018. Part of my 100 Songs Challenge.

Inspired By: Once, Glen Hansard

Disclaimer: I don't own The Host or the song. Obviously.

A/N: I really need to stop writing random oneshots. D:


Once upon a time (because that's how every fairy tale love story is supposed to begin) there was a woman and there was a man.

This woman was small and thin, with short dark hair that looked like feathers and even darker eyes. She was pretty, as far as women went, but she wasn't beautiful, and that was exactly how she liked it. Beautiful people (in her expert opinion) were always too busy being beautiful to truly enjoy what life had to offer.

The man was tall and well-built, with messy black hair and deep blue eyes like the ocean or the sky or something equally cheesy and romantic. He was handsome, as far as men went, but he wasn't gorgeous, and he was okay with that. Because he was man, dammit, not some pansy boy in a fashion magazine.

And they were happy for a while, as people tend to be. She liked smooth jazz and salsa dancing at the clubs on Saturday nights. He liked old-school rock and playing football with his buddies every week. She was a good girl with a badass attitude, whereas he had been in trouble with the law more times than he liked to remember (but still had a heart of gold).

They were different in a lot of ways, sure, but the same in many more. They could both play a mean hand of poker, often competing against one another and begrudgingly splitting the winnings. They could both put back a beer in two minutes flat. They were both interested in the world, often planning trips to places with exotic names, knowing full well that they'd never go. They were both completely and totally stubborn, and were often found arguing amiably about this or that like an old married couple.

And they were in love with each other, so that was something.

He'd wanted to propose to her, he really had. He'd been shopping for a ring he couldn't afford, begging his annoying brother to lend him some cash, asking his pals what he should do to make the night special. They were both still young, but they were ready, he thought. All he wanted was to be with her for the rest of his life. He'd dated more girls than he could remember, but she… She was something special. And he didn't want to let her get away.

But get away she had, after They arrived. The parasites, that is.

He'd always prided himself on being a practical man with practical needs, living a practical life. And so while the scientists and scholars hypothesized and theorized, slowly succumbing to Their peaceful takeover, he did what any practical man would do.

He found himself a gun, grabbed the first useful person in sight (which happened to be his jackass of a brother), and ran like hell to god-knows-where.

He'd wanted to take her too, of course. He loved her, and he would be damned if they were going to leave her behind. They could get married in the middle of a forest, with a vine for a wedding ring and a dumbass brother for a preacher for all he cared.

He'd wanted to take her with them.

They took her first.



When Kyle learns that there may be hope, that maybe (just maybe) he can get Jodi back, he wastes no time.

The soul he has kidnapped, Sunlight Passing Through the Ice, makes no noise of protest as he steals her away. She recognizes him, she says. She knows who he is – knows that he is Kyle, and that he would never do anything to hurt her. She's had dreams about him, she says, and isn't surprised that he's come for her.

His hopes only soar higher.

Back in the caves, Sunny's dark eyes brim with tears. She doesn't want to leave Earth – it is her home. ("No it's not," Kyle wants to say, but her face is so very sad.)

But she is weak and easily swayed by his words of encouragement. She gives in, and sinks into unconsciousness as one resigned to her fate.

Days pass.

Jodi does not wake up.

And it is then that Kyle realizes that the Jodi he remembers so vividly is gone for good. Because the Jodi he remembers was a fighter, strong-spirited and willful, with a roguish grin and a sharp intellect. The Jodi he remembers would never have given up the battle for her own mind – never would have laid down her weapons and surrendered.

Jodi is gone, and all they have left is "once upon a time."