Author's Note: The premise for this is loosely based on the episode "The Tyrant" from season 6... the aftermath, that is. I guess that makes this AU, since Chase isn't in prison... yet! :)
I don't blame anyone for having a hard time following this. I wrote it all in one sitting and hardly slowed down to think. But I like it. :)
(I own nothing)
What a lucky girl.
It's you who's dying a little more every day, whose clock is ticking because of this curse. It's you who's always been unfortunate; the one who always has good reason to start crying when you're going through a bottle of gin on your own. You cradle that sixth glass, eyes red rimmed, wonder what the fuck you ever did to deserve this. Allow yourself to be that girl who's so misunderstood, and fuck the pain away with whatever cauterizes it the best: women, heroin, eight glasses of gin.
But what a lucky girl you are.
It's you who's living every day like it's your last day. Half of all you do is acidic and bitter like the lemons in your pantry that you don't bother ever using (because you take all of your drinks straight anyway when it's late and you feel like a good cry). Sure, half of it is lemons but the other half is sweet. No worries, no regrets. You've got nothing holding you back, nothing tying you down, nothing to make your life hard to process. And you know what? Inch by inch, day by day, it gets a little easier. You start to forget you're dying; but no, it's not forgetting it. It's laughable to think you could ever wake up and go through a day, the fact that your time is running out never once crossing your mind. No, it recedes more like. Is it really that important, the Huntington's? You'd think so, wouldn't you? But no, it loses its flavor daily and becomes just a death sentence. And that's better. And you know what else? That makes life lemonade.
You don't even like lemonade all that much, though. How's that for irony.
It's irony how you're the one who's so severely fucked and yet you're the lucky one. You have closure. You have ways of dealing, destructive as they are. You can't remember the last time you've sat down and sobbed your eyes out, at a complete loss for direction. It's like you to run out and find a sedative, sexual or "medicinal" or otherwise. But you've never been so lost that you're immobilized.
You hear the sounds of ragged crying and round a corner of lockers curiously. It's her, sitting hunched over on a bench looking unrecognizably pained. Her coat lies across her lap and she looks like she'll never gather the strength to stand up and go home. You're gripped by pity so strong that it feels like two hands on your shoulders, but you don't know what to do. You don't know how to help, you don't know how to comfort. All you know is making it go away with needle after needle after needle, but you can't do this for her.
"My husband is dead," she says weakly, her head still bowed, knuckles white, clenching and unclenching on her lap. You had no idea she'd noticed you standing there.
He's in prison, but there's no difference. You don't correct her because you know she knows and for her it's the same thing; instead, you sink down to your knees beside her and put your hand (pity) tentatively on her shoulder. You rub up and down with the threads of her sweater, trying to soothe. There's nothing soothing about rubbing someone's fucking back when they're sobbing their eyes out for a reason like this, and you know this, but the fact that you're doing it, the fact that you're a warm touch at a moment like this is what counts, and you know that. And she's too broken down to be proud, and she leans into your arms for support.
"God, he's dead," she whispers, her hoarse voice cracking. You savor the closeness of her soft body on yours and let her cry.
You lead her to your car like the men who led her husband away, and like that day it's a slow blur of silence. But no; it's not like that day much at all. She's the one who takes your hand, squeezes gently to make sure you're still there. She's the one who asks to spend the night, who looks at you with pleading eyes. She's not dragged off, walking numb and quiet like a corpse, as her husband was. She knows about your eight glasses of gin, your sluts from downtown. She knows that you know pain, and she sees that you can be there. You can't help; you're hardly capable of helping yourself, let alone help someone else. But you can be there. You can take her back to your apartment, brew her a pot of coffee, and give her your bed as you take the couch for the night. And you do.
But barely an hour has passed and you can hear the sound of her aching from the next room. Silent tears, her willowy body curled helplessly on your sheets as it shakes; you can almost hear this, can almost taste it because you simply know she's not okay alone in there, and you can't close your eyes again. Not while she's trapped in such a nightmare.
You lift the covers silently like the ghost that you are and slip in beside her. But you're not the ghost, no; you've got blood and breath in you and you're warm, and she can feel that warmth as you settle in with the slightest creak. She shudders, her elbows drawn in close to her body, her lips parted, and moves her body next to yours. It's now that you believe she's asleep, because she doesn't open her eyes and look in your eyes, remembering that you happen to be attracted to women, and hesitate. She simply moves closer until her skin is touching yours, instinctively. Like a sunflower turning towards the sun. It's now that you believe she's the most tragically beautiful thing you've ever seen, curled into you with her eyelashes grazing the skin on your neck. And you know it's somewhat wrong because she's somewhat a widow, but you lower your chin, breathing very softly, and very softly kiss her lips.
The kiss takes the place of soothing words.
The kiss takes the place of a finger brushing away her tears.
The kiss takes the place of empathy.
The kiss takes the place of eight glasses of gin.
It's now that you know that she moves dreamlike, sleeplike, like she's underwater, and in a sense she is slumbering. But she's not asleep, nor has she just awoken, when she sighs like a lonesome breeze and moves her head a fraction to recapture your lips in hers.
"Oh, Remy," she whispers. She'd never been asleep; she'd been awake this whole time, waiting and praying for you to come fill this bed and fill her with these eight glasses of gin. In that instant you understand that you will never understand how and why this clicks so easily, but you put your hand upon her waist and pull her close because being her crutch is like having her for a crutch. That's the closest you can get to making sense and it still doesn't work, but that's not the fucking point. Nothing is the fucking point, because honestly you're beyond analyzing what's lemons and what's sugar and you can't think or feel or hurt, you can only breathe.
Yes, you've realized it; you're in pain too.
And actually, you knew it all along. You knew it all along and you acknowledged it; you have your vices to assuage the pain and that was that, but here is someone who needs you to assuage hers. She needs you to placate her by lying beside her and feeling your own hurt too. And that's something that you, fucked up as you are, can do for her.
"Shhh," you murmur as you feel her body beginning to grow warmer, her muscles begin to relax. "It's okay." Her eyes flutter ever so slightly, and before you know it your lips are together again.
Maybe, you think vaguely, this widow is someone you can make into eight glasses of lemonade.