Hey guys! So this is my second ff. It has potential to become a chapter fic if people want it to. So hope you like, please review!

She looked different. I knew she would. But it was still hard to see. All these years my brain had frozen her in time. Golden. Perfect. Mine.

Everything around her was dark. She bobbed along, a white light being tossed around by the black sea. She looked so washed out. I knew this place would do that to her, wash her away. She hadn't been strong enough to swim against it ten years ago. Now she looked weaker. Defeated.

Did I do that to her? Would she have been strong enough to fight it if I'd left her alone? Was it all for nothing? Had it made a difference?

If only she'd stayed in the house. That sentence had been on replay in my mind for the last ten years. I could have made a difference if she had. I would have made a difference.

Right now I'd be looking at her with the sun burning down on my back, the eternal blue of the outback sky high above our heads. She'd be as brown as me. Our skin would melt into one another's. I'd reach out for her. She wouldn't jump. She wouldn't run. She'd reach back.

Time would have fixed everything.

But she'd come to see me. I can remember so clearly all the times I had wished for her to do that, to want to see me. But her letting me in, me getting what I wanted, had been our death sentence.

I don't regret taking her to the hospital. She'd needed it. I'd needed her to be okay. Even if it had cost me everything. Even if it had cost me her.

But now seeing her in the place I'd fought so hard to keep her away from, it was hard not to question it. And I'd never done that. For ten years I had never doubted going to the hospital. But now she was in front of me it seemed like saving her from the snake had meant sacrificing her to an even bigger beast.

I shouldn't be thinking like that. But her being so close did something to me. Made me want to reach out for her, save her.

I knew I couldn't. I'd said I wouldn't. She was 26 now. A woman. To the untrained eye she wouldn't. She still could've passed for 19. But I could see it in her eyes. Something haunted, something that was ageing her from the inside. I couldn't just grab her. But I wanted too.

A woman was putting coffee down next to her. She was alone. It reminded me of that sticky day so long ago. The coffee shop where everything had started. For her at least. I wondered if she was remembering too.

A man was next to her now. He looked younger than me, older than her. I couldn't hear what he was saying. Ten steps I so desperately wanted to cross and a pane of glass that I wanted to break were between us. It looked like he was asking to sit. He was holding his own coffee. Smiling. Just as I'd smiled. I wanted to pull him away from her by the ear. To drag him back to the alley I was hiding in, to do something that would make sure he sat at his own table next time. My heart raced as he continued to charm.

No. This was wrong. He couldn't sit. I took a step into the street. Ready to slither and curl through the traffic.

But I didn't need to. She remembered. She had been thinking what I'd been thinking. With a violent shake of the head she'd turned him away.