Companion piece for the story Three Years
Disclaimers: They are not mine. I don't make profit from this.
ATF universe belongs to Mog. Thanks to Laura and to Angela B. for checking this.
Feedback is welcome, be kind I'm still learning English.
Here I am, at the church, all dressed up and dying inside.
I try to hide in the shadows; it is my best friend's wedding.
I didn't want to come. I made excuses about having to be somewhere else today, but still ended up here.
I had to be.
We have lived through a lot of things, my friend and I. We survived our youth together, the navy, the streets, the pain, the loss...
I'm not the best man this time.
Today, Vin Tanner is standing at Chris side.
Instead of being near the altar, I'm at the back of the big room.
It was hard when Chris and Mary started dating. I spend a lot of time punching a boxing-bag, releasing my anger. It hurt... still does.
Just three years and Chris forgot about Sarah.
I couldn't believe it, the man had wanted to die after losing her and Adam, and just three years later he's marrying another woman.
Was it all a lie?
Didn't he love her as he said?
How could he forget so soon... and I can't?
Sarah, please help me, I don't want to cry in front of all these people. Nobody should see how much I still hurt... I can't let it show.
I arrived at the church without a date. I sit in the shadows as far from the team as I can, and think.
All this time I have been talking with Sarah, in my mind and in my heart.
Chris looks happy. Are you happy too, Sarah?
Mary hasn't stopped grinning and sending kisses to Billy... I remember you smiled a lot at your wedding too, but it was a sad smile, because your father wasn't there.
Vin looks nervous. I was nervous at your wedding too. For a moment I wished Chris would back down and I would have taken his place.
Chris is saying his vows. His voice is strong and steady. Not like that time.
Have you given your blessing to the couple near the priest, Sarah? Or are your tears running free, like mine.
I can't help it.
Am I jealous because he's happy?
Because he got over his grief and is starting a new life?
Or it is because I'm not part of his life any more?
I'm not the best friend, just the oldest, I'm not the best man, just a simple guest. I will not be a godfather, just another "uncle"...
Could it be?
No, I think it's because I lost my family at the same time he lost his, I lost the woman I loved and I could never tell her...
That time it was enough that she was happy.
At least, this time, I'm not in love with the bride.
Everybody is leaving...I'm not.
They are having a big, fancy reception, with lots of guests, VIP's and some agents.
I already explained that I had a very important date I couldn't cancel.
I had to stand the team glares at that, the disappointment in Vin and Josiah's eyes, the confusion in JD's, the reproach in Chris', and Nathan's comments about my egoistical life... Then I saw pity in Ezra's eyes.
After that I avoided the team as much as I could.
I look around and the church is empty.
I leave as I came, alone.
I walk to my truck that is parked at the back of the old building.
I have a bag with clothes in the passenger seat.
I'm planning to stay at the cemetery all the time the guards will let me; I need to be close to Sarah and Adam tonight... Then crash somewhere, but not at home.
Time alone is what I want, what I need.
Because come Monday I will smile and pretend that all is right in the world.
I will joke and play with my teammates; I'll be like the clown that makes all those who see him happy.
Even if the clown can't do anything but cry when he's alone.
I'll be the Buck that everybody expects, even if I have been dying inside for three years.