Overnight

Shay Sheridan


"I do know that lives can change overnight, though it usually takes much longer than that to comprehend what has happened, to sense that we have changed direction." -- Jay McInerney


Was it that last mission, the one where Breckenridge and Palmer died and the two of you didn't?

Was it the night following that mission, when he went from singing filthy rugby songs about the Mayor of Bayswater's daughter, to brooding, to beating his fist bloody against the wall, until you had to bodily drag him away? Or was it the quiet morning after that, after you'd tucked him up in bed and collapsed drunkenly on his divan, when you woke to the smell of coffee and him frying up breakfast for you?

Was it the lazy way the corner of his mouth twitches up when you amuse him, at times he must not show amusement? Or was it the twinkle in his eye and the mock glare when you make him snort anyway and earn him a rebuke from the Cow?

Perhaps it was the night he found you brooding and angry, and you shouted at him and called him names, but he still wouldn't leave you even when you collapsed in furious tears about Ann and the hollowness of your life.

Maybe it was the look on his face when you opened your eyes in hospital and found him with tears streaming down his face that he didn't even bother to wipe away.

Was it the seven years of having him by your side? Was it the smell of his sweat and his blood, of cordite mixed with a trace of aftershave? Was it the knowing he'd always be there for you? Was it the times, far too many to consider, when you thought you'd lost him for good? Was it that fear, that cold fear clenching in your belly, the dread of loss?

Could it have been the long, lascivious looks you've caught him giving you, or his warm hand "accidentally" brushing your bum, or his arm briefly flung across your shoulders in that matey way of his, or the sudden shock of his blunt fingers in your hair, or the special laugh he saves for you alone, or his fierce protectiveness, or his fierce honor, or his brutal honesty, or the broken heart he hides beneath it all, the heart he shows only to you, you, you.

Why did it happen? When?

Was it one of these things that made everything change for you, or all of them, or none?

Was it only yesterday he was your mate, and only today you realized you loved him?


redchance @ aol.com
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