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The Sun

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First man I ever loved. When I met Rafe I was young and he was tall and fearless. I never regretted marrying him. I loved the man he was when we met. He was as bright and warm as the sun. His love made me bloom. A part of me will always love the sun.

Even in our darker times, I could still see glimpses of the man I loved. That’s why it hurt so much when he up and left instead of finding his way back to us.

Looking back, I realize that the reason I loved Rafe was as much the goodness in him as it was his struggle with his inner demons. Rafael McCall was the poster boy for the FBI, the perfect recruit with no doubts about what was right and wrong. His black and white vision made him a perfect agent.

If it hadn’t been for the good sex and his sense of humor, we as a couple would have never made it past the first few months. I had what the perfect FBI agent would call superstitions. I had intuitions. I had this feeling that there was something more to the world that the things we saw during the day. I was always attracted to the dark. He was always grounded in reality. Always believed that working hard would get you where you wanted to go. He always believed that good would triumph over evil, from a purely sociological point of view.

Rafael McCall battled darkness with all the wrong weapons except one – a pure heart.

I remember exactly when his world started changing.

It was almost dawn when I heard the key in the door. I jumped out of bed where I’d been tossing and turning for hours and ran to the door. He was on a stakeout that was meant to last all night. He wasn’t supposed to get back home before I left for the hospital. But I could feel there was something wrong. Something bad was happening to him. I’d been staring at the phone since about seven. When the sun set, I went to bed and tried my hardest to fall asleep.

He was moving slower than usual. More careful. He let the keys drop on the table by the door. Took his coat off and hang it with such deliberation as if it was the first time doing it.

“Rafe,” I called out to him.  

The sound of my voice seemed to bring him to reality. He looked at me and even in that near perfect darkness, I could see that he seemed surprised to see me. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I ran to him and he opened his arms instinctively.

“Hey, what are you doing still up?” he asked kissing my temple.

His voice was his but he sounded ten years older than the man who left for work ten hours ago. It was scary to sense such a profound change in one of the most straightforward man I had ever met. I had this distinct impression that for the first time in his life, this man of black and white had seen gray.

“Baby, what’s wrong?” I asked, squeezing him tightly.

“Everything’s fine,” he said, and I knew he was lying. “I’m fine now,” he added and that sounded more honest.

We held each other for a few minutes and while we were doing this, I was monitoring his vital signs. I was quite proud of my new found knowledge of the human body and I was desperately wanting to understand what had happened. His breath was even, and his heartbeat was becoming less erratic.  

I smiled broadly when I felt recognized the other pattern of breathing and heartbeat. Even if I wasn’t attuned to the way his heart sped up when we were about to make love, there was another part of him that signaled his arousal. I felt his erection poking me in the belly and I was not surprised to be lifted in his strong arms and carried to bed.

“I love you,” he whispered when he made his way inside me.

He’d never been quite so gentle before. He’d always had to be careful when we made love because of his size, and sometimes it felt he treated me like a porcelain doll. This time it was different. His tenderness and intensity brought tears to my eyes. It was so beautiful, it was breaking my heart. I’d always remember that night as the first and only time I cried during an orgasm.  

“I will always love you,” he promised when he came.

I believed him.

We usually fell asleep or went to the kitchen to eat after sex. I was nineteen and he was twenty-four. We used to treat sex like the best game ever. Until that night. He held me in his arms and neither of us fell asleep. The sun was rising and the first rays were getting through the small window of our small apartment.

“Yesterday, at 7.15 I killed a man.”

He said it quietly. Whatever was going on inside him had been settled. He was trying to live with this. I felt my heart breaking to feel the light dim inside him.

About nine months later, Scott was born. In the grand scheme of things, I can almost believe that we were trying to bring the world back into balance.

I still love that twenty-four years old boy who looked for salvation in my arms when his world was starting to crumble.

 

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When Scott was born we were immensely happy. From that happiness, came worry. Both our jobs showed us what happens when things go wrong. I saw people at their weakest, at their most vulnerable. I heard their stories and their confessions. I heard their regrets and saw their tears.

