AN: This was written for the music challenge on the scrubs fic challenge site on livejournal. There aren't many writers or reasders there and it would be nice if there were some more, so if you're interested, the link is on my profile page. :) It's not my favourite thing that I've written, but I thought I'd post it here too anyway. Please let me know what you honestly think. :)
This Modern Love
This modern love breaks me.
This modern love wastes me.
(This Modern Love, Bloc Party)
He wants to be happy for her. Don't get him wrong, he does. He's trying. But every time he gets even remotely close to joy, something reminds that he's not the one waiting at the end of the aisle for her.
He and Turk went out for a drink the other night. Actually, they went to Keith's bachelor party, but since most of the guests were Keith's intern and college friends, he and Turk spent most of the night sat at the end of the bar drinking. He didn't feel much like partying anyway.
It's been easy for him to hide around the hospital. Not physically hide, but emotionally. He's just had a baby and he lives forty minutes away so most people – the strangers- just assume that he's depressed and tired because of that. A select few will maybe think he's having trouble with the idea of his on-again-off-again ex-girlfriend getting married. He is, but they don't realise how complicated it is.
Even Turk doesn't know how complicated it is. Somewhere around his seventh or eighth appletini, Turk told him that he needed to cheer up and move on. She's getting married in a couple of days, so that was it for them. Turk told him to move on. He said it wasn't that easy.
Turk doesn't know what happened in the on-call room.
He hasn't slept much in the last few days. He's been working. Any sleep he would get would be in that on call room, and when he's there it's like his brain goes into overdrive. The thoughts run through his brain faster than he has time to process them.
He curses himself. He calls himself an idiot, sometimes stronger things. And he thinks about the times he screwed up.
Like in their first year when they broke up. Did they just give up too easily? Should he have fought harder?
He knows he can't completely blame that on himself. But what happened when Turk and Carla got married he can.
He convinced her to leave her boyfriend for him then two days later he told her that he didn't love her. He doesn't think he's ever really forgiven himself for that. And now he hates himself even more because he wonders if things would have been different if he hadn't done that.
He's been thinking a lot about their past history. And he wonders why everything he does somehow always eventually leads him back to her.
He wonders what would have happened if they had kissed in that on-call room.
He has been told he's someone who wants what he can't have. That's what they all told him when he told her he didn't love her. Is that what he's feeling now? And if that's what he was really feeling, would he really be hurting this bad?
He has barely spoken to her since then. She threw herself into preparing for her wedding and he just didn't know what to say to her.
They were alone once in the cafeteria, but only for a few minutes. When Turk and Carla were there with them, everything seemed fine, but when Turk and Carla left, everything changed. It was awkward. They didn't speak, and neither would make eye contact with the other, and it wasn't long before she left too, incoherently mumbling something about having to be somewhere else. He wonders if the awkwardness is supposed to be telling him something.
He knows why he was in the on-call room that night. He was freaking out about Kim and about becoming a father. That's why he was there. And she was having pre-wedding jitters. He knows why they were there, but he doesn't know how they ended up lying on the same rickety bed, holding hands and kissing. How did they let it get that far? Why didn't one of them have the sense to stop the kiss before it happened?
Nobody – apart from them – knows what happened in the on-call room. Not Turk, not Carla, not Kim. Definitely not Keith, because at the end of the bachelor party, Keith was far too relaxed shaking his hand to have known that he'd kissed his fiancée only a few days ago.
He wants for them to be able to just laugh it off. Attribute it to one of their many little mistakes. If that's just what it was, a mistake, just some side-effect of their massive freak-outs, why can't they just do that and move on and he can be happy for her because she's getting married to the love of her life? Because that's just what it was. A mistake.
He hasn't spoken to anyone about how he's really feeling. He doesn't know how he's really feeling. Because if he did, they would tell him to get over himself, or more specifically get over her. They'd just dismiss it as wanting what he can't have, or feeling sorry for himself because his ex is getting married.
He doesn't want to feel like this.
He sits in the church next to Turk. As the Carla and the other bridesmaids lead the way up the aisle, Turk taps him on the shoulder and gives him a look that says, 'stay strong'. He's trying and he's fairing up pretty well now.
Until the wedding march emanates from the organ, and everybody stands and turn to watch the bride walk down the aisle. That's when his eyes being to sting. It becomes so much more difficult to keep it together. He ignores Turk as he once again taps him on the shoulder. He can't make a scene here. He can't ruin this day for her.
But is she ruining this day for herself? And why did she deliberately make eye contact with him as she walked past?
He has so many unanswered questions about what happened. What did it mean? Where does that leave him, them? But he won't ask them, because he's watching her say her vows, and she's smiling. He thinks it's a happy smile and it makes him smile a little bit too.
Maybe, through all of the years, even when they were seeing other people, he always thought he would end up with her. Maybe he always thought they would have some concoction of a happy ending.
Maybe they're all right, and he does, after seven years, have to finally move on for good. He thinks he might try that. Because he's watching her say her vows, and she looks happy. At least he thinks she looks happy. And he can't ruin her happiness. What kind of friend would he be if he did that?
He does care for her, there's no getting away from that. But he's supposed to be her friend, even if he almost wishes they were something more. But she's married now. She's moving on from him. And as much as it hurts him, he'll have to move on too.
If they were meant to be, wouldn't they have already happened by now?
He thinks he could love her, but he cares too much about her to hurt her by telling her this and ruining her wedding. He'll go to the reception and say his congratulations and he'll keep a smile on his face, so she thinks he's happy for her.
He's trying. It isn't easy, but he's really trying. And that's good enough for now.