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01 March 2012 @ 03:23 pm
fic, Dark Tower: you were talking about the end of the world (Roland/Eddie), PG13  
Title: you were talking about the end of the world [AO3]
Pairing: Roland/Eddie-ish
Rating: PG13
Word count:
Spoilers: until the beginning of book seven, then goes AR.
Warnings: apocalypse? Sorta.
Disclaimer: everything belongs to Stephen King and the title to U2. I don't own zilch. If he wants to give me Eddie I'll be happy, though...
Summary: the last beam falls before the Dark Tower is reached. Roland and Eddie are stuck in Maine until the world moves on for good.
A/N: written for the latest five acts round for raikune; prompts were friends, hurt/comfort (sorta), apocalypse and confessions. Or, hi, I love these two. Sigh.

“Stop that. It isn’t your fault.”

Roland turns towards him slowly, the look on his face screaming no, it is, and Eddie might be at the end of his rope here.

He should have never thought that he’d actually get to see the Tower for real; then again, who could have known that the last beam would have fallen down before they could find the door back to Roland’s world?

And it’s begun to show here, too. If the Tower falls everything else goes with it, Eddie figured, like some fucked up domino game, and by now this world they’re in looks… the only words he can use are as if it has moved on the same way Roland’s world did, and it’s just a question of time before it crumbles on itself.

“How is it not?” Roland replies.

“You didn’t create the universe or the way it works, you didn’t build the Tower, you were trying to get there and, as I think you remember, we all decided to stick with you when we could have gone home. I fail to see where you are the responsible one. You might be as tough as it gets, but I think that the end of the universe is a bit beyond your pay check. Or mine. And to be entirely honest, if this world is ending and I’m going to end along with it and you, moping is not the way I want to spend the time I’ve left.”

He looks from the road to Roland before paying attention to his driving again; thankfully John Cullum’s Ford had its tank full when he lent it to the both of them, but he needs to find a gas station. There has to be one that works.

The highway looks desolated; where they were fields there’s a desert interrupted by lonely patches of drying grass, all the houses were abandoned and the only car on it is theirs.

“I’m sorry,” Roland says, looking out of the window. “We should have never split.”

Eddie sighs before pulling and stopping the car. He probably could have avoided pulling over, since there’s no one else around, but forces of habit are hard to get out of your system.

“Get out of this car.”

“Eddie…?”

“Seriously, do you think I’d leave you by the side of the road? I should feel hurt. Come on, get out. I can’t have a talk with you if I have to look at the road at the same time.”

Roland doesn’t complain and gets out of the car. He doesn’t slam the door, Eddie notices.

He pulls the emergency brake after turning off the engine and does the same. Dust raises under his feet as they hit the ground and the sun has no right to burn this much two hours before noon. When he gets to the other side of the car, Roland is leaning against the door. When he raises his head and looks at Eddie, his eyes are so blank that Eddie almost feels scared. He hasn’t seen Roland look like that… well, in a whole damn lot of time.

“Stop thinking that I’ll start hating you for this. We’ve been through too much shit together for that,” Eddie says, moving so that he’s in front of Roland. He still doesn’t like that look, but he’s going to hold it. “I know, I know, you failed at your life mission and you’re going to die in a world that isn’t even yours, and you think that everyone blames you, but flash news, we all knew that we weren’t going to Disneyland.”

Roland’s eyes narrow. He’s obviously confused. What the – right.

“Don’t mind that – I meant that no one thought that this would be fun. Everyone knew what was at stake. We all failed, not just you. But if it fell apart now, then we could have never gotten there in time, so just stop fucking blaming yourself. Slowing time is way beyond your paycheck, too. And you know what, I’m not sorry that I went with you when you asked.”

Eddie has learned to guess what Roland is thinking just from the way he moves – otherwise it’d be a freaking hard job to get into the man’s head – and that’s why he notices Roland’s shoulders relaxing just slightly. Good. He doesn’t let Roland reply.

