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The Beauty of the Rain

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The Beauty of the Rain

Type of story: One-heck-of-a-one-shot

Main characters: Martha, Jack

BTTB rating: G

Genre: Romance, Regret

Warnings: None, I don't think.

Does story include spoilers: Nope.

Summary: Martha on Jack and Sam's wedding day. She doesn't turn up to the wedding. She stands in the rain instead. I personally would rather sit in a warm church.. but.. you know.. whatever floats your boat.

This is quite a bit different to what I'm used to. I don't usually write in this style or about this kind of stuff. So.. please tell me what you think.

Also, check the song out. It is gorgeous. And bear in mind that not only did I keep adding to this fic when I felt like it, but I haven't had it proof read. They're my excuses, and I will use them. :)

Song... The Beauty of the Rain - Dar Williams.


When you know the day is ending all too soon

You're just two umbrellas one late afternoon

You don’t know the next thing you will say

This is your favourite kind of day

- it has no walls.

The beauty of the rain

is how it falls.

If she’d stood under a shelter or held an umbrella over her head or even pulled a jacket over her shoulders before she came out her clothes wouldn’t be so intensely saturated. She can feel them biting onto her with their dampness and digging into her skin with their icy radiance. The rain is slashing down at her bare feet on the sand and she’s wondering how she ever looked at the sky this morning and saw anything but a promise of rain. She remembers looking at the grey laying above her head at mid-day when she left her apartment, but she had shrugged and thought it was her imagination. It’s the middle of summer and when she’d cracked the window open before breakfast the humidity of the sun had almost knocked her off her feet. She knows this for sure; because she distinctly remembers thinking that it was a perfect day to get married.

But without warning, like most bad things, the rain had come at around 5 o’clock. She’d been inside at the time, staring at the disconnected phone and hugging a pillow close to her chest. She’d heard the sound of a thousand hooves clattering and stamping against a hard floor outside, and she’d half suspected a fully fledged stampede running toward her apartment as she stood up to look out the window. But the rain was better. It was a steel blue in the dim summer’s light and it was crashing down in sheets of pearly beads at a steep slant and it made her feel less isolated, and more so at the same time. She’d picked up her key and walked robotically out of her apartment and down the steps within a minute. She’d barely noticed how wet she was by the time she was standing on the sticky sand. She was too mesmerised by the white horses in front of her as they collided and raced and fought on the sea.

The drops are heavy and cold and hard on her soft skin. They attack her with the downward force of gravity on their side as they fall from the dark pillows of no remorse above her head. They’re growling and grumbling and humming a symphony of notes as they demand superiority and control. They take her as their prisoner. And she’s fine with them doing so.

The beauty of the rain

is how it falls.

She’s not sure when she became so weak. There’s a little familiarity in the shudders of regret that rack her body every night, which she can only relate to with the time when she was young and her mother had caught her out on a lie and grounded her for a month. She’d been so upset because she knew that her mother had meant ‘no adventures with your big brothers anymore’ and that was all she’d lived for. But now those feelings from her youth feel so miniscule and pointless that she wishes she could tell her 7-year-old self that being grounded wasn’t that bad, and their adventures would happily wait a month. And she’d remind the little girl that she still had her strong bones and her brilliant smile to bounce back on. Because now her bones can bend and her lips have forgotten how to smile and she’s not sure how she will ever stand up again. There’s no ground beneath her and no shoes on her feet. She’s destined to fall.

And then she rids those thoughts because for once she’s trying to see into the future and not the past, as the past hurts her too much to even consider. As does the present. She’s trying her best to ignore the shadows and glows of a white dress and a grandfather’s blessing, but she can’t help but home-in on the quaint church when it suddenly dissolves out of the raging waves in front of her. For a minute she can see herself in it, in her dress and in her grin. She can feel the way he looked at her again, like she was the only person in the room, and she can taste the care and devotion which had lined his vows. She can remember the ecstasy and the feeling of thinking the rest of their lives was not enough. She’d gladly spend forever in his arms.

Then as suddenly as her ribs dig down into her lungs and she calls for a sharp gasp of air she remembers the arguments and the suitcase and the foolish ending she made for their never-ending story. She bends double as her knees give way to her tears. Something is clawing at her neck and she feels a solid-something stuck in her chest. She cries out loud in both agony and grief as she tries to rid this constant feeling of choking: but to no avail. It’s stuck inside of her; its thorny sides digging deeper and deeper into the walls of cartilage and soft bone of her gullet. Her hands grasp at her throat, her frozen fingertips feeling for the puncture that she’s sure has just penetrated through her skin. But there’s nothing. Though she’s almost certain she’s bleeding on the inside.

