title: god, let it go, it doesn't mean a thing
summary: Sometimes, the grocery lists write themselves. BeckRobbie, BeckJade, BeckTori
author's note: This must be from eons ago, but I just finished it. I think this is one of my favorite recent pieces.
Beck Oliver finally realizes he's being haunted.
The familiar high pitched sneeze is just as it was before. It sounds like a bunny rabbit – young and squeaky. It almost sounds fake, but it is distinctly real, for it is so familiar. Nevertheless, the sound sounds alive. It does not sound as if the owner of this particular sneeze would be dead in a coffin. It sounds as if the owner of this sneeze is just down the hall, battling his springtime allergies.
Beck knows this sneeze very well. Maybe knows it better than anything else he has ever learned.
Beck pokes his head out his doorway, but he is met with nothing but a cold burst of air.
The window is open. He doesn't remember opening it.
Beck opens his mail on a Thursday morning. It is a normal sort of Thursday morning, so close to the weekend that Beck can almost touch the freedom from work. He likes the weekends, although he doesn't spend his weekends in the comfort of people very often. Beck has grown to appreciate the silence, but sometimes the footsteps that echo in the hallway make his head spin. Occasionally on weekends, Beck Oliver drowns himself in music when he is at home, and when he leaves his home, Beck Oliver tends to walk in the park, snuggled into his favorite jacket as he watches the leaves fall down.
He opens his mail, thinking about everything he will do that weekend, when he finds the letter. Beck Oliver, it says on the front. Nothing suspicious, just his name and his address.
There is no return address, but Beck does not notice that. When he opens the envelope, however, Beck's Thursday morning changes.
As soon as he sees the loopy B, he throws the letter in the trash, locks his mailbox, and goes to the bar across the street. The bartender gives him a surprised look – it is only 9 am and the streets are crowded with the familiar New York City cheer.
"Give me anything strong," Beck chokes out.
He drinks till he forgets curly hair between his fingers and soft lips against his own. A girl smirks at him and he wants to fuck her in the bathroom so badly until her skin turns white around his fingers. She reminds him so much of J-J-J –
Leave me alone, he thinks. Why are you back?
Two people – both so different and yet they mean so much to him, they whisper in his ears.
He never knew who he loved more.
The girl ruffles her hair when she realizes he's not paying much attention. He turns back to the bar and orders another drink. He doesn't go in to work that day.
He wishes he didn't have to live.
"It was a mistake," he mumbles low to the air.
Tori looks into his eyes, her fingers wrapped around his wrist, "I understand," she whispers.
Her eyes are so sad – so fucking sad. Look what you did, he thinks to himself.
(look what you've done to her – oh GOD, you are so worthless, why did anyone love you -)
His free fingers skim the pink of her lips, brush her beautiful cheekbones that are raised like skyscrapers.
Fresh tears jump into her eyes, "I love you, Beck. But she wouldn't have wanted this."
She presses her lips to his; quick and selfishly, he thinks. She's just so beautiful and everything he wanted – but his heart hurts and his eyes are drooping. She pulls away and leaves him.
He doesn't hear from Tori Vega for a long time.
He doesn't ever really decide if he loved her enough.
He lives in constant fear. Sometimes, he hears things happening – the low rumbles of an electric toothbrush; the patter of the shower. He knows it's coming from his apartment, that this is something he cannot control.
He does not know what this is. He is too scared to think about it.
"I loved you," he whispers before he goes to sleep that night.
He does this every night, right from the day this all started. (the day it all ended – don't bring it up again – that day - diediedie -)
He can swear he hears the sheets on the other side of the bed rustle.
He goes to work with his head in the clouds. He spaces out at his desk and his office mates give him strange looks.
"Hey, Beck," his friend Jake whispers, "Are you okay?"
Beck shakes his head, "I'm not really feeling alive today."
Beck can tell that Jake doesn't understand. Beck doesn't understand much either.
Beck loves the springtime. He loves watching the flowers bloom – bright and beautiful in their perfect way. Beck thinks if anything was perfect, it would be flowers. Flowers are pretty and romantic.
He's not used to seeing very many flowers in the cold, grey city. Flowers are surprises for him.
He wakes up on the first day of spring to find flowers blooming on his balcony. They're so pretty. He knows exactly which type of flower they are. How couldn't he know?
They are forget – me – nots.
(like he could ever forget)
It begins like this.
Robbie's whisper is barely audible above the beeping monitors.
Beck should have gone to Jade – should have cared about her failing heart in the next room over. He should have stayed. He should have kissed her.
He kisses Robbie instead, his fingers squeezing Robbie's as if he could give all his energy to him.
Robbie's weak smile lifted Beck's lips too – bright and warm as the sun drifting through the window.
"I'll be right back," Beck whispered to Robbie, "I'll be right back."
