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Death and Ice Cream

Episode: Post 5x09

Summary: Ivan and Carolina’s friendship is put to the test when her mother passes away during the summer.


August 2008

Carol hadn’t gotten out of bed in over two days.  Since the news of her mother’s passing, she became a shell of her former self.  Noiret had given her permission to go to the funeral for the sake of appearances, but there was no point.  Her mother was gone.  There was nothing left to fight for anymore.

Vicky and Julia hadn’t left her side.  Vicky couldn’t imagine the pain that Carol must have been going through.  While Vicky had recently lost Nacho, it was nothing compared to the thought losing her mother.  Julia had been in Carol’s shoes when her father passed away.  She blamed herself for his death, when it was actually Noiret and his band of villains.  Now history had repeated itself.   Still, both girls knew that nothing they said or did would take away the grief of Carol’s loss.

The boys were of little help.  Though Roque visited a few times, he had received little reaction from her.  When Marcos tried to see her, she went from sorrow to rage.  He had locked her in her room when she tried to escape a week ago.  If only he had helped her, she would have seen her mother one last time.  Instead, he had stolen the only chance she had.  She would never forgive him.  Never.  The girls decided that it would be better for Marcos to keep his distance for a few days.  Then there was Ivan.  He hadn’t seen Carolina since the day that she received the news about her mother.

“Why are you avoiding Carol?” Marcos demanded when the boys were in their room.

Things between the boys had been strained since the summer began.  It had been too much for them to handle.  They were infected with the virus and forced to serve their death sentence in this awful school.  Maria was locked away and Hector had died, leaving them without an ally.  When rumors of a traitor emerged, their friendship frayed.

“You have Julia now, so to hell with Carol?” asked Marcos.  “I thought you were still her friend at the very least.  How can you feel nothing for her?”

The situation with Carol only added fuel to their conflicts.  At the beginning of the summer, Marcos and Carol officially began seeing each other.  Even though Ivan was with Julia, watching Marcos and Carol together had reopened an old wound that he didn’t realize was still raw.  He and Marcos argued over it for the first week, but by the second week it turned into a silent understanding between them, as it had been when Ivan dated Carol.

When Carol wanted to escape to see her mother, Ivan had sided with her.  It put the boys at odds again, because Marcos thought leaving was too dangerous.  Ivan’s stance had caused a fight with Julia, who thought he wasn’t completely over Carol.  At that point, Ivan decided to stay out of Carol and Marcos’s issues.  Everything with her was over.  Carol wasn’t his girlfriend anymore.

Ivan glared at Marcos.  “And why aren’t you comforting her instead of standing here asking me to do it?  She’s your girlfriend now.”

“I always knew that you were a selfish son of a bitch, but this is low even for you,” Marcos said.

“Thanks.  It’s nice to know that I exceed expectations,” replied Ivan.  He was about to leave the room when Marcos blocked him.

“You’re letting your guilt take priority over helping Carol.  What happened to her mother is not your fault,” Marcos told him.  “But if you let her down when she needs you the most, that is your fault.”

“I’m letting Carol down?” Ivan said, then laughed sardonically.  “You wanted to be her boyfriend.  This is your mess to clean up.”

Marcos shook his head.  “You and Carolina have –”

“Let’s get something straight.  You don’t get to screw her, then expect me to deal with her emotional crap.  She and I are done.  You two got what you wanted, so start acting like it.”

Ivan pushed Marcos out of his way and stormed out of the room.  It was bad enough that Ivan didn’t know how to face Carol; he didn’t need lessons from Marcos about how to be a martyr.  One girlfriend was enough work, but playing knight in shining armor to an ex who cheated on him?  He wouldn’t do it.  Not even for Carol.

As he walked to the cafeteria, he remembered that Carol wasn’t just another ex.  She was the girl he adored from age six to sixteen.  He had spent last Christmas with her and her mother in the Canary Islands.  She had baked them cookies, though Ivan wasn’t sure if the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment of Spain would recognize them as edible.  Now Patricia Solis was gone.  When would Noiret’s list of victims end?

Ivan turned around.  He was not his father.  He did not leave people to suffer alone.  He certainly did not abandon his friends when they needed him most.  Maria would be ashamed of him.  He wasn’t sure how much time he had left on earth, but he wasn’t going to waste the time he had on petty grievances.  When Carol threw a tantrum at Marcos, Ivan was sure that she would blame him for her loss.  He had kept his distance for long enough.

He entered the girls’ room without knocking.  Vicky was sitting with Carol on her bed, while Julia sat on her bed across from them.

“Well look who finally decided to show up,” Vicky remarked bitingly.  “Are you actually here to see how she’s doing or just to pick up your girl for a hook up?”

“Vicky, lay off him,” Julia said.

“Get out.  Carol and I need to talk.  Alone,” said Ivan, keeping his eyes on Victoria and Carolina.  She had finally stopped crying, but the destitute look on her face broke his heart.  She was all alone in the world, and he had left her to fend for herself.  He thought Marcos was going to be there.  It wasn’t the first time he had been dead wrong about something.

Carol sat up straight and nodded for the girls to leave.  She hadn’t showered or changed out of her pajamas in two days, so she looked like a mess.  Since Julia and Vicky were the only ones who saw her, the thought hadn’t crossed her mind until Ivan came in.  It was as if he brought some semblance of reality back to her.  As the other girls reluctantly left the room, both noticed a change in their friend.

Ivan shut the door behind them and sat down next to Carolina on her bed.  He brushed her messy hair back from her face to get a better look at her.  Then he hugged her tightly and sat back against the bedframe, holding her close as she leaned on him.  He had done this so many times before that it came easily, but things were different now.

