It looks as if September and October are shaping up to be pressured on the work front, and as I promised myself I was going to get my poor shreds of stories all together on LJ, I'd better get on with it.
I've had my doubts about re-posting this. It was the very first thing I ever wrote, even before the Halbarad story I did for the LOM challenge. Even more so than the Halbarad story and "And not to yield", the whole lot came to me in the course of a feverish dream one night when I was getting over the 'flu. Me, who'd hadn't even been able to so much as read RPS until a short while before.
Thanks to half_elf_lost for excellent beta-work, as ever.
And that's all there's left to say, except - have the tissues handy.
Waiting for Sean
Pairing: VM / SB
Summary: it's short, just read it?
Warning: character death
Disclaimer: This story is a mere product of my fevered imagination, although one incidental male character and the physical setting are based on a person and a place I know well.
He liked this place, I know.
Before he’d had the time to make a paradise of the long, thin garden of his house with its high walls and chancy shadows, he used to come here to read in complete peace, away from phones and music and television. To watch the birds which lived in the small wilderness of the neglected churchyard, and the foxes who regularly sneaked through the gardens higher up the hill and raided the dustbins. To chat to the cheerful priest who’d taken on the seemingly impossible job of keeping the church open with the help of a tiny but devoted congregation.
And now I wait for him here. From the end of the bench – he found it broken and rusting away up against the church wall, and had it repaired and restored and put back here – if I sit up straight, I can just see the gleam of his bedroom windows reflecting the early morning light. If I sit up very straight and close my eyes tight, very tight, I can almost hear him coming down the steep footpath which leads from the side of his house, down between the gardens and into the back of the churchyard, cursing the weight of the toolbox he’s carted down to help fix another couple of nesting-boxes to the trees.
And surely now, because I’ve wished for it so often in the last few days, when I open my eyes, he will be there, right in front of me, arms held out.
“All done, let’s get back inside and get warm,” he’ll say, those eyes lively with the promise of coffee laced with brandy, and chocolate croissants, and so much more.
This time, he will be here.
I press my hands to my eyes until they ache, repeating the words over and over in my head. There is a sudden loud bird cry and the sound of feet on gravel. I can’t stop my eyes from flying open and for a moment I think like a child that as it’s not my fault for getting the magic spell wrong, I’ll get another chance at making it work.
But I won’t. As with every time I’ve opened my eyes in the last nine days, I remember yet again, as if the first telling wasn’t agony enough, that Sean is gone and he won’t come to me in this beautiful place or anywhere else. He died instantly when a van going too fast down the steep road by the side of the park skidded and hit Sean's car as he pulled out of a side road.
I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye then, to weep into his golden hair as I have so many times before. Today there will be too many people, Sean’s daughters, the Fellowship, all the other people who knew Sean and loved him – too many people who expect me to be strong for them. When will I have my time to weep?
I turn my head and Ian is standing by the corner of the church, immaculate in dark grey overcoat, with Father Harry a few steps behind, his heavy black cloak almost brushing the leaf-strewn ground.
“He’s here, Viggo. Will you come in? Can you?” It’s Ian’s Gandalf voice, wise and sad and understanding.
I stand abruptly, brushing blindly at my clothes. I have to go. Father Harry steps back and lets me pass, and Ian, and we go into the church.