Author: OfHopesThat PM
Post-Death Cure: Thomas and the remaining immunes are enjoying the new found luxuries of what they can now call home. However, there is more than the eye can see. With everything on Thomas's mind and the chaos of the island, it's just like what was left.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Sci-Fi/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 2 - Words: 6,910 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 02-14-12 - Published: 01-31-12 - id: 7793644
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It took a while, but finally, the now safe hero was intensley thinking. Again. Thomas paced up and down the petite hallway, instinctly rubbing his sweaty palms on his jeans. Possibilities and sweet memories raced through his mind, and much like a bride on her wedding day, he felt like fainting. Calm yourself, Thomas, he repetively cooed to himself, but his attempt to calm his nerves strengthened them. After all the trials, pains, and unbearable stress he had been through, it was unbelievable to think he couldn't sustain enough bravery to... to- Knees buckled at the thought and he doubled over, awkwardly doing a single roll down the hallway. Shaking his head, he didn't bother to return to his weakened feet. So, he sat there, facing the horrible truth that his strength gave in. Finally, as he foresaw, the cool sweat dripped down his forehead and swirved it's way into his eyes. The coolness surprisingly refreshed him and he breathed in slowly, more and more, and exhaled. The essence oddly reminded him of being a Runner; the chilled sweat and putting all energy towards the goal. Standing up, at this rate. For a few minutes, Thomas remained on the ground, pleased with where he was, but still waiting for that adrenaline moment he always got in battle. Pressing down on the carpeted floors, he gradually raised his body to normal posture and continued down the hallway, using the little energy he still had to look decent. It was no adrenaline, but at least now he could walk.
It had still been early when Thomas couldn't return to sleep. A mixture of collided dreams troubled his thoughts and he ended up focusing on one. However, this one was real, a realisitc thought. Not a thought, actually, a plan. And frankly, this plan required a lot of bravery- which Thomas frowned upon not being able to gather. Like a waterfall, the whole idea trotted back to him, flooding his brain and there he was, drowning in emotions. One drop, two drop. Beads of sweat gathered back together, as if planning their route through his face, yet again. Slowly, the disappointed Thomas followed the corridor path back to his bedroom. Clumsily, he plopped himself on his bed as a heap, moving around until he felt just right. Thomas was grateful when he relaxed and the stressful emotions left him. But as always, the single most important one remained. The brave, fearless, nearly worshipped boy felt emptiness. And there, right there, laying upon his casual-nothing-special bed, Thomas realized no matter what, he had to follow this plan. To hell with the outcome, a man knows when he has a task to complete, and, definitely, this was a task worth completing. Closing his eyes in sudden pleasure, knowing that soon his specially planned day would come, the hopeful boy joined the world of sleep. He was wishing in a whisper, to whatever God rest above, whatever shooting star would pass, whatever; that he would win this battle.
Thomas was wishing ever so passionately, that Brenda would marry him.
It had only seemed like a quick few minutes that he got to rest his finally calm mind. But, nonetheless, someone was outside his room, giving two tiny knocks. For a breif moment, he hestitated, contemplating his choices: presume to the morning, or sleep. Slumberland lost the argument, and he rolled to his side to ever-so-barely stare at the door. "Mhm?" He simply mumbled, a slur of consonants gliding off his tongue. Picking up the sound of the handcrafted door handle squeaking, the door opened. "Rise and shine, Thomas." The confident, yet feminine voice of Brenda awoke him fully, and settled every nerve. Her voice was strong, with words as clear as footsteps in sand, but just the same, they faded away with the gentle touch of your own. The pitch was still youthful and just by the sound, you could tell Brenda was beautiful. To Thomas, she really, truly was. He wondered if he looked bizarre because when she talked, Thomas quickly smiled with eyes still closed, obviously tired. It looked as if he were a child, trapped in a dream full of. . .chocolate, perhaps. When noticing his jaw bones getting tired, as fast as he could, he wiped the grin off, returning to a much more normal position. Embarassment seemed to dissolve in the air when Brenda let out an exagerrated giggle. "So, are you getting up or what?"
