It was oddly sobering, his dying thoughts being of him, of the man he loved but didn't. Not enough. It had been months since he'd watched James walk away. James had been right at the time though.
"You're walking away?"
"You're the one letting me."
He didn't regret it. He knew he probably should, but he didn't. Couldn't. Not when he knew that James was better off without him. Even James knew it. Had all but said so the last time they'd seen each other. He'd made amends with Anne-Marie enough so that he could be apart of his son's life again, actually see him, raise him. Michael was glad for it. James deserved every bit of happiness. Michael, on the other hand, well he deserved what he got too.
Michael opened his eyes and looked down. He was grateful that he couldn't feel his legs, not when they looked like they did. He glanced at his bike, lying on its side only a few feet from him. Despite the severity of the crash, the bike wasn't that badly beaten up. But Michael was. He couldn't feel his legs, one of them looked impossibly broken and the other... well... he wouldn't have been able to feel most of it anyway. He reached out with his only working arm, brushing his fingers over the top of his leg. Nothing. Not a single thing. He wished the same could be said about his head. His head hurt. A lot. He reached up, brushing his fingers over the deep cut at his hairline. He was pretty sure if he pushed past the pain and slid his finger into the cut, he'd feel his skull. He wiped the blood from his hand and grabbed his pack of smokes and lighter from his jacket pocket. He only had three left, but it would be enough. He pulled one out, put it between his lips and lit it. Taking a long drag. His eyes found his cellphone, broken and yards from him, sighing as he exhaled. He let his thoughts wonder again to James. Better to think of him then of what he was going to face in his last moments.
He closed his eyes, taking another drag on his cigarette. The relationship had been a bad one, for the most part. He was all sorts of messed up and shouldn't have let James into his life in the first place. Acting was easy. He loved it because it let him be someone else, someone he wasn't. Being himself was hard. He'd told James from the beginning that he couldn't be, wouldn't be fixed. James had said he understood, but Michael still saw it, the times when James tried anyway, and always had a knowing look when he failed. They fought constantly. About everything and nothing. James hated that Michael seemed to hate everything, including himself. Michael hated that James cared so much. And he had cared too much. Michael did things to intentionally push James away, but the damn stubborn man wouldn't leave. Not even when he'd briefly hooked up with Zoe again while away at film festivals. James had just shook his head, sighing heavily, muttering that it was okay. It wasn't okay. It was never okay. Michael hated himself more each time James didn't leave.
Taking a last drag on his cigarette, before flicking it away and lighting the next one, Michael let himself imagine what James would say if he could see him now.
"Oh Michael. Michael, Michael, Michael. Why do you do these things to yourself? Why can't you see what I see? What the world sees?"
"Because it's all a lie. All of it. What you see, what the world sees, it's all a fucking lie."
"But it's not, Michael. Don't you see? You only think it is, because you don't want to believe that you can have what you want in the world."
"What the fuck do I want, huh, James? Tell me, what is it you think I fucking want?"
"Love, Michael. You want love. Just like the rest of us. And you have it. Why can't you see that?"
"Because you shouldn't love me. I'm not worth your love, James."
His hand shook as he held the cigarette to his lips again. He'd already been feeling cold, but it was getting worse. He was beginning to feel weak, too, like his body didn't want to cooperate with his mind anymore. And even his mind wasn't wanting to cooperate. He opened his eyes again, taking one last look around, his eyes wandering to the sky.
"See, James? Not worth it. Never worth it."
He lit his last cigarette, letting his eyes close as he took a small drag. He never did finish it. It burned itself out after falling from his limp fingers.
Two days later, James read the headline "Actor Michael Fassbender dead at age 36 after motorcycle accident". The paper dropped to the floor as his hands went to his face, muffling the sobs that tried to tear their way out of his throat.