Their Story

Chapter 8

"You're just leaving?!"

"I got nothing to stay for." bitter resignation echoed through his tone. He refused to fight anymore, he was quitting; enough was enough. Hold on to something long enough and you forget how to let go… he would let go. He would let go if it killed him.

"Without even saying goodbye?"

a pause, "Goodbye."

She was exasperated despite somehow feeling as if her heart were being ripped from her chest, she couldn't withhold the impatient tone from her voice, "Why did you even come here?"

"What do you care?"

"I care!" Just answer the question!

"Well you sure didn't look like it back there at that meeting!" So much for letting go. He was fighting again, and the way he was feeling right now he'd be damned if he left without telling her what he was feeling; anger towards her for falling for that doctor's charm, anger towards her for being willfully blind to his feelings for her, anger towards himself for being too coward to tell her…

"I asked you a question." She surprised him by not taking the bait, by not fighting back. She would not be deferred. She had come for answers.

"Why did I come?"

"Yes, why?"


"Because…?" She pushed.

Why not? He had nothing left to lose. "Because I love you."

She stood with her mouth agape; he loved her. Perhaps she had always known on some level, just as she had known she loved him for some time now, but putting it into words…

Who knew how long she would have stood there, incapable of forming thoughts, incapable of doing anything other than openly staring into the sincere, impassioned blue eyes staring back at her, were it not for the sudden lurch of the train.

The children.

She pushed herself away from his embrace and ran as hard as she could. Outside, leaning against the fancy brick of the train station, she sobbed heavily as she realized she had just thrown away her one chance to tell him she felt the same way. He would never know how she felt; he would never give her the opportunity to explain to him why she had to run. He had just quite literally ridden out of her life forever.

Michaela awoke with a start, she had to tell him. The initial panicked thought raced through her brain despite herself, and she fought hard to control her erratic heartbeat. Adrenaline surged through her as she attempted to gather her thoughts; she wasn't in Boston, she was safe and warm in her bed, at home in Colorado Springs. She winced and brought a hand up to cradle her forehead; she was safe and warm at home in Colorado Springs, with what was quite possibly the largest headache she had ever experienced within her lifetime.

With a small groan, Michaela sank back into the pillows and sighed. For a while she had felt the heartache she had experienced in Boston as acutely as if she had traveled back in time to relive it.

Her dream had reminded her that Sully loved her, or rather, had once loved her…did love her? Michaela frowned slightly as she struggled to decide which one it was. Did. She decided definitively. He still loved her, of that she was almost sure… the only problem was, she now realized that quite often love just wasn't enough. The passion and sincerity in his expression still fresh in her mind, she longed to regain what had been lost between them, however she knew that it wasn't a possibility; it couldn't be. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…

Nevertheless, she also knew there was no realistic way she could ever cut Sully out of her life; they had shared too much as friends long before they became more. Besides, there was more than just herself to consider, there was Matthew, Colleen and Brian to consider as well; in many ways Sully was as much a part of their lives as she was.

No, they needed to resolve whatever this, this thing was between them so that they could begin to find their way once more. He had hurt her, but she realized now that she still needed his companionship, his support; in short, she still needed her best friend.

Michaela groaned again, this time more out of an anticipation of what she was going to have to do than in pain from her headache. They hadn't had a civilized conversation since Catherine left; somehow, exceeding two minutes together triggered the antagonist in both of them.

No more. She decided. This wasn't going to end unless they both started acting like adults and owning up to the parts they played in what happened. Blaming had done precious little for them, and it was long past time they gave it up.

Michaela absorbed the warmth of the sun on her skin and savoured the encompassing tranquility the light brought to her through her closed eyelids. Now over the initial shock and panic induced by her vivid dream, Michaela found herself able to relax; and she was surprised to discover she somehow felt more refreshed, composed and peaceful than she had in the last weeks. The birds chirped cheerfully outside the homestead, and she inhaled the crisp, heady scent of the mountain breeze as it wafted through the open window. Perhaps, all this time, what she had needed most was a plan that involved more than just cowering until the worst blew over.

