autumn rae

my new autumnal / fall / chill / relax playlist just went live here

.*~ cough syrup - darren criss (glee) / youth - daughter / hannah hunt - vampire weekend / autumn leaves - ed sheeran / overjoyed - bastille / fallingforyou - the 1975 / dancing in the moonlight - alt j / i forget where we were - ben howard / favourite colour - carly rae jepsen / all of the stars - ed sheeran / oblivion - bastille / i will take you home - ed sheeran / a drop in the ocean - ron pope / angels - the xx / conrad - ben howard / don’t let me go - harry styles / state of grace (acoustic) - taylor swift / 18 - one direction / human - daughter / she will be loved - maroon 5 / the fall - imagine dragons / let her go - birdy / medicine - the 1975 / kennedy curse - the maine / fireproof - one direction / sweater weather - the neighbourhood  ~*.

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[photo does not belong to me, please let me know if you find the original post for me to credit ]

A/N: It’s been tough to write just lately. I started a new job and am getting ready for my trip, and besides that, the show has been laying me low. Like I said earlier, I’ve started so many stories, but haven’t followed through. 

Ever since I got this prompt, I’ve had this song stuck in my brain. So, I finally wrote this little thing, in the hope that I’ll get exorcise it. I don’t know if this is anything close to what you wanted, Anon, and you asked a while ago, but here it is. 

(Also, I decided not to address the Olivia situation in this fic.) Thanks for reading, if you do!

* * *

The heat of summer had carried on into autumn. Rae couldn’t get any relief from the heat during the day. She covered herself up, silently seething when Chloe floated by in a sleeveless mini-dress as the sweat dripped down her back.

She couldn’t sleep at the best of times. Now the heat kept her awake, her mind racing around a track of worry and despair, especially now that she’d broken it off with Finn. He surely must hate her. She’d never get another boyfriend. And if she did, he’d chuck her because she couldn’t do anything normal. She’d be alone forever. Which was what she deserved, surely? But it still felt bleak and interminable … the rest of her life with only herself around.

Music. Music would soothe her savage soul, patch her up, and distract her just enough to drift off for a few hours before the light woke her up and she started yet another day of her lonely life. 

She didn’t want to get up and choose a CD, so she just flicked on the radio alarm clock by her bed. It was tuned to Stamford Smile, and the overnight DJ fancied himself something of a counselor for the lovelorn. “I’m sure he’ll call you back, Siobhan. Just keep the faith, darlin’, yeah?” A big sniffle went down the phone line and across the airwaves followed by, “Thanks, Keith, I will.”

“Okay, love. Everyone else, I’ll be taking your calls and requests until the breakfast crew roll in, so give me a ring! Right now, it’s Strong Enough from Sheryl Crow.” Rae instinctively rolled her eyes, but didn’t reach to change the channel. 

She hadn’t heard this song since she’d ended it with Finn, so the lyrics slammed into her like a ten ton truck. 

If Finn wasn’t strong enough, would anyone ever be? Was she strong enough to let anyone in? The door to her heart and soul was barricaded by piles of cases filled with self-loathing and self-doubt that had accumulated over years and years. It was locked from the inside, and she’d have to be the one to clean up that mess before anyone got in. She really had begun to believe that no one would ever be enough, because she would always be too much, in every sense.

Those words, whether he slid his finger over her skin, or whispered them in her ear, she never believed him. She didn’t think he was lying, exactly, but she couldn’t believe it was the truth, and she kept shaking her head no, until maybe even Finn didn’t even believe them anymore.

* * * 

Several streets over, Finn lay on his back, on top of his duvet, in nothing but his boxers. His window was open, and he twisted up to gaze out the window. There wasn’t a breeze to lift his curtains, and the air felt close and claustrophobic around him. 

He couldn’t fall asleep without music, not since his mum had left. His dad used to sing him to sleep with some classic rock, but now he had his choice stereo setup. However, he couldn’t face playing albums he associated with Rae, so he just turned on the radio. They hadn’t listened to much in the charts, apart from Oasis, so he had been tuning into that crap local station for some forgettable pop music to take his mind off things.

Then, after some nattering by the DJ, he heard it, the pleading tones of Strong Enough. It hurt to hear it … he imagined Rae singing it to him, and the thought brought tears to his eyes.

Lie to me … she said she didn’t believe him. Had he lied? He remembered trying to be cute in the pub in saying, “I might have thought about you once. Okay, twice.” At the time, he thought he was clear, letting her know by joking that she was the only thing on his mind when they weren’t together, but maybe she didn’t get it. She must not have gotten it.

And then hearing her say that Liam “gets” her. What a knife twist to the back that was. It was like studying for a test for months, going to the library, doing extra revisions, and finding out he had failed. All that effort and hope and he still didn’t pass. And on top of that, hearing that some twat who hadn’t even opened the book gets a fucking A. 

Who was this Liam guy, anyway? Apparently he was in upper sixth, but Finn couldn’t remember ever seeing him around last year. And now he’s “going off” with Rae? Sneaking around, keeping secrets? Finn wanted to be the one to keep all her secrets. He’d made so much room for her and her stuff in his heart, and now it just felt empty. 

And then, Please don’t leave (le-hee-ee-eave). But she had left him. So, maybe … wait. It was a three AM revelation. She’d left because she was afraid he would. She wasn’t relieved; she wasn’t happy; she was terrified. And because he’d been so hurt, he hadn’t seen it. Maybe he wasn’t strong enough. Maybe he wasn’t enough, full stop. 

* * *

Somewhere in between Rae and Finn blinking into their respective darknesses, in an empty house, in a messy room, Liam didn’t think anything, because he’d taken two pills and drunk half a fifth of whiskey to obliterate those thoughts that kept him awake. He was sleeping a dreamless sleep and thinking of no one but himself.