Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me.
A/N: So, I got great reviews for my first story, urging me to continue so I thought I'd give it a shot. I just love Sam and Laura together and the scene that this story is about to take place in is my favorite part from the movie; there were just so many parts in the movie that had so much potential for some cute Laura and Sam scenes but...oh well. Anyway, enough of my rambling, please review and let me know what you think and enjoy.
He's gone! Laura Chapman's mind screamed. He's drowned! Her eyes darted around the water that was rising even faster now, up to her knees, but she saw no sign of Sam Hall. She forced her shaking arms to steady and shined the beam of her flashlight into the water but it did little good, not that she had expected to be able to see anything. Laura's teeth chattered but she remained where she was, standing the frigid water, waiting for Sam to surface.
"Sam, where are you?" She called, her voice barely raising above a whisper and her teeth chattered so hard she bit into her tongue. "Please..." Laura peered into the water; Sam was no where to be seen.
Laura tried to wade a little deeper into the water but the icy coldness of the liquid forced her back up and she wondered how Sam could stand being under so long. He doesn't have to stand it, her mind reminded her despite her protests, he's dead, he drowned. No, she wouldn't believe that.
"Sam..." Tears pricked her eyes now and she tried to remember just how long Sam had been underwater. She couldn't remember, her mind was too full of too many other things. "There's something I've always wanted to tell you...I really like you. A lot. So you'd better not drown so I can really tell you." Laura sniffed and wiped her tears away with her shaky icy cold fingers. Goosebumps rose up on her cheeks were her fingers had touched.
The water was rising so fast now and with such force that Laura couldn't stand anymore and was knocked onto one of the stairs, the water rushing up to her waist. Where she had cut her leg earlier while trying to help the French woman and her child screamed in pain and her breath hissed from between her clamped teeth. Laura pulled the flashlight out from beneath the water, stunned when the beam still flickered and shown.
Air bubbles drew her attention and Laura shown the flashlight where she had seen the bubbles; could it be Sam? Answering all her hastily made prayers, Sam finally surfaced, coughing and sputtering, spitting out water and shaking even worse then she was. Laura lunged to her feet and grabbed his shoulders, pulling him up onto the stairs and wrapping her arms around him. "I thought you'd drowned." She sobbed, pressing her face against his damp clothes.
Sam was surprised by her actions; it wasn't as though he hadn't been dreaming of this moment ever since he had first seen Laura walking into chemistry class on her first day after transferring from a different school but he was still surprised. "I didn't know you cared." He managed to say, his teeth chattered.
What surprised Sam even more then her embrace was her tears; no one had ever cried actual tears for him and her gesture was endearing. Maybe Laura didn't like that prep J.D. after all. He put his shaking hands on her shoulders and patted them, shivering to much to manage anything but that. "It's okay, Laura, I'm okay." He assured her, feeling the chilling water rushing higher and higher with every passing second.
Laura lifted her head and sniffed, wiping away her tears again. "I was so worried Sam." She told him, thought that seemed to go without saying. "Don't ever do that again." She commanded.
"I wasn't planning on it." Sam assured her and shifted his weight, preparing to stand. "I think we'd better seek higher ground." He muttered.
Laura didn't have a problem with that idea; she released Sam and allowed him to stand. He helped her to her feet and started up the stairs; Laura followed after him, trying to ignore the pain in her leg but was unable to do so and her leg buckled, sending her splashing back into the water.
Sam turned around. "Laura, are you okay?" He questioned, backtracking and helping her to her feet once again.
"Yeah." Laura lied and then thought better of it. "I just hurt my leg a few hours ago." She admitted. Sam looked concerned but the way his shook, teeth chattering uncontrollably, Laura knew that getting him warm and into dry clothes took precedence over a little scratch.
They headed away from the surging water and toward the only floor that wasn't underwater. At least, not yet. Sam leaned against the gold railing of the balcony and continued to shake, wrapping his arms around himself in an attempt to generate heat but it was no use; he was soaked to the bone and so were his clothes.
Laura headed away from him, toward a series of closed doors and started opening them frantically, slamming them closed again when she wasn't pleased by the contents. Finally, she found a room that suited her and she entered; Sam watched with a curious look on his face, trying to figure out what she was doing. Finally, she emerged again with her arms loaded with coats. "Lost and found." She explained and dropped the pile at his feet. Sam looked down at the coats, thick winter coats, and shivered again, realizing just how cold he was.
"Take your shirt off." Laura commanded, looking at him with a commanding sort of look in her eyes. Sam stared at her; his failure to do what she had said made Laura sigh and she reached forward, undoing the buttons on his shirt and peeling it off his body. The cold air from outside hit Sam's body like a slap and he was amazed that he could actually get any colder.
Laura then pulled her own damp shirt over her head and tossed it aside; Sam felt his eyes grow wide in spite of everything that was going on. His eyes grew even wider when Laura wrapped her arms around his waist and pulled her against him, pressing her cheek against his chest.
