TITLE: "Somewhere Down The Road" (1/1)
AUTHOR: Alexandra K.
SUMMARY: Two unique Christmas gifts, a blizzard and a goodbye... What good can come of it?
RATING: R (language; but two little words won't kill you, will they?)
ARCHIVE: Yes, please :)
DISCLAIMER: not mine. As always.
SONG CREDITS: (duh) "Somewhere Down The Road" - Barry Manilow or whoever owns it. I sure as hell don't.

AN: Everyone's already written a story or two in the post-finale theme, so now it's my turn... I fell asleep really early last night after re-reading "Before You Say Goodbye" for the millionth time. Surprisingly enough, I dreamt about Larry... and Ally... and them together... You get the point.

NB!!! I screwed up the timeline a bit here, so you'll just have to forgive me for that. Pretend all of it happened circa Christmas. 'Cause, well, it was snowing in my dream. Deck the halls with bounds of holly... Fa la la la la la la la la!

P.S. Please don't give up on this story halfway through it just because it might seem a little depressing... You know me. I can't live without fluff :)

"Somewhere Down The Road"

- - - -

'A quoi bon vivre sans ami?' ("Hai Luli" - Viardot; de Maistre)

[What's the point of living without a lover?]

- - - -


A year ago, I was lost. No less lost than now.

A year ago, I found love. Or love found me. Whichever way you look at it, I had love. I didn't even know love so strong existed. It did. In him. And in me.

I found myself, or at least I tried to. I found stability, or at least for some time. I found Larry... to lose him now. Did I find myself?

If I'd found myself, I wouldn't be standing here right now. I've just been trying to convince myself I had.

Now, I need to find myself. I need support, and his life wasn't sturdy enough to provide that.

A year ago, I was told I'm loved. Immensely. And it still gives me strength at times when I want to collapse under the weight of the world.

Like right now. But today's a little different.

I become increasingly aware of the heavy smell of pine needles as I sniffle, desperately trying to fight back tears.

Too late.

I don't want this silence. I don't want this-- fight. I'd prefer to throw the word "breakup" out of my current vocabulary for now...

I don't want to pretend everything's alright, because IT'S NOT.

I don't want these fake voices, because they're just too damn sharp. It's like we don't care about what happened, like we don't even *want* to stop this.

I don't want this unbreakable brick wall between us. I don't want this moment, where we can't talk to each other.

Why can't we talk to each other?!

What are we afraid of saying, or hearing?!

Why can't we sit down on the couch, pour ourselves a cup of coffee each and just *talk* to each other, figure out what's broken and how it came to be broken and by whom and how to piece it back together?

Why are we standing here, looking at each other, not knowing what to say but crying nonetheless?

Why do we have to do this?!

What happened to *us*?

Why do I love him so much?

We invested so much into this... We can't just close the door on it. We can't just shove it into a desk drawer and come across it in ten, fifteen years with a nostalgic sort of smile that's usually reserved for old high school yearbooks or photos of birthday parties with barnyard animals and pinatas and your entire kindergarten class playing musical chairs on the lawn...

No, no, I try to convince myself. I'm strong. I'll pull through. I need myself right now, more than anything. He crossed paths with me at a time when I needed to realize who *I* was and what *I* needed.

Jesus, I sound like Renee.

Right now, though, there's one tiny little problem that I'm weighed down by. And if I don't find a way to solve it...

But I can't think about that right now. I have to figure out myself before I can figure out my child. Our child. Which he doesn't know of.

He taught me to love and to live and to forgive and to never misplace my life or my love by entrusting the wrong person with it.

That's all fabulous, of course, except that in the course of all of that I've realized that--

The door slams dully behind him...

-- he's the only *right* person.

There, I'm back to my old self. I could curl up into a ball right now and cry for the remainder of the day. Hmmm, that's too tempting a thought to pass up; in fact, I think that's exactly what I'll--

No time to curl up into a ball... I've caught sight of his envelope...

We laughed last week about how we'd both given each other white envelopes for Christmas. He joked that I probably bought cruise tickets to Capri or something.

Is *he* in for a surprise...

But I shouldn't think about that right now. It's not even something I'm sure I'll commit to long-term.

I furiously claw at the the matte paper, my vision blurred by tears.

I need him. No, I don't. I know I'll survive without him, and at the same time I'm not so sure. I'm completely lost as to the difference between what I need and what I want and what I can and cannot live without...

He falls under all of those categories.

Oh, this is just *marvelous*... How the fuck dare he write me ANOTHER note???? My eyes scan first one, then the other side of the paper, searching for the familiar thin block letters of his handwriting...

