AU. Character Death.
A/N: This is why watching The Day After Tomorrow and reading Night by Bryon is a bad horrible idea.
It's November that it all comes apart, with a heat in the air that is frightful and strange. It's been years since he'd been home. There was always a song to be written and a concert to give. But November brings him to Jersey and streets where he sees as ghost of things that were no longer.
He calls her from the airport without thinking, he'd remembered a vauge word her and there from Stella about Macy and New York.
She grins into the phone like it's always been this easy and as if it had been days since there last talk and not years.
He sees her again, three days later. Her faces is older and wiser and red at the roundness, maybe he thinks, she's never been more beautiful. (Not even when he'd last seen her, with her lips parted and tears catching at the corner of her eyes. She'd tasted of salt and goodbye and a pale something that stained his tongue.)
Her grin keeps her words in parathesis. And he wants to keep all those sounds just his.
"It's been to long." She tells him, with her fingers at his neck and his hands at her waist. He wanted to kiss her then, with her red nose and her crowed eyes.
"Way to long." (six years, four months and sixteen days, it's written on his skin like dust and time.)
She takes him for coffee, her fingers laced through his and the space between them filled with maybes and could have beens. But he doesn't regret, can't wish away all that has come.
The sit in a diner with low lights and half closed eyes. A waitress with a smirk and a spin in her step and Macy laughs like it's been an hour and not years. There's a television on low in the background and he can see the newscasters sad eyes and broken expression. He swallows down the fear and looks at Macy like she can save him.
"I don't get to see you often enough."
He cups her face and grins. "I know. I wanted to..."
"Forget it. It doesn't matter. That was then this, this is what matters."
They sip coal black coffee and ignore the connecting of their hearts through brushed fingertips.
"So this new album, what's it about?"
"Your basic love song, broken heart thing, nothing special." He grins against the bitter taste in his mouth.
"I hope that's not how you're going to be promoting it."
"Of course it is. I'm going to go on TRL and tell them all that it's a rehash of every album about love that's every been made, but then I'm going to tell them that I do a butt scene in a video so that should make up for the ordianry lyrics and repeated beats."
She laughs with her head thrown back and her eyes shining. "Nice. It's all about the booty baby."
"Always." And the smile curls easily on his lips.
"If you dislike you're album so much why are you-" Her voice falls away and her shoulder shrug.
He doesn't know how to make the words sound in his mouth, tries to think of a way to tell her how it feels like this they only way he could keep sing and living and breathing the way he's use to. But that he's tired... tired of always being known best as the intense one and the smart one and a member of a long gone boy band.
"I don't know...I wanted something.."
"More?" She says it with a smile but her eyes look like she knows, like she's always known.
He opens his mouth to tell her about the ache and burn and how even when he's complaining he's not unhappy.
In other news, the on going issues with the weather have left the Midwest ravaged by tornadoes and strange snowstorms. The damage totals are estimated to be in the multi-billions. Over three dozen have been reported dead. At least 100 people are report as missing or injured. And it seems like it's just the beginning. As the storm moves in unprodictible patterns, the Midwest can expect another 15 inches of rain and severe weather.
Instead they watch the news in silence and he wonders why this feels different and old.
Four days later and the dreams that come to him are black and them and he's afraid. He calls her, but sometimes the silence is all there is.
He gets a call from her a day later and the heat is still in the air and the frightfulness is still trapped somewhere inside him.
"You looked strange the other day."
I feel strange, mixed up, done and over, he thinks, like a falling star, caught and trapped burning out to fast to save.
He tells her fine.
She laughs. "I don't believe you."
I miss you. He wants to say it, but doesn't, instead he extends the silence and the quiet and thinks on those years gone. Those days that have left him here and her there and how it's to close and so far he feels like choking.
"Isn't it all strange these days? "
He can hear her sigh, "I suppose it is."
"I think sometimes it may be the end of times."
"Yes. Maybe it is." But she laughs instead of cries.
He tells her goodbye and when he's sure she's gone, he tells her he loves her.
