Title: Life Goes On (But I'm Gone)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] sophie_448
Rating: PG
Pairing: Cookleta
Word Count: 429
Warnings: Angst
Summary: They end with a whimper, not a bang.
Notes: Unbeta'd, Inspired by "Without You" from Rent.

They end with a whimper, not a bang. There’s no screaming fight or throwing things or bitter recriminations. Cook just says, “I don’t think we should do this anymore,” sounding wrecked. And David doesn’t disagree with him.

It feels like the earth should stop spinning, the sun should fall out of the sky, everything should just stop. But it doesn’t. Life just keeps going on around David, and he supposes that makes sense. If the world came to a halt every time someone’s heart was broken it would never move again. It’s different when it’s his life, though. When they first hear the news, his sisters hug him tight and buy him ice cream, and he’s never been sure why that’s supposed to help, but it’s nice of them. Brooke and Carly make sympathetic noises over the phone and offer to fly out to see him. He declines, saying he’ll be fine, but he’s grateful all the same.

Pretty soon, though, everyone moves on with their own lives, and David still feels hollowed out inside. He keeps doing what he’s supposed to do. He writes songs—actually, that’s not so hard, but they’re pretty depressing—and he goes out on stage and performs for his fans. But what used to mean the world to him is now empty. It turns out his life pretty much sucks without the scruffy rocker who’s too old for him, but still owns his heart anyway.


“What’s with you, man?”

David shakes himself out of yet another daydream about Archie and looks at Neal. “What? Nothing.”

Neal shakes his head. “Pull that crap with someone who hasn’t known you as long as me. You used to love this. The touring, the performing, now it’s like you’re just phoning it in.”

David shrugs. “I’ll get over it.”

“Get over him, you mean?”

“Whatever.” He looks down at his phone. Archie’s the first one listed in his contacts. His thumb hovers over the send button for long seconds before he throws the phone down on his bunk. “Let’s do this.”

Neal eyes him, and David’s sorry about making his friend worry, but he doesn’t have the energy to do any more than what he’s doing. He has to get through the next show and the next and the one after that because he might feel dead inside, but the world keeps spinning and he has to move with it. He steps off the bus and heads for the stage.


And nothing’s ever quite as good or beautiful again, but the world keeps turning just the same.

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