The Fire is in Control: Someone

AUTHOR: Alanna diAblo
SPOILERS: None that I can think of...
ARCHIVE: Yes please
DISCLAIMER: Abby isn't mine, Carter isn't mine.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Please see end.
SUMMARY: Abby had looked at her hands in disbelief as she opened the second can. No one was there to stop her, and she couldn't stop herself.

*    *   *   *

Abby dragged her feet slowly towards her apartment. 
Normally, she would have taken the El, but she wanted to walk home. 
She needed to postpone the inevitable: what would happen when she returned home tonight.  Abby needed to think.  What the hell was she doing?

Those beers at Luka's that night seemed to have been taunting her.
'Bet you can't have just're not strong're not strong enough to stop...'

Anger had flooded her veins. She knew damn well how to control herself!
It was only one.  And in that moment she had seized the can, popped it open and gulped it down; fast at first...then slower...slower...

The first mouthful hit her stomach, and felt like she was going to throw up.
But she had to prove she could keep control of at least something as stupid as having a beer.

Abby had sat down at Luka's table and taken another sip, and then another, and another. Then Abby knew she no longer had control.  She never had it in the first place.  Alcoholism was a disease, and like all diseases, no one really could control it.  Especially when you were fighting it alone.

Abby had looked at her hands in disbelief as she opened the second can.
No one was there to stop her, and she couldn't stop herself.  Her body shook as she began to sob.  She had screwed up again.  Abby took another sip, and the sobbing ceased for half a second as the cheap beer hit the back of her throat burning as it trickled down.

As soon as the crying stopped it started again.  Once more, she'd fallen into the dark spiral...

Just thinking of that night and what it had led to made Abby shiver.  If anyone ever found out what was going on with her...someone should find out.  She wanted to tell someone more then anything.  Day in and day out she pretended nothing was wrong, when inside she'd felt like screaming.  The silence was killing her, and Abby couldn't keep it inside any longer.   Then again, she didn't want to bother anyone.  She could barely admit the fact that she'd relapsed to herself.  And besides, people had their own problems.

Yet deep down Abby knew she couldn't do this alone, and that no one in her position could do so either.  She sighed, and shook her head to clear it from the dark cloudy thoughts suffocating it.

Slowly but surely, Abby reached her apartment door and unlocked it.  She headed
towards the refrigerator, she needed something to calm her down...let herself go numb.

"Help." She said, almost silently, before her body forced her to take the first sip.
Somebody needed to find out.

* * * *

P.S--Special thanks to Raine, who helped me w/ the title that I was stuck on. YOU ROCK!! THANKS!
Until Next Time~

Part 2
The Fire is in Control: Almost

SUMMARY:  He should have figured it out, he could have prevented this whole thing if he had. But he didn't, and that fact made him feel even worse.

*    *   *   *
By the third knock, Carter was worried.  Abby hadn't mentioned anything to him about leaving her house tonight. Maybe she was in the shower...?

"Abby?!" Carter called. He shifted the box of pizza he'd brought for dinner into his left hand and knocked louder on her door.  "You in there?  It's Carter."  He heard footsteps and then the door opened slightly, with the chain still attached.  Carter caught a glimpse of her through the small opening.

God, what had she done to herself?

Her eyes were red rimmed and her pupils were dilated. The guilty expression on her face and smell of alcohol on her breath were proof undeniable of what she had been up to. All at once, Carter knew what was going on.  A pang of guilt hit him in the stomach, and all he could do was stare at her worn out face in shock.  He should have figured it out, he could have prevented this whole thing if he had. But he didn't, and that fact made him feel even worse.

The door closed and following a momentary lapse filled with the murmur of locks being opened, it then opened entirely.  Carter took this as a signal to come in, and did so.  No sooner had he stepped over the door frame then Abby walked right over and leaned into him, gripping his shirt between her fingers.  Carter embraced her with one arm, trying to comfort her as he set the pizza on a near by table.  He then wrapped that arm around her and stroked her head lightly, as if he was comforting a frightened child.  His strong, warm frame and scent enveloped her, and she relaxed easily into him.

Abby never let herself be this open with anyone. It was dangerous to open up this much to anyone, and the act scared her to death.  But right now, Abby was more afraid of herself then of what anyone else could do to further damage her torn soul.

Carter knew that they couldn't discuss her drinking now.  She was barely sober, and right now all she could possibly want from anyone was comfort.  It wouldn't help her to be forced to an AA meeting right then and there.  Or to lecture her on the mistakes she'd had made--she knew her poor choices and their consequences well by this point.   When you were coming down, you felt helpless and the loneliness was unbearable. Cater would know.

* * * *

Carter couldn't remember how, but they'd ended up in the living room. Abby was asleep on the couch, and he kept watch in a near by chair.  The bottle of Aspirin was on the coffee table, along with a glass of water.  Abby would need them both when she woke up.

Carter watched her sleep, wishing he could do something to make this night go by at least a bit more easily for her.  A half empty bottle of beer sat next to the lone lamp that cast a feverish glare over the apartment.  Abby's hair stuck to her sweaty face, and her eyes darted about underneath closed lids chasing things only she could see.  Abby would mumble something in her sleep, although Carter could never really pick out what she was saying, then grumble and turn over.

How long had her relapse been going on?  Why hadn't she told him about it?  Carter couldn't ask her, so he ran these questions through his mind over and over, as he watched her troubled sleep. 

* * * *

Sometime later that night, Carter awoke, not remembering he'd even fallen asleep in the first place.  Abby was sitting up, staring at her knees, her mouth slightly agape.  Her head snapped up at the sound of Carter shifting his position on the chair.  She looked at him meaningly  with a million emotions written all over her face, more prominently guilt and pain.  Neither one of them needed to speak.  They just understood.

Carter got up and went over to sit next to her. Abby felt the couch sink lower under his added weight, realizing how long it had been since someone had sat with her here. They sat in silence for awhile. 

"Why didn't you let me know?"  Carter asked softly.  They looked at each other, the question Carter had posed hung in the air.  A tear rolled down Abby's cheek and she sniffled. She felt weak and vulnerable and she hated it with a passion, but she also hated being vulnerable to something she couldn't control.  Carter and she, Abby could control, alcohol and she, Abby could not.

"I'm sorry.  I thought I could..." Her voice trailed off and her eyes overflowed. "Carter, help me."  Hot, fat tears began to fall as she rested her head in the crook of his neck, wetting the soft fabric covering his shoulder.  Carter put an arm around her back and pulled her closer to him.  What he was going to say to her when he came over could wait.  There were more important things they had to deal with.

He leaned over and kissed the top of Abby's head slowly, nestling his chin into her soft hair and exhaling. He wanted to tell Abby that everything would be all right, but that decision was up to her.  So instead, they sat in silence that was pierced by Abby's gasps for air. Carter's steady heartbeat humming against her as it lulled her to sleep. Then he simply held Abby, curling his body protectively
around her, until she fell asleep in his arms.

~La Fin~

Author's Note: Huge kudos to Robbie who did a *fantastic* job betaing, as well as putting up with me and the disappearing pizza box. :) THANK YOU SO MUCH! Also--mucho thanks to my English class who sat through my 5 drafts and covered for me when my teacher asked what the hell I was doing. To Raine--for recommending great betas for me. (We will finish that fic together someday my dear.) And to Jamie, who told me that beer doesn't burn, it makes you drunk.  I forever am and will be, a hard-core P.I.L groupie.  THANKS GUYS! I couldn't have done it without you!

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