A/N: ..Does anybody really write for Pandora/Thomas? Anyway, set in 3.08, after Cook drops the bomb about Pandora and him.
There is a time in someone's life when they realize that everything they've ever done comes down to a certain moment.
For some, it happens for an inane sports competition, battling their brawn against other apes like themselves. To them, all their training, all their exercising regiments and strict diet control comes down to the Olympics, or something equally as important. They've lived their whole lives wanting it. It's nearly theirs for the taking.
When Pandora followed Thomas through the woods in the smoky night, she could understand that everything she'd ever done came down to that moment. In a different way, perhaps; she hadn't lived her whole life loving Thomas, and she'd flown off the rails with Cook. But to her, it was almost the same. All her mistakes, all the donuts in the world and the chants, "I want my boyfriend back..."
It all meant something, and it came down to the moment he walked away.
"I can apologize, Thomas."
Pandora fancied she could apologize for the rest of her life, all in millions of different ways, in different languages if she must. She knows how to apologize in French and Spanish. It might not help much - how could it? - but it was something.
Even through the apologies that whisper mellifluously from her guilty tongue, Thomas does not halt; he moves on, pushing past brambles and overhanging branches and jumping over fallen trees. Nature doesn't stop for Thomas; he won't stop for nature, either, and it's an easy give-and-take.
"I'll explain! I promise!" Pandora follows, and she's not nearly as fast as Thomas, or as nimble, but nature understands her regret and lets her pass with limited pain. She curls her fingernails into her palm, drawing tiny crescent moons of blood. She hasn't yet stopped. "Thomas, please, listen to me."
Thomas stops. Nature, around them, goes on regardless. "I have listened," he says shortly. The moonlight filters through the thick trees, and it glows softly on his face. Pandora wonders idly if there was a moon in Congo; if it shined as brightly as it did here.
"I have listened," Thomas repeats. He still doesn't turn to face Pandora, his face upturned to the sky and his hands clenched into balled fists at his side. "There is nothing I should say to you."
"It was easy!" Pandora jerks her head away, and finds a spot on the leaf-riddled ground to occupy her attention. "It was easy to... with Cook. I don't love him. With you, it's -"
"Different," Thomas supplies.
Sudden anger explodes inside of her. "It's a wonderful... fucking hell, it's a wonderful different, Thomas. I love you!"
It's the same old tune that she plays, her harp singing a harmony of her guilt. Yet still, Thomas doesn't say a word, and nature around them weeps for what is gone. Rain falls down, softly at first, the tears of some higher being that understands their pain.
"I'm going home."
This time, when Thomas leaps over the fallen trees and pushes past the low-growing branches, when he shoves past thorns and ferns and weeds, Pandora doesn't follow him. The moonlight is still soft on her skin, and it surrounds her with its light as the crickets hum a song of the lost.