Disclaimer: The characters in this story are the property of CBS and are only used for fan related purposes. Any dialogue from the twelfth episode, "Gasp", included is used only to further the story.
Once Upon a Time
It's idyllic, it's serene, and if it wasn't for the fact that there is a legend of a monster caged in the late sheriff's holding cells, then it would be almost magical.
You love the feel of the rich fabric against your skin, the way the gown folds and flatters you in a way that would've made you a beautiful bride; it's almost as wonderful as the way his body molds to fit yours, his arms wrapped around you, making you feel the safest you've been since this all began. He's your very own Prince Charming, protecting you from the villainous evil that lurks just on the edge of your happily-ever-after.
You're going home, and it's all thanks to you. The Coast Guard has been alerted and they're on their way.
It's almost over.
And then, amid the silence that is only broken by your contented breaths, there comes a heavy, ominous knocking at the door and you wonder which way your story is going to go now.
His body tenses under the weight of yours. It's the first sign that something is wrong, and you feel that familiar rush of alarm and trepidation return so suddenly it's like it never left; you don't know when it did, and you're sure that it will easily return to you until you're safe at home again. And then you realize that for him, it never went away at all. He's jumpy and on guard, already slipping past you and off of the couch.
Of course, having your fairytale wedding turn into a massacre straight out of a horror movie could have that effect on anyone…
The knocks echo, and you wonder who is adhering to such pleasantries. When your life has become nothing but screams and running and long, dark nights, you no longer bother with knocking for entry. You understand this—who's out there that doesn't?
It's when Henry calls out, "Hello?" that you instantly decide that you don't want to know. Ignorance is bliss, and this is the most at peace you've been since a light switch was flipped and your father—
The pain is still too much, the agony and the loss too raw and too soon for you to think about him for another second. There will be plenty of time to mourn him when you're safe, when you and Henry and Shea and Madison make it off this damn island. Until then, though, you have to survive, and surviving means not taking anything for granted.
Even your heart stops beating as your ears try to pick up even the tiniest of sounds outside. But there's only silence. There's no answer, and Henry has his gun in his hands. Quick and prepared, he's already pulled his shoes on and he's at the door while you linger on the other side of that couch.
As if the couch will protect you.
Slowly, you rise, watching anxiously as he peeks through one side of the curtain-covered window, then the other. He doesn't see anything—you're not sure if that is reassuring or not—and, before you can beg him not to, he has the door open. Shouldering the shotgun, he yells out again,
But there's nobody there.
When you were a little girl, and your world was filled with magic and rainbows, fairy tales and happy endings, you lived the life of a princess—you were your daddy's princess. But when your mother died and the monsters began to creep in, there was only one way for you to make them disappear.
And you wonder now: if you pull the blanket up over your head, will whoever's out there just go away?
You're sure that uncertain fear is written all over your face as Henry stays out in the open, stays out of your line of sight for a few seconds too long. You don't want to be left alone, and you don't want him gone. It's dangerous out there. You don't know what you would do if anything happened to him.
Anxious to have him back, you say, "Henry?"
It comes out a question and that's what it is, but that's not all it is. All your fears and your worries are folded up in the way you plead his name. You're asking him to be careful, you're praying he'll be safe, and you're begging him not to leave you.
Wary and concerned, Henry stays outside for only a moment longer before giving way and answering your call. He comes back inside, his jaw set and his eyes narrowed in purpose. You're so relieved that the threat you imagined is only in your imagination that it takes you an extra beat before you understand what he's preparing himself to do.
He's going to go out there himself. Henry—brave, reckless Henry, your hero—is willing to do anything to protect you, even if it means his sacrifice.
You won't let him do this. You can't. Too many lost, too many dead, and you were foolish to feel even the least bit safe with that monster still alive. So you begin to argue, but you get no further than, "Henry, wait," before you just stop. It's pointless and, as he cuts you off with a look and a gentle tone, you let your argument fade.
He understands your concerns, but he's unrelenting and you find yourself powerless against him. He's made up his mind; there's nothing you can do to change it. It's with pure regret in his eyes and a sad, sorry frown that he grabs his sweater and approaches the door again.
"Lock the door," he tells you. "I'll be right back."
It's a promise; as simple as that. You take it to heart and, in that instant, you're reminded that there isn't anything he wouldn't do for you. You're the heroine in this story and in every storybook it's up to the princess to allow herself to be rescued. It's what Henry is trying to do, so you let him. You do as you're told, quickly before your stubborn Wellington streak leads you to follow him right out the door.
As if the clicking is the sound of you sending your fiancé off to his death, you start to tremble and shake as you take hesitant steps away from the door. You feel your eyes widen, there are tears there, and you shove roughly at your hair if only to have something to do with your hands.
You start to pace, feeling as though you're playing the part of every cliché you've ever seen in the movies. You can't sit down, you're too jittery, and you wring your hands so much that your forty dollar manicure bites into the flesh of your palms.
