A/N - Yes, another fic for Allie a.k.a dance without sleeping. :) Well, to make things easier, I write these Reba fics as gifts for Allie. :) It's unbeta-ed so all mistakes are mine. I almost went into smut but then I ran out of creative smut ideas. So. No smut. Enjoy!
Listen to the Rain
It takes a minute to find someone special, an hour to appreciate them and a day to love them, but an entire lifetime to forget them.
"Do you regret leaving Reba and marrying me?" Barbra Jean asks and Brock looks down at his hands, not able to meet her eyes. Reba stands stiffly at the door, wondering if she should announce her presence to the oblivious couple. She wants to tell them that the kids won't be around for a few days so that Brock or Barbra Jean won't be bothering her while looking for them.
But before she makes up her mind, Barbra Jean is talking again. "Tell me, Brock, do you regret what we have now?"
Reba wonders if this is the issue that Brock and Barbra Jean's therapist is tackling right now. Regrets? She knows that she shouldn't be listening. It is wrong. But Reba can't seem to move from the spot she is standing on. Her heart yearns to hear Brock's answer. Reba doesn't know what she would do if she hears the answer she wants to hear. And Reba feels guilt and anger at herself when she realizes she wants Brock to tell Barbra Jean the he does indeed regret leaving his family. His first family.
"Barbra Jean, I don't regret marrying you." It is his voice Reba hears and it sounds so natural and truthful.
Reba feels her chest start to ache and she knows she shouldn't feel that way. However, it is almost impossible to tell herself that she doesn't care for him anymore.
"Are you sure? You don't regret leaving Reba?" Barbra Jean's insecure voice pulls at Reba's heartstrings as she realizes how much pain the other woman must be going through now. She strains to hear the conversation as it seems to have dropped a notch lower.
Does Brock regret leaving her?
She hears shuffling and then finally, Brock's quiet voice. "No, I don't regret anything about this. I love you," he says, and Reba swallows a lump in her throat. She draws in a ragged breath and steels herself to stop the slight shudder running through her body. He doesn't regret leaving, she thinks.
Quietly, she leaves and returns to the house she calls home. She forgets all about why she was there in the first place.
When Brock comes over the next time, Reba tries her best to keep her neutral mask on. It is difficult because he comes near her so often and Reba finds herself often needing to keep from slapping him hard. Keep herself from telling him that she hates him. Reba doesn't hate him. Not really. But at the moment, the pain he has unknowingly inflicted on her stays strong and shows no sign of dulling yet. Reba tries not to be cold to Brock, and tries her best to even smile. She interests herself in cleaning the countertop and doesn't look up at him frequently.
"Where is everyone?"
"The kids are gone. Van and Cheyenne won some hotel stay yesterday at a lucky draw. Or something like that," she shrugs. "They took Jake and Kyra with them."
"What about you?"
"I didn't want to go. I'm taking this as some time for myself."
She almost succeeds. But Brock has known Reba for years. He knows her. So he knows when she is keeping something away from him.
"Bad day?" he asks, thinking perhaps her job is stressing her.
"No," she says quickly and again, tries to force a smile. It's ridiculous that she is feeling so hurt over something that she shouldn't even think about. Brock and Barbra Jean's therapist says she has not moved on. Reba immediately feels the need to defend herself. From what, she doesn't know. If she has moved on, she wouldn't be feeling like this would she? She shakes her head to clear her mind.
"Then what is it?" Brock asks her again and watches her from across the countertop. "You don't seem to be in a good mood."
"I'm fine okay?" she snaps sharply and returns her attention to the chore she was doing.
"Geez Reba, no need to be so snippy. I was just asking," he says, taken aback by her biting tone. He is used to it and knows when he should back down. Silence settles between them and Reba distracts herself with rearranging the kitchenware on the shelves. She wishes that Brock would leave but he doesn't seem to be moving anytime soon. She sighs quietly and Brock hears it.
"Should I leave?" he finally asks, a bit weary. If she wants to be left alone, he should probably respect her wishes. He also doesn't want to agitate her any further.
"Yes," she says, all too quickly and she knows that she has hurt his feelings. But she can't feel guilty this time. What about her own hurt?
"Okay," he tells her and then moves to the door when Reba's voice stops him again.
"You don't regret leaving me," she states, almost noncommittally but then, her eyes bore too many emotions to count. Hurt, anger, resentment. Defeat.
Brock immediately recalls his conversation with Barbra Jean about regrets and wonders about the next thing Reba would say. Why is she bringing this up now? "Reba…"
"You don't regret leaving me," she says again and this time, tears prickle at the corner of her eyes.
Brock stays silent. He doesn't know what to say. After a moment's silence, he takes a deep breath, not sure of how this conversation would go. "You don't know that."
"I do, Brock." She sounds deadly serious and Brock's heart aches. "When Barbra Jean asked you about this, you said that you don't regret anything. I know I shouldn't be feeling upset about this. But I do."
"You heard Barbra Jean?" his eyes widens and he plays that conversation over again in his mind.
Reba looks away and offers no explanation. "Was it so bad? Being married to me?" she asks, old insecurities resurfacing again.
"No, of course not. We had good times… You know we've spoken about that."
