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    Fitz
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Moving On - 3. Chapter 3 - Coping

Scott and his family return to his house following the funeral.

Revised: 10/2013. No major content changes.

CHAPTER THREE

COPING

 

As Ethan's car pulled up in front of our house, I immediately noticed a major change. The large windows had been covered by ugly, black security bars. A new security door had been installed, as well. I then noticed the small form of Sarah waiting on the front steps. She stood up as everyone got out of the cars.

"What the hell, Sarah?" I asked as we approached the porch. "What did you do?"

There were three reasons Steve had fallen in love with this house. The first was the hardwood floors that ran throughout the house. The second was the many large windows that filled the house with natural light. The third was the massive porch that wrapped around the side of the house. The first had been ruined on that fateful day, and the second had now been marred. I was definitely not pleased to have a confrontation on the final thing Steve loved most about our house.

"You're mad at me. I knew you would be," Sarah explained, "but Chris and I had a friend install the security bars and door while everyone was at the funeral. You would have refused."

"Damn right I would have! I don't want to feel like a prisoner in my own house! Besides," my voice dropped to almost a mumble as I finished, "he wouldn't want me to live in fear."

"But that's just it, Scott, you have been living in fear! Any noise or sign of movement in or around the house and you freak out. Please, just promise me you'll leave them on. I'll bring the subject up again in a few weeks, and if you still aren't happy, I will take them down personally.

"I also want you to get a security system installed. We would have had it done while you were out, but we needed your permission. Just think about it. Chris and I just want you to have a chance to relax."

I understood exactly what she was saying. I may not have been happy with it, but maybe the extra visible security would help. I looked over my shoulder at Ethan.

"Sarah wasn't acting alone. We all thought this would help you, and she offered to get it done while we were all at the funeral. I say it can't hurt bro. I say go for it. Besides, Dustin and I will be in the house when they come. You can just stay in the bedroom or something. You won't even notice them."

I realized I'd been ganged up on. Giving in, I just nodded to Sarah. She smiled.

"Good, I'll tell Chris as soon as I get home. Oh, here are the keys to the new door, by the way."

I just passed them on to Ethan, who opened the door and everyone started to walk in. Sarah grabbed my arm before I got inside.

"One more thing; I really think you should tell them the truth. Friends and family can help, but only if they know everything."

"I can't tell anyone. It would destroy them. I'm just so ashamed of what I did."

"Trust me, they won't care. In fact, I'm sure they'd understand. Hell, I would've done the same in your position."

Emma, who was still in the doorway, overheard what Sarah said. She came back onto the porch. Ethan, Dustin, and Michelle quickly followed.

Realizing our conversation had been overheard, I went pale.

"Wait… were you two having an affair?" Emma asked bluntly.

That was close. I really thought I was going to be busted, but Emma's guess was too far off the mark.

"What? No! Ugh… are you kidding me? Do you really think I would cheat on him with her?"

I didn't even need to look to see Sarah's face. As soon as I had said those words, I knew immediately how they came across.

"Sorry, Sarah, I didn't mean it that way; it's just, well, you're not my type, obviously."

"Relax. I knew what you meant. Besides, Emma, Steve had his claws so deep into Scott that if I ever managed to get to him, his entire back would be covered in scratch marks… well, more so than usual."

I couldn't help myself; the mental image was too perfectly 'Steve' for me. It was painful, but I felt the corners of my mouth move. I actually smiled – a real smile. I don't know if Ethan was the first to notice it, but he was the first to comment.

"That's the first time I've seen that since we got here. Awesome!"

My smile faded quickly, but Dustin was sure he could bring it back. Starting with him, they began telling the most ridiculously lame jokes and stories they could come up with. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't repeat the performance. I was too busy thinking about what they had almost uncovered.

Once everyone realized they weren't going to be able to get me to smile again, Sarah said her goodbyes and walked up the street to go back to her home. The rest of us went inside the house.

Upon entering, I pushed past everyone and lay down on the large discolored spot on the floor. If my four houseguests hadn't already seen this over the past couple of days, I'm not sure how I would have been able to explain my actions. This was my spot. His spot. Where he died. It was the one place in the world where I felt closest to him. At that point, I would never leave the Spot if I wasn't forced to.

