This is definitely one of my shortest works, and yet one of my favorites. Thanks to my friend and co-writer, Scarlet, I have been reading all of Jodi Picoult's books. 'The Pact' was one of the ones that really gripped me along with others like 'My Sister's Keeper', 'Nineteen Minutes' and 'Change of Heart'.

But, anyway, this is my take on what happened after the book ended. I do hope that you like it. :)

Disclaimer: I don't own 'The Pact' or any of its characters, Jodi Picoult does.

Meant to Be

It's cold, against his temple.

Distantly, he wondered if Emily had noticed that too.

How long had it been? An hour? A day? A year? A decade? A millennium? He didn't know, really, because all he could think about was Em, and how she smiled, and laughed, and how she smelled, and the sound of her voice...

That night he had come to the carousel hoping to stop her. Even now, he didn't know how it went from him intending to stop her from doing it at any cost to putting the gun to her head. It had gone so fast. One second he had been holding her, the next, his ears almost burst as the shot rang out.

Maybe... maybe... he did kill her... because he felt it. Felt it all-- her pain, her secrets, her depression. Why not? They had known each other since the cradle, they had grown up together, they could finish each other's sentences...

So, why not?

His finger inches closer to the trigger, and he applies a bit of pressure, aware of his frantic heartbeat, of his breathing, of the rustle of the wind in the trees...

Had it been his fault?

Yeah, it was. Because, despite all that crap about it being her parents' responsibility to know about her being suicidal, it was really up to him. How long had Em been thinking about it? Had it been because of the baby, or did it start longer ago than that?

Was it something he did? Something he said? Was it something he wasn't there for to save her from? Was it because he was around too much?

He didn't know. He didn't know.

He was supposed to, but he didn't know.

They had made a pact. They vowed to kill each other together, but he'd lied. He'd never lied to her before, and if he had, they were small lies, lies that he confessed to later, lies that he owned up to. She would forgive him for them, she always did.

Would she have forgiven him for this one?

His hand stops shaking, suddenly, and his eyes stop stinging, and slowly, he closes them, aware of nothing but his heartbeat now. He waits until it slows, until he can imagine that it's Emily's, which was beating so calmly that night, as if she were home...

They had made a pact. He had lied, but... he was doing it now, wasn't he? Was it a lie, because he was doing what he said he'd do. A little while too late, but he was...

He takes in a deep breath, aware that it may very well be his last. He remembers her in all her incarnations-- five years old and his best friend, eleven and still a tomboy, thirteen, suddenly blossoming... Sixteen, and his lover, his soul mate, his forever.

He focuses very hard, until he can imagine her eyes...

And then there is a shot.


He is nine years old, and he is sitting at a bench. The air smells like grease and disinfectant, and Em-- God, it's really Em-- is heading to the men's room, trying hard to be brave.

He calls out to her, and she stops, turning around. When their eyes meet, she smiles, and he does too. He gets out of the bench and runs to her, and he grabs her hand-- so warm, and soft, and perfect-- and all around them, things fade away, until the smell is gone, and they are breathing the crisp air of autumn.

They are standing at their rock, and when he looks down, he remembers the time he fell and needed stitches. Beside him, Emily laughs. "Still haven't forgiven me, huh?" she asks, voice more alive than he ever remembered it being.

His voice is barely a whisper, but he is sure she can hear it. "I never blamed you."

Em smiles and squeezes his hand tighter, and gestures down. There is no ground, it's just light. Light that makes him feel warm, and good... "Together, this time," Em says, and he nods.

"One," he begins, bending his knees a bit.

"Two," Em continues, giggling a little.

"Three!" they shout simultaneously, and, as one, they jump.

And everything was as it was meant to be.

A/N: Phew. That was hard to start, yet it flowed nicely once I finally started... :) Well, I don't think that Emily and Chris were meant to be lovers or anything of the sort. Not the way things happened. If that hadn't happened to Emily when she was nine, then maybe... but, I think that, if Chris did kill himself, they would be nine again, when everything was perfect between them... before anything bad happened.

And, yeah. I think Chris meant to kill himself at the end. After his life revolved around Emily, how could he start over? It's sad, but, I think that that's how it would have turned out.

That's just my take on things. I love Emily x Chris, but only before all the sex happened and Emily started getting depressed. You could tell that they weren't meant to be together in that way when you read her thoughts about their relationship.

Anyway, hope you liked it. Review, please. I love them. :D