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02 April 2007 @ 09:29 pm
HL50- Prompt Grief  
Summary: Richie comes to terms with his new life and the loss of the first woman he truly loved.
 
The Morning After the Night Before
 
Richie awoke from a troubled sleep and trotted into the kitchen to make breakfast. In those blissful few moments between sleep and fully awake, he had forgotten what had occurred only the night before. But as he approached the living room, he felt a strange sensation in his head, which dissipated as soon as he saw Duncan. Then the night before slammed itself back into his consciousness and he remembered he was Immortal. He was Immortal and she was gone.
 
They hadn’t returned from the police station until the early hours of this morning, and Duncan seemed to have spent the rest of the night on the couch, probably crying and probably not wanting to sleep in their bed without her. Not wishing to disturb him, Richie hovered in the doorway. “It’s okay Rich, you can come in.”
“How did you…? Oh, yeah. Sorry that was a dumb question.” He seated himself in a chair opposite, not knowing what to say, or if he should say anything at all. After a moment or two, Duncan looked up at him.
 
“Are you okay?” Richie was thrown by the question.
“Okay? Yeah, I guess, but shouldn’t I be asking you that?” Duncan smiled weakly.
“It’s a big shock, coming back the first time. And given the circumstances…” he looked away, the tears he was holding back barely concealed. He smiled once more at Richie, then stood up. “I think I need some air. I’ll be back soon.”
 
Duncan went out, leaving Richie to his own thoughts. He went to the kitchen and made himself some coffee. He looked in the icebox, but he wasn’t really hungry, out of habit he grabbed an apple and sat down at the table.
He still couldn’t believe she was gone. Every time he heard a noise, he looked up, expecting to see her. He couldn’t even imagine what Duncan was going through.
 
“And just think how many times you’ll go through this again,” came a little voice in his head, “you’re Immortal now. You’ll have to watch everyone around you die again and again forever or until someone takes your head.” The Game. That was a terrifying thought. Richie had only picked up a sword a few times in his life, usually to steal it, and most of those had only occurred since he met Mac.
 
Why hadn’t Mac started to train him already? He said he always knew that Richie was Immortal, so why not prepare him a little? If an Immortal challenged him today or tomorrow he’d be screwed.
 
He finished his coffee and went to wash it. There, sitting on the side, was Tessa’s favourite mug. It even had a little coffee left. Richie picked it up to wash it out, but found himself cradling it. “She’ll never use this again.” He thought to himself. Without warning, the tears came. Still clutching the mug, Richie slid to the floor and sat, sobbing. “She’s gone!” he cried to the Fates, to God, to nobody in particular. “She’s gone and I’m here, it’s not fair!” He rocked back and forth, clutching the mug as though it were a baby, not wanting to let it go, not wanting to let her go. He sobbed for ages, until he had no more tears to cry, ending up lying in the foetal position on the floor.
 
His mind was racing with a thousand things. He thought of all the good times with Tessa, all the bad times, all the words unsaid and the words said that could never be taken back. He loved her as if she were his real mother, perhaps more so, for his recollection of the woman he had assumed was his mother was the faint memory of a toddler, distant and detached. He knew he had witnessed her death, but he couldn’t feel anything about that, no matter how hard he tried. He knew that Emily Ryan hadn’t been his real mother, and he dimly remembered that Duncan had said that all Immortals were ‘foundlings’. So Tessa was the closest thing he’d probably ever have to a mother, and now she was gone.
 
Oh God, she was gone.
 
Richie felt that peculiar sensation again and realised that Duncan was returning. He got up and dusted himself off, placed the cup in the sink and washed his face. He didn’t want Mac to know he’d been crying. Duncan was going through enough right now; he had his own grief to deal with. He’d be there for Mac, like Mac had been for him all those times. He could grieve later, he could train later. Mac would teach him when he was ready, and until then he was sure he would protect him. But just in case he decided to find out the location of the nearest holy ground.
 
 
 
 
Carol Bartholomew: Sad bassetcarolhelga on April 2nd, 2007 09:08 pm (UTC)
*sniffle* We do tend to forget that Tessa was Richie's "mom", don't we. The loss for him was as strong, if different as it was for Duncan.

Powerful work here.
But, I don't want to be a pie,idontlikegravy on April 2nd, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
It always slightly annoyed me that this traumatic period of Richie's life was glazed over. Only slightly, I know the show was called Highlander and the focus had to be Duncan, but there was still room for Richie's voice to be heard.
She went that-a-way...: duncanbwjinxed_wood on April 2nd, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
A very poignant piece, thanks for sharing.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: Dariusidontlikegravy on April 3rd, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
I was concerned that the tone of this might lean toward the melodramatic, so thanks for the positive comments.
*bows with humility*
She went that-a-way...: richiejinxed_wood on April 3rd, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
I don't think Richie could have reacted in any other way, to be quite honest; so no, it isn't overly dramatic :-)
holde_maidholde_maid on April 3rd, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
Well-written, wonderfully emotional.

Good Richie fic is relatively rare. Thank you for providing more.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: Dariusidontlikegravy on April 3rd, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad you think so. Thank you.
Alicia: hl ~ methos ~ out of blue ~ kamilaadiamond9697 on April 5th, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
I like this. We get a very powerful sense of Richie's grief here that was never really touched upon very much. Well done.
But, I don't want to be a pie,idontlikegravy on April 5th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks. *grins* I'm really glad you liked it.