Disclaimer: I do not own Desperate Housewives or its characters, and no profit is being made from this work.
Summary: Five vignettes from five men who loved Bree.
La Vie en Rouge
He knows he loves her more than she loves him, but he proposes anyway. His friends and family think he is crazy, that he is far too young to be thinking of marriage—until they meet her, and see what he sees.
She says yes.
She is laughter and light, the most beautiful woman he's ever seen, with a sadness behind her green eyes, one that he'd like to discover and heal. Tell me your secrets, he wants to ask her. Tell me what happened to you, he does ask her on quiet nights.
But she always evades his questions—she is too busy sparkling, too busy excelling, the model student, the gorgeous cheerleader, the ideal friend, popular and pretty and vibrant. He wants to capture her essence in a jar, like a firefly, to see what makes her shine so brightly. Surely she cannot be real, cannot be mere human—no woman could sparkle so brightly.
He does not quite understand her, does not understand the tune she dances to day in and day out, but he thinks someday he will discover it. Someday, he will know all those secrets she hides so carefully. He sees them lurking in the corners of her smile. Someday, he thinks. Someday.
Someday, one day, she returns his ring and tells him she is sorry, and for a moment she isn't sparkling but is somber. I'm sorry, Ty, she tells him, and then like the firefly she so resembles she flashes out of his life forever.
He looks at her across the table and it is like he is seeing her through a pane of glass, a lens of immeasurable hurt and misery, and her eyes are cold as she stares back, a legion of attorneys on either side of them. She has perfected her ice queen persona just as she's perfected everything in her life, but he knows her too well, and he knows he has hurt her. Anger, he knows, is easier for her to deal with than pain.
He cannot reach her, but he has to try.
At this moment, where abstract concepts like separation and divorce are becoming startlingly real, he realizes he cannot lose her. She is so precariously close to slipping away from him, and he panics and grasps for her in the darkness ahead. His life is so intricately entwined with hers now that he cannot see where to begin to untangle himself from a spell she cast eighteen years ago. He'd begged her to be his wife and given her his heart forever.
You're still in love, Maisy had whispered to him and he'd never denied it. He would never deny it. He isn't sure how to not be in love with her, after so long. He even loves all the things she does that make him angry, because they are a part of her.
And really, if he is honest, he has no wish to be free. He thinks he would have to cut her out of his heart itself to really be free from her, and his heart has had enough damage this year.
Can we talk, he asks her, can we work it out?
She tells him no, she walks away, but he does not give up hope.
He does not give her up.
He always appreciated beautiful things more than anyone else he ever knew. Classical music, colorful and bountiful flowers, arts and poetry and good food paired with a perfect wine. They do not fit into his life, really, do not suit his circumstances, but he loves them all the same. He appreciates beautiful things, and she is no exception.
He wants her more than he has ever wanted anything in his life, and he is determined to rescue her from those who do not appreciate her beauty and her charm. She can stand on his pedestal, the queen of his world, and he will admire her all day, the ultimate prize and the crown jewel of his collection.
She too, appreciates the beautiful things in life. He sips wine and thinks of the beautiful life they will lead. La vie en rose, he decides, or perhaps en rouge, with all that lovely red hair of hers. He'd noticed it long before he loved her.
He tries to swallow his rage when she does not fall into the steps of the dance he has designed. He has freed her like a bird in a gilded cage; so why does she refuse to fly alongside him? She is ungrateful, she is aloof, she is not what he imagined, and oh, how he had imagined.
She doesn't play by his rules, and the course doesn't run smoothly like he hopes, like he needs. She isn't the perfect doll of china that he had hoped, and after all his hard work, she is slipping through his fingers like quicksand and passing through his life like a crack of lightning.
He cannot live without her.
She is the greatest love of his life, his soulmate, his other half. He thought he found love before, but she is the epitome of everything he has ever hoped for, and he wants to spend forever with her.
I like things just so, she tells him, and so does he, so it is a match made in heaven. Their world is tidy and clean and perfect except for all the imperfect lies and the dirty secrets they hide from one another. Orson is used to these things, they have been a part of his life forever, but she frowns and is unhappy.
He is jealous, of her dead husband, of her two children, of her friends. He knows it's sick and wrong but he cannot help it—he wants all of her heart and she has already given so many pieces away. He wants to whisk her away and keep her solely for himself, but she would never allow it. She will never be all his and he will never be number one in her heart. Don't ask me to choose, she had warned him, because you will not win.
He hates to lose.
He feels it, the day she falls out of love with him, and it doesn't concern him as much as he thought it would. He always loved her more anyway, so nothing has really changed. She will not leave, he will make sure she doesn't leave, and certainly she will change her mind when she remembers how perfect they are for one another. She asks for a divorce, she turns her face from him, and still he does not worry. They are made for each other, after all.
He can win her back, he is sure.
She is not his type, not even physically, really, although he will never deny that she is damn beautiful. But she is like a snowflake, lovely but cold, and Karl had always held with those for favored fire.
He loves to torment her, to test her. He knows he is as far from her type as she is from his, and yet here they are, and he cannot help but remind her over and over that he is Mr. Wrong. When she storms away, sometimes he thinks she'll never come back, and yet she always does. They both enjoy seeing how far they can push each other, how hard they can pull before the fragile bond breaks.
Someday, it will break.
She is sexy and unyielding—she'll never change. And really, he doesn't want her to, because as much as he loves to make her miserable by being contrary, he likes her the way she is. She is a challenge, and he enjoys that after years of women who fell too easily into his embrace. He loves her reluctance, her insistence that what she's doing isn't wrong.
She doesn't fool him; she barely fools herself.
There is passion, beneath that glacial exterior, and he sees it sometimes, sparking to life in the bedroom and then fading away with the close of a door. Life has been a rough road for her, he knows; love, even more so. Sometimes he wants to comfort her, to tell her he will try and be kind, but that isn't the kind of relationship they have.
Someday, she will break.
I know Bree had other relationships besides the ones featured here, but with the exception of Ty, these were the four big ones in my opinion. I put in Ty for a glimpse at younger Bree, as well as the fact that she was engaged to him (according to Bree in S1) so obviously it was an important relationship.
I always thought it was interesting that Bree can be quite insufferable, but she's had so many serious relationships and despite many of them being rocky, the person she's involved with always comes back to her.
Reviews are greatly appreciated!