A/N: I'm not using italics anymore because fanfiction messes it up to the point where I don't feel motivated to do so. So, thoughts are underlined, okay?
Jay lay on the mattress, floating in the pool, allowing a tear to well up in his eye before wiping it away with the back of his hand. He felt a red hot pain in his upper left shoulder and feel a warm fluid on his arm, staining his bathing-suit too quickly, vision graying and sound fading as shock sets in- when did that start? Pushed back against the cushion with the force of the bullet, then falling back against it again as he loses his strength, eyes sliding shut. Daisy
Wilson, seeing the blood and Gatsby's eyes close, places his gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger, falling into the roses as he falls dead.
Hearing the shots, the butler, chauffeur, gardener, and Nick arrived shortly, believing that Gatsby must be dead.
Gatsby woke as he was being pulled out of the pool, and tried to get the attention of some of his rescuers.
"Hey, old sport," he rasped, "what's the hurry?"
Nick didn't seem to hear him, proceeding to carry him into the house with the help of the others and laying him out on a table. Once down, he gets Nick's attention by gripping his hand and giving it a slight shake.
"Could you help me out, old sport?" He whispered.
Nick finally noticed.
He started applying pressure to the wound, which was quite life-threatening and would kill him in short order if no help was obtained.
"Bad. We need to get you to the city."
"Daisy, is she alright?"
"She's fine, you're not."
"No, I'm calling the hospital first."
Gatsby grabs Nick's sleeve desperately in his delusional state.
Nick nods and consents to call her, lying to Gatsby.
"Alright, I'll call her. Hang on, Gatsby."
"I'll be here, old sport."
Nick calls over a butler to continue applying pressure to the wound.
As Nick walks away, he sees the broken look in his friend's eyes, and wishes that Tom hadn't destroyed his life and that Daisy hadn't gone along with it- almost wishing that Gatsby had died rather than live as this haunting shell. Too late now.
Nick ran, calling the hospital and arranging for an ambulance. The call lasted about ten minutes.
When he returned, he found that the butler had left.
Nick reapplied pressure to the wound, feeling a little stab in his chest as he saw Gatsby wince.
"What happened to the butler!"
"You idiot, you ordered him away, didn't you? How could you? You'll have to leave Daisy behind if you die, how could you do that to her?"
"True, old sport."
"The ambulance is on the way."
Gatsby's eyes drift closed again.
"Stay awake, Jay, come on! You've gotta stay awake!"
"Haven't slept in so long..."
"You can sleep at the hospital. For now, stay awake."
"You've gotta get somebody for me, old sport. When did Daisy say that she was coming?"
"I'll try to get her, but it'll take some time. She's taken a trip out west." Nick didn't have the heart to mention Tom or the fact that Daisy wouldn't be coming back. Or would she?
Nick checks the wound, seeing that it is still bleeding profusely, but there isn't anything he can do. He just hopes to God that help comes soon enough to save his friend.
Finally, the ambulance arrives and Gatsby is placed on a stretcher and loaded into the ambulance, a pillow placed under his chest to elevate the wound, and one under his head so that he doesn't strain his neck, although at this point, there's little chance that he'll survive to care about his neck if the bleeding doesn't get under control.
By the time they arrive at the hospital, Gatsby is fighting to stay conscious and feels life's tendrils drifting away from him and the depths rising to claim him, jaws open wide, for the first time visible to him. He opens his mouth slightly in horror at what awaits him and tries to reach for Nick, but instead grabs onto the nurse who was attempting to anesthetize him, and pulls his hand off of her sleeve.
As he loses consciousness, his eyes widen and he whispers something indistinctly, going rigid before his eyes close again and he is rushed into surgery.
Nick waits for hours as the doctors attempt to save Gatsby's life. Six hours later and a nurse stepped out of the operating room, telling him that Gatsby's state wasn't terribly promising. Two hours after that, Gatsby was released from surgery and taken to a private room.
"He's asleep. You're welcome to stay here until he wakes, if you want."
