There was a moment of need that filled him. Who was he going to let this out to? There was no one but Shane his entire life. No one but him to stand there and tell him what was wrong, what was right, what could be something real good and what could be real bad. But now that this had happened there wouldn’t be anyone.
They could hug it out like they did when they were younger, stealing each other’s baseball cards before finally admitting to it and a hug and a punch in the arm managed to make things right.
But they weren’t kids anymore.
He didn’t even say anything. He turned his back on him and headed on off towards his car where he had parked it. Shane’s presence was a ton of lead where he stood behind him and Rick resisted every urge to turn around and tell him that he forgave him.
It was easy to forgive when Rick felt like he was wrong in all kinds of ways.
Throwing open the car door he got inside and turned the key in the ignition. He saw Samantha coming out of the cabin but she wasn’t desperate to race after him. Instead she stood beside Shane, not looking at the car pulling out of the driveway but instead she turned to look at Shane as if waiting on him.
Rick’s eyes focused on the road and he wasn’t sure what was worst to accept. That he was wrong or that he felt betrayed.
He didn’t go after Rick. Thought to himself might as well just let the steam clear outta his head. But how long would that take? Days? Weeks? Years? Hell, Shane couldn’t even be sure. He knew Rick pretty damn good but he couldn’t put a time frame on this. They never fought it out like this. Never.
He stood there, watching the car drive off. He felt something pinching and sinking inside of him. He wanted to call out to him. Hey, buddy, it was for your own good. But he couldn’t do that. Could only watch.
Then finally he felt eyes on him. Not just the pairs that had been watching the whole fight take place. He’d get a couple calls. Shane, you alright? You’re a bastard, man. But none would be from Rick. It’d be the same ol’ same. Just without his brother to experience it all with.
He looked at Sam. He didn’t want to look at her. She looked like all the wrong in this place, she looked like the reason he and Rick were in this screw up. He wondered what had gotten in Ricks head. You didn’t fall for a girl like that.
He looked at everyone else there. And then he let out a laugh. It was something that sounded cracked to him but everyone else was smiling a little bit. Eased up. Shane was able to do that. Make people ease up. They knew they could have a good time with him.
"Party ain’t over. He wasn’t ever no life of the party anyways. Come on, let’s have ourselves a good time. I’m getting wasted." he said, still chuckling a bit as he moved back towards the house. Sam tried to reach for him but he pushed her away. Told her to leave him alone and went on inside.
Sam didn’t stay. But they had one hell of a weekend party.
"I don’t give a shit who’s worth it." He declared harshly, jaw tensed tightly as he stared into Shane’s eyes. This guy was his brother, the only one he had. He’d gone through life ruined and pushed around in his own head to get the path right and Shane had always been there to make it a bit crooked, to make sure that some things were alright.
Often times he’d spent times wondering just what it was that Shane would have done in certain situations. Situations that didn’t just involve girls but also just solid life decisions. Things that would let him know that Shane was the good kind of guy that made things make sense.
"You wanna know what this is about, man? It’s about you thinking you can write this off as right because you wanted to shout out some kind of PSA. Life ain’t a crash course in teaching me what moves to make.’
He spat out his own words, the taste of them harsh and bitter on his tongue. He wanted resolve. He wanted to brush this off as an instance that meant that Samantha really was a two faced bitch who hadn’t deserved either of their time but doing that meant that what Shane had done was alright.
Doing that meant what Rick had done was alright as well.
None of it was true.
But none of it was going to make things easier either.
Heavily he sighed and took a step back from him. He didn’t want to fight. Not because he wasn’t sure who’d win and definitely not because he was afraid either. He didn’t want to fight, he told himself, because he didn’t want to waste his energy on him.
"I’m not fighting you. But I’m not gonna waste my time on you either."
Wasting time. Seemed like that was all Rick was doing lately, wasting all his time. Lingering where he should be lingering. He was always one to wanna take care of things. So he spread himself thin in places that he should have left behind.
And maybe now he oughta be glad that Rick thought he was wasting his time on him, on Sam, on pretty much every damned thing here. Because from what Shane could see it was true.
But Shane felt more than just like a hell hole of shit. There was something a lot like pain in him, it pinched hard. And he wasn’t sure if he was gonna be able to survive that.
He was so used to surviving with Rick. They’d be best friends since they were kids. Nothing was supposed to ever get in the way of that. They had needed each other, they were always there for each other.
He nodded though, knowing that all he could do was face the thing that felt a hell of a lot like defeat. Felt it bold. Not like the coward he was. But truth was he was scared of losing his best friend.
"Don’t waste it anymore then, man." he said with a shake of his head. "Just go on home."
What she was like. Like that would explain why he went into that room and slept with her. Like that gave him the right to have his way with Sam, gave him reason. What was it? So that Rick would see the truth at a closer distance?
He had never been this pissed off at Shane before. Hell, they’d been through hell together and came all the way back, bitter embers clinging to their skin as they tried to shake off the darkness that clung to them. Shane had never rioted something in him that couldn’t be fixed. He had never given cause to make Rick hate him.
