Author: veiledndarkness

Title: The Goodbye

Word Count: 513

Rating: PG

Summary: The prayers should be soothing. They aren't.

Warnings: Usual disclaimer. They aren't mine, they never were and they never will be.

Angst alert!

The minister's words flowed over him, useless words that he heard, acknowledged and discarded immediately. Bobby resisted the urge to hit the minister, a small part of him realizing the futility of it, that the man was doing what he was supposed to.

He stared straight ahead, the plain wood casket catching small bits of light of the pale sun and reflecting off the worn snow around them. Jerry shivered beside him, the cold making his teeth rattle. Camille and Sofi's soft weeping could be heard; the sounds picked up by the wind and carried past Bobby.

Angel stood, stone faced next to Bobby, his grim expression betrayed by the tear that trickled slowly down one cheek. Bobby looked away, swallowing awkwardly over the large lump in his throat. sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God our brother Jack Mercer;

Bobby clenched his hands tighter, not feeling the bitter cold wind on his face. He gritted his teeth as the minister spoke, the words digging in deeper, cuts he couldn't see, wounds he couldn't heal reopening inside him.

...and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth; ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Bobby moved closer to the casket, the lid closed at his request. He hadn't been able to bear seeing Jack's pale face, so stiff and unyielding in the unnatural look of death. He shuddered, resting one hand on the casket. Camille moved to touch his shoulder, to bring him back with the few mourners who had known Jack well enough to miss him. Jerry shook his head at her silently, clasping her hand and keeping her at his side.

He stroked the wood of the casket, mouthing the words along with the minister.

The Lord bless him and keep him, the Lord make his face shine upon him and be gracious unto him and give him peace. Amen.

Bobby backed away reluctantly as the casket was lowered, a hollow feeling inside him raging in despair. His eyes blank, he watched the shovels move, the spades digging at the hard ground, breaking up the dirt for the shovels. Bobby flinched at the sound each scoop of dirt as it landed on the casket, something inside him crying out.

He reached down and dropped a clump of dirt on the coffin himself, the dirt clinging to his numb fingers. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," he muttered, a tear trickling down his cheek slowly.

Bobby backed away from the grave, watching the men fill it. Angel stood a foot behind him, patiently waiting. Jerry brought Camille and a subdued Sofi over to his car, understanding Bobby's need.

Bobby stared at the filled in grave, unable to restrain himself. He dropped to his knees by the headstone, whispering quietly to it, his shoulders shaking slightly. After a long moment, he stood up and let Angel lead him from the cemetery, his eyes burning with rage, his lips tightened in fury, the quiet sobs inside his mind soothing.