A/N: This couple is so awesome, I don't even know if they possess the ability to be angsty. But here's some angst. I expect this to take place after Vanessa sleeps with Chuck. Idk.
He picks up the pieces.
It's what he's good at. He can cleanse and bandage and repair, keep wrapping more duct tape and pressing more bandaids. Everything can tear at the seams, but he pulls it all back together again, binds it for good measure. What's left is a bit of a mess - bandaids and duct tape aren't meant for long-term - but it stays together until he can fix it for good.
He cradles her in his arms, picking up the pieces and tying her back together again. He's done it for far too long.
She whimpers his name, sobs it into his chest, and though it sounds so sweet on her tongue, he thinks there's a bitterness to it this time that he doesn't understand. He says nothing.
She is drunk, and he is too sober for her. She presses her face into his shoulder, breathing heavily on the cotton fabric, mumbling something along the lines of stupid and wrong. Her arms are wrapped around his neck, curling her nails into his flesh, a painful and biting sensation. She lifts her head; her breath was enough to make a child sway with inebriation.
"Something's wrong with me?" she half-mumbles, half-slurs, her eyes drifting shut. He doesn't know if it's a question, and he couldn't answer even if he could. "I'm so tired," she continues on, in a hazy, soft voice, draped with sadness.
He swallows (and he fancies he's drunk now, just from her breath). "Nothing's wrong with you," he promises. And he's always been a hugger, always been one to comfort, but it feels so wrong when she's like this. He feels he's going to go to hell.
But he ignores the whisper of the devil in his ear and closes his arms around her body.
She wakes in the dawn. There's something beautiful about the way she sleeps; he's been watching her all night, as if terrified he would not be able to leave her alone for a moment or she'd stop breathing. She rolls to her side and blinks open her green eyes, blurred with sleep and confusion.
They clear once more; the sun has risen.
"What happened?" she asks him. There's a blank look of innocence on her face - a smile, flushed cheeks, wide eyes. She's the picture of youth. The devil's whispers caress his ear once more, slowly and softly, speaking in a low tone.
She looks so curious, so young, and so he doesn't have the heart to tell her. He doesn't have the heart to tell her that she kissed him first; he doesn't have the heart to tell her that she begged him to want her; he doesn't have the heart to tell her any of it.
So he smiles, and he sips his coffee, and he says, "You were a little tipsy and forgot your key. I let you sleep here."
The lie burns deliciously down his throat (or maybe it's just the coffee) as she rolls over once more. "Oh. I'm sorry." She laughs. "Any chance you'll make me some waffles, Rufus?"
There's a tightness in his chest.
Keep putting the pieces back together.
"In the moonlight, she looks like an angel.
"But I can't say a thing, no, I can't say a thing."
There's a pause; a comfortable silence. Then: "I love it, Rufus." She's smiling at him, pure innocence and chastity and obliviousness. She looks proud (a good friend, he thinks) and she looks mesmerized, by something he can't see, something that's still echoing in his ears.
And she'll never see it (she'll never know a thing) in his eyes, she won't see it in his song, that he wrote it about an angel that can't be his.