"What are you doing?" Sam questioned, cursing himself as soon as the words had left his mouth. Hadn't he always wanted something like this to happen? This was Laura after all; the girl he had flown to New York for and here he was, seconding guessing what was going on. Him and his big mouth.
Laura peeked up at him from behind the damp mass of crooked curls that framed her face. "If we let the blood warm too quickly, your heart could fail." She explained, her teeth chattering. She was shaking as much as he was and Sam wrapped his arms around her bare back in an attempt to warm her slightly. "And I don't want that to happen." She added quietly and Sam looked down at her but she had already averted her eyes.
Sam held onto her and tried to stop his teeth from chattering. "Thanks for coming with me." He managed to say. "And waiting."
Laura nodded. "No problem." She assured him, shivering and pressing herself closer against his chest. His skin was as cold as hers but somehow she couldn't bring herself to pull away from him and find a coat. "Thanks again for coming back to get me back on the streets. That was really brave; no one else would have done that for me."
"That's not true." Sam said, feeling himself begin to warm up. His shaking fingers traveled across the chilly skin of Laura's back but he stopped himself before they could get too far.
Laura looked up at him again. "Well then how come you're the only one that did?" She asked him, her eyes round with the serious nature of the question. Sam didn't have an answer for her and she glanced down at her feet again. "All my life I've always wondered if I was ever anything special; my father walked out on my mom and I when I was little and she was always working. That's why I joined the decathlon and all those other teams you think are so useless; I wanted to prove that I was good at something. I always feel like I have something to prove." She stopped herself and looked up; Sam was studying her with eyes that she couldn't quite read. "I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm telling you this." Laura finally pulled away from him and started rummaging through the piles of coats at their feet.
"No, I'm glad you did." Sam said, watching her. "I know what you mean; my dad was always gone so whenever he was around I always felt like I had to prove to him that I was the son that he wanted. Something worth sticking around for." He had never opened up like that to anyone, not to Brian, not even to his mother.
Laura looked up. "And did it work?" She questioned, choosing a heavy overcoat and standing.
Sam sighed. "He's my father." He said, not even quite sure what that was supposed to mean. True, Jack Hall was his father, but sometimes only because he had been married to his mother.
Laura forced a smile to spread across her lips. "Here we are, stranded in the library with New York halfway under water and all we can do is complain about how shitty our parents are."
Something about her in that moment (Sam would never be quite sure what it was) tugged at Sam's heart at the same time he got those ever familiar butterflies in his stomach. Perhaps it was the fact that he had never seen how venerable Laura really was until that moment that made Sam grab her around the waist and pull her to him again, kissing her as soon as she was close enough. Laura was so surprised by this action that she dropped the coat she held in her arms, her eyes growing wide. Her surprise dissipated however, as the kiss deepened and she shut her eyes, wrapping her arms around Sam's cold shoulders.
Sam ran his finger's through Laura's wet and tangled hair, which still smelled of the coconut shampoo she had used to wash it with back at J.D.'s apartment. He didn't care right then how frightening the plane ride up here had been or how bad the weather was outside, this moment made up for all of that.
Sam broke the kiss and looked into Laura's eyes. "And just so you know," he whispered. "You don't have anything to prove to me." Laura's eyes went round with gratitude and something that might have been love. She leaned forward and kissed him again.
A door from somewhere down the hallway opened and shut and the sound of footsteps heading down the carpeted hallway did little to distract Sam and Laura from each other. It was only when someone cleared their throat that the kiss was finally broken; both Laura and Sam turned in the direction of the noise and saw the black homeless man standing with his arms crossed over his chest, his dog at his feet and a smile on his face. He gave both kids the once over and Laura realized how it must have looked to him: both her and Sam with their shirts off, standing in the middle of a darkened hallway. Her cheeks grew red and she looked down at the floor.
"Didn't mean to interrupt." The homeless man said, the grin still on his face. "But your friend was getting worried about you two."
Laura nodded, still staring down at the ground and Sam couldn't help but smile at her bashfulness; just another trait of hers that he was falling in love with. She bent down and retrieved her wrinkled, damp shirt and pulled it over her head. "We found...coats." She muttered. "We could use them to keep everybody warm."
Sam bent down to help her gather up the coats and to pull on his own wet shirt; he was going to have to find some dry clothes other wise he'd freeze. He caught Laura's eye and she smiled at him, cheeks growing rosy all over again.
Laura and Sam stood and followed the homeless man back into the main hall of the library. Sam looked over at her and smiled. "Next time I need somebody to warm me up, I'll know where to go." He grinned.
Laura rolled her eyes. "Don't push it Sam." She smiled and elbowed him playfully in the ribs.
Sam smiled and followed her into the room. Maybe being stuck in a library wasn't such a bad thing after all.