The Spot looked more faded than it had before I left it to go to the funeral. The blood stains were mostly gone, but traces could still be seen between the boards. It had been scrubbed so much it looked nothing like the rest of the floor. I was pretty sure Sarah had spent much of the time I was out trying to clean it. Since no one could get me to leave the Spot, they could only clean it when I had to go to the bathroom or they convinced me to take a shower. For the past ten nights, I even lay there, sleeping fitfully.

The tears didn't return as I lay there, clutching myself in the fetal position, as close to Steve as I could get. The gut-wrenching sobs did, however. Emma and Michelle tried to comfort me, but I just kept shrugging them off.

After about fifteen minutes, I felt someone firmly grab my arm. I looked up and saw Ethan.

"C'mon bro, you should really sleep in your bed tonight. The floor is not comfortable. I'm sure your entire body is aching, even if you can't feel it."

I think I tried to nod my head. My entire body was a giant, aching ball of knots. I still didn't want to leave the Spot, however. Ethan really didn't give me a choice, as he firmly pulled me up to my feet. Dustin grabbed my other arm, and they led me to my bedroom. Actually, I think they mostly carried me, but I'm not sure. The events of the day had taken their toll – emotionally and physically – and I was too exhausted to put up much of a struggle.

Dustin and Ethan helped me strip down to my boxers, and then tucked me into my side of the bed Steve and I had shared since we first moved in together seven years ago. It felt so big, so empty.

"Do you want one of us to sleep in here with you? You know you're not alone, right? All of us are here for you, anything you need just let us know," Dustin said.

"No. It's his bed! I won't have anyone else in it. Just him and me," I said. I was suddenly aware how tired I was, and sleep was coming quickly.

"That's fine; just remember we all love you. Holler if you need anything."

I was barely conscious as Dustin said that. I was almost asleep by the time they left the room, and I only vaguely remember hearing them close the door. The last thing I remember before sleep overtook me was rolling over to Steve's side of the bed. I fell asleep clutching his side, realizing I had found a second place where I could still feel his presence.

That was the first night I slept without nightmares since he died.

–  –  –  *  *  *  –  –  –

I wish I could say the nightmares never came back. In truth, they were only gone a few days before they returned in force. At least they weren't happening every night, just most of them.

Michelle and Dustin stayed a few more days, before they had to return home. Emma and Ethan stayed a little longer before they, too, went home in early August. Almost before I realized it, I found myself alone in our house again.

Sarah was constantly at the house. I don't know what I would have done without her. I spent all of my time either curled up on the Spot or clutching Steve's side of the bed. If it hadn't been for her incessant nagging, I'm sure I would not have bothered showering or even changing my clothes.

She had followed through on her promise, and Chris had a high-end security system installed shortly after the funeral. She asked if I wanted the security windows and doors removed, but I shrugged her off. Even if I refused to admit it to her, they did make me feel a little safer. I knew Steve would understand why I had allowed his beautiful windows to be marred.

A few weeks after Emma and Ethan left, Sarah began to push for me to see a therapist. At first, it was hints and passing comments. By the beginning of September, she began to push harder.

"Scott, you haven't been making any progress. You really should see someone. Talking will make you feel a little better, and it may give you more perspective. I still can't believe you never opened up any more to Ethan or Michelle. I know they'd have understood."

"I don't need a shrink. I know what my problem is… he died. I don't want to feel better. I don't want to move on. I can't do that; I can't forget him."

"No one wants you to forget Steve. Hell, no one who ever met Steve is even capable of forgetting him. He had that effect on people, and you know it. What we want is for you to be able to smile again, and to be able to walk out of that door to have dinner with Chris and me.

"If you don't want to see a therapist, I can't, and won't, push it. I just really need you to be able to talk to someone. Anyone, it doesn't matter who it is – talk to me… or Chris."

Chris always seemed like a nice enough guy but I didn't really know him. Even Sarah and I hadn't really been that close before his death. We were good neighbors, but little more than passing friends.

"I can't do that, Sarah. You guys have already done so much for me. If I start unloading my problems on you, I'll just burden you further."

"Is there anyone you feel like you can talk to or anyone that you've opened up to a little already?"