He tells the nurse waiting outside he's going to run over to Jade's room. But before he's about to open the door to Jade's room, he sees the doctors rushing into Robbie's room.
He runs back over, asks them what is wrong. (what's happening – he was just alive and well – what's wrong – tell me – tell me – tell me.)
At the same moment, by some freak coincidence, doctors rush into Jade's as well. There is panic and mayhem and Beck looks at both rooms, back and forth like he is stuck at a tennis game.
(choose, the voice at the back of his head cries, you can't split in two – you have to decide who you love)
Beck runs out of the hospital and waits for the telephone to ring.
"You don't look like you have gotten much sleep," someone says, rousing Beck out of his daydreams.
He's surprised to see it's Tori Vega, looking beautiful as always, a coffee held tightly in her mittened hand.
"Tori," he says, jumping off of the park bench and landing onto his feet. "I'm so sorry I haven't –"
Tori places her hand out in front of her, palm facing him, "Don't. I should be apologizing. I threw myself at you, and obviously, you were heartbroken. Both of them at once," she says, wincing, "Must have been rough."
"How did you know?" Beck asks her quietly. "Did he tell you?"
Tori smiles sadly, "No. I always knew though. You two looked at each other in such a beautiful way. I never wanted to believe it." She looks at her feet, "Again, I want to say that I'm sorry."
Beck shakes his head, "Honestly, you have no reason to be sorry. I'm sorry. I wanted you to kiss me again for years. I always loved you."
Tori still has her sad smile on her face, "I still love you, you know."
"I do too," Beck says, sadly.
Tori sighs deeply and white air pools around her face, "I'm dating someone now. He's nice. I don't know. I had to give myself a chance."
Beck nods slowly, "You deserve a chance."
Tori takes his hands and folds them into her mittened ones, "So do you, Beck."
Beck laughs morosely, "Honestly, I think I've had too many, Tori."
She embraces him, and in the back of his mind, he's dying to ask her a question that may sound crazy, but he holds it in. He says goodbye and hope to see you again, gives her his good wishes, and lets her go.
(at the back of his mind: do you sometimes hear them – do you sometimes see them at the corner of your eye – do you ever wish you would die too)
Sometimes, the grocery lists write themselves. They are always culminations of two very different people's favorite foods. The items listed vary from very vague to frighteningly specific. Gluten-free, soy, lactose-free products are a stark contrast to the unspecific bread, cereal, and vegetables.
Beck never brings the lists with him, and even though they start to show up in his wallet, words bolder and underlined, he never buys spinach or gluten-free, whole-wheat bread. Nor does he buy kale chips or lactose-free, soy, pasteurized milk.
The lists pile up in his apartment, and soon, he starts to pin them to the walls, covering entire expanses of wallpaper that Rob-
He touches the lists right before he goes to the supermarket, but never buys a thing.
The flowers on his balcony wither and die.
He's noticed, as of late, that his suitcase falls from the top of the closet every so often. He chalks it up to a shaky shelf, but he realizes the frequency of this phenomenon is quite often.
He remembers all the places he planned on going to and all the things he wanted to do. He remembers playing his favorite game, Where Would You Go, and spending days on end, fantasizing.
But now, he puts his suitcase back on the sturdy shelf and tries to not think about it at all.
He goes out with his coworkers after they insist. Beck gets wasted for the first time in years and takes a pretty girl back to his apartment. The temperature drops so low that she asks if he's from Antarctica. She laughs, but starts to shiver as the temperature lowers even more.
"Jesus," she mutters, "You should really get that thermostat fixed. Do you mind if I try to turn it up?"
He tells her it's fine and pours her a drink. She's successful in turning the heat up, but when she returns to Beck, putting her arms around his neck, the heat lowers again.
"I don't know what could be wrong with it," Beck says, voice getting slow and lazy.
She smirks coyly, "Maybe we should share our body heat instead..."
The thermostat starts to beep shrilly before shutting off completely.
"Christ," Beck mutters, "Maybe I should call someone to fix this thing."
The girl looks up at him, and suddenly, Beck decides she actually isn't that pretty. Her hair is blonde and straight, and he keeps looking for a darker color with more curls. She's barely wearing any makeup, and in a way, she's not very pretty without it.
"I should go home and let you take care of this," the girl says, after a moment's thought. And then, flirtatiously, she adds, "We can get together another time?"
The light above them starts to flicker, the wind howls through an open window, and then the girl says, nervously, "Or maybe not."
As soon as she leaves his apartment, the heat turns back on.
Beck grabs the newest list and walks to the supermarket. He buys everything on it. Every sugar-free, gluten-free, taste-free item goes in his cart. Every type of vegetable, every type of bread, every type of egg goes in as well.
Beck buys forget-me-nots and allergy medicine. He feels a soft, warm blanket. He chooses some stationary and another suitcase. He grabs a pair of mittens.
Beck buys a gun.