Gatsby had lost his look of vitality, instead looking pale, sickly, older, and exhausted. Sweat covers his brow, which Nick wipes away with a cloth placed on the bedside table, dipping it in the bowl of water provided by the nurse, mostly looking for something to do to help his friend to cure his own helplessness as he watches the image of the man who had so much will to live waste away in front of his eyes while he can do nothing- so much worse than war where there is at least an opponent to shoot to protect your own, but equally as haunting.
Nick sinks down into a chair beside the bed, half falling down into it. Before he realizes, he is opening his eyes in response to a slight gasp from the bed.
Gatsby had sat up abruptly, pulling his wound. He had been startled by a crack of thunder outside which woke him from his uneasy sleep. (The earth herself seemed to be weeping as the storm intensified, the wind howling, the teardrops of rain splattering against the window.) Panting a little now and features contorted, he turns to Nick, trying not to concern him, but the mask slipping, falling from him. He had lost everything now, and had to cope with too much physical and emotional pain for the remaining shards of Jay Gatsby to hold strong.
He bites his lip to hold back a moan, his eyes showing everything that the rest of his face doesn't, opening the door to Gatz, his very core.
Nick nods, grasping Gatz's hand, gripping it tightly, then letting go and going to the door, tears beginning to well up in his eyes, seeing his friend so broken in front of him.
"I can't promise that she'll come, Jay, but I will try. I will."
With those words, he rushes out of the room, not wanting to leave his friend, but knowing that he needs to find someone to help him. He gets the next train to Chicago, where Tom and Daisy no doubt fled to, and asks around to try to find her, finally renting a hotel and sleeping the night after the long train ride. The next morning he picks up the telephone.
"Hello, operator? Can you get me Tom and Daisy Buchanan?"
"Just a moment." There is a slight pause and some clicking and rustling in the background, then the voice of the Buchanan's butler.
"Can you get me Daisy? It's her cousin, Nick."
"Just a moment, sir."
An explanation is heard in the background and then Daisy comes to the phone.
"Nick! It's great to hear from you!"
Daisy's sad, insincere tone makes Nick cringe.
"Daisy, I'm so sorry, but Gatsby isn't dead. He's barely alive, but he's alive. He needs you. I know what you think of him, but he isn't in great shape and it would mean so much to him just to see your face. Please come back to East Egg with me. I am so sorry."
A slight sobbing noise comes from the other side of the phone.
"Nick, I can't. I just can't. Tom-"
Another voice is heard in the background.
"DAISY! Who are you talking to?"
"It's Ni- Ah!"
"Daisy? DAISY! Are you alright?"
More sobbing is heard on the other end. Nick shouts into the phone.
"Daisy, what's your address? DAISY!"
The line goes dead. Nick hangs up the phone and calls the operator, asking for the address, which she provides. He rushes out the door to that address.
When he arrives at the door and the butler opens it, he rushes past him, into the house. He hears screams upstairs.
"TOM! GET DOWN HERE, YOU BRUTE!"
Tom comes down to him, a little angry, but not showing his full fury.
"What are you doing in my house?"
"What are you doing abusing my cousin?"
Tom laughs a little.
"I'm not abusing her."
"Liar. She told me. She was showing us what you do to her all along. Now where is she?"
"She's my wife and you have no right to take her out of my house. Get out."
"Not until I see her."
Tom punches Nick in the face, knocking him back a bit. Nick kicks him in the solar plexus, knocking the wind out of him, and tackles the former formidable football player to the floor. He then rushes up the steps while Tom catches his breath, finding Daisy in a heap on the floor, crying.
"Are you alright, Daisy?"
"I'm fine... Nick, watch out!"
Tom, eyes murderous, stood behind him, fists clenched, face flushed, all pretense of politeness dropped.
Nick crosses his arms.
Tom pushes him down the steps. Nick's head collides with the floor, dazing him.
Nick stumbles away, and goes to call a policeman, but Tom drags him back and holds a gun to his head. He stands calmly in point blank range, almost daring Tom to shoot him. Tom gestures to a door.
"Get in the closet."
Tom locks him in.
"No one's going to save you, so don't bother to scream for help."
Nick tries the door, but there's no hope. He's trapped.