But right now? He couldn’t help it.
This wasn’t even about Samantha. This was about Shane and him and their bond that used to be unshakeable. Ever since they were small, clinging to splintered baseball bats and measuring the distance of hit balls that Rick’s mom claimed were too hard. She ended up being right the day Shane came on back from the park with a concussion. They’d been inseparable even then. Trudging through the dirt of their lives at each other’s side.
Or maybe this was the pent up unsettled feeling that ached inside of him. The fact that right now he would have preferred to be with Ana, that Shane would have his ass if he found out what he’d been feeling.
He wasn’t sure which was worse.
"So what? You thought you’d go and prove it? Leave the truth right in front of my eyes and hope you displayed it enough so that my eyes would be fully open?"
He wanted to hit him. Wanted to hit the sorry from off his tongue and send him reeling back. He wanted to do something.
Well, he could congratulate himself on having his mission accomplished. He could pat his own back at the accomplishment. Message received. His work was done.
But he didn’t feel like he wanted to throw himself some kinda party. He wanted to sink back someplace. Maybe to just the other day when he and Rick were still brothers. No matter what kinda hell rose up between the two of them.
He had been through thickness and thinness with Rick. They had been rung through with both cold water and hot, there was nothing in this world that was ever gonna change that.
Only here they were now. And Shane knew just what he had managed to do. He had managed the impossible. Guilt was a bitter in his mouth. He wanted a drink to wash it down.
He was gonna let Rick let it out. But he didn’t wanna fight. All this over some dumb slut that couldn’t keep her legs closed. Only he knew it ran a hell of a lot deeper than that. It wasn’t just Sam. It was all about the betrayal.
Hell, that made him feel like a Judas. And maybe it was just as bad as that. He had gone and done wrong to his friend. He didn’t think that he had ever done something this bad in his life.
And why? Why had he done it? He wanted to show Rick what was real. But that was an awfully funny half life. Rick had pretty much everything right, everything going for him. Shane most days wasn’t even sure what the hell right was.
He had made it to the academy because of his harshness and Ricks dad. Most days there mightn’t not have been a good bone in his body. Wasn’t fit for the law.
"She ain’t worth this, man." And he knew he was spitting out the right words. Not something that could smooth this over. But what could?
She had walked off and he told himself it was only to clear her mind, to take back the lie that she had just spoken. Why on earth would she have slept with Shane? Why the hell would he have done that? But he knew that there hadn’t been a single lie in her words and he had to steel himself against that hardened feeling of betrayal.
It took all of him not to destroy the room that he was in. This small room that he used to us to rest back and take things easily. This small room that smelled of the past and looked every bit like something that would play out on the retro wheels of his mind. He and Shane pulling out a deck of cards in the morning.
Turning around to face the door he headed out the door and got down the stairs. His boots made a heavy fall on the wood as he searched the crowd for Shane. For his friend, the one man that he could call his brother. The one person that he could actually trust with his life.
Finally he found him, reaching his hand out and taking hold of his shoulder, a tightened grip that he hadn’t even really been aware that he had. His eyes were draped in a heavy glare and he could feel his grip on this moment drain. He wasn’t even aware of what he was doing, who he was and why the hell he was even moving without his mind telling him to. Loss of control, he’d never felt it before.
There weren’t any words said as Rick forcibly pushed Shane outside. He couldn’t quite overpower him but he did what he could, anger written across the features of his face as he stared over at Shane while he composed himself.
"I hope y’had your fun.’ He muttered dryly.
He hadn’t been expecting it. Even if there was something playing in the back of his mind that something bad was gonna happen. He knew that he had done all the damage already.
And now there was a tight grip on his shoulder, making him turn around. He could see just what was lying there brewing before Rick even made an attempt. A split second, that was all it took for him to know just what was gonna happen.
He could read Rick that well. The last time they had fought was back in freshman year over something Shane didn’t even remember. He had socked Rick in the nose and broke it. It was the trip to the hospital that had fixed them up.
But that was a hell of a lot more different than something they did when they were nothing but kids. And he knew it full well. Too damned well for his liking.
He let him push him out and then he stood there, looking back at his friend. Shane surrounded himself with alotta people. But he didn’t think he could call much of them his actual friends. Especially not like Rick was. All this time Rick was the only friend he needed.
He took a couple steps back not wanting to excite a fight. But that must be coming on. And there were people watching from the windows, a couple on the porch. Where the hell was Sam? Had she been anticipating this?
He held up his hands, like a white flag to get a word in. But what could he really tell him that would reverse this? There wasn’t a damn thing Shane could think of.
"I told you what she was like." And he knew all too well that was the worst damned thing that he could say so dropping his hands he made for something else. One more attempt before Rick attempted to kill him. "I’m sorry, brother…." And that held no edge, he couldn’t even look at him when he said it.
She had insisted on dancing even though he could smell what had to be a dozen bottles of alcohol on her but he guessed it wouldn’t be so bad. She was moving up against him in a way he didn’t really find adequate for public but she didn’t seem to mind and if his mind wasn’t elsewhere he might have enjoyed it.
