Summary: The world was spinning. And none of it mattered. Not the flowers, not the sun shining, not how beautiful a day it was, not any of it. How could it?
Pairings: Maggie x Eli
Ties in to: Post episode 2x09
Word Count: 2,246
Genres: Drama, Romance
Disclaimer: Yeah, 'cause I'd let the show get cancelled if I actually had anything to do with it.
A/N: So, this is my first Eli Stone fic. Hope you all like it!
The world was spinning. And none of it mattered. Not the flowers, not the sun shining, not how beautiful a day it was, not any of it. How could it?
Well, that wasn't entirely true. There was one thing that mattered. Or used to. She wasn't sure. No, she supposed it was used to. And then she shuddered. Not that any one else around her noticed, they were all too busy with their own grief. Particularly Nate. She looked up at him then, and it took everything she had not to start crying. She felt bad enough on her own terms, but she felt even worse for him. Really, Eli was (had been? she was still confused) Nate's brother, and she had hardly been friends with Eli lately. They'd hardly been anything at all.
And now they really weren't anything at all. And would never be anything. Ever. She continued to stare at Nate as he continued to muddle through the eulogy. Really, all she wanted to do was get up and run. Run as far away as possible. But for whatever reason, her body wouldn't listen. Her legs were cemented in place. Her eyes were glued straight ahead. Staring at Nate. Staring at that glorified box. It was so unnerving. Just sitting there, like it wasn't completely evil. Well, really, she knew it was just a box (okay, a casket, whatever) and as a lifeless object, it couldn't very well be evil, but she had to blame something. She had to blame something. Or someone. She was so confused.
So she continued to sit there, as still and as lifeless as a still-breathing person could be, while Taylor sat beside her, her head bowed down as tears fell slowly down her cheeks. Matt sat next to her, more concerned about her than anything else. Jordan and Patty were sitting next to each other, both sad, both trying to hide it. There were a lot of people. Co-workers, clients, other people she didn't recognize. A lot of them were in tears or looked like they were about to be.
She'd cried for days before. And now she was silent. She was exhausted. And she was confused. Some prophet he turned out to be. Of course, she wasn't really mad at him. It wasn't like it was his fault. Or maybe it was. That guy, the one that had introduced himself as... what had he said his name was? Frank something... whatever his name was, he looked angry enough to believe it had been Eli's fault. She didn't believe it was. And if it was, well, what did it matter now? It wasn't going to do her any good to be mad at a dead person. And again, she shuddered. She'd never been to a funeral before. Well, aside from that time in the tenth grade when her dog Trixie had died. But that wasn't the same thing. That wasn't even close.
And now what was she going to do? Well, it wasn't like they worked together anymore. It wasn't like she wasn't used to doing cases on her own. But it was more than that. Again, she shuddered. She supposed she'd always hoped that things would turn out differently. She knew it was stupid to be that girl, the one that just waited around for the guy rather than move on and find something real, but... she had been that girl. And she hadn't really minded. She'd always had faith (an almost ironic choice of words, she knew) that things would eventually change. That he'd eventually get it. That eventually he'd feel the same way she did. But now he never would. Maybe that was the true irony of the situation. Or maybe it wasn't. She wasn't even sure she knew what that meant anymore. She wasn't entirely sure she knew what anything meant anymore. But then, she was starting to think that if someone asked her her own name just right now she probably wouldn't remember what it was. Well, not exactly, but close, anyway. She was very, very confused.
None of this felt real. And again, she shuddered. There seemed to be no reason for it this time. Well, not no reason, but... it felt... odd. And then she started hearing Nate's voice. Which was even stranger still, because he was standing only a few feet from her. It was like his voice was coming from two places at once.
"Maggie... hey, wake up."
And suddenly, the world stopped spinning. And then it faded away entirely.
When everything came into view again she found herself sitting on a really uncomfortable plastic chair in an overheated waiting room. She'd been having a nightmare. Right.
"Oh, um, hey..." she said weakly. Almost immediately afterwards she yawned. How long had she been here?
"So..." said Nate awkwardly.
"So..." she parroted. Neither of them seemed to know what to say to each other. And she wasn't even sure why she was here, or that she even should be. Really, it wasn't like she was all that close with Eli or anything. And the only reason she knew what had happened was because of Matt. Really, what happened had been that while waiting (more likely pacing) in the waiting room, Nate had called Jordan (who, luckily, had still been at the office), to tell him that Eli probably wasn't going to be at work for awhile, which was odd, she thought, because in a situation like this, what did that matter? But she supposed people acted strangely when under stress. Well, obviously they did, she'd shown up here in the middle of the night and she hadn't even spoken to Eli in over a week.
So, anyway, then Jordan had called Patty, who'd called Taylor, who'd apparently told Matt, who'd thought it was a good idea to call her. And then she'd panicked and rushed straight here. Well, not straight here. She'd gone to two other hospitals before finally finding the right one. She'd have known which hospital to go to had she not panicked the instant she heard the words "something's happened to Eli" and hung up the phone.
