Smoky Mirrors

by Cosmic



Disclaimer: The character belongs to Marvel. Story is mine, thanks to Lyssie for the beta. Written for Alternate Timelines’ ‘Dirty Little Secrets’ challenge. Feedback, as always, is welcome at

The bathroom mirror was small, cracked from one corner and not as clear as it once was. I guess no-one had the time to clean it. Not with everything else going on. I looked at my reflection sighed. I looked like crap.

Black bags under bloodshot eyes, disheveled hair and clothes. The uniform was ill-fitting, the dark material drained all color from my face. I was a mess, I gathered from that evidence, my hands brushing through my limp hair.

I felt like crap, too. It was hard, living with this empty feeling in my heart, with this lack of passion. I couldn’t concentrate on my work, I couldn’t work without my hands starting to shake. I couldn’t...I couldn’t fight anymore.

I didn’t have the energy needed for fighting, or for almost anything, anymore. I lost it when he died. He took so much from me, not even knowing it. My heart for one thing. The bastard stole my heart without even knowing it.

He taught me so many things, most of which I’d never have a chance to fully learn, now. He taught me of life, of love, of trusting in myself.

Trusting in myself, wasn’t that cute? I can’t even trust myself with a kitchen knife, now, because of him. Because he had to go and die without... without anything, everything and nothing.

Goddamn him, why did he have to die? Why did he have to make everything so fucking complicated?

And why didn’t he answer me when I whispered “I love you,” to his ear, just before we were off, just before I saw him for the last time alive and breathing.

He still looked alive, when we came back. Just holding his cigarette, minding his own business. Damn him and his cigarettes.

Those smelly things I’ve started smoking just to feel close to him. The bitter taste of his booze just to feel like he was still around. I almost tasted his kisses in those two. Almost, but not quite. Almost, but no cigar.

My senses weren’t quite blurred enough, my mind wasn’t quite numb enough, my heart was too broken to be mended without some help. Help from something much more stronger than scotch and cigarettes, stronger than my feelings, stronger than the constant desire to be with him, strong enough to make me forget he’s gone for a while.

It was hard to remember at times, my memories hazy and unsure. It was so goddamn hard and I didn’t know how long I could go on.

Go on with hiding this pain inside me, dancing around like it was all sun and daisies, or at least not as bleak as it really was. I was good at hiding, you taught me about that with our little game of hide and seek, with our hush-hush meetings in the still of the night. With everything.

They were worried, I knew, but for different reasons than this. They were worried I was getting too detached, that we all were. And they worried, maybe even suspecting that something was going on, that something wasn’t quite right. But they kept their distance. They kept their cool, because we weren’t the tight knit unit we once were. We weren’t a family anymore.

Too many things had happened. Too many things. And I was growing tired of hiding, because frankly I didn’t give a shit anymore. I was tired of hiding.

I was tired, so very tired. If I could just give in to the pain, just give in. It wouldn’t be giving up, I’d never give up. I just needed some release, something other than this. Something else, for just a little while.

I was just tired.

“Tabs, you comin’?”

“Just a sec, Guthrie,” I replied, taking one more look in the mirror. _Just a sec._ I swallowed three of the pills and drank some water, straight from the faucet. I put the bottle of pills away, wiping water off my lip with a towel, and opened the door. “Okay, Sam, I’m done.”


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