Losing Hope

Kidd Spring Park

The remnants of the dense forestry are located in here, as paths lead from the woods to the more entertaining features of the park. A jungle gym, complete with a small clubhouse and slides make up a play area designated for children, as do a few sandboxes. A community rec center can also be found in the park.
Separating the trees from the busier points of the park is small lake. During the summer months, a life guard can be found on duty so swimming is allowed, and there is also a small dock from which paddle boats and kayaks are available for rent.

Hope has been feeling sick, and it's not even the copious amount of alcohol she had last night, or the fact that she was actually /nice/ to Ivan. It's the gut feeling that Ivan was telling the truth, and that she's about to get hurt that's been keeping her from eating today. Yet, when Bobby called, she agreed to meet with him. She even packed a nice picnic lunch.

At the designated spot, she's got out a huge blanket on a patch of non-wet grass, and has the little picnic basket all set out. There she sits, legs folded under her, hands on her lap, and waits patiently while she tries to keep from crying or being sick.

It's almost obvious what's going to come. He's not the type to call before showing up, exactly, so asking to meet her should be a sign. Bobby himself has certainly looked better. There is a new cast on his hand and his arm is currently being kept in a sling; a real one, not the scarf that Scarlett gave him. His face is alight with bruising and bandages signaling a broken nose. The man's eyes even carry dark circles. At least he is sober. High on medication, yes, but he hasn't been drinking. It's all he can do to walk in a straight line as he approaches Hope but he does so extremely well. The sight of her nearly brings him to tears but instead he looks away. His actions aren't exactly unknown to him, or at least how badly he's going to hurt such a beautiful woman.

From a distance, it really just looks like he's finally taking care of his arm, something Hope can be happy for. When she sees the bruising on his face, she gasps, and hops up to her feet. Running toward him, she asks, "What happened? Oh my god, Bobby… are you alright?" The care and concern in her voice are true, even though she knows deep down what's about to come. "Did that happen at work? Do you want some ice? I have some in the basket to keep the drinks cool, but…" He's not looking at her.

She's not making this any easier which does get to the man. He's just as red eyed and emotional as he was the day that she confessed her love to him. "It wasn't at work, no. I wish I could say it was." Slowly he turns to look at her and smiles softly, even if it is for a second. "Really, Hope. Don't worry about it. I deserve it. Hell, I deserve worse than this." He's about to reach out for her, for her hand to explain it, but thinks better and pulls back. "I'm messed up. Worse than I admitted to because I wanted to say that one Dad was in the ground I was fine, but I'm not. And because of that I messed up bad. I should have gotten help sooner. I'm so sorry."

"You got in another fight?" Hope reaches her hand up to touch his cheek, but then he's pulling away from her. "It doesn't matter, Bobby. We all deal with grief in our own way. I got all dark and twisty for a bit when they took Faith away, but things will get better with time. I promise you." Her hand reaches for his non-casted one, and she tries to lead him toward the blanket so that he can at least be seated, or she can, when he says what he's got to say. "We can get you a therapist if you want, or I don't know. I just love you and want you to feel better, and get better."

He openly winces with her words, her actions, but allows himself to be led. He won't sit, however. This is not something he should get comfortable. "You don't love me," Robert finally says. "Or you won't. I wouldn't want you to." Yes, this is what she fears. "It's not exactly like that, Hope. You told me to find out how I felt so I went to go talk to Scarlett. She kissed me." Beat. "I kissed her back." Beat. "She broke my nose." That pretty much sums everything up. He's not even going to sugar coat it. "I don't deserve your love. Having my nose broken wasn't nearly enough."

There goes her stomach again. Hope closes her eyes, but she just gives his hand a squeeze. "I do love you," she says stubbornly. "I've only felt this way for one other guy, and he's dead. It's not a word I use lightly." When her eyes open, they're wet, but she's determined not to let her tears spill. "Just because you think you don't deserve it doesn't make my feelings any different." Even though there is another girl involved, Hope's touch to his cheek is gentle. She doesn't slap him, just looks at his nose. "I guess this means you don't feel the same way though."

He just stares at her. This is not how she's supposed to react. She can cry, scream, literally hurt him or just run off. What she's doing just causes him to lose track of what he's prepared to say. "The last thing I've ever wanted to do was hurt you, and I swear I'll still protect you from everything that I can. Unfortunately that doesn't protect you from me." Robert sighs, his own eyes tearing up. He moves his hand in order to attempt to hug her because that really is all he wants to do at the moment. "I don't know, Hope. I know that I care for you more than I have cared for any woman that isn't a relative. I want to believe that that's love, but it can't be if I'm willing to be such an ass." Since that's really what he is. "I know I want to have someone around me at all times. I know that I don't feel a physical attraction to anyone else. I just…" Sigh. "I wronged you. I can't ever make that up to you."

If Hope weren't prepared for this, if she hadn't had some sort of warning, the tears would likely be pouring out, along with wracking sobs. Thanks to her stunt at the Holy Water though, she knew what was coming. At least she had some inkling. The hug nearly undoes her, but she just squeezes him back as best she can without injuring his arm. "It was just a kiss, Bobby, it's not like you slept with someone…" Pause. "Is it?" Her teeth are nipping fairly tightly against her lip. "You're just confused and hurt, and I get that. Did you want to take a break? I mean, I'll still be here if you need me. We /were/ friends first, and my feelings aren't going to change just because you did something wrong."

