Title: Without You
Summary: He's gone and even though we were at odds most of my adult life, there isn't anything I wouldn't give to have my father back with us right now. Spike witnesses and mourns his father's passing.
Disclaimer: Ah you know write? Ed's with me and well yeah that's about it…lol
A/N: Okay so I wasn't too satisfied with the writers for just treating Spike's father's death like it was really nothing and just skimming it over…at least that's what I felt, not sure about all of you, but I did want more. Unless we get something very soon in a flashback. I personally think after the scene we saw in shockwave that it would have affected him more than he let on and so this is just a missing scene about the death and a bit of the aftermath of Spike's father.
There are a few times in your life when you really want to hear the words 'its time'. A new father awaiting the arrival of his first child, a student about to be called up on stage to receive that enviable scholarship to the university of his choice, your girlfriend whispering in your ear the night of your second date. The list could go on. Of course there are also times when you never want to hear those two dreaded words - ever.
Sometimes it's never time – like death. When do you ever want to hear the words it's time? I quickly berate myself because there have been times when I have thought that maybe to be resting in peace was better than living in agony or slowly suffering for no reason, no quality of life to be had. But now I selfish never want to hear those words, mostly because I know of the effects it'll have on my mother.
As I stand nervously in my father's hospital room, my hand grasping my mother's so tight I think it'll break, my heart racing and my head spinning, I am telling myself that what the doctor is saying is just a dream purported by a horrific nightmare sequence and I'll wake up any second and everything will be okay. But I won't. This is reality and I already am as awake as I am gonna be.
"Mrs. Scarlatti, it's time."
"No," I hear my mother utter in a whisper so tormented it would bring even the most hardened criminal to his knees begging for another chance. I watch her rush to my father's side, his body still, his eyes closed and the small monitor beeping somewhere in the distance.
I close my eyes, unable to hold back the tears, my breathing is starting to shallow and my fists so tightly curled my arms are starting to ache.
It's not time…it can't be…he's too damn stubborn to die.
"Pappa no," I beg in misery, clutching his other hand and pray furiously to let this pass and him to somehow miraculously pull out of it. Please…oh god please let us be spared…let my father survive…please god…please.
I hear my mother in the distance though in reality she's only about a foot from me, on the other side of my father's bed but I can't hear her words…the pounding from my racing heart is keeping my mind from thinking and hearing clearly. My tears continue to fall beside my father's placid expression, pooling beside his ear on the pillow. I silently beg him to open his eyes and look up at me and tell me to snap out of it and that I'm acting like a scared little boy and he's fine.
"Pappa…please papa…" my voice begs in soft torment. "You hafta wake up…you hafta be okay."
He's gonna be okay…this is just a dream…he's gonna be fine.
Of course I know he won't, he's almost dead and there will be no miraculous save pulling him back from the brink this time; it's time…it really is over. I look up at my mother and see in her eyes, sorrow, fear and uncertainty and I want more than anything to be able to take her pain away. Why can't I do that? I'm strong...I'm smart...I fix things, find solutions, save the day. That's what I do...why can't I do this?
I feel so weak and helpless right now. Two feelings I hate more than anything. My hand holds my fathers, my skin warming his as his seems so cold and … dead…I can't even bring myself to say the words.
I watch his lips gasping in futility for one final breath and I as much as I want to pull away…for my mind to remember better times – I can't. I have to see this through to the end.
"Pappa," I beg in sorrow once more, wanting his eyes to open and look at me one last time. Ask me anything…I'll do it…my mind reasons rashly. Just please come back to us. I can hear my mother's crying starting to intensify as the monitors start to indicate it really is time, he's about to take his last breath – ever.
I hear her calling his name…watch her head fall to his chest as it finally stops pushing upward – he's gone. Time is up.
No no no…this can't be. I shake my head and numbly stand up…where the hell am I going? To get a doctor…he needs food…water…anything to give him some strength. But I know that won't happen, it's over. I stand in the hallway and just stare absently at the blank wall before me, tears streaming down my face, my ears picking up familiar voices in the background but time holding me in place, my world starting to slow.
I turn back to see the doctor standing by my father's bedside, probably pronouncing time of death. I watch my mother look up at him and then at me and just shake her head. This can't be. Time can't be up...it can't be over.
Without you…pappa how can I go on? I know we never saw eye to eye on work but you were supposed to be here so that I could finally convince you that I do make a difference and you would be proud of me. I need to hear that from you; I long for it. How can I do that now? Does it even matter now? No…
I head back into the room and pull my mother's heavily sobbing frame into my arms as she wails and curses life itself, calling to god and asking why he's forsaken us in this – our bleakest hour. I try to whisper that it's okay…that everything will be okay – but I hate lying. It is a lie, we won't be okay – she might never be okay again. They had been together over forty years…it can't end now. Why now? Why him? Why my father?
It's not fair…
Pappa please come back…I beg as I hold onto her and allow my tears to run down her back, splashing onto the floor at my feet below. I hear Greg's voice, telling me he would take care of everything and for me to just stay with my mother and take care of her – that was my job now. But I don't look at my boss…I turn back to my father.
Why, damn you! I yell in my mind…you never gave up…never backed down from a fight as long as I have known you – why now!
