Fear and Hope

Summary: "…she seems to be waiting for something. Something she fears with every fiber of her being."

Disclaimer: I own nothing connecting to this movie.

I've just found this story on my computer. I wrote it a while ago but haven't finished it until now... Enjoy!!!

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"I'm not going to drove tomorrow."

It seems as if everything stopped in the room. Drover, who forgot about his dinner before him a long time ago, is looking intently at Sarah waiting for some kind of reaction. He has been thinking about this for a long time now and day after day he became more and more certain that he can't leave Sarah alone.

Something is off with her. He can feel it. She has changed and it makes him worried. He is worried because she is a strong woman and yet now her posture seems smaller, more fragile. She is not that proud and guarded woman whom he saw first almost two years ago, nor is she the defiant and self-confident one whom he fell in love. No. She is different. And he doesn't know why.

As Sarah looks up from her plate, Drover wonders for the hundredth time where the spark from her eyes has gone. Her beautiful blue eyes were always full of life. She was full of life. There was always something for her to do. There was always something she wanted to do and it made her vibrant. She never waited for the things to happen, she went and made them happen herself. Now she seems to be waiting for something. Something she fears with every fiber of her being.

"What did you say?" Her voice is only a whisper as she is looking at Drover in disbelief.

In spite of her somehow reproaching tone, Drover can't help but smile a little because now he can see the old Sarah.

"I'm staying. The boys can do the drove without me. I won't leave you alone when something is clearly wrong with you."

"Don't be silly, nothing is wrong with me." She answers with a nervous smile while begins to collect the plates. When she starts towards the door and her back is to Drover, she stops for a second, closes her eyes and grips the plates tighter. "You have to go." Her voice is cold and commanding and it makes Drover snap at her.

"Damn it, woman! Don't use that tone with me!" Drover is out of his seat within a second and follows Sarah to the kitchen fury overtaken him. However, he is taken aback when Sarah, after literally throwing the plates on the counter, turns towards him.

"And why not? I'm the boss, remember?" The fire he so missed is back to her eyes. But somehow he becomes even worried and his annoyance that he felt towards her sudden superiority is suddenly vanished. He slowly reaches out and strokes her cheek, his eyes are filled with love and concern. She, instead of turning her face away as he expected, closes her eyes and leans in to his touch.

"Talk to me, Sarah!" He pleads but at the moment this sentence leaves his mouth, Sarah's features become sharp again as she snaps her eyes open.

"You have to go." Her voice is stone cold once again which breaks Drover's heart but now he can see her eyes. He can see the fear and despair in them and steps even closer to her trying to help her, to show her that he is here for her.

"Sarah…" He begins but realizes that he doesn't know what to say to her. He doesn't know what is wrong with her.

"Please." He winces at the pain that he hears in her barely audible voice. Her sharp expression is gone and he can see that broken woman whom he lived with in the last two weeks or so.

In an instant he takes Sarah into his arms and is holding her tight while stroking her back.

"It's alright, Sarah. Everything is alright. I'm here for you." He really doesn't know what to say to the woman who is now sobbing in his arms.

But it seems that for her it is enough just to be in his arms and he settles for that, too. After all, it was quite a while ago that he held her like that. After a while she calms down and just clings to him her face buried into the crook of his neck.

"Please, go to drove tomorrow." He hears her muffled voice and sighs.

"Sarah, I won't leave you, not in a state like this. And I'm no…" He is cut off by Sarah who loosens her grip on his waist and now is looking at him.

"You don't understand. It's not because of me. It's because of you."

"You're right. I don't understand." He holds her gaze waiting for an explanation but Sarah diverts her gaze and now is staring at his chest. Drover is waiting patiently. It's obvious that she is debating with herself and he doesn't want to disturb her. When she looks back up at him, he unconsciously tightens his hold on her.

"I'm sorry…" With that her gaze strays from his eyes desperately searching for a spot she can concentrate on. "I just thought that if you go away, it will be easier… that I can pretend that it never happened." Her voice breaks while she is struggling with the words. "I just wanted to protect you. If you don't know about it… If you are not here when it happens…"

"Sarah, you are scaring me." He is so worried now that he can't even think straight. So many things cross his mind within seconds… so many terrible things. But among all of them, there is one thing he fears the most. God, don't let her be ill. "When what happens?" He feels dizzy. He can't loose her. He lost his first wife, he even almost lost Sarah once. He just can't…

"When I loose our baby." His stormy thoughts are interrupted by her weak and resigned voice and he suddenly finds himself able to focus on her now tearstained face. "I'm so sorry." She whispers and leans back into his embrace.

Drover once again doesn't know what to do. He feels his muscles relax as the news sinks in. She won't leave him. He tightens his arms around her as a smile appears on his face. She is pregnant. It was a lifetime ago when he last thought about having children but he wasn't a family man back then, either. He likes to have his freedom, to have the feeling that he alone is responsible for the happenings in his life. But then again, it all changed when Magarri talked some sense into him after he had left Sarah alone on the veranda of Faraway Downs. She is a part of his life now… and he wouldn't have it any other way.

And when finally he grasps the concept of having a real family, his family, suddenly Sarah's face appears in front of him as they are standing under a boabtree. I can't. Her eyes were filled with regret and shame. He slowly closes his eyes and a few drops of tear escapes between his eyelids.

"Sarah…" He begins and steps back just enough to look at her. "I'm here for you, no matter what. Don't ever forget that."

"You don't know what you are talking about." She whispers still not ready to give up the fight but her tone is resigned. "You will never look at me the same way again." She is so afraid and Drover can only guess that it is what happened with her husband. But he won't let it happen with them. And they don't have to give up the hope. Maybe this time Sarah will bear a healthy baby… "God! I so want this baby, Drover."

"Then we'll have her… or him. It doesn't matter. The important thing is we don't give up. There is always hope, Sarah. Always."

"I wish it were so, Drover. I really do. But I gave up all my hopes when, after two miscarriages, I held my dead son in my arms. I can't do it again and not with you. I love you so much."

"Then let me be with you, Sarah. I'll have the hope for both of us. Hell, I'll have the hope for a whole country. Just don't give up on me… and the baby."

And as she is looking into his deep brown eyes she feels a little smile slowly appearing on her face. A tiny spark of hope finds its way into her soul. And though it's not much, she finds that it's just enough for her because Drover's eyes are full of it. His eyes are so clear, so sincere. They are so full of love and joy. And they are void of any doubt and it makes her dare to hope, too. It helps her think of "what if"?

THE END