"Oh God, no." It doesn't come out angry but it does sound completely honest. "No, I have not. I've not slept with anyone in my life." The closest he's come is sharing a bed with Hope, and obviously not in that way. "I swear on my life it was just one quick kiss, but it happened." She has been a friend to Robert for longer than they've been dating, which is part of the reason this is even harder than it should be. He pulls away to slightly mirror something she's already done, a hand seeking her cheek. His eyes, as red and swollen as they are, look deep into hers. "The doctors already scheduled me an appointment with a therapist due to my reckless behavior. I just… damnit, Hope. I really screwed up and I'm so sorry. But even then I can't change what happened, the fact that I let all of this happen." Beat. "I should just lock myself up and not see the world again for a while."

The last words he speaks causes the Tyler twin to finally pale. Her teeth release her lip and she looks like she's about to just lose it in a bundle of tears. "/No/. No, Bobby. I lost my last best friend that way. You are /not/ going to lock yourself up away from the world, I won't let you." There's a small sniffle, and Hope leans into his hand. "But I will understand if you want to break up with me. I won't like it, but I'll understand. Just… you're too… you're too good of a man to hide from the world over a stupid /kiss/."

It isn't as if he's talking about killing himself. Still she's reacting like that, and now she's actually starting to cry. "No. No, Hope. Please don't cry. Please." She was doing so well that he's actually caught off guard by this. Robert leaves his hand cupped to her cheek. The stupid sling is keeping him from doing everything that he'd like to, made known by the way he tries to work out of it. Unsuccessfully. "How can you want me to stay with you after what I've done? I'm the jerk that I throw out of my bar on a regular basis. Not to mention I'm pretty sure that Ivan is going to try and kill me."

"N-no… you're going to go l-lock yourself up forever, and I'll lose you too. I can't, Bobby. I can't lose another friend." Hope turns her head, resting it against his chest as she cries. She's not going to fight him if he wants to break up with her, but she really can't lose another friend now. She's already lost too many. "Tripp died, Ivan took my sister away, and you're the only real friend I have left." Sniffling, she wipes at her eyes then peeks up at him. "Because I /love/ you, you idiot. Even if you… well if we break up or you dump me, or whatever the going phrase is, you're still going to be my friend, and I'm still going to care."

When she pulls away from his touch, only to lean against him, Robert holds her as close as he can. His chin rests atop her head and he just holds her. "It's okay," he says softly. A gentle kiss is given to the top of her head before she looks up at him. The man is beaten and worn but he still is far more concerned with her health than his own well being. That is the Bobby way. "Maybe we did move too quickly," he notes. He'd be attempting to wipe away her tears if he had the extra arm to do so. "But I'm not leaving you. I'm not going anywhere." This young woman now holds all of his attention as he just tries to get a fix on it all. "How about this? It's your call what happens. You know, to us. But I won't stop being here for you. I'll do whatever you ask." Even if that means hurting Scarlett and getting killed by Ivan. At this point he's pretty sure that's the case anyway.

Hope is very, very quiet. This is a decision she doesn't want to make. It's one she doesn't want to think about. She really doesn't have it in her to answer. "I think with the staying over to protect me, and the dating, then everything with your father, and me basically moving in with you, then the mistake with the ring…" Nodding, she looks down at her hand. Yes, she's still wearing it. "I think it was a bit fast, not all of it, but some, and I really feel like I pushed you into a lot of it because I was scared, and I don't like feeling like I've forced you into any of it."

It isn't as if he's in a better position when it comes to making decisions. In the end he's going to hurt someone, no matter what he does. "If you recall, I chased our friendship, and I set up the first date." Robert really tried to impress her, even if they were living together. "I really do think that it's for the best that I have an empty house for a while. I need to deal with a lot of things right now. I need to find myself again." His hand presses lightly to the back of her head, stroking lightly as he attempts another kiss to the top of it. "We can always start over. Even if just back to friends and see where it goes. Whatever you're comfortable with, Hope." This is not exactly how he figured this meeting will go.

Isn't that what she was trying to get him to understand when she mentioned the week long break? If this is what it comes to, then she'll be happy for him and be there for him if he needs her. Hope smiles up at him though, as she recalls the pursuing and the first date. "I think that was honestly the best date I've been on. You went so far out of the way to impress me, and it was still relaxed and fun." The continued hug, and the kisses atop her head aren't helping, but they're not hurting either. "I agree though. You've been through so much, Bobby. You need to take care of yourself and stop worrying about me. I'll be alright." The tears are finally just streaming down her cheeks silently. "We'll see what happens when you're ready. Who knows? Once you find yourself, you may realize that you just liked the damsel in distress."