“Really. If you hadn’t dropped by in my head that time, I’d probably be dead right now. Or in prison. What an alternative. Hey, dying after the times we had and trying to save the world totally beats being shot in an alley because you got busted while carrying someone’s dope, right? I told you once – you saved my damned soul. If I have to go now, fine. At least I’m going in good company and knowing that I did what I wanted. I’m pretty sure that wherever Suze and Jake are they’re thinking the same. Stop beating yourself up. No one blames you, least of all me. Hell, you know what, just blame ka. That is way out of anyone’s league.”

There’s a moment in which Eddie thinks that the intensity of Roland’s stare is going to burn him alive, but then something softens in the way Roland is holding himself up. He smiles, reluctantly, but he does, and Eddie doesn’t know why his heart loses a couple of beats at that. Maybe because it hadn’t happened for a while.

“You’re…” Roland starts, but doesn’t finish. He’s obviously lacking words here.

“What, the best thing that ever happened to you? I doubt it, but if it cheers you up, I can safely say that you’re the best thing that ever happened to me,” Eddie replies when he realizes that Roland is having more troubles at communication than usual. He also is very conscious of how outright horrible that sounded – it seemed out of either a stupid Streisand song or the bad kind of romantic comedy – but it’s pretty much the gist of it and he isn’t up for fancy wording now. It’s not as if he’s lying. In a real romantic movie he’d have said that the best thing that ever happened to him was Suze, but he wouldn’t have met her if not for Roland (in all senses: time travel on his own is way beyond Eddie’s paycheck), and Roland is the only reason he ever got clean. Life is not a movie and he’s honest enough to accept it. Anyway it’s not as if Roland might think that Eddie is stealing lines out of Barbra’s booklets.

“You might be the first person who ever told me something like that,” Roland replies, and damn, he looks sincerely touched.

“It’s not like I’m lying. Don’t be too surprised. You aren’t half as bad as you think. And now that this is out in the open and I told you things that haven’t killed me from the embarrassment just for some kind of miracle… we’re getting back on that car, and I’m finding us some town, and we’re waiting for the end of the world trying to have some damned fun.”

“Meaning?”

“Finding a nice place to sleep in and possibly some movie to watch. At least I’ll die knowing that you understood a couple of references when you heard them.” Eddie tries to keep his smirk on – it’s not as if he’s happy about this, and he misses Suze like he’d miss a limb, but at this point… if there’s somewhere people go after they die then they’ll see each other there, if not then there’s no point in giving in to the urge to feel miserable. He never believed in feeling miserable when it only makes a situation worse and you can’t do nothing about it.

He sees Roland hesitating for a second, but then he gives Eddie a soft nod, once, and Eddie figures that it’s the best he can do for now; but as he turns to leave, Roland’s right hand moves forward and grabs his own. And damn, Roland might miss some fingers, but his grip is strong.

“Roland?” he asks, turning back towards the gunslinger.

“Thank you.” Roland’s voice is rough and it sounds as if he’s trying his best not to be heard, but Eddie gets it and he really doesn’t need Roland to say any more than that.

“What are friends for?” Eddie replies, knowing that anyone who’d look at them right now would totally think that they’re not strictly friends.

Not as if he cares, he thinks as he gets back behind the wheel. Then it happens that he reaches out to touch Roland’s knee and Roland’s hand covers his again, but hey, it’s not even the first time it happens, and he’s honest with himself enough to know that it makes him feel better, too. Neither of them says anything for the rest of the ride, as the car raises dust on the ground, but it’s not a bad kind of silence at all.

Talking might not be Roland’s strong suit, but Eddie learned to read his silences enough. He’s pretty sure that this one means I could have worst company to share my last weeks of life, too.

Even if he has nothing to feel happy for, he can’t help smiling.

His fingers and Roland’s stay entwined for a long while.

End.
 
 
feeling: okayokay
on rotation: elvis presley on the radio
 
 
 
cassiopeia7: Calvin&Hobbes: gulpcassiopeia7 on March 16th, 2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
*reads spoilers*
*shuts eyes, very carefully scrolls to the bottom*

Book Seven, eh? I guess that means I should commence to reading Books Six & Seven so I can read this one, hmm? ;) *is embarrassed*
the female ghost of tom joad: dark tower >> rolandjanie_tangerine on March 16th, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
Eeeh yes! But for reference, you could totally read it after the first Eddie POV chapter in seven. ;)