Disclaimer: I own the idea of the Shark, but I don't own his real identity, nor do I own the League.
Feedback: I'll still write this if I don't get any of it, but I would like it.
Clez: I try my best.
Sean Malloy-1: That idea has definite potential; I'll have to think about it...
"Wh...what?" Sawyer asked, unable to fully take in what had Becky had just told him.
Becky grinned at him. "Tom, I love you. I always have, ever since that first day we kissed. I my have been only around eight years old, but I knew then that you were the only man I wanted to live with... the only man I ever loved." She looked at him, a pleading look in her eyes. "You love me as well, of course?"
"Um..." Sawyer said, looking around the darkened medical bay and wishing he was anywhere but here. "Look, Becky, you're a great girl and all..."
"Yes?" Becky asked, looking at him with a pleading expression in her eyes.
"But... well... things are different now," Sawyer replied, looking sheepishly at Becky. "I'm not the boy you knew. I'm not the man you fell in love with. I've changed." He sighed. "I've seen people die. I've seen Huck actually try to kill me. I've witnessed horrors the likes of which you can't even imagine." He looked her in the face, the better to get across what he was about to say. "The greatest adventurer who has ever lived, and probably ever will live, gave his own life to save mine. His final words were a hope that this new century would be mine, as the old one was his. I can't fulfil that wish by staying here with you; I need to be out there, fighting the good fight."
"Well... surely you can do that with me?" Becky asked, sitting down on the bed to look at him. "I'm not saying I'm as good as Mina in a fight, but I'm hardly a shrinking violet." She smiled a little at some pleasant memory. "Growing up with you, I've learnt a couple of tricks, and I picked up a couple of things in the last couple of hours. Tom, do you even know what I did when I went with the League to rescue you? I shot nine men for you. Isn't that worth anything?"
Tom groaned. Why was it so difficult to tell a woman you didn't love her? He'd never found it this hard back when he'd rejected Amy Lawrence when he was younger...
Then again, he hadn't been as keen on her as he had been on Becky. Maybe that was why things were so difficult.
"Becky," he sighed, looking her in the eyes. "I have never said I don't love you. I do, and I appreciate everything you did to save my life. It's just... I'm already committed to a woman, and that woman is Mina."
Becky almost snapped at that comment, but she managed to refrain from doing anything about it; she doubted it would help her right now.
"Tom, no offence intended on Mina, but, well, surely there's something I can give you that she can't?" Becky asked, placing her left hand on Tom's right, which he was using to hold himself up while talking. "You know, like... children?"
Tom blinked. "What?" he asked, slightly confused.
"I mean, as I recall, aren't vampires technically dead?" Becky asked, stroking Tom's arm in a slightly seductive, slightly begging manner. "Therefore, shouldn't Mina be incapable of having children herself?"
"You're wrong, Becky," Tom replied. He was starting to get a little worried now; Becky was going on about the possible lack of kids? Geez, she was desperate! "We've talked it over with the League, and they're of the opinion that the only reason that vampires can't have children is because they're making more vampires... well, the other way."
"Pardon?" Becky asked, starting to look worried now. Tom hated doing this to her, but it was the only way.
"You know, vampires make more vampires by biting them on the neck, and all that?" Tom explained. "Well, the League as a whole have a theory that vampires are only sterile because they're reproducing that way instead of... well, the human way." He shrugged sheepishly. "And, well, since we have no definite proof of either theory being correct, we're just going to assume that Mina can reproduce the normal way until we can find out otherwise."
Becky was looking like she was going to start begging in a few minutes, and Tom groaned a little. He remembered the time Mina had told him about her old friend, Lucy Westenra, and how she'd once received three proposals in one day, and found it hard to reject the two men she didn't love. He'd never quite understood the difficulty at the time; after all, she didn't love them the way they loved her. It was the best thing to do.
Right now, he understood what her difficulty had been.
"Look," he said, trying to sound comforting. "I'll always regard you as one of my closest friends, you have to be assured of that. It's just... I'm happy with Mina. We love each other." He sighed again. He seemed to be doing that a lot in this conversation. "Even if I ended up with you, I feel like I'd always be judging you against her. I don't want to end up in that situation, Becky." He opened his arms.
She fell into them, sobbing into his shoulder slightly. Hugging her, Tom patted her on the back and kissed her neck.
"Hey," he said, as she pulled back, her eyes turning slightly red already. "Don't feel too badly about things, OK? You captured my heart long before she appeared on the scene; it's just that she got a harder grip on it." He patted her comfortingly on the shoulder. "I do love you, Becky. I just love Mina more."
Becky sighed a little as she looked at Tom. Then she gave him a sad little smile, and kissed him briefly on the forehead.
