A/N: I haven't written any fanfiction in a while, but I'm on winter break now and have time on my hands, so I've been reading and attempting to write. This story was written on a whim in a very short amount of time and has been in existence for less than an hour. This oneshot is the most angsty story I've written (read: very angsty) and doesn't always follow the rules of grammar. I also wanted to clarify that this is NOT in the same universe as "Forever And Ever And Ever" and "A Good Year For the Roses." And to tell you that I don't own The Secret Garden and, of course, to ask you to review.

------------------------------------------------

How Does Your Garden Grow?

She had thought that she could do it. That she could be strong enough, stubborn enough to control her stupid, senseless feelings because nothing could ever come of them. Because the scandal of Lady Richards and her groundkeeper had spread even to Misselthwaite, and because she just couldn't bear that kind of attention, of judgment. Because if she did what she wanted to the consequences would spread beyond herself and damage both their families. Because she didn't want anyone to get hurt.

Sometimes she thinks that Colin guesses. He asked her if she'd like to walk around the gardens, once, and she refused so vehemently that he never asked again. Sometimes she thinks she catches him looking at her when she's staring out the window at the rain falling on the moor, but when she glances back at him he's always bent over his biology textbook.

He's never said anything, but from the way he looks at her sometimes (his grey eyes still can't hide what he's feeling) she knows that he knows. He's never said anything, and she knows he won't. Sometimes she feels horribly about it (more feelings she has to prune) but she had to do it. She didn't think (well, she did, but she didn't really believe) that the feelings she didn't want to feel wouldn't go away. That they would keep growing back like so many weeds.

She never lied. She does love Colin, she loves him with all her heart, but her feelings for him aren't like the other ones. A night in bed with Colin can't rival a kiss from –

she can't think it won't think it won't think about him but it doesn't help. Why why why why why won't these feelings go away, why do the weeds keep coming back. She had always been so good at gardening.

That's why she had to dismiss him. Well, why she had to ask Colin to dismiss him, because she hasn't seen him, couldn't bear to see him, since that day in the garden in the rain when she showed him the diamond on her finger and he called her a coward and she was angry because didn't he understand that what she was doing was the bravest thing she had ever done?

It's not like she's not being fair. She wrote him a good recommendation and found him a new situation twenty miles from Misselthwaite. With any luck she will never see him again. She can withstand the hard eyes of everyone he knows if she can just get rid of the feelings.

He leaves, but it doesn't matter. The weeds keep coming back. She locks the door and throws away the key but the weeds keep coming back.