It Wasn't Long Enough
By: Pink-Green-White-4ever
Last Revised: April 19, 2009

Genre: Angst
Ship: Smitchie
Rating: T
Setting: Several years post CR
Author's Note: Okay, so I completely blame Enigmaforum for this one -- smirks at her little sister -- This idea came to me after said sister complained there wasn't enough good smitchie ideas out there, so I decided to try my hand a second time at this pairing. Please don't flame me if you don't like it, cause all flames will be laughed at, made fun of, and then tossed in the trash can. Yes, I realize I'm almost 26 and writing Camp Rock….I don't honestly care what people think. I like Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato's characters.
AN2: The story was inspired by Rascal Flatts' song "Forever" from their c.d. Unstoppable.
Dedication – To Enigmaforum, long live SMITCHIE!

I miss you so much

Your light, your smile, your way

And everything about us

Though you're gone

You're still here

In my heart, in my tears

Yeah, you sure left your mark

And we were just getting started

It wasn't long enough

It wasn't long enough together

But it was long enough

Yeah, it was long enough

To last forever

Sometimes I get so mad

I scream, I swear at this

'cause this isn't how we planned it

I sit here

In a cold room

Prayin', waitin' on you

To run back through that door

To the way it was before

It wasn't long enough

It wasn't long enough together

But it was long enough

Yeah, it was long enough

To last forever

I feel cheated and defeated

Can't believe that you're gone

Oh, it was wrong

It wasn't long enough

It wasn't long enough

It wasn't long enough

No it wasn't long enough

It wasn't long enough, together

But it was long enough

Yeah, it was long enough

To last, to last, to last forever

Not it wasn't long enough

It wasn't long enough

Oh, oh, oh –

--Rascal Flatts, Forever--

He never visited on the anniversary of the day he'd lost her. He couldn't bear the thought of sharing her with the hordes of fans that still flocked to her final resting place to pay tribute. He didn't visit on any of the normal holidays – Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter. He didn't come on any of their special dates – her birthday, their anniversary. No, the only day a year he could bear to go stand before the polished stone that announced to the world that Mitchie Torres-Gray was resting in the ground beneath the stone slab was the anniversary of the day they'd met.

It was odd, some people thought, that it was the only day he came to the cemetery. Come rain or shine, windy or calm, he was there on the anniversary of the day they met at Camp Rock so many years before. She'd changed his life in ways he couldn't begin to describe, and even five years after losing her, he couldn't bring himself to publically mourn her on any day but this. It was the one day a year where, if the paparazzi had been in the cemetery, they'd see Shane Gray all but curl into a ball and cry.

Five years since he'd last held her. Five years since he'd last seen that brilliant smile, heard the twinkling laughter, and been graced by the voice of an angel. Five years since he'd lost his wife, his lover, his other half. They hadn't had long enough together, not nearly long enough.

Even after five years, the memories of that night came back to him in a rush of horror and pain. They'd been on the road, Mitchie touring with Connect 3 for their comeback tour. She herself had taken five years off, to have a normal life after having toured and recorded since she was just sixteen. In her five year hiatus, he'd asked her to marry him and they'd had both their daughter and their son. It wasn't long after the birth of their son that she'd mentioned being itchy to get back into recording and touring. He couldn't help but smile through his tears as he thought about the nights where he'd walk down into the basement and find her sitting at the sound board, scribbling notes, listening to a half finished song, or doing a final mix of a finished one. He wished now he'd asked her to give it a little more time, but he'd never been able to deny her anything. Performing was as much in her blood and apart of her as it was him. She'd told him it would be an adventure, packing the kids up for that summer tour, getting back on the road and showing their babies what they did best. It wasn't long enough together. But it was long enough. Yeah, it was long enough; to last forever.

He could still remember the rain - the smell, the sound of it pounding down on the bus on that lonely highway in the middle of the country. It had been comforting to fall asleep to that sound. The kids had been lying in bed with him, both with summer colds and unable to sleep in their own bunks. Mitchie had gotten up to get them juice, to get them to sleep; he'd always remember her running her long, soft fingers down his arm in an automatic caress as she'd gotten out of bed. It was the last time she'd touched him, the last time he'd felt her soft, warm skin. It had been her last moment with him when she'd still been breathing.

The memory of tires screeching, of the impact of the bus hitting something and someone shouting echoed hollowly through his mind, drilling pain into his already shattered heart. He remembered feeling the bus spin and then it tumbled head over wheels. He'd panicked and tried to protect the kids, all the while his mind screaming for his wife. Sinking to his knees in front of her headstone, he ran his fingers over her name while tears fell from his eyes. He wasn't aware that he was screaming at her headstone, wasn't aware of the anger that was lashing out of him as furious as the storm had been the night he'd lost her. Her life ending that night had not been what they'd planned for when they'd thought of their future. He wasn't supposed to raise their children on his own, his heart forever grieving for her. Their time together hadn't been long enough, and yet, it would last him forever.

The cold marble of her headstone reminded him of being in the hospital that night. Somehow he and the kids had come out relatively unscathed. It wasn't until he'd been released that he'd found Nate and Jason in the waiting room watching Ella and Caitlyn hold onto Jasmine and Austin. He'd continuously asked the doctors about his wife, but they hadn't given him any straight answers. One look at Nate and Jason and he'd known. One look into the eyes of his two best friends and his legs had given out on him. He'd sat in that cold hospital waiting room, tears streaming down his face, his chest heaving as he screamed out his heartbreak and clung to Nate and Jason as if his life had depended on it, when it reality his life had ended the moment she'd been taken from him.

With his chest heaving, he traced the words on her headstone, speaking them out loud. "It wasn't long enough together, but it was long enough, to last forever." He reached up and wiped the tears from his face. "I miss you so much, Mitchie; your light, your smile, your way. I miss us. Even though you're gone, I can still feel you here…" he tapped a closed fist against his chest, just above his heart. "In my heart, in my tears; you certainly left your mark, and God only knows, we were just getting started."

When his knees started to hurt, he sat down on the ground. His eyes were puffy from crying, his head hurt, and a look at his watch told him he didn't have much longer before he had to be in the studio. Ella was watching the kids, but Caitlyn, Nate and Jason would be waiting for him at the house, to record. It would be Connect 3's first album in five years. "I feel cheated, that our time together was so damn short. I feel so defeated sometimes, because you're not here and it feels like the world is pressing down on me. I can't think of anything more wrong than me and the kids losing you when we needed you most. They're adjusting; they don't ask where you are as much anymore. That hurts just as much as living each day without you – knowing their memories of you are fading. I try to tell them about you, to show them your picture, but I know in my heart you're a distant memory for them. Its wrong Mitch, because you're memory is still so fresh in my mind and in my heart, it's not fair to them to not remember you."

Closing his eyes, he tried to fight back another round of tears. "It wasn't long enough, but it was long enough, and it'll last me forever. What we had, it'll keep me going until I see you again." Swallowing hard, he pushed to his feet and stared down at the stone. "I love you." As he started to walk away, he lightly sang, "You're the voice I hear inside my head, the reason that I'm singin', I need to find you, I gotta find you. You're the missin' piece I need. The song inside of me, I need to find you, I gotta find you…"