a tale of bad goodbyes

moran-sm:

"It’s not a promise," Sebastian said. "It’s a fact."

Helena looked at him for a long moment, wishing that fact was enough to make her feel safe again. 

"Okay."

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a tale of bad goodbyes

moran-sm:

"You won’t have to," Sebastian said automatically.

"Don’t make promises to me," Helena said quietly.

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a tale of bad goodbyes

moran-sm:

Your sort. That stung. He wasn’t the same as Jim, he wasn’t like that.

"Don’t say that," Sebastian said quietly, his arm tightening instinctively around her.

Helena’s chest tightened. It was a show of protectiveness from him that had come far too late, but she leaned into him.

"It’s true," she said. "I’m just getting by. Today is a good day, some days I can’t get out bed. Some days I can’t eat, most nights I don’t sleep all the way through. I used to wish he’d killed me. I’m happy I survived him, but I’m doing only that. Surviving. I couldn’t live through it again.”

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a tale of bad goodbyes

moran-sm:

Sebastian couldn’t help laughing, genuinely this time, although he only just smothered the urge to glance over his shoulder, half expecting Jim to take that as his cue to enter.

"Well, that makes one of us," he said, his laughter turning hollow all too soon. He sobered, turning slightly towards Helena. "You are safe though, yeah? Barry knows what he’s up against if…?" He swallowed. "I don’t ever want to get there too late again, but…"

"Barry is a bodyguard," Helena said, looking across the room rather than back at Sebastian. "He does crowd control, sets up security detail, makes me dinner and double checks the locks before bed. He doesn’t deal with your sort, he doesn’t come from that world." She sighed. "If it ever happened again, I’d rather Jim just kill me."

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a tale of bad goodbyes

moran-sm:

Sebastian breathed a humourless laugh, not looking at her. “It would solve everything,” he said, as though he hadn’t heard her last comment. “I wouldn’t have to, he’d stop being pissed off, you wouldn’t have to worry about him anymore.”

Helena rolled her eyes. “Please. I’m going to worry about that man until the day I die,” she said dryly. 

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a tale of bad goodbyes

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Sebastian tensed instinctively before relaxing slightly. He pulled a hand away from his face to wrap his arm around her shoulders, pressing the fingertips of his free hand against closed eyes.

"I don’t know." His hand fell from his face to rest in his lap, fingers restlessly tugging at a loose thread. Jim had killed for less. "How can I want him back now I know what he did to you?" He paused, struggling to keep his breathing steady, his voice calm. "How can I live without him?"

"It doesn’t sound like you have any intention to," Helena said before she could stop herself. She drew a deep breath and exhaled slowly through her mouth. Her voice was softer now, her chest aching. "You learn to live without. It’s what I’ve done."

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a tale of bad goodbyes

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He sank back down on the sofa, propping his elbows up on his knees and burying his face in his hands. He felt exhausted. He hadn’t had a proper job in months and he was exhausted.

Helena hesitated for only a moment before moving to sit next to him, leaning into him with her head resting against his shoulder.

"What can I do?"

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a tale of bad goodbyes

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Sebastian was on the verge of arguing before it sunk in just how true her words hit.

"I’m sorry," he said again, uselessly, maintaining that distance between them. "I don’t know what to do anymore."

Helena felt almost disappointed that he hadn’t argued.

"I don’t have the answers for you," she said quietly. "I can’t tell you what to do next. I’m not - I’m sorry."

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a tale of bad goodbyes

moran-sm:

Sebastian looked after her for a long moment, mouth parted, before shoving his hands in his pockets with a curt nod.

"I’m sorry," he said gruffly. He glanced back to her. "If I could go back and do it all again, do it differently…"

Helena took an involuntary half-step forward; seeing Sebastian close off like that tugged something hard in her chest.

"I know," she said, guarding herself best she could. "But this is where we are and it’s unfair of you to use how I feel about you for your own benefit."

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a tale of bad goodbyes

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He stood up and moved to her and took her face gently in his hands and kissed her.

It was so easy to let herself kiss him back. And she did, for a brief moment, her hands resting against his chest and letting the sweet familiarity of the smell of his skin and the taste of his lips and the warmth of his touch wash over her. But her thoughts caught up with her actions and she remembered how much it hurt the last time Sebastian kissed her, how that hurt lingered just as much as her love for him did.

Helena broke the kiss and stepped away, shaking her head. “Don’t do this to me again. Please.”

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