A/N: So I threw this together while procrastinating...funny how that so often happens. Anyway, it's a departure from my normal style, subject matter, etc. but I've been reading some fics lately that I've become quite fond of and I thought I'd take a crack at this particular style. I could have quite possibly failed miserably at it, but hey- that's just part of writing, isn't it? Oh and the lack of capital letters is intentional, if you want to flame me, please don't flame me for that, it's stylistic. Anyway, hope you all enjoy

Disclaimer: nothing is mine

Like The Moon We Fade


because Sam Puckett's never been frightened of anything…except maybe the past.

and it's on those cold rainy nights when she sneaks into apartment eight D and curls up next to him in bed. and when he holds her she cries, because she so weak, so goddamn weak, and all she's ever wanted was to be strong. That's why she tries so hard. as he holds her, she cries.

(and somehow she never stops)


she's eight years old and she steps through the doorway to her pathetic house, and her shoes have holes in them, so the shards of glass from countless, ageless beer bottles worm their way into her skin and she bleeds bleeds bleeds. oh well, she thinks, its nothing new. her mother is sprawled across the battered couch, one hand slung over the arm rest, the other maintaining a slack grip on a bottle of whiskey. she wants to call out to her mother, to tell her that she passed her math test today, and that she and Carly made up a song together, but she notices that her mothers eyes are closed. they were always closed. and the pain of neglect hits her hard, but its not powerful enough to overcome the feeling of relief- at least, asleep, her mother can not hit her.

(even at eight years old, Sam knows it's not supposed to be this way)


she is eleven years old and she walks through the door to her house again. nothing's changed except that things have gotten dirtier, dingier, worse, worse, worse. and her mother is still lying there, and she'd like to say the bottles are half full, or half empty or whatever other fucking metaphor there was for that sort of thing, but she can't, because the bottles are completely, one-hundred percent empty because her lazy, drunk of a mother has finished every last drop.

she walks towards her bedroom when she hears a voice. her mom asks her where she's going and she's too scared to answer. her mother's eyes are bloodshot, and she's still gripping the bottle of alcohol. no, she thinks, not again, not right now. pleasepleaseplease...

(but Sam Puckett has never gotten what she wanted)


every slap, every kick, every punch. They all hurt and burn and sting and did she hear correctly? was that her bone that just snapped? her mother towers over her, and as she bludgeons her daughter, Sam thinks of running, but her ribs are cracked and her head bashed in and she cant think, cant breathe. (but then she realizes, has she ever really been able to breathe?)

her mom is yelling something, she thinks it probably requires a response, but there is blood in her mouth, and she cant think. Words like "stupid bitch," and "abortion" hit her so hard, and somehow they hurt more than her two broken fingers.

(and the next day at school she tells everyone she got into a fight with a kid in an alleyway)


a year or so later, when Carly asks her why she smells like alcohol, she tells her it's because of her mom.

(Sam's always been a good liar)


she's fourteen and she's sitting on the edge of her bed, the shiny razor gleaming with red rubies, and the colors are so pretty, and the glass of half-drunk, god-knows-what, is splashing around in her hand, and she's so happy, happy, happy.

(Sam Puckett's never really known what happiness is)


she doesn't get out of bed for days. she calls the school, pretending to be Pam Puckett, putting on a mature accent and going on&on about how her daughter has pneumonia. after the first two days, Carly calls; she's worried about her best friend. Sam tells her that there is nothing to worry about, and hangs up. when she thinks she's about to cry, she pulls the bottle out of her drawer and downs it in several gulps. she discards the empty bottle, hiding it under her bed. she's forming quite a collection down there. all bottles, all empty.

(she thinks numbly that that's probably some sort of metaphor for her life)


when she's fifteen, she realizes that she loves him. but it doesn't matter, because he loves Carly, and honestly she can't blame him. Carly is the image of p e r f e c t i o n. straight brown hair, perfect grades, a stunning body, a blinding smile. it's more than she's ever had, and her heart feels like it's going to wither away, and she cries too much, and drinks even more, and it's a wicked cycle. she just wants to die.

(And really, she doesn't love him all that much anyway)


she sees it for the first time when she's sixteen. the little bag of white powder sticking out of her mother's underwear drawer. without thinking, she steals it. she knows what to do. at first it burns, and hurts and she feels sick and oh no, she's going to throw up, and why did she do this, but then she feels great. amazing, really. and everything is good, and she smiles, and laughs&laughs&laughs.

(but she knows there's nothing all that funny about it)


at school she beats kids up. and no one questions how she's learned to do it, and no one wonders why she knows just the right spots to hit to cause the most pain. it never occurred to them that it's because she's been the recipient of just such torture. with every kick and every hit, she silently thanks her mother for making her strong.

(because this is what it means to be strong, right?)


she's at her locker one day when he comes up to her. she smells his vanilla cologne and she almost smiles. almost. "Sam?" he asks in that voice, and she just wants to melt, but then she wants to kill him for making her so fucking cliché. she doesn't know whether to acknowledge him, but he gives her no choice when he grips her chin and spins her head to face him. (and his hands are so soft soft soft and she thinks that if she looks into those eyes forever she will just be ok) but then he speaks again and her heart speeds. "Sam, something's wrong." and he looks concerned, and she panics, babbling something incoherent. and now she's running.

(she really just can't deal with this right now)

he follows her to the park, where she's sitting under a large weeping willow tree. she feels like she should have chosen this particular tree because it's weeping like her soul and all that metaphorical shit, but really she just sat down because her legs were tired and she needed to stop running. she's not Carly. with her, things aren't sugar coated or symbolic. with her, things just were.

