Word Count: 789
Summary: Taylor has to deal with the fact that he wasn't strong enough to keep Zac in his life. Inspired by "The Mess I Made" by Parachute.
Mess I Made - I Should've (Part One)
Should've kissed you there
I should've held your face
I should've watched those eyes
Instead of run in place
I should've called you out
I should've said your name
I should've turned around
I should've looked again
He stands in the center of the room. It spins around him, images of his life flash before his eyes. Words echo loudly; words of his past and present – so loud and yet barely even there.
“Taylor loves to practice his piano.”
“Let’s give it up for Hanson.”
“Taylor, I’m pregnant”
“Can I have your autograph?”
“Hanson, Hanson, Hanson.”
“Daddy, come play with me.”
“#1 Independent album.”
“I’m gonna ask her to marry me.”
Those words coming from the one person he never wants to hear utter them.
The spinning slows to a halt, his increasingly insane life pausing on a moment. His younger brother has just confided in him that he plans to propose to his girlfriend of five years. It isn’t that he doesn’t like Kate, in fact, he thinks she is a kind, generous person and is certain she will make Zac happy, just not as happy as he could make him.
Choking back a sob, he reassures his brother, “I’m happy for you Zac.” His eyes are downcast, hiding behind lids to prevent the falling of salty tears that threaten to break through at any moment.
“I love her Tay,” Zac whispers into the empty space and takes a step toward him, one that he doesn’t even notice until he feels the tingle of fingers against his palms. He can barely project control as a deep breath wrecks his body and he cries out in emotion.
Immediately Zac’s arms encircle his body, squeezing him tight, perhaps hoping to transfer some strength to his heart and understanding to his mind. He cries violently into his younger brother’s shoulder as he is held. His chest constricts tightly, like a death grip on his heart, squeezing the life out of it. It hurts something awful and he can’t imagine anything can remedy this ache.
He turns his face into Zac’s neck as the wetness from his eyes soak the skin beneath him. He doesn’t want to let go but his brother isn’t his anymore. He is hers. He's cries out his pain, using the painfully recognizable body as a crutch to support his agony and both of their losses.
When he finally lifts his head, he look to the cheeks in his sight and sees moisture there. So lost in his own motions, he did not even notice how this was affecting Zac. His brother looks sad, abandoned even. He loves Zac and knows he is part of the cause of this hurt. He wants to kiss Zac, lips calling to him, and it’s tempting to lose himself in the intoxication of a warm, familiar mouth, but he knows he cannot do it.
Not anymore. It’s not his to take.
The silence is deafening, both standing there, willing the other to be the first to leave. He just can’t; frozen in place, his body seemingly splitting apart from the realization of what has happened.
Zac says nothing and turns to go. His heart constricts at the abrupt departure. This can’t be it.
“Zac…” he chokes out.
It takes all his willpower and strength to step toward his brother. He places his gaze on the broad chest in front of him, where the surely just as broken heart of his brother is encased. He allows his hand to graze the pale cheek but can’t bring himself to look in at the deep brown eyes. Zac grasps his hands in both of his and squeezes. Placing a small kiss to his palm, the younger places it at his side and he knows it is finally time to go, before it gets harder than it already is.
He shuffles backward, and then turns at the stairs, climbing up to his bedroom that will become a sanctuary for the night. The reflection in the mirror at the landing shows him that the object of his affection is still standing there in the doorway. He tightly shuts his eyes and shudders out a gasp of despair. Once he opens them, the image is gone, replaced by the wood of the door.
His chin drops to his shoulders and his knees give out as he sinks to the group. He lets out the sobs that have been threatening since turning his back on his brother. He begs an empty house, “… don’t go.”
But oh, I'm staring at the mess I made
I'm staring at the mess I made
I'm staring at the mess I made
As you turn, you take your heart and walk away
If you want to hear the song, The Mess I Made by Parachute.