"Well there was that one guy, Will," I said hesitantly.

"Oh, he's the guy you talked to on the day of the funeral, right?" Sarah was not at the cemetery when I had returned with Will, but Emma and Michelle had gotten her up to speed on the drama she missed.

"Yeah, he is. I'm not sure I can talk to him, though. I thought I might be able to, but I'm just not sure. I know he finds me attractive, and I don't know if I'm able to handle that right now."

"Darling, one day, you will realize everyone who looks at you finds you attractive. There's nothing you can do about it. Just embrace it, and enjoy the attention." Sarah always enjoyed using random pet names for me, knowing that it made me slightly uncomfortable. At least she had recently stayed away from any terms of endearment Steve used.

"Besides," she continued, "everyone told me how talking to him made you feel a little better. Promise me you'll at least think about it."

"Okay, fine. I'll think about it, but that's the best I can do."

"Good enough for me. Now go take a shower. You stink!"

I didn't notice when she snuck into the bathroom to take my phone out of my pants.

–  –  –  *  *  *  –  –  –

"Hello? William Drake speaking."

"Hi, my name is Sarah. You don't know me, but I'm a friend of Scott's. Are you that Will?"

"What? Scott? I haven't heard from him since the day of Steve's funeral. Is everything alright? Scott's not hurt, is he?"

"No, it's nothing like that; he's fine. Well, no he's not; he's not really much of anything, really. He won't talk to anyone, and he will only take care of himself when someone is forcing him. I know he opened up to you the day of Steve's funeral, and I'm hoping you would be willing to try to talk to him again."

"Have you tried to get him to see a psychologist? They're usually pretty good at getting people to open up."

"Scott won't do it. He's too hard headed and thinks he's capable of doing this on his own. I'm hoping you can come and talk to him, though, if it wouldn't be too much of a burden on you."

"I guess we just can't tell him what I do for a living then," Will told Sarah with a chuckle. "I'm actually a clinical psychologist."

"Are you sure? You sound awfully young to be a shrink. Wait, sorry. I didn't mean it the way it sounded."

"Trust me; you aren't the first person to act incredulously. I just finished graduate school a few months ago and am working in a small co-op. I don't have any more appointments for the day. Even if I did, none of them are as important. My patients are all pretty tame. Scott's trauma is much fresher and he needs the attention more. Why don't I come over, and try to talk to Scott. Does that work for you?"

"That would be perfect. Thank you so much, Will. I really hope you can help Scott."

"I do, too."

Sarah gave him my address. Before they hung up, Will told her he'd be there in a few minutes.

–  –  –  *  *  *  –  –  –

I finished my shower and dried off. I wrapped the towel around me and walked out to the bedroom. I was startled when I saw Sarah talking to someone while sitting on my bed. It took a moment before I recognized the other person as Will. The two were involved in their conversation and had yet to notice me.

"Sarah, what the hell is Will doing here?"

They both jumped as they quickly swiveled their heads to face me.

"Scott, just hear me out," Sarah started. "You need someone to talk to. You were able to talk to him before, why not try it again? If it doesn't work, at least you tried."

I glanced over to Will and noticed his eyes were no longer directed at my face. Suddenly, I became all too aware I was standing in front of them wearing nothing other than a loosely tied towel. For a moment, I watched his eyes travel down the light covering of hair on my chest and flat stomach, and begin the trek towards the prominent bulge in my towel.

"What the fuck, Will? I thought you said you would never show your feelings for me. Get the hell out!" I snapped angrily

"I… um… I…" Will stammered, before he quickly bolted out of the bedroom.

"Will! Don't leave yet! I wasn't done talking to you," Sarah called after him, before turning back to me.

"Remember, you are an amazing looking guy, and you're standing there in just a towel. Even I can't stop checking you out, and I know I'm not your type. Please don't hold it against him; he's only human."

I just nodded and pointed towards the door. I needed clothes and quickly. I dressed as soon as Sarah was out of the room.

Sarah caught up to Will just as he was stepping off of the porch.

"Will, please don't go. He really does need you, even if he doesn't realize it"

"No, I just fucked it all up again. I know he's not emotionally capable of handling anything approaching a relationship at this point. Not that I'm interested in pursuing a relationship with him or anything," he added quickly.

