I thought I was going to try writing it in order, as in two or three drabbles for each book. But I ended up skipping to a drabble for the last book. Oh well.
This drabble is rated T for implied/mention of sex. Nothing bad, though. Does that even apply to the T rating? I honestly don't even know. Whatever.
I blame this one on Grey's Anatomy. Stupid Grey's Anatomy.
AMONG THE FREE
The things that Luke knew always seemed to never matter when it came to the things he did.
He knew that trying the overthrow the government was a pathetic child's dream, but here he was famous for speaking out against the Population Police and saving third children.
He knew that some children were hopelessly afraid of freedom, but here he was teaching those children to play kickball and football and dodgeball in the great outdoors.
He knew that he wasn't illegal anymore, but still he would wake up some nights, expecting the men with the guns and black uniforms to knock down his door to take him away and torture him.
He knew that Jen was dead, but he still talked to her every day.
It started with just her speaking to him. He couldn't see her, and he knew it was just his imagination trying to overcome his fears and doubts.
But then the years passed. He wasn't fighting anymore and he didn't need her. Still, she stayed. She started to form a body, and it seemed linked to him in almost every way. Whenever he was happy, so was she. Whenever he was stressed, so was she. Whenever he was angry, so was she (but many times, whenever she was angry, he was afraid).
When his body started to grow into a man's, so did her body grow into a women's. Whenever he was aroused, so was she.
When he hugged her, kissed her, and touched her, she responded, and he felt it.
Jen was dead, but Luke lived. He had friends, he had family, and he had students. But every night, he came home to her. Eventually, Luke started thinking, every night, that maybe he should just forget about living like Jen did.
He couldn't. Forget, that is. How could he forget the life that she gave him the courage to fight for, and how could he forget the people that helped him to get it? And though he never forgot, he wasn't so sure he wanted to remember anymore.
And his friends started noticing, too. He didn't go out with them any more, not even in the daytime, let alone nighttime. Sometimes he just didn't feel like listening and replying to their messages piling up on his machine, and pressing the delete button was so easy.
He could tell his friends were afraid, but he chose to ignore it until finally they came to his house. They were trying to offer their comfort, even though they didn't know what he needed it for. Luke tried to reassure them, but inside he felt even colder and colder. They should have just left him alone. It was all he needed!
Then Trey started to list off the symptoms of depression and other mental conditions. Luke ended up punching his best friend in the face.
He tried to apologize, but he couldn't really put his heart into it. They had already forgiven him, anyway. He knew it. They were still worried, though, and afraid.
"Luke," Nina had told him tearfully, after helping Trey clean up his bloody nose. "We're just trying to help. We love you."
"I know," Luke replied, forcing a warm smile on his face. "But it's alright, Nina. I'm fine. Look, I just need to be alone right now. It's late; you all should just go home. Tell Trey I'm sorry, will you?"
He practically begged for them to leave, and they did, albeit reluctantly. As soon as they were gone, he went to Jen, taking her body in his hands and venting all of his emotions towards her through his kisses.
It was painful, but still he could never stop. Never, because she had trapped him. And all he wanted was to be free with her.
He woke up early, in time to watch the sunrise, but he didn't. He stayed in bed and watched his white ceiling slowly light up with color.
This time, Jen was not beside him until a few hours later after he finally pulled himself up and sat on the side of the bed. He was still naked, so she was too.
"Trey thinks there's something wrong with me," he whispered to her softly.
Jen looked away. "But you know it, don't you?"
Luke did not answer her. A lump rose in his throat, and he said thickly, "It's just not fair. Why can't I - why can't you..."
She climbed back onto the bed and wrapped her arms around his neck from behind. "I'm so sorry, Luke," she whispered brokenly into his ear. "I'm so, so sorry..."
"I'm sick." He lifted her hands from his bare chest, raising them to his lips, and feeling her soft skin. "How could I be so sick? Being with you - why do I have to be sick?" He was begging her for answers. But he didn't have answers, so neither did she.
"Because I'm dead." As she said this, his hands were still on hers as she trailed her fingers down his face, following the track of a single tear on his cheek. "And I can't help you. You can't keep doing this. You have to - you have to get help, and I'm dead. I died, Luke."
"Stop saying that," he pleaded.
He flinched. "I don't want to lose you, Jen."
"And I don't want to lose you. No one wants to lose you."
He turned around so that he could wrap his arms around her. "I don't care -"
"You care, Luke. That's why you can't be selfish. You won't. You'll talk to them, and they'll understand." She pressed her head on his chest, breathing him in and listening to his heart. "They'll be there for you. And you'll see someone, a professional -" He held her tighter, but she continued, "And then you won't have to be sick."
"Jen, stop it, please."
"You stop it, Luke! It's you. All you."
"But I love you..."
He closed his eyes when she kissed him, even though he desperately wanted to open them.
"I love you, too."
He could feel her breath on his lips and her hand on his face. But when he opened his eyes, she wasn't there.