Rafe was seeing them at their worst. He chased them after they did something bad. He tried to prevent the next bad thing they would do. He knew their stories, too, but he had to analyze them for weaknesses. He took apart their past to predict their future movements. And every time he failed, he took it personally.

For a while, he drew strength from seeing me and Scott. I’d watch him get out of the car, dark clouds darkening his handsome face, the weight of the world on his shoulders. There was only a trace of that when the door opened. Then at the sight of Scott running into his arms, his shoulders no longer slumped. The sun shone again.

For a while he could be happy that his son was growing, cheerful and strong. But all too soon the darkness bit into him more than we could restore. His fear that something might happen to me or Scott was growing. I could see him trying to protect us against the madness of the world. I could see him losing and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do.

I suggested to move back to Beacon Hills, so he started to research the town. The crime rate was lower than average. There had been one major unexplained incident, a big fire with a lot of victims but on the whole, he thought the town would be safe for us. He felt ok about moving there. The police department had a good reputation. He’d checked on the Sheriff and one evening I saw him looking through the files of the other cops.

I remember bringing him a beer and he put his arm around my hips. He drew me close and kissed my wrist after taking the beer. He closed his eyes and rested his forehead against me. Then he shook himself and took one of the files from the table.

“This guy is good. He’s going to be Sheriff in less than 3 years,” he said.

I ran my fingers through his hair and bent down to kiss the top of his head. I glanced at the file. It read Stilinski.

“I think I know the family,” I told him. “Yes, I think we were in high school together.”

“Were you two sweethearts?” he asked pulling me in his lap.

“Never,” I answered and immediately forgot the question.

His kisses always had that effect on me. Rafe was the sun and I was a planet around him, basking in his warmth. Rafe was the reason I had given life.

 

+++++++++++++++++

 

And then darkness bites again into his soul. He’s assigned to a deal with a kidnapping. They follow procedure every step of the way. I know him too well and I know he did everything right. They find the child in forty-eight hours. What’s left of him. Rafe and his partner are first on the scene.

His partner ends blowing his brains out a few weeks later. Rafe starts drinking more and more. I’ve seen alcoholics in the hospital. I’m supposed to know how to handle this. But this is Rafe and in my eyes, he’s not like other men. So I try the only thing that worked before. When he gets home, so drunk it takes him 5 minutes from the time he gets out of the cab until he reaches our front door, I decide to show him that I love him.

Scott is at his best friend’s house for the night. I knew this was going to be a tough night for Rafe. He had the official review of the kidnapping case. They probably brought up his partner’s suicide.

It may sound stupid. I still don’t regret doing it. When he comes in, I don’t scream at him, as he probably expects when he sees me. I hug him and he hugs me back instinctively. Making love used to bring him out of the dark. That night, it made things worse. He was so inebriated, he couldn’t control his movements as he always had before. He isn’t aware of his own strength and I don’t stop him, so in the morning I have bruises on my wrists and my thighs. Now I understand why he usually treats me like a china doll. Although I gave myself to him, my body behaves as though I was raped.

Rafe had seen rape victims and I’m not good at pretending. At least not in front of him. He is horrified to see the how much he hurt me and he can’t even remember. He doesn’t have to say he’s sorry. It’s written all over his face. He leaves without a word and doesn’t return for a week.

After that, he comes home drunk more and more often, but he never touches me. Sometimes he crawls next to me in bed and he says what he’d like to do to me. He doesn’t touch me. He shrinks away from my touch. We sleep in the same bed like strangers for another few months.

 

+++++++++++++

 

The night he pushes Scott is the worst moment of my life. I tell him to get out of the house and out of our lives. A part of me sees the utterly terrified expression on his face and knows that he will never be able to forgive himself for hurting Scott. I’m calm when I tell him to get out and calm when I check on Scott because I know that the child will react according to how panicked I seem. At that moment, I can’t also worry about how Rafe is going to take this.

It’s the last time I see him for weeks. We meet in the lawyer’s office to sign the divorce papers. He looks terrible. I don’t recognize the man I married in the ghost before me. I can’t stand looking at him. It’s like looking at my husband’s murder.