A few hours later, Tom comes in with several strips of fabric, binding him, then leaves him alone until noon the next day, when he gets one small piece of bread, a bit of cheese, and a cup of water. This pattern continues for the next few days. He gets five minutes to eat, then he is re-bound and the door is locked again. A small pail is placed in the closet with him to use as a toilet, which he also must use within the few minutes that Tom makes sure he stays alive, if for no other reason than to torture him with the realization that his cousin was being harmed and that he could do nothing but listen to her desperate screams.
Nick dozed off and on, woken by the commotion from upstairs, wishing that he could get out and stop all of it, knowing that he can't, wishing for someone to rescue him. He can't live on such inadequate rations for long and he knows it, but all he can do is hope and pray to God that this madness ends soon.
Gatsby lies alone in his hospital bed, checked on by nurses every half hour, even during the night, which annoys him to no end. He worries greatly about Nick. It's been two weeks since he left with no word. His wound is finally almost healed, but he isn't up to his full strength yet- mostly due to the fact that he couldn't move without risking reopening the wound and bleeding out until quite recently. He needs a few more weeks to recover to the point where it was safe to move around a lot. Lately, he'd walked a few steps here and there before being forced to sit by the nurses, despite his feeling relatively fine and many objections.
He tried placing a call to Nick's hotel, but it was pretty hard to do so with his arm in a sling, so he just waited until his shoulder was healed enough to get released two weeks after that.
The second he got out of the hospital, he took his sling off and went home, getting his butler to place the call. He balanced the phone on his right shoulder and waited until he got the hotel.
"My friend, Nick Carraway, has been in Chicago for a few weeks. I thought he was staying at your hotel. May I speak to him?"
"Sorry. Mr. Carraway hasn't been here in several weeks."
Gatsby hung up. He gingerly moved his arm and flexed it. It still worked, even though he knew it wasn't safe to go without a sling yet. He went to the station and got a ticket for the train at ten o'clock in the morning the next day, going to bed in his own house for the first time in about a month, finding it still the way he had left it. He strips and takes a bath, then gets dressed for bed and sinks into his luxuriously large bed, falling asleep quickly.
He wakes at about eight the next morning- quite late for him- dresses, shaves, then eats a large breakfast, finishing at around nine. He drives his now-repaired car to New York and takes the train to Chicago.
The next day, he checks in at a hotel under his real name, James Gatz, to avoid gossip. He asks the operator for Daisy's address as soon as he gets to his room, then heads there, umbrella in hand to shield against the rain.
About ten minutes later, Gatsby arrives at the Buchanans' house. No butler comes to the door and the door is locked.
No one answers.
Gatsby kicks the door lock. No luck. He keeps kicking the door until the hinges give way, wincing and hopping a little after the amount of force that the door applied to his foot in reaction to his kicking, but still running in.
He finds Tom, who comes down the steps to confront him, looking shocked, gun in hand.
"Gatsby? But all the papers said you were dead."
"No, old sport. I'm fine. Is something the matter?"
"Don't call me 'old sport'."
Gatsby pauses, not wanting to anger Tom further, then hearing kicking against a wall from nearby.
Gatsby goes to the closet door, flips the lock, and opens it, finding a gagged Nick inside. His eyes widen in shock, then Nick's do as well and he turns around, finding a gun pointing at his head. Gatsby knocks it away with his umbrella and grabs it off of the floor before Tom even reacts. He then proceeds to untie Nick's hands and legs and ungag him.
"You alright, old sport? Where's Daisy?"
"I'm fine. Daisy's upstairs."
Gatsby hands Nick the gun.
"Be careful, old sport."
He climbs the stairs quickly, finding a door ajar and Daisy, bruised and bleeding. He takes her into his arms.
"Daisy, it's alright, I'm here now..."
"Yes, it's me."
"I don't think he'll be giving you any more trouble."
Two car doors close outside with a thud.
Four burly men rush through the door and Nick lowers his gun. Tom puts his hands up.
"This madman has been holding me against my will, you have to believe me- he was going to shoot me! See his gun?"
