not_that_spike: (sitting thinking)
[personal profile] not_that_spike
It's harder to sleep some nights than others. Tonight's one of them: the lights of Paris look so damn inviting, but he can't just get up and go for a walk, have a smoke, stroll by the Seine. There aren't any amazons here that he knows of, but the last damn thing he wants to do is put their group in any kind of danger. It's not just him. Hell, if it was, he'd say fuck it to danger and just do whatever the hell he wants to do. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, all that shit. But there are his Beths to consider, and in the grand scheme of things it's not some competition about who matters more or anything. It's just... they mean everything to him. Everything, and he's not about to get up and go off on his own right now. Even though it's been a long time since they found that church and went back to the bar -- back home -- he's not going anywhere without them. He knows what it's like to be separated from Beth and not be able to find her, and as much as he's in love with freedom and doing things his way, he's in love with her even more.

So tonight he just gets up quietly. The cloak's in his arms just in case he needs it real fast, and he sits where he can look out the window into the darkness, feet up on the window sill. Eventually he'll have to sleep, but for now sitting up's okay. As he looks out into the street, he lets his focus go soft: he's tired but restless. This is the kind of time when memories from long ago like to come back: things he hasn't thought about in... forever or longer.

Like when he was... twelve, and his parents made him see a shrink. His mom took him -- it was always her; his dad couldn't give him the time of day -- and when she dropped him off and said she'd be back later there were tears in her eyes, and how was that supposed to make him feel? Hell, he was only twelve, and he knew he was trouble but... none of his friends had to go for counseling. He didn't want it. He didn't need it. If his parents had just asked him what he wanted, he would have told them.

I just want you guys to like me.

But they never asked, and there he was. He doesn't remember the shrink's name; it feels like a whole fucking lifetime ago that he sat there and as the door closed, he felt really, really small, and there was this long silence. And in the long silence he felt even smaller, and then the shrink called him by his name -- his real name -- and asked him if he knew why he was there and he said yeah, because my parents don't want me.

There wasn't a whole hell of a lot the shrink could say about that, except to make some noise about breaking the patterns of the past.

In her little makeshift bed, Beth Junior whimpers against some dream or other. Beth stirs, but he's there first with a whispered I've got her. In the darkness of the Parisian night, he picks Junior up and moves back over to the spot by the window. She never really opens her eyes all the way; being in his arms settles her back down again and soon she's sleeping hard and content and she's so, so beautiful, and he can't imagine his own dad holding him this way, looking down on him with this overwhelming rush of absolute love like he has for Junior. He holds her and rocks her and leans down to give her forehead a kiss and then screw the noise, he tells her. It's still a whisper and she's just a little baby and she might not understand the words, but then again, she might.

"Beth Junior: I love you like crazy. Don't ever forget it."

For hours and hours he holds her as she sleeps, watching her with such gratitude. Whatever twist of fate's given him this opportunity, he'll take it. And it isn't until the sky starts shifting from black to purple to rose-gray that he sets Junior back down and climbs into what passes for his bed, careful to cover himself up with the cloak. As his eyes close, he thinks the night feels like... a minor victory.

Bounty hunter: one. Patterns of the past?

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June 2009

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