"I want to help him so badly. He such a lost soul right now and needs all the help he can get. He was standing there in just a towel; I just couldn't help but take advantage of the opportunity to take in his body."

"Trust me, I get that, but I also know you're smart enough not to make any unwanted moves or anything. Hell, you would have checked him out if he was just remotely average looking. Both of us know he's not. It's human nature; you of all people should know that."

Will just sighed in response.

"Look, just go back in. We'll all sit on the couch and just start talking. If he won't try to open up or anything, you can leave – no harm, no foul."

"You're right. I'm already here. The worst that can happen is he'll just tell me to leave again."

Will walked back onto the porch and the two walked back into the house.

When they walked in, I was curled up on the Spot again. After what had transpired, I was feeling a little more numb than usual, if that was even possible.

"C'mon Scott, you need to get up," Sarah started, as she grabbed my arm to try and pull me up.

Any other time, I would have found it hilarious that this little pixie, 8 inches shorter and weighing approximately 65 pounds less than me was trying to throw her weight around. At that moment I just found it annoying.

"Will, can you help me? We are all going to sit on the couch like adults. Then we are going to talk – like adults. Do you understand Scott?"

I was beginning to feel a wave of adolescent rebellion forming, but I knew Sarah was just as stubborn as I, and arguing wasn't going to make this end any quicker. Even as I sat on the couch, I just wanted to make my way back to the Spot. Sarah sat down next to me while Will sat on the adjacent couch.

"Scott, why don't you tell Will about that specific spot and why it is so important to you?" Sarah prodded, trying to be helpful.

"Ok, fine." I said.

I knew I had told Will a lot of the story six weeks ago, and I knew he was smart enough to have probably figured out the significance already. But I figured I'd just placate Sarah, and maybe both of them would leave me alone.

I started from the beginning again, telling Will about the fight and the grocery trip. I recounted how I had come home and found Steve lying in a pool of blood after having been shot twice.

I pointed to the Spot. "That's where it happened. That's where I lost him."

"That's where Steve died," Will said in a whisper.

I looked over to Sarah to see if she was satisfied and ask if we were done. To my surprise she was gone.

"Oh, she left as soon as you started talking. I'm actually surprised you didn't notice. She just wanted you to have a chance to get some of this off your chest. We can stop if you want."

I just shook my head. Maybe it was the fact Will was still virtually a stranger. Maybe it was the fact I know he's attracted to me. Maybe I just needed to talk. All I know is I felt like I could talk to him, and I wanted to do so. As I looked into his eyes, I saw the concern he had for me. I decided to go for broke.

"He was still mad at me when he died. The last thing he ever said to me was 'don't'. I just can't forgive myself for getting angry with him, or never getting the chance to say I was sorry."

"I don't believe that for a second, and I think deep down, you know it's not true."

"How many definitions of 'don't' do you know, Will? This isn't exactly a situation where 'no' can really mean 'yes'!"

"Ok, let me try it a different way. How mad were you when you left?"

"I don't know. Not really. I was more annoyed than anything, I guess. I mean, I did snap at him, but it was nothing out of the ordinary for us in an argument. It might have been mean, but it wasn't out of the ordinary."

"Well, if you weren't really that mad, and your words weren't that unusual, and the argument was over something menial, don't you think there's a chance he may not have been angry at you?

I thought about what he was saying. I didn't really want to believe it, but it did make some sense.

"Another thing, 'don't' by itself doesn't mean much of anything. If I had to guess he was starting to tell you something, but his body gave out before he could finish. You can kick yourself all you want for the rest of your life, but you'll never know exactly what Steve meant when he told you that. Don't just assume it means he was mad.

"If I was in his shoes, I would have been terrified. I wouldn't want the love of my life to see me in that position, nor would I want them to leave my side, despite any recent troubles we may have faced."

"I didn't," I barely whispered. I dropped my head to stare at the ground. I'm not sure how I could have been that stupid. I'd just led him straight to the most embarrassing part of the entire ordeal.

"You didn't what? Leave him?" Will asked. I could tell he was trying to gently prod more out of me.

I didn't know if he could handle what I had done. I couldn't lift my head to look at him, because I could already feel his judgment without having said a word.

