He doesn’t feel safe until the door clicks shut, shaking fingers turning the lock as he leans his forehead against the painted metal. He can still hear their voices calling his name, one of them brave enough to ring the doorbell and he doesn’t want to rip the speaker out of the hallway but he will.
But he will if it gets him even five minutes of peace and quiet.
He hadn’t really expected all of the attention to be waiting when he got back to D.C. Some of it, sure, but not crowding the airport and damn near blocking his street with news vans and tabloid journalists who didn’t look old enough to tie their own shoes much less string words together on printed paper. Not that he wasn’t used to it. He’d been involved in high profile cases before but things were different now.
He was different. And going bat shit insane if those shooting tanks were anything to go by.
“I thought I heard someone. Shame on you for taking an early flight and not telling me.”
And suddenly the journalists and news reporters fade to a minor annoyance as he turns, back sagging against the front door to find you peering at him over the kitchen counter. His heart actually stops for the space of a few beats as he takes in the sight of the dark hair framing your face, your eyes crinkled in that smile that’s always just for him. The one that says-
And he forgets to breathe, just like he always does but he’ll never tell you that. He’s never been one for romantic notions. There was never a first date. He bumped into you at the grocery store, literally, and you’d smiled that same way while helping him pick up his things. And he’d stared, far more than was polite and even when he saw you blush and duck your head, he found that he couldn’t stop. He’d wanted to know your name. Where you were from. Were you married? Or just seeing someone? Where did you go to school? And on and on the list went because the detective in him never shuts off. But he hadn’t asked because the only thing he had time for was work. The next case. His job was everything. The only people in his life were the ones that were missing or killed.
So he’d let you walk away, with your basket loaded down with strawberries and more Mt. Dew than he’d ever seen one person drink, and then you were gone.
Until a week later when he ran into you again at the coffee shop on his lunch break.
You’d invited him to sit.
And you had started interrogating him.
Every other day for the next six months.
And then you were here. He doesn’t even remember how it happened or why. Whether you asked or he did, but the moment you stepped through the door, it felt…right. It felt like home even though he’d been here for years. He wanted you here more often but he never asked. He never had to. You always knew things.
“Are you just gonna stand there? Or do you plan to join me?”
His body feels as if it has aged ten years since the last time he was here, your eyes teasing as you watch him walk forward, and as he comes closer he notices the wooden spoon in your hand and the skillet on the stove-
He can’t make himself tell you how hard it’s been. You won’t ask about the case because you know everything just by looking at him. You’ll wait until he tells you, when his defenses are down and you’re lying in the crook of his arm and there’s nothing but the darkness and the ticking of the clock. Little by little your hold will get tighter, anchoring him down and taking every burden, every thought of insecurity and failure off of his shoulders and onto yours. He hates doing that, feels weak that he needs you, but he can’t seem to stop because you just keep looking at him like he can do no wrong.
But he can. He’s an addict. He’s broken.
“I wasn’t expecting you for another hour so it’s nowhere near being done,” you say, waving your spoon in an accusing way. “Good thing I remembered to stop by the store on my way home. Cold beer in the fridge since it looks like you could use one.”
He skirts the counter, watching as you turn back to the stove. I missed you. “Anethin’ intrestin’ happen while I was gone?”
That gets a laugh from you, just like he knows it will.
“Aside from the couple in 2B screaming about how much they hate each other every day, I’d say no. Just work, me spending too much time on the computer and…I might’ve doodled your name surrounded by hearts a few times. I blame you being so smart and mysterious. Means a girl can’t keep her mind off of you.”
Cold air touches his face as he smiles but you’ll never see it.
It doesn’t last long.
Because as he stares into the empty hole of his fridge, he remembers, and pain slams into his temples in a way that doubles his vision. More pain as he staggers back, trembling hands gripping his head like it might burst at any moment.
“No. No. No, no, no, no. Not this. Anethin’ but this.”
At the sound of your worried voice close to his ear, he whirls on the balls of his feet, fridge slamming back against the wall as he falls against it, blinded by agony of so many different kinds.
And you’re not here to fix him anymore.
“You wanted to see me, sir?”
“…Have a seat, Norman.”
And he knows. The look on his face, how he’s clutching the file in his hands. That’s when it happened; when the first crack appeared.
“…call came in a hour ago…mugged while she was getting in her car…need to let us handle it.”
But he couldn’t. It wasn’t just a job anymore, it was you. It had to be him. No one else was good enough. You deserved everything he was too afraid to give you, better than the best. The cracks kept getting deeper and he had to push himself just a little bit harder. It was dangerous and he knew it, could kill him but he didn’t care.
You’re smile was gone, the one that made him feel whole, like a human being.
The only thing in the world that made him happy.
And he never told you that.
“But I always knew,” you whisper.
I don't own Heavy Rain or sassy Norman Jayden: FBI.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Look at me being all cute and trying to capture his accent. xD I'm a horrible person though. I'm not gonna explain what happened. If you got his 'good' ending, then you'll know how cruel I am.