RATING: PG (Just because it involves mature themes, but it isn't an "adult" fic)
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NOTES: Oy, I dunno where this one came from; hope it's not TOO depressing.
CATEGORY: L&L romance, Tragedy
SPOILLER/SUMMARY: Laverne and Lenny are forced to say goodbye...
"Take me to the window, Len."
He looked up from her hand, which he had been clutching for hours. The end of her hours approached, and he could feel it as surely as he'd felt anything in his life.
"You sure you wanna go, Vernie?"
She nodded, holding her arms out to him, infirm; Lifting her was such a frighteningly easy thing to do now. With even steps, he made it to the picture window, holding it open so that she could feel the crisp night air on her wrinkled skin.
"It snowed," She murmured, "Remember when we moved away from Milwaukee just to leave it all behind?"
"Yeah," He smiled through tears leaking from his eyes, "Then we had our first heatwave and Shirl started prayin' for a snowstorm."
She laughed weakly; it was so good to hear her laugh; he remained painfully aware that it was probably her last.
"Is Shirl here?" She asked.
"She's right outside the door. Do you want me to get her?"
She shook her head, brushing his shoulder with her forhead, "I already said goodbye ta her. Now I don't want her to remember me this way. After the way Carmine passed last year I don't want to put her through that." He held her close to his shoulder, "I ain't gettin' to heavy for ya?"
"La-Verne," He said patiently, "I'm still the same guy who carried you all the way to the hospital when ya went into labor with Sam."
She smiled, "I remember that. And I used ta think ya were weak."
He laughed softly, "They're outside, if you wanna see them?"
"All six of 'em shouldn't hafta remember me like this, either."
He went silent, just holding her close to him. They didn't need the aid of the English language any more to express how they felt.
She tilted his chin so that he could look into her eyes, "We had a good life, Len. Don't be sorry that I'm dyin' now. I get to see Pop and Carmine and Edna again."
"I know...I know..." He closed his eyes, their youthful voices peeling back at him through the echoes of his mind.
He could still remember meeting Laverne as kids on the streets of Milwaukee; chasing her through the halls of Jefferson High school; participating in her near-wedding to Sal; moving in upstairs; proposing to her when she thought she was pregnant; holding her hand through Shirley's appendectomy; trying to tell her how he felt for her; following them to California; singing with Laverne at Hoot Night; the time they got very stoned at a rock star's party; proposing to her; marrying her; watching his first, second and third daughters being born....and the bad times; Carmine's tragic death of a heart attack a month past; Frank and Edna's passing; the death of their only son, little Andy...
But he couldn't regret a second of it. Every moment of his life from the age of twelve held a memory of her. All beautiful, all bright. Even when she died, he would not regret loving her.
"I love you, Len," She kissed his cheek, "Always."
"Love you too, Vernie," He echoed, stroking her chemotherapy-bald head, "Always."
With a sigh, a little flutter, she limpened against him. Her head had been turned to the window, blinded by the snowstorm that had kicked up outside.
And the room went cold.
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