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The Coward Texts

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Chapter 9: Part 1 - Battlefield


'Cause I don't wanna fight no more,
Even when the waves get rough
I don't wanna see the day we say we've had enough

And I don't wanna fight this war
Bullets coming off our lips
But we stick to our guns and we love like battleships.
Like battleships.

I'm sinking inside
Can we finally put our weapons down tonight?’





Well?  What did you think?  She’d wake up and all would be forgiven?

I kind of did yeah.

You remember Gail right?  Wounded puppy who learned to live on the streets and depend on no one right?

Did you just call Gail a Tramp? 

I might have been thinking of the Disney classic yes.

I’m a brilliant doctor and I can’t figure out how to get a better subconscious.

Lets not get off topic. Gail, wounded puppy, depends on no one...focus!

I flew all the way here, in a heartbeat, to be with her, didn’t I?

That doesn’t change the fact that you left in the first place. ..


Yep. So she thinks, unless she’s dying, you don’t want to be here.

This is going to involve more processing isn’t it?

Yes. Sober processing.

Sober processing is never any fun.

I personally find it quite entertaining.

Don’t think there is going to be a repeat of the ‘Buffy Musical’ this time buster.

Oh, but I so loved your rendition of ‘Where do we go, from here?’

You are a real piece of fucking work, you know that?

You swear a lot with me.

Huh? You noticed that eh?

Are you getting snarky with me?


Ok. This has been a very productive little chat, but I think its time for me to go. Let the processing begin.





It was different today. Standing in the exact spot your heart said goodbye. It wasn’t just that Gail was missing or the weather was different. No, today, it felt out of balance. The ground wasn’t steady, the water wasn’t calm. Your heart had changed. Until that fateful phone call, you hadn’t given your heart its proper say.  It had known you would eventually come back to this place, because here, is where you left it.

The rock’s jagged surface reminds you that there is pain here. The fault can’t all be placed on you,  but you need to accept the part you played. The choices you made, without asking.  The water crashes against the jagged rocks, angrily splashing onto the shoreline. For so long, there has been silence, and now the noise in your head is making you dizzy. You need to scream. So you do. You scream until the rushing water is all you can hear because your voice is gone,  and there are tears streaming down your face. You thought when Gail woke up, the emotional roller coaster would end. But instead, it just allowed reality to make another appearance.

Steve had asked if you were sure, that night, before you boarded the plane.  You had answered yes,  without hesitation. And you had meant it.  But what exactly did that mean now?  If Gail rejected you, would you stay and fight?  Be her friend until maybe she was ready for more, if ever?  How much were you really ready to put your heart through, if this wasn’t simple? And Gail’s words had proven, that this wasn’t going to be simple.

Once Gail had come out of her drug induced haze and slowly understood that you were really there,  she had started to withdraw. At first, she flinched when you had reached out to brush a hair from her eyes and then had immediately looked away. 

You took a steadying breath, confused. Then, with her head still turned away from you, she spoke. It was ‘flat calm’ Gail. You had momentarily wiped that Gail from your memory. The texts and shooting, and the plane,  and the days of had pushed those memories away for another day. Now that other day had come.

‘I’m going to be here for awhile and you have a life to get back to, so thanks for coming all this way, I wish you could stay, but I know you can’t. Just let me know when you are leaving ok? We’ll keep in touch this time. ’

And just like that, once again, you had been dismissed. You pinched yourself and felt the familiar pain. Not a dream. This was actually happening...again.  You blinked away the fresh memory.

Thinking about running?

I thought you were chicken

Please answer the question.


Blowing out your breath isn’t an answer.

Why can’t this be easier?

Because if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.

Don’t get all philosophical on me.

Its kind of simple.

You are kind of simple.

Do we have to go through this every time? I am your subconscious. The OPPOSITE of your conscious thoughts. Your conscious mind is NOT simple. Therefore, I AM.


You complicate things and I simpl-



This had gone far enough. You were here. You loved Gail. You wanted a life with Gail. Gail loved you and you weren’t going to deal with her pushing you away for a one more second. You were in this, and that was final.  

Get ready Gail. Its on.