"He's lying. See these marks on my wrists?" He points to his left wrist's red ring. "He locked me in a closet for four weeks, barely fed me anything, and has been abusing his wife for years. She's upstairs. Get her to a hospital, she can't be in good shape."
Gatsby, probably hearing the conversation, brings Daisy down the steps at that moment. A police officer takes her and sets her in the back of the police car, driving away at full speed to a nearby hospital.
"Get her to a hospital," pleaded Gatsby.
"We will. And this one is going to prison."
"This is all a misunderstanding-"
Gatsby shoots Tom a murderous glare, silencing him.
Tom is arrested, and Nick almost feels like smiling, but feels too numb and simply stands there unsteadily. The police drive away.
The last few weeks hit Nick like a sledgehammer. The adrenaline wears off and he feels even more shaky than before, the room getting gray and swaying a little. Gatsby catches him and supports him to a chair, gasping at the pain caused by that simple action, but still more concerned about Nick and Daisy.
"You must be literally starving! Let's get you back to the hotel, old sport."
Nick stands up, feeling much better after having sat, but weak from hunger, dehydration, exhaustion, and stress. Gatsby again supports him, Nick gesturing that he's fine and for Gatsby to leave him alone, and calls a taxi, taking him to dinner and paying for the massive meal that Nick eats.
That evening, Nick goes to his hotel room to freshen up a bit, then meets up with Gatsby at his room to visit Daisy with him.
Gatsby calls a taxi, and they both go visit Daisy.
She smiles, to Nick's surprise. Has she forgotten everything that Tom told her about him? Or is Tom dead to her now?
Gatsby smiles back, from ear to ear.
Daisy pulls him down for a kiss, pleasantly surprising him. At first, the kiss is a small peck, but deepens as the duration increases. Three minutes later, they disconnect, panting, but smiling.
"Any chance of getting me out of here?"
"High. We can go home soon. How about tomorrow, if you feel up to it?"
"Of course I do!"
"Well, we'll see you tomorrow, won't we? We'll pick you up at noon in a taxi. Until tomorrow."
They kiss again, then Daisy waves, indicating to Gatsby that it's time to leave.
The next few weeks are wonderful for Daisy and Gatsby. It's as if time really can be repeated- until some police stop by for their testimonies, and Nick's testimony. Tom is given a steep sentence, making the lovers' life even happier.
Then came the investigation- first of the car accident. They had tracked the car, and arrested Gatsby for it.
Then more investigations into his bootlegging and bonds, but no evidence was found for any of the claims against him, and no illegal wrongdoing was discovered.
Still, Gatsby remained incarcerated for months for the accident that was supposedly his fault. Daisy visited him daily, but could not see the damage being wrought on her lover from fighting off the other inmates, who assaulted him quite often, and simply being confined. While in prison, he woke every day at six, though he was required to wake at seven, and did pull-ups until the rest of his cellmates woke, regaining his strength. Finally, he was absolved when the details were learned, and he went back to his happy existence with Daisy.
They continued this way for a few months until Daisy divorced Tom and claimed custody for her daughter. The next month, she and Gatsby married and began to fill up his enormous house, making it a lot less lonely of an existence.
Tom was released from prison shortly after their first child was born.
S- This was actually very good! :D you should putit on fanfiction.
A/N: That's all for now, folks. I know, it's seriously unrealistic, but I couldn't cope with Gatsby dying in such a miserable way and Daisy staying with that rat of a man. I know that Tom's a little crazy, but he IS crazy! It's extreme. Sorry. And I modernized it by accident. Please do flame, complain, etc.
Oh, and sorry about not posting anything lately, for my subscribers.
Christmas day- I'll try to have another Gatsby fanfic out for you by then (hopefully one a little bit better) as a little Christmas present and in celebration of the new movie!
As usual, PM me, review, etc., any time. I haven't been on lately due to some quite pleasant surprises in my life (very long story, I assure you), but I will try to be on more often. If you have just finished the book and had fallen in love with him, and were totally devastated when he died, I'm here for you. I cried for about 2 hours after I finished reading the book and seeing the end to the 1974 movie, which, of course, prompted this fanfic.