Briony's Dreaming Again

I love Atonement. This is for those who are the same.
Thank you sooooo much to Lizzie for Beta reading this and definitely making it sound so much better. You rock socks! (PS well done in your geography exam: D)

Disclaimer: I do not own Atonement, or the characters in it.

I watched as Briony trudged up the stairs to bed. It had been one month since the incident, and I was still debating what I wanted to do. I was still angry at my family, so very angry at them. They had jumped to conclusions and taken that drop of happiness I had in my life for such a short space of time. My mother saw this, and despite her best attempts I kept to myself, hiding behind strong walls that no-one could break through, apart from my darling Robbie. And he was gone. He had been accused of rape (I could barley think the word), of raping Lola. I didn't believe for a moment that this was the truth; that so many perceived to be. And all because of my sister.

I had completed the circle, and was back to my original point.
Briony.

She had grown dishevelled in the past week, barley speaking to anyone apart from the cook and Mother on the odd occasion. I pondered this. Was she so wrapped up in her own world that she forgot that there was actually anyone else on the earth? Or did she think everything revolved around her? She seemed to miss…Robbie. How dare she do such a thing! Robbie was mine, and it was her fault that he was unlawfully ripped from my hands, my heart. It didn't seem fair that she was craving what she had banished. It didn't make sense. I could remember being her age as clear as glass, yet her actions seemed to be of a different realm. I watched now as she conquered the last two stairs.

"Good night, Briony, dear," my mother called. My sister didn't reply, merely nodding once and disappeared. Mother turned to me, a question in her eyes. I stared back at her.

"Honestly! I do not know what I have done wrong in bringing up both my daughters in such a way that causes them to act like this! What on earth has gotten in to you?" she asked me, exasperated. Personally, I only knew the answer to half of that question. But I was perplexed as to why Briony seemed to be acting in the same manner as me. I decided to investigate. I started up the stairs to see my sister.

"Cecilia, darling what are you- darling, I don't think this is a good idea," mother said, a warning in her eyes. I turned on her.

"Why not?" I snapped, almost flinching at the ice in my own voice. It was devoid of any loving emotion, Mother noticed.

"Just be nice, darling. You know how she is." I nodded once; intensely aware that the action copied that of Briony's less than a minute ago. I walked up the stairs, stopping momentarily at my room to slip off my evening shoes. I caught sight myself in the mirror. The girl who stared back at me was not me. Instead, I saw a girl with sallow skin and deep shadowed eyes that lacked any colour, any life. My lips were pale and chapped, and merely looking at them brought back memories of that night. Robbie, his arms around my waist, books everywhere... I shuddered involuntarily at the memory. If only she hadn't walked in, I could still be with my Robbie. I was momentarily lost in fantasy, but I then hastily pulled myself back to the present.

I carried down the hall, letting the door slam shut behind me. I walked to Briony's room, pausing only for a second before pushing open the door. The room was so Briony, with her typewriter by the window, looking out over the fountain. The fountain where my feelings for Robbie had gone from completely innocent to not so innocent. I trembled ever so slightly, but carried on into the room. I took my time, eventually settling into the arm chair across the room from the sleeping Briony. In her sleep she was no longer the miserable, grey girl I had come to know in the past month. Her face still held her youth, something I often forgot. In her sleep she recovered some colour, and her face was flushed with her dreams.

"Cee... No, Cee stay. Don't go." I froze. Was she still sleeping? I checked her. Yes, still flushed, her breathing steady and deep. "No, Cee...understand. No... Not correct, but still fairly true." This was a little confusing, yet my sister's unconscious mumblings fascinated me. "No, Cecilia. No, Lola...Lola Mr Marshall..." I was worried. What did Briony know? She rolled in her sleep. "Cecilia... shiny, to Cee...dark...books..." Oh my life. She was remembering the library. What she saw. She rolled again, her dreams making her restless. "Oh, Cee...Robbie. Robbie...Cecilia. What... Robbie with Cee. Cee with Robbie. No! Wrong. Not right..." She shifted again, letting out a low moan. I was still, and silent. "Robbie, I...no, Cee...I wish...me, not Cee..." No. She could not be thinking what I thought she was thinking. She rolled again, letting out another moan. I froze, eyes wide. Then she went still, and went silent. Eventually I relaxed my position, and was about to leave when I heard her speaking again. "Lola...Where is Lola...River...yes, Lola... who? Mr Marshall, Lola... Mr Marshall with Lola...not Robbie. LOLA!" She screamed. I gasped. Briony knew that it wasn't Robbie. Paul Marshall, the chocolate man, was the one had attacked Lola. Not Robbie. Briony was tossing and turning, and I decided to leave before she woke. I hurried to my room, slamming the door. I pressed my back firmly against it, and moments later heard Briony shout out again. Mother hurried passed my door and tended to her.

I couldn't grasp it. Briony knew. She knew that it was not Robbie, so why did she blame him?

Why?

Briony, why?