She pushed back the comforter and ambled into the kitchen, putting the kettle on and fumbling around for a mug. She could hear the distant shouts of Matthew, Colleen and Brian in the midst of some sort of ball game, and it was only in that moment she realized exactly how late she had slept. Michaela smiled to herself, envisioning the hushed argument that most likely took place earlier when Brian would have tried to wake her up; in all probability, it ultimately resulted in him being dragged outside by his elder siblings. She was so blessed. There was just one place she needed to go before attempting to find Sully, and as soon as she finished her tea she would get dressed, say her goodbyes to the children, and finish finding her way.

Sully awoke drenched in sweat and completely disoriented. He sat up slowly, squinting against the light, unable to remember the last time he had slept so late; it was no wonder he had a headache. Trying to ignore the pain in his head, he got a fire going and fixed some Willow Bark tea. It only took a few sips for the pounding behind his eyes to recede, and he settled back with relief.

It had been a long time since he had dreamed of Boston; he had all but forgotten the heart stopping panic he had felt when he believed he had seen Michaela for the last time. The entire journey home from Boston had been spent reliving the past year and a half of his life, reflecting on how much it had changed for the better since Michaela Quinn walked into it. Then he had been forced to tackle the more difficult train of thought; how he was supposed to live his life now that she had walked back out.

Following their fight outside the lecture hall, Sully had gotten on the train without a second thought. He had lost her, and he was no glutton for punishment. If she was going to stay with William in Boston, he needed to be as far away from Boston as possible. He needed to go back to Colorado Springs immediately. But then she had shown up on the train and thrown him completely off guard once again. He couldn't think when she badgered him the way she had… it was always so difficult for him to think in her presence, and eventually he had blurted his confession. He had told her he loved her; and then she had taken flight like a frightened deer.

The dream had reminded him of how bleak the prospect of a world without Michaela had been, and how quickly things had turned when he saw her step off that stagecoach back in Colorado Springs where she belonged. He would fight for her again, because it was always worth it.

The tea eased the last of the tension from the base of his neck, and Sully suddenly knew where he had to be.

Sully reached the summit of his fortress and was startled, although somehow, not altogether surprised by the tiny figure already lying on the peak. Michaela lay flat on her back in the grass with her arms entwined behind her head for support. She looked so serene and peaceful, he felt like an intruder in his own space; as if he were committing some horrendous sin by observing her uninvited in as natural and free a position as he had ever seen her.

He cleared his throat and took a small step forward. Instead of scrambling to a more proper sitting position upon hearing his approach wearing that embarrassed, flushed expression he was so accustomed to seeing, Michaela rolled languidly onto her stomach and propped herself up on her elbows, gazing at him intently.

Sully stared back, trying desperately to gain an idea of what was going through her head. He had never seen her look so calm, so at ease, so comfortable in her own skin. He shook his head, no, that wasn't quite right. The moment dragged on, and Sully finally grasped on to the missing piece. Dr. Mike was comfortable in her skin, Dr. Mike was confident, Dr. Mike was beautiful, headstrong, and knew the answer to every question. Michaela Quinn was the vulnerable, skittish woman who blushed at every prolonged look, every kiss. Michaela Quinn was the girl who still found herself on the outside at the parties, the girl who was awkward in social settings. Michaela Quinn was jumpy and uncomfortable in her role in their relationship… what used to be their relationship; and now, for the first time, Michaela Quinn was openly staring at him without so much as fidgeting or biting her lip.

Sully took another cautious step towards her, afraid that at any moment she would leap up and run away, or worse yet; stay, and leave him to watch her disappear into herself as she had so many times before.

