Title: "Weep Not For The Memories"
Rating/Classification: SAC, angst, Skye/Coleman-ish.
Disclaimer: Not my characters!
Summary: A filler ficlet. Who helps Skye through Lila's passing? How does
she find out?
He sees it in the morning paper. The picture of the old lady, the headline saying she was beloved and will be missed...that she passed, quietly, in her sleep. And then, as he's crumpling up the newsprint and about to toss it in the trash, he remembers...
He kissed her hand once.
In the middle of a fancy party, he knelt down and took her liver-spotted
hand in his and her grip was gentle. Her eyes twinkled when she looked up at him. She blushed. She was beautiful. For a split second, he felt like he was, too. Like he was a nice guy, somebody who belonged in her world, in her living room.
And, for a split second, he saw Skye.
He saw the way he wanted Skye Quartermaine to look at him.
He wonders if she even knows her granny is dead.
He wonders and, ten minutes later, he's got his jeans from the night before on and he's grabbing his keys off the coffee table. He stumbles out to the car, slams the door shut, and kicks up the engine. He wonders as he takes the road out north to Pentonville, the newspaper smoothed out on the passenger seat, its pages blowing back and forth in the warm breeze coming
through the windows.
He saw that in the paper, too. That she was convicted. Twenty years in
the can. He hasn't visited her. He doesn't think she'd want that. Instead, he's had a couple dozen fantasies about her soaping up in the prison showers. Since he's not a nice guy and all. Since she probably looks fantastic in blue coveralls and out of 'em. Since he's not supposed to miss her and not supposed to care.
But he wonders.
So, he parks in the visitors' lot and locks the door even though his piece
of crap car was up on blocks for ages and a twelve-year-old could break into it if they wanted. He signs in and gets himself a pass and tells the smarmy pencil-pusher at the window who he's here to see.
"Are you family?" asks the officious snot.
He wonders if her family called at all. Either one.
He doubts it. "I'm her..." 'Friend' doesn't seem right. 'Lover'? Hell no. "I'm all she's got," he murmurs, finally, remembering telling her that a long time ago.
It's amazing how he remembers details like that.
Like how she smelled like cucumber melon spray hastily spritzed on over a layer of vodka...and how, one night, in his arms, she whispered, "Besides
AJ, Lila is the only one in that house who loves me...but she loves everybody."
He doesn't know what that's like. He's never loved *anybody*, much less *everybody*. But he lets Pentonville swallow him up. The doors make a
metallic noise as they slide open...as he walks into the stupid room with the stupid plexiglass and the phones. He visited his bookie on the men's side once. A crappy place to talk about the ponies. An even worse place to talk about death.
The minute he sees her, he knows she knows.
Maybe she saw the same headline.
Maybe somebody told her in the caf line.
Maybe the Drs. Q called.
Maybe she just knows in her soul.
Her eyes are red, but the rest of her is pale and her lips are bitten through. She looks wasted...but he knows it isn't from booze. It's from crying. Probably up in her cell where nobody could see her. And she wiped her face on the scratchy blanket and told Bertha in the bunk below to mind her own business.
"Why are you here?" She doesn't pick up the stupid phone. He can read
her lips clearly. He always could...
He throws a pleading glance to the guard. A hefty woman who looks like
the scary maid chick from the mansion. Must be a taste of home for Skye. "Come on..." He tries the charm. "Please...?"
"Go away, Coleman," Skye mouths, and he knows her voice sounds like she's a two pack a day smoker even though she's never lit up in her life.
She doesn't get her way.
Big Alice's second cousin grabs him by the arm and takes him through
another reinforced door with her security card. And then he's on the other
side of all the barriers. All the barriers but the one that counts.
She closes her eyes, like she can shut him out that way. Her nails are
bitten down, too, and they're still going to cut into her palms. But he was right...she looks fantastic in blue.
"No. No, it's not true." Barely a whisper. And that's all.
He catches her as she crumples into the chair. He kneels down at her feet and takes her hand and his grip is gentle.
Her eyes don't twinkle. They bleed.
She's still beautiful.
He'll never wonder about that.
July 15, 2004.