A/N: So, I've never before in my life written an 'Everwood' story, but now the show's ended, I suddenly got inspired. Go figure. It's probably not all that good. The characters are out of character and it isn't very original, but it's fun and pointless and hopefully you'll enjoy it a little.
A midnight run-in with sandwiches and Scooby Doo.
Summary: An interesting conversation between Bright and Hannah in the middle of the night when they least expect it.
'I keep expecting you to suddenly rip my head off or something...'
Hannah didn't know what had woken her, but something obviously had since she was sitting straight up in bed. She looked to her left and concluded by her steady breathing that Amy was still asleep. Hannah turned to the alarm-clock on Amy's desk, but couldn't make out the time without her glasses on. She searched for them in the pitchblack room, but quickly realized that was going to be a mission: impossible. She got on her feet and tip-toed to the door, trying her very best not to wake Amy.
On her way to the bathroom (what else to do when you wake up in the middle of the night, right?) she saw flickering lights coming from downstairs as she passed the stairs. She frowned and quietly started to make her way downstairs. She was greeted by the familiar features of her ex-boyfriend (although she still couldn't call him that.) and Amy's brother Bright. He had positioned himself in a strange way on the couch (he'd probably call it comfortable) while eating a sandwich and getting caught up in whatever he was watching on TV. He was wearing boxers and, thankfully, a shirt. Hannah didn't think she could've dealt with this if Bright had been shirtless. Especially not at this time of the night (whatever time it was) where she was still very sleepy and her mind would come up with stupid, crazy ideas. That couldn't happen. Not after what happened. Not after what he did to her.
He hadn't heard her coming down the stairs, but when Hannah stood in the doorway she cleared her throat to get his attention. It instantly worked. In fact, he was startled and it made her smile.
"Hannah!" He said as he immediately sat up straight and looked at her. "Everything okay?"
"Couldn't sleep." She simply answered him.
Bright wasn't sure what to say to that, but Hannah didn't need him to say anything to that. She walked up to the couch and sat down on the opposite of where he was sitting. She turned her attention to the TV.
"Scooby Doo." She stated.
"Yeah." Bright nodded. "I'm suddenly so glad I decided to let out my inner-child again and watch cartoons instead of not letting out my inner-child and...you know..."
Hannah smiled a little and nodded.
"'Cause that would've been awkward. More awkward, I mean." He stuttered.
This caught her attention and she turned to him.
"You think this is awkward?"
He didn't seem to expect a question like this and he struggled for an answer.
"Well, we haven't exactly talked...as in a normal, civilized conversation, since...so yeah...it's a bit awkward. I keep expecting you to suddenly rip my head off or something."
"I promise I won't do that." Hannah said. "I ripped the head off a stuffed animal that I had visualized to be you and it didn't give me the satisfaction I had hoped for, so..."
"Not sure if that's supposed to make me feel better or worse." Bright admitted.
"Neither. I'm done making you feel worse about yourself, but I'm not quite ready to make you feel better about yourself either."
No, it's not, Hannah thought. It's everything but fair.
She turned back to the TV and made herself comfortable on the couch. Bright looked at her from the corner of his eyes, but decided it was best just to stay silent. They watched 'Scooby Doo' together for a full minute, before Bright reached out to his plate and offered Hannah half of his sandwich that she first frowned upon (eating a sandwich in the middle of the night is just wrong), but then gladly accepted. They ate in silence.
"So why are you spending the night here again?" She suddenly decided to break the silence and the tension that tagged along with it.
Bright looked at her and swallowed the piece of bread in his mouth before answering.
"Ephram and I had a fight."
"You know me. I'm not easy to be around, let alone live with. He just calls me on my crap, like he should. It'll be okay."
Hannah nodded slowly as she took another bite from the sandwich and let out a deep breath. Bright had been right before: this was awkward. She felt uncomfortable and self-concious and a lot of other fairly unpleasant emotions that she hadn't felt in a while.
"Are you okay with it?" Bright continued.
She looked up, confused.
"Me spending the night here. Amy didn't tell me you..."
"Oh, sure." She interrupted him. "It's fine."
"You don't look like you're fine with it."
"I am." She assured him. "I'm just not sure if I'm ready for the 'run into you in the middle of the night, eating sandwiches together friendship-thing' we're having here."
"It wasn't exactly planned." Bright told her.
"I know." She said as she nervously tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "I'm not accusing you."
"I've been honest with you, Hannah."
The conversation took a surprising turn and Hannah closed her eyes for just a sec as she tore her eyes away from the cartoons (that she wasn't really watching to begin with) and turned to the guy next to her, who was looking so vulnerable and cute and amazing and who had broke her heart like no one had ever before. It was a contradiction that she didn't know how to deal with.
"I made a mistake. A huge mistake." He continued. "I don't know why, I can't explain why, but I did it. And it messed things up, I know it did."
"You ruined it." Hannah corrected him. "Everything."
"No! I didn't! I didn't mean to! I made one mistake. One stupid, horrible mistake. That doesn't just mean the end of it. It can't be the end of it. Right?"
"What do you mean, Bright?" She asked, impatiently.
"I mean...I understand you're mad at me and that you'd probably use my head as a sledge hammer if you got the chance, but...that's now, right? That's how you're feeling right now. Understandably. But...but it's not forever, is it? Eventually...Eventually you're gonna let me back in, right?"
When Hannah saw the flickering hope in his eyes, she was pretty sure she felt how her heart broke a little more. She tried to blink away the tears that had formed in her eyes, but realized it wasn't working all that well.
"I've tried, Bright." She then softly spoke. "I tried to find some way to get over it, to forget about it, to deal with it, but...I just can't. You've betrayed me..."
"Not on purpose!" His weak defense sounded, his tone desperate.
"But you did! And betrayal...it feels horrible. It's so painful and..." Hannah told him, trying to think of a more powerful word to describe what she was experiencing. "Unforgivable."
The word was out before she knew it. It sounded so final and definite. She looked up at Bright and realized he finally got the message. The realization started to spread across his face.
"So...this is it?" He eventually spoke.
"I don't see what the other option is, Bright."
Bright nodded understandably, but evidently upset as he softly turned back to the TV. Hannah followed his example. They both saw how a scare crow chased Scooby and Shaggy around a dark cemetery. Naturally, both Scooby and Shaggy fell into an open grave and while the two heroes awaited their fate as they looked up, waiting for the scare crow to appear above them, Bright broke the unbearing silence
"You want another sandwich?"
Hannah smiled to herself, without looking at Bright. It was a small smile, barely there, but a smile nonetheless. She liked things better this way.
"You want me to make us one?" She asked him, finally looking up at him and smiling.
"You have no idea how awesome that'd be." He responded enthusiastically.
She got up from the couch and headed towards the kitchen.
"Hannah?" Bright called out to her, causing her to turn around and look at him expectantly. "How about we make this the other option?"
"Midnight run-ins with sandwiches and Scooby Doo?"
They exchanged smiles, something they hadn't done in quite a while. And it felt good. Good enough. For now.