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Beauty by angelskuuipo
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Author's Notes:
Echo inspired this little vignette. She has such a way with words. This is unbeta-ed.


“Have you ever dug a hole so deep, been brought so low that you forget what the warmth of sunlight feels like on your face?

Has your world ever been turned so completely upside down that good becomes bad, right becomes wrong, and you twist and mould the pain into a cherished friend, because it’s the only thing you can do?

Have you ever gone so long and worked so hard to break someone or something down because witnessing the beauty of that breakdown is the only bright spot in the hell your existence has become?

Yeah, existence, not life, because what you’re doing can’t be considered living. Surviving, persevering, enduring maybe, but not living. Have you ever experienced even a fraction of what I’m talking about?

I have. I live it every day. Pain is my world. So unless you can comprehend what I’m saying, don’t you dare judge me. This bottle and its contents allow me to function amongst you. I’ll be damned again before I let you take the one balm I have away from me.”

Nate left Sophie standing in open-mouthed dismay in the conference room, not caring if any of the others had heard him or not. He was so damn sick and tired of justifying his drinking. He was done. If they didn’t like it, they could jump. He stalked into his office, threw himself into his chair, and closed his eyes, hoping for a few minutes respite.

“I’ve seen it, you know.”

Wish in one hand…Nathan reluctantly opened his eyes and looked at Eliot leaning casually in his doorway. “Seen what?”

Eliot took the question as an invitation to enter and waited until he was seated across from Nate before answering. “The beauty of the breakdown. I’ve never heard it put that way before, but it fits. Sometimes it’s all you’ve got and it’s shit and it’s wrong, but it doesn’t matter because it’s yours.”

Nate stared at Eliot for a long time, really looking at him, and he finally saw it. That pain, that spark, that tenuous connection that let him know that Eliot really did get it. Nate understood Eliot’s anger in Miami better now. It was more than just his drinking and jeopardizing the team. It was the possibility of being pulled under again, of forgetting the sunlight.

Nate reached behind him and grabbed a couple of glasses. He poured a full measure of liquor into each of them and pushed one towards Eliot. Eliot took it and leaned back in his chair, hooking an ankle over the opposite knee.

“Thanks,” Nate said simply.

Eliot just nodded and took a sip of the whiskey.

“This still doesn’t make us friends,” he said with a slight smile.

Eliot chuckled huskily. “You’re so full of shit.”

Nathan laughed and felt a little bit of warmth on his face.


Skin Design by Amy

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