She didn’t think she’d ever feel like this.

She’s throbbing and burning and freezing all over, inside and out, with the want and need to change what she’s done. When she tries to face the truth of what she’s done her stomach flips and it spins out of control in a way that she knows isn’t biologically possible. Her heart spasms and it contracts painfully and she feels sick. She knows that she can’t change the past.

The beauty of the rain

is how it falls.

The church is swept underneath a wave and she’s back to watching the water. It’s fighting and battling and crashing into itself. She wonders where the gentle lapping waves have fled to and where these vicious and angry gushes of wind came from. Her wet hair is being pulled back in the breeze, and she only appreciates the blanket of hair around her shoulders when it’s taken away.

She hasn’t heard from anyone since this morning. Her grandfather's voice had been playing in the air as she listened to her voicemails and ate her cereal earlier today. He’d known she was there and had wished she’d pick up the phone because he loves her. He’d promised to phone back after the wedding and he’d hesitated near the end so she’d know he was worried about her. But she has no intention of returning the call, or picking up his phone calls for the next few days. She wants no sympathy from herself; let alone others. She doesn’t think she deserve it. So she pulled the plug from the socket and locked all the doors.

She wonders how beautiful the other Mrs Holden looked. She knows she’d look pretty and glowing and wonderful in a delicately detailed white dress, and especially stunning in the dress that she’d tried on, but she’d heard from Colleen that she’d changed dresses since then. Because that one had been “defected by a disturbed woman”, Colleen had so nicely put it. But she hadn’t cared what Colleen thought or anyone for that matter – because Jack had seemed to understand. He hadn’t looked at her with that ‘what the hell!?’ expression, or thought she was a crazy-psycho-ex because he’d understood. In fact, she was sure she’d seen a flicker of the look he’d had in his eyes on their wedding day: when he looked at her like she was the only person in the room, and that he’d be content if she was the last person he ever saw.

And now she wishes he’d had a go at her or called her disturbed.

She’s stood with her arms hugged around her and her head bowed to the ocean. She’s biting her bottom lip in her trance, and her numb fingers are dryly rubbing her moist arm. The sound of the waves and the rain hitting the ocean sounds like a million marbles rolling down a hill. It sounds deep and rich and blue. She closes her eyes and sees the marbles – each holding the same steel blue colour of the rain in the centre of the glass. She’s so mesmerised by this strange but powerful creation in her mind that she doesn’t feel the presence of him until she feels the warm hand on her shoulder.

She flinches back, her head spinning around with her wet hair spitting droplets of water outwards. None of them are felt against the harsh scattering of rain.

When her hair has settled either side of her face and the marbles have become a faint background noise, she concentrates on the man before her.

He’s in a suit. A groomsman suit, she guesses. His tie is a little askew, and his top button is undone. Although he has a jacket on, she can see part of his chest through his top that’s become transparent in the rain. His hair is a shiny with wet: and it is definitely far from neat. His shoes and socks are in his hands, and he’s barefoot too.

She looks back at his face: his tired, pale, red rimmed eyes tell her he didn’t sleep last night. But neither did she. And although they look so weak and so worn out she’s sure she can see a story behind them. One that he wants to tell her.

She wonders what he’s doing here, at six thirty on his wedding night, and why he’s stood in the rain with her. She tries to ask him, but the words that form in her mouth disintegrate at her tongue: leaving her speechless.

He on the other hand has the words and they manage to get past his dry tongue – but the weakness of his lips makes his voice come out weary and barely audible over the millions of falling marbles around them.

“I couldn’t.”

He knows his words are small and brief – but they’re heavy and they seem to take the toll out of him. He might have had something else to add on to the end, but neither of them find out because his mouth sort of hangs open afterwards, only to close slowly as he concentrates on her expressions.

She can see that he’s nervous and scared and tired. He’s dropped his shoes to the floor now and he stands with his hands slipped into his pockets and his eyes tracing hers, looking for the answers to his questions that he can’t find himself to ask. She knows he’s too tired and he’s too emotionally exhausted for much talk at the minute – though she doesn’t really know why he “couldn’t”. She’s not so naïve anymore; she’s learnt not to assume and to go with things without questioning. She’s acted on impulse too many times and left too many stones unturned and too many questions unanswered and found herself in foreign waters on too many occasions. She’s nervous and scared and tired, too. They’re both in the same rocky boat.

So she takes the plunge. She forges the words past her tongue and they drop from her lips, in a hoarse whisper.

“Why not?”

