Wow, this story is just over 4 years old. I think it was my 4th fic, but it's the first one where I wrote like I always imagined I could. I understood the characters more, and I learned to be a better writer. So I present to you 'The Storm', inspired by the Garth Brooks song of the same name.

The Storm
by Trekkie6

Their voices could be heard on the street below, nearly crowded with passersby, unusual at this time of day. Inside the apartment, dishes had been broken, photographs torn. Words had been said, feelings hurt. This day had been long in coming, they both knew. It was just a matter of time. They thought they could make it work, thought they could let go of the baggage they shared. They were wrong.

Everything they'd learned about each other in the last eight years had come pouring out in words meant to hurt and to bruise, each succeeding in accomplishment.

It had all started with the best intentions, for their relationship to become something more, something they both had been craving, only in the beginning to be stalled for fear that what they had would end up destroyed. But they gave in…and those fears had become reality. For now two sets of eyes--one hazel, the other blue-- burned like a raging fire as they shouted obscenities toward one another. They hated what each other had become--lazy, shallow, vindictive…unbearable.

Neighbors complained through the walls, had even called the police on occasion, but when the two went at it, nothing could stop them. Tempers flared, they went back and forth from room to room, shouting about things that had happened and things that had changed. He had become more selfish, paying more attention to his work than to her; she was withholding emotions, even more so than before. They both were to blame and knew it, but wouldn't admit it aloud.

Don't misunderstand, love was not lost, but sometimes love isn't enough. There's also honesty, loyalty, and trust among others. These things had begun to dissipate, and anger ate away at them like a flesh eating disease. They were sick with no cure in sight.

She watched as he stuffed the duffel bag with his clothing. She didn't want him to go. Neither did he, but it was for the best. He announced that he was going to be staying with friends, that he'd return for the rest of his things in the near future. Sarcasm filled the air, then in an instant he was gone. The coat rack where he had hung his favorite leather jacket rested on the floor where it had fallen in his haste to leave.

Tears swelled up in her crystal blues as memories, pleasant and painful, flooded her brain. Another chapter of her life had closed. Voices replayed in her head: "You're too good for him." "He'll break your heart." "You can find somebody better." Back then, she hadn't wanted to believe. "We'll work it out," she had told them.

She made her way through the avalanche on the floor to the open window, just in time to see him approach his car. Throwing the bag onto the passenger seat, he climbed in and slammed the door shut, muttering under his breath. He took a deep breath to calm himself and laid his head on the cool steering wheel, a cold compress soothing the pain massing in his head, contemplating all that had been said and done.

Although he knew that what he was doing was right, his love for her tugged away at his heart. The woman he had wanted for so long had become his enemy. Sensing her eyes boring through his skull like a jackhammer through the sidewalk pavement, he turned to look up at the window, saw her looking down upon him, wanting him, and yet releasing him at the same time.

How he longed to run back to his love, to stroke her auburn hair as he apologized. But it was time to let go.

The engine roared as he sped off, skid marks the only evidence he had been there.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. He had his own place now and had begun living the bachelor life again. Lightened his hair, bought a new car, had a new girl. But she couldn't compare to his great love. She was the one he wanted, the one he couldn't live with or without. She, on the other hand, wasn't doing any better.

Feeling lost and unloved, she thought of ending her life to rid herself of the pain, but that's all they were, thoughts. The brave face she put on led her loved ones to believe that she was over him and they left her alone to start over. But it was a lie. She wanted him still and every night she waited by the phone, eagerly and anxiously awaiting his call. One day, the phone rang…