"I understand," she said, blinking a little as though trying to force back some tears. "Well..." she said, getting up and turning towards the doorway she'd entered the bay by. "Get well soon."
Then she walked out of the medical bay, leaving it as quiet and peaceful as the sleep from which she had awakened Tom.
Lying back in the bed, Sawyer shut his eyes and was soon back in the sleep that which Becky had woken him up from.
It took the League a couple of days to tie up all the loose ends in the small town. After a quick talk, they decided that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to tell the police that they'd taken out the criminals themselves.
Therefore, they'd claimed that they'd managed to track the criminals to their base of operations, only to find that they'd already run away, leaving a note to say that they'd gotten what they'd come for. Sawyer had promised the police that the League would track them down, so they didn't have to worry about any searches being declared.
The League had remained in town for a couple more days to allow Tom's ribs time to heal; and spent it either catching up on some repairs in the ship, or, in Skinner's case, getting drunk. Skinner's time in the bar had been a bit awkward, but he generally just claimed that he was an albino to explain his grease paint, and people left him alone.
Tom and Becky hadn't told anyone about their late-night talk; Becky found it too painful, and Tom just didn't see any point in mentioning it. They were acting just like a couple of old friends around each other, leaving the League none the wiser.
Tom's ribs were still a little sore, but he was up and moving, sometimes joining Skinner down at the pub, and sometimes idly chatting with old friends, and sometimes just relaxing with the League...
But, eventually, it was time for them all to go.
"You're sure you can't stay?" Aunt Polly asked Sawyer, as the League said their goodbyes in front of the Nautilus. They'd made a couple of friends in their time in town, but Becky and Aunt Polly were the only two they really knew well.
"We're sure," Sawyer replied, smiling assuringly at his aunt. "Believe me, it's been good to see you all again, but I have to be going. The world awaits, and we still have a lot of it to see."
"But it's been good to meet you," Mina put in, stepping forward to shake the hands of the two women. "It's been a while since we met such decent people in our new business, and got the chance to spend some time with them. I hope we'll see you again."
Becky smiled at that as she shook the older woman's hand. "I hope so too," she said, glancing over at Sawyer in slightly suggestive manner. Then she realised what she was doing and looked away, mentally berating herself for being so foolish. He wasn't interested; she couldn't keep on trying to flirt with him.
After the rest of the League had shaken hands with the two women (Although Skinner gave them a quick hug for some reason), they went back up the ramp to the Nautilus, leaving only Tom to bid his final goodbyes.
"Look, just give everyone else my love, OK?" he asked Aunt Polly, looking over at her. "Tell them I'm sorry I couldn't say goodbye myself, but business takes priority, OK?"
"I will," his aunt smiled at him, looking at her nephew with a tenderness that he hadn't seen in his childhood. "Be assured of that."
"Great," Tom said. He turned to face Becky, and sighed. He didn't really know what to say right now, but he had to say something.
"Um... have a good life," he said simply.
Then he gave her a quick hug and turned away up the ramp.
Becky watched as the Nautilus went down under the water, blinking back some tears from her eyes. It seemed to her that, even as the Nautilus dropped underwater, so did her hopes for any chance of a relationship with Tom Sawyer.
Then, as the massive submarine vanished from view, Aunt Polly (Becky had always thought of her as an aunt, despite the lack of a connection between them) patted Becky on the arm.
"Come on," she said, smiling at the younger woman. "We have to get on with our lives."
Becky nodded and began to walk back into town. They had to get on with their lives now.
Just as Tom had to get on with his.
Looking back at the large sea, Becky found herself wondering where Huck had gone after he'd fled the cave. Had he drowned, or had he managed to swim to freedom, and begin his attempts to re-establish his power in the criminal underworld?
In any case, if he and Tom ever met again...
Becky wasn't sure she'd want to know how it ended up. One of those two friends may actually kill the other, one because he thought his friend had betrayed him, and the other because he had to do it or die himself.
She couldn't bear to hear how it ended.
Far away from that town, on a large ferry bound for Europe, a lone figure sat on the deck of the large ship.
It was a man, dressed in a black business suit. He was in his mid-twenties, and would have been regarded as handsome if it weren't for the long scar running down the left side of his face.
Looking back at the town, the man once known only as Huckleberry Finn groaned in anger. He'd been so close to killing the man who had betrayed him, and his entire scheme had been thwarted by that little bitch and the evil that was trapped inside a stupid New York physics teachers. Where had he gone wrong?
Then an idea occurred to him.
He smiled a little as the thought flashed across his mind. It was perfect. There was no way the League could stop him then.
Not with those guys for allies...