A/N: Writing is...tough. I've had experience of posting one chapter and getting 70 reviews (dramione/fanfiction) and I've had experience posting three chapters and getting none. In both cases, I didn't continue the story. Over the years, I've come to learn that reviews have no overall effect on my motivation. Either I feel daunted to surpass my former glory, or I feel I have no glory to speak of.
Which means I find finishing stories a right pain. Which is a shame - because I do think there's a writer somewhere in me - maybe even a good one - if only I can discipline myself.
So new years resolution!
Even if what I post is absolute drivel, I vow to complete a story, even if it's terrible. Even if I cut the story short. And when I get my confidence back up - I will work on my storytelling ability. Promise.
A week later, Amethyst found herself sitting opposite Kayley's brother in his kitchen. Not a lot of people had gotten out of Charlemont, and Bobby was no exception. A baby was crying somewhere upstairs, the noise sounding bleak and luminous. He didn't look in the best of shape - but at least he looked lucid.
"I've come here to pay my respects." Amethyst folded her hands in front of her. "I knew Kayley back in school, and she was a girl who always seemed like she was full of life."
Bobby took a deep breath. "You said you wanted to know some answers."
"Yes," Amethyst said carefully. "I left this town pretty early. I heard about Keiran coming back. Trying to clear his name..." she hesitated. "That Kayley lied..."
"For Kayley, it was a secret she was proud of -" Bobby's upper lip curled. "Bagging that Dwyer kid. The thrill of sneaking around with the school reject had her excited as hell. But then she found out the news. She can't have any kids - and all that blame transference got pinned on that waste of space."
"Hey-" Amethyst protested.
"He came back, didn't he?" Bobby waved a hand. "Received absolution? Got the entire town back on side. But just because he got his life back on fucking track, doesn't mean Kayley had. She was lost. What she did was pretty silly, but it wasn't like her life was peachy. She fluffed up her education. Got hooked on drugs. When the police came, I might've pointed them in Keiran's direction-"
His upper lip curled yet again, but there was abject misery on his face. Amethyst had not taken one sip from the coffee mug place in front of her and she didn't plan to now. Placing the cup aside, she reached out and placed a hand on top of Bobby's. She didn't say word. Just let it linger there for a moment, before withdrawing and standing up. As she walked out the house, she wondered why Keiran had come to search for her.
From the sounds of it, even Kayley's brother had reluctantly admitted he'd been stitched up. The entire town had learnt the truth. Yet, he'd come all the way out to Amethyst, as if there was still one last person's mind he had to change. Well she had to confess - what she now felt for him was nothing more than pity and a sense of regret.
She'd been part of the reason why he'd been locked up for several years.
He could've blamed her - sought revenge - but he didn't.
Amethyst closed the gate behind her, and turned to face the road. Just behind her car, another had pulled up, and it's owner was leaning against it's side, like he knew she'd be there. She hadn't seen him for a week - not since he broke into her apartment. Amethyst drunk him in, and again felt that pang of regret. When she'd first seen how fine he looked, it hadn't been in the most complimentary of circumstances.
But he'd chosen to get his life around.
"Keiran." She stopped in front of him. "I'm so sorry."
His arms were crossed, but he slightly lowered them.
"You don't have to apologize."
"But I kind of do. I'm so sorry what happened to you and you didn't deserve any of it. Kayley's setup was so foolproof, I really thought you were some...monster. And although you didn't have to - I'm glad that you came to my place of work that day. You are more...strong than the most of us. So, thank you."
Amethyst turned slightly, so he couldn't see how deeply she felt, but his hand came out and gripped her sleeve.
"I don't want this to be a goodbye," he said softly. "I want this to be a beginning. I know our past is something we have no control of, but I want every bit of control in the future." He took a deep breath. "And I want you to be in there in some form. Maybe as a friend for now. But in the future...who knows?"
"I could have a boyfriend you know!"
"You could," his hand traced down, to lightly hold hers. "But you don't. Looked through your apartment, remember?"
"Yeah about that..." Amethyst frowned. "Try that again, and you'll be blacklisted forever."
"Just as long as you don't stab me."
Amethyst looked down at their joined hands. It was too soon. She removed hers lightly, trying not to offend his feelings, but also trying to show she wasn't completely averse to his touch. It was just that...there was a lot of water under the bridge, and it would have to take time for the ebb to flow.
But maybe she could start by giving him her number.
Terrible, I know.
Good news is it's a start! :)