Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
Falling out of love is never easy. [Challenge fic.]
They hadn't spoken in almost two days, except for insignificant questions. Like when he was on the phone with Room Service, and he'd turned to her and asked if she wanted salmon or sirloin. Or when she was about to get in the shower, and she let him know so that he could use the toilet first if he needed to.
Mostly, she'd stayed at the window, watching the weather. At first it had been freezing rain, coating everything around them with a glistening shell of ice; then it had been the tap-tap-tap of sleet. The airports had been closed for three days now, since the very evening that they'd been scheduled to fly back home, and they'd been effectively snowed into their hotel.
Things could've been much worse, she told herself. They could still afford Room Service for their meals. Plus, their room was large and comfortable - a bedroom with two roomy beds. They had central heating, hot water... had they waited a bit longer and gotten stuck at the resort, they would've been much more uncomfortable. Besides, it was only snowing lightly now. Surely they'd be able to leave soon.
But she couldn't find it in her to be grateful. They shouldn't have been there at all, really. It was a contest that he'd won, and he'd asked her to come with him a long time ago. She'd jumped at the chance, and probably would have even if she hadn't been dating him at the time. It was a resort package, three days at one of the better ski resorts in the Blue Ridge Mountains, all expenses paid.
She adored skiing, and he'd hoped that she could teach him the ropes. But the contest hadn't allowed for other things happening in their life, and by then it had been too late for a change of plans. She'd spent the two days on the expert slopes, tearing up the artificial snow with a vengeance; he'd enrolled in a skiing class and had cautiously snowplowed his way down the beginners' slopes.
She'd only seen him once; he'd been so awkward, a six-four, heavyset little boy inching his way down to the ski-lift. She'd wanted to ask him if she could go ahead and help, but even then they'd barely even spoken to each other.
She heard the bathroom door close; he'd finished his shower. She closed her eyes, but it was no use; she didn't need to see his reflection to know that he was looking at her. Maybe he was staring at her long black hair, or the pale shoulder which had slipped out of her black velvet bathrobe, or just the gentle curves of her body.
He'd admired all of those things about her before, in whispered endearments as they'd made love. He'd always said that she was so beautiful. Like that first dance, the night they'd met, when he'd compared her to a stately lady in the court of some exotic queen...
"I don't want to leave here," she blurted, without really thinking about it first. It was just so true that she couldn't make herself keep it inside.
She heard the footsteps stop, but then, she probably wouldn't have heard them on the thick blue carpet anyway. "I know."
"I..." She opened her eyes briefly, staring at her own reflection in the window, and let the tears well up before she closed them again. They trickled down her flushed cheeks. "When they closed the airports... I thought that maybe it was a sign. That we'd have time to talk to each other, maybe figure out what was wrong. Learn that maybe we really could love each other again...." She shook her head, fiercely. "I'm such an idiot. I was too scared to... to say anything. I should've known better."
She was crying because she knew all too well what she would have to do when she left. She'd have to go back to their former home. She'd have to pack, which was a woefully inadequate word for sifting through their old memories and picking out which ones she would keep and which ones she'd have to throw away. She'd have to give his diamond ring back and find another place to go, in a town where she'd never known anything but him and his.
She heard the familiar rustle of fabric as he tied his bathrobe around his waist; she felt the bed shift as he sat down next to her. He did not touch her; he merely looked out the window with her. "I'm sorry," he finally said, very quietly.
She shook her head. "It's not your fault," she said automatically. "I just... I wish it could've been different. I mean, I..." But she couldn't tell him that she still loved him. That would have been a cruel lie. "I still care," she said instead, because it was the truth.
"I know," he answered. "So do I."
"I just..." But she shook her head, again, and forced a smile. "It's nothing. I shouldn't even be... worrying about it. We won this vacation, we ought to enjoy it... right?"
She opened her eyes, saw his reflection smiling faintly in the glass. "I'm going to order dinner now," he said. "Do you want anything in particular?"
"Steak. No, chicken if they have any today. And maybe some nice red wine." Somehow, the smile stayed on their faces as they spoke.
He finally nodded and walked over to the phone, and she heard him pick up the receiver. She focused on the snow falling outside, trying not to cry again, to keep that smile on her face. It wasn't their fault, she told herself. It really wasn't. People fell in and out of love every day.
A/N: Written for an old challenge on fosff.net's forums, which I haven't checked in quite a while, sadly. The challenge was this: "Write a short fic (less than 1000 words) about two characters stranded somewhere secluded during a snow storm. The story can be silly, sweet, sad, slashy, sexy, sarcastic, romantic... Anything you want from any fandom you so choose." Since I couldn't think of any fan-related stuff for that topic at the time, I wrote original angst.