Written for the LJ 2011 Wishlist.
Requested By: Kerrykhat
Fandoms: Supernatural/Southern Vampire Mysteries
Prompt: Someone Like You
Disclaimer: I own neither SVM or SPN.Someone Like You
The sun was setting, lighting the sky on fire with oranges and reds as Alcide pulled into his driveway. He put the truck in park and just sat there for a moment, staring at the steering wheel. He was exhausted - he'd visited four different job sights, met with three potential new clients and headed off a disastrous decision of his father's all in the last twelve hours. But despite how good a hot shower, a beer and some sleep sounded, the thought of going in that silent, empty house dampened his relief at being home. Telling himself to quit being such a girl, he grabbed his hardhat and briefcase from the seat next to him and heaved himself from the truck with a sigh.
It was quiet inside the house, the only sound the lonely ticking of the grandfather clock in the living room. An heirloom that he kept because it had been in his mother's family, but really… he hated it. When the darkness came and he laid in his cold bed staring at the ceiling, each loud tick accentuated the lack of life in the house, the emptiness around him. But worse, it made him remember. Remember a time when his home had been filled with love and laughter. Warmth and contentment. A time when he hadn't heard the ticking of that clock at all. Three short months two years ago that still haunted him with their perfection.
He shook his head and sat his briefcase down by the door to the study, wondering what was making him think of her now. Not that it was really a rare occurrence, but usually something besides his own self-pity triggered it. These days it was Sookie, making him wonder if he was some kind of masochist for spending time with the sweet, but fiery blond barmaid that reminded him so much of another. Maybe he was torturing himself. Or maybe he was just trying to get as close as he could to what he'd had and lost.
But the thoughts of her simply wouldn't be shaken off this time. He slowed as he walked through the living room, remembering the two of them cuddled on the couch watching movies. His eyes drifted to the hallway where they had fallen victim to their passion before they could even make it to the bedroom. The lamp they'd picked out together after a wrestling match had gotten out of hand and the old one had been broken. He swore he could even smell the soft scent of her skin, a whiff of her shampoo, the warmth of her breath.
It wasn't until he stepped in the kitchen that he saw that it was more than just his exhausted mind torturing him. Maybe it had been some kind of sixth sense or maybe his thoughts had actually summoned her like a genie from a lamp. Either way, there she stood. The one person he wanted to see again the most, but never thought he would.
His hardhat slipped through his fingers and hit the tiled floor with a loud thump, but he didn't even notice.
She was standing by the back window, the quickly disappearing light causing a halo of warm orange around her. Her face was in shadow, the dim glow from the bulb above the stove not reaching her. But it didn't matter, he knew it was her. There could've been a hundred petite blondes standing in his kitchen and he'd still be able to zero in on her with his eyes closed. He was just that in tune with her presence. Had been since the day they'd met.
She'd been working in small bar in town. He'd taken a client there for lunch so they could hash out the details of the latest project. Some say there's no such thing as love at first sight, that it's just lust confused as something more. They were wrong. The moment he saw her, bending back the hand of a howling drunk who had tried to pat her ass, it was like something in him shifted. It wasn't a subtle feeling, or even particularly pleasant. More like the a dull sense of panic mixed with the feeling your stomach gets in an elevator with a dash of the kind of warmth a shot of good whiskey causes.
He'd come back everyday after that. Talked to her a little more each time. She was new in town and all on her own - no friends, no family (although she hadn't come out and said it, he'd gotten the feeling there'd been some kind of falling-out with her mother). He'd wanted to protect her - even though she neither needed nor appreciated it - he'd seen her act as bouncer as well as waitress on more than one occasion. They weren't rational, his feeling for her, but they were undeniable. He finally asked her out after a week. She'd laughed and said it was about damn time.
After that, things had moved fast. Soon she'd been staying at his place more than at her own small apartment. He wanted her to live with him. Forever if she'd accept, but he thought it was too soon to ask, so he'd held back. There'd been another reason to hold back though. A secret he should've told, but kept crushed inside. Scared of what revealing it would mean.
