A/N: For those of you that are familiar with my one-shot Lies and Walls, that was something of an outtake of this much, MUCH longer story. Hope you guys enjoy~
PS. I do not follow the show's Seddie storyline for this fic. I thought it was something of a let-down, personally, so I figured I'd make their story a little more . . . M-rated. Heheh.
Reach for Something That's Already Gone
The little things I remember trip me up the most. Like how she would always smell like a combination of cotton t-shirts and bacon, how I knew she was laughing hard whenever she started snorting, how she would sometimes wander off and get a look in her eye that told me she was thinking about something less than pleasant. Passing the brunette on the street that day, I caught that familiar smell that was Sam. I cringed, figuring I had somewhere important to be for the sake of having an excuse to walk faster, just so I could avoid a wave of incoming nostalgia.
Let it go.
Those always seemed to be the words. Let it go, Benson. Those were the words I would say whenever I passed another girl with the same blonde curls, bored expression, or slightly bowlegged stride as her. Those were words I recited in my head at night, over and over again until I'd found a reason to fall asleep.
It had been nearly a decade. And everything still reminded me of her.
There was a rush of cool air. I found myself back in reality. Coffee time, I reminded myself. Time to stop dwelling. I didn't want to say that I could never stop dwelling, because then I would be lying. On both my better and worse days, she wouldn't be the subject of my thoughts. I had a wife. I had two kids. They provided plenty of distractions.
I plastered a smile across my face. Lies, I thought. It wasn't one of my better days.
"Morning Fred," the cashier told me. Her name was Emma. What little I knew about her wasn't important—she was a really bubbly, young woman, aged late twenties and was getting married to her fiancée once they could manage financially. Was she nice to talk to? I guess so. Did she save me a good few minutes of time in the morning by letting me cut the line at Starbucks, already having my coffee ready? Probably.
Did she mean anything to me? No. Not to say the least.
"Morning Emma," I replied.
"You're presenting today, right?" she asked me, handing over my cup with caution. She was a something of a klutz.
I nodded, smiling in a way that made my jaw hurt. "Yeah, I am. Hopefully I won't get nailed for using powerpoint."
She scrunched her nose. "I still don't get why you present like that. It's such an old processor, isn't it?"
I shrugged, pulling the morning paper out of my bag. "Old isn't necessarily bad."
She rolled her eyes. "Okay then," she said, wishing me luck as she turned to the other customers.
I grabbed the morning paper out of my bag, sitting down at a table and looking out the windows of the coffee shop into the grey Seattle sky. I didn't know exactly what fueled my decision to come back. Everything I'd ever come to know in Seattle was shit. The Shays, the Pucketts, that slime dog Tyler…it was all a load of crap that I could do without.
You know why you're here, Freddie.
I sighed. Of course I remembered why I'd come back. I came back, hoping she would be here. Though I knew it wasn't possible, I couldn't fight the urge to get another look at her face, just to confirm that what we had—whatever it was—had been real. I couldn't live with the premonition that our time together had been nothing but a sick dream, like I sometimes thought it was.
As I stared down at the newspaper, my heart sank.
The familiar date of August 24th was stamped across the top of the page. I shook my head, not able to believe it. To the date, it had been exactly ten years, and I was still living in the past. I was still indulging on the hope and fantasies that someday she would come back, and we could pick up right where we left off.
I sat there, unable to move. My presentation slipped from my mind entirely. Screw it. It wasn't like my job meant much to me anyway. I just wanted to sit there and think about us. I wanted one last day to remember Sam Puckett in her entirety. I wanted to remember how it began, how it ended, and how far we'd come.
"Hell do I love Seattle." I looked up, reluctant to hear something coming out of Sam's mouth. She tore her eyes away from the window and gave me a smile. "D'you think this snowstorm will be enough for them to call off school tomorrow?"
Normally, I would've rolled my eyes. "We wish."
I smiled. "You've only got six more months of it, Sam. Then you're free."
"What makes you think I'm not going to college?"
I caught her eye, and despite her efforts, she found herself laughing alongside me. "Oh, right," she said. "Optional school? Ick."
"So, tell me, Ms. Mysterious," I began, motioning for her to sit next to me. "You've put off telling me and Carly long enough—what are you doing after we graduate?"
She shrugged. I expected the usual, 'I dunno,' or the better, 'Mind your business, Fredward.'
