Zoe, Tom, Danny, post-2x10, pg
Summary: Zoe visits Tom's house after his disappearance.
Author's Notes: I couldn't find any other fics that dealt with the Zoe/Tom angle of the final episode, and those that came before it, so I just had to write this. Thanks to Devanie, for being my fantastic beta.
I use my key to let myself in. He has – had – a copy of ours, and vice versa. Protocol and all that. But it was mainly, at least to us three, so that we could keep an eye out for each others' places, be a friend just popping by to water the odd plant. We managed to slip that slight amount of normalcy into our secretive lives.
It smells of him. Everything smells of him. As I walk into the kitchen, I notice it's bare, tidy. No mug left in the sink, a thin layer of coffee in the bottom, no plate covered in crumbs.
The fridge contains the bare necessities – a pint of milk left to go rancid, a lone apple.
Nothing. Everywhere else is nothing. He planned it all.
But did he, really? I'm still finding it hard to comprehend what's happened. I don't know what happened. I refuse to believe what they all are saying has happened.
He never returned. Instead I'm here, lost and alone.
The sofa hasn't been sat on in over twenty-four hours. The blinds are still slightly open. He never did like people looking in. I do the friend-thing and close them. It is night now, after all.
The bathroom has lost the moist air. The shower no longer holds traces of water, the towel has dried out, folded neatly over the heater. Everything is ready for the next day, to be used again, as part of his normal routine. Everyone else was expecting his routine to go on as normal. He didn't. Apparently. Apparently he planned it all.
If he'd planned it all, why would the bedroom be in the state I found it in?
It is the hardest room to face. Evidence of life everywhere, life that won't be coming home. The covers are tossed back on the bed; his book is on the side-table, a neat bookmark holding the page he read up to last the last time he had the chance. He was here the night before last, reading, sleeping, living, breathing. His pillow is what strikes me the most. The indentation from his head is still present, still so real. He should be coming back tonight, should be once again lying down in his bed, pulling up the covers from their strewn state, his head making a new indentation in the pillow, replacing the old. But he won't. And for reasons that I'm not sure I can fully explain, I don't want to touch the pillow. I don't want to move it, because that would destroy… the hope. That would be admitting that he's gone, that he's not coming back to change the shape of the pillow, that he's not coming back to read another page further of the book, that he's not coming back to create washing-up which he'd then have to clean up or leave in the sink after the rushed early morning breakfast, or make the sofa look used once again, or put a fresh layer of water all over the shower cubicle, or dampen the air, or soak another towel, or leave wet footprints across the bathroom floor.
Nothing will ever be used again. The toothbrush will lie there in the pot by the sink, discarded, and unneeded until either Danny or I get up enough courage to actually clear it away. The razor will never be used again to leave him clean-shaven. For an instant I think I need to bring it to him, that he must need it, that and his toothbrush, and maybe some toothpaste and a change of clothes, wherever it is.
And then I finally accept what they've all been saying, tears finally streaming down my cheeks.
He's not coming back. This is all there is left. An empty house, a lifeless house. A toothbrush. A book. A razor. A soon-to-be-rancid pint of milk. An indented pillow.
I lower myself to the floor by his bed, not touching anything, not moving anything, every emotion I have been holding in now pouring out of me as I rock myself back and forth, until I feel strong arms wrap themselves around my shoulders, consoling me. I didn't even hear Danny come in, but I'm glad that he figured out where I was going and followed me. I feel safe in his arms, but cold, constantly cold, searching for the warmth only one person's presence can bring back.
I won't deny that I hoped it was Tom.