Lifting his feet up and hopping off the bed, he jogged over to her- the beautiful and brave girl he admired. Without any response nor any words at all, he hugged Brenda, lifting her up as if he hadn't seen her for years. "Let's go eat." was simply what Thomas said, leading the way to the kitchen.
Surprise-not- Minho was in the kitchen, flipping the pan; scrambled and sunny-side-up eggs flying everywhere. "Hey, the beast has awoken," Minho joked with a smirk on his face, "and lookie here, there's his beauty." At Thomas's eye roll, his friend snickered and continued at his terrible breakfast job. "What are you. . .making?" Brenda inquired, confusion apparent on her face. "I think I'm slopping up some eggs. Don't judge, just 'cause I'm not Frypan, shuck-face." Thomas clasped a hand to his mouth, trying not to laugh. Though, bringing Frypan over didn't seem like such a bad idea. Realizing his hunger, he walked over to the center of the dining area, where a small cafe-like table rest. Out of the three simple chairs, he chose the closest.
The kitchen was probably the biggest room in the whole tiny home. Across the usually clean hardwood floors, nestled on the farthest side, was the counter, makeshift stove, and the "slop pot" they called it. Also, there was fridge, lacking the freezer, so it stayed nearly half the size. In the center, where Thomas sat was a simple cafe table accompanied by three painted and carved wooden chairs. Weighed down to the floor, when you slid out the chair, it clonked against the surface. It made Thomas cringe. But, to make up for it, all the tropic, and bright plants of the Paradise lay in the corner of the room, enlightening the aroma.
As far as he could see, Brenda had fully taken over cooking duty, which seemed to soften his hysteria. Minho, who was gladly faking a grumpy look, sat down with Thomas. A curious look illuminated his face, clearly expecting conversation. Eyes searched side to side, and repeat. The confused Thomas searched his mind for something to talk about, aside from Brenda.
From girls, basically.
"What-chu thinking? Remember, we ain't supposed to be thinking til' forever." Minho broke his friend's hesitant pause, a smirk on his face. He was obviously wondering what was on Thomas's mind.
"I kind of am thinking, Minho." And with that, the big and strong boy gathered his fists under his chin, the pursuit of interest in his face.
"Oh, really? About what?"
Thomas sighed. He didn't want to bring up the subject, much less, have Minho screaming it. That was the last thing he wanted. It was that type of situation where he felt back in grade school, with all the gossip and rumors. Trying to pocrastinate, he counted his toes, then fingers, then looked at his friend. With all his heart, he wanted to trust him with his plan. But, what if Brenda found out? What if she had no desire of being with him? Thomas could see his now perfect world falling apart around him.
The silence was broken. "Are you gonna tell me, or what?"
Propping his elbow and hand on the table, he stuck out his pinkie. "You gotta promise not to tell. Shank." The Glader words were becoming foreign so quickly. . .
The laughing Minho latched on to his pinkie, nearly ripping it off. "Fine, fine. This must be big."
He took a big breath and admitted. "It's about Brenda."
As foresaw, his friend chuckled, almost falling out of his chair. However, just as he leaned over the table to hear more, Brenda casually walked over to them. The plate plopped as she dropped it in front of them, and the chair as usual, clonked when she sat down. The eggs looked delicious to the boys, for it was already around ten o'clock. Proud of her work, the cook smacked her hands and took a healthy spoonful of scrambled eggs. Minho snickered when she sat, and Thomas could tell something good was not going to come out of his mouth. In his head, he counted the seconds until his secret was blown. But, when he heard it, the joke was worse than expected. Minho spat when he said it, laughing like a crazed man, throwing snorts in with the mix. Brenda couldn't help but look confused, but her admirer shook his head in his hands.
Pitch-forking an egg on his knive and holding it in the air as a salute, Minho happily announced, "Kiss the chef."
The day was going to be long.
On his eighteenth birthday, Thomas was announced head of the Paradise, and in charge of all reconstruction. Building the human race was not in God's hands this time, but each night he prayed one would appear. He was not fit for the job, or so he insisted.
