This was a concept that came to a while ago; it was inspired by something Beth said in "The Ringer" and the idea just grew from there. I'm actually very excited (and all kinds of nervous!) about posting this, so consequently, I am dying to know what everyone thinks! So please, let me know? Thanks and hope you enjoy!

Spoilers: Up to and including "The Mortal Cure" (episode 12)
Disclaimers: I own nothing except for a few characters here and there... sad but true.


"I was kinda crazy about this guy at college." Beth Turner, The Ringer

Prologue

Seagulls drifted lazily in the fading daylight, some soaring high above the water and others skimming its surface. Behind them, the sky was painted with reds and oranges and yellows that bled together like colors on a still-wet painting. The sun hung just above the horizon, sending pale rays of sunlight glimmering off the surface of the water. Beth ran along the shore, enjoying the feel of the waves lapping against her bare feet as it came and washed her wet footprints from the sand. The calf-length sea green dress she wore twisted around her legs as she stopped suddenly, the soft fabric like a gentle caress on her skin. There he was!

His back was turned but she could tell he was wearing the t-shirt she liked him best in. It was old and faded but somehow, he managed to look impossibly good in it. Maybe it was the way it clung to his well-trained body but whatever it was, she often teased him about the unfairness of it all and how she didn't look half so good in old sweats and a sweater. "Luc!" she called, jogging up to him.

He turned and wrapped his arms around her in a crushing embrace. "You're late," he breathed, leaning his chin on top of her head.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled into his chest. "Gwen dragged me into town to say goodbye to everyone and we got a little carried away."

"Goodbyes already?" he asked surprised. He pulled back, alarmed. "You didn't decide to leave early, did you?"

"No, of course not," she assured. She slipped her hand into his slightly larger one and they began to walk. "It's just that with the ceremony tomorrow and all the people we have to say goodbye to here, we thought we might not have another chance."

Luc sighed. "I guess I'm still getting used to the fact that this time tomorrow, we'll be done with college…"

"It all feels so surreal," Beth agreed. "But aren't you excited to finally be done with school? Think of all the possibilities!"

"I guess…" Luc shrugged and gave her a sidelong glace. "Leaving here will be bittersweet."

Beth's eyes found his. "Yeah… I know what you mean."

- - o - -

Beth was leaning against Luc, her legs tangled with his, and he, in turn, was nestled among a cluster of wind-worn rocks. Around them, the cove was quiet save for the occasional crash of waves and the quiet whoosh of the salty night breeze.

"It's such a beautiful night," Beth murmured, gazing dreamily at the sky. Stars sprinkled the inky blue-black expanse of the sky, seeming to wink, but what entranced Beth was the moon. It was luminous and full, ringed with smoky smudges of light. It saddened her to think that this might be the last time she saw the sky like this; it would be different in L.A. and though she was eager to return, she would miss the serenity and nighttime beauty that only a tucked away beach could offer. And she would miss this beach. Hers and Luc's beach, as she had come to think of it.

"We should get back, before everyone worries," Luc whispered, toying with the hem of her dress.

"We should…" But neither of them moved.

"Beth?"

"Mmm?"

He slid his hand up her arm, leaving a trail of goosebumps. "I love you," he said softly, cupping her face and stroking her cheek with his thumb.

Beth shivered and sat up straighter. She shifted in his arms so she could face him more directly. "I love you too." Her eyes, her face, her voice—they were all bright with smiles even though she had heard him say the words before. Every moment they shared tonight felt magical, new.

He caught her gaze with his, a sad smile tugging at his lips. "Are you sure you don't want to come to New York with me?"

Tenderly, Beth ran her palm across the top of his ragged, close-cropped copper-colored hair, then traced her finger down his cheekbone to his jaw. "I want to… you know I do. But L.A. is what feels right, right now. I never thought I'd feel homesick, but there it is."

"I understand." Luc rested his forehead against hers and moved his hand to rest on her shoulder. "But I'm really going to miss you."

Beth's eyes glittered with tears. "Me too. But who knows… maybe someday, we'll run into each other and fall in love all over again."

He brushed a finger beneath her eye and caught her tears. "Yes, someday," he promised.