Status: Couldn't help it



“The L.A. Kings choose Rylie Beckett!” The stadium erupted in cheers as Rylie stood, smiling widely before picking up Annie and hugging her. She gripped him back, tears rolling down her face as she smiled so widely it hurt. He finally pulled away, walking up to the announcer and holding up the L.A. Kings jersey. Annie couldn’t stop crying as he beamed, hugging the announcer before pulling on the jersey.

The next thing Annie knew, the two of them sat in her car in the parking lot as Riley hit speaker on his phone, listening to it ring. But when he heard the voicemail of their parents, his smile fell.

“Hey mom, hey dad. I um, I got drafted. I’m the new second string for the L.A. Kings.” Annie felt her heart break as he sighed. “I um… I had some seats reserved for you guys, but you must not have gotten my text.” She reached over, setting her hand on his arm and watching and he smiled sadly at her. “I’m with Annie, she’s making sure I eat actual food and all that. But if you guys ever want to come see a game, we have season tickets, right next to the net.” He paused for a moment. “So um, call me if you want some, and um… bye I guess.” With that he hung up, leaning back in his seat.

“Riley?” She whispered. He didn’t say anything, he just pressed his lips together, blinking quickly.

“What kind of parents miss their son being drafted?” He choked out. She just leaned over, gripping him as best she could in the car as he struggled not to cry. “They miss everything Annie.”

“I know.” She murmured, remembering being the only one at Riley’s high school graduation, just like how he’d been the only person at hers. “It’s not you Riley, it’s them.”

“Why don’t they love us?” He whimpered into her shoulder. “What did we do wrong?” She felt tears prick her own eyes as she held him tightly, nuzzling her face into his hair.

“I don’t know Ry.” She admitted. “I don’t know.”

Annie’s eyes slowly opened, taking in the white paint on the ceiling for a moment, as if the answer to all her problems were somehow hidden in the messy swirls her and Riley had made. She smiled softly, remembering her poor bed sheets becoming speckled with white. But her smile fell as she let out a long breath, remembering her grim situation, and that her brother was waiting for her in a morgue.

She slowly sat up, knowing today was the day she had to choose what Riley would wear for his funeral or cremation, seeing as she still hadn’t decided. Her feet dangled over the bed as she pressed her face into her hands, unsure if she could even face the day without him. But a knock on the door drew her attention away from her misery. Sidney was smiling softly at her, a cup in one hand and a bowl in the other.

“Can I come in?” He asked. She sighed, running a hand through her hair.

“It’s a free country.” She muttered. His small smile fell slightly as he walked over, presenting the dishes in his hands to her.

“I made you some coffee, and I was going to make you eggs, but you were out, so I had to settle for oatmeal.” She looked at the bowl for a long time, her face pale. “Is something wrong?”

“That was Riley’s.” She said after a painful silence. “I always eat pop tarts or fruit loops, I hate that healthy shit.”

“I’m so sorry-” He started, but she raised a hand and cut him off before taking the bowl and cup from him.

“You didn’t know.” She said simply. “Besides, he always told me that I needed to eat better anyways.” She finally looked up into his eyes, pressing her lips together. “Sidney, I need you to do something for me.”

“Of course.” He promised. She sat back down on her bed, nodding her head to invite Sidney to take the spot beside her. He plopped down, his eyes moving to the bandages on her knees as she sipped her coffee. “How are your knees feeling?” She looked down, just noticing them.

“What happened?” He sighed as her eyes moved over the dried blood that had seeped through.

“You collapsed into the broken picture frame and sliced up your knees pretty badly.” He said. “I carried you in here and bandaged them up.” She looked over at him, nodding.

“Thanks.” She took another sip, letting the silence sit between them. “I’m assuming Jeff left?”

“Yeah.” Sidney murmured. “He um, he thinks that you need some space from him right now.” She slowly nodded as Sidney just looked at her. “So, what do you need me to do?”

“How would you want to be buried?” She asked bluntly, turning to him. “Ry and I we… we never talked about it. And the mortician says I have to decide what we’re doing today and bring down something for him to wear.” Sidney just let out a long breath, pressing his lips together. He knew he shouldn’t ask, but he couldn’t help himself.

“Why is it all up to you? What about your parents?” She chuckled humorlessly.

“I doubt they even know he’s dead.” She said coldly. “They were never the most… supportive parents.”

“Have you tried getting in contact with them?” She nodded.

“They won’t return my calls. Big fucking shock.” She muttered the last part so quietly that Sidney suspected it wasn’t meant for his ears, so he pretended he hadn’t heard.

“So, has it always just been you two?”

“Pretty much.”

“Jesus.” He whispered. He looked back over at her as she studied the wall blankly, her mind obviously somewhere millions of miles away. He then slowly, hesitantly, reached over, setting his arm around her. “It’s going to be okay Annie.” He whispered, pulling her into his chest.

