AN: WHY IS THERE NO LIFE AS A HOUSE FIC IN THIS WORLD? It's the best movie ever. Seriously. Goth!druggie!Hayden for the win :)
Three Conversations Sam Monroe Never Had
His mother calls only once, in the middle of the night. "Your father's dying, Sam."
He doesn't reply, shocked into feeling. He's coming off the high, and is disturbingly coherent with it.
"Cancer." She says, and he remembers that he's got a client in an hour, and that he's got forty-five minutes to get there. "It's terminal."
He inhales sharply on the line to indicate he's there, but doesn't trust himself to speak. He doesn't know his father. His father is a fucker. They're all fuckers. The display of the clock flashes a dull red, and he has a sudden urge to smash it.
He holds the phone away from his ear, and concentrates hard on how much he hates his mother, on how much he hates her husband, on how much he hates him, the stupid fucker. Doesn't think about his brothers. I'm not listening. He needs a hit.
"He wants to see you this summer. To see if …" She breaks off. "Come back from Tahoe, Sam. Please."
He doesn't think. Feels for the plastic bag lying hidden under the sheets, and tries not to understand. "I'm not listening." He mumbles, and reaches for the can. "I'm not even listening."
The last thing he hears is a faint sigh, but he can't tell if it's from the glue, or from his mother, or even from himself, although that's impossible. Do you know what it's like to hate your own son? "Sam ..."
"I'm not. Even. Listening." He's out of weed.
There is a barely audible click. The line goes flat.
Alyssa's house is dark, the shutters closed, but working for Josh has its privileges, and it isn't long before her mother opens the door, shielding her eyes against the night. "Sam? What is it? Do you know what time --"
"Got to see Alyssa." He mumbles, swaying on his feet. The world is hazy, blissfully so, and he needs to grip the doorframe to steady himself. "Now."
"She's with Josh."
"Like fuck she is." He snaps, only the words slur into an inoffensive wall of sound, and he needs to grab onto the door again. "I need Alyssa."
"Sam …" Her voice trails off as she looks behind him. The ambulance lights flash a garish red-blue-red, and in his faded mind, the colours trail on forever. She puts a hand to her mouth, and moves inside the door. "What happened?"
"Don't know." He slumps against the doorframe, unable to remain standing. In the back of his mind, he dimly remembers that he's never going to be able to pay Josh back now. "I need …" He starts again, and lolls back against the wall. The world slips in and out of focus. There are no words.
"I'm sorry about your father." She says, but he doesn't hear her. The ambulance siren loops in his ears, a symphony of anguish, playing the same note again and again and again.
"You were only with him a week, Sam." His mother is tired, her voice strained to the limit. "You barely even talked to him."
He doesn't reply. He notes, with a sense of something -- he doesn't know what; he's forgotten what it's like to understand emotion -- that he's alive enough to feel, and that scares him. He quickly rubs under his eyes, smudging his makeup, and wonders if Josh will supply him.
"Don't know." He says. He doesn't know anything any more. "He just collapsed."
"Was he working?"
"I don't know." He mumbles, and tries to focus. A pause. "Why the fuck didn't I go to Tahoe? I should have gone to Tahoe!"
He doesn't reply for a moment, searching for the words. "Did he leave his Vicodin?" He says at last.
Her slap echoes through the room, unnaturally loud, leaving a memory on his cheek that no amount of makeup can hide. He is too tired to hit her back, even though he had assumed that he'd want to.
She throws him the bottle, and is surprised when he doesn't take it. "What's the matter?" She hisses, voice a singsong mockery of concern. "Don't you want it, then?"
"Fuck him." He slurs, hand closed around the bottle. The world slips in and out of focus. "Just … fuck him."
She slaps him again, harder. This time, he lies back on his pillow, and forgets to react.
The funeral is the next week, and he goes sober. His earrings catch the dim light of the church, and he shoves the stud around his chin with his tongue during the eulogy, enjoying his mother's exasperated stare. It would have irritated him, he guesses. He'll never know for sure. Not now.
