him. And waited. And waited. And he never appeared and you felt your tears hot on your cheeks and when morning came you were still sitting there, still waiting, when they came and told you that they'd found him.
Found him dead.
You think you screamed. You don't remember much of that day, to be frank, and perhaps it is for the best. But you do remember finding yourself sitting by the fire, in the parlour at home, trembling though you were not cold, and so hollow you thought you might collapse in on yourself.
You thought that might be best.
You are distantly aware of keening, keening from your own throat, and you roll over, bury your face deeper into the pillow to muffle it though it does not matter now.
You should move. Should try to get up and do something. But you tell yourself that if you lie here, just keep lying here, he might come and lie down beside you, just one more time.
And that would be enough.
A/N: The title comes from an altered line from the David Gray song, 'This Year's Love'. The fic was written because rjdaae sent me Chasing Cars as a prompt for a Philippe/Sorelli fic, and me being the angsty person I am decided a fic after his death would be best.
As ever, let me know what you think!