Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

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Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

Postby allegrita » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:28 am

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The plot is the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's note: This story was written for Champagne Challenge #154, “New Year, New Life.” Rated PG-13. Steve calls Beth to offer his condolences, and ends up offering some advice as well.


Life After Death

“Hello?”

“Beth? It’s Steve. I heard about Josh. I’m so sorry. Is there anything I can do?”

“Thanks Steve, but I really don’t want to see anybody right now.”

“Okay. But you can’t just sit at home and mope.”

“I’m not just sitting around, okay? I went down to the police station this morning. And I’m not moping. It’s just… hard.”

“Aww, please don’t cry. I’m a little worried, is all. Are you okay?”

“I can’t get it out of my mind. Watching his life just run out of him. And I couldn’t stop it.”

“Beth, you did your best to save him, you and that St. John guy. They’re saying he did everything possible.”

“Yeah… that’s what the paramedics said. Everything humanly possible. But Josh still died.”

“Beth… maybe it was Josh’s time to go.”

“Don’t say that!”

“He knew how bad the HEM guys are, Beth. And he was brave enough not to back down.”

“Oh god, Steve, they threatened me, and he— he was gonna recuse himself. And I talked him into staying on the case.”

“Oh. Oh gosh, Beth. I didn’t know.”

“It’s my fault he’s gone. If I had let him do it, he’d still be alive.”

“Hey, Beth, don’t say that. You can’t blame yourself. You told me how important this case was to him. He’d never have considered stepping away for any other reason. He really cared about you.”

“He made me the beneficiary of his life insurance policy. A guy from his office stopped by to bring me the paperwork. And a box of… his stuff.”

“He did? See, I told you he cared. That’s just like him.”

“Yeah?”

“That’s the kind of guy he was. Practical. Dependable. You always knew where you stood with Josh.”

“You really think so, Steve?”

“I know so. What you see is what you get—that was Josh.”

“I thought so too. But I don’t know… going through his things, I’ve found something I wasn’t expecting to see.”

“Oh, come on. Josh, with secrets? What do you mean, like a secret porn stash or something? I don’t believe it.”

“No! Nothing like that! Josh wasn’t— he would never— I can’t believe you even said that!”

“Sorry. Pathetic attempt at humor. So what’s the big secret? Or is it too big to share?”

“I was going through his calendar.”

“Yeah?”

“Josh had been meeting with some woman. At restaurants.”

“Beth, you can’t think Josh was cheating on you. There’s no way.”

“I don’t know what to think. Things had been a little… strained between us for a while.”

“Josh was a good guy, he’d never do that to you. There’s gotta be an explanation. You need to find out what this was about, and put it behind you.”

“They were meeting tonight.”

“Then go. Talk to her.”

“Me?!”

“Yeah. Find out what was going on. You’ll feel better.”

“You think?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay…”

“And then call and tell me who she is, okay?”

“Okay. Thanks, Steve.”

“You’re welcome.”
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Re: Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

Postby francis » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:51 am

I love Steve the way you write him. He's a great friend.

I wonder, most stories in this challenge are about friends. :hearts:
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Re: Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

Postby cassysj » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:09 pm

This is great! Steve is right, Beth needed to get an answer and not always be wondering what if. Steve is a wonderful friend.
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Re: Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

Postby darkstarrising » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:17 pm

Love this!

Steve was one of the few people (other than Mick) Beth could talk to about Josh who would understand her grief. When Steve hears her talk about guilt, he tries to sooth her by saying Josh would have done the right thing. It's almost as if Steve is the voice of all the things Beth recognized about Josh, but never really said out loud.

"That’s the kind of guy he was. Practical. Dependable. You always knew where you stood with Josh.”

“You really think so, Steve?”

“I know so. What you see is what you get—that was Josh.”


Steve is a true friend. He's willing to give Beth her space, but offers a shoulder to cry on, even if it's over the phone.
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Re: Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

Postby Fleur de Lisa » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:28 pm

Love this because it filled the blank spot between Beth going through Josh's things and her meeting the unknown woman. Beth was a smart cookie, and perhaps impulsive, but she's like every woman here--not just blindly making the decision to reach this woman. It's obviously been on her mind and she needed to vent to someone about it. Real life touches like this are what sometimes were missing in the show, bc with filming constraints, they obviously couldn't show the nuances. But the nuances that you and the other writers here show are what make ML still stay alive in our minds.

And hearts. :heart:
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Re: Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

Postby nutmegger911 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:26 pm

Nice take on Beth and Steve's friendship, Alle. It is difficult to write that much dialogue without action interspersed. Yet you were able to let Steve be there for her and maybe voice some of the things that Beth needed to hear, both to assuage her guilt and to help her understand some of what was going on between her and Josh.
Thanks for creating this.
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Re: Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

Postby MickLifeCrisis » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:17 am

Nice job! Steve is a sounding board for Beth. One she really needed in this scene. :yes:

Thanks for posting!
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Re: Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

Postby jen » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:38 am

Alle

This was pitch perfect! You have their voices down here. Beth and Steve had worked around each other and had a comfortable way of relating to each other and it is entirely plausible that a conversation like this could have taken place.

Steve was right there and had observed so much. It would have been very interesting if he had stayed with the show.

Thanks for this gem!!!!

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Re: Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

Postby allegrita » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:12 pm

Thank you, everyone! :ghug: I was thinking about how Beth would really need someone to talk to, someone who would understand. And she really didn't have many close friends. I always loved the easy camaraderie between Steve and Beth on the show, and I think they would have developed that sort of work-friendship that can sometimes be very close. And in the absence of a bosom buddy, which Beth definitely lacks, I think Steve fits the bill perfectly. And he would be in a position to know a lot about Beth and Josh, as well as a bit about Mick. I agree that Beth's decision to go to the restaurant in Josh's place seemed to come out of nowhere... and I do love filling in the empty places in the stories. :heart:
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Re: Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

Postby cassysj » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:05 am

I really love this story and using such an under-used character like Steve
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Re: Life After Death (Beth & Steve, PG-13, Cham Chall #154)

Postby allegrita » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:21 am

Thank you so much, Carol! It was fun visiting with Steve and Beth. :blinksmile:
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