Michaela seemed to sense his apprehension, and a short laugh escaped before she bit her lips together, suppressing any further proof of merriment in what she recognized as anything but an amusing situation for Sully.

"You needn't look so frightened Sully."

She smiled warmly, yet there was a hint of…sadness? No. Resignation?…no, that wasn't it either. Michaela continued speaking, unaware of the tentative battle of adjectives waging in Sully's mind. "I'm not going to dash off if you come closer. After all, this was your place first."

Sully's shoulder's relaxed and he approached her with more ease. Once Michaela saw he was indeed going to come closer she returned to her original position, gazing up at the expanse of the sky. Sully sat down beside her, then paused when she didn't even fleetingly shift her gaze from the massive billowing clouds listlessly drifting by. After another moment's hesitation, he slowly stretched himself out on the ground beside her, making sure to keep a safe, comfortable distance between the two of them.

And still each of us is alone; side by side but alone.

Except now it appeared only Sully was alone. Still lost, still stumbling around in the dark hoping to eventually happen upon a lamp, a candle, a match. Michaela had apparently found her centre, and being alone in his loneliness all of a sudden seemed more than he could bear.

"What're you doin' here?" he asked cautiously.

"Well," she started, "You told me once this is where you come when you lose your way…I think it's safe to say I was most definitely lost for awhile."

"And now?"

"Now?" she shrugged. "Now I've experienced for myself the magnitude of good that being up here can do. It's absolutely extraordinary."

She turned her head to face him, "And you Sully, what brings you here?" She enquired curiously.

To Sully it appeared clear she already knew the answer, yet she seemed in need of hearing the words; he gave them to her. "I reckon it's about time I found my way too."

Michaela closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, revelling in the scent of the air and the feeling of the long grass tickling her cheeks. The wind swirled around her, alternatively blowing her hair on and off her face. Recognizing that she was in no hurry to speak, Sully took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and did the same. Half an hour passed with their private, respectful silences before Michaela suddenly opened her eyes and rolled onto her side to face him. Sensing her movement, Sully too opened his eyes and turned in her direction.

For the first time that evening, he watched her confident, self assured air falter for a moment as a slight uncertainty took its place. Reluctant to see this new side of her vanish, Sully was about to speak when Michaela sat up slowly, hugging her knees tightly to her chest. She looked over the landscape; completely breath taken as always by the endless rolling green hills, the large leafy trees, and a sky so big she was utterly lost in it. She began speaking almost distractedly as she continued to take in the view.

"I was jealous at first." She admitted quietly.

Sully wisely remained silent.

"I was jealous of her, and of how you could share something with her you could never share with me. The things you've always had to stop and explain to me, she already knew and understood."

"Michaela just 'cause we understood each other an' spoke the same language don't mean-

"Sully." Michaela cut him off, and turned her head to look at him, "please just let me finish." she pleaded. "I don't want to fight with you, I am so tired of us fighting all the time. I can't do it, I'm done. I only wish for us to tell each other how we felt. Right here, right now. No more yelling, no more accusations, no more excuses, no more defensive insults…" her voice trailed off and she gave him a wry smile, "No more throwing horse brushes." Her smile widened as he chuckled. It felt so good to be able to laugh together.

She looked deep into his eyes and her expression was suddenly as solemn and sincere as he had ever seen it, "The gloves are off Sully; just the truth. I think we owe each other that much."

Sully nodded and sat up in order to better see her face. He reached his hand out to touch her, and somehow it still stung when she drew away. There were some hurts one could never get used to. She sent him a sad, apologetic smile before resting her chin atop her knees and hugging herself even more tightly together. Her eyes were once again on the scenery.

Whatever we may do or attempt, despite the embrace and transports of love, the hunger of the lips, we are always alone.

"I'm listenin'."

Although she didn't turn back to face him, he still saw the flash of gratitude in her eyes before the distracted expression once again took hold.

