What Are You Afraid Of?

A 39 Clues Fanfic

"What are you afraid of?"

He doesn't know what to say.

She will believe whatever he says.

He looks at her and sees her dancing; sees the red flame of her hair that will burn him at first touch, and the green fields of her eyes going beyond what he can reach. There is something in this picture that seems real, alive, vivid, the energy enough to fill the crevices of the soul. Fiery yet calm, so much a contradiction than he has ever thought she would be.

But then she is unpredictable, right from the start, even before he knew her.

She laughs then frowns, shifting, changing, even in his sight. When will she run away from him, leave him behind, as quick as she has always been, as mistrustful as life has taught her to be? His fears ring deep with every step she takes, away or toward. They strike against his core and it consumes him, almost swallows him whole, and he wants to forget.

He wants to forget.

But she makes it all right, somehow, for him to hold on. The past becomes a place he can come back to. She is the chain that keeps him grounded and it's easier to face the shadows, easier to live and breathe and eat and sleep, even with the knowledge of all he's done. She accepts it. She accepts him. He wonders when she will stay. If she will stay.

He doesn't own her, and he never will. Because Amy, in who she is and what she will become, is her own person. She won't be chained. She can't be caged.

So she dances, going and coming: far, near, his heart still beats despite his uncertainty. Somehow, he bears it. He hopes she'll be with him, whatever happens, and there is always room in his scarred heart for her.

"Lovely," he whispers and the wind takes it to her.

And it happens all over again: the crashing, the dust, her face so clear even in the broken outlines of everything else around them. Those green fields filled with fear and helplessness deep in the catacombs, with nowhere else to go. Visions. Visions that steal and take and leave him with nothing more but the bitter, lingering aftertaste of regret.

"Kabra," she says, "What are you afraid of?"

He closes his eyes, and even in darkness, he sees. "That you will leave."

He looks at her and sees her standing still; sees the red flame of her hair that will disappear, the green fields of her eyes blazing with something that can only be madness. Desperate, afraid, angry – so common a scene and yet he craves for it.

But what is there for him to gain?

There is a distance that builds up between them, every second, and it is deeper than what it appears to be. Her fury and the need for escape are both strong inclinations, and even as she prepares to fight, she is ready to run.

Run, run, run.How strange, to pull her in, push her away. Because they both know what they want and they need, but they will never see eye to eye, step on the same ground without the resentment coming in between them. Before he does what he is forced to do, and she does what she must to survive and spite him. There is no love here.

There is no love here.

"Lovely," he says, almost a sneer, a sarcastic grin spreading on his face.

He knows what he has done, what she has suffered at his hands. He knows the memories that make her face blanch with pain then help her resolve to stay strong. He understands why he feels the heat of her anger strongly now; it is something he cannot avoid, not anymore.

"Kabra," she hisses, without neutrality, devoid of gentle tones. "What are you afraid of?"

The question does not expect an answer. A distraction, a game to play, before she is truly gone.

He keeps his eyes on her, and knows she will never realize what is truth and what is not. It all becomes the same to her. And because she seems to expect what he says, he gives it to her.

"That I will lose to you," he lies.

She vanishes.

A/N: The POV does not change. I'm sorry if some of you didn't get it at first, but here it is: Everything is told from Ian's Point of View. The first is what he feels, and what he wishes would happen. The second (after the break a.k.a horizontal ruler) is the true event – what is really going on. I'm sorry if my writing style is a tad confusing – blame it on psychoanalysis and Sigmund Freud, who seems to be the topic of the quarter.

I'm not exactly back, but I wrote this as a gift for myself, since I haven't written anything for a while now. I'm hoping my grades will improve, and if they do, and if I can manage, I'll try to post on FFnet once a week.

Which leads to my next question: Of all the stories I've written, which ones should I continue? I can only manage three right now, and I'll only prioritize the ones you want.

Also, I know Amy's hair isn't flaming red. I just found it hard to describe reddish-brown without saying it outright. Is it acceptable to say burnt carrot? Although, that isn't quite the same thing.

Um…can someone please tell me what exactly was confusing? I'll get around to fixing this while I still have the chance.