Title: Moving On
Disclaimer: Being Human belongs to the BBC.
Author's Note: This is an AU one-shot (that I originally posted elsewhere) that began to write itself when I was in the middle of another story!
They'd been walking for what felt like hours.
He'd been sitting, alone, in his room at Honolulu Heights (like he'd had any other choice, what with him being locked in) when Hal had knocked on his door (pointless, really, seeing as he was going to walk in anyway) and said that they were going out. He'd been distracting himself from the tremors in his hand by trying to picture her face; her face which he'd been trying to forget since that day Hal had taken him to see her drained corpse. He remembered everything - the caress of her skin, the smell of her perfume, the scent of her blood, the taste of her blood, the invisible hand that gripped his stomach, twisting it inside him until he threw up - but he couldn't remember her face.
The withdrawal pains were killing him, and it had only been two days. Apparently it was going to get worse before it would get better. The sickening irony of it all was, the Hal from 1950 was the one who Cutler from 2012 needed, and the Hal from 2012 needed the Cutler from 1950. He and Hal were polar opposites, that much was obvious, but could they find that balance - the one where they were both the person the other one needed them to be at the same time? Cutler made a big song and dance about not wanting to go dry, but the truth of the matter was Hal was all he had left, so he'd do anything and everything Hal asked of him in order to keep him in his life.
His legs were beginning to ache.
They could have driven, but Hal hadn't wanted to damage Leo's car. Hal also said the fresh air would do him good; would do them both good.
He wondered what Hal, the last of the Old Ones, was going to do with him. Cutler was a painful reminder of Hal's past, he knew that. He had betrayed Tom's trust, nearly destroying the young man's innocence. He was guilty of Alex's murder, even if he hadn't actually killed her himself. He couldn't stay at Honolulu Heights, who was he kidding? There was no way Tom and Alex would agree to let him stay.
They'd buried bodies here, in the past. Well, Cutler had buried bodies; Hal had just watched. Was he about to be another body? Abandoned again, just dust on the wind?
Surely they had to be nearly there, wherever 'there' was, by now?
Hal had led him far out into the woods, past where they'd buried the bodies of their victims, and now they were in a small clearing. The ground was a carpet of blue and green, the hundreds of forget–me–knots hiding the bare earth from sight.
Cutler all of a sudden became very afraid – it was only now he realised just how far out they'd come, how alone they were – and he slowed his pace, distancing himself from his maker, but Hal grabbed his arm and pulled him forward, causing him to stumble over the uneven ground.
Hal walked with determination, until he brought them to a stop in a spot that appeared no different from any other.
"We're here," he said softly.
"Where exactly is 'here'?" Cutler asked him.
Hal brushed the flowers aside with his foot, revealing a granite slab. Cutler gasped and fell to his knees in shock, his trembling fingers reaching out slowly in disbelief, as if he was afraid the stone was going to disappear before his his eyes. It didn't, though, and he traced the engraved lettering that spelt out the nameRachel.
Tears welled up in his eyes as he could see her in clearly his mind for the first time in decades. He pictured her on their wedding day; she had been an angel sent from heaven - his angel - all dressed in white.
"I used to…" started Hal. "The old me," he corrected himself, separating the man he was now from the man he was then, "the one you knew, used to like knowing you never got the chance to say goodbye. I had her buried here, the day after I… the day after she died, and whenever I visited her I always liked knowing that you never could. It was empowering."
"You visited her?"
"You – the man who had her… had her… savaged – you visited her grave?" His disbelieving tone had a slightly manic edge to it.
"Yes," Hal admitted carefully.
But whatever reaction Hal had expected, it certainly wasn't the disbelieving, slightly maniacal laughter that echoed through the trees. It sent shivers down his spine, for he'd heard the same laughter when he'd first called him Nick in the nightclub's basement.
"Of course you had her buried – of course you did – it's so like you. To have that power ready to hold over me at any time, if ever I tried to leave. You never realised that I couldn't leave – you were all I had. Oh, Rachel…" His thumb absently stroked the bare skin where his wedding ring had once sat.
The gravestone glistened where his tears had fallen, and Hal waited several moments before he placed a hand on Nick's shoulder.
"I know," Cutler said in response to his silence, and he stood, walking away without another word.
Hal took one last look at the headstone before catching up with Cutler, whispering, "I'm sorry. I really am sorry. But I'll look after him, Rachel - I give you my word."
As they reached the edge of the clearing Cutler turned back, but he couldn't find the spot where her grave lay. It didn't matter, though, because he knew he wouldn't be coming back here again. All he'd wished for these past five decades had been a chance to say goodbye.
"I always loved you. I never stopped loving you," he whispered, and he turned to follow Hal out of the woods.