Disclaimer: I own nothing. Except my CD collection … but you can't have that.
He can feel the rain falling around him but he can't hear a thing. The only thing that has his attention is the casket being lowered into the ground a few feet from him.
It is white, per her request. Gold handles.
He'd hoped he would never have to give her the wish of a white casket with gold handles.
He closes his eyes when the ground swallows the shimmering white object. He can feel tears carving paths down his cheeks. A hand on his back, trying to keep him grounded in reality.
It doesn't work. The memories flood through his mind, teasing him.
"Let's name it Fluffy," she smiled. He stared at her.
"We are not naming it Fluffy," he shook his head. She pouted and scooted closer to him on their couch.
"Pwetty pwease?" she asked, dragging a perfectly manicured finger up his arm. He shivered.
"It's too common," he shrugged. She sighed.
"Well then what can we name it?"
He thought for a moment before pulling her into his lap, securing her with his arms around her waist.
"Let's think about that later," he decided, lifting her into his arms. She giggled.
"No, we have to name it now!"
"Later," he whispered, kissing her soundly on the mouth while he kicked their bedroom door shut.
He'd given in. The dog's name is Fluffy.
His mind keeps racing, just as it had when the priest had been talking.
The hand on his back owns a voice now, he notices. He doesn't pay attention. The hand leaves his back and he continues to stare at the spot where his wife's casket had been lowered into the ground.
"What are you doing?"
"Liar. What are you doing?" she asked again, crossing her arms in front of her chest. He grinned at her.
"Come here," he said softly, holding out his hand. She rolled her eyes but took the hand he offered and stepped onto the step he'd been standing on.
"We're in Italy," she deadpanned. He nodded.
"Indeed we are."
"We're in Italy and we're standing on a set of stairs staring at-" she stopped. Her breath hitched in her throat.
"The sunset," he whispered in her ear. She smiled at him.
"When did you get to be so suave?"
"It just sort of happened," he shrugged. They laughed. She wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head on his chest.
"Thank you," she smiled up at him.
He absentmindedly turns the silver band on his finger. She had wanted simple, so he gave her simple.
He would've given her anything.
It had been that way ever since their first kiss, way back in high school. They were twenty-three when they got married. He smiles at the thought.
"Hey," she whispered.
"Hey," he grinned, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
"We're married," she giggled softly, wrapping her arms around his neck as they continued to sway to the music that was blaring through the reception hall. He nodded.
"We are," he agreed, tracing tiny circular patterns on her back.
"I love you."
"I love you too, Mrs. Cohen." She smiled.
The smile fades when he remembers where he is. Why.
"Yeah?" he answered the phone groggily.
"Yeah," he yawns, sitting up further in their bed. He looks at the clock. Two am.
"This is Sergeant Davis from the Newport Beach PD. I'm calling because your wife was involved in an accident tonight…"
The air left his lungs. The next few words were incomprehensible to him.
"…in the hospital, we need you to come down and fill out some forms."
"I-is she ok?" he choked out, gripping the phone as though it were his only lifeline.
"She's in critical condition."
He'd gotten to the hospital only half an hour before she'd died.
He knew from their early morning confessions under the sheets that she wanted to die on a beach in Hawaii or a bed of Egyptian cotton sheets.
When she was eighty and wrinkling and making jokes about false teeth.
Not when she was thirty-one and thriving.
Not two days after their seventh anniversary.
He sighs and wipes the tears from his face, turning to face the four people behind him.
"Go see Daddy," Marissa whispers to the toddler in her arms, setting her down. Seth lifts his little girl into his arms and kisses her forehead.
"Come on," Marissa says softly, adjusting the child in her arms and taking Ryan's hand.
The two men share a brief moment of eye contact and Ryan nods.
Seth turns back to face the sight of Summer's grave and sighs.
"Cold," Ariel whispers. He looks at his daughter.
"I like it. But where did you get Ariel?" she questioned. He smiled at her.
"I wish I was a mermaid…"
Summer stared at him.
"You still remember that."
"I still remember that."
"You're amazing, you know that?"
She smiled and looked down at the fragile baby girl in her arms. She'd never felt more complete.
"Yeah, it is," he agrees quietly. He takes one last look at the cemetery. "Whaddya say we go home, huh?"
Ariel nods and clutches his jacket. "Can we get ice cream?" she asks him innocently.
"I thought you said you were cold," he teases, walking towards their car.
"Please, Daddy? Mommy would've let me get ice cream," she pouts. He winces.
"Fine, we'll get ice cream," he says softly.
He's breathing for two now.
But he's not sure if he can even breathe.
A/N: I'm leaving this as a one-shot, because I just don't see where I could take this. I might do a prequel but I'm not sure. I'd really appreciate reviews though. They're my favorite.