** Disclaimer: I own nothing. Only the 'her' that is referred to in this. I wish I owned Ryan Reynolds, but alas, I don't.
This little one-shot came to mind because I hate the fact that Connell is a bit of a dick, so here's my reason for him being that dick. Depending on people's reactions to this, I may turn this one-shot into an actual story.
Peace and love, kids**
The Closest Thing.
"How's your sister? Haven't heard from her in a while." he asked, lay flat out on his back beside the couch. Head tipped to the left, waiting for the answer he so desperately needed. Big hands twisted, remembering sensations the man thought he'd long since forgot.
"As far as I know, she's fine. Living the life in L.A."
That wasn't the answer that he wanted, that he needed. Brown eyes fell closed, the line of thick, coal coloured lashes brushed the very top of his cheeks. His heart ached, even that brought things back. Bare skin burned with past memories, ones that he longed would be true again some day. "That's good. I'm glad things are working out for her. Always said she'd go far…" hand came up to his brow and wiped downwards, dragging at his lips and finally rubbing over his chin.
"You miss her, huh?" ears heard the girl move, turning over on the couch cushions. She'd have more questions. He had to get out before she dragged up more heart break than she already had.
"I gotta go. Ronnie will be wondering where I am if I'm any later." He stood, gathering his jeans and shirt as he did, wishing to God he had never opened his mouth, just like he always did. Every time he asked, he hurt that little bit more. But the pain was the only thing he felt. Without it, he was numb, a shell of the man he had once been. Now he was nothing but an empty, desperate, broken-hearted scumbag. He preferred being that over nothing at all.
"Take it that's a yes." the girl accused him in that oh-so annoying tone she had. The same one her sister had whenever she was right and he was wrong, which was quite often. Only he didn't find it annoying back then, it was cute. He couldn't answer, just carried on tucking the shirt into the jeans that hung open on his hips.
Why did he do this to himself? Why did he come here, or meet her in secret? He was falling for the illusion he had tricked himself into believing. Because it was easy to imagine it was someone else wrapped around him as he thrusted in and out with his eyes closed.
She was waiting for an answer, but she knew before the question tumbled from her lips that she wouldn't get one. That made it worse, made it hurt more. Him missing her was all the proof she needed to say that even she was just a memory of what once was.
Everyone always said the two could have been twins if it weren't for the ten years between them. Same dark hair, same pale blue eyes, same pretty face. Sisters. Blood. They shared everything when they were younger. She would get her old clothes, toys…even now when she was so far away, she was still sharing things. Her room, her music and one that she had no idea about. The one thing she thought that even with the miles between them, was still only hers - him. But no, the younger had wanted him just like she had wanted everything else of hers and he was easy to take. Tempting him with things that reminded him of who he wanted by his side. Even tonight, the record she played was one of hers. Taste of Cindy by Jesus and Mary Chain. It was one of their many songs. One that would take him back to the first time he entered an inviting, warm and loving bedroom for reasons other than to watch movies.
From her place she watched him rush, looking all flustered and brooding at the same time. He was a good looking guy, she could understand the attraction that had been there between them. They'd been friends forever, sandbox love that never died; even now, states apart and after three years had past, the love was still there.
The girl would never tell, but she still asked over him on the phone. How he was, if he still played, if he was still married. At first she told the truth, when nothing was going on between them but then the lies came and they came easy. Started with simple things like he stopped wearing the leather jacket she had bought him and he looked happy. When in reality he wore that damn jacket every day and he looked miserable. Then the big ones that would hurt came through, ones that would cut her deeper in hopes of pushing her out of love with him. She told her that he had stopped playing, that Ronnie was pregnant and they were blissfully happy. It hurt the way she wanted it to, but it never destroyed the love.
Then she tried it the other way. When he asked she lied and took a twisted pleasure in watching the light behind his eyes dim, more and more with each one that dripped from her acidic tongue. She didn't ease him in though, dove straight in with the ones that would hurt. She had a new life, new friends and a new man. The latest one - she had started a band with the guy she met and they had been picked up by an independent label. That was their plan, the dream they had together from the moment he picked up a guitar and she found a microphone. She knew that would kill him and that night she had the best sex of her life.