"So is it a yes?"

"A yes"? "A yes" to what?

...A yes?...

I never thought processing a single line could take so long...

A yes... A yes?

...............A yes?!....

A yes?!

Realization slowly creeps up behind me and hits me over the head. Boy is it heavy.


Out, down, no time to lock anything, door left swinging open, pedestrians maimed, snow cursed, velvet dress shoes soaked, body shaking from the bitter cold, keys slammed into the car door, hem of coat stuck in the door, radio punched on, accelerator started, tires screeching, traffic rules *completely* ignored, red light *not* taken into consideration, tens of drivers left pissed off, snow spraying out from tires every which way, speed limit forgotten about - faster, faster, faster, breath caught in my throat, driving down one way streets the opposite way and veering around all vehicles that have the nerve to be in my way, hitting the brakes accidentally and forgetting about them when they're actually needed, with absolutely no idea where I'm going but driving forward nonetheless, the faster the better, only to get away from my loneliness in a desperate attempt to get closer to home... *my* home...

If I keep this speed up I'll take off into the not-so-friendly skies soon...

"We had the right love
At the wrong time
Guess I always knew inside
I wouldn't have you for a long time..."

...rhythm pounding in my head, blood boiling, tears stinging as they run down my cheeks and fall onto the leather of the steering wheel... Our love was *the* right love... The *only* right love...

Last time I heard this song when we were *kept* apart by circumstances neither I nor he could control...

This time, it's *my* fault.

*I* sent him away.

*I* broke up with him.

*I* didn't trust him.

And now *I'm* being forced to accept the fact that he's gone.

What do I do now?

I could move on, if I only knew how to...

How do I move on?

*Can* I move on at all?

There is, of course, life beyond him...

...but why should I want to live it?

*How* could I -- *ever* -- want to live it?

"Those dreams of yours
Are shining on distant shores
And if they're calling you away
I have no right to make you stay...

But somewhere down the road
Our roads are gonna cross again
It doesn't really matter when
But somewhere down the road
I know that heart of yours will come to see
That you belong with me..."

You belong with me... You belong with me... You belong with me and I belong with you and we belong together, screw ex-wives and ex-girlfriends and ice cream, which I swear I'll never eat again for as long as I live...

The mantra loops in my head, forcing me to hit the gas even harder, other cars down the one-way onto which I was unlucky enough to turn frantically pulling over to the curb as though I were an ambulance... Good. I need extra space.

One particular specimen decides to go for the Mr. Hot-Shot award, zooming closer and closer, reluctant to follow the others' example and drag his sorry ass over into one of the snow heaps by the side of the road. I up my speed; so does he... I rave up enough courage to keep him right on my trajectory, not turning the steering wheel even a millimeter to either side, so that he--


- - - -


I left her with a note.


I'm such a dickhead.

It's probably already in the trash by now. Whether it was read or not doesn't matter anyway. The answer's 'no' either way.

I deserved every last word she said to me. But in her, I saw support that could save me. Love that could revitalize me.

It did. And now, revitalized but with no plans, no clear future and absolutely no one to turn to, I'm left to figure it all out on my own.

She's gone.

I love her, and she's gone.

"Sometimes goodbyes are not forever...
It doesn't matter if you're gone,
I still believe in us together...
I understand more than you think I can -
You have to go out on your own
So you can find your way back home..."

How *sweet*. When I was little I used to think radios played different songs for each person depending on his or her mood. And what with the current coincidence... Go figure...

I sound just like her. How str-- what's this?

A strip of white glances out at me from under the black folders of my portfolio like a ray of sun miraculously appearing out of the dark gray clouds that I have no hope of getting out of.

Her envelope.

For a second I debate whether opening it now would be a wise thing to do - I'm wrecked enough as is, and an image of what I *could* have had had I not been so --excuse my 'french'-- fucking stupid, an image that is now - and forever - out of reach, will only make it worse.

My hands tremble as I carefully tear the envelope at the crease, feeling thick photo-type paper glide silently out.

Black, gray, white lines... monotonous clusters...

... Holy Christ.

My foot hits the gas even harder - I don't care whether I just ran a red light or a green light or a blue-and-pink polka dot light, I need to go back, to her, no, not just "go" back, *fly* back, to her, drop to my knees in front of her and do whatever I need to, lose whatever remnants of dignity - if any - still cling to me, in order to get her back...

