Mourning for a Fantasy

"What?" she asked for the third time. Her friend shifted from one foot to the other, but repeated his statement.

"I'd like you to come with me to the dance.

"I don't dance," she said bluntly.

"I know."

"Then why--"

"Because I'd like you there," he insisted. "It's not like you have to talk to other people."

She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, just avoid them."

'Them' didn't sound like 'Them'; it sounded an awful lot like 'her.'

The room was darker than she'd like and she didn't have her glasses with her, but she could see his brows furrow slightly at her sarcasm. She stepped a little back from him, sitting down in the beanbag chair, just to the side of the bed.

He took her cue, sitting on the bed and putting them at a little less of a height difference.

She'd invited him over because she'd wanted to not be alone, but when he'd arrived, he'd brought a dress. She'd stared at him like he was mad, but he just stood with a nervous smile.

"Faye, you don't have to stop going to dances just because--"

"Yes. Yes, I really do." She looked up, down, around, anywhere but meeting his eyes. "I'm not going to go and--"

"Why?"

"Because I shouldn't have to see--"

"Why?" he cut her off. "You don't want to, I understand, but why won't you just come with me? Just me."

"Because--"

"Because why?"

She leapt up from the chair to stalk around the room. "Because I'm embarrassed, alright? Fine. I said it and it's dumb. I know it's dumb, but fuck, maybe I'm dumb, but it's because I wanted to go with her and she'll be there and I'll have to see her." She picked up a necklace off her dresser, twisting the chain between her fingers. "You'll tell me I can just go with you, but if she's there, I'll just be seeing her and thinking about her and I don't want that. I can't deal with that."

He tried to grab her as she stormed past once again, crossing the length of her little room, but she brushed him off and broke away from him. "Faye..." he said, her name a filler word for other things he didn't know how to say. "It's not stupid and you're not stupid."

She laughed sharply. "James, I don't want to see her and that's it."

"You said this wouldn't happen. You said you'd be fine."

"Maybe I lied. Or better yet, how about will, as in future? As in not now." She grabbed her hair and collapsed back into the beanbag. It let out a brief groan as she curled onto her side. "I just want a little time."

"Time to what?"

"Time to mourn," she said simply. "I'm mourning."

She was in mourning for a relationship she never had. It was that simple. And no, maybe she wouldn't blame Alexis in a few more weeks, but right now – right now it hurt just to think about.

She was mourning those few brief moments where she'd hoped that she could have her. That they could be happy. That someone loved her back.

James was silent beside her, not sure what to say. There wasn't anything he could say to fix this. He just didn't want her to stay locked up in her room. He'd seen her do it before.

"Alexis never meant to hurt you."

"I know," she whispered, head down in her hands. "I know and it's my fault for having these stupid feelings. But can't I hate her for just a little bit?"

James took her hand and pulled her up from the ground to sit beside him. "You can. And I'll be here to pick you up when you've thrown yourself to the floor in a dramatic tirade."

Faye looked up at him, tears shining, not quite fallen. "I didn't tell her."

"I know."

"She asked me. And I didn't lie. That's good, right?"

"I don't know, honey." He held her. He was her best friend and even if his words couldn't fix her, he could be there. Just sit and wait for the storm in her eyes to blow over.

"Why would she ask if the answer was no?" She curled her face into his neck, tears running freely, voice breaking as she forced out the words. "Why bring it up at all? Couldn't she just pretend I'm not pathetically in love with her?"

"You're not pathetic," he said, instead telling her that Alexis had just wanted a reassurance that the comments weren't meant 'like that.' She hadn't known. She wasn't a villain, just a teenage girl who didn't know any better.

But Faye didn't want to hear that now. She just wanted a day or two to pretend the sky was falling and this was the end of days and then she could move on. A time to mourn. A time to say and think things that she knew hurt her. She didn't want logic. She wanted tears and anger.

She wanted to purge away the feelings and the hopes and dreams. She wanted to get the image of Alexis out of her head. She didn't know how to do that without a complete rejection of Alexis, if just for a little while.

She'd said it would be okay, that she would survive. That was in the future, though, and for now she just cried into James' chest and hated everything.

"We won't go," he finally agreed. "But you'll owe me," he joked. "I paid for the tickets and everything." He vaguely gestured at the dress, laying in a heap in the corner.

"Give the tickets to Alexis and her date," she suggested bitterly.

He went quiet, joke failed. He shifted them back against the wall, settling in for the long haul. He'd be here as long as it took.

"I'm sorry I'm like this," she mumbled.

"Never apologize for who you are," he quoted solemnly.

She giggled, a little hysterically, but it was something. "Are you my personal Hallmark card?"

"Get well soon?" he suggested. She smacked him playfully. He smiled softly, "Please?"

She closed her eyes and just felt him, there with her. "I will."


Beta'd by The Nifty Green Fish. Sorry for all the haitus. I don't have a good excuse, but R&R anyway?