"It made me jealous to see how naturally the two of you fit together, and I was angry with you for not being able to see how much it bothered me, how awkward it made me feel. I felt like the third wheel in my own relationship… and I hated you for it almost as much as I hated myself for feeling the way I did."

Sully winced, but didn't interrupt.

"I think I tried to pull away from you before you had a chance to pull away from me…maybe I thought it would hurt less…" she shrugged, "either way, I was in the wrong. Pain is pain, and it doesn't matter who pulls away first. I apologize."

"I didn't know what to do." Sully stated. "You were always busy, and when ya weren't y'always seemed mad at me for some reason, I couldn't figure it out."

"Sully, I love being a doctor, it's who I am…I don't know what I am outside of medicine. Before Catherine I always thought you understood that it was the one part of my life in which I could be completely confident."

"You mean the one parta your life ya could completely control."

Michaela's blush belied the truth in his statement. "I would never try to change the doctor in ya, but bein' busy an' bein' a doctor ain't the same thing as hiding behind bein' busy an' bein' a doctor. It ain't fightin' fair."

"Walking away 'ain't' fighting fairly either." she retorted more harshly than she had intended, however, Sully didn't take offense.

"I thought we weren't allowed ta get defensive?" he asked with an indulgent smile. She had the decency to look abashed, "Sorry."

"I shouldn't have walked away; that's somethin' I need t' work on. I don't really think either of us are so good at handlin' bein' upset."

Michaela smiled nostalgically, "No, but there was a time when we at least tried."

"Michaela, Catherine meant nothin' to me, not like you."

The smile disappeared from Michaela's face and she turned to face him again, "Seeing you kiss her was the most painful thing that has ever happened to me. I had been jealous, I'll admit that, but you kissing her hurt. It hurt like nothing I've ever felt before. And the way you brushed it off made things even worse. I know to you it didn't seem like I was giving anything of myself, but I was giving all that I could. I wanted to be able to give you more, to trust you more but I didn't know how Sully, I didn't know how to make myself." she sighed, "And then I became angry again, angry at you for not acknowledging how colossal an issue it was, and angry at myself for ever letting you get close enough to have that effect on me, and the angrier I was the less it hurt…" she trailed off as she realized she was rambling. "Staying angry was the only way I could keep myself from falling apart." She stated succinctly.

"I guess most of the time when one of us is yellin' about somethin', there's somethin' else botherin' us even more that we ain't yellin' so loud about."

Michaela nodded her head silently in agreement, "It's too hard." she stated, "Loving you is too hard."

Loving you is too hard. Is. Present tense. Wonderful, marvellous present tense.

"You still love me?"

"Of course I do… I can't seem to help it, lord knows I've tried." she fidgeted with a blade of grass, her head bent down in concentration.

"Does this mean -

"I love you Sully -

"I love you too." He rushed in.

She gave him a slight smile, "I love you, but it's not enough." she shook her head as he opened his mouth to protest. "Sully, we went into this blind, and nothing good came of it. Love isn't enough to make everything work out. This isn't some story book, no one lives happily ever after, and we've proven to ourselves that we are clearly incapable of handling conflict."

"Michaela -

"Sully tell me honestly, were we more comfortable before, or after Boston?"

His hesitation was all she needed to confirm the answer. "Exactly." She took a deep breath and looked him in the eyes, "I just want my best friend back."

"What's comfortable ain't always what's better. Boston was comfortable for ya… livin' your life is all about taking risks; like the ones ya took when you came here."

"It's not the same."

"It is the same." he insisted passionately, "And maybe things have been different, but I'd take bein' miserable with ya over bein' miserable without you any day."

Sully saw the slight over brightness of her eyes, but her voice continued on strong.

"I'm sorry Sully." Michaela stated wistfully, "Trying to get over you, that was the hardest thing I've ever had to do." she paused, trying to choose her words carefully, "I want us to be friends again, I want to be able to talk to you, I want the children to stop suffering, feeling guilty for loving us both…" her voice trailed off, then she shook her head, snapping herself back to attention, "I survived what we went through once, I don't think I could manage doing that all again. I can't… it still hurts too bad…it hurts right now."

