Standard Disclaimer Applies
Time to Wait
The sunlight bathes his face in a rich golden glow. His cheeks feel warm and he wonders for a moment why the warmth won't breach the surface. Why the warmth can't chase off the chill that's settled within. Wonders for a second if he'll ever be warm again.
" Alan? Alan it's time." Megan Reeves said quietly, knocking on the open door in front of her and moving towards her target who was standing stock still staring out of the house's upstairs bedroom window and down towards the pond at the back of the house.
Alan didn't move and Megan walked softly towards him, wondering if he had even heard her speak.
" Alan?" She repeated and he turned sharply towards her. " It's time to go." She confirmed and he shook his head.
" I'm not ready." He snapped and turned back to the window. Back to the white and orange shapes, shifting and squirming beneath the surface of the water below.
" Alan, they'll be waiting for us." She said softly, because she had waited as long as possible in the silent family room downstairs before coming to find him. Had given the older gentleman as long as she could give him to come down himself. Had wanted him to come down by himself.
" I don't care, I'm not ready." He barks again, his hands nervously caressing the jet black suit he's wearing. Straightens his tie.
" Yes you are." Megan prompts, " There are things that need to be done Alan, we need to go now." She explains stepping forward.
" You go!" Alan retorts turning to face her. " They're your traditions. Your protocols. A load of fuss. That's all, a load of fuss!"
" I'm sorry." She looks stricken, as if the thought of explaining or asking about the details of the ceremony had never occurred to her, until that exact moment. Standing before his Father.
" He wouldn't want the fuss." Alan continues sinking down onto the single bed in the room, his hand lightly caressing the fabric. " Never liked it."
" The FBI was important to him." Megan counters and Alan's head drops to his chest.
" I'm not ready." He repeats again softly his voice hitching. " I can't… I'm not ready."
Megan wipes a tear that escaped her own eye and moves to sit on the opposite side of the bed.
" I'm sorry. I'm really sorry." She starts not able to stop them as the tears come now, and she swipes at them ineffectively. " I'll tell them to wait. We can wait." She confirms reaching out and laying her hand gently on Alan's arm and gently squeezing the muscle that lay beneath the suit fabric.
The sun washes over the both of them now and Megan looks up to see it breaching the leaves of the old tree outside. Above and around the sky is brilliantly blue. A wind plays with the branches and the shadows in the room skip against the far wall.
" We'll wait." She confirms, watching the light dance against the window pane as specks of dust drifted through the air. Waiting with the sun on her face for the man beside her to be ready.
She'd woken with arms around her, an unfamiliar setting and she had let a happy sigh escape her lips before the sad realisation of the day had dawned on her. And as she'd stiffened a soft kiss had been placed on the skin between her shoulder blades.
" It's only a day. In reality theoretically it's only another day." Larry had murmured, his lips close to her back. The breeze tickling, the words comforting yet ridiculous because it was anything but another day. So she'd settled back against him and closed her eyes again because she hadn't been ready to face the day, wether it was just another day or not.
" I'm scared." She had admitted softly, her voice barely audible as she continued. " And I feel ashamed because I'm scared of losing you because he's gone and Charlie will go, and you came with Charlie. I'm scared you'll go too."
And he'd kissed her again and swept her hair away from her face.
" I could tell you the logical reason as to why that possibility would never eventuate." He had whispered back. " But I'll just say. Not going to happen. I'm here. I'm staying." And she had laughed because she was happy and cried because she was sad.
The chalk skittered across the board, white dust settling on the floor and swirling up into the air. A white dusty handprint is smeared across the seat of his trousers and every so often he raises his head from thought and glances towards the main house. Silence as before greets him again and he delves back into the thoughts and numbers playing in head. An inner movie he can't find the pause for.
Snatching the duster he destroys the equation and begins once again , again. The same result over and over and he can't find the mistake. Can't find the moment when he should have known when it was all going wrong. And there it is again! The same answer. Always the same result.
Turning he flings the chalk into the deepest corner of the garage in anger.
" It's the right answer Charlie." Amita confirms, sitting on the edge of the battered sofa. Her legs curled slightly under her, her hand playing with the long tendrils of her hair. She appears unfazed by the sudden outburst and Charlie stares at her, a fire in his eyes she hasn't seen before.
" It's the only answer you're going to get." She says softly and the fire dies and he moves to her, slumping onto the lumpy cushion besides her. His body sliding against hers, till he lies still, his head in her lap. Her spare hand moving to his curls. Her fingers capturing the soft locks, her nails scraping against his scalp.
" I'm really sorry Charlie." She says clearly and he closes his eyes.
" I thought I made a mistake. Is that wrong to have wanted to make a mistake?"
" No. You want to blame yourself because otherwise there's no one else."
" I want to blame someone." He confirms shutting his eyes tight and holding his breath for the moment. Quieting the roaring emotions stopping them from escaping for now.
" I want to blame someone too." Amita agrees and the she turns towards the silent house and strokes her hair and his as well. " You've got dust on your pants." She tells him as she tries not to cry too.
The beer was cold and it was Colby's second despite the early hour and he turned to David, drinking a beer too.
" Well this sucks." He summed up and David nodded, taking a deep pull of beer.
" You think he'll come down?" Colby asked looking at the ceiling as if he had the ability to look through the paint and plaster and insulation.
" I think this sucks." David answered placing the empty beer bottle down on the counter with a little more force then necessary and sighing.
" I'll call, tell them we're going to be late." He said snatching the cell off his belt and standing but stopping when Alan and Megan arrive quietly in the kitchen. Colby studies the liquid swilling in the bottom of his bottle until he tipped it down his throat. Stood up and took his jacket from the back of the chair. Pulled it across his strong shoulders while offering Alan a small sad smile of respect.
The black cars pull to the curb and they step forward together now, not because they are ready but because it is time. And sometimes just sometimes there is no time left.