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Ghost

Title:Ghost
Author: ieattricky
Rating: PG-13?
Pairing: Gabe/William
POV: William's
Summary: William is plagued by the ghost of Gabe, he needs out.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot. Or do I?
Beta: I need a beta actually. Anyone?
Author Notes: I don't even know what was going through my head when I wrote this...nothing good...


The alarm rang, loud and obnoxious. William reached out a hand and slammed it down on the button, halting the noise before sticking his head out of the warmth of his duvet.

There was that faint smell of smoke and aftershave again. William moaned and ducked his head into his pillow.

"Go away, you're not even real."

"Of course I'm real, I'm as real as that lovely can of beer going to waste in your fridge right now."

"Take it." William muttered resignedly into his pillow. A chill wind blew around the room, the smell of smoke strengthening, then fading. William peeked out from his cave of blankets, starting backwards when he found himself face to face with a transparent, grinning Gabe.

"Thanks for the beer, didn't go down well though." The rest of Gabe's body appeared, shoulders first, then his torso, his legs and finally his arms, one pointing towards a puddle of liquid on the floor. "Don't know why the hell it did that." He stared at the puddle of beer on the floor for a minute, when he looked back at William he looked a little scared.

William stood up and walked through Gabe, shivering a little at the chill, he reached the bathroom and closed the door behind him. His watch said 7:30, he was due in work in half an hour.

"Shower." He murmured to himself, trying ignore the shivery-outlined figure seated cross-legged on the floor. He slipped off his clothes, flinching when Gabe let out a low whistle.

"Still looking good Bill."

William stepped into the shower and turned the heat up full. Half-way through shampooing his hair, the water suddenly turned freezing cold.

"Fuck!" He exclaimed, reaching up to switch off the shower. Gabe's laughter wrapped around him like a shadow, but it was wrong, like a mockery of his old one. It made William shiver and wrap his towel tighter round himself.

"Williaaaam." Gabe said teasingly.

"Oh my god, I never knew my imagination could be so annoying." William muttered.

"I'm not your imagination! Your imagination could never think up anything as hot as me."

"If you aren't my imagination, then what are you?"

"I'm Gabe, don't say you don't remember me?"

William spun round, t-shirt rucked up around his ribs. Tears were brimming in his eyes.

"You're dead." He whispered brokenly, heart clenching and squeezing painfully in his chest, it was just like the first few months after Gabe's accident.

"What?" Gabe for once had stopped smiling, in all the time he had been back in this form, the only time he had not smiled was when William started crying.

"You were killed, it was a hit and run Gabe. You. Are. Dead."

Gabe gave him a lost look.

"What?" He said, softer this time, if he could cry, William was sure he would be crying now.

"I'm so sorry." William said in a sad, muted voice. "I have to go to work."

He pulled on a pair of shoes and put his hand on the doorknob. He turned, Gabe was still standing there, staring at the floor.

"Goodbye?"

Gabe didn't answer.

---------

For the first time in three months, William turned up at work alone. No grinning, transparent Gabe, no laughing and knocking coffee pots over. Just William and Butcher and the quiet hiss of the coffee machine and the gentle hum of talk.

"You seem a little distracted Bill." Butcher said as William knocked a tray of coffee cups to the ground for the third time that morning. "What's the matter?"

"I-uh…it's just I'm missing Gabe." William mumbled, sweeping up shards of china and avoiding Butcher's eye.

"We all are Bill, don't worry, he's in a better place."

William felt a surge of sadness at that. Gabe wasn't in a better place, he was in William's apartment, probably still trying to come to terms with the fact that he's dead.

"No he isn't." William murmured, voice almost inaudible over the sounds of the café. Butcher patted his back with a large hand.

"He is Bill. He's okay."

-----

William drove home fast later that evening, after the shop had closed and Butcher had driven off with Sisky.

His apartment was empty.

William looked around in panic, breathing deeply, trying to catch the scent of cigarettes and aftershave. He didn't know his apartment could feel so empty without Gabe's incessant chattering. The silence was like a weight, pushing down on him.

"Gabe?" He called out, wandering from room to room, a small voice in the back of his head was telling him this was madness, Gabe was just a figment of his imagination anyway.

