Author's Note: This feels very, very strange. I haven't posted in literally years, but I found this old one-shot on my hard-drive and thought I'd post it and see. As ever, con-crit and reviews are much appreciated. ~Lia.
I saw him on the Tube today, through crowds of people and parting doors.
My feet moved, through no conscious decision of my own, taking pattering steps that put me on that moving train. They moved so quickly; I moved so quickly. I wasn't meant to be going that way, but when your feet take you running onto a different platform, what can you really do?
I'm not sure what I thought was going to happen. It had been years since we were this close to each other, and we weren't even that close at all. The same carriage. That was as close as we'd been in years; I could practically feel his skin under my finger-tips. It felt the same, a supple softness veiling the tautness of muscle and flesh.
He smelt the same, too. I could smell him all around me if I closed my eyes and thought of sweet warmth, cinnamon and sugar. It was always strongest in that curve where his neck and shoulders met, that welcoming place where my face could bury itself and breathe.
And I could see him, right there in front of me. His image disappeared and peek-a-booed back out from behind people as the train rocked along the tracks, steady and determined in its movement. Inside, I shook too, using every ounce of my willpower not to push through the people and stand before him. I would plant myself firmly in front of him and look up into those warm brown eyes like I once used to, waiting until he smiled and leant down to brush his lips over mine. That's exactly what I would have done, if I could.
He did not see me. I wondered if he ever would again. Really, deep down, I knew that he wouldn't. The past remains left behind us and our forward-moving lives. I was in his past, and he should have been in mine.
There is always that one person; that one person who holds onto you, so tightly, without even meaning to. That one person whose smile stays in your thoughts even when you try not to think about them, force yourself not to. There's that one person who can make your whole day feel right even when everything has gone wrong. There is always that one person; that one person who you should have kept, but didn't.
He was my one person.
I watched him. I wanted, so badly, to move, to bob through the crowded carriage and to place my hand at his elbow- just a light touch- to let him know that I was there. That I remembered him; would always remember him. I wanted to know how he was doing, what he was doing, where he was in his life. I'd watch him smile that radiant smile, and the whole carriage would light up with his warmth. It's the kind of warmth you can feel everywhere, from the tips of your fingers, right down to your toes. It's the kind of warmth I've only ever felt in his smile.
So I do move, or rather, my feet move for me. I weave through the people, slowly, uncertainly, stopping every so often as my body is grabbed by the most insistent of doubts, and I turn the thousand words that I want to say over in my head on a loop because they just don't sound right. Nothing I can say would seem right.
The train jerks rudely to a stop. The doors open and the air is filled by the heavy, busy sounds of the Underground and the exchange takes place, with people flowing into the carriage against the tide of people walking out. I see him taken from me in that tide, slipping through my fingers once again. I could rush out, force my way out and onto that platform to wrap my arms around him like he was mine again.
But he isn't.
He smiles and opens his arms to another, lips meeting in the most natural of movements. A silent exchange passes between them in the joining of their eyes and a secretive smile is shared in the most intimate way that only lovers can understand. Fingers entwine and they leave the scene, fading into the bustling masses and ebbing away on the tide.
No, he isn't mine any longer.