"Ya think I ain't hurtin'?" He raised his voice suddenly.

Michaela winced, "Sully -

"No!" he interrupted, "I know you said no yellin' but I can't sit here an' listen to ya talk so calm about quittin', I need to say this."

Michaela opened her mouth, then swiftly closed it again and leaned back on her hands.

"We courted for weeks, and maybe we didn't feel as close as we'd been but I didn't move, you did. Even before Catherine, Ya moved and I couldn't pull ya back or get out to ya. You told me ya loved me, and then ya drew further away from me than you ever were quiet and shy, things Dr. Mike had never been around me before…it was like ya were playing some game and I was expected to play too 'cept I couldn't figure out the rules."

Sadness and remorse flooded her expression, "Is that what you thought?" off his nod she continued, "Oh Sully, I never meant to play games. I was just so scared…I hated feeling like I needed you… the fact that I'd come to depend on you so much frightened me."

"Why couldn't ya just tell me?" The confusion, and slight irritation, was evident in his tone.

"I didn't want to admit it. I thought everything would just sort itself out." She looked into his eyes and saw him searching her soul for that last piece she wasn't telling him. Michaela sighed and phrased it as best as she knew how. "I couldn't seem to stop myself from putting a wall up, no matter how hard I tried. My heart was pulling me in one direction, and my head in another, and my head kept winning."

"Why was it ya couldn't just trust me?"

"I did trust you Sully. I trusted you more than I've ever trusted anyone, except maybe my father. How many times did I cry in front of you? Let you hold me? I trusted you."

Sully shook his head, "Bits and pieces."

"And yet, look what happened."

Although she spoke softly, Michaela's words once again cut Sully to the quick.

"Michaela let it go! For the last time, it didn't mean nothin'. How're we supposed to move past this if ya won't stop hangin' on and bringin' it up every two seconds? I pulled away before I even knew you were standin' there."

"Because you felt guilty."

"Of course I felt guilty!"

"You had time to pull away before Sully, you knew what was going to happen and you didn't do anything to stop it. A part of you wanted it to happen. You were looking for something in her you hadn't been able to find in me, something I couldn't give you, and it hurts knowing that I'm that easy to replace."

"Michaela," he started, running a hand exasperatedly through his hair, "I'm sorry! There ain't nothin' else I can say. I wish to God it never happened, I wish I hadn't hurt you, but it did…and I did." Overwhelmed with the feeling that this was one of his last chances to make her really know how he felt, he grabbed her arm, the urgency he was feeling apparent in both his body language and expression, "I made a mistake, I was wrong, and I'm sorry."

Michaela gave him a soft, sad smile and gently lad her hand atop his. He loosened his desperate grip as he suddenly become aware of what he had done. "I believe you… I know that now."

Sully instantly lost his fighting stance, "What?"

"That's the first time you've apologized without making an excuse or shifting the blame immediately to me. This was in no way all your fault Sully; I had my part to play in this as well… I think I just needed for you to own up to yours."

Sully smiled and began to relax slightly. Turning away from her, he gazed up at the clouds that had so recently captured her attention, "I say stupid things when I feel backed into a corner."

Michaela openly laughed, "We both do."

"I got defensive before 'cause I already felt guilty."

Michaela wordlessly accepted this and touched his arm, forcing him to look at her. She leaned in and hesitated for only the briefest of moments before pressing a soft kiss to his cheek. "Now I can let go."

Sully grinned at her, "Me too."

Michaela offered him her hand, "Friends?"

Instead of shaking it, he brought her hand up to his mouth and gently kissed her delicate fingers. "Always. Maybe someday -

Michaela brought a finger to his lips, "One day at a time."

