||[Dec. 28th, 2006|09:56 pm]
Ack, well over a month late. *hides* Apologies to justbreathe80 and everyone else! |
1369 words of Vecchio/Angie, mostly, though there is Vecchio/Irene and Fraser/Victoria in there too. Spoilers for Victoria's Secret, One Good Man, Juliet Is Bleeding, and Burning Down the House.
We had the real thing up there in the moonlight
Didn't cost nothing but each of our hearts
One day you stopped smiling and singing those love songs
Then you decided to make a new start. (“you don’t have me”)
[Disclaimer: These characters belong not to me; I make no money off of them. Suing me would be singularly unprofitable.]
The Real Thing
The worst part about the whole affair was that when Ma looked back at him, mouth pulled into a tight, disappointed line, she was only looking at him. She wasn't expecting Angie to fix anything; she was expecting him to do it, all by himself. He and Angie aren't together in this -- which you would think goes without saying, but it'd still be nice to be able to turn to her and say something normal. Roll their eyes, mutter about how Ma's got too much hope for her own good, something like that. But instead he's trapped in a room with a silent woman whose head is at God knows where, with his Ma expecting him to make her come out of this room smiling -- because he's her son, and he knows better than to let a good marriage go to waste.
And he does. But he also knows a bad marriage when he sees it, and this would be a bad marriage. It doesn't take much; it'd gone bad the minute Angie'd decided she wanted out. Who even knows why, it's not like Ray'd noticed anything out of the ordinary. They're normal. They're comfortable. They have something solid, and even if they're mostly not wild or romantic or half out of their minds with lust, they've got something real. And they'd had their moments, anyway; there were a few good crazy moments there, with a just little too much champagne, where they'd just stay up late giggling for no good reason at all. It's not like the movies, but recipes never turn out as good as they look in the cookbook, anyway. It's enough for him. It's the kind of thing he always thought he'd end up getting: not too hot, not too cold; just cool enough to hang onto and just warm enough for him to want to.
Apparently, that's not enough.
"Sorry about them," he mutters, strolling over to the window and staring out over the front lawn. "They're just trying to help. You know how that is." He hears a squeak as she sinks down onto their mattress. "Don't worry, we'll have you and your stuff out of here in twenty, tops."
She doesn't respond for a long time, and it's not a comfortable kind of silence that stretches out between them. They'd perfected that -- two people have to, when they're working hard and living together and coming home exhausted more often than not -- but it's hard to keep that when he's only seen her for a couple of hours at a stretch in the past few days. Even then, there were lawyers between them, trying to sort out whose stuff is whose. There'd been a few seconds there, when they'd looked at each other across that fancy mahogany table that was too snotty for its own good -- just a few, where they were back on the same page and the lawyers were about a hundred pages ahead of them and neither of them knew what the hell they were doing.
Of course, then her lawyer decided that he wanted Angie to get the Riv, and Ray'd gotten a little distracted.
"God, this is morbid," she says suddenly.
Ray lets out a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding. "No kidding."
Ray's watching Fraser carefully; Fraser's watching the clock just as carefully and twitching, like it might just do something interesting and somehow turn back half an hour.
Victoria's half an hour late already, and if Ray knows anything about criminals, she's probably not gonna show. If Ray knows anything about women -- which he mostly doesn't -- she's not really the love of Fraser's life, either. If she were, she'd be here already. Angie would've done it for him -- she still would, if it was Ray on the line, needing her help. At least, he's pretty sure she would.
"Has she called?" Fraser asks, mouth tight, and Ray shakes his head.
Hey, what the hell. He'll give her another half hour. Besides, Irene wouldn't show -- she just can't. It's not her fault that she can't. She just can't.
"Promise me," Irene breathes.
"Okay," Ray says, fast, "okay, I promise, just -- "
"I just said, I promise, now -- "
"Look," Ray whispers, "look, just relax, okay? You're gonna be okay, you hear me? Just -- relax, can you do that for me?"
She smiles, just a little bit; her eyes're closed, have been for a while now. Then, like she's listening to him, finally, her head slumps to the side.
"She's fading," someone says, and Ray takes a step back, heart pounding. "Pulse down -- oxygen -- " There's gloved hands flying everywhere -- people're shouting, there's alarms going off, but Irene's face is still.
She listened. She's relaxing. She's not going to come back, and Ray doesn't need to be a doctor to know it.
She'd kissed him. She'd smirked at him and then she'd kissed him. Angie. Okay, maybe she wasn't flirting, exactly, but -- damn, it was close. It was something. Enough of a something for Fraser to be eying him, anyway.
"She's a friend," he says, because that's really all Fraser needs to know. You can't go back on something like divorce. You can't pretend marriage is 'til death when you already know it isn't.
"I see," Fraser says, like he doesn't believe a word of it. God, the guy can't ever quit being right, can he?
"And it's none of your business," Ray snaps.
Fraser gives him the big-eyed Mountie look -- oh no, he'd never even dreamed it was. "Understood."
Ray's almost ready to take off. His bags're packed, he's got his files, he's got a top-secret plane waiting to fly him into Nevada, he's even called Fraser and dropped a couple of hints that got him absolutely nowhere. Fraser'll figure it out when he needs to, though. He's got a knack for that kind of thing.
Last stop: Angie's place.
There's a pause before the door opens; she's in her bathrobe and slippers, and she's looking confused as all hell. In hindsight, Ray maybe should've done this sometime before dawn. "I -- Ray? What're you -- "
"Oh, nothing important," he says, all casual -- and Angie may not be his best friend or his partner, but she was married to him for a while there, and just that makes her straighten and frown at him.
"Nothing important, huh?" She gives him a once over. "There a reason why you're in your best suit at five in the morning?"
"I've got a meeting in Vegas." He shrugs. "I just thought I'd check in with you before I headed out."
"Vegas?" she repeats, eyebrows going up. She's not quite awake enough to play this game, but she can follow it just fine, and that's enough. "You're going to Vegas?"
"Yeah. I keep missing out on Miami, so I guess they figured I'd earned it."
"Ray, you'd hate Vegas."
"Yeah? What makes you say that?"
"Just think of the mafia -- you hate the mobs here enough as it is, you'd never -- "
"Yeah, you're right." He leans against the doorframe and looks her in the eye. "Guess I'll just have to cope."
She purses her lips for a second, then looks down at her feet and rubs the back of her neck. "I guess you will."
Good old Angie. Everything got through, and he didn't even have to break the rules once. "Thanks, Ange."
She shoots him a look. "What the hell're you thanking me for? Go on, get lost. Gamble all your earnings away. It's a good thing we're not married anymore, or I'd be stopping you." She gives him a little shove out the door, and then shuts it in his face.
There's some people out there who don't know what love is -- but Ray, he knows exactly what's on the other side of that door. He doesn't need marriage to know that.