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Title: Unaware That I'm Tearing You Asunder
Author: Aspen Snow
Pairing: Kellerman, Sara
Rating: PG-13
Summary: He can fix this, maybe.
Author's Note: Kellerman owns my soul.



He fakes a breakdown in a church. He lets out a strangled, jerky sound that starts out as a laugh because this is ironic— this is funny. He chokes it back, consciously keeps his eyes from blinking, and when they start to water he covers his face with his hands and lets his shoulders shake.

This is what grief looks like, he knows.

She is sitting two pews over, her hands wrapped around her knees, her hair tucked behind her ears. He imagines her rocking back and forth— remembering and forgetting.

He sits up a little straighter, runs the palms of his hands over his face roughly, pushes his fingers through his hair. The movement is frantic and desperate and some kind of denial.

She'll recognize the gesture.

When he opens his eyes she is watching him. She runs a finger across her bottom lip, slow, back and forth. He wonders what she feels there.

This is how it starts.

*

He yells at her loudly, too loudly like he is on the edge of something dangerous. She thinks something self destructive, she thinks hysteria. She thinks she recognizes the way his foot taps against the floor unsteady and fast— too fast.

She sits down next to him, puts a hand on his knee. Her fingers are firm, almost warm through his jeans, and they still his movement.

"I can help you," she says and she means it. He knows this because he is in her apartment, on her couch. And he brought pie and she made popcorn and they're watching a movie that was a hit at the box office.

He'd never seen it, she was surprised. He ends up liking it and when this is over he thinks maybe he will buy it— and a DVD player, and a TV.

She turns to look at him— the ends of her hair brush across his bare forearm and it's like there is something crawling on his skin.

*

She covers her mouth when she laughs, it strikes him as unnatural and without thinking he reaches out and wraps his fingers around her wrist.

"Stop," he says. His thumb is pressed against her pulse and his training was never meant to explain what that meant here, now.

He lets her go, or she pulls away.

*

"I need more time," he says and there is a crack in his voice and a hitch in his breath that sounds a little bit like a plea. He blames it on bad reception.

There's no response; just a dial tone and he wants to throw his phone against a wall or into the river or off the roof of a building so he can watch it shatter.

*

He hasn't walked somewhere in years and with his hands in his pockets and people rushing by, time stretches and slows and he remembers that he always liked the way city air smelled— like smoke and fire.

From across the street he watches her pull keys out of her purse. If he called out her name now she would hear him. She'd turn around, put a hand to her eyes to shield them from the sun— it's bright today. She'd smile, wave him across the street and invite him up.

He could fix this, maybe.

He's sweating in his suit and tie, it's making him itch. His fingers pull at the edges of his jacket, straightening and adjusting and none of this fits. Not the white clouds or the blue skies or the bright hot sun that makes her hair burn like something he can't look away from.

The door closes behind her and the moment is gone.

He breathes like he just remembered he was supposed to— fast and deep and greedy— and he tells himself it had to be this way.

*

When he sees her again he's wearing a t-shirt and jeans. He's got his hands on her knees, his fingers pressed into her and he can feel her trembling. He wants her to talk, he wants her to help him and it's like they've been here before.

But of course they haven't because she's tied to a chair, wrists red and raw and bleeding. And her hair sticks to her cheeks in dark clumps that are anything but the warm, soft kind of temptation he remembers.

"Go to hell," she says and it isn't a whisper, like he expects, it's loud and she looks right at him and he wonders where she gets the strength. He remembers her rocking back and forth, arms around her legs, eyes on her knees.

There's a deep red staining her too pale cheeks and her jaw is clenched and her breath shakes out of her and she is looking at him like he betrayed her.

She expected him to be good and that's new and different and just more. And he wants to smile when she fights her way out of the water, wants to smile because maybe he lets her.

But he doesn't, he isn't here for this.

*

He's on his back on the floor of a bathroom in a puddle of water— it's cold and it soaks his shirt. The skin on his chest is burning and numb and shrinking and ripping apart and doing a million other things that make him scream. He presses a hand to his chest, he can feel his fingers stick to flesh that is not quite burnt and he presses harder because he wants this to stop.

He has a gun, with a silencer. He could have shot her without anyone hearing, without anyone knowing. He could have shot her in the head, wrapped her up in a clear plastic tarp, stuffed her in the trunk when the sun went down and been done with it. He could have done that.

Instead he sits on a bed and changes channels and turns up the volume while she drowns in another room. This is what he does instead.

It's passive, maybe on purpose.

He watches her jump out of the window. He hears the impact— broken glass, bent metal, car alarm— and he thinks it's the pain that makes him pray that she isn't dead.

*

When he's got his gun pointed at them Michael looks at his brother like he is the last thing he wants to see. And he breathes like it hurts and clenches his fists and closes his eyes like this is all his fault.

He thinks he understands now how this man collects, demands loyalties.

"I can help you," he says and he lowers his gun and what he's really saying is you can help me. He thinks if he had said that to her that day on her couch, with the pie and the popcorn, she might have tried.

They believe him and they follow him maybe, probably because running is all they know how to do now.

"Have to find Sara," Michael says and he speaks in fragments, like the words are heavy, or a mantra.

He gets it.

It's funny, he thinks, the things men have in common.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
msgenevieve
Dec. 9th, 2006 10:32 am (UTC)
Woah. This is amazing. It's got a detached, almost sing-song quality to it and it's totally creepy and totally Kellerman and I'm gushing now so I'll stop. *adds to memories*
aspensnow
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
Oh I am so glad you liked it you so much. Writing Kellerman isn't easy but I have found that it is way too much fun. And yes, creepy, and kind of hot, that must be what draws me to him.

