A Hundred Million Miles
"But there was never a moment you ever got within a hundred million miles of my soul." MacCassidy, S2
A/N: So I miss Cassidy. So sue me.
Disclaimer: Actually, don't sue me, because I'm only using these characters for my own amusement and not for any monetary gain. Although, at this point, I'd do just about anything to make the CW as mad as they've made me.
"I spit, I spit in the eye, I tear, I tear out my heart
and I scatter the bits
I stay unseen by the light, I stay untold by the truth
I'm sold by a lie…
But there was never a moment, not a moment
Now you know, now you know
Now you know, now you know
You ever got within a hundred million miles of my soul…"
-- Every Little Bit, Patty Griffin
He should never have picked someone like her (he doesn't fool himself into thinking that this wasn't all his choice since the very beginning). He should have kept it surface, kept it shallow like Dick has with Madison—it's all about the notoriety and being the "power couple" and what people expect—and sex, of course, because this is Dick we're talking about. It's not like those two talk to each other, confide in each other, call each other on the phone with anything other than a "come over; let's have sex; don't forget the rubbers."
But, you see, that's the whole problem. Keeping it surface means keeping it physical, and that's one thing he cannot do (he shies away when Logan slaps his back when someone passes him a paper in class when Kendall musses his hair).
He picked her because he knows she's never had a boyfriend. Because she'll take her time. Because no one will care. Because she's innocent in a way he's never been.
Even if he's the best liar in the whole wide world, he's never been able to lie to himself.
He picked her because of the streaks in her hair (I'm thinking of purple next; what do you think?), because he's admiring her moxie (just tip me off when you're going public), because of her Beetle (it didn't take him more than five minutes to put it together—purity test, money, her crap pile old car—of course she was the mastermind). He picked her because she rolls her eyes at Dick instead of laughing, because she sits alone at lunch and doesn't seem uncomfortable, because she smiles (at him) and means it, and that's rare in Neptune.
He picked her because she isn't just trappings and gilding. Of course, with that came inherent dangers, and they're haunting him now.
Sure, they goof off and eat pizza and watch movies and drive around with the top of the Beatle down. But she likes to talk and sit in silence that's comfortable for her and scares him to death (he was always comfortable with silence and now he's not). She wants to talk and confide in each other and he can tell she's frustrated when he pulls away from her kisses.
He loves (as much as he knows how to love) her for all of it.
But sometimes he hates her, hates the way she looks at him with soft shining eyes and a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth, and he wants to scream (If you're so smart, why can't you see) or hurt someone (satisfying explosion fire purifies) or die (oblivion void nothingness). Because all the things she thinks he is, he isn't (he wants to be). And no one who can look at him with that look of adoration (it should be revulsion) can really know him (bruised battered little boy crouching in dark dank cell alone).
Her eyes say I know you. I know you, and you're perfect and oh, God, he wants to scream at her till she sees the blood on his hands, sees the scars on his soul, sees the darkness that's wrapping tighter and tighter around him till he can't breathe.
But godohgodohgod, he can't stay away because she's smart and she answers back and that smile and the streaks in her hair and she notices him and could care less that he's Dick's little brother and the heir to one of the biggest fortunes in Neptune.
And he thinks he could love her, thinks one day he could want her, if only the noise in his head would stop for one moment and if she would stop being the incarnation of his guilt. She wants to give him innocence and sweetness and banter and colors (god, she loves color, and he doesn't know what it is anymore)and all he sees when he looks at her is his guilt and he hates himself for tainting her that way and hates her even more for letting him near her.
If she was really sweet smart sassy perfect Cindy, she would know (somehow), would never let him near her (no matter what), would repel him like two matching poles of a magnet.
Sometimes he can't help it (Dick lives up to his name Madison mocks her Kendall treats him like a child) and the darkness seeps through, tainting the edges, escaping from the dam he's been building for years, and she blinks. Just blinks.
Then she shakes her head a little and the scarlet and brown swishes past her cheeks and he can't tell what she's thinking and he hates that. He wants to know every thought in her head, everything she says about him, every emotion she feels. He wants to disappear into her world, full of crypto-algorithms and books and iTunes and Tennessee Williams plays and sushi. There's sunshine there, and he can't remember what that looks like.
She bites her lip sometimes, and he can tell she's keeping a secret. He hates that, too, because he doesn't want her to have any secrets from him. He sees the hypocrisy in that, because everything he's done, every decision he's made since he was eleven years old have all been a part of his plans to keep his secrets. He wants to know hers, though, know if she's that pure all the way down, because maybe if he could see right to the center of her, he'd find something there that would tell him she'd understand (he doesn't believe it).
One day they're at her house, sprawled out on her bed (fully-clothed, of course—nothing but a few kisses today) with Snow Patrol playing in the background and her laptop between them. Her Mom (thrilled that Cindy has a boy over but scared to death of what may be going on behind the bedroom door—his stuttering smile reassures her) has just taken her little brother (blonde and wild and all boy—just like Dick) to karate lessons (do you really know what goes on there, Cindy?), and they're alone (just the two of them and his secrets and hers).
She bites her lip and she's keeping her secret back again, and he's about to blow up and show her the side of him he's been trying to protect her from from the beginning (that side's just as drawn to her as the side that the whole world sees).
She sits up and tucks crimson hair behind her ears (he likes blue better; crimson's too much like blood) and stares into his eyes. The words come out in a rush with a tincture of disbelief still clinging to them like a persistent scent, and she's breathless and this is her big secret.
I was switched at birth with Madison Sinclair.
It's his turn to blink. And suddenly he's laughing too hard—really, really laughing, and he hasn't laughed like that since he was eleven. Because that's her big secret (she looks so serious, but it's so simple) and it explains her mom and her Dick-like little brother and the RV parked out back and—oh, god, this is fantastic—he's dating Dick's girlfriend and Dick's dating his and just imagine if she'd been raised an 09er.
She stares at him for a moment, and there's hurt lingering in her eyes like the day he dropped her hand because of what Dick said (one day he won't let people have this power over him anymore). Then she's laughing, too, and there are tears hiding there, very far back, and the laughter verges on hilarity, like she's so very relieved she can barely stand it.
And they're laying there on the bed, laughing and laughing and for once it's real, and there's nothing else between them at all, nothing at all.
And he wants to roll over and look into her eyes (blueblueblue like her hair the first time he noticed her smarting off to Mr. Wu in class) and whisper, breathless like her, all of his secrets.
I have a gun in my backpack right now. Dad may never have taken me to the firing range, but I know how to use it.
The Phoenix Land Trust is real, and I've made six million dollars already.
I killed all the kids on the bus.
I knew what Veronica would find out about my dad. Oh, yeah—and I raped her at Shelley Pomroy's part that you weren't invited to because no one knows you're really an 09er by blood.
I can blow up anything.
I skipped third grade.
I would hurt you to keep from hurting you.
I've never had a best friend.
I could have made the website myself; I just wanted a reason to talk to you.
I still love Dick, even though he's an asshole and he doesn't see anything.
I was molested by Woody Goodman when I was eleven years old and playing for his Little League team.
I think I might love you.
I know I hate you.
He just rolls over and kisses her still-laughing lips (she's surprised, and that hurts) quickly and grabs his backpack off the floor (lighter because of the gun) and tells her he has to go pick up Dick from Gia's (he has a sick fascination with that place) and then he's gone (gone).
And he may know her now, know every secret she has, but she still doesn't know him at all.
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