"It was the first time I really tried to put effort into the whole dating thing, honestly." He wanted it to be perfect, for her. He pulls away just long enough to see her, to see the tears streaming, then holds her close once more. "It will be okay, Hope." Robert doesn't really know if it will be or not but he just has the desire to comfort her. That's how he knows that he has feelings for her or else he'd just walk away. This is just all so new to him. "I think that we both need a chance to not have hectic lives. Your sister is safe, my mother is getting help. We should be young again and not so serious." He's talking about attitude and not the relationship. "I'll still be around, as often as I can be without actually living with you." As for Scarlett, he'll just have to let her actually come to him which he doubts she'll do. He just can't risk another broken body part.

"It was perfect," she offers to him, gently as she can without sobbing. Hope wipes at her eyes again, and shakes her head. It won't be okay, but she's trying to keep a brave face for him. "My sister is gone," she says quietly, truly believing it. Like Mellie said though, it's just better to not care at this point. "It's funny," she says with a sad laugh. "I've spent the last two years of my life being the caregiver. I don't think I even know how to be young again." Which is why the snowball fight was the best thing that happened to her in a long while. It was the first night she really /lived/ in a long while. "Don't be afraid to call me, even if you just want to talk about life. That's what friends do."

The hand moves down to rub circles on her back, to be as comforting as she can be. "Well, I can't exactly do anything like that again, at least not for a while. Unless I perfect my aim with my left hand." He's trying to make light of the situation even though it is rather heavy. "Your sister isn't gone, though. Family is like that. I can't begin to explain how my sisters fight but in the end they're still there for each other." They'll never be best friends be he won't ask for that. Robert isn't about to just walk away from Hope, though. He may have said his peace but he's here for her now. "Right now you just need to focus on you. I'll try to help bring out the kid in you as much as I can." At her comment about calling Bobby nods. "I'd like that. I really would miss you if I couldn't talk to you often."

Hope squeezes her eyes shut, and finally starts to draw away from him. "She is, and that's okay. She's allowed to have a life, it just sucks not having anyone to talk to." Sad that she actually had to talk to Ivan last night rather than her sister. "Can you do me a favor, Bobby? Just let Mellie know that if she ever wants to talk she /can/ call me, or stop by the Pretzel Hut? I don't want her to think I'm, I don't know, abandoning her." There is no response to his helping her act like a kid again. She can't respond to it. She's about to break down, and she needs to ignore everything else and concentrate on keeping her cool.

No. He doesn't want her to pull away, he doesn't. His hand nearly reaches out for her but he resists. This is exactly what he needs to go to therapy for, to find out about. /He/ needs to stop latching on to people at this point. "Mellie." Robert sighs as he hears what she says. It's finally more finalized; the breakup. "I'll tell her. She'll probably kick me, but I'll tell her." As long as throughout all of this people leave his injury alone he'll be fine. "And maybe we can hang out sometime soon? Back for pizza, or whatever." Where they first met up past their initial meeting. "Someplace a little less cozy than our homes."

Truthfully, Hope would be happy to not pull away, but one of them will have to sooner or later. She does lean back in to place a soft, gentle kiss upon his cheek. Careful to not bump at his bruised face. "She won't kick you, silly. Your sister loves you, even if she'll never admit it out loud. She threatened to beat me up if I hurt you." So yes, he will need to take care of that because Hope really doesn't want her face decimated. "Pizza sounds good. Whenever you're ready," she says again. She's not going to be calling him, since he's the one that needs time and space to take care of himself.

A week is the time he was given initially, and a week is the time he is giving himself right now. "One week. A recap. I'll tell you about how the doctors think I'm violent and we can get a good laugh out of it." Still he's trying to make light of it just so he doesn't break down. "That's just the way she is. We've never gotten along well but you know how family can be." Yes, this is said for a reason. "But I'll be sure to tell her that it was my fault and not yours. Who knows? Maybe she'll move in with you next." At this he smiles, weak but at least it's a start. "In fact, if Ivan does come back over I might have her do that, just to make sure someone is looking after her."

"Sure, a good laugh." Hope doesn't sound as though she thinks there will be any laughter, but that's just because she's trying to hold her voice even. Her fingers start worrying the ring off of her finger, wiggling it back and forth. "I have a guest room. If she needs it, she's more than welcome to stay. Just tell her to call first in case my parents are in town."

No, the jokes won't go over well. They're not funny and even if they were this isn't the time. "I'll give her your number if she doesn't already have it. Besides, I want her to have it in case I do end up in the hospital again." Bobby's not afraid of anyone but he does know what Ivan is likely going to do. He also knows that Ivan is a witch which will make things difficult. "I should go. I think I've done enough damage and I do still need to talk to Mellie."

"Here," Hope says quietly, offering him the ring. "I'd feel awful keeping it, and you know, you can always give it back to me someday, if thing work out like that." Once that's done though, she doesn't even bother with gathering up her picnic. Some homeless person wandering the park can have it, she has to get out of there before the meltdown comes, and it's coming pretty swiftly at this point.

"But it's not…" He barely has a chance to say anything before he's given the ring. Bobby just stands there, looking at it and then looking at his now former girlfriend. There goes that form of protection for her. He sighs but then just begins to walk in the opposite direction. As he does so he closes his hand tightly around the piece of jewelry. It will find her again.

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