Jared learns to let go. Het, Jared/OFC.
Song: So Cold by Breaking Benjamin (We Are Not Alone)
Disclaimer: I don’t know Jared Leto/30 Seconds to Mars personally, nor do I know anything about their private lives. Therefore all the events in this story are fiction and merely products of my own sad imagination.
Crowded streets are cleared away
One by one
Not music. Beeping is never music.
Jared awoke with a start, realizing where he was. His happy dreams were unreal, he was still slumped over his girlfriend’s bedside, his hand intertwined with her cool fingers. Her face was serene and peaceful in deep sleep, and Jared couldn’t help stroking her pale cheeks affectionately. His heart contracted, like the many times he had caressed her a few hours before.
She didn’t respond to his touch. She didn’t even twitch.
Hollow heroes separate
As they run
“Jared…” the painfully passionate gasp was music to his ears. He felt her fingers clutching tightly on his back, no longer playing it with light touches. Kissing and slightly biting the tender skin under her ear, he elicited the final breath of pleasure from her lips before drowning into satisfaction himself.
He rolled to her side after an endless minute slumped on her chest. In his exhaustion, he heard her giggle.
“That’ll teach you to go away for three months.”
He didn’t know how she could even move after climaxing about 5 times, but she slid on his chest, deliberately placing light kisses down to his stomach. “And you thought you were energetic?”
“Oh… Clara… I…”
Her hand slid down between his thighs again, and she smiled mischievously down at the lust returning into his green eyes. She moved her mouth close to his, breathing on his lips. “You what?”
“I… Think we’ll need to burn the sheets after this..”
The giggling started again, but was quickly drowned out when their lips found each other’s once more and they disappeared under the damp white sheets.
You're so cold
Keep your hand in mine
Clara. Don’t leave me like this… You can’t leave me.
He could have imagined it but he swore her hand squeezed his just then. It was a soft squeeze, but the slight sensation was unmistakable.
“Clara?” He whispered, hopeful. False hope, he knew. Coma patients didn’t suddenly wake up and ask for a slice of pizza. Even if she did wake up, she would need a lot of help. And he knew he would be there to help her. She just needed to wake up! He couldn’t imagine her just… disappearing out of his life.
Out of desperation, he dropped a gentle kiss on her lips. She didn’t like to wear much lipstick, but she needed some now. She looked like a fish.
Wise men wonder while
Strong men die
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Jared cried exasperatedly. He was upset, angry, sad, and utterly confused. “Why the hell did you just leave?!”
“I didn’t want you to be stuck with an invalid girlfriend all your life!” she answered, almost yelling at him with the same tone. “Or be reminded of a dead one everytime you came back to Helsinki! I don’t want you to… I don’t want you to have to live with that…” Her voice faltered. “Don’t want…”
Sensing the tension and desperately wanting to break it, he sat beside her on the sofa and hugged her tight. Her arms came up to return the hug, and he understood how much the situation hurt her. It hurt her even more than it did him. Damn, the situation was killing them both.
Show me how it ends it's alright
Show me how defenseless you really are
“I should have spent more time with you… I should have realized that something was wrong… I should have…” Jared slammed his fist angrily against the wall. Why was everything so f*cked up?!
There was a knock at the door.
Tomo peeked his head in. “You okay, Jared?” he asked tentatively, walking in with two foam cups of coffee.
“I’m fine.” He answered.
Tomo looked over at the figure lying on the bed. He was worried for Jared, though. His best friend had been sitting in this room almost everyday for a month. He was deteriorating right in front of Tomo’s eyes, and it scared him. “How is she?”
Jared took the cup Tomo offered and took a deep sip of the scalding hot coffee. It burned his lip and tongue but he hardly felt it. “The same.”
Tomo patted him comfortingly on the back. “Don’t blame yourself. She didn’t get sick because you were on tour. You had so many responsibilities; you couldn’t always be there for her. But now you are. And that’s what matters.”
Satisfied and empty inside
Let's give this another try
“I love the beach at sunset. We should come here more often.” The sandwiches were long gone, and so was their orange juice. It was just them, and the sand, the water, the sunset. They lay on the checkered blanket, arms around each other .
Clara twirled her fingers on Jared’s bare chest. “I think it’s the company too.”
Jared chuckled and playfully countered a finger down her own chest. “I don’t think it’s the company at all.”
She giggled. Catching her in his arms, he slid on top of her and kissed her lips hard. He pushed her mouth open without any resistance and his tongue touched hers. She closed her eyes and held on to him as his lips trailed down the low neck of her white summer dress.
“I love you so much, Jared.” she whispered.
The sadness of her tone was obvious in her words. The mood had changed, and he hugged her tight. “I love you too, Clara.”
“I don’t want this to end.” He felt her tears trickling down his shoulder, and felt helpless. He didn’t know how to comfort her, he couldn’t even fool himself.
“Right now is what matters. Right now we have each other… It doesn’t matter what will happen later. And as far as my right now is concerned, you are not going anywhere.”
If you find your family
Don't you cry
The rest of the guys had left a few hours ago. Jared was left alone again in this damned room with Clara. He couldn’t bear looking at the monitors and tubes around her anymore, and the beeping was becoming deafening in his ears.
All he could do was sit at her bedside, clutching her hand.
“I’m so sorry Clara. Please don’t…” He begged. “I’m sorry for making you wait for me to come back all this time, I’m sorry for being such a jerk, for leaving you behind, for everything.”
There it was. The slight squeeze again.
“What are you telling me, Clara?” He moved his head close to hers, his forehead brushing hers, trying to listen for her voice. “Tell me.” God, he missed her voice.
