Summary: Continues after "Possibilities." Warning: contains spoilers. B/S.
Disclaimer: Not mine! Mutant X belongs to Tribune and Marvel.
A/N: I've been rewatching this episode, trying to explain Brennan's behavior, and this story just came to me. I was not happy with the writer's version of Brennan, so I had to explain him myself…!!
For Viviana—thank you.
(Scenes from Possibilities)
Shalimar: "Brennan, wait up."
Brennan: "Shal, forget it, I'm not apologizing."
Shalimar: "I'm not asking you to. Look if you say we need to concentrate on the bomb, I believe you. But if we're going to stop this thing, than we have to go in as a team. I just want to make sure you're good with that too."
Brennan: "So what are you trying to say?"
Shalimar: "You're the only one here with any memory of what's happened to us, so we have to trust you."
Brennan; "So what are you saying? That you can't trust me now?"
Shalimar: "I'm saying that you have feelings for Samantha, and I'm afraid it might color the way you call the shots if we do this thing."
Brennan: "No, no, I am absolutely clear on what it is that I am doing here. As far as Samantha, yeah, I do feel for her, but that's because she's died twenty times already trying to save these people's lives."
Shalimar, doubtfully: "That's it? Pity?"
Brennan: "You know, what I feel for Samantha, it is not going to cloud my judgment."
Shalimar, raises her eyebrows: "Fine." She turns and starts to walk away.
Brennan: "Shal, this isn't about Samantha."
Shalimar turns back around: "Isn't it?"
Brennan, shaking head, almost at a loss: "I'm not blind, I mean," hesitating, "Are you jealous?"
Shalimar, narrowing her eyes: "No, why would I be jealous of her? That's ridiculous."
Brennan: "Well you shouldn't be threatened by Samantha, because whatever it is that I feel for her, it has nothing to do with you and me."
Shalimar, staring at him for a beat, "I didn't realize there was a you and me." She turns back around and walks away.
Brennan, calling after her: "Shal!"
Shalimar, yelling over her shoulder in a cold tone: "Just try not to get us killed."
Brennan shakes his head, staring after her, mumbling to himself: "I didn't deserve that." Walks away.
Brennan is playing basketball by himself, half-heartedly shooting hoops. Shalimar walks in.
Shalimar: "Want to play a game? Spot you five?"
Brennan, sighs, depressed: "Maybe some other time. You know, I just--I just keep thinking that maybe there was something else that I could have done. If I had thought about it soon enough, then maybe she'd still be alive."
Throws ball, Shalimar catches it.
Shalimar: "I don't know, I think sometimes things are just meant to be."
Brennan: "That she was meant to die?"
Shalimar: "Maybe she was meant to save you."
Brennan: "You know, I know this sounds crazy, but I feel like I've known her for years."
Shalimar walks up to him, still holding ball: "Time has nothing to do with it." Places ball up against his chest. He takes it from her.
Brennan: "Yeah? Well then, why do I wish she'd given us more?" He stares at Shalimar for a second and then drops ball on floor, turns around, and walks away. Shalimar stares after him, forehead creased in sadness and hurt, tears shining in her eyes.
It was a beautiful night, but all was lost to Shalimar as she paced her room in frustration. Her stomach clenched in bitter waves as she turned around the small room, senses reeling. He was everywhere. She breathed, and she could feel him. A booted foot lashed out and kicked the wall. Who cares if he flirts with anything in a skirt? I don't care if he wanted more time with her. It doesn't bother me. She whirled around, eyes raking the room until falling on her jacket. Seizing it, she threw it over her shoulders and yanked open her door, stalking out. There is nothing between us. I don't care. The door slammed shut behind her. I don't.
She felt his eyes follow her and heard his hitch of breath, but didn't stop. Her name whispered on hesitant lips echoed painfully in her ears, but still, she didn't stop. I don't care. She picked up her pace.
I didn't realize there was a you and me. She didn't remember, but he did. Brennan knew somewhere along the line he had messed up, but he couldn't quite figure out where it had all gone so wrong. He couldn't explain his feelings for Samantha to Shalimar anymore than he could to himself. It wasn't just pity as he had told Shalimar, but it wasn't what she had thought either. He didn't know what it was. He groaned and slumped further down into the couch, fists involuntarily tightening as Shalimar's bike roared to life and she left. She died. Shalimar had died, and he had insisted on going back. There was no other option. She simply had to live. He needed her to live.
She didn't know where she was going, but drove as fast as she dared, the wind whipping her hair and whistling in a loud rush through her pounding head. She drove away, but still he seemed to follow her. Her mind would not cease, her senses would not release him. She could feel him in every pore of her being, and she gritted her teeth, refusing the slight sob that tried to escape. Tires spun gravel and bits of rock stung her arms. Eyes blinked rapidly, and she drew a sharp breath through clenched teeth. She didn't want to feel right now. She didn't care; she couldn't.
When Samantha had told him about her never-ending loneliness, something struck a cord in Brennan. He knew all too well the feeling of being alone, of being tired and afraid. He knew about feeling stuck in the past. She needed someone, and she had asked for him. His heart fluttered in his chest even as his gut twisted deep inside him. It still felt new, the feeling of being wanted. It touched him deeply, and he had been drawn to that feeling. He had been drawn to her need. Having that need wrapped up in a beautiful package hadn't hurt either, he ruefully mused to himself. His fingers dragged through his hair until it stuck straight on end. He just hadn't counted on Shalimar's reaction. Or his own.
Hours passed by before Shalimar finally slipped back home under the cover of darkness. She steeled herself as awareness of him washed over her anew. He hadn't moved; he was still lying on the couch. She narrowed her eyes and silently passed by. She wasn't ready to see him yet. Time has nothing to do with it. She snorted softly as her own words came back to haunt her. Time would not change anything for her. As much as she hated it right now, he was a part of her. She had even tried to rationalize Samantha's presence, but Brennan had thrown it right back in her face; he had wished for more time. I don't care. She walked on by.
She was trying to be quiet, he could tell by her stilted footsteps, but he felt her anyway. He had wanted to help Samantha; he had been attracted to her. Her death had been her release, but it had been his failure. He honestly didn't know what would have happened had she lived, but one thing he did know--he could still live without her. She had touched him, but she wasn't a part of him. He pushed himself to his feet.
"Shal, wait up."
She didn't stop.
She stilled, but still didn't turn around. He approached, pausing behind her. A hand rose tentatively to her shoulder before falling back to his side. He couldn't touch her. She deserved better than that.
She took a breath; slowly, deeply. He stared at her slender shoulders, feeling their every rise and painful fall deep in his heart.
"Shal, I'm sorry."
She finally turned around, brows coolly arched. "For what?"
He dropped his eyes, unable to bear her piercing gaze.
Silence stretched in agonizing beats, and he began to fidget under her intensity. What had seemed so clear in his mind suddenly tangled on his tongue, and he smiled bitterly, unable to explain.
She bared her teeth. "That's what I thought." She turned around and walked away.
His eyes slipped shut as hot tears pressed against his lids for the second time that day. He never cried, and he couldn't understand why it came so easily now. She had died. Shalimar had died, but then come back. Yet he lost her anyway. He bit his lip, breathing a promise to himself, to them both. "There will be a you and me yet."
In her room, Shalimar heard and cried; feeling him. Time had everything to do with it.