Title: If I Just Lay Here..

Author: veiledndarkness

Pairing: Implied Tallahassee/Columbus

Rating: PG-13 for language

Summary: Only at night does he let his mind wander.

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit made and no harm intended.


Sometimes, late in the evening, when it's that kind of eerie quiet that he still isn't used to, he thinks of how fucked up everything is. How fast life fell apart and how much it hurts to grieve endlessly. Months could be years and nothin' will ever wipe the memories of the day when his world crumbled to pieces.

All that talk about time healing wounds? Bullshit, Sam.

He doesn't waste much time worrying and fretting. That's for Columbus, that's his thing. He does it real well. Asks questions that can't be answered easy, gnaws on his damned hoodie strings and stares out the windows like everything's gonna go back to normal if you wish for it real hard.

The hope in the kid's eyes is annoying. After countless towns and cities, all post-apocalyptic war zones, the kid still gets his hopes up every time. It's fucking heartbreaking to tell the truth, watching the hope fade from his face, to watch his tentative smile melt down to a tired frown.

He won't say 'told ya so' out loud, just grunts and salvages what they need for supplies. He won't be the one to steal the light from his eyes, the one to make the hope fade. Not him. Watching him gear up and shift down...Christ, you'd have to be made of stone not to feel anything when it happens. Every damned time.

It's fucked up how much he cares. In another world, another lifetime, the odds of finding this scrawny spitfuck and keepin' him like this? Slim to none, even he knows that. Funny how it works, finding someone when the world is burning down around you.

So, late at night, when Columbus is wrapped around him, that he's a cuddler comes as no surprise to Tallahassee, he thinks of other places and other times and wonders if things would have fallen into place like this, if everything was inevitable in the end.

If...he found him in a bar for whatever reason, sitting at a table like the loneliest outcast in town, shredding a pile of napkins one by one, trying to muster up the courage to use his fake I.D for the first time...

If...he stumbled over him in a supermarket, studying the frozen TV dinners, eyebrows knitted together in concentration, reading the ingredients, and Christ knows, probably the nutritional content as well...

He smiles faintly, his fingers on one hand tangled in Columbus's curls. He tucks some behind his ear, smoothing the sleep tousled hair a little. Columbus sighs in his sleep, shifting closer to him, head on Tallahassee's chest. He makes soft sounds in his sleep, his breathing slow and calm.

Only at night does he allow the thoughts, the ideas of where he could take him and the girls, a home, a real home for them. He knows that this...squatting...in other people's homes upsets the kid. He's on a mission to give him somewhere safe to live, something he failed to do the first time. Not again. Not so long as he breathes.

And now, for some reason, he cares. He thinks he might even love him, though those words never pass his lips, month after month, city after city. No good'll come from that, he assures himself. There's a thought that smacks of fear of the answer. He can ignore that thought most days.

Still...In a fucked up world with nothing real good left, he likes having his spitfuck at his side.

...If he's holdin' some Twinkies in hand as well, all the better.


Title used from Snow Patrol's 'Chasing Cars'.