Where's Henry? Why hasn't he come back? The questions run repeatedly through your mind, an endless loop; your eyes never leave the door. And when the shadows fall and your ears pick up the sounds of someone approaching, you pray that he's made it back to you.
He said he would.
Your voice is shaky, weak from terror and taut in anticipation as you call his name hopefully this time: "Henry?" But again there's no answer and you feel as if your heart has leapt into your throat. Still, you manage to demand, "Who is that? Who's there?"
When your answer finally comes, it arrives by way of John Wakefield kicking the door in and stalking murderously into your room.
And suddenly you know what it really means to be a damsel in distress. This isn't like a storybook, with its "Once upon a time" or its "Happily ever after"; this is your life and, as you see the hellfire and pleasure in the devil's smirk, you're desperate to cling to it for as long as you can. But there's no hero to save you now—you have to rescue yourself.
Surprise is on your side. Now that Wakefield is here, you can sense the death in the air and you want no part of it. You're not going to go down so easily. This isn't the first time you came face to face with the beast—your heart pangs as you remember what almost happened down at the Cannery and what could have happened if it wasn't for Shane Pierce—and, like before, you surprise him.
You don't have a gun in your hands this time but you have something better: you have something to live for. You will find Henry and you will get off this damn island and you will have your wedding.
He obviously never expected you to move so fast, and that's where his surprise saves your life. Stunned, you're able to sneak by him and dart into the sanctuary of the bedroom will a shrill scream. Before Wakefield is aware of it, you're away from him; safe, if only for the moment.
But the sliding of the bolt is no more satisfying than the clicking of the first lock. The door, while beautiful, isn't as strong as the front door and you've seen what Wakefield's heavy boot did to that one. There are only seconds, you figure, before the monster recovers and comes charging towards the door.
Your chest feels seized and you forget how to breathe. Heart thundering, fingers twitching in the folds of your dress, your every consciousness is geared towards finding your escape. There's only one door, but the window is promising. Jerking the curtain aside, you hear your frustrated grunts and terse screams when the window won't open.
That doesn't stop you. In a fit of destruction justified by this life-or-death predicament, you pick the lamp up off of the table and, with more strength than you thought you had, you smash the window to pieces. The glass doesn't break clean but a cut on your palm is the last thing on your mind. Like a swan in your white gown, you dive through the window, landing in the bushes before you roll onto the grass.
The adrenaline is coursing, pumping through your veins, and you don't stop. You're up on your feet and running, frantic fingers clutching to the expensive material as you make sure you don't trip. You have nowhere to go—but as long as you keep Wakefield behind you, that's enough.
Your petrified sprint takes you through the trees, panting and huffing and trying your best not to scream. You don't see him, but that doesn't mean he's not there; you refuse to give away where you are, though you have the sinking suspicion that he knows the island better than anyone else.
In your bare feet, you flee, jumping over every stick and rock and puddle in your path. You haven't stumbled, even though you keep glancing over your shoulder to see where you've been. You don't know how long you've been running for, but it doesn't seem like it could be enough. You're still lost in the woods, but at least you're alone.
The dress—your once beautiful gown—is beginning to weigh you down but that's not stopping you; you are slowing, however, and you use the rush the terror produces to speed you up again. Tiredness is second to your survival, yet you push yourself too hard and, suddenly, you've stumbled for the first time. You fall forward, smearing dirt along the front of the damn dress, but then you're up again.
You're running again.
And, in those few seconds you were down, you're convinced you heard Wakefield's purposeful jog as he continually trails you.
You haven't run fast enough. Can you run fast enough?
It doesn't matter. You can't give up. Your father never would have given up, and Shea… she's already lost her husband. You can't put your sister through losing you now, too. And Henry…
Your breath catches in your throat, overwhelming relief flooding your entire body as you spy him in the clearing. Henry, your savior, he's only a few steps away. You push even harder to get to him. All you have to do is fling yourself into his embrace… and you're safe. You'll both be safe.
"I thought he killed you," you murmur frantically into his shoulder, finally giving words to the worst fear you've harbored since he left you alone. It's the first thing you think to tell him.
Henry whispers his responses, quiet things, careful things that make your heart swell and your bravery return. As long as you're with him, you can do anything—even face John Wakefield.
"Wakefield escaped," you tell him suddenly, as if the thought of the name has reminded you of your purpose here. You glance over your shoulder again but there's no sign of him. Yet. "Henry, Wakefield's escaped. We have to go." The words tumble out, mixing in your haste to warn him, to let him know why you're running, why you have to get away.
But why doesn't he look surprised? And what… what is he doing in the heart of the woods?
Why doesn't any of this feel right?
You're already in denial when he tells you simply, "I gave him the key."
You feel as if someone has punched you in the stomach. It's the same way you felt when you walked in on Katherine and Richard together, or when your mother's tea set was destroyed. Except, of course, a thousand times worse. A million times worse. The betrayal is so striking, so deep, that all you can do is not believe it. So you ask for clarification, you ask him to tell you again: "What?"