In this land of make believe
Dead and dry
“I don’t want to rot in this bed.” Clara remarked, sipping the soup Jared had made for her. Though he had to wonder how she ate. The medicinal smell in the room was making him nauseous.
She half-shivered in her hospital gown, even though his jacket was wrapped around her shoulders. “It’s not even comfortable, and I can’t imagine not taking a shower for even a day. Ugh. Seriously Jared, if I’m ever on life support, end it immediately because I don’t want to stink up this nice room.”
Jared laughed uneasily, opening the drapes covering the demure hospital windows. “I’ll tell you what, I’ll leave these windows open all the time. The smell will go out the window.”
“You want to share it with the rest of the world? You really are a dirty bird.”
There was an uncomfortable pause after Jared’s nervous chuckle.
“Come here.” Clara patted the small space on her bed, beckoning him over.
Jared obediently sat in front of her, and out of habit intertwined his hand with hers.
She cupped his cheek lovingly with her free hand. “When I’m gone - ”
“Don’t…” he began, but she put her thumb on his lips.
“When I’m gone, I want you to live your life the way you always have. The way you want it. Just promise me that you will keep making music, because on top of everything else about you, that is what I love most. I’m your biggest fan.” Her eyes became strangely bright, and suddenly she was weeping in front of him.
“Clara...” He stroked her face tenderly.
“Don’t blame yourself for… all this. It’s not your fault.” She shook her head helplessly. “The first time I met you, I knew, it was you and it’ll always be you. Jared, you are the most beautiful person I’ve ever met, and I want to thank you for loving me all this time. I love you with all my heart. And… Ah…" Soft chuckle. "This sounds so weird but… I know you’ll find a new person to fill the gap in your life so… I want you to. It’ll be alright.”
Jared pulled her into his arms, savouring the smell of her neck, her hair. Tried desperately to engrave the feel of her in his arms, the warmth of her breath on his shoulder. “No,” he murmured into her ear. “It’s you, and it’ll always be you.”
You're so cold
But you feel alive
Realization dawned on him. She wanted to go, but he was keeping her here. Her time was up, but she couldn’t leave him.
He was blaming himself, torturing himself with guilt. The guilt of not being with her as he should have, through the difficult times at the beginning. For earlier. For not understanding her headaches, her pains. For not asking when she had to stop for breath. So much that he missed, that he should have seen when he came back. He missed the details, when she never failed to miss them about him.
But she didn’t want him to be like this. To dwell.
She wanted him to stop.
I forgive you Jared. It wasn’t your fault.
"Clara, if you don’t wake up, I’ll keep blaming myself. That’ll keep you here longer, right?"
Lay your hand on me
One last time
“I can’t believe you.”
He shushed her. “The priest is talking.”
Clara’s eyes shone with happiness. God, she was so beautiful to him, it was unworldly. Last night he had stepped into her room with apprehension. She could reject him, or she could accept. What would he do if she didn’t? F*ck it. All he knew was that she was slipping away, and he wasn’t going to lose her without this.
She was reading a book when he came in. Skeletons at a feast by Chris Bohjalian. A story about love in the war. She told him it made her feel a bit better – at least she and him could still see each other without being worried of being shot down.
“Hey you.” Her voice was hoarse from an unending cough, but her smile was warm. She put down the book and opened her arms for him. It took him a second to get over into her embrace, and although it was as affectionate as ever, he could feel how she had shrunk with weakness. The treatments were killing her.
He didn’t waste time. He kissed her, held her hands in his.
“Clara, I love you. I want to be with you, forever. I want you to be part of me, part of my life.”
She laughed, soft. “I thought I was?”
Reaching into his pocket, he took out a small box. Her wondrous eyes widened, and immediately pooled with tears. “You are.” He paused, took a deep breath. “Clara, marry me.”
He could see it in her expression, it was one of someone being torn apart: she was going to reject him. He knew what she was thinking. She was going to leave, he was going to be a guy with a dead wife, bad memories, there was no future anyways… But no, she can’t. She can’t.
He wouldn’t hear it. He took the ring from the box, a platinum band with a single setting, engraved with her name. “Clara. You are the first and last person. Taking her hand in his, he kissed it and sipped the ring on her finger. “Marry me.” Desperate. “Let us have this memory.”
And here they were, in Clara’s hospital room as always. A priest by the side of her bed, in a wedding dress her sister had brought for her, him in a black blazer. Anna was here now, tears streaming down her cheeks.
“You may kiss the bride.”
Jared let out the breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding, and kissed his wife. Her forehead, her eyes, her lips. And through the night, he squeezed into the small bed, held her tender in his arms. Felt her breathing slow as she tired, fell asleep.
And the next morning, she didn’t wake up.
Show me how it ends it's alright
Show me how defenseless you really are
That had been a week ago. Jared covered his face with his hands, frustrated. Of course he wouldn’t do that. He didn’t want her to be stuck in that bed, forever, like a rotting vegetable.
“Clara.” He struggled. Guiltily, he rubbed at his eyes, which had started leaking all of a sudden. He hadn’t cried for weeks, but couldn’t help himself now.
You have to let me go, Jared.
He leaned close to her lips and breathed his last farewell words to her. I have to let go.
“Goodbye, Clara.” His voice cracked. He held her hand tighter, kissed her fingers desperately as his heart broke in his chest. “I love you.”
The beeps stopped almost immediately. A shrill droning ‘bleep’ sound emerged. The heart monitor began to display a straight line.
And Jared caught the last warm sigh escape his muse’s mouth.
Satisfy an empty inside
* The End. *