Chapter Text

He came to Beacon Hills.

 I’m worried. With everything going on… this is the worst timing. He will figure out something is not right. He’s always been good at figuring things out.

 He looks good. Healthy. Just… so very cold. As if battling his demons left him without a soul.

 I saw so much of him in Scott as he was growing up. And so much more since his change. Scott has the same naïve idealistic need to fight injustice as I always saw in Rafe. I never told Scott this because despite my efforts, Scott resents his father. Not for the incident that made him leave, but for the fact that he left. I can see this in Scott every time he is with Stiles. I can see him forging a father figure out of his best friend’s father. My best friend.

 Rafe is in Beacon Hills and I have to deal with this. Most of the weird supernatural things that happen in this town end up in my emergency room. And on their track, Rafe will come there, too.

 I’ve never been good at lying to him. But the secrets are too deep now, the stakes too high. How will I protect them all?

----- 

He is the one ending up hurt! He has his first run in with the evil in Beacon Hills and gets hurt. I’m getting too good at comforting people who think they’re about to die.

---- 

He didn’t die. And we’re acting as if nothing supernatural happened. He’s not prepared for the truth but he’s gathering his nerve to talk to Scott. To rebuild a bridge he once burned.

 We had lunch today. To sum it up in one word. Awkward.

 He tells me he arrested Chris Argent and Derek Hale, and I can’t think of any damn way to help.

 We talk about Scott. I can see flashes of joy and pride when I tell him about Scott’s successes. It’s like seeing glimpses of the sun on a cloudy day.

 He doesn’t tell me anything about his life in these years. He mentions in passing things about his job. It’s like nothing worth talking about happened since we divorced.

 The darkness left deep gouges on his soul. Now that I’ve encountered darkness, I am more attuned to the sounds. I hear the same notes of despondency in Chris Argent’s voice every time he speaks. Argent lost wife, sister, father. He’s just living for his daughter. I get the feeling that Rafe is feeling like he lost everything. I hear it in his voice when he talks about Scott. It’s like all that keeps him going under his perfectly cool exterior is the hope of reconnecting with his son.

 I feel so awful and scared and I want to be out of my skin. I want to forget. I don’t drink, or do drugs, but I have my addiction. I reach for the phone. Peter’s voice has the same effect on my mind as gasoline on an open flame. 

---------------

I am the last to find out that part of his mission is to audit the Sheriff’s department. And gather evidence against the incompetence of the Sheriff.

 We had a brief and tense talk about it. I can see he’s doing his job. And I remember him agreeing to move here because the town seemed safe. I can see him feeling guilty that he left us in a place where the law was failing to protect us. And I can see he’s jealous. Of the father figure Scott had in his absence. I can see his sense of morality battling the fact that he’s investigating and quite possibly destroying the career of a man he sees as having replaced him in Scott’s life and in my bed. He doesn’t have to say it. He is sure we are or were lovers.

 It drives me crazy that I can’t tell him the truth! I wish I could just scream the truth in his face. But with those screams, recriminations would also come.

If you stayed, none of this would have happened!

If you stayed, Scott wouldn’t have been running around it the woods at night!

If you were here I wouldn’t have had to take so many double shifts. One of us could have watched him!

If you stayed, Peter would have never changed him!

I would shout at him to cover the guilt I’m feeling. If I had been around more, if I had paid more attention, he would have been in his room that night. It’s my fault Scott has now the weight of the world on his young shoulders. It’s my fault that the monster Peter Hale is in our lives now.

 I hate Peter. I call Peter.

-----

After the incident at the school, he has to leave. I was glad to see that he and Scott managed to build back some of what they lost. I’m not glad that he’s leaving again. As long as he was here, despite the madness of the situation, it felt like there was such a thing as a normal life, with normal worries like relationships and mortgages. He was a pain in the ass and his intelligence and persistence had made things difficult for all of us. But once he’s gone, it feels like the world I used to know, the one without werewolves, banshees and druids, is gone forever.

 With him gone again, it feels like the sun is gone. Without Rafe, there’s only the moon.