AN: Written by myself and kathryn0505 (You should all check out Kathryn0505's stories if you haven't already!)
AN 2: This is a twisted and dark story, if that's not your thing then don't feel obliged to read.
AN 3: We love Myka. We love Pete. If you stick with the story til the end you'll see that. Not meant to cause any offence to characters or their fans. Just a tale we came up with and felt had to be told. It isn't a happy story, it isn't nice. So you have been warned. That being said, we had a great time writing this together, and we are happy-ish with how it turned out, so we hope someone out there might enjoy it.
AN4: The timeline jumps a lot, we hope it works, and isn't too confusing :)
AN 5: Contains adult themes, violence, sexual assault
She leans her head against the window of the aircraft. She longs to close her eyes, desperately. To surrender to the respite of darkness. But she can't quite bring herself to do it. She needs to be vigilant. Neither can she stand to look at him. So she casts her eyes downwards to the book she is trying to hold steady in her hands, and makes a pretence of being utterly engrossed in reading.
If Pete were the sort of man that paid the slightest bit of attention to anything, it might have given him cause to wonder what was so fascinating on that single solitary page to captivate her attention for hours. She has been starring at it since take off. Somehow, it seems important to stay perfectly still. Even moving a finger to turn the page would dispel the peace she is trying so desperately to cloak herself in. Somehow, that's how she will remain calm, controlled. So she reads the same page, over and over. Yet she can't recall a single word. The words just won't sink in. It frightens her. More than a little. Words, stories, have always been her comfort, her escape. Now there is no escape. No respite from the things turning over and over in her mind. No escape from reality.
No escape. She feels trapped. She has never been prone to claustrophobia, but it strikes her suddenly how small the space is. She can't move. She can't breathe. There is nowhere to run. Time has stopped, she is sure of it. This flight will never end. She really really can't breathe. She is certain she will die right there in her seat.
And yet, she doesn't.
She keeps breathing, though every breath makes her chest ache just a little more. She has to be quiet. She has to be still. As if nothing is out of the ordinary. It's all she has to do, the one and only thing, and it really shouldn't be all this difficult. It will be over soon. She glances at her watch. Not even a minute has gone by since the last time she checked.
She isn't certain why the slowing of time bothers her. She has somehow deluded herself into thinking that once the plane has landed, once they are home, it will become a little easier to breathe. The passing seconds wont cause her such agony as they grate against her. And he won't be sitting so agonisingly close to her. She will have space. She will breathe. She will be ok.
Everything will be back to normal once they get off this god- damn- plane.
That's all she has to do, hold it together until then.
It's not- so- bloody- difficult.
Just keep breathing.
She surrenders and closes her eyes. A sickening wave of nausea washes over her.
Pete doesn't look at her oddly when she excuses herself, climbing over the top of him, to go to the bathroom. He is engrossed in the movie, and makes a pretence of being annoyed that she is interrupting his viewing. She keeps her eyes to the ground. And she tries, in vain, not to touch him as she brushes past in the incredibly confined space. A stab of horror rushes through her when she realises she will have to walk right past him again on the way back to her seat.
It had been a relief to her the moment she realised he remembered absolutely nothing about the things that happened. She doesn't want him to have to live with it. And more to the point, it's so much easier to pretend it never happened if it's her secret and hers alone. She is more than happy to own it. To sweep it so far under the rug as if it never happened.
She repeats that to herself, through gritted teeth, as she splashes cold water on her face. It- never- happened.
But even though she would never, ever wish for him to remember, there is something about seeing him so unaffected that causes her to shudder. He is unchanged, just the same person he has always been. And she is irrevocably changed. It makes her feel out of control. Out of touch. As if his reality and hers are totally incompatible from this point. She wonders if it will always be that way between them?
There is something in the way he is sitting there, watching movies as if he hadn't a care in the world, that stirs an bitter resentment in her. And underneath her own regrets and guilt and shame, deep underneath, she is angry at him.
It wasn't his fault-
But how could he?
He doesn't remember-
But how could he not?
He can never know what happened-
It never happened. Nothing happened.
She reminds herself of this. Over and over. She can't tell if it's working.
A tiny little part of her feels cheated out of her righteous anger. Part of her wants to scream at him and hurl vicious accusations at him and demand to know how the hell he could have let this happen. Part of her wants to see it tormenting him, too. Why should she suffer alone? She wants to know if he feels guilty, she wants to know if he is sorry, wants to know if he understands even a little bit how profoundly he has hurt her. But then there is that part of her that knows she is equally to blame. She should have stopped him. She should have tried harder.
She has to forget it, push it all aside, let it go. She she can never let him see how much this is eating her alive. She can never let anyone see.
She is violently ill. And afterwards, she feels a little better. She manages to compose herself, to return to her seat. Even manages to tease him about the children's movie he is enjoying so thoroughly.
It's minutes after she has returned to her spot, picked up her book again, staring at that same page, that he turns and asks her if she is ok.
She tells him she is fine. She even smiles.
He smiles back at her playfully, telling her she really looks pale. And teasing her about the amount of alcohol she consumed the night before.
She had been drinking the previous night. But no where near enough. Oh how she wishes there was enough alcohol in all the world to erase the past week from her mind.
She says nothing to him, only scowls silently, and returns her attention to her book.
She can feel his eyes upon her. It makes her heart race. But she doesn't move, she doesn't speak.
He won't let it go. He tells her she really doesn't look well.
She snaps at him then, telling him she has a headache and ordering him to shut up and stop bugging her, because he is making it worse.
He is making everything so much worse. And he really doesn't mean to.
He fumbles in his pocket, then extends his hand towards her, offering two aspirin. She wants to tell him where to stick his aspirin. She wants to tell him to take a flying leap out the window. But she takes a breath. Forces herself to calm down. Everything is fine. Act normally. If believes her story that she isn't feeling well, he will probably leave her alone the rest of the way home. All she has to do is take the damn aspirin from him, thank him, and close her eyes pretending to be asleep. And so that is what she does.
He turns his attention back to the pathetic movie. She discards her book and any pretence of reading, and fixes her gaze out the window. She wonders, as she watches the world pass her by, just what it would feel like to fall from this high up? She wonders if it would hurt? Or would she be unconscious before she hit the ground?
But then she knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that nothing could hurt worse than sitting here beside Pete, as he sits blissfully unaware of everything happening inside of her mind.