"Are you alone in here?" A lyrical voice sang out, mockingly. William's mind flashed back to those dark days in the wake of Gabe's death, of Gabe's funeral. He remembered sitting at his desk and writing. He wrote song after song, each one closer to describing his feelings about his loss, than the other. In the end Ghost was written. A song born of loss and sadness and just a little but of madness and fear.

"Well, there are fine lines I've seen we are stuck in between. With separate eyes to use and throw aside. How we die, nobody wants to know. Who decides where everybody goes? Where everybody goes.…"

William felt sweat droplets break out on his forehead and he tried to make as little sound as possible, scared, unsure why he was scared. This was Gabe, or imagination Gabe, whatever he was, it was still Gabe. But there was something different, a different atmosphere maybe, that just screamed change.

"Gabe?"

William stepped back in surprise as Gabe materialised in front of him, that goofy grin gone, now replaced by a resigned expression of sadness.

"There's a fine line between what is justified or just obscene." He murmured, staring deep into William's eyes. "I'm dead William."

William felt tears rise to his eyes.

"What's it like Gabe?"

Gabe looked pensive.

"Death is just…nothing. There's no pain, no pleasure. No feelings at all. I don't get cold, or hot. It's just nothing."

"Did it hurt, dying?"

Gabe looked pained for a second, and drifted closer to William, close enough that the chill emitting from Gabe caused goosebumps to rise on his pale skin.

"I can't remember…I didn't even know I was dead until this morning William. I do remember a crunching sound, then blackness, then I was in your room watching you cry and scribble over your song repeatedly."

William scrunched up his face, trying to figure out something.

"Why didn't you know you were dead? And why are you here?"

"I don't know."

"Gabe, why are you still here? As far as I know, people don't come back when they die."

Gabe looked forlornly around himself, then his eyes settled again on William. His eyes weren't that deep, thick brown that they were when he was alive, they were a dull brown. Everything about Gabe was toned down, his hair was a lustreless dark brown, skin pale. Only his personality remained, and now that was dulled.

"I can't go to the afterlife without you William, I will wait for that day when we can be reunited. Then I will find rest, only when you have too."

"Fuck that Gabe, you don't want to be hanging around for years until I die!"

Gabe glided backwards, sitting without a sound in the big red sofa in William's living room.

"I think you'll find I can."

-----

William liked to think that he didn't loose his mind until Gabe announced that he was sticking round.

But really, deep down he knew that he had slowly been going mad since he had walked the few blocks to Gabe's work to meet him outside and found him bloody and still on the road, a small crowd of people muttering and speaking urgently into mobiles. William remembered how his skull had been cracked open, the blood matting into his dark hair.

Then there was the funeral, William had sat numbly in the front row, trying to ignore the coffin set near the altar. It was closed, Gabe's body was too ruined to have an open casket. Tears only came when he was meant to give his speech about what a great person Gabe was and how nice he was, blah blah blah. William didn't want to say those things, he wanted everyone to know what Gabe was really like.

William could still remember what he said on that horrible day, and with tears seeping slowly down his face he murmured them under his breath, loud enough for Gabe to hear on the other side of the room.

"Gabe was fun, Gabe was mornings staying under the covers just because we could, Gabe was hot summer days spent lounging round in the garden, Gabe was love. I'm not going to come up here and tell you all how good he was, because sometimes he wasn't. Like everyone in this room he swore and got drunk, but he did so many good things. Maybe they weren't good things like donating huge amounts of money to charity, but he made me happy. He made everyone happy."

Gabe drifted closer to William, curling up at his feet. William just looked forward, eyes unfocused and unseeing. His skinny arms were wrapped around his skinny legs and his voice was barely above a whisper as he continued his speech.

"Gabe loved everyone and everything. Gabe also hated everyone and everything. Gabe was one massive contradiction. You'd see him there, in his purple hoodie and his yellow jeans and you'd just wonder to yourself, who is the man behind the hoodie, and y'know in all the years I knew Gabe, I never fully found out. I learnt many things about Gabe, how he liked his toast, why he hated the colour orange, how strict a vegetarian he was, he loved Gossip Girl and would watch it for hours on end. One year I bought him the box set, I didn't see him for days until he'd watched it all. Gabe was ridiculous, difficult, childish, impulsive, reckless, rude, but god I loved him. And he loved me."