But I don't utter those words, they would be silly since his imperfection had the last laugh over him in the end and I know he can't get up and answer me.
"Michelangelo," my mother whispers softly so that only I can hear. "What am I gonna do without him?"
I shake my head…I don't know…I don't have the answers.
"Spike, just take whatever time you need," Greg's voice is heard again.
I look over at him and mechanically nod, my eyes glassy and unblinking, my lips not uttering any sound at all. I gently usher my mother out of the room and let the doctors do their thing with my father's limp body. We watch through the window, not wanting to go home in case someone tells us this was all a mistake and the three of us will be having some of my mother's famous lasagna for supper while my father laughs at our expense.
I watch them pull a sheet over his body to cover it for transport downstairs and my mother loses it again, her weight sagging into my arms, my own frame about to give way from sheer emotional exhaustion and physical fatigue. I have been here with her at his bedside for what seems like twenty four hours straight without a break; Greg having given me the leave when we got the call from the doctor telling us it would be only days now.
Somehow we manage to get out of the hospital, into Greg's car and then are finally welcomed by the stillness of our home. I stand in the entranceway as my mother pulls away and automatically heads for her bedroom, where I hear a fresh outburst of sorrow, making fresh tears appear on my already flushed face once more. My mind begs for my father's voice to call out, berating me about my choice of job and although I have come to mostly loathe that greeting, knowing that I'll never hear it again is at the same time disconcerting and comforting. Nothing's ever going to be the same again.
Who would look after his mother now? That was supposed to be his father's job...to be around until he had given him grandchildren. But that wasn't to be - ever. His job was now to look after his mother. How would that impact his own future? Right now that was unanswerable, for it brought him sorrow so much so that it nearly toppled him to his knees.
In the hours that follow, I welcome Greg, Wordy and Shelly, Sam and Natalie, Jules, Raf, Ed and Sophie and other friends and family members, all bringing food, flowers and of course lots of hugs and well wishes for us to hang in there and if we need anything all of them are just a phone call away. Greg stays the longest, with Jules second, Jules helping with the food and Greg fielding all the phone calls and helping us make the appropriate arrangements.
At first I didn't want his help and almost yelled at him to get lost, I could handle this on my own. Truth is I couldn't and I was more than grateful when he insisted he knew that I needed him right now…that both of us needed his help. I look over at the empty chair where my father used to sit and feel my fist slam down so hard onto the nearby counter that a glass rolls off the edge and shatters on the ground a few feet below.
Pappa what will dinners be like without you? A lot less tense, but that's a selfish thought that I quickly push away. I look over at my mother and know this is going to slowly eat away at her. Will I lose her too? I can't. Damn this fragile life. He's gone and even though we were at odds most of my adult life, there isn't anything I wouldn't give to have my father back with us right now.
Pappa please…please come back…please walk through that door and tell me that I need to find a job at McDonalds…anywhere just please…please…oh god please come back.
Minutes trudge to hours…hours blur to days…days meld into…
The day leading up to the funeral was mind numbing, I know I was there but it was a mere shadow of what I really am. I know there were lots of people around us, the support has been overwhelming to say the least, of which I'll be forever grateful. We had a house full of food, friends, flowers and relatives – but that lasted a week and then real life took over once again, everyone going their own way, back to their own lives, time laughing at us and reminding us it has its own schedule and waits for no one.
"Greg I just wanted to thank you and um…and the team for everything you all did for us last week," I tell my boss and friend in private when I finally returned to work. "I'm sorry if I didn't say that enough last week and um…"
"Spike, it's okay. How's your mother holding up?"
"She's um…she cries every day and…" my breath inhales as I look away to keep the tears at bay; I'm back at the SRU, I can't cry now. That would be wrong. "Fine...we're both fine."
"Yeah I know each member of this team has been trained to use that word," Greg slighlty smirks. "But Spike, I know this is gonna be hard for you but I don't want you to just push this all aside as if it's nothing. If you need a moment, take it. You tell us...if you're off your game you just go, you hear me?"
"I'll be fine boss," I nod firmly as I quickly swallow. "Really," I then offer with a half lying smile. I won't really be okay – never again. I watched my father die, that memory will be forever burned into my mind, along with all the other tragic deaths I have had the misfortune to experience in my few short life decades.
Lou, Mac, my father…without you…how do I go on? Pick myself up emotionally and just act as if this was another death in the life story of Michelangelo Scarlatti?
I look back to see the rest of the team assembled behind me with warm smiles and reassuring glances and I feel my eyes water once more. Suddenly I am embraced on all sides by my team, hugs and whispers that not only me but my mother also will never be alone and if I need anything any of them will be here for me no matter what. In that moment I find some small semblance of comfort.
I know I will survive this as I have the others and continue to be walking proof that whatever kills you simply makes you stronger. However, I also know that right now no matter how strong I'll tell myself I am in a few days and be able to get back to my team and my job that I love so much, I know for certain that...
Without you pappa…life will never be the same again.
A/N: Sorry if it made you cry…it made me cry b/c it brought back so many painful memories of my own mother's death. But it was supposed to be right? gosh I could have gone on longer but thought I'd try to cap on a semi-positive note but also leave it open ended in case the writers do decide to visit Spike's father's passing before the end of the season. I would appreciate your thoughts before you go so please press the little review button and thanks so much!