Weeks had gone by. Rachel’s conscience had began to dwindle away as she spent more and more time with Stone, and less and less time on the phone with Dave. Nothing had happened, and despite Stones numerous attempts, the farthest he had gotten was a hug now and then. Dave was suspicious, asking ridiculous amounts of questions every time Rachel was gracious enough to actually answer the phone or return a call. This annoyed her, causing her to close off from him even further. Dave was angry at first, blaming her for her lack of interest in him, but now the anger had dissipated into sadness. He missed her and he knew deep down she missed him too, but there was little he could do about it for another month. He poured himself over the touring schedule, searching for any weekend or day he may have a break from playing so he could fly back to her. The closest window was a week before he flew back to Virginia, a waste of time and effort considering he would be home so soon after. All he could do is wait and keep trying.
The time had come for Dave and the boys to fly back to the states before the last leg of the tour. Rachel was prepared, but her excitement had been much more evident in the beginning. She hoped she would be more welcoming when she actually seen Dave’s face, a part of her life she had nearly forgotten. She could see the coloring in his eyes when she concentrated hard enough, but any other feature required a picture to be remembered. Despite her bitterness towards Dave, part of her missed him terribly. She couldn’t help but wonder what had happened this time around, or what Dave was truly up to in Europe. She had failed to ask him any questions that went any deeper than how his day went.
She arrived at the Airport 2 hours behind schedule. Scurrying to find a pay phone she hurriedly dialed Virginia’s line and waited for someone to pick up.
"Virginia! Its Rachel!"
"Hey! Is Dave home? He was supposed to pick me up but my flight was delayed and…oh! Never mind! I see him! See you soon!"
She didn’t wait for a response before hanging up and throwing her duffle over he shoulder. Her smile was forced, but the warmth in her stomach was familiar as Dave picked her up and spun her in the air. She was nervous, despite his warm welcome, his face was filled with sadness, and Rachel knew there was a fight coming.
"Come on. I’m parked illegally."
Dave had been home less than 24 hours when he picked Rachel up from the airport. His flight was long, and she prayed that was the reasoning behind his flat voice and shallow glances, but knew that wasn’t the case. They both put on bright faces as they greeted Dave’s family, but quickly found an excuse to take off and get some alone time in. They sat at a small diner a few blocks from Virginia’s, starring into their coffees and waiting for each other to speak up.
"Rachel, I…I don’t even know where to start. What the fuck is going on?"
"Nothing’s going on. What do you mean?"
"That’s bullshit. That is the biggest pile of bullshit I have ever heard coming from your mouth." Dave was almost whispering, straining his mind in an attempt to avoid a scene in the middle of the diner. "You haven’t spoken to me…and I mean really spoken to me…in weeks. I called you thousands of times and I was lucky to speak to you twice a week."
"It was just really hard to handle, Dave. It felt like forever this time around."
"I know. That’s what you don’t seem to understand. I was missing you too. I was the one wondering what the hell you were doing every second."
This hit a nerve in Rachel. Suddenly her eyes widened and her glanced popped up from her mug. “Now I guess you know how I felt while you were fucking that blonde back in Houston.”
Dave’s fist clinched around his napkin as his lips curled around his teeth. “Is that what this is about? Getting back at me? Am I ever going to live that down?”
"No. That’s not what this is about. But don’t you come pointing fingers at me."
"This is never going to work is it? I will never be good enough because of one mistake I made."
"Who knows Dave, honestly. I don’t know if I can handle you being gone so much."
"That’s bullshit. I have asked you repeatedly to come with me when I travel. You won’t."
"I don’t want to. It is not my scene. How many times do I have to say it?"
"What about when Stone Gossard travels? Then will it be your scene?"
Rachel could feel the blood draining from her face as Dave’s eyes waited for an answer. His ears were burning red, and the veins in his neck had began to flex. Shit was about to go down.
"Who told you about Stone?"
Dave leaned forward, grabbing the edges of the table and glaring at a now defeated Rachel. She sat with her hands in her lap, looking down at them. “I have plenty of friends around Seattle. You honestly thought it wouldn’t get back to me?”
"You don’t understand. Stone is my friend."
"Where did you meet him? Oh let me guess! You met him the night you went out, right?"
Rachel lowered her head, nodding slowly.
"And that just so happens to be the same time you stopped answering my calls regularly. That’s not a fucking coincidence. I’m not fucking stupid."
"That’s not how I meant things to happen. Hanging out with Stone gave me something to keep my mind busy while you were away..I just got used to-"
"Don’t talk to me like that!"
"I said shut the fuck up! Look at the TV!"
Rachel spun around in her chair as Dave stood and took a step towards the television. The sound was off, but the subtitles scrolled down the bottom of the screen. There on the screen, was Courtney, dressed in a smart black suit and sunglasses, her red lipstick shining and her brow turned down in worry as she hurried into an Italian hospital. Dave’s mouth gaped open as he mumbled the scrolling words aloud. “Kurt Cobain…Rome…overdose…”
His eyes shot back to Rachel. “We gotta go! We gotta go now!”