And her voice lingers there for a moment or two, until the rolling rain washes it down into the ocean and it is swept away by the tides. But the memory of it is still hanging in the air and they both feel it. She’s waiting, so desperately. And she tries not to get her hopes up, and she tries not to feel like she’s standing on the edge of a cliff with her toes dangling over the oceanic air.

“Because… I love you.”

His face half twists into a smile, at the final admission of his love at a time where he knows he’s not being unfaithful, and a breath of air he didn’t know he’d been holding escapes him. A breath of relief, he thinks. And because of that – his smile softens a little and he becomes less scared. He brings his hand up to his face to quickly rub at the corner of his mouth as he tries to read her reaction. But he finds that the usual Martha expressions which are like an open book to him, just… aren’t. A line appears on his forehead as his eyebrows matt together in the middle and he studies her face. She’s frozen and her eyes aren’t looking at him. She’s biting her lip again, as if deep in thought and her vision is cascaded to the left of him. Her arms are hung tightly by her side.

She’s not sure what to do or feel. She expected to feel more of a buzz, more of a relief, but instead her feet have sunken into the sand and her clothes are plastered to her back. She knows she’s looking helplessly blank, and she wishes she could give him what he wants, but she’s heard that phrase so many times and she’s well aware that although it melts her heart: it doesn’t change much else.

“I was kind of surprised that you hadn’t been told,” Jack pushes on, his hands in his pockets again as he waits for a change in her expression. “More surprised because Colleen hadn’t told you.” He says with a small smile, hoping to provoke one from her. But nothing comes.

“So now you want to start again…? After all that’s happened? Do you think it will work this time?” She asks him, desperately wanting answers though she knows she’d either not like them or simply not believe.

And there's nothing wrong but there is something more

And sometimes you wonder what you love her for

She says you've known her deepest fears

'Cause she's shown you a box of stained-glass tears

It can't be all

The truth about the rain

Is how it falls

He sighs and moves an inch or two closer to her.

“I’m sorry it has taken me so long… I just… it’s been hard. And confusing. And most of the time it seemed like the world was against us.” He says with a bitter laugh. He shifts on his feet, slowly approaching her inch by inch. “But it hasn’t, Martha. We’ve just let it come between us.” He says to her, his voice quietening as the gap between them decreases. “But I won’t let it anymore.” His voice is gruff and certain. It almost makes her shiver.

She can feel his warm breath on her, prickling at her cold and wet skin. Rain is pouring down her face, running down her cheeks and sticking to her eyelashes. Or it could be her tears. Either way: she is still looking to the side of him, listening to her heart boom louder and faster and losing her trail of thought. But she can’t hold onto it. She can’t think of anything at the minute. She’s totally... stuck. What seemed so right and so good a minute ago doesn’t anymore, and she’s back in that purgatory that they’ve been stuck in for months. She has a weird feeling in her gut which tells her to take a step back. It’s reminding her of Ash and Cam and Sam. She doesn’t want to get hurt again.

Jack slides his hand out of his pocket and cups the side of her face, gently tilting her head toward his. But her neck remains stiff and her gaze doesn’t touch him. He frowns in disappointment.

“Everything will be okay now, Martha. Trust me.” He says, bowing his head closer to her. She can feel his breath travelling across her neck and to her jaw, and then nearing her lips; all while she is trying to make sense of the situation. She is trying to think it through for once; but he’s not letting her.

So she lets out a small moan. An inaudible sound as she twitches her face away from him. Her feet don’t move. She doesn’t back away from him – but her head just angles away. She doesn’t know what that means. Neither does he.

But he worries. He sighs quietly as he leans his forehead forward onto hers. And he lets it rest there – their foreheads gently leaning in on one another, touching in a hope that he can read her thoughts. But he can’t. He can just feel her underneath his finger tips and its killing him to stand in such close proximity yet feel so far away from her. So he does the only thing he can think of.

“Please.” He begs simply, as if it what he’s asking her is the easiest thing in the world for her to grant him. And that’s when she realises that it is. She remembers the never-ending yearn she has to be with him, and the unforgettable torture of regret she’s had ever since she’s realised her mistake. She remembers the apologies and promises she told herself she’d make if she ever had a second chance. And she remembers that she can’t refuse him of anything. And it is so easy to give him this. To give herself this.

Her hand moves up to the back of his head and into his wet, matted hair as she leans in and captures his lips. He instantly responds, as if he is sparked back to life, and his hand moves to her other cheek.

They’re both bruised and broken but that’s soon forgotten as they stand on the beach, bare footed and dangerously close to everything they’ve ever wanted.

And you can't deny that room will keep you warm

You can look out of your window at the storm

But you watch the phone and hope it rings

You'll take her any way she sings

-or how she calls.

The beauty of the rain

is how it falls.


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