REVIEW! a one-shot, because Sam/Leah is taking over my brain...
"Sam, you are an idiot!"
What stings the most is how appallingly similar this is to the dreams Leah has on dark nights when she's not careful enough to ward them away. He's begging her to reconsider. Begging her to come back to him.
Only in the dreams, he means it a different way, and he's offering the heart he took away from her as a bribe.
"Lee, please. I know it's hard for you, but… he could imprint any minute. I can't watch that happen to you again."
She walks two steps forward, her feet ringing like a bell on the cold ground of the forest, and stands close to him, right beside where he's kneeling on the floor, head bent. Begging.
But not begging for forgiveness. Not begging for her love.
"You think I joined this pack because I'm in love with Jacob?"
She almost laughs aloud, and slowly Sam raises his head, his eyes pulling with an irresistible force that certainly isn't gravity from the ground to hers.
"What am I missing, Lee? Tell me."
It's not a command. He knows her well enough that if he ordered her, she'd laugh, and probably spit in his face or some other rebellious gesture, and she's removed herself from his authority now anyway.
Her words are slow and deliberate. She places one syllable exactly between each breath, and the shadow of them trembles in the icy night air. "I joined this pack because I'm in love with you."
Slowly, at the same pace as her speech, he rises, to her feet, and takes her hands. She would rip them away, but the warmth, and the strength, and so many years she's needed this, this one little thing, that she needs more than anything else. Their fingers tangle and she wants to pull him to her, press her lips to his, tell him damn it you're not leaving me again, beg him to stay there forever, but one word "Emily" lies between them like a sword.
"What do you expect, Sam? That I'm going to wake up in the morning and realize, oh, that's all right, it wasn't meant to be?"
He acts as if she hasn't spoken. It burns, a slow creeping feeling, because she's telling him the truth (for once) and he ignores it. "Because I still feel it too."
Now she pulls her hand from his grasp. Her whole being protests. And she ignores it as efficiently as he's ignoring her. "What kind of selfish bastard are you?"
Leah Clearwater has never been one to repress her feelings, and at this point she simply releases them all in a torrent, a flood, an ocean of words.
"You're coming here to tell me that you love me, Sam? Asking me to come home? Why? So I can watch the man I love- still love, will love forever, have loved since I was barely more than a child- get married and live happily ever after with my best friend? Watch my sister steal my life? You want me to come back so you know I'm safe. All well and good for you, but what do I get out of that deal? More pain, Sam. More pain. I can't bear it!"
The sun on the other side of the earth shines a little brighter and the darkness of their sky winces with the power of her fury. Yet she does not shake, she does not change. It is a woman's anger and not a wolf's, and this shape is the one to express it. Centuries of this pain in a million relationships, Hera's fury, the pain of betrayal and what should have been forever.
Imprinting has nothing to do with it. It simply is, and that breaks her.
She speaks slowly again, rage fading into sorrow, resolution, finality. It is the truth.
"Sam, I have given you everything I have. You took it, and you walked away from me. You could have chosen to fought. It is possible. But you didn't love me enough to even consider it. I don't want an excuse. I could not care less about the pain you're in. I gave you my heart and you spit in my face. You are not going to manipulate me back into that situation. I will not look at what I've lost every day. I won't watch your thoughts, your memories, your God-damn fantasies. I'm not going to put myself back under your command, Sam. I can't do it. It is too much to ask of me, and I will not allow myself to suffer that way again."
His eyes flutter closed and he reaches blindly for her, the familiar shape that fit in his hands when he didn't know his greater destiny, his arms aching for one last embrace, his heart pleading to kiss her again. One more time.
He knows now, knows that she loves him… too. Because he's every bit as in love with her as he used to be, but he belongs to Emily, heart and soul, and he'll never even find the desire to break those ties.
Sam's arms close around empty air as Leah slips into the darkness.
She does not phase. No howl splits the night.
A very human tear sparkles like the skin of her second-greatest enemies as it falls under the moonlight and into the ground where she lies.