But then she stopped and looked up at him, bit of a mischievous smile reflecting on her lips. God, she was beautiful in the way that she was looking up at him, the way that she was urging him to follow her. She wanted to go upstairs. He figured that if there wasn’t a way to get out of his own head then going upstairs might be the one he was looking for.
Once they were up there she got to kissing him, urgently tearing at the shirt he was wearing, a couple of buttons falling off in the process. He was lost in her body the way that he always was, greatest way to stop himself form thinking. His hands moved over her, detailing every part of her that he enjoyed. She had a way about her.
Just as she tipped on back onto the bed and beckoned him down to her she stopped, hands pressed flat against his chest as she stared into his eyes before slowly rising to sit up. Tears were welling there, sadness was registered on her features.
Sadness. He’d never seen it in her.
"What’s wrong?" He asked, breathless almost as he leaned in to kiss her again but, once more, he was pushed away.
"Shane and I-" She trailed off, the tears falling as a vulnerability struck her.
He froze a moment as he stared at her, brows knitting together as he watched her. “Shane….and you? what do y’mean?”
"He wanted to have sex." She stated, lowering her gaze as she fiddled with her fingers. "What was I supposed to do? You weren’t here!"
He just stared at her for a long while, disbelief echoing in his gaze as he tried to find the right words to say.
There were a few people out there. Scattered cans of beer all over the place. There was a guy with some girl having sex on the side of the house. Someone was puking by their car. And it was pretty damn hot outside. Things changed so much.
When they were kids it would just him and Rick along with Ricks old man. He remembered sitting with the fire on in the living room as his dad told them stories about when he’d go on out here with his own dad. Some of the criminals he had busted over the years. Stories that left Shane fascinated to no end. He liked to ask questions. But he had too much respect to hound.
And this where he and Rick had caught their first fish. Rick had the bigger catch. And he got on Shanes ass about it. Until that Summer they learned to shoot. And Shane got one pretty damn near to being in the middle of the eyes.
This was the place where they had had their first taste of beer. Ricks dad asleep in the room. He was a heavy sleeper and he snored like a damned freight train. So they sneaked off to crack open a can and Shane had a couple cigarette. They talked outside a lot, too.
When Rick was 15 it basically became his place. His dad stopped staying the whole weekend and then he told him that if he wanted it he’d have to upkeep it. It was the same Summer that he and Rick had spent fixing it up, leaks, pipes, all their Summer job money being spent to pretty it up.
The Summer weekend turned into a party the next year. It had been Shanes idea. Rick had only been somewhat taken with the idea. But he had himself a good time. Except the time when Marge bet them all a chance to go skinny dipping with her in the lake. And when Rick won the bet Shane threw his clothes up in the tree. Or the first time Rick got drunk and he crashed Shanes car into the tree. Or the times when Shane would ditch him in the crowd of a bunch of douche bags to go on upstairs with some girl he had picked for the night. They laughed though when they thought back on those times. They laughed like hell.
There wouldn’t be no laughing looking back on tonight. Blot it out of history. Shane was hoping he had a shot at that.
He could see that something was written on his features, something tense and uncertain with every single look he gave him. There was always a certain way that his eyes shone whenever he lied about what was going on.
But what was it that Rick was expecting him to say? Wasn’t it him that had ruined things with Shane? Going on and feeling something for his mom? Surely that was something that should be off limits? Apparently when it came to Ana things didn’t have limits.
At Shane’s words Rick’s eyes drifted towards Samantha and he drew in a breath. What would he be feeling now if she had actually called him? If she had truly wanted him to come? Rick wasn’t sure and that was unnerving.
"Yeah, guess you’re right." A small chuckle before he reached out and gently touched Shane’s shoulder. "We’ll get it back to how it should be." he stated with a gentle assurance brimming in his eyes. But how was any of that certain? How did he find it in himself to even give that over to Shane so honestly?
An uneasy smile registered on his lips as he retracted his hand and stepped away. Taking in a small breath he made his way through the crowd on over to Samantha and she immediately pressed herself in his arms.
"Hey…missed you." He softly told her as his eyes closed, breathing her in. But things didn’t feel the same, nothing did. After Ana would anything?
Ricks words stuck with him, played on and on in his head. The way that things should be. Shane had gotten to thinking that things weren’t ever going to be the way they should be. Things were going to just get worse from here on out.
He watched Rick with Sam for a moment or two. And he knew that things were going to change. Never for the better. Because he knew what he had done. He knew.
There was not only his guilt to deal with, it wasn’t so bad. That feeling, that dragging down. It felt more human. It wasn’t something that he couldn’t live with. He could live with the guilt.
What he couldn’t live with was his pride, his deep rooted but well hidden pride that he was glad that he had screwed something up for his friend. His friend who had the good life, or what he thought of as the good life.
He wasn’t sure what Sam was gonna do. That girl had a crazy that could be predictable sometimes. Like dating Rick. Crazy.
So he walked on outside. It was less stuffy outside. But he got no relief.