"But somewhere down the road
Our roads are gonna cross again
It doesn't really matter when
But somewhere down the road
I know that heart of yours will come to see
That you belong with me..."

Eyes still fixed on the ultrasound, I--


- - - -


...I painfully open my eyes to meet my chaotic surroundings - shattered glass, twisted metal, cracked plastic and an airbag which will sooner suffocate me than save my life... The force of the crash throws me back hard against the seat, a sharp pang of pain rocketing up my spinal cord and echoing in my head. Tears spurt out, more of unexpected fear than pain, as I struggle to climb out of the wrecked heap of steel that used to be my SUV. In a semi-delirious, jumbled, foggy state, I stumble out, my entire body shuddering from waves of hysterical tears. I start gathering up enough courage to lift my head and see whom I crashed into, feeling the avalanche of cursing and court papers rapidly nearing me... When I finally draw in my breath and look up--

"Letting go is just another way to say
I'll always love you so
We had the right love
At the wrong time
Maybe we've only just begun
Maybe the best is yet to come..."

-- oh my God...

He swoops me up into his strong arms, his shock subsiding a little, mine still in full bloom, and carefully starts rocking me side to side as I hysterically sob into his shoulder, teeth digging into the thick wool of his coat, gasping for air, my arms around his neck, afraid that if I loosen my grasp for even a fraction of a second he'll disappear, evaporate, and this amazing, magical moment, this confluence of love and life and emotion, will become nothing more than an unrealistic fantasy... As he gently starts stroking my hair, I bury my face in the folds of his coat, completely oblivious to the blizzard, the honking of cars piled up around us and the still distant "whee" of a police siren speeding towards us, immersed in him, his touch, his love. His fingers run through my hair, down my neck and around to my collarbone, then back up my neck to my cheeks as he slowly pulls away and grasps my face between his palms, his lips first on my forehead, then down my eyelids and onto my lips - soft and subtle at first, then with growing passion... While his hands are still on my cheeks I clasp his wrists tightly and look up into his dark eyes, tears pooling in mine once again. Let me cry, Larry... Just hold me and let me cry.

"Sir... Ma'am," a cop pulls up, his eyes the size of dinner plates as he inspects the scene - two ruined cars by now buried under a thick layer of snow and their apparent drivers french kissing in the middle of a packed one-way street. Pedestrians stop dead in their tracks and other drivers start climbing out of their cars, pleading for us to move out of their way while the cop continues his interrogation - "Sir, ma'am, what happened?"

"Just-- shut up for a second..." Larry raises his hand at him, motioning 'stop', while his lips slowly slide down to my shoulder. "You okay?" he looks up at me briefly, his eyes holding a twinkle of long-awaited joy. I nod, sniffling, tears still streaming down my cheeks. "I'm never gonna let you go..." he murmurs into the loose strands of hair cascading down my neck, his voice soft and warm and so very comforting. I smile quietly, my body still shaking a little while the sobs quiet down.

"Take me home..." I whisper, wrapping my arms even tighter around his neck. I'm never letting him go, either.
"I'm afraid we'll have to walk, though..." he laughs, nodding towards what used to be our cars.
"And confront the Nazi..." I turn my head to look at the cop, arms still around Larry's neck, a giddy smile playing on my lips as I briefly try to imagine what I look like to passerbys - smeared lipstick, runny mascara, red eyes and wet hair, pressed against my Larry (whose once-gorgeous Lexus I just reduced to a pile of metal), quaintly nuzzling his neck. I must look *fantastic*.

"Cause somewhere down the road
Our roads are gonna cross again
It doesn't really matter when
But somewhere down the road
I know that heart of yours will come to see
That you belong with me..."

"You know, Officer," Larry starts, slipping his arms around my waist and turning to the startled cop, "how about we all discuss this over tea? I want some tea. Mango Peach or something... You want some tea, baby?" he turns to me, his tone nonchalant and matter-of-fact... as always. I nod, giggling. I'm *freezing*.

"Are you *ill*, sir?" the cop narrows his eyes at us. Larry imitates innocence.
"Me?! No..."
"Yes." I counter, recieving a priceless smile in reply.
"Really?" he looks at me, surprised.
"Yes." I repeat, hoping he caught the double entendre. After all, his damn note was what started all of this.
He seems to have understood. I brush a snowflake off his nose with my glove.
"Larry, Larry, Larry..." I sigh, shaking my head. He's a myriad of surprises, most of which I have yet to unveil.

This is gonna be *so* amazing...

(The End)

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Any & all feedback will be most graciously accepted anytime - snowbunny@ifrance.com :o)