A/N: This is a George/Mason pairing fic. I'd say it's an Angst fest definitely. I'll also say that this plays a little with the world of our reapers post the end of season 2 although there are no real spoilers here that I can think of. I guess you can either say it's post the end of season 2 or you can say it's assuming the end of "Send In The Clowns" is different than what it actually is.
This fic has not been beta'd by anyone other than myself and although I try my best, I would appreciate a head's up from anyone who catches any faults or grammatical slip ups.
Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me. They belong to MGM/Showtime and whoever else is intelligent enough to eventually buy the rights to it. I just own the DVDs...
"When i get a little bit crazy / I need you to save me from myself"
- Save Me, Pushmonkey
It was a purely accidental series of events that resulted in his current predicament. Of course, as the resident 'fuck up' of the group, he could swear to the accidental nature of it all until he was blue in the face and everyone would still look at him as if he had somehow planned it.
Either that, or at the very least, they'd be sure the current situation was the rather unfortunate consequence of something else he had fucked up. Either way, he'd get blamed, he harbored no doubts about that.
'As if he would ever actually plan something like this,' he thought bitterly.
Of course, he had absolutely no fucking intention of letting anyone know what a fucked up job of it he had done. He was pretty sure he could keep it secret like and hush-hush. It wasn't like anyone would ever suspect he'd do something like this. They'd believe it of him and lay the blame squarely on his shoulders fast enough if they should ever find out, but it would never occur to them that something like this could ever happen...even, no, especially, to him.
He was a fuck up, sure, he couldn't deny that even to himself, but he wasn't stupid. He was lazy and immoral and sometimes that was confused as stupid, sure. Still, he was actually a rather intelligent bloke when he tried. Granted, trying was usually restricted to the completion of some form of larceny, but still...
The point was he wasn't stupid enough to do something like this...at least, not on purpose.
The problem was that now that it was done, accidental or not, he couldn't stop.
Well, he probably could stop, but the fact was that he didn't want to. He was an addict, after all, and hadn't all those counselors kept reminding him how one could never really stop being an addict? How one could only ever stop being a user?
Well, he had stopped being a user. He had stopped using the drugs, the alcohol, all of it, and although it had nearly killed him, he had gotten through it.
He knew however, with a certainty born maybe of addiction, maybe of something else, that if he stopped this, he wouldn't make it. Not with any semblance of sanity anyway.
Now that he had found her, quitting George would certainly break him.
He was addicted to her as surely as he had ever been to the booze and the drugs. More even. Maybe not more...maybe different. His addiction to George was unlike any addiction he had ever felt. With the drugs and even the booze, he had loved everything while he was high and then hated himself when he was sober. He told himself each time he was sober, he wouldn't use again, he knew that it was wrong and bad, but deep down, he knew he would give in to the addiction and that knowledge made him hate himself all the more. The act of getting high again was never something he looked forward to. Rather, it was a need he surrendered to.
With Her, it was so different it scared him shitless.
He didn't want her the way he had wanted Daisy or any other pretty girl he'd seen. He needed her.
And when he was away from her, he just wanted to be close to her. Unlike with his other addictions, knowing that he would eventually surrender to the need to be close to her wasn't something he was ashamed of, it was something he looked forward to. When he was around her, he felt like he was better than he actually was.
She brought him peace.
Even before he was a recovering user as the counselors put it, he had never slept. The only difference between his sleeping habits while he used and after was that he slept even less now. At least, before, he would pass out for a few hours every night until the nightmares got to him. Afterward, without the alcohol or drugs to dull his senses and blunt out the rough edges of his memories, he never slept because sleeping meant surrendering to the nightmares that always came.
He watched as her chest rose and fell rhythmically with the deep breaths of sleep and leaned back into the chair. This new habit, this new compulsion of watching her sleep had come about completely by accident. He wasn't some freaky stalker type and it never would've occurred to him to think about doing something this completely dysfunctional...not if she hadn't looked so bloody peaceful that night all those nights ago when he had first entered her bedroom.
It had been a bad day. He knew he would have bad days and better days for a long while yet, despite it having been nearly a year since he'd been clean. He knew it, but usually there was something to take his mind off it, some way of distracting himself, something to do. He had read through all of the Tolkien novels the first time (and his complete and utter confusion as to what all was going on had kept him right distracted...) but that night, for some reason, nothing was working. Nothing was keeping his mind off how easy it would be to go out and get a drink. How good it would feel to forget, even for a few hours, the look on that girl's face when she had reached out for him and had seen in his eyes that he wasn't going to help, that her life, for better or worse, was over.
One would think after 30 odd years of doing this crap, he'd be used to it...but he wasn't. Rube was full of shit and each of them knew it. No one could ever get used to something like this.
Except maybe Betty, but that was only because she had a whole concept of life and death that the rest of them had never been able to really even halfway grasp let alone understand.
And when the house settled down into sleep (at an uncharacteristically early time he thought) he had been left alone with his thoughts and bad infomercials on the tele and it had been so hard to not think about the oblivion that was waiting for him at the bottom of a bottle.
