First attempt at a threesome, so be nice.
Not sure if this will be a multi-chapter fic or not, so I'll keep it under "Incomplete" for now.
Slightly AU, as in Max/Jude/Lucy are already a threesome and Max is reenlisted.
This part is Jude's thoughts as Max comes home for the second time.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
You're not the same. That's the only thought that ran through my mind as I saw you walking from the gate. We stood there for hours, praying it was all really happening, that after years of crying, waiting, and hoping you'd be home alive and well, and it is. But it comes with the cold reality that you're not the same.
Sure, you may smile warmly as you see us, holding us tightly as you mumble "I love you" into our ears. You may ruffle your sister's hair or give me a light punch on the arm as we head towards the baggage claim area. But you aren't the same.
First of all, one of the things I love about you most is gone. Your eyes. Those deep, striking blue eyes that you can't take your own off of. Once, my heart would melt as I looked into them, as they were vibrant with carefree amusement and brimming with ingenuity. Now, they are blank, glazed over and tortured, as if you locked up the haunted memories inside them.
Your previously thin, yet strong frame that was bursting at the seams with manic energy is now frail and weak. As I grip your hand, bones and white knuckles are clearly visible, and I'm afraid that you'll snap like a twig when I embrace you. Your lips are no longer consistently turned upward in a mischievous smirk, your face is gaunt, and your words seem to tumble out of your lips uselessly. You aren't my Max.
It's bloody well not your fault, and Lucy shoots me looks of discontent over your shoulder as I don't bear a wide grin. It's easier for her than it is for me. She was here the first time, and while I know that was my own damn fault, she can still cut me some slack. By the time I was back from England, you had put on a mask that hid your painful memories. Your nightmares were few and far between, and when they happened, Lucy would be the first one there.
So, I'm sorry, mate. I'm sorry I can't look at you and smile the same way I used to, because it hurts too much. I'm sorry I can't kiss you with the same amount of urgency and passion that I used to, because I just don't feel it anymore. I'm sorry I can't hold you tightly in my arms and tell you everything will be alright, because it isn't.
You weren't the only one who felt it. As soon as you disappeared into your bedroom, she lost it. Anger and resent blazed in her own cerulean eyes, something I'm not used to seeing reside so easily in them. She slapped me a couple times, screaming why I wasn't thanking the Lord that I didn't go through half the shit you did and that you came home in one piece.
I almost wish I had gone through what you did, so maybe I could understand. I envy her compassion, her patience, her willingness to wait for the old Max to slowly reappear. I damn well know that you long for my compassion, patience, and willingness, and you have no idea how much I wish I could give it to you. But I don't understand like she does. I have the tendency to feel trapped with no way out, and when I do, I do rash things. I thought I learned the first time when I left your confused and tormented sister for oblivious and peaceful Liverpool.
So please understand my leaving. It's the best for all three of us. Understand I love both of you, and how I'm going to get over that, I'm not sure. In fact, I know I won't get over it. But I'm the kink in our little chain. Hell, I'm the reason we're a chain and not a circle. I thought I could do it, but I can't.
Apparently, I need something more than love.
I know this came out of nowhere, and I'm not exactly sure if this is a oneshot or not, we'll see.