The big regrets changed one's life. They altered one's future. Sometimes, they altered that of everyone around one as well…. Possibly even that of the world itself.
But those weren't the regrets which kept her awake at night, creeping out in the silence and the dark to haunt her dreams… To steal her sleep.
No. It wasn't the big regrets.
They knew it was bad. Terribly bad. As John had said, the creature which controlled her Sanctuary was certainly intent upon wreaking massive chaos and destruction. At the moment, however, there wasn't a damn thing either of them could do about it. She'd given out orders and now, locked in the cell with communications down, all they could do was wait.
Further words were just as useless. The important things had already been discussed. There was nothing to be gained through more conversation. Nothing to be gained… and everything to be lost. Time - if they had it - would have to prove the truth of what he had said. She couldn't afford… couldn't risk… believing him now.
Not even when she looked into eyes which still called to the depth of her soul and saw him looking back at her, pure and untainted. The man she had fallen in love with more than a century ago.
But… still… She couldn't believe it. Couldn't trust it.
She moved to the table against the wall and sat down upon it. The chair was too… small. And the bed…
So she perched on the edge of the table, prepared to wait and, after a moment's hesitation, John followed. He gestured towards the far end of her makeshift bench and shot her a questioning look. Though it was certainly a bad idea, she couldn't deny him so, at her nod, he sat down.
Only it felt so… right… being with him again. Even like that. Even though she tried to ignore the comfort she felt in his mere presence… in his proximity. In seeing once again expressions and mannerisms which had become such a distant memory that she hadn't even known how terribly they'd been missed until that very moment.
When she found them in the man seated next to her.
Her entire body… her entire being… screamed out the truth of his words.
Yet… she couldn't.
Because the terrible truth - the truth she'd kept hidden from everyone save perhaps Will who was clever enough to have guessed it - was that she couldn't survive any more. She was too terribly close to breaking already.
So she held herself back… resisted the pull of him. Kept him at bay.
Only… he was so close. Simply being there with him threatened to undo her defenses. And she couldn't possibly move away. That would be… obvious.
Because she couldn't let him know.
Couldn't let him see.
She couldn't help herself.
Just a little. Out of the corner of her eye…
And he saw.
His gaze caught and held hers, the corner of his mouth curving upwards in the barest hint of a smile. She licked her lips nervously and hoped the sudden thudding in her chest didn't sound as loud as she was certain it must. His smile grew wider.
Slowly… giving her time to protest… he slid closer along the table's edge, and, though she knew she ought to, she couldn't have objected to save the planet. And when he leaned towards her, his eyes dropping to focus on her lips, she could hardly even remember why she should.
And then, just as their mouths were about to meet - the feel of his breath upon her lips, the smell of him - God, so close - consuming her senses… She remembered. And dropped her gaze.
Though it felt like a physical blow.
And John - if it was John… if it had ever not been John - let her go. And backed away.
But he remained there.
At least… He did then.
She'd learned it wasn't the big regrets which haunted her dreams.
It was the little ones.