(but sometimes she wishes they just weren't)


she's running low on money. she broke her last twenty a week ago on coverup and coke. she thinks she looks like a hussy with all that makeup caked all over her face, but she's in high school, so she blends in with all the other hussies and sluts with the over-done makeup. she can't imagine what her face would look like if she didn't use ample amounts of coverup every morning. the d a r k c i r c l e s under her eyes would probably raise suspicion though, so she continues to steal money from her mother's wallet.

she looks in the mirror one day and wonders if she's pretty. but then she remembers she doesn't care.

(and really, what does she care about anymore?)


she's sixteen and a half when she first has sex. he's no one special, she's just given up her hopes of Freddie, so she settles. it's nothing like she imagined, there are no fireworks, no smoke shaped hearts drifting upward to the stars. no. its just in&out&in&out, and it really hurts and afterward she rolls over and coughs up blood and reaches for the small plastic bag of powder. she inhales, and all the regret, all the disappointment and all the numbness goes away.

(she tells herself that it's ok that it wasn't magical, because she's never really wanted that anyway)


she's failing school. it's really no surprise, she's fallen asleep in every class this week. the principal tells her that if she doesn't pull up her grades, she'll have to go to summer school. for some reason, she doesn't care. she just lets him talk and her mind drifts off to the pills she's managed to buy this morning. the dealer had become angry when she said she couldn't produce any immediate money, and he had hit her. her body still ached.

(but it was ok. in the end, he had taken physical payment)


she hasn't seen Carly in months. they've put the show on hold. when Sam summoned up the courage to ask her why, Carly gave some lame reply about how Spencer needed the third floor for some art show. Sam knew Carly was lying, she knew that it was really because of her.
they stopped hanging out. sometimes Sam sees Carly walking around school with a group of other girls. they're all smiles, all giggles, all mini-skirts and lip-gloss, and Sam sees right through them. it's like Carly has given up on her. she tells herself she doesn't care.
Freddie still tries sometimes, he'll send her a text once in a while, asking how she's doing. she never answers. he offers to eat lunch with her sometimes too. she always turns him down, eating lunch alone in an alley-way outside the school, the dirt and grime of the Seattle streets staining her clothing.

(sometimes she just wants to die)


she falls to the bathroom floor as she throws the little pink stick into the trash can. it's not true. it's faulty. it's made a mistake. it's defected. she can't be pregnant. she tries to remember how many guys she's slept with in the past few months. she can't remember any of them. not their names, not their faces, nothing. she cries and cries and cries as she stares at the positive sign.

(it's irony, she thinks, because there is nothing positive about it)


her nose is bleeding again. god damn it, why was this always happening! she tries to mop up the blood with her sleeve, but it just keeps pouring out. she excuses herself from class and runs into the nearest bathroom. she grabs handfuls of toilet paper and shoves them up against her bleeding nose. the bleeding doesn't stop until the bell rings, signaling the end of the period. she tosses the last bit of stained tissue into the toilet. staring into the toilet she is suddenly overcome with nausea, and she leans over the porcelain bowl and vomits. she vomits over&over&over, and she really didn't know that there was that much in her stomach (she cant really remember even eating breakfast, and she's pretty sure she skipped dinner last night).

when she leaves the bathroom, he is there waiting for her- leaning up against the wall with her books in his hands. he has a knowing, resigned look on his face.

(and she has never been less pleased to see him)


she loses the baby. it happens at night, while she's sleeping and when she realizes what's happening, she screams. the blood soils her pajamas and stains the sheets. it's ok, she thinks, they were never clean to begin with. she stays up the rest of the night crying.

(though she's not really sure if they're tears of sorrow, or relief)


she can't breathe, she can't breathe, she can't breathe. she tries to scream but she can't, no air will present its self. she bangs her fists against the door of the bathroom, hoping someone will hear, even though she knows full well that no one is home. she smashes the bottle in her hands against the linoleum floor. it shatters and the shards of glass fly everywhere. one lands in her eye and when she tries to blink it away, it lodges its self into the corner of her eyeball and tears. she wants to scream but she can't. and then everything goes black.

she feels hands gripping her tightly, lifting her up and holding her against a strong but soft body.

(she hears frantic voices and smells vanilla cologne)


when she wakes up (iv tubes sticking out of her and a heart monitor beeping in the corner) he is there. and her tears mix with his tears as he holds her. he tells her how he's sorry, so fucking sorry that he wasn't there sooner, and that he hadn't worked up the nerve to confront her before it happened. she just sits there, numb, wondering what they've done with her alcohol. he's babbling, telling her how she can stay with him, and how he'll take care of her. she silently wonders where all this is coming from.

(but it's ok because she's in his arms and for the first time in her life, she feels safe)


she stays with him for a month, and soon enough his bed becomes her home. he kisses her before she falls asleep at night, and when she wakes up every morning. when she asks why, he says that he is just so glad that she does wake up every morning. she tells him that she has him to thank for that. she still cries&cries&cries, though. she doesn't think she ever will be able to stop. he holds her tight though, and for that she is grateful.

(she realizes that she's never been held before, never in her entire life)


when she goes home, her mom is gone. she doesn't know where she went, but something tells her that Pam Puckett's disappearance was not voluntary. for some reason, she doesn't investigate the situation. her house feels cold at night, without his body pressed up against her own, and sometimes she opens her drawer, only to find that all the alcohol and drugs have been replaced with little post-its from him saying things like iloveyou and youarestrongerthanyouknow.

(she doesn't really believe him, not yet anyway, but she thinks that one day she might…)

she longs for the day when the past is nothing more than a shadow.

A/N: Ok, well, let me know what you think, I'm really curious to know whether I pulled it off or not. I don't really want to beg for reviews, but i checked back on this story an hour after I posted it- I had 78 hits/visitors, and 1 review. Come on guys! Have a heart! Anywayyy...Thanks so much! Happy writings. ~AT