"Scott, look at me."

I couldn't.

"Please Scott. In case you haven't figured it out by now, I'm not going to judge you. Whatever is bothering you, it is eating you alive right now. I know you want to tell me. I want you to tell me. No judgments. I promise. Now, please, look at me."

I slowly looked up. At least for now, he appeared to be telling the truth, but I was certain that would change once I admitted what I had done – or more appropriately hadn't done. The only emotion that his eyes were conveying was deep concern. I decided to go for it.

"I never left him. I didn't do anything. I didn't call anyone. I just held him. I just… fuck."

Will had started crying. I knew he was judging me. I stood up and headed to the Spot. I had to be closer to him. Will gently grabbed my arm, stopping me.

"It's okay. You didn't do anything wrong. You have nothing to be upset about."

The tears that had been slowly leaking from my eyes changed to heart-wrenching sobs. Will stood and directed me back to the couch. This time he sat next to me. I pressed my head against his chest and let it all out. He just gently rubbed my back the entire time. After what seemed like forever, the sobs faded.

"How can you say that? I failed him."

"You didn't fail him anymore than he failed you."

"How could he have failed me? He died, and I didn't do anything to save him."

"By your logic, he failed you simply by dying. In a way, he left you. And yes, you did do something. You were there for him. You held him. You never let him go. Sure, you could have called 911, but if he was already dead – like you said he was – then there was nothing anyone could have done to save him."

We were silent for a long time after he said that. I was simply just trying to process his words. I knew he was wrong, but I just couldn't find fault in his logic. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I began to wonder if Will was possibly correct.

"I guess you're right," I finally said.

I sat back up, pulling away from Will. Will noticed and scooted over a little to create a little distance between us.

"Sarah was the one who called the police. She was out jogging the next morning and saw the groceries strewn on the front steps. As she got closer, she noticed the front door was open. That's when she called the police. When she didn't see any movement inside, she came in and found us.

"I was still holding him. I heard someone come in, but didn't know who it was. She later told me she had been calling our names, but I didn't hear anything at the time. I just started yelling for whoever it was to leave. She kept her distance, and only stayed in the room long enough to make sure I was okay before she went back to the porch to wait for the police to show up.

"They tried to pull me off of him. I just started flailing. I was grabbing, kicking, or punching anything in my reach. Sarah was trying to get the officers to stop while trying to get me to calm down. I wouldn't stop. They were trying to take me away from him.

"Finally, one officer shouted for everyone to freeze. He was a big guy, and his tone made it clear no one, not even the other officers, wanted to mess with him. He firmly grabbed me by the arm and guided me outside to the porch. He sat me down on the swing and threatened to handcuff me there if I didn't let everyone do their jobs.

"He told me his name was Officer Vincenzo. The last thing I can distinctly remember was him warning me that I had just assaulted several officers, and they may end up arresting me. I don't know if that was a real possibility or just a ploy to get me to talk.

"Officer Vincenzo started asking me questions. I couldn't really answer them. Hell, I could barely comprehend most of them. Sarah was right there, helping to repeat the questions and trying to answer questions when I couldn't form the words. I grunted and just moved my head for a lot of the questions.

"If he hadn't already deduced I was not the killer, it was obvious after some CSI-type guy swabbed my hands and performed a gunshot residue test. Neither of us had ever owned a gun and obviously none were found in the house. Officer Vincenzo talked the other officers out of arresting me for assault. It didn't take much; I think one of them even said she would have reacted the same way if she'd had been in my position.

"Sarah stayed with me after the police left. As soon as they were out the door, I went straight back to the Spot. Until the funeral, I was there unless I was in the bathroom. The only change since the funeral is I now sleep on his side of our bed. This is actually the longest I haven't been on the Spot during the day, other than the day of the funeral."

Suddenly, I was very ashamed about that. Will put his hand on my shoulder; the gentle tears I had been crying since I started recounting the unabridged events quickly became sobs again with that gesture of support. He was right; it did feel pretty good to get everything off of my chest.

When I had calmed back down, Will asked if I was hungry. I looked out the window and realized the sun was already beginning to set. I couldn't believe we had been talking for hours. I also realized I was starving.