They stared at each other a few moments more, a sense of peace and closer finally enveloping them. They would be okay.

"Goodbye Sully." Michaela said as she stood, believing Sully would, in all likeliness, appreciate a little time to reflect on his own. It was only fair; after all, she had been lying on the mountain top almost two hours before he showed up. She smiled, waved, and disappeared down the mountain without a second glance backward.

"Dr. Mike!" Sully called, but it was too late, she had already moved beyond hearing distance. He stopped and reflected on how easily she had slipped back to "Dr. Mike" in his mind. He wondered how the name could feel so familiar, and yet so foreign and wrong on his tongue at the same time. Where were they now? Sully knew he could never be satisfied calling her Dr. Mike again; not after everything they had been through. He wanted Michaela. He needed her. With this revelation, he sprang up from his position on the grass and tore through the underbrush after her.

Sully continued to shout after her, and Michaela turned around just in time to see him burst through the brush behind her. He crashed into her and barely managed to grab hold of her arms as she began to fall.

"Sully, what…?"

His grip tightened on her upper arms, "Michaela I ain't lettin' you do this."

"Sully -

"I walked away from you once and it was the worst mistake I ever made, and I ain't lettin' it happen twice."

"Sully really -

"I'm comin' after ya just like I shoulda been smart enough to do the first time."

"Sully I wasn't trying to play with your mind, it wasn't some kind of test. I said what I said because I meant it, not because I was expecting you to stay."

He looked deep into her eyes, "I shoulda." he repeated.

Michaela started to look at the ground, but he refused to let her. Not again… they were never going back to that place again. Shifting his weight, he brought her attention back up to his face. "Whether you wanted me to or not, I shoulda spent every moment makin' sure ya knew how much ya meant to me… mean to me."

"No." She shook her head and wrenched her arms free from his grip, "I can't…" her voice cracked and her eyes welled up with tears. "You can't go back, you can't just start over… I feel as if it's hanging above me, and I try to bury it and it -

Sully touched her arm in an effort to still her movement, then gently tilted her chin upwards, "Michaela, I want you to look at me."

She laughed nervously, "Really Sully…" she scoffed.

"Look at me." He insisted.

She finally raised her gaze, and he took her hand as he solemnly looked straight into her brown green eyes. "I will never hurt you like that again. Never. I love you. I love you."

Michaela let out a tiny sob, and he could almost see her head waging war against her heart.

"Sully you're making this even more difficult. These last few days…I don't want us to ever go back there."

"I ain't tryin' to make things difficult... I just feel…nothin' important ever comes easy right? Ya gotta risk somethin' to get somethin…'" His voice trailed off as he felt himself talking in circles. He cupped her cheek in his hand and silently begged her to simply see everything he couldn't say.

I have dragged you out into the night in the vain hope

The familiar shiver ran through her at his touch as she felt the raw power of the feelings coursing between the two of them. She watched him frown and run a hand through his hair in frustration. Without waiting for him to continue Michaela leaned her head against his chest and closed her eyes. She breathed in his scent, and felt the same security in his embrace he never failed to offer. It would be so easy to give in…and she was so torn. Her mind was a filing cabinet, and as soon as she had it all organized to her liking, Sully opened a window and sent things blowing into chaos.

Michaela knew what she wanted, more than anything she would have loved to throw herself into Sully's arms and fearlessly believe everything would be okay, however, the stakes were so high; she would never recover…

Her heart warmed to the comfort of two hearts beating in time, then it stopped entirely as the kiss flashed before her eyes again and again. Catherine's lips on Sully's, Sully pulling away… Sully pulling away.

Sully pulling away.