“I’m so sorry, Carol,” Ivan said softly, with her head leaned against his shoulder.  “She was a good person.  She wasn’t perfect, but she was a good person.”

Carol almost burst into tears again.  “Why?  Why her?  I did everything they wanted.  Everything!”

Ivan stroked her hair to sooth her.  “I’m so sorry.  I’m sorry that she’s gone and you didn’t get to spend enough time with her.  I’m sorry that my father is such a son of a bitch that he’s handed us this tortured death sentence.”

Carol looked up at him.  “Is that why you didn’t visit?  You felt responsible for what your father did?  Ivan, listen to me.  None of this was your fault.  None of it.”

“I know that… but I should have known that he would have done something like this to keep us in line,” said Ivan. “I’ve known what a sick bastard he is all my life.”

“I keep thinking this is a nightmare.  I want to wake up and my biggest problem to be Martin’s physics test,” she said.  “But it just keeps getting worse.  What’s the point in living anymore?”

“Carol, look at me.  I’m still here.  And I know your mother wouldn’t want you like this,” Ivan said forcefully.

“We’re marked for dead already.  Noiret could wake up tomorrow and decide that we’re over.  What are we fighting for anymore?” demanded Carolina.

“Because you owe me,” Ivan told her.

“What?”

“When we broke up, you said that you still cared about me.  Even if we weren’t together,” Ivan explained.  “Well, if you still care about me, you’ll pull yourself together.  I still need you.  I need to hear you laugh.  I need to hear you call me an idiot.  I need you to be my friend.  Therefore, you owe me.”

For the first time in weeks, Carol truly smiled.  “I could just hear what my mother would say if she was here.”

“That I was a First Class Bastard?”

Carol nodded.   “She liked you.”

“Probably because I was the only person who never complained about her cooking,” he laughed.

There was a pause.

“She didn’t know about our split,” Carol admitted.  She sighed.  “I was going to tell her in person this summer.”

“When you brought Marcos and Paula with you to the Canary Islands?” Ivan asked pointedly.

Carol shifted uneasily.  “Don’t mention him.  He’s dead as far as I’m concerned.”

“Fine.  But if you get out of bed, we can get ice cream from the kitchen and you can tell me what an idiot he is,” Ivan offered in spite of himself.  “And how losing me was the dumbest mistake of your life.”

He got off the bed and stood in front of her.  She stayed sitting down.

“Or we can talk about your mother.  None of the others knew her like I did.  She was the closest thing I had to a mother once,” Ivan went on.

She simply stared at him, absorbing what he was saying.  He stretched out a hand to help her up.

“You would’ve helped me see her one last time, wouldn’t you?” asked Carol.  “Hell, you probably would have stolen your father’s car to get me there.  Both of us there.”

Ivan drew in a deep breath and lowered his hand.  Part of his should have known this was coming.  There was a myriad of reasons that he hadn’t visited Carol.  He had felt guilty about his father destroying their lives.  Another reason was that they were no longer the friends that they once were since their break-up.  She had crushed him that night, and the next morning couldn’t contain her excitement to tell Marcos.  When Ivan contemplated breaking up, it was Carol that stopped him.  She had played him by telling him that Marcos meant nothing to her.  He wouldn’t forgive that easily.

“You’re always there for me,” Carol said, as she got off the bed.  “I broke up with you, but you’re still here for me.  I’m such an idiot.”

“Carol, we’re over.  It’s what you wanted,” Ivan declared.  “We can’t go back.”

As she stood face to face with him, she realized the weight of his words.  For a moment, she had wanted to go back in time to that day in December, when they planned not to return to Laguna Negra after Christmas break.  It was a simpler time then.  If she had left back then, her mother would probably still be alive, and she and Ivan would be together at another school.

Carol felt like an incredible idiot for staying to help Marcos.  What had he done for her?  He had chosen Ivan and Amelia over her so many times.  He had called her a liar and overdramatic.  Then he stopped her from seeing her mother.  She would never forgive him.  He was the cause of all her suffering.  She couldn’t look at him.  If Ivan hadn’t moved on to Julia, they would have gotten back together eventually.  He was one of her best friends, and wasn’t that enough?

“Of course.  I just didn’t realize how much I missed talking to you,” Carol said, hugging him tightly.  “We haven’t really talked in a long time.  We shouldn’t let that happen again.”

“Good,” he said, hugging her back.  “Now let’s get you into a shower and some new clothes.  You smell like something Gustavo dragged in.”

Carol sighed and shook her head.  “Only if you promise to have that ice cream waiting for me when I’m done.”

“Strawberry flavor?” Ivan asked.

Carol grinned.  “And a spoonful of chocolate from your cup.”

“Deal.  Just like last Christmas Eve when your mom let us have ice cream for dinner while watching movies.  It was the last time I felt at home.”

“Me too.”

Ivan hugged her again.  “When we get out of here, the first thing we should do is go to Italy for gelato.  I’ll put everything on my dad’s credit card.  We’ll spend a week eating ourselves sick of ice cream.”

“I’ll look forward to that…”  Carol replied.  “Someday, we’ll have ice cream in Italy together far away from here.”


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A/N: I wrote this fic because there were so many events that took place in the summer that would have made great episodes.  I thought it would be a fun play on the fact that every time Carol needed Marcos, he flaked or sent Ivan to fix it.  Carol and Ivan had virtually stopped speaking to each other after their split, except when she told him to clean up his act and treat Julia better in Season 6.  They were very close and broke up in such a dramatic way that I wanted to explore how they became friends again. Also, the title “Death and Ice Cream” refers to Carol only seeing death in her future at the start of the fic, and the ice cream refers to an image she can hang her hopes of the future on.