[identity profile] you-legwarmers.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] wl_fanfiction
Title: You Found Me
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Songfic; tragedy
Characters: Greg; Jeff; Ryan; Colin
Pairing: Slight Greg/Jeff
Summary: They were just a little too late. Based on the song by The Fray.
A/N: Forgive me. I'm moody tonight and needed to get some frustration out. Not exactly proud of this one. Also, trigger warning.

I found God
On the corner of First and Amistad
Where the west
Was all but won

"It was such a beautiful night. And we all felt so young again. I remember that."
Jeff had told the story to everyone who would listen, over and over. He hoped it might eventually hurt less, if he got used to recounting the series of events for strangers. It never did.

"Yeah, we were celebrating. It was just that kind of night, you know? We were all together, and it was the last time we'd all be able to see each other for awhile. Maybe it was the drugs, or maybe we were just being selfish assholes, I don't know. But we didn't even think to call him."
Ryan's version of the story was layered with anger, guilt, bitterness. And blame; he blamed himself more than the rest of them did. How could he not? The hints had been dropping for weeks.

All alone
Smoking his last cigarette
I said where you been
He said ask anything

Even if they had invited him, the truth was that Greg probably wouldn't have gone. His house was cold; he'd turned off the heat on that unusually cold night. A pack of cigarettes kept him warm enough.
The lights had been off when they showed up. They didn't know if he had been sitting in the dark before, or if the bulbs had burned out afterwards. It didn't matter. Why would it matter?

"I knew we should have asked," Jeff said, voice flat. "I knew something was off with him. But he'd been that way before. How was I supposed to know?" The first few times he'd had to tell the story, he'd been unable to keep his composure. It didn't hurt any less, but he was able to wear the numbness for much longer now.
Was that how Greg had felt?

Where were you/When everything was falling apart
All my days/Were spent by the telephone
That never rang/when all I needed was a call
That never came/to the corner of First and Amistad

The message. Jeff had listened to it in the restroom where the noise wasn't so bad. He'd had to strain to hear Greg's words. The first voicemail was from four hours ago:
"Jeff, it's Greg. I don't know where you guys are, but can you call me back when you're alone?"
Then Jeff had noticed there were four other messages waiting in his inbox, all of them left before 2 AM. Only an hour ago. He listened to the others with moderate annoyance, wondering why the hell Greg kept calling.
"Hey, it's me again. I just kind of need to talk to you...I dunno. Call me, I guess."
The third: "Sorry I keep calling you. Guess you're busy, or out doing whatever. I'll try one of the other guys."
Four. "Jeff, Colin didn't answer...I even called Ryan. Stupid, right? Fuck. I just need you right now. It's all going wrong, Jeffy. Please pick up."
The last voicemail, left just ten minutes before Jeff had checked his phone: "I'm sorry. I tried to get one of you guys. You won't answer. I'm sorry, Jeff. It hurts too much."
Those were the last saved words, and Jeff couldn't bring himself to delete that message. Not ever.

Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Surrounded, surrounded

Colin never got hangovers. Colin was the only functional one the next morning; Colin had decided to do the responsible thing and drive to Greg's to see what all the phone calls had been about. Surely it had been just another sappy drunken rant; Greg had been having issues with his on-off relationship with Jeff. Again.
So it was Colin, completely unprepared, who found him.

"Greg?" he called, flicking the light switch. No light. He saw Greg sprawled on the dark wood floor, and assumed he was extremely hung over; possibly even still drunk.
"Greg, get up," he snapped, shaking his head at the empty vodka bottle on the ground. A mess. Crumbled pieces of notebook paper on the ground. Another bottle. Greg was holding something, too, but it was hard to make out in the dark.
A shot glass, maybe? Colin looked closer, mildly curious.
No. Not a shot glass. An orange prescription bottle.

"Oh, fuck," he said, heart dropping into his stomach. He pried the empty vial from Greg's hand, not stopping to think about what the cool stiffness of his skin meant. He couldn't think at all. Logic abandoned him; somehow he knew it was too late. So he dialed a different number, one he never called, praying this would register in the recipient's brain as an emergency no matter how hungover he was.

Five rings, and a raspy voice groaned, "Hello?"

"Ryan!" Colin gripped the phone tight, so relieved that Ryan had answered that any words left his mind. "It's me. It's me. This is really bad."

A shuffling noise meant Ryan was sitting up in bed. He could hear the panic in Colin's voice. "Wha's wrong? You okay?"

Colin's voice caught in his throat. No. This wasn't okay. This wasn't something anybody should have to tell their friends. He managed a couple words: "I'm at Greg's. You and Jeff need to get over here."

Why'd you have to wait?
Where were you, where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, you found me

"He isn't dead," Jeff insisted, unaware he was shouting. Kneeling protectively over Greg's body, he used his arms as a shield to keep Colin and Ryan away. "He called me! I was supposed to answer, right? He was counting on me..."
Sobs overtook him, painful, deep sobs from far inside where he couldn't be reached or comforted. "He--trusted--me. I didn't...I didn't know!"
Jeff held the man he loved but never really knew close to his chest, as if holding him tightly enough would bring him back to life.

Ryan was sitting down, silent tears in a river down his face. Words weren't enough to express the guilt in his heart. So he let it fester quietly into bitterness, at himself, at Greg for not speaking to them sooner, at whoever had sold him those fucking pills and vodka.
"Ten minutes. Ten fucking minutes," he kept muttering. The last phone call. If Jeff hadn't felt like answering, any of them could have. But nobody did.

They wondered what Greg would have said if only they had listened.

Early morning/The city breaks
I've been calling/Years and years and years and years
And you never left me no messages
You never send me no letters
You got some kind of nerve
Taking all I want

Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Where were you, where were you?

Why'd you have to wait
To find me, to find me?

You finally got to kill Greg...

Date: 2015-09-18 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greenfrogger.livejournal.com
Loved the story. Hate that you killed Greg off but beautifully written.

Date: 2015-09-18 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vampyresss.livejournal.com
You really love torturing Greg don't you!! :P
But in all seriousness this was great.
I know I always say I hate reading tragic/death fics but I always read them anyway!!

Date: 2015-09-18 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roseofpain84.livejournal.com
I feel bad for them and the guilt they're gonna carry.

Date: 2015-09-20 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clayangel.livejournal.com
Oh, that's like a kick in the gut...but in a good way. Really nicely done.

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