He didn't see her on nights of the full moon. Claiming business trips if she asked. It only took her three months to figure out the pattern. He was surprised when she confronted him, not with suspicions of another woman, but accusations of him being a werewolf. Accusations he couldn't deny. She'd screamed at him, called him a liar, a monster, and very nearly shot him before leaving in tears. The sound of her heartbroken sobs echoed in his ears for days after.
She'd disappeared from her job and apartment after that. Her phone disconnected. He never thought in a million years he'd see her face again, let alone have her show up in his kitchen of all places. Yet here she was. Something warm fluttered through him. But underneath that warmth, razor sharp barbs lingered, threatening to stab him at any moment. Hope.
She stepped forward a little as the remaining light from outside finally faded away, allowing the soft reaches of the stove light to brush her face.
"Sorry for just showing up out of the blue like this," she said with a sad, apologetic kind of smile. "I just… I needed to see you."
"You smell like smoke, cheri," Alcide said and immediately winced. The reason she'd left had been because she'd found out what he was and here he was reminding her of that…
But she just breathed out a soft laugh, that melancholy smile still on her face and said, "I always loved it when you called me that…" Then she shook her head slightly. "Sorry, it's been a long day."
Now that she'd mentioned it, he could see the paleness of her face. The lack of color in her usual pink lips. The sadness shining through her dark eyes as she stared at him unblinkingly. And now that he'd noticed the smell of smoke, it seemed to grow thicker, filling the space and choking out the smell of her he'd been greedily sucking in without realizing it. The edges of her shirt actually looked singed, curling and blackened along the collar and sleeves. Had they been like that a moment ago?
"I thought I'd show up here and find you with a girlfriend or a wife and a kid or something," she said, her voice teasing but her eyes serious.
"I tried," he said with a humorless huff of laughter, bitterness coating its edges and forcing him past any attempt at small talk. "I tried to replace you. I went out and found a woman who was everything you weren't - dark and arrogant and selfish. That didn't work, so I tried someone who was just like you - fiery and independent but good hearted. She even has your blond hair and almost the same smile. But she can't measure up either." He stopped, swallowing hard and clearing his throat. His voice had gone rough and gravely as he tried to make her understand. To see… "They weren't you
"I'm sorry," she choked out, her beautiful eyes swimming in tears that hadn't fallen. "I should've stayed. I was so wrong and I was scared and I… I'm just so sorry."
"Jo," he said, the sight of her tears making him feel bad about his outburst. He reached for her, but she stepped back quickly, shaking her head.
"I tried to replace you, too. I found someone I thought was like you - big and tough, but with such a good heart, who looked out for everyone around him like it was his only job in the world. But… he wasn't you, either. And I just wanted you to know that. Know that I couldn't replace you and I don't think you're a monster and I'm so sorry that I said that. That, if I could change one thing, I would've stayed here, with you."
That feeling of hope tightened its warm, creeping embrace and he took a step toward her, half afraid to see her retreat again, but not being able to stop himself either. But she didn't back away, she just looked at him sadly. He took another step, and another, until he was right in front of her, but forced himself not to touch her like he wanted to. The possibility of rejection still making him wary.
Her hand drifted up toward his face and there was the briefest feeling of cold air brushing his cheek.
"I love you, Alcide. I loved you since I met you and I never stopped. Maybe it's cruel to tell you that now… I don't know. I just needed you to know before I could go."
"Go?" He asked, his chest constricting. "Go where?"
"Please don't forget me," she said, two large tears spilling down her cheeks. "Be happy, but please don't forget me."
Unable to hold himself back anymore, he reached for her. His hands went through her arms. She kept looking up at him, those horribly sad eyes seeming to take in every detail of his face, then she faded away, leaving nothing but cold behind.
The ticking of the grandfather clock filled the silence. He was alone again.