Matt, Taylor, Jordan and Patty had all been here too, but they'd all gone home with the intention of calling (or more likely showing up) in the morning. Another woman, one she didn't know, had shown up as well, but Nate had forced her to leave. He'd nearly shouted at the woman. Whoever she was, she must have been important. She assumed as much based off of how panicked the woman had looked when she'd arrived. The woman hadn't stayed long. She'd tried to, but it looked like she was more interested in being there for Nate than for anything else. This seemed to make Nate even more angry, and eventually the woman had left, openly crying and not seeming to care who saw it. Nate had asked her why she was staying after that, but she hadn't been able to give him much of a reason. She could've just told him the truth, but seeing as they'd really only met once before now (oddly enough, in a very similar situation) it didn't seem right. And she didn't want to seem any crazier than she was sure she already did.
"So... I just saw him. And they said he's going to be okay." Nate said after at least thirty seconds of straight silence. Even though it was good news (better than she could have hoped for) there was a look on Nate's face that said otherwise. He looked... scared. Frightened. And the more she looked at him the more she noticed that underneath all of that, he also looked a little bit angry. Not at her, of course, but at himself. She wanted to ask him what was going on, why he looked so afraid and so angry, but at the same time, she knew it wasn't right to ask someone she really didn't know such a personal question.
"That's good. So, maybe, I should just be going," she said, her words coming out in one long string that she only hoped had been some sort of audible. She got to her feet and started walking away without any sort of explanation as to why she was leaving. She knew it had been a stupid idea to come here. She had no reason to be here, and no right to stay.
"No," said Nate abruptly. She turned around and looked at him for a moment, waiting for him to tell her what reason there could possibly be for her to stay.
"He was asking for you," Nate said and shrugged. It looked like he understood why about as much as she did.
"Oh... okay...?" she posed the words like a question, like he'd have some sort of answer.
"Yeah, I..." Nate stopped short and shrugged. He didn't have an answer. "Uh, I'll show you where his room is." He turned around and started walking away, clearly expecting her to follow after him.
"Yeah, sure," she said. She shrugged half-heartedly and did as she was expected. As they walked in awkward silence she tried not to think about why he would've been asking for her. She knew it was the wrong time, the wrong place, and that his asking for her could easily be drug induced. After all, she didn't really know what was going on, she didn't know... and suddenly, she panicked. She remembered the last time she'd been here. The last time he'd been here. She shuddered. She didn't want to see him like that. Not again.
But, just her luck, just as she was considering turning and running in the opposite direction, Nate stopped. They were at his room.
"I'll just... wait out here," Nate muttered. He stepped aside and leaned against the wall to stare at the ceiling.
She just nodded. And then she nodded again. And again.
The room was dark. And quiet. Too quiet. She couldn't go in there.
"I can see you, you know," he said softly.
"Oh..." she said awkwardly. She blew out a breath and her face wrinkled up. "Right."
Carefully, like she was walking into a minefield, she stepped into the room. "So... umm..." She stared at the floor. She figured it was much safer that way.
"They made me stay here over night," he said quietly. She looked up at him for a brief second, just long enough to see that he looked embarrassed, and that other than that, he looked like he was okay.
"Uh-huh..." she muttered. "That's probably a good idea." And still, she stared at the floor.
"So you stayed here this entire time?" he asked quietly.
"Uh-huh..." She was becoming very familiar with this floor. It wasn't a bad floor, really. Tile, clean, white. It was very plain. And it was safe. There was no harm in looking at this floor.
"Thanks," he said. "I-" he started, but she cut him off. As nice as the floor was, she was tired of staring at it. She was tired of safe. She was tired of this. She needed to move on with her life.
"You know, I'll just be going. I'm glad you're okay." She was halfway out of the room before he stopped her.
And again, she cut him off. "What?"
"I..." this time, she didn't cut him off. He just didn't seem to know what to say.
"I thought so. I'll be going."
This time he didn't try to stop her. This time her body listened when she told it to run. She ran all the way to the parking lot, all the way to her car, before stopping. She grabbed her keys out of her purse, fumbling to unlock her car and drive away. The door wouldn't open. She groaned and threw the keys at the window. They didn't so much as scratch it, they just fell to the ground completely uselessly. And again, she groaned. She doubled over and picked her now wet and dirty keys up off the ground. She took a deep breath and stuck the key in the lock. This time, the door opened. She let out a sigh of relief and slipped inside. She stuck her key into the ignition but didn't start up her car. Instead, she let out a sigh and put her arms up on the steering wheel. She then rested her head against her forearms and groaned. "I am such an idiot."
Little did she know, that was exactly what he had been trying to say. That he was a fool. That he was an idiot for not catching on before now.
But she didn't know that, so she just picked herself up and drove herself home.