Hozzie's oneshot! It's sad. Very much so.
She hadn't expected this - yes, Hollie understood that when men went to war, they sometimes didn't come home, but she didn't ever want to be in this position. She has missed a week of school due to the trauma-induced illness that has wracked her thin, frail body.
Hollie straightens up, looking forward with melancholic blue eyes that have yet to be permanently shadowed by slept-in mascara and the haunted remains of sorrow and anger. Her sallow skin has been scrubbed perfectly clean for this event and if she thinks hard enough about it, she can almost imagine her skin brightening. If she closes her eyes and imagines a different scenario, Hollie can almost picture a bright smile gracing her stepmother's lips. She can almost hear the ring of laughter echoing round her.
But then she opens her eyes, and the harsh grey light of reality seeps into her bones. She is not attending a wedding, or a christening, or a party. She is attending a funeral - her brother's funeral.
Michael was only 22 when he died - shot dead on the banks of the sea. That is the risk that comes tied with the title of 'soldier'.
Hollie looks up into her elder brother's sunken eyes. Gerard was there to witness the blood pouring from Michael's bullet wound - he cried out his brother's name. His voice fell upon deaf ears, though. The bullet had pierced arteries from the moment it shout its way through Michael's weak body. There was no way he would survive.
Gerard looks so different from when he and Michael left for ear. He hasn't smiled since he left. A permanent frown has etched it's way onto his thin, bitten lips and it clearly refuses to come off. His eyes, once bright and jovial, are shadowed by the ghosts of regret and fear. Nothing can cheer him up.
Gerard's thin hand finds it's way to Hollie's, and he clutches it as if he is going to die. Leaning down, his voice breaks ever so slightly as he whispers in Hollie's ear.
"He said to say he loves you, Hoz. Mikey loves you, a lot. He wanted to you to know that before he died."
The words are no comfort to Hollie - or Hozzie, as her brothers had so affectionately nicknamed her. A fresh set of tears prickle and burn at her eyes as she buries her face into Gerard's shoulder, holding back wracked sobs. Her stepmother shoots a worried glance at Gerard, and an irritated one at the crying teenager. Donna Way has had enough of Hollie crying for a brother that was not hers in blood.
Hollie looks to her father for some form of comfort. He just shrugs, looping his arm round Donna's crooked one. They have to leave now, or they'll be late for the funeral. Hollie doesn't want to go, not on her young life. She has no choice - she has to say goodbye to the one of the only people that understood her.
The car ride to church is long, and agonisingly quiet. Gerard is sat beside her in the back seat, squeezing her hand whenever crystal tears spring behind his eyes. He can't handle the thought of seeing Michael's face again - cold, dead, and painstakingly peaceful. The thought scares the living daylights out of him. In truth, Gerard feels responsible for Michael's death - he feels like he could've stopped it, and that he could've been the one lying in the tidy honey box today if he had been just a little quicker. Gerard would rather take death than feel like this.
Hollie has both her arms wrapped round Gerard's slender frame. He left for war vaguely chubby - now, his ribs press against Hollie's own and cause his younger sister great discomfort. She takes comfort in knowing that he is as distraught about this as she is. They have to suffer the pain together, there is no other way. You can't forget about the corpse that lays, quiet and still, in your bed.
When Gerard and Hollie approach the opened casket, they simultaneously swallow down the fit of sobs that threaten to work their way through choked throats. This is the first time Hollie has seen Michael - Mikey, she always called him - in months.
There is no expression on his pale face. His lips form a straight line. His skin is cold, pallid. It clings to his prominent cheekbones. His eyelids are dropped shut - the undertaker has shown the family a little respect. Gerard appreciates it. The haunted, terrified gaze that lies within Gerard's own hazel orbs would most certainly echo in Michael's glassy stare.
The service is short and heartbreaking. Gerard cannot get through his eulogy, and has to run out of the church to vomit, twisted innards rejecting the fact his brother is dead. Hollie hasn't got anything written down - she does not want to speak. All she wants to do is get home, and curl into one of Mikey's oversized shirts and cry herself into a coma.
A feeling of calm seeps through her tainted skin at one point. It is almost like something has reassured her that things can go on. Sitting by herself in the back row, Hollie turns her head, and almost squeals.
A pale, ghostly version of her brother sits beside her, transparent hand locked within hers. Scenes of his final moments reflect in his polished glasses. He turns his head and offers Hollie a warm smile.
"I love you, Hoz," he murmurs, arms moving to pull the frail girl into a tight hug. She can't help but return it, almost breaking down in sobs.
"I can't do it, Mikey, I can't do it," she cries quietly, shaking her head violently.
"Yes, you can. Look in your coat pocket," the ghostly vision of her dead brother tells her. Nodding compliantly, Hollie reaches into the pocket of her jacket, fingers wrapping round a small scrap of paper.
"To Hozzie and Alicia,
If you are reading this, I am dead.
Hozzie; I love you. Please don't cry over me. I love you so very much. I died a good man, your brother. And being your brother meant more to me than anything else. I love you so much, Hollie. Please, don't forget that. In my closet, the one I told you never to go into, I've saved my money to buy you a necklace. It is pure gold. A pendant lies upon it - a locket. Inside, you'll find a picture, of me and you and Gerard. Treasure it, please.
Alicia; I am so sorry I'm not here to be your husband. I know I promised you I would come back. I'm so sorry. In my bedside table, a diamond ring is encased within a black box. Hollie will tell you where it is. I want you to wear it, as my widow and my wife. Even though I am not here to kiss your beautiful lips physically, I will kiss you every night. You just won't be able to feel me.
I love you.
Michael James Way.
When she turns her head, the ghostly apparition has faded, and Gerard has taken its place.
HOZZIE! I got your oneshot done! I tried a Supernatural one but it didn't work out, so I threw this together. I did it in about half an hour, so I apologise if its shitty. I kind of base it off the aftermath of the TGOY video. So. I made myself cry, I feel like this should be known.
Also. Cat is canon. I repeat, Cat (myself and Mat off Masterchef Australia) is canon. I was talking to Mat, yeah? And he's like, 'I see you're on series 3 of mc' and I'm like, wait I've never tweeted you about masterchef. No one who he follows retweets me. Therefore, I've come to the conclusion he went through my tweets. He also liked my bio. I'm proud. Whispers I love him a lot and yeah.
I've been really sick (sick to the point of staying home for two days) so I hope this is alright. I'm gonna go now. Bye!