Now she was watching him leave. Watching him mentally damn himself for being so stupid as he slammed the front door. But why did she care so much? Why did she care that he still longed for the other. Why did she care that when he kissed her, moved inside her, his eyes were closed and he was thinking of the one he needed her to be? She had fallen for him; for the attention and the outlet he provided for her, that was why. Because really, she was just as damaged and as lonely as he was. When her sister left, she didn't just leave him, she left her too. Left her alone, in a house that was no longer a home.
Thinking back over what had happened earlier, Connell felt his stomach turning. Felt the barbed wire that had tangled around his heart tighten that little bit more. Thumb swept over the photograph that he held so delicately in his large hands, as if it would rip or crease if he held any differently. Drunken, dewy eyes stared back at her. God, she was beautiful. The kind of unconventional beauty that people dismissed, but not him. No. He noticed her straight away at the tender age of four. Her long, dark, natural ringlet curls tumbling down her back. Heart shaped lips and piercing blue eyes. She was the only girl that didn't have cooties. He leant back into the couch and those same eyes looked around the dead space of the basement he had come to hide away in. Many years ago, it was a place they found relaxing, private and the only door with a lock on it. Down here, they could get lost deep within each other and not be disturbed.
A fond, happy smile found his dry lips. Pulling and cracking them as he remembered that first day. People say you don't remember much from your childhood, but he could, clear as a bell. She wore a light pink dress, tiny roses decorated the material and the skirt flared out with layers and layers of white lace coming out from underneath. Buckled pink shoes in a matching shade and white pop socks with the lace around the top. The front of her hair on one side was pulled back with a clip and it shone like velvety melted chocolate in the sun. She was playing in the sandbox, alone with her toy ponies, getting that pretty dress dirty. But she didn't seem to mind as much as her Mother did. He had walked over, innocent and curious as to why she played alone when all the other kids were running around. At first he stayed quiet, sitting cross legged not far from where she was, watching her play with her oddly coloured ponies. He asked their names and she answered without looking up. The mint green one was Poppy, the lilac one was Lucky and the sky blue one didn't have a name yet. She looked up to him, face happy and content and asked him his; he answered shyly, wondering why she wanted to know. The sky blue one was then named Mike.
They saw each other every day after that. Every day for 19 years without fail. When they were young they would see each other at the playground and then at school. Reaching their teens they still had school and crawling in and out of bedroom windows at night. When they started to date, more and more they would sneak out to be together. Their parents knew what they were up to. But they had been sleeping over at each others houses since they were children, both their Mom's had wedding plans drawn up by the time they were 17 and so weren't at all surprised when they announced that they were dating. They had been in love since that first day in the sandbox and had been falling further and further each day after.
All of that seemed so long ago now. Connell still loved her, his heart would always be wherever she was. Yes, he loved his wife, but that was a different kind of love. Ronnie would always be second best; she came along when he was freshly wounded, craving for someone to love him the way he had been and she did. She worshiped the ground he walked on, adored him and because of that, he married her. Now he was stuck in a one way marriage, grasping at the one thing that reminded him of his past.
Em. Her sister. Jackass... Now, even if she came home, she would never take him back. But she was the only thing he had left, except the photograph and that sky blue pony named Mike that he kept in his Mother's basement, along with all his memories, away from anyone that could taint them.
Emily was her, only ten years ago and damaged. He could close his eyes and pretend it was three years ago, pretend that nothing had changed. Pretend she was her. The man scoffed at himself. What the hell was he doing, trying to justify cheating on his wife and screwing around with the younger sister of the girl he really loved. He took another swig from the bottle he had placed at his feet. Sting of whiskey burnt his throat and he savoured the pain because that was all he could feel.
And for that reason, Connell knew that he wouldn't stop because if he did, he would feel nothing at all. When that happens, what's the point in living? Easy…she was. He would carry on in the hopes that one day, she would come home to him, but for now he would keep up with this wicked game. Why? Because Em might not be her, but she was the closest thing he was going to get.