The lovely SaturnineSunshine unwittingly provided the impetus for this, as during one of our many 'you love Chair? OMG, I do too!' rants on Twitter, she said that CB were far more Gone With The Wind than Romeo and Juliet, and asked if my reference meant that I was planning on killing them off in Raze It To The Rocks. Of course I'm not, but I began to wonder...could I write a fic like that without making it dark and horrible? You decide.
Scarlett & Rhett
'And I realised that then you were perfect
With my teeth ripping out of my head
And it looked like a painting I once knew
Back when my thoughts weren't entirely intact.'
- I Can Feel A Hot One, Manchester Orchestra.
She's happy as she dies, though she knows that's ridiculous. She's leaving behind everything that's not worth leaving, repeating history with her broken body and her smiling mouth; that doesn't mean she refuses him her smile. Her lipstick is still pristine, and her eyes are dry, and her hand is on the roundness of her belly with another she loves better on top of it.
"Do you feel her?" She asks joyously.
"Yes." His voice is choked.
They pulled her from the wreckage, and he pushed through the crowd and past the paramedics and lashed out when they told him the truth: she had nearly ten minutes, and it wasn't long enough to save her. He let down her hair when she saw him and laughed, laughed because he looked so serious. "Don't be sad, Bass," she told him. "I can't focus on being alive if you're sad."
In the moment, she feels her daughter fluttering against her fingers, strokes his hair when he lays his head over her barely beating heart and studies their entwined hands as if they might be the key to something. There are still people milling all around, only giving them a little space, and she's glad of their presence. They need to see this, need to acknowledge the ripple of dark hair hanging down over the edge of the stretcher as the young woman clings to life with the tips of her fingers and comforts her just younger husband, despite the fact that he's in the best of health. She hopes someone will take him somewhere when all of this is over, hopes that they hide the scotch and don't let him smash too many mirrors because she's all he can see when he searches for his own face.
"Do you remember graduation," she murmurs. "When Gossip Girl called you a coward, and me a weakling? Hey -" She turns his face towards her and, though he remains dry eyed, the whites of his are as crimson as if he hadn't bothered. "Don't let her be right about you. And I need you to not let her be right about me for - oh - two more minutes. It's not long enough to become properly reformed, but I can try."
"You're perfect," he tells her, and his lips are cracked and he's too sober. "You always have been."
"But you love me when I'm a bitch." Her smile is still in place, no stitching required. "And you're only being nice because you can't save me, and you can't blame yourself for that. It's the fault of whatever asshole decided to rear end a pregnant lady."
"Oh, I know I'm going." There are three swift kicks beneath her palm, and her eyes fill with tears even as his do the same. "So would you just kiss me, please, so I can pretend I'm seventeen again? I'd like that."
Weightlessness settles on her from the moment his mouth brushes hers, once, twice, and she imagines she's in an oyster silk negligee because he's kissing her like that, like the world is ending and beginning over again. There are so many things she's never done, but she doesn't regret a single thing they've done together; their love is consuming, after all.
She gives a little sigh, and then she's gone.
Seven minutes later, a man walks off the Brooklyn bridge. He's not a coward, is he, to tell her something he should never have neglected to say - not even in the days of forever.
They're lying in a meadow, too picture perfect, and the sky is so high.
"I love you."
She's watching him, and she glows slightly.
"I love you too."
In New York, they're laid to rest side by side.
In their world, they lie side by side in the long grass and wait for life to roll them over and begin again.