After Will checked the fridge, only to discover it was virtually empty, he asked what I wanted to have delivered. If he had any preferences towards anything, he didn't let on. Since he didn't know me very well, I think he was trying to make sure he didn't cross any boundaries by suggesting something Steve would have wanted. Steve's passion for food made it so, if I wanted to avoid those things, I would have had to starve myself. I may have been in more pain than I had thought possible, but even I had limits to my crazy.

After eating in a peaceful and comfortable silence, we sat back down on the couch, and kept talking.

"After hearing all the personal things you went through, I still don't know much of the basics. Why don't you tell me more about Steve?" Will started

"Um… like what?" I was nervous about the question. Even after telling him so much, I still wasn't sure I was ready to start delving too deeply into the past.

"Nothing major; tell me how you met."

That was easy enough for me.

"I came out just before college, and I let the freedoms of college go to my head. My whole freshman year, I was a major slut, sleeping with any remotely attractive guy I could bed. Honestly, I'm not sure I even went on a single date – I just fucked every chance I got. When sophomore year began, I was planning on doing more of the same. By the second week of school, I'd found my new challenge.

"In my biology class, there was a guy that sat a few rows in front of me. He was easily the most gorgeous guy I had ever seen. I mean, just looking at him made me nervous. I didn't even know if he was gay or straight, but I was so drawn to him I stopped pursuing other guys while I worked up the courage to initiate contact. A couple weeks passed before I finally got the nerve to sit down next to him. We both just grunted our hellos before the lecture began. As usual, I took copious notes, while the guy didn't bother to write anything down. In fact, he looked like he was asleep through most of the class. You have no idea how hard it was to continue to take notes while ogling his body every time I thought I could get away with it.

"After the professor dismissed class that day, the hottie stopped me. He told me his name was Steve, and he was struggling to understand the material, but it looked like I had it down pat. He wondered if I could tutor him. We agreed to start getting coffee after class each day and I would go over the notes and help him understand it. After three of these sessions, I realized I had been had.

"It turns out Steve understood the material even better than I did. He didn't take notes, because he didn't need to. He didn't bother to open his eyes, because he understood it just by listening to the professor. He made me promise to keep getting coffee with him. It wasn't hard to convince me, because by this point, all I could think about was Steve.

"As the semester went on, we went to parties and studied together and hung out with each others' friends. Since we started talking, I hadn't even considered continuing my slutty ways. Everywhere we went, guys were all over him, but he always brushed them off. Shortly before finals, he officially asked me out. Even before he asked me out, I knew I was madly in love with him."

"Wow," Will said, wiping his eyes, "that has to be one of the most romantic 'first-met' stories I've ever heard."

I realized I had laid my head on his chest at some point while we were talking, and Will had wrapped an arm around my back. I really hoped he wouldn't get the wrong impression, but it felt really nice to be held like that again.

"One thing I've never understood, though, is why he chose me. He constantly had hot guys throwing themselves at him, even before we started dating – and I mean hotter than I was usually able to land freshman year. When we met, I was a scrawny nerd, and yet for some reason, he always gravitated towards me."

"That's pretty easy for me to understand. You're smart, articulate, attractive, have a wonderful personality, and I'm sure a great sense of humor. Granted, I haven't had too many opportunities to see the last two, but I can tell they are there."

I felt a little uncomfortable hearing Will sing my praises, and I started to sit back up. Will realized what he said and how I had interpreted it.

"Look, I know you are well aware of my attraction to you, and I know it makes you at least a little uncomfortable. I promise I'll keep those feelings separate from the friendship that is developing between us. Until you send clear signals otherwise, I will always assume friends first. I won't do anything to undermine that. If you want to lie back down, you can."

Satisfied, I laid my head back down on his chest. Listening to his heart beat was soothing. I felt safe. We laid like that in silence for a few minutes.

"You know, if you ever decide to change career paths, you should really consider psychology. With your careful, guiding questions, gentle demeanor, and insight, you are better than any therapist I've ever been to."

Will chuckled at that. "Allow me to introduce myself."

I was confused; we had been talking for many hours by this point. I knew exactly who he was.

Will stuck out his hand. "Dr. William Drake, clinical psychologist. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

I smiled, and actually thought I might chuckle. It didn't quite make it all the way out, but it almost did.

