Caught Up In Ancient History

(In response to the recent theft of another user's story: Fair warning to anyone who feels copying is OK…I DO keep records of when I start stories, so please use your own creativity! Plagiarism is illegal, and as soon as this story is in print, it becomes mine legally (according to copyright laws)…and if I find this story elsewhere, I will be forced to get REALLY upset and nasty! And NOBODY wants THAT! So, please feel free to read and enjoy…but NOT steal! OK? Thanks!)

This story begins on the night of the shooting. Obviously, I don't own the characters…unless I've made them up; I just own my part of this story. This is just a 'what-if' type scenario.

Chapter 1: Dare You To Move

Sean sat there, staring at the TV in stunned silence, willing the tears not to fall. His stomach was knotted tightly, and his hands were shaking. All he could think of…

"Sean?" Ellie whispered softly, touching his cheek. "Do you want to talk about it?"

He shook his head. 'No,' he thought. 'Not with you.'

She sighed. "OK. We don't have to talk. We can just-"

Sean stood up abruptly. "I need a walk."

Ellie stood up. "OK. We can-"

He turned towards her. "No!" He sighed and softened his voice, touching her cheek. "No. I just…I need to be alone."

She nodded. "OK…if you're sure..?"

"Yeah. I'm sure. It's…I just…I need to walk a bit."

"When will you be home?"

Sean shrugged. "Don't wait up," he mumbled as he grabbed his key and walked out.

Ellie sighed and went about cleaning up the apartment.

Meanwhile…

Emma was sitting on her bed, staring at her shaking hands. Her stomach was rolling. She felt like she couldn't breathe…the smell of the yellow paint filling her nostrils.

She'd come home after going back to school to find Toby. It had still seemed so unreal. She'd let the tears fall for Toby. He'd lost his friend. Emma hadn't. But still, she'd cried. When it was over, she'd come home and locked herself in her room. Her parents were still at Toby's, and the silence of the dark house was deafening.

Meanwhile…

Sean walked quickly, trying to get past that moment. Maybe if he moved faster…maybe he could…Sean broke into a run. He hadn't run so fast in his life. Not even when he'd been running from the cops. Tonight, he was running for his life. He was running from the devil.

"He's got a gun, Emma. Let's go."

"DON'T turn away from me!"

Sean jumped over a see saw in the park as if he were jumping hurdles. His heart was pounding and his lungs were screaming with fire. But he couldn't stop. She was there. She was in danger. Emma…was about to die. She was right there in front of him and he was going to kill her.

Sean ran faster. "No!" he grunted softly as he ran. "No!" Finally, his legs gave way, and he screamed. He'd never screamed so hard in his life…not even when he was born. "NOOOOOOOOO!" He fell to his knees.

And suddenly, she was there. She was screaming his name. She was shaking him. "It's not real. Not real. Not real."

Suddenly, he knew where he had to be. He had to see her. He had to look at her face and know for sure that she was alive.

He stood up and walked to her house, his knees trying to buckle underneath him the whole way. Guilt raced through him as he thought of Ellie, sitting at home, worrying about him, but he HAD to do this. Ellie hadn't been there. She hadn't seen the look on Rick's face…the pure rage and hatred covering up a lifetime of fear and pain. She hadn't been the one who'd been forced to shoot him to protect someone.

Sean sighed as he approached her house. All the lights were off. 'Damn!' he thought as he looked at his watch. Twelve thirty. How could she be asleep already! After everything that had happened…how could she POSSIBLY sleep? He frowned as he tried to decide what to do. He couldn't go home without seeing her first.

Finally, he decided to sneak around to the back of the house and knock on her window. He'd look at her face, see her…and then he would leave. He knelt down to tap on her window, but that's when he saw the most heart wrenching sight of his life.

The light from the street caught on her blonde hair, giving it a strange glow. Her head was dropped down, staring at her hands. Sean tapped on her window, but she didn't seem to hear. He opened the window. "Emma?" he whispered softly.

She gasped and looked up, and Sean's heart broke. She hadn't been staring at her hands. There she sat, still dressed in that same outfit that Sean had eyed appreciatively earlier in the day…before Rick had kissed her. Tears were dripping off her chin. In one hand was a picture of Sean…in the other, a lighter.

His breath caught in his throat when he saw the red marks just above the hem of the already short skirt, which she had pulled dangerously high, giving Sean a glimpse of her white, lacy underwear.

"What the hell are you doing?" he gasped as he knocked the lighter from her hand.

She just sat there, trembling. Sean knelt next to her, lifting the skirt a bit more to get a closer look at the burns. "Why?" he whispered. "Why would you do this?"

When she didn't respond, Sean pulled her up and hugged her, rocking her. "No more, OK? Don't. You…I…You just have to stop. It wasn't your fault."

Emma broke into gut wrenching sobs and clung tightly to him. "It's OK, Em. You're OK. We made it. We…survived."

Emma continued to sob, but nodded into his shoulder. He just held her. "Please don't do that anymore," he whispered. His phone rang and he sighed. 'Damn, Ell!' he thought to himself. 'I'll get there when I get there!'

"H'lo?" he mumbled into the phone.

"Bam-Bam! What's up?"

Sean looked nervously at the trembling girl in his arms. "Uhhh…nothing. What's up?"

"Killer party over here, Man. Just the thing to get your mind off what ails you."

Sean studied Emma. He knew they both needed to forget. "OK. I'm…who all's there?"

"Everybody, Man! So, haul Ellie's skinny, sick ass out of bed and-"

"I'm gonna' bring a friend…see you in twenty."

"Cool."

Sean hung up. "OK, Em. We're going out for a while. OK?"

She looked up at him and frowned, but didn't say a word. Sean sighed. "Please? Do you trust me?" She just nodded. "Good. Now…let's get you something…clean to wear."

Sean ended up pulling out a black skirt. He was afraid to put jeans over her burns, so he grabbed the little mini skirt and a red halter top, frowning. He knew they must be Manny's because they were DEFINITELY not Emma's style.

"I'm not trying to be a perv, OK?" he whispered as he slid her paint-covered skirt down her legs. She just nodded and stepped from that into the new skirt. His breath caught in his throat as his knuckle brushed her breast as he unzipped the little jacket. He willed his heart to slow its ridiculous beat as he pulled her little white shirt up, revealing her white lace bra. He started to put the halter-top on her, but she pulled away and went to her closet, grabbing a soft pink sweatshirt. The neck had been cut off, and the midriff was frayed with age. She handed it to Sean who chuckled softly and slid it over her shoulders.

She looked beautiful, and he knew it. Her flat stomach…the tiny skirt…her bare shoulders. Sean swallowed hard. This was nothing more than two friends trying to get over the hell they'd just witnessed. 'I'm not ABOUT to screw it up by getting horny for her again,' he kept telling himself as he led her to the bathroom to wash her tear stained face.

Suddenly, she seemed to go into autopilot. She put on some mascara and lip-gloss, and followed him from the room. Sean unzipped his hoody as they climbed out her window and into the chilly night air. He wrapped it around her shoulders and took her hand in his. Their fingers naturally intertwined with each other and they walked in silence to Jay's house.

Sean realized that, at this moment, he was right where he needed to be. Guilt over Ellie disappeared. Right now, his friend needed him, and he wasn't about to EVER turn his back on her again…whether Ellie liked it or not. And if Jay started HIS shit…Sean wouldn't back down again. THIS time, he planned to have the strength to stick by Emma.