Lakeside: Theodore and Hugh Who: Theodore Chambers and Hugh March feat. Heart What: A meeting on the lakefront Where: Near Theodore's lakeside cottage When: Tonightish Warnings/Rating: Low to none
Hot sunny days, muggy nights with a slight breeze blowing in off the lake, fireflies winking on and off in the pre-dusk; Theodore did not regret his purchase of the cottage in the least. He hoped the weather hung on, as he knew he'd be in Repose at least through the end of October, and perhaps beyond. There was a part of him already eager to get home, but he knew that as a future eagerness, to watch the green leaves which lined his street to turn to red and gold and orange, to sip mulled cider on the porch swing, hand out candy to trick-or-treaters at Halloween. To experience all things autumn in a place familiar and comfortable.
It was also empty, and he'd lived that reality for four years now, the stabbing pain of grief, which once had threatened to unravel him, to tear apart everything Jamie had built him up to be in seventeen years together, having faded into a dull, distant ache. Not all at once. Slowly, by degrees, until it was like barking and bruising your shin a few days past. It hurt, but only when you touched it, when you pressed too hard.
He chose not to dig into that piece of him this night, or most nights. Tonight was about a quiet walk on the beach, taking in the scent of the evening and the soft hum-buzz of insects, the lapping of the warm water on the shore. He leaned on his walking stick, that physical pain always a little more present, tangible, than the one that pricked at his heart. The lengthening shadows fell oddly to his eyes - eye - as they always did, but after more than twenty years, he was used to it. You got used to anything, given time.
Elaine was already sleeping, exhausted from a day of swimming in the lake, and Theodore could still see the cottage from here. He wouldn't go too far afield (abeach?); his protective streak was too strong for that. But he could enjoy a stroll. He wondered, as he had last year, if Jamie would've liked this place. Absently, he thumbed the white gold wedding band he still wore on his left hand as he decided that yes, he would. Because Theodore and Elaine were there, but also in no small part thanks to the old wooden swing, facing the lake.