He wakes up on Tuesday and the heat is gone, there's frost on the street, and when he walks he can see the air in his lungs pushing around the sky, and shivers from the thought but not the cold.
He calls Macy first.
"It's the weirdest thing in the world. In all the years I've lived in New Jersey, I swear nothing like this has ever happened before."
He trembles inside his three layers and checks the thermostat again.
"I hope it won't be a rehash of the Midwest thing."
"I doubt it." He murmurs in to the phone but it sounds more like a desperate prayer than convection.
"I'm kind of scared."
He thinks of those dreams and the way her lips felt ages ago , how he was sure he had all the time in the world.
He goes to her apartment, wandering through strangely empty streets. He moves against the shudder.
She greets him with her arms thrown around him and her face buried in his neck. He doesn't go in right way but stands there holding her as tight as he can. Her arms wrap around him, an anchor pulling him down, and he goes easily and weightless. He loves her without trying.
"I can't get out. I called my Mom and Dad but the roads have closed. The whole city is just shutting down!"
When they're inside he pulls her to him again, and let's her sob.
"God. Nick, I'm so damn selfish! What about your parents, your brothers, Stella?"
"There fine. I called them before I came. It's a perfect day there."
He wipes her tears with his thumb and wishes this didn't feel like the end.
"What's happening?" It slips out before he means to say it. But she breaks in his hands.
"I don't know Nick, but I think it's something terrible."
He nods and kisses her forehead.
"Like this feels like..."
And then it's over, he can't think about it anymore. Instead he takes over her kitchen and makes them hot drinks and they toast marshmallows over her stove.
He tells her about his last album and how the producers kept confusing the sound up and they're both laughing because they can think about how it was then, a lifetime ago when they had the world open to them.
The entire city of New York has been shut down. The first time in recent history. And it looks as if there is no end in sight, as forecasters are now predicting another three feet of snow and ice.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry, this is just in. We will now be cutting to the press floor of the White House.
The screen flickers and then before them stands the President. Solemn and world gone.
"It is with great sorrow that I must stand before you and tell you that the end of this catastrophe is not in sight. That I must be the one to tell you what it is that is happening.
I have been informed by the top scientist that this odd weather patterns will not be ending. In fact, they will be getting worse."
He isn't sure who is gasping, but he is sure that the tears are his own. And then Nick's grabbing the remote and flipping wildly through the channels, each one is the President's face, calmly and without movement telling them of how the end is coming.
He leaves her sobbing on the couch, clutching hard at the remote and whispering no.
He calls his Mom.
He tells her he loves her and then he says the same to his Dad and Frankie and they stay silent and then there is crying and breaking and he's clutching so hard at the phone at he can her the snapping plastic.
She sobs harder.
"Bye, Baby, remember I love you."
Then she's gone.
He never gets through to his brothers.
The cold lasts and the days grow darker and he should be more afraid of whats coming but sleeps like it's the beginning of time.
They curl together on her couch and pile on blackets and he tells her about the road and the world he's seen.
She tells him about her childhood and the moment she knew she was alive.
Somewhere between sixteen and the end they fall asleep.
When he wakes the world has gone black and the electricty is gone.
She shudders against him again. He grabs her as tight as he can but he can see the blue of his fingers and he can't remember how to bend them.
"I love you, Nick."
"I love you too."
He thinks of those dreams, of the color and blinding whiteness.
"Sorry it took so long."
She laughs and her breath is so cold he can hear the ice.
"So busy trying to find our place we never thought to look here."
He presses his lips to hers and wishes it were all different.
"Tell me a story, Nick. A happy one."
He tells her of a warm place, with a girl who is loved and boy who is brave. He tells her of times that once were and things that might have been.
She falls asleep and he follows as quickly as he can.
The world ends on a Thursday.
Curling snow and buildings set on fire for heat and warmth.
The world falls down.
But inside a building, far up and away, he holds her tight, his lips against hers, so the last taste in his mouth will be her and of the way things were.