Her thoughts trailed off as it seemed to finally click in Michaela's head exactly whom she was thinking of; Sully. Her Sully. The most honest, honour upholding man she knew…a man who had made a mistake, and sincerely regretted it. Sully had made a mistake. A mistake. Could she honestly see it ever occurring again? Even her head had to agree it was far from likely. To err was human…

She thought of the kiss and forced herself to see it as she had that day; like yesterday, and yet so long ago at the same time. Space between bodies growing smaller… the slow motioned tilting of their heads letting her see they were moments away from…

Sully had allowed the kiss to happen, regardless of whether it had been passively or otherwise. Sully had been wrong, Sully had hurt her… but Sully had pulled away. She allowed her mind to reflect upon the single detail she hadn't obsessed on. She had played the kiss in her mind countless times, reopening the wound over and over again, but she had never again thought of what occurred after. The furrow of Sully's brow… the slight grimace which overtook his face as he broke away.

They had both punished themselves enough; it was long over. Heart finally triumphed over mind as an entirely new lightness of being filled her. The clouds were finally beginning to clear.

Raising her head, Michaela's eyes bore into Sully's; searching the depths of his being as he had done to her so many times before. She seemed satisfied with what she saw, and she found the last bit of courage she needed in the still eyes before her. Michaela slowly raised herself up on her tiptoes to place a gentle, light kiss on his lips.

Sully didn't even dare to breathe as he felt her lips press ever so softly again his own; terrified that the slightest movement on his part would scare her away. Was this the sign of a new beginning, or a final goodbye?

Michaela stood back on her feet and watched him intently. All she saw was love, and she would no longer be afraid… she would never let fear ruin her life again. She would fight against its destructive power. With this resolve firmly in mind, Michaela leaned up once again and claimed Sully's lips in a much less passive kiss.

Sully eagerly responded, and when she pulled away, his eyes were cloudy with passion. They stared at each other for a few moments longer, as if they were seeing the other through new eyes and not quite sure how to begin; then Michaela wordlessly began to walk away.

Sully's heart contracted painfully in his chest as he watched her go, and he fought his hardest against every part of him screaming to go after her, to somehow convince her to stay. His head dropped as it finally sank in for him that it truly was over; and despite his best efforts, there was nothing he could do about it. He had tried his best, and the only possibility left was to respect her wishes and refrain from making things any harder than they had to be.

Michaela turned around, slightly puzzled as to why he wasn't with her. Surely her bold move had been all the answer he needed? Maybe her forwardness scared him… maybe he had changed his mind….No. she told herself firmly, even as her legs quivered beneath her. There would be no more of that; she would be confident in herself, in her love for Sully, and in Sully's love for her. She would no longer hide. She slowly offered her hand and held her breath as she waited. She waited what was probably the longest half of a second in her memory before Sully's face split into a wide grin and he ran towards her, swooping her up and spinning her around.

He laughed and gave her an exuberant kiss as he set her down. Michaela's heart felt full as the last of the cloud hanging over them dissipated; this was joy. She brought a loving hand up to his face and gently swept his hair out of his eyes, unable to keep her hands from touching him; reassuring herself that this was all real.

"How are your stitches?" She mentioned absently as she ran her fingers through his sun streaked hair.

Sully couldn't think about the stitches, because her fingers were placing feather light touches over his face in that way he had thought he would never feel again. Her glorious warm hands grazed the slightly discoloured area around his temple, and he had never before experienced such thankfulness for an injury.

"Ain't nothin' ever felt better in my whole life."

Together, hand in hand, they walked down the mountain; grateful to whomever was listening for allowing them to finally find their way.

When all is lost, and startled from our sorrow,

Tranced from our grief by that diviner grief,

We raised remembering eyes, each looked at other,

Blinded with tears of joy; and another leaf

Fell silently as that first; and in the instant

The shadow had gone, our quarrel became absurd;

And we rose, to the angelic voices of the music,

And I touched your hand, and we kissed, without a word.


That's the last of it. Thanks to everyone who read... I hope it was enjoyable despite the emo angst, lol. I think I just really needed there to be nothing left usaid between them on this issue. Anyways, it's out of my system. Thanks!