He had thought about calling his sponsor but he didn't want to hear the sleep in his voice and know this guy didn't really want to hear from him. Somehow, he convinced himself that George just might be awake. It was funny, he realized in retrospect, that he never even considered waking Daisy. Despite everything they'd been through together (maybe because of it) it had never occurred to him that Daisy would be able to help him much at all.
Even when he approached George's door and saw no light flickering under the threshold and he knew she was asleep, he thought to knock and check, just in case.
And when he knocked and received no reply, he knew she was asleep, but gently opened the door, because she might not have heard him. And anyway, he convinced himself, he'd just check to see if she was asleep and if she was, he'd walk right back out as quietly as a doormouse.
Except, when he opened the door and the dim light creeped into her dark, quiet, and cool room, spilling across the carpet and offering enough light to see the peaceful expression on her face, he found himself walking into the room instead of out of it.
And suddenly, just like that, he wasn't thinking about getting a drink. Instead, he was thinking about what she might be dreaming of and how she seemed so much younger when her face wasn't scrounged up in that perpetual frown of hers. And before he knew it, he had found himself sitting on a nearby chair and felt some of the peace from her expression wash over him.
He didn't sleep, but he was at peace and that was enough.
That's how it all started, really.
He didn't have to go to her room every night. Some nights, he was able to resist the desire to gaze unheeded on her relaxed expression and some nights she herself suffered from bouts of insomnia and even when he heard her settle in her room above him, he didn't dare go to her those nights for fear of waking her from some hard won sleep.
But some nights, like the current night, he hadn't been able to resist the temptation of the peace he always found in her expression, in the quiet coolness of her room.
Sometimes, as his hand gripped the cold iron of the doorknob, in that moment before he turned, he feared finding she had locked the door.
But she never did. If she ever suspected he had turned into this freak of a peeping tom, she never showed it and she never locked her door to him.
Sometimes, he drifted off to some semblance of sleep, some minor dozing in the thick cushions of the wing-back chair, but he was always awake before her alarm clock sounded and he was always out of her room before she could ever suspect his presence.
Luckily for him, George was a sound sleeper, the kind that didn't have to get up in the middle of the night to take a piss or get a glass of water.
That night, however, something woke her up and she awoke with the quiet subtlety she tended to do everything. There was no sudden jerking awake for his Georgie-girl. No, her eyes simply fluttered open and there she was, staring at him through the semi-darkness, the sleep still clouding her beautiful eyes.
She sighed and her eyes fluttered closed again and for a few moments, he thought she'd just go right on sleeping, but his presence must have finally filtered through her sleep addled mind, because her eyes opened again and she frowned, even though she didn't rise from the pillow. "Mason?" she asked, her voice thick with sleep and deep from disuse.
"That's right, love," he confirmed on a whisper. "It's just me."
"You..." she yawned and shifted so that although still lying down, she was turned on her side rather than on her stomach and could see him better, "...alright?"
"Can't sleep?" she asked, her eyelids taking long rests between blinks, but her voice was a little clearer.
"No," he answered.
She frowned even harder and looked at him from between strands of ash-blond hair, "Something wrong?" she asked.
"Not anymore, Georgie, go back to sleep."
"Hmm," she said on a sigh, still struggling enough with sleep so she accepted his words without any further comment. "'Night," she mumbled, turning onto her stomach again and turning her head away from the light.
Within moments, her breathing had returned to the soft sleep pattern he had grown accustomed to and Mason was even more certain of how much of a fuck up he was.
It was the trust that did him in. She could've questioned his presence in her room, she could've made a real fuss about it (in fact, she probably would come morning) but she didn't do it then. She trusted he was there for a reason and she was willing to give up sleep to talk to him about it. But he didn't need to talk to her, he just needed to be close to her, to hear her breathing and be surrounded by the faint scents of her perfume and her laundry detergent. When he told her it was alright, she believed him and didn't ask for him to leave her room.
It was that kind of trust that killed him.
He shook his head and sighed; love was too much like an addiction for his fucking liking.
A/N: So, if you're reading this, you're either a Dead Like Me fan or one of my really nice readers who is awfully curious about what I've been writing lately. If you're a DLM fan, then I suggest you help me get this fandom back up and running. I'm submitting this story to an LJ community which was set up for DLM fics. So...this is my attempt to pimp that community in the hopes of fluffing up the fandom! The community is called "dlmfanfiction" and you can find it here: http / community . livejournal . com / dlm fanfiction /(obviously removing the spaces cause FFN is crappy that way...) Please go there and submit your DLM fanfic if you've written any and certainly review this one of mine and let me know what you guys think, k?
Needless to say, it's my first.
Oh, and one more thing: I'm going to post this same story to both my emaniahilel fanfiction dot net profile and to my emaniahilel2 profile, in other words, to the profiles that are normally for Inuyasha in the first instance and Teen Titans in the second instance. I'll keep posting my DLM fanfic to whichever posting gets me the most reviews.