The Space Between

By Clarity Scifiroots
Regular disclaimers apply.
Word count: 500 Prompt: Rift
Summary: An extended drabble on perhaps the most key relationship in the show. (Friendship only.)

Falling feels like flying, / Till you hit the ground. / And everything is beautiful, / Till you take a look around. / So, let it go.
"Walking 2 Hawaii" Tom McRae


"Go away. Leave me alone."

"And leave you to brood? No way, man. You know me better than that."

Bruce ignores the way he's being glared at. He calmly turns on a couple lamps in the den to alleviate the gloom despite Johnny's threatening almost-growl.

"You want anything to drink? Eat?" he raises his eyebrow questioningly. When no answer is forthcoming, he rolls his eyes and takes a seat in an armchair across from his friend. "So what's up, man?"

"Oh, like you don't know," Johnny scoffs.

"Matter of fact, I don't." Bruce rubs the back of his neck, wincing at the tense muscles under his fingers. It's been a long week between his work schedule and Johnny's dead zone acting up. "Dana left a not-so-subtle message to get my ass over here." When Johnny looks at him skeptically, Bruce continues, "You know I'd be over eventually even if she hadn't called."

The psychic turns away, wearing a deep frown. After a few minutes he lets out a quiet groan and slumps into the couch cushions. He closes his eyes and rubs his face with both hands. All the while Bruce remains silent, watching and waiting; he knows that it only takes a little time.

Their friendship spans a seemingly impossible gap that is lacking in any of Johnny's other relationships. Without fail, Johnny always reveals to Bruce the visions tormenting him; and the embarrassing moments; and the funny ones, too. Everything, or at least it seems like everything, inevitably comes out. Bruce recognizes how special this bond is, how unique and ultimately fragile it can me. So he's sworn to himself never to betray the trust he's been handed. Aloud he's said similar to Johnny, though he can't be sure the blonde necessarily understands the depths to which that promise is made. Even psychics can miss some things.

"Turns out the gun a suspect had that went into evidence was used in a past kidnapping case. I didn't see anything about the store robbery Walt was interested in." Johnny sighs, the sound beyond exhausted – heavily burdened with first-hand knowledge no one else can understand. "Just... the damn kidnapping. Everything going wrong – a little girl dying because the FBI had gotten involved... Fuck."

Bruce leans forward and puts his hand on the couch. Although Johnny hasn't opened his eyes, he'll be aware of the presence of support. They sit together, the only sounds their breathing and the soft blow of the heater.

In time Johnny's hand comes to rest on the couch arm. His eyes open just barely, gaze flickering to judge the distance between their hands. Bruce waits, reminding himself not to attempt moving closer. Maintaining Johnny's trust has a lot to do with recognizing when the psychic needs someone to hold off or take the initiative. Right now, Johnny needs to be the instigator, the one in control; so Bruce keeps his hand still and watches.

Johnny's fingers twitch. He slides his hand forward and their fingers touch.

February 16, 2008