William ended his speech with a whisper, dropping his tear stained face to his knees. Gabe reached up to try and stroke his face, to make him feel better, but his hand passed right through William's cheek. Gabe cursed and resigned himself to mumbling 'I love you' in William's ear.

William didn't even look up, the sadness was dragging him under.

-------

Butcher knew something was up when William dragged himself to work for the first time in weeks, a miserable Gabe trailing behind him.

"Oh my god what's happened?" He asked softly, pulling William into the back room to talk. Gabe followed a little more energetically now, William gave him a exasperated look.

"What do you mean?" He asked Butcher dully, noticing with little interest the new tattoo on his already colourful arm.

"You don't turn up for work for three weeks, you don't pick up your phone, you don't answer the door. What the fuck? We thought you…we thought something bad happened to you."

William raised an eyebrow.

"You thought I killed myself?" He asked, out of the corner of his eye Gabe flinched and drifted closer, that musky, smoky smell enveloping William's tired body. It wasn't a bad smell, it was the smell of Gabe, the smell of comfort.

"Well, yeah actually. What else were we meant to think?!" Butcher said defensively, William took a deep breath and his shoulders slumped in defeat.

"I can't stand it any longer." He whispered, kneading his forehead with white knuckles. "There's too many things up here." He regarded Butcher with scared eyes, hearing only the speech he made at Gabe's funeral swirling around his beaten head.

"Tell me."

William backed up against the wall, passing through Gabe and sliding down to sit on the floor, arms around his legs.

"You remember that speech that I made a his funeral." William said, avoiding saying Gabe's name. Butcher nodded.

"Yeah, it was good." He saw the expression on William's face and backtracked hastily. "I mean, you captured him well."

"Well, that's all I can think, no other thoughts, just that speech. I spend hours at a time just, sitting and reciting it. It's driving me mad." He spoke the last bit in a whisper, knotting his hands in his hair and squeezing his eyes shut, trying to halt the incessant words inside his head.

"Bill." William looked up, Butcher looked really worried. "Bill, I think you should go home. No, actually. I'm taking you back to mine okay? I'll explain to Ryan why you can't go to work for a bit, he'll understand."

William let himself be pulled into a standing position and led out of the café, some of the customers were giving him worried looks.

"Is he okay love?" A kind old woman asked Butcher, tapping him on the shoulder. Butcher forced a smile and nodded.

"Just a little overworked y'know?"

He turned away with a word of 'enjoy your coffee' and continued on towards the front doors, but William still heard the old woman mutter "Looks like death." into her coffee cup.

------

William sat in a huge comfy chair, his cold hands- he always seemed to be cold these days- wrapped round a big mug of coffee. Gabe was hovering maternally nearby, William tried to ignore him, it wasn't hard, the words in his head kept drawing his attention.

He loved Gossip Girl….

…..He made me happy…
….Man behind the hoodie…

…Hated orange….
….He swore….

…..Ridiculous, difficult…

….He loved me, and I loved him….

….He loved me…

…He loved me…


William placed his coffee on a small side table and put his head in his hands, skull ringing with his own voice.

--------

Butcher found him like that hours later when he got home. Ryan hadn't understood, he'd made Butcher go back to work.

"How ya doing?" He said softly, putting a big hand on William's back and rubbing it comfortingly.

"Kill me." William replied in a strangled voice. There was a sharp intake of breath from both Gabe and Butcher.

"Be right back." Butcher said quickly, all but running out of the room.

Gabe drifted even closer, sitting on the arm of the chair.

"Is this my fault?" He asked. William started, Gabe hadn't spoken for a while, he'd almost forgotten he could speak.

"No, it would have happened eventually anyway. A person can only have so much strain put on their brain. You just…speeded it up." William was surprised at how eloquent he sounded. Gabe made a noise in the back of his throat.

"I need a fucking cigarette so bad." He muttered into his hands, rubbing his face then letting them drop to his lap. The corner of William's mouth quirked up a little in a smile. How Gabe.

