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[FIC] Haze (Part 2)

Title: Haze (Part 2)
Rating: PG
Genre: Angst, Tragedy, Dark
Setting: anything after the season 5 premiere, the time’s kind of ambiguous
Word count: 1,400
Summary: The Vicodin makes everything interesting to say the least, but he’s managing.

When he finally is allowed to leave the hospital, the doctors give him a prescription of Vicodin for the pain in his back that resulted from the accident. He wishes that the Vicodin could make the pain in his soul stop, but he knows that the only way to fix that is to get her back.

In the weeks after he finds out about her death, he goes through the stages of grief.

At first, he denies that it’s true, that she’s been in the same room as him for weeks. He could hear her talk, laugh, could see her smile and make dirty gestures. It didn’t make sense that she could plainly be in the corner, laughing with him one second and dead the next. But then, it all starts to make sense. He sees her less and less after he finds out and starts to get better, but she never sticks around long enough for him to ask her why she never told him she was dead. It seems so logical after a while, and so wrong.

He becomes angry at himself for letting her follow him into the car to visit his mother. He didn’t want to take her to meet his mother as his girlfriend yet but she’d insisted he was just putting off the inevitable. Plus, he’d woken up early that day after staying up half the night working and she wanted to be able to rescue him if he got too tired. Why had he let her? If only he’d tried to make her stay home, tried harder to convince her that he didn’t need for her to save him. He wasn’t tired at all because when he was tired, he stopped being tired was awesome instead. He was angry, angry, angry at whoever had caused the accident, whatever stupid drunk had slammed into the car from the passenger side. He was angry at everyone who could have stopped her from leaving him alone in the world.

When the anger subsides, he starts trying to bargain for her life back. He starts talking to God again, trying to convince Him that he’d do anything just to get her back. He’d stop having sex, stop drinking, stop wearing suits if only she would wake up from a dead-like sleep and be fine again. He finds himself wishing on every superstitious belief that she would come back. He convinces himself that its all just a horrible nightmare and he’ll wake up in bed next to her if he just pinches himself hard enough. The red welts on his arm don’t go away until he melts into the next phase, the one he hasn’t gotten out of yet.

Depression hurts, is what the commercials for anti-depressants always say and he can’t agree more. As he accepts his Vicodin from the local pharmacy, he pops a few just to make the pain go away. As everything goes back to the haze he hasn’t been in for a few weeks, he sighs in relief. He tries not to think of anything associated with her but after months of dating and a year of pining, he’s gotten so accustomed to associating everything with her that trying not to hurts. Everything hurts. There’s nothing that makes him want to go on anymore now that she’s gone. Ted, Marshall and Lily watch him closely now that he’s out of the hospital. Ted’s new girlfriend, the one that Ted went on a date with so long again, is a psychology major and has warned them that he might fall into the Kubler-Ross model of grief.

He’s sick of them looking at him like they did when he was just starting to talk again, like he’s something fragile that can brake with the slightest push in the wrong direction. He’s depressed, the girl of his dreams as just died, he’s not going to break.

He thinks cynically one day that his theory of being awesome all of the time doesn’t account for what to do when one’s girlfriend dies. It crazy how his philosophy for more than ten years suddenly doesn’t matter anymore now that she’s gone. Suddenly, he doesn’t want to be awesome anymore, doesn’t want to do anything anymore. He laughs a wry laugh as he thinks of how she can affect his awesomeness so much even from the afterlife.

In the weeks after his release, he just keeps popping the Vicodin every time anything hurts. He’s been given an extended leave of absence from work so every day he just sits around in his apartment, playing the piano and popping Vicodin. The haze is around so constantly that he’s used to it now. Its so thick that it doesn’t even phase him that he’s in the same apartment she spent so many nights in all those weeks ago, before the accident. As long as he keeps popping those pills, nothing hurts anymore. He sees Lily maybe every few days when she visits his apartment to check how he’s doing and he’s gotten pretty good at hiding his new addiction. She doesn’t suspect a thing.

The alcohol isn’t working very well so he just pops pills to make the pain go away. There’s something about a painkiller-induced haze that is so different and so much better than an alcohol-induced one. There’s so much less spinning, nausea and word vomit that its all the numb without the sick. Being on Vicodin is interesting to say the least, but he’s managing.

Its the day of her funeral when things start to go wrong. He lays in bed for an hour the morning of, trying to contemplate the pros and cons of going to her funeral. Of course a con is that he doesn’t want to go to her funeral but also, Lily would absolutely kill him if he didn’t go. As he winces at his bad choice of words,he remembers that they pushed back the funeral until he got better so he could go. He knows that if he didn’t go, it would be bad for his remaining friendships.

He pulls himself out of bed, trying to think of anything but the fact that in a few hours, there will be now way for him to subconsciously imagine that she’s on a trip to Morocco instead of gone forever. He pulls on a plain black dress shirt and a pair of dressy black pants; he can’t bring himself to pull out his best tux because of the memories that are associate with that tux. He looks at himself in the mirror and tries to look past the sallow face and the red-tinted eyes. She would hate to see him like this, he thinks, before letting out a pained chuckle.

At the cemetery, Lily is bustling around in a black dress and heels trying to prepare everything for the ceremony. He stands at the doorway of the church, staring at her casket at the other end, for ten minutes before Lily notices him. Immediately, there are hands on his shoulder and face as Lily tries to fix him up. Ted and Marshall enter the room, both clad in tuxes with the white gloves of pall-bearers. Lily knows better than to have asked him to be one.

Within the next hour, about fifty of her closest friends and family all make their way into the church. None of them know him as her boyfriend except her 19 year old sister, who sits next to him silently, not asking any questions. He can’t help but smile at how much her sister is like her in this aspect, knowing just when to say the right thing and when to not say anything at all.

He’s sitting in a pew with his head bowed, staring at his hands in his lap. The people around him are bustling, crying and hugging but all he wishes is for her to be holding his hand. He thinks sardonically that it takes something like this for him to regress into cliche territory. He’s never done great with stressful situations. The Vicodin in his system makes everything hazy and a little easier but he doesn’t feel like being social at all.

When he looks up, he almost wishes he didn’t. Sitting in front of him, still clad in the blue dress that brings out her eyes, is her. She’s staring at the casket and the people around him with a cynical smile and he can’t control the hysterical laughter that starts bubbling from inside him. He starts shaking and breathing rapidly. She’s not supposed to be here. He’s not supposed to be able to see her. Why is she back?

Except, despite the haze and the hysteria, he can’t bring himself not to hope that she isn’t just a trick of the light or a fleeting figment of his imagination.

She turns around and smiles at him, a genuine smile that always used to light up his day. It still does.

He may be going crazy but he doesn’t care because suddenly, everything seems okay again.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 9th, 2009 07:54 am (UTC)
Wow, what an interesting turn of events. This has to be at least partially influenced by House? The piano playing, vicodin, and hallucinating dead girls (cf Amber)?

But it's just beautifully drawn. I hope one of Barney's friends realize he's a basket case now and get him some help?
Nov. 10th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's definitely influenced a little by House. I never noticed the piano-playing thing though...interesting.
I have the ending I want in my head right now but just have to figure out the in between...
Thanks for reviewing!
It means a lot :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )