Status: Couldn't help it



As the door slammed Annie just stood there, unable to process what was even happening. But as it finally hit her that Sidney had been charged with Rylie’s death, that he was going to jail and would have to face a court, she crumpled to the floor, sobbing. She wanted him there, to comfort her and hold her like she’d grown so accustomed to. She wanted to rest her head on his solid chest and listen to his heart beating so strongly. She wanted, needed Sidney, but he wasn’t here.

She took in a shaky breath, knowing that she had no one to hold her up, no more crutch except herself as she shakily sat up, forcing herself to stand. She reached up, wiping away her tears as her entire body trembled, begging her to just let it collapse again. She knew that she would have to face the funeral arrangements alone, and that meant finally going into the one place she wanted to board up forever. She fought back a fresh wave of tears as she slowly made her way into Rylie’s room, her knees shaking violently.

She set her hand on the door, her brain shrieking that she wasn’t ready for this, that she wouldn’t be able to handle it. But if Sidney could do it, so could she. She took a deep breath, turning the handle before the door slowly opened, revealing the chaos that was Rylie’s room. She hadn’t touched a thing since his death, so his laundry was still tossed about haphazardly, a few practice sticks that had been beaten to hell leaned against the far wall.

She looked at the photos of them lining the walls, and one of the few photos of them with their parents having been knocked around, so it hung crookedly on the nail. She walked over to that particular photo first, picking it up and bringing it down to her eye level.

Annie was only fifteen or so in the photo, Rylie looking as though he had just turned ten as he smiled, his arms wrapped around his sister. Annie was standing in her Romeo and Juliet costume, the tight bun on her head looking as though it had to be giving her a migraine, which they always did. Her ballet slippers were hanging around her neck as their parents stood behind her and Rylie, their smiles looking forced as her father set an arm on Annie’s shoulder.

Annie sighed, placing the photo back on the wall and making sure it was straight as she remembered that night. She had been the lead, her first time ever doing so, and her parents had only been there because Rylie had guilt tripped them into it. They had shown up halfway through the first act, and had left almost immediately after the picture was snapped, leaving Rylie and Annie to get a ride home with a friend’s parents.

Annie felt completely drained at the memory as she forced herself to turn, facing Rylie’s closet where his suit was hanging up so neatly, about the only thing clothing wise he kept ironed and washed at all times, just in case. She quickly made her way over, grabbing the suit off its hanger and his dress shoes that were positioned neatly underneath. She then stumbled over to his dresser, grabbing his long, black socks and making a break for the door before she would have to face anymore memories of all the things Rylie had done for her.

She slammed the door behind her, letting out a shaky breath and waiting for her legs to stop shaking. But she couldn’t help but smile sadly, knowing Sidney would be so proud of her. She then stood tall, walking over to the living room and grabbing her keys before making her way to the funeral home, grabbing Rylie’s jersey from its place on the table before walking out the door.

| | |

Jeff just sat in his apartment, unable to stop thinking about Annie as he watched the news on his laptop screen. Crosby had been arrested at her house, and every sports commentator and gossip rag in the country was throwing in their two cents about why Sidney would be at her apartment, none of them flattering of course. He sighed, slamming it shut after what felt like the millionth comment about what a money grubbing whore Annie must be.

He had only just started staring blankly at the wall when a knock sounded from the door. He stood, walking over and gasping when he saw Annie there, looking better than when he’d left her. She folded her arms in front of her, shifting nervously from foot to foot. “Hey Jeff.” She murmured.

“Annie.” He whispered. He couldn’t stop his old ways as he pulled her into his arms, gripping her tightly and kissing the top of her head. “I’m so sorry.”

“So you heard?” She asked, hugging him back before pulling away to look at him. He quickly led her inside, shutting the door behind her to give them some privacy. He then sighed, leaning against the door and stuffing his hands into his pockets.

“Yeah.” He admitted. “It’s all over the sports channels and even the local news.”

“Is it bad?” She asked, obviously hesitant. He didn’t answer, and she took that as her answer. “God as if Sid doesn’t have enough problems. He was just trying to be supportive-”

“What about your problems?” Jeff pressed, looking at her. “Annie, your brother is dead-”

“And Sidney might go to prison for it.” She interrupted, her eyes blurry with tears. She then sighed, running her hands through her hair. “I’m sorry Jeff I just… I just got back from the funeral home and with everything going on, I’m a little stressed.”

“Oh Annie.” He whispered, pulling her back into his arms. “Why didn’t you call me? I could have gone in there for you.” She shook her head, nuzzling into his chest.

“I had to do this Jeff. I can’t lean on you or Crosby anymore, you’ve done more than enough.”

“He was my friend too Annie. I mean Jesus, you guys spent Christmas with me. You’re family.” He cradled her face in his hands, looking into his eyes. “And all I’ve ever wanted was for that never to end.” She narrowed her eyes in confusion and Jeff let out a long sigh, dropping his hands and taking a step back. “Never mind.”

“Jeff, talk to me.” She whispered. She set her hand on his arm, her eyes searching his before he finally looked at her again.

“I love you Annie.” He whispered. Her eyes went wide as he reached up, cradling her face again in one hand. “Annie, I know that this is hard for you, that you think that for whatever reason Sidney loves you, but it’s guilt. I know that he might not know it or be doing it on purpose, but when that guilt goes away he won’t want to be with you anymore. You’ll be a reminder of the worst game of his life.”

She just looked at him as he licked hi lips nervously. “Jeff.” She murmured.

“I have always taken care of you two, and I don’t want to lose that Annie, please.” He let his hand move up through her hair. “Let me take care of you.” And without another word he leaned down, pressing his lips softly to hers.
♠ ♠ ♠
Just when you think he's going to let it be
Thanks so much for reading!
I have gotten an insane amount of support on this
And I really cannot thank you guys enough.
With that in mind I have good news!
This story is going to have a sequel
Because I can't let Sid and Annie go ha ha