Title: A Good Start
Fandom: The Descent
Disclaimer: Don't own them, just borrowing.
Note: An imagined history of the relationship between Juno and Sarah, with and AU ending.
They'd been roommates in University. No one could ever figure out how they'd come to be friends meeting them for the first time, Juno's American accent or maybe Sarah's British one making school at any level seem unlikely. But that's how they met, roommates in University.
Juno had thought that Sarah was a prissy little British girl when they first met but Sarah soon proved however that she could take whatever Juno threw at her; that she was much stronger than her willowy figure and soft voice indicated. And that's how Juno learned that you really can't judge a book by its cover, and how Sarah became her favorite person in London.
Juno's 'like' slowly turned into more, and one night as they stumbled into their room pissed out of their minds, Juno fell onto Sarah's bed with her and kissed her. Sarah struggled and pushed her away, her hands braced on Juno's shoulders for a long moment as she stared at the other girl before she finally dropped her hands and lay back on the bed. Juno considered her for a moment, her drunken mind not sure what to make of Sarah's reaction, but then she leaned over the blonde and slowly began to lower her face until their lips met again. This time, Sarah's hand moved to tangle in her hair and she pulled Juno closer to her.
For months after that, one of their beds was always empty.
Juno had clung to Sarah extra long at the airport, not wanting to go home for the summer, or more specifically not wanting to leave Sarah. Sarah had smiled gently, and stroked her cheek and mindful of the people around them kissed her quickly on the mouth before whispering, "I'm not going anywhere."
It was true. When Juno got back Sarah was still there … she just wasn't alone.
Sarah smiled at and gave her a long, crushing hug as the noise of the airport faded to a distant hum, Juno's eyes drawn to the brown-haired man standing awkwardly behind them. When Sarah pulled away she said she brought Paul along to do the heavy lifting and introduced Juno as her best friend.
Juno absently shook his hand and muttered something about jet-lag.
She had thought they were more than that and that Sarah had felt the same way. It turned out her lips and fingers were just benefits.
She almost didn't go to the wedding. She had an excuse that she planned on sending with the belated wedding present, something about a rock-climbing accent, a concussion and not being able to fly. She made it just in time for the ceremony. At the reception Sarah flung herself into her arms hugging her before scowling at her and slapping her lightly on the shoulder for making her wonder if she was coming before hugging her again.
Eventually Sarah left her to dance, and Juno moved over to join the rest of the bridal party. She forced a smile onto her face a few minutes later as Beth whispered to her about how beautiful Sarah looked in her dress.
Juno agreed and eyed the open bar.
She was officially just one of the girls.
Juno's eyes lifted to the glittering silver key chain in Sarah's hand, her heart pounding as she looked into Sarah's crazed eyes.
"I always wanted you," she said softly, blinking rapidly against the tears forming in her eyes. "After all the years … he was as close as I could get." She knew it was a mistake, she knew it was crazy, but somehow she had managed to convince herself that if Paul had Sarah, and she had Paul, then in a way she had Sarah too.
Sarah stared at her, her eyes searching Juno's face following Juno as she turned her head up to look around them. The creatures were there, beginning to circle once more waiting to attack. Sarah lowered her gaze.
Juno watched as Sarah leaned towards her, uncertain yet hopeful, her eyes widening with fear and alarm a moment later when Sarah grabbed her pick-axe from her belt and lifted it above her head quickly swinging at her.
"Fu-uck," Juno exclaimed a second later, her breath coming in harsh, ragged gasps as Sarah yanked the axe out of the head of one of the creatures, its body slumping behind Juno as Sarah reached for her hand.
"We have to go," Sarah said, her voice monotone as she tugged Juno along behind her towards the nearest opening.
"Wha … yeah, no! That one," Juno said tugging back on Sarah's hand halting her and pointing at a different opening. Before they were attacked upon entering the small cavern she had seen the markings she noticed earlier pointing the way out of the cave system. "I have a lot to apologize for but we don't have time now. I love you and I will get you out of here, but you have to trust me."
"Go," Sarah said nodding towards the exit Juno wanted to take.
Juno used their still joined hands to swing them around so Sarah was closest to the opening. "I've got your back."
Before Sarah let go of her hand and broke out into a sprint, Juno was sure she had felt her squeeze her hand.
Juno watched as the nurse slowly approached the side of Sarah's bed, freezing for a few seconds as the blonde turned her head and locked her eyes on her, the nurse only continuing when Sarah looked away again.
The hospital staff had given them both a wide berth since they were admitted to the hospital, but they were especially cautious around Sarah. Her eyes were the same as they had been in the cave and in a way now that Sarah was scrubbed clean and looked rosy fresh, and small and fragile once more it was even more terrifying to see that primal, empty look in her eyes.
The nurse quickly changed her bandage and topped her water. Then there was the silence.
Sarah hadn't spoken since a patrol car had come across their truck pulled off to the side of the road. Juno had done all of the speaking for them, from talking the officer into putting his gun away after seeing the amount of blood that coated them both, to explaining what had happened in the cave on the way to the hospital. She had drawn a map to the cave and a sketch of the creatures once they had been cleaned up and were comfortably situated in the psych ward. And she was the one they had walked to the front desk two days later to greet a pale, and shaken police officer who had simply told her that they had confirmed her story but were unable to retrieve their friends' bodies.
As she was escorted back to room she heard some nurses saying that the police had lost over ten men down in the cave.
Juno was shaken from her thoughts as she felt a presence beside her and automatically jumped back, her back slamming against the headboard as she reached to the side grabbing whatever she could find and holding it in front of her.
It was probably ten seconds before she realized that it was an empty plastic cup that she had immediately crushed in her hand and that it was Sarah standing at the side of her bed. She dropped the mangled cup over the side of the bed and brought her other hand up to cover her face, breathing deeply for a few seconds.
"You looked awake."
Juno blinked and lowered her hand staring over at Sarah. It was the first she had heard the other woman say in over two days.
"Nerves," Juno muttered following Sarah's gaze as the blonde lowered it to her covered legs. Juno's hand was tapping against her thigh rapidly. She reached out with her other one and slapped it down on top of it in an attempt to stop the tapping. "Sarah," Juno began a moment later looking up at the blonde. There was so much she wanted to say to the other woman, so much to apologize for and explain; so much begging and groveling that she was only too happy to have the opportunity to do.
"Not now," Sarah muttered her eyes skittering away from Juno for a moment. She couldn't talk about what had happened down there yet.
Juno blinked as Sarah lifted the edge of her blanket, automatically shifting to the side as Sarah rested her knee on the mattresses making room for the blonde to slip in beside and slightly on top of her.
Juno said nothing as Sarah's head came to rest on her shoulder, choosing to concentrate on the comforting warmth of Sarah's body against her, and the pleasant memories the feel of the other woman brought up.
"What are we supposed to do?" Sarah breathed out softly long after lying beside Juno in the bed. She still couldn't feel much or bear to close her eyes, and when she had looked across the room to Juno over the past couple days there was a part of her that felt rage burn and an animalistic growl explode in her head. But there was also a part of her that needed Juno; that wanted to feel, that wanted to be soothed which had led her over to the side of Juno's bed and into her arms. She was scared, and angry, and deeply damaged, but now feeling Juno's chest rise of fall beneath her head, and the brunette's fingers intertwined with her own squeezing tightly, for the first time since entering the cave she felt safe.
"I don't know," Juno answered truthfully, her voice soft and thoughtful. "But I think this is a good start."