It had been a bit over half a year and the reconstruction crew was almost done housing the approximate two hundred survivors. Of course, many had to share rooms, like Minho, Brenda, and himself had been. It was not an objected idea, though, as many had arrived to Paradise in their family. The first project was building Frypan's place. They built a large diner, for the whole community, with housing in the back for the cook himself. Now, the focus was finishing the large neighborhood and creating a new lifestyle. Everyone knew the way of the walk in past, near present, and this right here was the root of the future. Thomas was overwhelmed by what was being thrown onto his shoulders. He was no architect. . .or was he?
The whole population met under what was going to be a meeting spot. In between two large pine trees, the base of the future building, stood Thomas and his crew. "Alright guys," He announced, and clapped for their attention. "Lot's to do today. What do we start with?" Hands shot up in the air, but he waved them away, just looking for response. In the crowd, it was a scattered mix of children, adults, and babies. He shuddered at the thought that no elderly actually lived to be sane.
Someone suggested the garden, or the mall, or maybe even the school. But his mind was made up when Brenda recommended the church. Thomas had never considered a church. With all the chaos and Cranks, he wondered if there was even one in Denver. "I know it's an odd idea to you. But when I was little, there was still a church. It would be a nice tradition to start up again." Thomas considered it, but when he searched his lost memory for church, the only thing that came to mind was weddings. And God. He shook his head at the irony, but liked the idea. He called over his sketch crew and requested blueprints for this church. Again searching his mind, Thomas had no idea where to begin with this project. The crew ran over to a small working station, yanked out their pencils, and began sketching the best of best churches. Expecting to see a satisfied grin on Brenda's face, he turned over. To his surprise, she almost looked offended. "Thomas," She began explaining, "You didn't have to do this just for me."
"Of course not. I thought it would become a nice tradition." And he smiled.
Just as suspected, the day was long and winding. He had disapproved over one hundred not-good-enough blueprints and only one stood out. It came to him from a young lady named Hickory, who had grown up in a church. Gladly, he accepted the beautiful model and began planning the accompanied variables.
Not only was the day long, though, Thomas felt like a Scrooge. The whole time, he sat, drawing after drawing, asking for more, while he did nothing. He bet you could tell by the look on his face he felt bit winded. Brenda and Minho left after their duties were completed. Therefore, leaving him feeling quite alone.
About to leave, he gently placed the architectural plan in the folder and continued home.
It wasn't far, maybe a good five minutes, that home await him. Maybe he was imagining, but it smelled like Brenda was cooking dinner- soup he guessed? He begged for anything to take the mixed emotions off his mind.
Stopping in his footsteps, he inhaled. This is Paradise, he reassured himself, No matter to worry about. But it seemed like the universe heard him. His feet felt frozen in the one position as a black shadow raced by him. It looked neither human nor familiar, and Thomas didn't mind. He was ready to fight, feet stuck or not. However, he won the war easier than expected, when a stray dog stopped in front of him. Instinctly, he waved it away and continued home, thinking WICKED had planned this better than he thought. Hopefully, these pests would stay out his way.
It wasn't that he was really concerened about, though, deep down it was something else.
WICKED. The organization seemed so. . . gone to him. But just then it occured to him once more, even worse than when it actually happened. Teresa. He didn't feel the same with her missing.
He walked through the doors of sweet home, welcomed by the essence of friendly faces and good food. It wasn't unusual, but after the depressing walk home it seemed better than most nights.
First, he hugged the at-work cooking Brenda, feeling like her long time husband coming back from work. It sure felt realisitic too. She giggled at his sudden embrace and shoved a spoonful of the slop pot's soup in his mouth. He nodded back at her, giving a thumbs up at the stew's approval.
Minho motioned for him to come over to the dining table, a serious look on his face. "Did you see the shadows?"
"You know, the one's when you came home. I don't know what they are, but they aren't lookin' friendly."
"We should have a plan, shuck-face. Just in case."
At realizing what Minho meant, he spoke up. It felt good to make Minho feel stupid every one in a while; he always seemed to get a big head. "They're called dogs, dummie."
"What were you going to tell me earlier?" At the sudden change of topic, Thomas could see the embarassment in his friend's eyes.
But it was obviously Thomas's turn to be embarassed. "I need your help, Minho. This is. . for real. I want. . " The words drifted away from him. He wanted to know his friend would help him first.