Suddenly, he noticed the time.

"Man! I had no idea it was so late. I really should get out of your hair. Thanks for talking to me today and opening up. Do you feel any better?"

I thought for a moment, trying to figure out exactly what my emotional state was.

"Yes, actually, I do. You don't have to leave if you don't want to. I should go to bed soon, but you're welcome to stay."

As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I was worried Will would interpret them as a signal I was interested in him.

"I mean, I haven't felt as safe as I did in your arms since…" My voice may have trailed off at the end, but both of us knew exactly what I meant.

"If you want me to stay, I will. Don't worry; there'll be no moves from me. There's just one problem; I don't have anything to sleep in."

"That's not a problem. I have a ton of sleep pants and t-shirts in one of my drawers. We're almost the same size, but they might be a little big on you. I really would like it. I just want to be held again."

Maybe I was being a little selfish, but knew Will would be true to his word about putting his feelings aside for me in order to be my friend.

We went into the bedroom, and I grabbed a couple of pairs of clothes. I pointed him to the bathroom, while I changed quickly in the bedroom. While he was finishing getting changed, I grabbed a new toothbrush from the guest bathroom.

As we walked back into the bedroom, Will asked which side of the bed I wanted him on.

"No! Not this bed; it's Steve's bed. I can't share it with anyone!"

"Okay, not a problem. Don't worry, I understand, I just hadn't thought about that. You lead the way, and I'll follow."

We walked across the hall, and climbed under the covers of the guest bed. It felt so good with him spooning up against my back with his arms wrapped around my chest. I fell asleep almost immediately.

It was easily the best night of sleep I had gotten since Steve died.

Revised: 10/2013. Sarah no longer acted unilaterally to install the security door and windows. Now, family and close friends pressured her to do so. Some elements still need future revisions: Why Will and Sarah are waiting in the bedroom, for example. Detective Vincenzo now takes Scott outside, instead of to the couch for questioning. Everything else is simply formatting and stylistic cleanup.

Any comments, suggestions, or criticisms that you would like to share would also be greatly appreciated! If you have criticisms, please be specific, so that I can try to address them in the future!

Thank you to all my wonderful readers!

Moving On is © Copyright Fitz, 2011-2013. All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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I think I'd hate having a friend who was a clinical psychologist. I'd be afraid to open my mouth. unsure.png Well, Will seems legit. Given the help he gave Scott, gonna have to trust him. You really captured how horrific that whole experience was for Scott. Well donw.

Great characters and the dialogue is excellent.!! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

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On 02/17/2012 12:18 PM, Conner said:
I think I'd hate having a friend who was a clinical psychologist. I'd be afraid to open my mouth. unsure.png Well, Will seems legit. Given the help he gave Scott, gonna have to trust him. You really captured how horrific that whole experience was for Scott. Well donw.

Great characters and the dialogue is excellent.!! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

Thanks! Glad you're enjoying! (I really need to double check reviews more often LOL)
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Hey Fitz, just started reading this today. It's extremely moving and I'll be honest; I almost ran out of Kleenex.

 

I'm glad you mentioned the cops and the coroner. I was wondering when or if they would ever be mentioned. I don't know why there's no yellow police tape around Scott's house. Also, I don't think the M.E. would release Steve's body after only three days. I know from my limited CSI watching that it takes them time to get the bullets out, examine them, dust the body for prints, etc. I didn't think they could do all this in three days.

 

I'm also suprised during this time the detectives didn't have Scott go down to the police station. Are they investigating anything? Have they gone around interviewing friends and famly? I think your focus of the story is love, losing love and opening up your heart to find love again, but I would think that Scott (and his friends and family) would want to find out who killed Steve and why.

Also, that whole "don't" when Scott tried to get closer to Steve after he'd been shot, I think Steve said 'don't' so Scott didn't get closer. He may have been trying to tell him to get out of the house b/c he didn't know where the killers where. He didn't want Scott to get shot either. And I'm sure their little argument was the last thing Steve was thinking of when he was lying there bleeding out.

 

Anyway, awesome story Fitz; very raw and emotional. On to chapter four.

