Why did it surprise me to wake up and find him gone? Surprise? Hell… let’s be honest; why did it rip me open like yesterday’s road kill?
It was one of those God awful moments when you know, but you don’t want to know and you try to make your brain find reasons that aren’t the reasons that you just don’t want to deal with. I stretched a hand out, feeling for that warmth, and it was so long gone the sheets were cold. I think I really knew in that moment, but I still had to get up and pull on my jeans and go out into the front room, calling his damn name like one of those brainless Hollywood co-stars. The ones always left standing there as the hero and the heroine ride off on the big white horse together? The ones who never seem to have read the end of the script and never seem to see it coming?
No, sweetie, you don’t get the guy. You don’t even get the side-kick, because he’s got his own part in the script, and it usually requires dying theatrically so that the horse riding thing can happen in the first place.
At least you’re alive. Be grateful you’re not the side-kick.
Yeah… like that’s a plus.
There wasn’t any answer and I just kept right on walking out the front door, even though it was pouring rain. But I had to go out and see for myself that that rental car of his was really not out there.
The cats were there in the living room, pacing in the doorway and sniffing after me as though wondering what I was on. Buckshot was in the paddock, standing under his awning and looking put out. Reason, Nash, and Bo were in their houses watching me to see if it was worth coming out into the rain. My truck was parked by the door, just where I’d left it. Everything was where it belonged. Everything was where it always, always was. Always.
And no little black sports car. The gravel in the driveway where it had been parked was already wet. It was like he’d never been there. Never at all.
I just stood out there in the pouring rain, looking down the driveway and feeling like an utter and complete fool.
It’s dangerous to want things. You should never want things. Because when you want something, you can’t ever be sure if you’re seeing clearly. Can’t ever be sure you aren’t reaching for what maybe isn’t what it seems. But, because you wanted it to be… you let yourself believe.
And God knows you should never let yourself believe.
I took another few steps, the mud of the yard squishing up around my bare feet, but the change in angle didn’t make Heero reappear. The different vantage didn’t let me see that car coming up the drive.
‘Because that car ain’t coming back, you fucking idiot,’ I told myself and hearing my voice, Reason took a couple of steps my way, the cold rain making him uncertain and I think he whined, not liking the wet. I looked over at him and since there wasn’t anybody else to tell, I shouted, ‘Did you hear that? I’m a fucking idiot!’
He ducked his head, thinking I was angry at him, and I felt bad. I stumbled a few steps further away… maybe he’d just go back into his house and would stop looking at me with this soulful, accusing eyes.
Heero was probably on his way back to the world to tell the guys that it had all been true. That good ol’ Duo was really just as easy as they’d thought. That all their suspicions about me had been true. The things that Quatre had thought… the things he’d accused me of. All true. I should have known.
‘I know,’ I muttered. ‘Stupid. I was so stupid.’
I found myself standing in front of the paddock, stopped because I couldn’t go any further. Stopped when I all but ran into the fence. There was nothing… nothing at all. Just me. And the boys. And the rain. The damn, cold rain, washing away any signs that there had ever been anything else.
‘Stupid,’ I told the rain, and Buckshot blew out a breath and shook his head, standing hip-shot, almost drowsing. Turning to look at him, my gaze fell on the fence post and I went to put my hands on it. To run my fingers over the marks. I felt the days like an endless trail behind me, and I felt the mark that Heero had made and I was just suddenly… very angry.
My fingers tightened on the old wood and I could feel the age of the damn thing; it had probably been there before I was born, and would probably be there long after I was gone. And how many days would be marked in it before that happened? How many more endless, mindless, fucking days?
I had lashed out and hit the damn thing before I knew I was going to. Training engrained in my damn genes made me do it right, made some part of me pay attention to speed and angle and focus. It still hurt; it had been too long… the calluses were long gone. I threw my head back and screamed ‘Stupid!’ up into the falling rain and then…
And then pounding that post into splinters became the most important thing in the world. I lashed out and lashed out again. I hit the damn thing for Trowa and I hit it for Quatre, and then for Wufei, just for good measure. And then I hit it for Heero. Again for Heero and again. And then for me. And then just because the fucking thing was still standing.
I remember screaming at it, about lives and sacrifice and pain and being alone. I cursed it and cussed it and smashed at it again and again, furious that it just stood and endured. And somewhere in there I forgot all about speed and angle and focus.
I heard the dogs barking frantically and knew I was scaring them. Buckshot snorted and danced away, braving the rain just to get away from me. I knew I should stop, but the God damn post was still there… mocking me. So I just kept on. I punched until my shoulders were on fire. I punched until I couldn’t feel my hands. I screamed until there were no words left. I screamed until there was no sound.
And when I finally fell to my knees in the mud, unable to even open my hands anymore… the post was still standing and the rain was still coming down and I was still as alone as I’d ever been.
Anything more would have taken effort that was beyond me, and I just let myself fall over and laid there so that the rain ran down my face and I didn’t have to admit that it was more than that.
After awhile, Reason came and licked my face, whimpering softly and when he couldn’t rouse me, he curled around me there in the mud.
‘I’m sorry I’m such a moron, boy,’ I whispered into his wet fur. I thought about getting up and taking care of us both, but it seemed far more work than it was worth and instead… just closed my eyes. I just wanted to forget for a little while.
Maybe if I just waited for a bit, it would stop raining.
I knew I’d lost my mind when I thought the fence post laughed at me.
After a little while, Nash and Bo came to join us and I let
the salty rain soak into their fur.