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A Long Way From Never
By Demeter


Before Claire can say anything reassuring, Lindsay cuts her off. "No, Claire. It's over now. No one gets that many second chances."

She's not going to have a breakdown yet. It's just that her skin feels too tight, and she's very cold.

"Lindsay." There's so much pain in Claire's voice, for her, it makes her feel even more guilty. Lindsay turns to her friend with a sad attempt of a smile. "Maybe He or She is telling me that I deserved this, and that's it."

"You don't believe that."

She doesn't, really. The problem is that Lindsay has come to a point where she doesn't know what to believe, or to believe in, anymore. It was impossible either way. She's made her choice; there's no going back. The wave of grief hits her without warning, making her stagger under its weight, but Claire is right there, her embrace warm, solid, non-judgmental.

Lindsay is afraid to send her away, and yet she knows she'll have to. There's a lot she has to think about now.

"Let's go inside. You need to rest." Claire is a wonderful friend, always giving support or a kick in the ass when needed. There are rare times, however, when she slips into mothering mode with one of her friends, and it's when you know that things have to be really bad. Not that Lindsay would need anybody to remind her, when she feels like she deserves to die. Not when she kind of wants to.

What's maybe the worst is that she recognizes the victim mindset, and that she feels unable to do anything about it, except her thoughts have begun to center around the gun she's carrying. Her anger is misplaced, she knows that too. She's just so very tired.

"You can go now. I'll manage."

"We'll see about that," Claire says, a doctor, a kind and caring friend aware of the danger.

Lindsay wants to believe that eventually the pain and guilt will just fade away. She'll just never count on second chances again.

The End

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