"Yeah, I'll help ya. With what?" The last word was exaggerated, like he was getting irritated at not knowing yet.
"I want. . .I want to marry Brenda."
It took Minho forever to suddenly drag Thomas into his bedroom, lecture him on how he's too young, and how he should really wait for him to get a girlfriend. Thomas simply shrugged, disappointed that his friend wouldn't help. But he kept waiting. . .for the sarcastic jokes.
"Nah, I'm joking ya, man. But wait til the real jokes come."
Minho grabbed Thomas by the head, shaking it back and forth in a head lock singing, "Aww, my little baby's in love. With a girl. Who woulda thought!"
For once, he grinned at the sarcasm and went with the flow. Minho always had his back.
Dinner was, as expected, mess. Aside from food, Thomas recieved awkward glances from Minho, the oddest conversation starters, and even the old elbow punch. Grimace after grimace, fake confusion finally seeping into his pores, hoping that Minho would stop, it never did. With the last spoonful of soup, the chair squeaked- covering up any bizarre comment his friend had made. Maybe, Thomas had thought, If I try really hard, he can hear me.
SHUT UP, SLINTHEAD.
And with that final telepathic remark- which, frankly, was not heard- he thanked the pretty girl for dinner, forced a smile at Minho and continued to night preparations.
Sleep was expected to come easy to Thomas tonight, but it was just as hard. His eyes wouldn't shut no matter how much he tried, and Brenda never said goodnight. He felt like a real dramatic; so involved in his love ife, it wasn't natural. He frowned upon himself.
Relief flooded through him, when the two tiny knocks came, similar to this morning. "Are you asleep?" Brenda whispered. Alert, he sat straight up and responded, "Not even close."
"Good. I just wanted to thank you for today."
"About what?" Thomas had such a hard time holding conversation.
"The church. That was really. . touching."
"This Paradise needs traditions." He took her hand. "You're the first."
She smiled and laced her fingers through his. "There's a story, ya know."
She nodded and laid her head on his shoulder. Her gentle breathing nearly put Thomas to sleep. "Yeah, and about churches. When I was little, my parents were both healthy. And they depended on church and gods, God, what not. They prayed and prayed that they could protect me." Thomas noticed her breathing pick up at the thought. He squeezed her hand. "Like a month or so later. . they both got the Flare. The last place I saw them was at the church, withdrawling to turn themselves over to the Palace. They only wanted to protect me. And others. All I remember was sitting at the church day after day. . not knowing why they wouldn't return. . ." Her voice drifted off and breathing slowed. He wondered if she was asleep.
As if she were a fragile vase, Thomas carried her to her bedroom and tucked her in. "Goodnight," he spoke, wondering if she truly was awake or not. For a while, he stood watching her, sort of waiting to see if she'd wake up. He knew he would give anything to speak once more to her, just to comfort himself. Make sure that he'd see her tomorrow.
Guilt washed over him, and Thomas suddenly felt drenched in regret. He didn't want to think like that. He didn't want to love Brenda so bad, with so much lust. Shaking his head, he walked as quickly as he could while still acting decent, down the corridor. The situation in which he stood disgusted him.
He returned to his bed, her past presence giving him the sudden ability to rest. Yet, he still regretted directing so much emotion towards her. Maybe, Thomas thought, I should forget about her. And with the power of his mind, Thomas simply let himself roam his relaxed thoughts. Waiting, just waiting, for the instinctive affection of Brenda to intrude his concentration. His eyes closed with forced ease, and he entered the realms of sleep, only WICKED on his mind. . .
He was scared to wake up, yet scared to sleep. In front of him, was an angel like teenage girl. She looked familiar, but with more defined and beautiful features. Her hair longer and darker, eyes brighter and enough to take a breath away, and her smile. . so wide and proportinate. She looked perfect. He just knew that this girl was important to him, yet he cringed at the thought of even liking her. Mixed emotions confused him, even in slumber, but he could tell waking up was not an option.
Thomas, oddly, wasn't surprised when she waved to him, and in his dream, he waved back.
"Tom," She spoke, "We need to talk."
At every word, he felt more disgrace than already for leaving her. Not trusting her.
