Title: If Ever I Would Leave You
Disclaimers: I own no one Lost World. This is just a bit of my imagination working overtime.
Spoilers: Up to and including Brothers in Arms.
Summary: This is just a short little add on scene for the end of Brothers in Arms. It's all R&M and it's definitely on the sappy side. You have been warned.
If Ever I Would Leave You
Clad only in her nightgown, Marguerite paced her bedroom restlessly. It was late, but no matter how hard she tried, sleep still eluded her. Every time she closed her eyes, images of Veronica and Ned disappearing forever were imprinted on the inside of her eyelids. She was afraid to close her eyes and fall asleep, convinced that if she did, when she awoke she would be alone in the treehouse.
It was this fear that had kept her from finding any solace from the events of the past few weeks in sleep. It had been hard enough to lose Summerlee that day at the bridge, but now Veronica and Malone had been taken away from them as well. True, it had been Ned's choice to leave his friends for awhile, but that still didn't make the news of his departure any easier for Marguerite to take.
"Why is this happening?" she mumbled to herself as she dropped down onto her bed, tears making their way down her cheeks. It had been so hard for her to let these people into her lives, to let herself care about them, but she finally had, convincing herself that it may not be such a bad idea after all. But now they were gone and she was left behind to pick up the pieces as she watched the people she had come to consider her family disappear one by one. "Maybe it's me," she muttered to herself. "Maybe I'm just cursed."
"Marguerite?" Marguerite looked up, hastily wiping away her tears when she saw Roxton standing in her doorway. "Can I come in?"
Marguerite sniffed and then shrugged. "If you want."
"Well, how can I resist such a warm invitation?" Roxton teased lightly, crossing the room to sit beside her on the bed.
"So you couldn't sleep either?" she questioned.
Roxton shook his head. "Are you all right?"
The tender concern in his voice almost caused her to come undone once more. "I'm fine," she lied, unable to look at him as she struggled to hold back her tears.
"I said I'm fine," she snapped.
She stood up but Roxton grabbed her arm, pulling her back down onto the bed next to him. "Marguerite, please," he begged quietly.
"What?" she demanded, finally turning to face him. "Do you want me to tell you how hard this is? How much I miss them? How-" Here her voice broke and the tears she had been trying so furiously to control spilled over. "How frightened I am that soon I'll be all alone?" she finished in a whisper.
"Oh, Marguerite." Roxton pulled her into his arms.
Marguerite let her body relax into his comforting embrace as he soothingly stroked her hair. "It's like we're being picked off one by one," she said softly, her words slightly muffled against his chest. "Since we've arrived on this bloody plateau, our family has been cut in half."
Roxton's arms tightened around her, fervently wishing there was something he could do to erase the pain he heard in her voice. "We will find Veronica, Marguerite. And Ned will come back to us when he finds what he's looking for," he finished softly.
"You sound so sure," Marguerite sniffed, pulling back to look up at Roxton.
"Just what did the two of you talk about yesterday?" Marguerite asked curiously, swiping halfheartedly at the tears on her cheeks.
Roxton smiled sadly. "It turns out Neddy Boy and I have a lot more in common than either of us realized." Marguerite looked at him questioningly. "Let's just say I could identify with the memories his hallucination brought back all too well. Memories that raised questions he still needs answers to. Answers no one else can give him, ones he has to find on his own. But he will return, Marguerite," Roxton continued, pulling her into his arms once more.
"I just want them back," she said, her voice so soft Roxton had to strain to hear her. "I don't think I can go back to being alone again."
Roxton felt his heart catch at the uncharacteristic vulnerability her heard in her voice. "That's something you don't have to worry about," he promised. "I'll never leave you."
Marguerite pulled herself out of Roxton's embrace. "Don't make promises you can't keep," she said bitterly. "I've had enough disappointments to last several lifetimes."
"Marguerite, listen to me." Roxton lifted her chin with his fingertips, forcing her to meet his gaze. "No matter what happens, I swear to you that you will never have to be alone again. There is nothing we can encounter or experience that will take me away from your side. So," he continued in a lighter tone, his eyes twinkling at her, "it looks like you're stuck with me, like it or not."
Marguerite laughed tearfully and Roxton smiled gently back at her. "That's better," he murmured, tenderly stroking her cheek. "They will be back, Marguerite. Our family will be together again."
Marguerite nodded silently and wrapped her arms around him. "Thank you," she whispered. Roxton only held her tighter, offering what comfort he could through his embrace.
They stayed that way for several moments until Marguerite reluctantly broke the embrace. "I suppose we should both get some sleep," she said. "Need to be up bright and early tomorrow so we can find Veronica and bring her home."
"Yes, we do," Roxton agreed. Before Marguerite's startled gaze he leaned down and pulled his boots off, lining them up next to Marguerite's bed. "They're a bit uncomfortable to sleep in," he explained as he swung his legs up onto the bed.
"Roxton, what are you doing?" she finally managed.
"I promised I'd be at your side," Roxton reminded her with a smile. "And I always keep my promises." Roxton slid his arms around her, preparing himself for an argument or even to be pushed out of the bed. He was pleasantly surprised when Marguerite only smiled in response before reaching down to pull the covers up over both of them.
"Don't look so smug, Lord Roxton," Marguerite said with a smile. "You're only winning because I'm too tired to argue," she told him, a yawn cutting off the end of her sentence.
He smiled back at her, relieved to hear her sounding a bit more like her old self. "I don't doubt it," he replied, gently running his thumb along her jawline.
"Thank you, John," Marguerite murmured as she snuggled up against his chest.
"You're very welcome," he said softly.
"Goodnight," she mumbled sleepily.
A few moments later her even breathing told Roxton she was asleep. He leaned over and pressed a soft kiss against the top of her head. "Goodnight, my love."
And somewhere in that world between dreams and reality Marguerite heard his words, and she smiled.