"Imagine one then." He said sarcastically. The ever-present smell of smoke intensified and William looked up and started in surprise when Gabe took a deep drag on the cigarette hanging casually between his lips.

"Well, that worked. D'you think if I think to hard about it it'll fall out of my mouth?" Gabe asked, William just stared, marvelling at how much difference a cigarette could make.

"I don't know." He said slowly, looking back at the doorway and shrinking back into his seat when he caught Butcher's eye. He had his mobile to his ear.

"And come quickly please." He murmured before pressing the disconnect button.

William's head found his hands again, he'd fucked up. Big time.

-------

Sisky showed up. William rolled his eyes.

"Hey William." Sisky said cautiously, "Hey, quick question."

"What?" William said tiredly."

"When did it start?"

Butcher shot Sisky a this-is-so-not-helping look. William raised an eyebrow at his crazy-haired friend, sorry for ever doubting him. Finally, someone who was quick and to the point.

"I think either at the funeral, or when I first saw him…dead." William said slowly, trying not to focus to hard on the way Gabe was drifting around agitatedly. "Probably at the funeral."

"Okay, and why do you want to be dead?"

Butcher smacked him, William made a little hissing sound between his teeth, thinking.

"Because my head is so. Fucking. Full."

"So's mine, so's Butcher's , everyone's head is full."

William laughed darkly, watching the two men exchange looks with slitted eyes.

"But can't you hear him? Can't you smell the cigarette?" At the sound of William's voice Gabe's head jerked up to meet his eyes, then looked towards Butcher and Sisky. William did too, they looked freaked out. "Can't you see him?"

"Who?" Sisky said cautiously. William snickered again, words flooding through his head and out his mouth, repeating them like a mantra.

"He loved me, and I loved him, he loved me, and I loved him, he loved me, and I loved him…"

"Call someone." Butcher hissed to a frightened Sisky. He nodded and went to grab the phone. William watched him go with mirth in his eyes.

Gabe was so close to him now, there were goosebumps on his arms. He ignored his former lover and massaged his aching temples, words still leaking from between his trembling lips.

"He loved me, and I loved him, he loved me, and I loved him…"

------

They tried to make him go to hospital, William managed to stop the words in his head for a minute to refuse and tell them he was taking a bath. Butcher talked urgently to Sisky for a minute.

"We're gonna be right outside the door, so if you try anything, we'll fuck your shit up." Butcher said seriously, before pulling William into a tight hug. "God, I'm sorry for everything."

William just nodded numbly and let himself be led into the bathroom. The door clicked shut behind him. Immediately, the hazy fug covering his brain cleared and he yanked open the cupboards, trying to find a razor quickly and quietly. He needed out.

Still the words came from his mouth, mumbled and slurred but unrelenting. Gabe hovered close by, looking nervously at William as he turned on all the taps full blast, razor held tightly in his fist.

"What are you doing?" Gabe said uneasily, "William. William, what are you doing? You better be planning to shave with that. William!"

The last word was a shout, easily heard above the rushing water. William looked round at Gabe, smiling slightly.

"Hey." Was all he said, before halting the taps and sinking into the boiling water fully clothed. The water burned his skin, making it pink and tight. He rolled his sodden sleeves, sighing with relief when the first cut sent ribbons of blood into the virgin water. He sighed and looked up at Gabe, eyes clear.

"So," He said conversationally, ignoring Gabe's horror and the words burning his brain, focusing only on his bloody arm and the slowly pinkening water. "This is gonna be good. No more words, no more loneliness, no more words, no more words, no more words, no more words!"

He let is head drop, clunking painfully against the taps, he chuckled.

"Ow."

He lay in the blood-saturated water, arms bleeding out his life, mouth leaking a garbled mix of laughter and funeral speech.

------

Butcher and Sisky decided that William had been in there long enough. They tried the handle. Locked. Panicking now, they battered at the door.

When they got through, they wished they hadn't.

William, lying there, in a bathtub full of bloody water, a rictus grin on his face.

Carved so deeply into his arm were words.

He loved me, and I loved him.

Comments

ieattricky
Apr. 22nd, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
Aww I'm sorry!

But I'm so glad you liked it ^^ thank you

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