“I hope so.” She whispered, keeping her gaze on the wall. He sighed, letting one of his hands move to run through her hair before he finally spoke again.

“I’d want to be cremated.” He said. “And I’d want my ashes scattered somewhere that I love, somewhere that’s important to me. I just… I don’t think I would want to rot away in the ground.” She nodded slowly.

“Me too.” She whispered. She then turned, looking up into his eyes. “There’s a little pond by our old house in Vancouver, it’s where he learned to skate.” She pressed her lips together tightly. “It’s where he fell in love with the game.” She smiled, tears running down her cheeks. “God he loved it so much, he’d spend whole days out there, just wanting to get better.” She looked up at him. “Wanting to be like you.”

She collapsed against him, shaking violently as tears wracked her petite body. He just held her in his arms, promising her that everything was going to be alright. Finally she got a hold on her tears, but was still shaking. He looked at her for a long time before he sighed, helping her stand. “Come on Annie, we’re going to get through this.” He promised. She leaned heavily on him, knowing she would collapse again if she didn’t.

He helped her out into the bathroom, picking her up and setting her on the countertop like a child. He grabbed a washcloth, running it under warm water before he used it to wash her tears away. She just watched him as he gently wiped away every place a tear had fallen, all the way down to her collar bone. He then pulled off her bandages, rolling up her yoga pants to really look her injuries over.

Annie had no idea how to feel as Sidney took care of her, washing the dried blood off her knees and a few spots on her shins before rubbing medicine onto the cuts. She winced at the stinging pain, looking down at Sidney as he wrapped her knees up again, placing bandages on the smaller, farther away cuts. He then continued to sit there for a moment before he pressed his lips to her left knee.

Her cheeks heated up as he did the same to her right knee, and all five of the smaller bandages before he rolled her pants back down for her. She just looked at him in awe as he stood back up, a hint of a smile on his lips. “Better?” She nodded and his smile widened slightly. “Good.” He gently helped her down, but as he turned to leave, she gently pulled him back. He turned just in time for her lip to meet his, her hands gripping his shirt tightly.

Her lips were so soft and warm, and just seemed made to fit perfectly against his. She tasted like her strawberry chap stick, and her hands sliding over his thin shirt was making the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. He wanted nothing more than to kiss her back, but he knew she was confused. She was blinded by grief and just wanted someone to love her. He pulled away, watching her eyes search his as she tried to pull his lips back to hers, but he set his hands on top of her small fingers, causing them to loosen their grip.

“Please.” She whispered, her eyes searching his. “Please Sidney.” She collapsed against him again, shaking. “Am I not pretty enough?”

“You’re beautiful.” He promised. “But you’re not thinking straight.” She pulled back, looking into his eyes again as he cradled her cheek in his hand. “In five minutes, you’ll go back to cursing the day I was born. You’re still in shock Annie.”

She sniffled, her cheeks red with embarrassment as more tears threatened to spill over. “God, I’m so sorry.” She murmured. He smiled softly, setting his arm around her shoulder and leading her out of the small bathroom.

“You’re forgiven.” He promised. “Now, what should Riley wear?” He asked gently, setting her down on the couch before taking the spot beside her. He kept her small hands in his as she spoke without hesitation.

“His jersey.” She said. “Besides, I don’t feel right keeping it.”

“Alright, and what else?”

“Dress stuff I guess. Just his jersey over a dress shirt and pants and some nice shoes.” He nodded, running his fingers over her knuckles. She seemed to relax at the motion, obviously getting over their moment in the bathroom. It was perfectly understandable with all the emotions going through her right now, but Sidney couldn’t help but wish their first kiss had been under better circumstances.

“Alright, want to come into his room with me?” She shook her head violently.

“I can’t.” She whimpered. She began shaking again as Sidney immediately pulled her into his arms, stroking her hair. She burrowed into him, gripping him tightly and sobbing into his chest. “I should have done something, I should have gone to more stores and found a fucking throat guard. Jesus Christ, he’s dead because of me-”

“Annie, this isn’t helping anything.” He said, gently pulling her face up so she looked into his eyes. “It wasn’t anyone’s fault, it was a freak accident. Don’t you dare blame yourself when you were the best thing that ever happened to him.” Annie just looked at Sidney for a long time as he looked into her eyes. She pressed her lips together before she leaned over, pressing her face into his neck. Finally she spoke, her voice shaking.

“What are we going to do Sidney?” She whispered, her breath rolling over his skin. He sighed, reaching over and running his fingers through her hair before resting his chin on the top of her head.

“We’re going to get through this.”

“How?” She asked, looking up at him. He pressed his forehead to hers, looking into those big, amber eyes.

“I don’t know Annie.” He admitted. “I don’t know.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Sorry for taking so long to update!
But now my internet is freaking out,
so I don't know when I can update again
But anyway, what do you think will happen between Sidney and Annie?
What's the deal with her parents?
Thanks as always for reading!