Alyssa goes with him, and holds his hand, but she doesn't understand. He stays in her house at night, uses when she isn't looking. and is mildly amused by her constant attempts to get him to like her. I like you already, you dumb fuck, he says, pushing away her third attempt at kissing him, and almost smiles when she laughs. He assumes this is what it's like to be alive.
He doesn't wear makeup, though. Eyeliner smudges far too easily.
The corridors are quiet, unnaturally so, and his shoes squeak loudly on the plastic floor as he enters the room. The nurse at the desk hadn't wanted to let him in. He's a very sick man. She'd whispered, carefully looking down. And unless you're next of kin …
I'm his son.
I wasn't aware that George Monroe had a son.
Neither was I.
His first thought is that the bed looks wrong. It's too large, too white, too hungry, trying to consume what remains of his father. George Monroe isn't awake -- it's two in the morning, and even the street lights are gone -- and he's almost thankful for it. He doesn't want to speak.
"I hate this room." Is the first thing he says. It's as blunt an opener as ever; he's never been one for conversation or pleasantries. His voice is hoarse. "I spent a week here last year. Swallowed a whole bottle of Vicodin and threw up on Josh. I had to have my stomach pumped."
He exhales slowly, looking out of the window. The night is cold, and there is frost on the sill.
"I bet you want to know why Dokos left you alone." He looks away. Presses his tongue against the edge of his mouth, only to remember that there's no stud there to distract himself with. "Well, I don't know why. He just went. Didn't want to call his lawyer. I don't know what he did." A pause. "Maybe it was because of you. Because he felt angry. Guilty." He takes a deep breath. "Or maybe it's because I felt --" He cuts himself off, willing his father to speak, to interrupt. For a few minutes, there is absolute silence. He doesn't even know if his father can hear him.
"He drives a black Mercedes." He mutters, fumbling with his sleeves. His fingers automatically search his pockets, but he knows that there's no escape, there hasn't been for weeks. "That's how I got him to fuck off. His car." He swallows, readying himself for what he's about to say. He can't find the words.
"Three hundred cash for two hours." It's a broken whisper, heavy with shame. "Once a week. The whole summer." Silence. "If it makes you feel better, he didn't finish before the cops arrived. I went further with the other guys. Not him." A pause. "And they all thought I was fucking queer."
The silence stretches out before them, as placid as the night. The only sound is the vague hum of the hospital lights and the faint rasp of his father's breath, barely passing his grey lips. George Monroe is dying. (No, that's wrong. We're all dying.)
"He only fucked me once." He falters, searching for justification. "And only for a few minutes. And fuck, it's not even like I was alive …" The first tears begin to fall down his cheeks, and he rubs his eyes freely, glad that he's not got anything worth ruining there now. "That's why it didn't matter, I wasn't fucking alive …" He grips his father's hand even more tightly. "You told me about your dad, remember? I felt like that sometimes. Like I wasn't a person. Like I had nobody to be proud of me."
"Sam …" His father is crying too. He hadn't realised that he was awake, and has to lean closer to hear his voice, and hates himself for fearing the contact. "That's … not true."
"Like fuck it's not true." He mumbles, arguing for argument's sake. "I'm a fucking awful son."
"I …" George breathes in, looking right at him. "Will always be proud of you. You're my son." A pause. "Fucking awful or not."
He laughs, and it turns into a sob. "Don't be. I shouldn't have done that, shouldn't … I'm sorry, dad." He whispers, leaning onto the bedsheets, bringing his father's hand to his forehead. "I'm so fucking sorry."
"I started using when I was twelve. I told you that." He whispers, eyes red with shame, gasping for air like a drowning man. "I wasn't a person, wasn't alive. I just wanted to forget." I like how it feels not to feel. "I'm sorry."
"I love you."
He doesn't speak. He clutches his father's hand harder, and sobs into the bedsheets, muttering the same words on loop, again and again, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.