Bulletproof Weeks

Summary: It hurts to remember the fights and the silence, but it hurts so much more to remember the days when they were happy and in love. The days when he felt like he was invincible. Lassiter/Victoria angst.

A/N: I'm in a rut and I'm sorry. This is old and not particularly great, but I feel bad for not posting anything in such a long time. I'll try to work on some of my WIP fics this weekend.

There's sunlight streaming into the window and he wakes up happy. His wife sleeps soundly beside him, and he pulls her closer. She's soft and warm and peaceful, and it's the perfect start to his day. He kisses her forehead and reluctantly pulls himself out of bed. He showers and puts on his uniform, making sure that there are no wrinkles and that he has everything he needs.

He watches Victoria for a moment. Her hair is splayed across the pillow, her legs diagonal beneath the sheets. She takes up the whole bed this way, but though he may complain, he doesn't really mind.

She's beautiful.

He kisses her again – his goodbye kiss for the morning – but he doesn't wake her.

He's got his gun in his holster and he's ready to take on the day ahead of him, whatever it may involve. Shootings, tough cases, annoying co-workers, uncooperative witnesses.

He's ready to take on the world.

Because of her.

She makes his life easier, and he swears that he couldn't live a single day without her. She understands him in every way. Carlton Lassiter hadn't even known that was possible.

There's comfort in knowing that Victoria will always be there to save him, care about him, love him.

She's his life, his world, his everything.

The alarm clock rings and he opens his eyes wearily to another day. He hits the snooze button and forces himself to stay awake. Even from this spot on his bed, he can see that the sky outside his window is a dirty gray, promising rain.

Something about the weather seems to fit his mood.

He stretches his arm out beside him, hoping to find the woman he knows isn't there.

It's been three weeks since she left. Three weeks of sleeping in a bed that's far too big without her beside him. Three weeks of eating meals alone, with no arguments and no tense silence to bother him. Three weeks without hearing her voice.

Three weeks of empty mornings and nights.

She had left a note, saying that she needed space and time away from him. He keeps it on his bedside table, and he's looked at it more times than he can count.

He pulls himself out of bed. Showers. Shaves. Hurriedly puts on his suit (the police officer uniform is long gone).

The gun in his holster feels like a lifeline. The last one he has left.

At work, he tries to act as though nothing is wrong. He goes about his job and routinely picks up extra shifts. The others attribute it to increasing ambition and dedication, but really, it's easier than going home to an empty, lonely, mocking apartment.

He drinks at night, usually just one or two beers, but sometimes, on the weekends when he knows he doesn't have to work the next morning, he drinks until his vision gets fuzzy.

It's nice to pass out and have no one judge you. That's what he tells himself, at least.

Sometimes, when he lets himself think about it, he wonders when she'll come back to him.

He wonders if she'll come back.

And he remembers days when they were happy, and wonders where it all went wrong. How did they get so far from goodbye kisses and enjoying each other's company? When and why did they both start to fight and yell and drink too much?

When he steps outside to leave for work, the clouds above him are fierce and menacing. The sky rumbles with thunder.

Lassiter can't help but fear that the weather is warning him of worse things to come - and not just rain.