Amber (sirenofodysseus) wrote in through_the_red,
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sirenofodysseus
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The Penguin Prompting Party: Day Twenty-Three

Title: Alone
Rating: T
Word Count: 797
Summary: She just knows she can't be alone tonight. Van Pelt/Cho.
Warnings: Character death.
Prompt: Coping, Grace Van Pelt/Kimball Cho (note: the real prompt was longer. It was just shortened, because redandgallifrey had her entire story planned out. ;))
Written for the lovely and talented, redandgallifrey--who forever continues to impress me. <3
Note: This is the first new pairing I've written for 2012; I just thought that needed to be said.


--

On the greyest of days, they put one of their own down to rest.

Grace Van Pelt stands alone; the black dress on her figure is somewhat form-fitting, her red hair is down, and her eyes are dry. Her red-rimmed brown eyes stare into space, as somebody approaches her from behind—the footsteps do not incite her response—and the warmth radiating from whoever it is, only makes her want to shiver.

Everything is numb and dull—his death is still so very fresh in her mind that she can still smell the stomach-churning blood, see the keys dangling in the ignition, his mangled hand on his gun, and the red smiley drawn on the windshield in his fluids—she has no tears left to cry, and the sudden hand on her shoulder makes her want to run. To get away from the fake condolences, and the looks of pity—but she can’t. She can’t, because she is being led away like a small child.

She wants to fight, but her energy fades much like the dark casket that has suddenly disappeared and she finds herself hoping that Red John will come find her.

Because when he does, she will blow his head off for taking him away from her.

Something shatters, and the person who has been pulling her, shoves her down. It’s when she notices the funeral is no longer, and there’s a vase—shattered, much like her—at her feet.

                “It was over.” Cho’s voice hits her ears. “I doubted you wanted to stay.” She doesn’t glance up from the mess she has made. “The vase was ugly anyway.” He says nothing else, but she feels whatever she is on dipping beneath her.

Both of them are quiet, and she likes that. He isn’t judging her with side looks, or asking if she’s okay. He just sits there and allows her to gather her strength again, which she does before she speaks again.  

                “They can handle it.” Her voice is small, yet he apparently hears her.

                “They can.” He agrees.

The silence resumes, and she shifts. “This is their fault.” Cho says nothing. “He would be here if it weren’t for them.”

                “Possibly.” Cho offers. “Who knows?”

                “I do.” Van Pelt sniffles, and she does. Lisbon and Jane sent the man to be slaughtered. Stake out or not, she thinks, Wayne Rigsby should have been safe. Red John should not have been able to touch him, but he did.

It was a warning and someone else might die next, her lips tremble. She thinks of Jane and Lisbon, and though she’ll never say it out loud, she wishes the serial killer would have taken something else of less importance away from her.

                “Blaming won’t bring him back.”

Van Pelt glances up to stare at Cho, who is still next to her. He looks emotionally exhausted, and she wonders for the first time, how he handles the death of his partner and close friend. Does he cry like she did? Or does he lock it all away?

She doesn’t say anything, because he doesn’t understand how she feels.

                “I understand.” He adds.

                “What?”

He blinks. “You said I didn’t understand. I do.” He pauses. “He was my friend, Van Pelt. Is that any different from a lover?”

                “We weren’t…” She tries to deny.

                “He told me.”

                “Oh.”

Up until his murder, they had been happy together.

Up until his murder, she wasn’t alone and she absolutely hates being alone.

Her apartment is the one place she will never be able to return back too; it is full of ghosts and demons from two completely different men, and she knows she will go insane.

Her voice is smaller when she speaks again. “I tried to be strong, Cho. I tried.” He says nothing still. “I have nothing left.” She moves to rub her eyes, and is surprised when she finds tears. “What is wrong with me?”

                “Nothing.” He responds, firmly and she presses her hands against her face to conceal her tears, when he gently takes her hands in his own. She stares at the man, who now stands in front of her, with her hands held in his. He crotches down to meet her face with his own.

                “You will be fine.” He tells her, and her lips tremble again. “You will move past this.” She tries to pull away from him, but he doesn’t allow her to. “Give it time, Grace.” The use of her first name and his hold on her hands overwhelms her to the point of confusion.

And when her lips touch his, she isn’t sure what is happening.

And she still isn’t sure what is happening when her fingers meet his skin.

She just knows she can’t be alone tonight.


Tags: character: grace van pelt, character: kimball cho, fandom: the mentalist, genre: angst, genre: comfort, pairing: van pelt/cho, the penguin prompting party
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