"Do you ever think about, like, what will happen, uh, after?"
Walt turns his head, confused, ”What do you mean?”
Mr. White is staring at him, focused and too close and suddenly Jesse regrets ever taking this topic into consideration in the first place. So he does what they’ve both grown to be pretty good at; he looks the other way.
He looks at the ugly camping chairs on the walls of the RV, their clothes spread out over the floor, the fucking key that’s still in the ignition and then down at where he’s lying on his 50 year old ex chem-teachers plaid shirt, naked. He smiles, and it all feels a bit bitter sweet.
Walt puts a hand on his shoulder and goes, “No. Come on, tell me.” and his voice is anything but commanding, just a simple request out of genuine curiosity.
It feels odd, like he’s dreaming or stepped into some kind of sick limbo where Mr. White actually gives a shit and it feels so good, so he doesn’t question it — he doesn’t question him — ‘cause it’s worked this far, right? and he just savors the moment, not knowing how many they got left.
And Jesse knows he doesn’t have to reply, yet he does.
"The cancer. I mean, you say it’s a death sentence, right? Do you ever think about what will happen, you know, after…" He runs a hand through his hair. What am I doing?
"God, never mind, okay? I’m sorry I brought it up."
"You mean what I think will happen after I die?"
and hearing the brutal reality through the haze of this sweet unreality brought Jesse close to tears. His throat feels too small, like he can’t get a full breathe of air, and he wants to run away and hide, to just drop this conversation as soon as humanly possible, but this time he doesn’t look away. He looks right at Mr. White, wants to blurt out every stupid question he’s kept to himself over the past months.
You have enough money, so why are we still doing this? Why are we actually doing this? What are we even doing? Do you want to do this? Do you want to do this with me, or am I all you got? If I’m not, do you want me? Am I good enough for you? Could I be? How?
But he doesn’t question it. Never.
He just sighs, feeling tired. So tired. and says, “Yeah.”
Walt stays quiet, like he’s considering an answer, then settles for
"You know what? I don’t think about it all that often."
and Jesse is a bit surprised at the short answer, to say at least. So when Mr. White keeps talking he sits up a bit more, resting his head on his hand and listens curiously at what he’s got to say.
"Ever since my diagnosis, I don’t worry about the inevitable. Ah, yes. I’ve been here before. It was with Hank. I told him — God, what did I tell him?" Mr. White looked up at the low roof of the RV, the realization falling obvious over his face, then turned towards him. Looking right at him.
"I told him I was scared. No, that I’ve been scared. Scared of what I could not control. And I told him… I told him that fear, that’s the enemy."
"So, what? You’re not scared?"
"We all die, Jesse. The only difference between you and me is that I’ve come to accept it."
Jesse got quiet. And once again, he looked away.
He looked at their work station, as Mr. White preferred to call it, then looked at the half empty bags of Funyuns on top of it, looked at the door, the bullet holes on it, the two seats they’ve sat in so many times, talked, argued, agreed, got lost on the road, found a way back home, and maybe once or twice, when Mr. White would let his walls downs and let him in, laughed. He was hit with a sudden wave of nostalgia.
"I’ll miss you."
Walt sighed and leaned over him, stroking his sides. He looked sad.