Title: Regret

Author: Kytten

Pairing: JxS

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Don't own.

Summary: Sarah regrets nothing. And yet everything she wants is embodied in a fragile, aging dream.


She regrets nothing.

There is nothing to regret, after all. What had she lost? A fragment of a dream? A doll? A well-loved stuffed bear, grinning on the shelf? What did it matter? In the face of what she'd won, it was nothing. She'd give it all away a hundred times if only to have her brother back.

She regrets nothing.

Not when she looks at Toby and sees him grinning back, completely unaware that the stories she tells him are real.

It took a while, almost a year before she could say his name again.


For twelve months he was the goblin king. A nameless villain floating through eternity.

Can you hear the clock chime?

The first time she'd said it, she'd stopped dead, watching the window, waiting for a storm. But there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and nothing she could say would change that. Not even the words.

Thirteen…I swear I heard thirteen.

He hadn't come.

She regrets nothing.

Toby was hers. Hers to love, to protect. She acted the mother, the attentive parent. Fifteen to thirty in a day. But she's nineteen now. An adult. Moving out, moving on. Life has just begun. Not a fairy tale, not another story. Life.

Toby's birthday is tomorrow. He'll be turning four.

She regrets nothing.

And yet when she dreams, she dreams of masquerades, of beautiful arching towers and lasting enchantment. But he's changed.

When she sees him now, he's not the same. He's always been dangerous, true. But before at least, he was a part of her. They were one in the same, she'd thought. She'd thought…

Within me… But it was just a crystal. Just another stupid dream.

She'd thought she loved him.

For a moment, for one shining instant, it was true.

And then Toby ruined everything.


She regrets nothing!

It was just a dream. All dreams end, everyone wakes up. Everyone has to face the real world. There are no exceptions. She's told these stories for her peace of mind, to escape, to dance— to just once in her life belong somewhere.

But now? Now she doesn't belong in her own dreams anymore.

He's changed. The goblin king, her creation, her lover…


He's wild now, untamable. She can't hope to capture him. Even if he were real.

I miss you.

She regrets nothing.

There is nothing to regret. It was just a dream, just a play in the park when she'd been childish. But she isn't a child now.

She can't feel magic crackling in the air.

This storm is like any other.

There are no tiny footsteps outside her door.

But there is laughter. And that, she can't possibly hope to ignore.

So she gets up from the bed in her tired old room and steps out into the hall. Somewhere outside a power line is down.

There are no such thing as goblins.

Toby is laughing, but there are others with him. Tiny, too-high voices and too many little feet.

She's not panicking.

She's not running.

She didn't mean to slam the door.

She regrets nothing.

He hasn't changed at all. Sarah stares like an idiotic, gaping fish, registering somewhere in the back of her mind that this isn't possible, that everything she's deluded herself into thinking for four long years is falling to pieces. But it isn't important. Because he has Toby on his knee and he's laughing, clear and warm, a sound she's never heard from him before.

And she can't quite seem to form any semblance of thought. There's only one thing left to her at this point, one image from her childhood, a past she doesn't regret.

A dream. This has to be a dream.

He meets her eyes without smiling, but it is strangely without hostility.

Please, I need this more than anything. Don't let it fade away.

"Hello, Sarah."

I wish…

"You're back." Not the cleverest of things, but he smiles and it lights his eyes.

"I didn't leave."

I wish…

"Why are you here?"

"Why, Sarah?" He smiles and puts Toby down but rises slowly, warily. It's as if he's afraid of startling her. "Aren't you happy to see me?"

There's something breaking. Not everything he says makes its way to her. Sarah's world is narrowing, but somewhere through the rush of silk and satin, she realizes it's only ever been this small.

I wish the goblins would come…

"It wasn't a dream."

"No." He agrees. "It wasn't."

…and take me home

Something snaps, like a crystal broken in thin air. She launches into him, into his arms. He laughs, surprised, but holds her close, rocking when she starts to cry.

He says nothing. He doesn't have to.

Right. Now.

She regrets nothing.