 

Oh, btw, I think it was in the second chapter you used two words, but wrote them as one: forgetting. I read the sentence about five times before I realized you meant for getting, not forgetting. lol =)

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On 03/02/2012 05:46 AM, Lisa said:
Hey Fitz, just started reading this today. It's extremely moving and I'll be honest; I almost ran out of Kleenex.

 

I'm glad you mentioned the cops and the coroner. I was wondering when or if they would ever be mentioned. I don't know why there's no yellow police tape around Scott's house. Also, I don't think the M.E. would release Steve's body after only three days. I know from my limited CSI watching that it takes them time to get the bullets out, examine them, dust the body for prints, etc. I didn't think they could do all this in three days.

 

I'm also suprised during this time the detectives didn't have Scott go down to the police station. Are they investigating anything? Have they gone around interviewing friends and famly? I think your focus of the story is love, losing love and opening up your heart to find love again, but I would think that Scott (and his friends and family) would want to find out who killed Steve and why.

Also, that whole "don't" when Scott tried to get closer to Steve after he'd been shot, I think Steve said 'don't' so Scott didn't get closer. He may have been trying to tell him to get out of the house b/c he didn't know where the killers where. He didn't want Scott to get shot either. And I'm sure their little argument was the last thing Steve was thinking of when he was lying there bleeding out.

 

Anyway, awesome story Fitz; very raw and emotional. On to chapter four.

 

Oh, btw, I think it was in the second chapter you used two words, but wrote them as one: forgetting. I read the sentence about five times before I realized you meant for getting, not forgetting. lol =)

I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far! I have to admit, I didn't exactly pay much attention to time-span with this part, but it probably would have pushed it back to about 5 days or so total. Scott is in such a state of shock and handling this so poorly that I just went easy on him. The police don't think he's a suspect, so they wouldn't have brought him in unless he was being uncooperative and wanted to hard-ball him. And TBH, I never thought about police tape at all until you mentioned it. Actually, since it's an active crime scene, I'm not sure if Scott would have been allowed to stay there....huh. lol

 

As far as the explanation of "don't", I like yours. You'll have to wait for chapter 13 to know if you're right though :P

 

I'm not surprised that there are little things like the 'forgiving' though out. Thanks for pointing it out!

 

I really hope I addressed everything!

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Whoa! How's Sarah fit in so close that she can alter the house. She appears to be a neighbor and doesn't own the house. That's strange. And then to be bossing Scott around - he sure needs it - but a neighbor doing this. Where I come from neighbors don't do that! Sorry, it's all a bit unrealistic. And then the business with him and Sarah waiting for him to come out of the shower sitting in his bedroom. Shucks! They sure take liberties. It was almost turning into a comedy at that point, and so I didn't read the rest of the chapter. Sorry, dude. It just doesn't cut it for me.

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On 08/06/2013 03:52 AM, Jaro_423 said:
Whoa! How's Sarah fit in so close that she can alter the house. She appears to be a neighbor and doesn't own the house. That's strange. And then to be bossing Scott around - he sure needs it - but a neighbor doing this. Where I come from neighbors don't do that! Sorry, it's all a bit unrealistic. And then the business with him and Sarah waiting for him to come out of the shower sitting in his bedroom. Shucks! They sure take liberties. It was almost turning into a comedy at that point, and so I didn't read the rest of the chapter. Sorry, dude. It just doesn't cut it for me.
Crap! Forgot to actually copy in the passage from the update for chapter 2. It's really just a slight change in Will's explanation, but still...

 

"I really didn't mean anything by it; that's not even what I said! I just mentioned that Scott was a good-looking guy, and I hated seeing him in pain. Yes, I'll admit that I find him attractive, but that's hardly something to fault me with, is it? I wasn't about to throw myself at him or anything..."

 

Anyway, on to your thoughts on Chapter 3.

 

Again, my intentions were showing Sarah as a slightly over-bearing neighbor with good intentions, but it wasn't until later I realized how it comes across. In the re-edit, it was done with input from Scott's family as well (although still without his permission). I have no defense for Will and Sarah waiting in the bedroom...actually I'd never even thought about it until you brought it up!

 

I hope you give the story another chance. The tone of the story dramatically changes around chapter 8. Either way, thank you for your opinions, and I appreciate your honesty! :)

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