Anyway, thank you for the feedback and for reccing it!
becisvolatile
Dec. 9th, 2006 10:52 am (UTC)
Dude, I so very rarely hit the 'memories' button, but I am SO doing that now. Just amazing. Beautiful and really easy to *feel*.

Thanks so much for sharing.
aspensnow
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
Dude, you rock. No seriously. Comments like your's make me want to write more Kellerman! Not that I would ever stop, lol.

Thank you so so so much for taking the time to comment and I am so glad that you enjoyed it, Kellerman/Sara is a relatively new foray of mine.
becisvolatile
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
New or not, I do hope it's one you continue.
(Deleted comment)
aspensnow
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
Well I'm glad you decided to stop by and even more glad that you actually enjoyed my somewhat unorthodox pairing. And seriously, Kellerman has so much potential on the show that needs to be explored. This was just my little contribution.

Thank you so much.
badboy_fangirl
Dec. 9th, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC)
You know I worship you, right? Your fic is always, always, always (did I mention always) AMAZING. I can't think of single thing of yours I've read that I wasn't gushing at the end. Words fill up my throat and tumble out my fingers.

Kellerman is so effing awesome. I think he's the greatest character on the show now...this was wonderful. Perfect.

I can't wait until January 29th!
aspensnow
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:18 am (UTC)
I can honestly say I had no idea what you worshiped my fics...but the knowledge makes me *squee* like a crazed cheerleader...or something. Mostly the fact that you enjoy my writing makes me all kinds of happy.

I have to agree that Kellerman is indeed awesome.

And I can so not wait untill the 29th either.

Thank you for the wonderful comment!
badboy_fangirl
Dec. 10th, 2006 03:22 am (UTC)
I always forget to say, I'm americanoutlaw over at pbfic. I've posted on your stories over there. I didn't even realize you had an LJ until today. Would it be okay if I friended you?

I loved that other Kellerman piece you wrote, the Neverland one. Yum. Sooooooo good. Course, I love all your Linc stuff too. But Kellerman, he's my number two.
perdue_qqpart
Dec. 9th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
I would like to be able to express my appreciation better, since I'm lacking in this matter, I'm telling you that I've really liked it. Your Kellerman characterization is right on IMO.
aspensnow
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:20 am (UTC)
Oh thank you so much! Seriously, because I have a hard time getting into Kellerman's head at times and it is good to know that I didn't turn him into some OOC character of doom.

Thanks again!
pamalax
Dec. 9th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
While I had issues... RAGE... against dear Paul, for obvious reasons, since the fall finale I really did enjoy this fic very much!!

Really great work, as usual!
Thanks for sharing ;o)
aspensnow
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:23 am (UTC)
I'm glad you could enjoy my fic despite your...rage. I figured that reading Kellerman/Sara, especially one like mine that is quasi sympathetic with the character might be hard for a lot of fans of the show because you know, he is sort of kind of evil, but still, thank you for reading it anyway, thank you for enjoying it, and thank you for leaving a comment!
pamalax
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:31 am (UTC)
I figured that reading Kellerman/Sara, especially one like mine that is quasi sympathetic with the character might be hard for a lot of fans of the show because you know, he is sort of kind of evil,

I actually was under the impression, myself and a handful of others bitter over the double cross of Mahone aside, that most of the fandom had fallen into deep and abiding love with Paul after the finale.

It was quite a twist... really turned the character on its ear and upped his appeal. When you get right down to it it worked right across the board because angry or not even I'm writing him these days :o)

thank you for reading it anyway, thank you for enjoying it, and thank you for leaving a comment!

My pleasure!
halfshellvenus
Dec. 14th, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
I liked this very much-- the odd attraction Kellerman has for Sara that's sincere under the baggage of the reality of him and his job.

and none of this fits. Not the white clouds or the blue skies or the bright hot sun that makes her hair burn like something he can't look away from.
Gorgeous description both in imagery and in feeling.

Instead he sits on a bed and changes channels and turns up the volume while she drowns in another room. This is what he does instead.
It's passive, maybe on purpose.

Oh, I agree. He couldn't actually stand to kill her directly, and that's different for him.

Lovely feel and tone and mood to this whole thing, and it has the ring of truth under all of Kellerman's lies. Lovely job. :)
slowdescent_
Dec. 26th, 2006 10:22 am (UTC)
This is completely legendary... I really loved the line about "Instead he sits on a bed and changes channels and turns up the volume while she drowns in another room. This is what he does instead."

Not only is it a great line depicting that scene, it's just an excellent, Kellerman-voiced couple of sentences.

I hope you don't mind that I'm putting this in my memories.
shiegra
Jan. 2nd, 2007 08:14 am (UTC)
Creepy and gorgeous as hell. I get all my information from the first three episodes and scrounged facts, and this still just *hit* me, and I'm still enjoying it as it sinks in. (Did that make sense? No? Excuse me.)
scarletumbrella
Jan. 30th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)
I absolutely loved this.

It's funny, he thinks, the things men have in common.

Perfect. I think K/S may be my new crack. ^_^
_touched
Aug. 19th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC)
I was sent over here, by recommendation of my really good friend gatheringlight, when she found out my little guilty pleasure these days were Sara/Kellerman. I couldn't help it, Kellerman has always had this appeal to me and since Sara is my main favorite character of the show - why not entertain the thought - the possible idea.

This is definitely going into my memories as one of my favorites and I'm going to be rec'ing it as well. ;)
ekorotya
Mar. 9th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
Great!
Fantastic!

~E
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( 22 comments — Leave a comment )