"Sully was right," he says, his tone still soft, still gentle. It's the voice you know, but you can't understand what it is he's telling you. "Wakefield has an accomplice. It's just not Jimmy."
And suddenly, as if you've been kept under a spell for all these years, you find yourself meeting the real Henry Dunn. "No," you whisper, your stomach heaving and your chest tightening. You push him away with your arms, slowly stepping back. Who is this man? This isn't your childhood sweetheart… this isn't your fiancé. Who is he? "No… no…"
He tries to put his hands on you but you feel the touch of his fingers burn. In a defensive pose, you try to push him back again but he's stronger and he doesn't want to let you go. "Look, I know how hard this must be for you…" He wants to talk—but you're done with listening to what he has to say.
Because it's all you can do, you call him a liar and you turn away. You expect his hands to linger but, for the first time you can remember, he wants nothing to do with your skin and he simply lets you go. You stumble again, blinded by tears, and you fall to the dirt. Above you, Henry sighs and it's a sound you remember from your childhood: the sound of a nanny sighing when little Patricia was having another temper tantrum.
And then you realize that he's humoring you now.
You're crying hot tears, salty tears, sobbing like the child he's treating you as. Savage, like a wounded animal, you crawl in the dirt, clawing along the ground in a primal need to distance yourself from this unexpected threat, from the truth and the lies; even more savage, his cruel hand is twisted in the lengths of your hair, pulling and yanking and keeping you close. You're weak—his confession has sapped all of your remaining strength—and you barely fight as he pulls you to your bare feet.
"Stop it," he says fiercely, giving your hair another tug as he backs you against his chest. His mouth is next to your ear. "Don't make this harder than it is. It had to happen on our wedding. I needed a way here. You see?"
You don't see, the betrayal and the pain blinding you to everything else except for one thing: he's purposely hurting you.
Your earlier fear and utter denials blossom into an unholy panic and you find yourself unable to breathe at first, choking on your sobs as you keep them back. But the panic pales next to the screeching realization; the one rational thought you have left is screaming at you now: he's telling the truth. Henry—your Henry—is behind all this. Your father's death… his own brother. He did it all.
"You killed them," you hiss, your accusation full of venom. But, when you speak again, it's only pain and you hope that your voice is cutting him as deep as his has you. "You killed my father. And J.D…."
"I'm sorry," he says, and because it sounds like he means it, you feel the pain increase. It's burning, like a searing fire, and you long to flinch away from him, but his hold is still too tight. "I'm sorry they had to go. It's part of the plan." He pauses, and with his breath hot on your cheek, he offers one more remark before you break, "But I really wanted to give you the wedding."
"You bastard… you bastard! You bastard!" You're yelling, slamming your fist against his chest with every syllable. You want him to hurt, you want his heart to feel your rage, your sorrow and your pain. His talks of plans and reasons mean nothing to you next to his confessions and his revelation of who he really is.
Who he's always been.
Again, he humors you. He lets you strike, he lets you take your anger out on him, but his hands are like vices when he grips your wrists and pull you close to him. In Henry's arms is the absolute last place you want to be—the hold is a mockery of every embrace you've ever shared—but you never get the chance to shove him away.
"It's not fair," he whispers, and then he betrays you one last time.
You don't know what hurts more: the absolute shattering of your heart or the point of Henry's knife as he digs it into your side. Then he gives it another jerk, a final tug, and you wish you'd never heard of fairy tales.
There's no such thing as happily-ever-after when Prince Charming is the villain.
It's not fair…
And then you gasp your final breath, and Trish Wellington is simply… gone.
Her body is laid out on the altar, the once-pristine wedding dress caked with dirt and covered with spilt blood. Her lovely face is turned away; dark locks fan out beneath her, serving as a pillow for her in this, her final resting place. It was Wakefield's twisted idea, a lure to the church where father and son would face off against the last two survivors on the island.
She looks beautiful, even in death—death seems to have granted her a final repose, an everlasting peace that eluded her in the last days of her life. She would've made the perfect bride for her lavish storybook wedding if the tale had ended differently.
As it is, if it wasn't for the mud on her feet or the crimson stains along her side, she could be just another sleeping beauty whose story ended far too soon.
Author's Note: This is the Trish death scene fic that I've been working on for about a week or so now. When we, as the viewers, were first shown that Henry is the accomplice, we got to share the reveal with Trish and, for that reason, I feel that her death -- along with Sully's -- is one of the most poignant in the series. Hers is the one I wanted to explore the most and I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out. I know the perspective is a little different -- I did the same thing with my first HI fic, When the Devil Whispers, but I think that secon person perspective fits with what I was aiming for. I feel that second person POV lends a certain urgency to the scene, heightening the emotions felt and really letting the reader experience what I thought Trish might've in her last moments. I hope you guys gave it a shot and, if you did, you enjoyed it. Thanks in advance for any feedback :)