"Maybe I'll go work out East."
I laughed. "You? An East-coaster?"
She punched me. "Oh, shut up…"
"Look out New York, Boston, DC-here comes Sam Puckett," I taunted.
She rolled her eyes. "Actually…nah, maybe not. East Coast is going to be your turf anyway." She stood up, walking across the room and digging through the Shay's cooler. She pulled out two beers, and tossed one to me. I was surprised she didn't chuck it at my head.
"I just can't believe you don't have a plan," I said.
"I roll with the punches, Benson. Don't go worrying about me, you have your own shit to worry about anyway."
I sighed, nodding in agreement. "Amen," I said, taking a sip from my can. Drinking wasn't a habit I exercised often in High School, but at the time, I'd been dumped on my ass by a girlfriend of eight months and had a lonnnnng weekend of tech conventions with the AV club ahead of me. It wasn't like I drowned myself in booze during times of stress, but I also wasn't completely innocent to stress drinking.
I wasn't like Sam, though. She'd get drunk just for the hell of it, no stress required.
"So," she asked, "Where d'you think Carly's at?"
"Not sure. She said she'd be home by six . . ."
Almost as if on cue, the door to the Shays swung open. When Sam and I turned around to see Carly, she'd already run halfway across the room and made a beeline for the telephone. Her jacket was sliding off one shoulder and her hair was in her face; it looked like she'd been chased down the streets of Seattle, screaming bloody murder.
"Carls! Where've you been?"
Sam and I both got up, stopping in our tracks simultaneously when we realized Carly's panting was actually sobbing, and that her face was wet with tears. She dialed a three-digit number into the phone, her hands shaking.
Next came the mixture of confused and surprised exclamations, with profanities coming out of Sam's mouth more than I think she'd ever like to admit. Because in all the years we'd known Carly, we'd never seen her look so dead terrified.
"Jesus Christ!" "Fuck, this can't be good . . ." "What happened?"
"Spencer," she cried, "It's Spencer."
"Carly . . ." I said.
She brought the phone to her ear, slamming her fist down on the counter. Sam and I looked at her with searching eyes as she managed to choke out, "He dropped his keys in the street, he turned back around to get them . . . they didn't see him . . ."
The wheels turning in my head, I was suddenly back two years ago, lying in the middle of the street myself after being hit by a taco truck.
"Where, Carly," Sam demanded.
"The corner . . ."
And with that, without a word to each other or a word to her, Sam and I were out the door, sprinting down three flights of stairs. We did it almost robotically, and while we should've been bracing ourselves for the worst, all we could think of was the look on Carly's face when she'd walked through the door. There was no way. No way in hell could anything that bad could've happened to Spencer Shay. There's no way. There couldn't be any way.
Flinging the doors of the lobby open, we hit pavement, running into the stormy January air and down the block. Far off sirens wailed in the air. I was the one of us to stop first, covering my mouth the minute we got close enough to the corner, not daring to take another step forward if my life depended on it. Like with everything else, though, Sam ran on, headfirst into what she knew would make all of our lives shit.
I couldn't see him. Pedestrians had crowded around Spencer, some trying to help, some frantically calling an ambulance on their cell phones, and others staring in shock. I was the doofus staring in shock an extra fifteen feet away, not able to see anything, not wanting to know what'd happened and what it meant. Sam pushed through the crowd of people, shoving them out of her way with all the powers of heaven and hell.
"Move, move!"she screamed. "Fuck, out of my way, that's my brother!"
I wouldn't stop to think of what she'd said until later, because the expression on her face was something I'll never forget. Her mouth opened as if she'd gotten the nastiest shock of her life, and you could tell all she was thinking was No. No. Nonono.
And then she let out the most mangled, awful scream I've heard in my life.
She jerked me out of my trance, and acting out of the most primitive instincts inside of me, I ran forward to face her and to face what I knew was all Hell breaking loose. And as the sirens continued in the air, and as I processed the fact that Carly's call had gotten through and that help was on the way, I knew it didn't mean anything, because I saw how this story would end.
In Sam's arms was the lifeless body of Spencer Shay.
A/N: So I'm probably going to get some hate for killing Spencer off in the first chapter, but this does set the story's frame.
Thank you so much for reading! I appreciate all reviews, comments and feedback