A long way home
Summary: When Cal's actions has terrible consequences, will he be able to hold it all together? Are the miraculous second chances in this life? Warning: Voilence. Not a light and cheerful piece. Disclaimer: I don't own LTM characters nor did I create them.
Spoilers: AU or after season 3 – your pick.
Note: First fanfic ever...
He still couldn't believe it. How could he be so wrong? He, who always saw the truth behind any lies and deception, completely missed signals that now put together were beaming red neon sign DANGER, DANGER, DANGER. She had tried to warn him, tried to reason with him, but no – he had to be arrogant bastard. He just couldn't let it go. He really had to go for the truth, in this case truth regardless of consequences. But the price for his actions this time was too high. One he was not willing to pay. The one he was not able to pay...
Cal was standing in the cemetery. He was completely oblivious to the fact that he was drenching wet or the fact that in last half of hour the rain has come from mild to complete pouring. Hell, he even didn't know how he got there. He still clanged to the hope that it was all a dream, more precise a nightmare he will awake from. Dark kept creeping around his soul and all he felt was complete emptiness, devastation and above all – guilt. His soul was broken.
The universe, at least his universe had frozen at that horrible, terrifying moment. The only thing that kept him going for last couple of days was shock he was in. Some part of his subconscious dreaded the moment it would wear off. In some way he wanted to stay in the denial for the rest of his life. The truth didn't matter anymore. For the first time in his life truth was something he was not willing to acknowledge and accept.
The funeral took place earlier that day. He remembered standing there with his emotions and feelings completely shut down. It was the only way he was able to cope. He vaguely remembered Emily crying, her tear soaking face buried in the shoulder of Zoe. He recalled sad looks on faces of Torres and Locker. Non of it mattered to him at that point. Nothing mattered anymore. Everyone had left short after, but he was still standing there unable to move, to leave or at least find some shelter from the rain. Only now looking at the fresh grave he let his emotions free - the guilt he tried to burry in the darkest corners of his soul resurfaced with double force, the effect of it forcing him to kneel down in the wet grass.
Sudden memory of her ice blue eyes brought up suffocating wave of guilt. It was like ton of bricks pressing on him and for a moment he thought that he will never be able to breathe again. All he could see in front of his mind eye was last moments of the damned video feed.
Still kneeling in the wet grass he tried to focus on good memories. Her bright smile that always was light of his day. Her calm demeanour and kindness she showed to anyone. He was always amazed how she could be completely and idiotically happy about the smallest of things like chocolate pudding in the morning, weddings, children, romance novels or seeing that he was ok after he had unnecessarily put his life in peril again. She was intelligent, strong willed and was the only one who was able to deal with him, keep at least one of his foots on the ground. She was his conscience, his blind spot. Reading her was always difficult to him and he admired the way she stuck to her beliefs and was not afraid to argue with him or anyone else to make her point. Moreover, she had always been there to cover his back, to lift him up whenever he fell and care for him whenever he was too reckless to do it himself. For the last decade she was the one constant in his life he could always rely on.
Through his sorrow and pain he now clearly saw, what he had refused to do before and the irony of the situation struck him. Why did people always made the same mistake and appreciate importance of what they got only after losing it. Only now he was finally able to admit at least to himself the depth of his feelings for her. Off course he had admitted once before to Emily that he loved Gill. But even then he hadn't realised the depth of his feelings. Only now – four days after her death he was finally able to admit it to himself. It was far beyond friendship, lust or love. She was his soul mate, his better half, his conscience and he loved her with all his heart. It was like in those novels she so much admired – love written in the stars. He knew unmistakably that with her death a part of him died. His better part that could never be recovered.
He had never told her how much she meant to him, never bothered to acknowledge her not only for her skills, good looks or intelligence, but also for being there and sticking around when no one else would. He had never apologized for all his stupid and thick-skulled actions that had caused her a great deal of sorrow. For pushing her buttons over and over again. She had given him countless chances to make things right, and he blew them all. He had pushed her away, afraid to taint her, to drag her down to his level, believing that she deserved someone better. And now it was his own loss, because she died never knowing how much she meant to him. And try as he might he would never be able to make it right...
The fact that her death was his fault only made matters worse. It was HIS fault. All of it was only HIS fault. He made a mistake, a huge mistake in judgement and that had caused terrible consequences. And it was Gillian who had paid the price, highest prince possible – before the son of the bitch finally killed her he had put her through all circles of hell one by one and Cal had witnessed it all through video tapes sent to the office. She had been his hostage for a week, before he had finally got rid of her. Although her face was beaten and swollen almost beyond recognition at the time and her jaw was broken, she had looked straight in the camera, knowing the Cal saw it all and whispered: "Can't fight, forgive u self". He could see in her eyes that she had given up, her spirit broken. It was clear that she was waiting for it all to be over and was almost glad that her tormentor was ready to finish what he had started, finding relief in the fact that she won't feel anything at all soon. He also saw deep compassion and love in her eyes as she looked in the camera. It was directed to him and ran right through his heart like lightning bolt, leaving Cal completely frozen in front of the screen. So many emotions running on her face – fear of more pain, acceptance of her destiny, determination not to scream, robbing the monster satisfaction of her begging and over it all – love and worry for him. She had known Cal better than he knew himself. In her short, barely audible message she had put in all her strength and faith, urging him to find some peace within himself, letting him know that she didn't think any of it was his fault and asking to forgive himself. Even at her death hour she was still looking out for him.
Seeing her taking last breath, as body go limp and light leaving her eyes made Cal snap inside, bringing from his lips desperate, primal scream. It was terrifying with its sheer force. Afterwards he collapsed on the floor in violent sobs and everything went black.
If only he had seen... if only he had listened to her pleas... if only he had detected... if only he had protected her... if only he could undo it all... if only...