Again, Reba looks away. Although he is a few feet away from her, she feels as though she can hardly breathe. "Yes, we have. But to hear it from you that you don't regret leaving hurts me. Did you love Barbra Jean while we were still married?"
He seems to ponder the question for a long time before finally answering. "No."
"So if Barbra Jean had never gotten pregnant, would we still have gotten that divorce?" Reba's voice drops to an almost whisper, her heart pounding painfully in her chest.
The words seems to be stuck in his throat as his mind ponders the ramifications of his answer. If he tells her that they would have made it if Barbra Jean had never gotten pregnant, he fears that Reba would hurt because of the fact that they did have a chance and he had ruined it by getting Barbra Jean pregnant. On the other hand, if he tells her that they never could have made it, he will hurt her as well, because she will think that he had stopped loving her enough to want to save their marriage. So he tells her something that wasn't entirely the truth but won't hurt her as much.
"You know I can't answer that Reba. I honestly don't know." Was it a lie?
"It took you an awfully long time to tell me you don't know," Reba says, unable to keep the bitterness from her voice masked.
"Oh come on…" he snaps, annoyed. He is only trying to protect her, he thinks. Why is she making things so difficult?
Pain flashes in those blue eyes of hers and Brock realizes that he has wounded her although he is determined not to. She turns from him and leans against the counter.
"You try so hard to make things work with Barbra Jean," she says, staring ahead at nothing in particular. "You try hard to make her happy and sometimes I wonder why you didn't try so hard when our marriage was on the rocks. Why didn't you try this hard when it was us?"
"I don't know. I'm sorry." He tries to catch her eyes but then, she doesn't seem interested in looking at him.
"I know you're sorry." Reba seems understanding now. She also sounds resigned. Brock's heart sinks.
"Reba, I do regret leaving what we had. But I can't afford to. Not if I want to keep myself from making the same mistake twice." Brock sees her turn to him, her eyes narrowing a little suspiciously. "If I could, I would take back everything I have done to hurt you," he adds.
She nods but says nothing else. She looks away from him again and then, she feels the back of his hand caress her cheek. Reba knows what is going to happen and her breath quickens. The last time she has had someone touch her so tenderly seems ages ago and this feels foreign. She feels herself flush. "I'm sorry for bringing this up," she says, eyes filling with tears. She is sorry. Reba doesn't even know why she allowed herself to tell him what she feels. After all, she has become accustomed to keeping certain thoughts to herself, she thinks.
Before she knows it, his lips are pressed against hers, his tongue seeking entrance into her mouth. Reba knows that she should push him away. She knows that she shouldn't like what's happening but she feels entirely too tired to attempt to do the right thing. So she grants him access to kiss her like they used to kiss in the happier times of their marriage. Way back, when everything had a tint of hope and love. Before they had started hurting each other. She snakes her arms around his neck and pulls him closer to her. She wants to feel as much of him as she can and the messages from her heart overwrites the messages from her brain. Reba wants him to do more than kiss her and she feels ashamed of her own thoughts - her emotions which are spiralling out of control. Passion rips through her in torrents and shivers run up her spine as she lets her eyes fall shut.
Reba fits snugly into his arms and Brock tries hard to shut out the warning bells going off in his head. The same bells that ran through his head while he was married to Reba but was spending his nights with Barbra Jean. He knows that he should stop before it goes too far and another marriage crumbles because of his actions. But Reba's gentle sighs drive him on and coherent thoughts flies out the window.
Outside, thunder rumbles and Reba momentarily opens her eyes and looks out the window. Dark clouds approach and hovers over, dimming the light. Dimming everything. It is going to rain heavily, she knows.
Brock kisses her face and tasting salt, he opens his eyes to see tears falling from her eyes.
"You should go home to Barbra Jean, Brock. She would be waiting for you," she whispers miserably.
"Just once," he tells her and pulls her to him. "Let me stay, Reba. Let me love you."
Reba smiles through her tears and finally nods.
The sound of heavy rain hitting the ground shatters whatever calm they have left with them. And later on, the sound of rain drowns out cries of pleasure and whispered words of love between two souls, who have loved, lost and returned to one another for one last time.
They are leaning against the cabinets lining the side of the counter and Brock has one arm around her. They are dressed, perhaps not as before, but Brock has made sure that Reba is wearing the clothes they have roughly tossed aside in their haste to have each other's bodies pressed together.. He is afraid that she will be cold and feels the need to take care of her.
The rain is still falling and shows no signs of stopping. Reba knows that this moment will end and she will lose the comfort and warmth of his arms. She knows that he will leave and return to responsibility. But it is this moment that will stay in her mind forever.
"I will never forget this," she tells him, resting her head against his shoulder. She is tired and her body aches in some places. Making love on the floor tends to get difficult with age, she muses, smiling a little.
"Neither would I," he responds and Reba knows he means it. Brock places kisses on her forehead, telling her he cares before he has to leave.
No one will know of what happened between the both of them.
And afterwards, they will listen to the rain and remember.
For only the rain bears witness to their love, hidden amongst the tears of the sky as it cries.
A/N - Well, another oneshot. I hope you guys won't mind the short length of these fics. Do leave reviews! I would love to know what you think. Thanks for reading!