For the OMG challenge. I was going to originally write fluff, but it wan't working, and then I watched The Notebook and yeah... This happened.
~This fic is dedicated to my late grandmother, and my grandfather, who after 6 years still seems lost without her.~
It was the darkest night he could remember. For the first time in God knew how many years, he was gone, away from the lights of London. Not even the moon shined on the countryside, leaving it all completely black, except for the area where his headlights shone. Quietly, he flicked them off, plunging himself into the darkness.
He got out of his car and shut the door, the slamming sound seeming louder in the almost complete silence. He walked to the bonnet and sat on it. It was something he never did, something he had never even considered, but tonight, it seemed like a perfect place to think.
He remembered this countryside well. This was the place he had grown up, where he had played with Stuart before the drugs put an end to that. This was his place of happiness. So why, he wondered, when he was at his lowest, did he decide to come here?
He knew the answer immediately. This place would bring back the happy memories of the past, cheering him up inside until he could go back and act normally. Or, at least, that's what he was telling himself. Deep inside he knew he could never face the world normally again.
Unbidden, a memory arose inside his head.
She was smiling her perfect smile at him, the one that he had noticed the first time she laughed at him. She did that a lot: laugh at him. He always said something or did something that made him seem stupid, and she would grin or laugh that perfect laugh he had loved. It was not so much of a chuckle as it was a full-out bark when she found something that amused her. God, he loved hearing that laugh.
She ran from him, like a child. They did that a lot. They acted like children, fucked like teenagers, and sometimes worked like adults. They were perfect for each other in every way, and everyone knew it, including them.
He grinned as she ran away from him, across the countryside, her hair flying out behind her. She was so beautiful and he knew that he was the luckiest man in the world.
He shook his head, returning to the present. There was a break in the clouds and the moon shown through, bathing the grass in its silvery light. It was still inky black in colour, but at the same time, somehow green. It was a mystery that would remain unexplained, just like how she came into his life, how she flipped him upside down after he promised himself that no one would do that again. The first time his life had been convoluted so insanely, the person twisting it had left him, to mourn his misery all alone. She hadn't cared about him in the same way he had her. That was the realisation that had hurt the most.
But the second time the woman, who had come and twisted his world around again, worse than the first woman, had stayed. She had never found another, and his love for her had been returned tenfold. For the first time in his life, he knew what it felt like to be loved back. And in that feeling he rejoiced.
They were laying on a blanket now. It was plaid, an ugly mixture of brown and yellow and white so reminiscent of the seventies. The sun was setting over the hill, staining the grass with its red light. The only thing between their bodies was a bottle of wine that they were both just drinking straight out of. It had been determined long ago that glasses were not needed for picnics like this.
He smirked to himself. Picnics. Gazing at the sunset. He didn't do the ridiculously romantic. He had never done. But then she came along. When she suggested a picnic in the country he had readily agreed. It just meant more time alone with her. He didn't care what they did. He just needed her.
She turned to him. He smiled at her and she smiled back, but it did not reach her eyes. She had been closed off for days. He knew that something was wrong, but didn't pressure her about it. He knew that she would tell him and that right now she wanted to pretend that everything was fine. He would play along for now.
She ran her fingers through his blonde hair, her hazel eyes searching his. "You know I love you, right?" she murmured.
"What's going on?" he asked quietly. He couldn't play along anymore. If she was acting like this, it must be serious. "You've been keeping something from me."
She looked away from him, her hand falling from his hair. It was quiet for several moments before she spoke.
"You know I haven't been feeling well."
"I went to see the doctor a few weeks ago. He did some tests. They came back a few days ago."
He sat up, staring at her. "What's going on?"
She looked away, her eyes tearing. "They told me I've only got a few years to live."
That was it. She had torn his world apart, just like the first woman, his ex-wife. Only now, it was much, much worse.
They sat in silence for a moment before she spoke again. "It's called Wegener's Granulomatosis. They don't know much about it at all. They don't even know what causes it. Just that I don't have long to live."
He stared at the moon which had fallen behind a cloud once more. How had he associated this place with happy memories? That was one of his worst. She had told him that one day, she was going to leave him. And he had to accept it. He had to accept that there was nothing that he could do. It had never settled well when people told him that and that moment was no exception. How could they expect him to just sit by and watch her get worse?
He glared angrily at the sky. Was this some kind of cruel joke? Was someone up there trying to see how much they could make him suffer?
"You're doing a bloody good job," he murmured to the air. "I'm fucking miserable. I hope you're happy."
A breath of wind blew over the hill, throwing a lock of hair in his eye. He did nothing about it, not caring.
The night was silent and still once more. He was deeply lost in thought, not noticing as the darkened sky started to turn grey and then a shade of pale blue. He didn't hear the click of the car door as it opened, nor felt the shake of the car as it slammed shut. He didn't feel the motor shift slightly as someone sat on the bonnet next to him. In fact, the only time he did become aware to his surroundings was when a cold hand gently brushed the lock of hair out of his face.
"Morning, broody," she whispered.
He gave a small smile. "Morning."
"Why here?" she whispered.
He walked in the door from work and saw her there, her arms weakened and skinny, looking exhausted just from sitting on the couch. He knew it would not be long now. She was growing more miserable by the day, but he tried to keep their spirits up. He walked into the bedroom without saying anything and packed a bag. As he came out, she looked up but he merely shrugged.
"Get up. We're going somewhere."
He would not tell her where, and she soon fell asleep on the long journey. But he was headed to somewhere that both of them loved. A place of happy memories.
He lay out the blanket, the awful brown, yellow and white plaid, and they lay down on it, like that had so many and so few years before, forever ago and so recently. She curled into his chest and he stroked her back, staring as the sun came over the horizon, the opposite of that day she had revealed the horrible secret.
"Gene," she murmured.
"Have you ever loved anyone the way you love me?"
He shook his head. "No."
"Me either," she murmured after a moment. It fell silent before she spoke once more. "Gene?"
"When I go, will you still love me?"
He smiled sadly. "Of course I will, you daft mare. I won't ever stop."
"It can cross the boundaries of life and death?"
"It can do whatever we want it to."
She smiled at him and snuggled in closer.
"Bolls," he murmured.
"When you do go, put in a good word for me with the big guy, eh?"
She grinned. "Even I can't save you there. But where you go, I go."
"When you go, I'll be there, waiting, and we'll go wherever we're supposed to together."
"You think we can do that?"
"It won't matter if we can or not. Just what we want. You said so yourself. Our love can do whatever we want it to."
"You know, I suppose you're right for once, Bolls."
She laughed. "I'm always right."
They lapsed into silence once more and watched as the sun came over the hill, bathing the grass in the golden light. Alex hummed a tune and he smiled sadly, knowing exactly what the words were.
It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life, for me.
And it was. Soon, all too very soon, it would be a new life for him. One without Alex. And he'd adjust. But he'd never stop loving her. And who knew? People said love could work miracles. Maybe one would occur before she disappeared from his life forever.
As the sun warmed his face, he drifted into a dreamless sleep, far away from the worries of the world.
The pair did not feel the day grow warm and then start to cool. They did not know as the sun sank below the hills of their beloved countryside. Because neither of the pair wanted to live one day without the other. And a love as strong as theirs could do whatever they wanted it to do.
A/N: Wegener's Disease is a real disease. It is extremely rare and there's not much known about it, including whether or not it is genetic. My grandmother had it, and in the end she was in full kidney failure, on dialysis 3X a week, was extremely frail, and weighed about 90 pounds (6 stone 6.) She was five foot ten inches.