How was he supposed to talk to Teresa?
"Tom, Tom?" She kept repeating, like a broken record. Thomas seemed to be on pause too, not responding to a word she said to him. The shock of seeing her, the shock of not knowing what to see; it felt unnatural to speak to her. Finally, her angel-like figure walked over and shook him, as if trying to arise his frozen body. Her fingernails dug into him, grasping him hard, and twitching with the fear that, possibly, he wouldn't get up. Back and forth, he moved, Teresa's elbows snapping with the abrupt push-pull against him. Though it was only in his dream, Teresa's frightened face seemed to be right in front of his.
There it was. Just like he used to be able to be telepathically enabled. But. . . he remembered, Hans had disabled that ability. With the unforeseen speech, a loud thump sounded and he knew that he had just fallen on the floor. The dream absorbed his body like a trance and he couldn't control himself.
Ow. Thomas didn't mean to say it telepathically, or even at all, but he did.
I'm sorry. I scared you, didn't I?
He paused. Not knowing what to say, he searched for the Thomas he was. The real one, the one that could be himself around Teresa. He wasn't there nor found.
I'm sorry. He finally said.
I left you. Teresa, I didn't even trust you. I should have. I'm sorry.
Tom, that was me. That was my fault.
And I know you know about Brenda. . . Teresa. . His thoughts faded away, hoping she understood. It didn't even seem like he listened to what Teresa said.
I'm not mad.
I'm not mad.
I'm not mad.
It took a minute for him to realize that he wouldn't respond.
"Can we talk like this, please?"
"Of course. Now-"
"How did that even work? I thought we couldn't do that anymore. Moreover, while you're. ." Dead. Thomas hoped with a strong passion that she couldn't hear his thoughts. At least, the ones not meant for her.
"I just tried it. Maybe we're special."
Thomas tried not to tear up at the memories between him and her, the theatrical moments in the Glade. "Maybe we're lovers." He recalled her saying that. And he believed it, at the time.
Shaking his head at even the thought, he continued. "Why did you kill yourself?"
"It isn't like that. You were the one meant to finish the cure. You are the one meant for Brenda. You are the hero. I wasn't going to let anything ruin that for you, Tom."
"Teresa." In the dream, he reached for her hand. One last moment they could share, even if it was an illusion.
Her ghostly image took his hand and her goregous, bright eyes hooked onto his.
"Please tell me this is real. This is you."
A tear. Two. However, they rolled down Teresa's face, not his. "It is me. Please believe me."
"I. . " do. I would give anything to go back and trust you.
It seemed like years past by when he reached out and grabbed Teresa by the torso, pulling her into a hug. Gently, her skinny arms wrapped around his neck and they stood there.
For what seemed like forever.
Even if it was a dream, he believed her. This was the real Teresa, before any Trials, any disease. Just simply Teresa, when the world was them two.
When she stretched away, her words were bold and full of importance.
"You need to be careful. Secure the Paradise. Just because this world is rid of the Flare, not everything is over." The tears flooded down her face, but stopped quickly, as if her strong words punched them away.
Thomas wasn't far, but she moved closed to him, farther than needed to kiss his cheek. It wasn't meant to be so romantic to him, but he felt so close to her.
She truly was his best friend. They were lovers, but it was different to Thomas. Almost like there was love, and then there was love.
When the words reached him, he didn't bother to question them. He had been through enough to know that no response would be provided. Teresa was already cheating out the future for him, and he could only thank her.
She waved goodbye, her figure melting to sand into the abyss.
I love you. And I'm sorry. He continued.
Teresa. You're my best friend.
It took a minute or two, but in the depths of his thoughts, he made out a feminine voice:
I love you, too. . .goodbye.
With the abrupt end, his body charged up from the ground, leaving his head to itself- the whiplash agonized his neck. His watch read five a.m., and he groaned at the thought of sleeping again.
He presumed it full of hope; hoping that she would respond.
Nothing. Climbing onto the bedsheets and yanking himself atop the bed, he slumped into a crumpled ball, full of despair. Why would she leave him? It never occured to him that maybe there were things to do when you were dead. But he had wanted with all his heart for her to stay, so he could say everything he wanted to tell her.