Disclaimer: I do not own Skinwalkers nor its characters. They belong to LGF, After Dark, and whoever else screwed the movie up.

Note: Jan '05/July '05 scripts canon.

Sleep

His wild one rarely slept. He noticed this just a week after taking her into the fold. He knew it was not always necessary for their kind to sleep; indeed, he rarely slept himself. But he also knew she was young, fresh, and her body was still adjusting. He knew that she did need sleep.

She fought against it every time. If they were resting, she would wander off or pace the camp. Sometimes if they were near a lake or river she would swim. If they were in the desert she would strip and just bathe in the sun; too hot to sleep or to let him sleep.

He never asked her. It wouldn't be fair of him, would it? He had no intention of telling her his past; even if she asked. So what gave him the right to pry into hers? He didn't wish to abuse his power over her, not his young and wild one.

No, he let it slide. He watched her survive the changes in her body and her mind and her heart and her very being without sleep. He watched her with more pride than worry; he knew she would live up to his expectations.

And she kept on, never sleeping, only growing stronger. Only growing wilder. She was full of fire and youth; the war never really took a toll on her. She brushed it off easily, far more easily than he ever could.

It was the one thing he had ever envied in this life, and he found it almost poetic that his chosen mate was the one to provoke his envy.

The carefree wildfire hardly concerned herself with the war, hardly felt any real conviction to any causes. All she cared about was pleasing him – and staying awake. She fought the fight because she knew it pleased him, but he was aware her personal belief was to abandon it and simply live.

Sometimes he wondered if he should listen to her unspoken advice. The war grew long and weary, and they were not immortal.

But there was something in him, something that had been in Caleb too, that would not leave the fight. The thought of a future without fighting - of ultimate freedom. And though he felt no bonds with others of his kind outside his pack, he still fought for a better future for them.

For the wild ones like his young one.

And she knew. So she never questioned him in that regard; she never tried to convince him to let it go. She kept him focused and ready; she kept him alive. The wildfire filled him with renewed passion, and her zealous devotion to him fueled his devotion to their life and their fight. She knew this, too; she took great pride in it.

Still, she never slept.

Or perhaps she did. There were times when he himself slept. He could not know for certain that she had never closed her eyes and drifted off. But every time he woke, he saw her standing or sitting a little ways away.

Her eyes would either be on him, or staring into the distance; into the great unknown of possibilities and potential. Those were her softest and weakest moments.

Varek was still certain she did not sleep though. Because when he would wake, and see her vulnerable and full of thoughts that didn't suit her normal disposition, her eyes were sleepy and she was shaking.

Fighting it off.

Sonja was always fighting. She fought more than Varek did. But her battles were quieter and fought on her own private battlefield that he couldn't see. She fought his fight, because it helped her escape from the one inside. She fought against her own nature – that nature she had left behind. The remnants lingered on.

Varek saw them every time he woke. And that was most of all renewed his conviction.

If they could win this war, then Sonja could win her own. Perhaps she would finally let him help her. Perhaps he would finally let her in completely.

And maybe then she would finally sleep.