She walked into the cabin still re-thinking her decision. There was no place she wanted to be less, and she didn't want Tony to think this changed anything, but then; she was really exhausted; he could see that, and he must have known her staying didn't mean anything more.
You can fall out with me all over again in the morning.
He didn't have to worry about that, but did he have to be so bloody reasonable all the time. She'd lost her brother, and Lucy, not to mention what this had done to her relationship with her parents, all in one day. Chris was going to be horrifically scarred for the rest of her life; that was if she survived, plus God knows what else Vance had planned, and would have chance to orchestrate before they managed to catch him. On top of that there was her relationship with Tony; they would never be the same, and he was acting like the whole thing hadn't touched him.
She sat down on the bed, and took a look around the room for the first time. He may not have been sleeping, but he had been in here; his bag was on the floor and worn clothes were scattered across the bed. She picked up all the clothes, moving to get the ones she had sat on. She could smell him on them, a scent that for over a decade had always been reassuring, and comforting; like home to her. She needed them as far away from her as she could manage; she pulled the bag towards her, and stuffed them all in there.
She returned to the bed and slipped her shoes off, removing her watch at the same time, but didn't bother with the rest. Then she climbed between the sheets, and lay staring at the ceiling, listening to the sound of him outside; pacing up and down in the small space. He would be talking to himself too, she knew. She strained her ears but she couldn't hear anything. He was probably trying to be quiet for her, so that she could sleep.
Fine time for him to start being considerate.
In the past if anything bad had happened; he'd been the person she'd needed. After the rape all she could think about was getting to Tony; she'd walked into that room and straight past everyone else in it; she didn't even care that Radecki was there.
The same when Paula had been abducted; instead of going home she'd gone straight to his door. Things had been weird between them at the time, but never to the point that she wouldn't be able to turn to him. She'd cried, and he'd held her, right there on his doorstep for what felt like an age. Afterwards they'd talked; come up with a plan of action, and she'd gone back to her apartment feeling...not better exactly, but more in control of the situation.
Then she'd lay in her bed and wondered if he'd gone back to his. She'd thought about him two floors up, about how easy it would be to let herself into his side of the house; go up to his room and climb in next to him; how easy, and how impossible. Still all she'd been able to think about was how much she needed him to hold her again.
Now he was just outside the door, and it was of no comfort at all. She couldn't turn to him now; they'd never been so far apart. He'd tried to reach out to her earlier, and she'd moved away. She knew he thought it was because she was angry with him, and though that was part of it; the truth was, as angry as she was, she was more devastated, and if she'd let him touch her she would have broken down. He would have hugged like like he had that night, and she knew she couldn't let him, because what she couldn't even voice to herself was the concern that it might help.
She didn't want to forgive Tony, and she didn't want to feel better about this. In Berlin she'd been so thankful that Tony was okay that had eclipsed everything else, at least for a while. With Paula she'd needed to pull herself together if they had any hope of finding her before it was too late. Michael and Lucy were beyond hope; feeling anything less than she did right now would have been a betrayal. She pushed Tony from her thoughts and turned over to get some sleep. She'd left the light on, but still when she closed her eyes she knew the nightmares would follow.
She was at the farmhouse, they were supposed to be having dinner, but she'd got held up with work, and so was late. The front door was open so she let herself in. She could here them talking, and laughing. She walked from room to room but couldn't find them. She called to them. "Michael." Then, "Lucy." They'd all gone quiet. She didn't understand what was going on. She called Tony then. Tony wouldn't play jokes on her. Tony would know this wasn't funny. She shouted him again, and again. She was scared now, she run back through all the rooms, back to the front door. She could hear them again, knew that they were upstairs. Their voices were louder now, she started climbing the stairs. There was another voice there now. It was Vance's. She could see the master bedroom from where she was. She began to run but she wasn't getting any closer. She knew what she'd find when she opened the door. She shouted them again. Each in turn. "Carol." She heard her name in response. She couldn't open the door. "Carol." She banged on it in desperation. "Carol. Carol."
She blinked and then he was there, standing in the doorway. It took a moment but then it all came flooding back. The reality that was worse than the dream. "What's happened? What's wrong?" She pushed herself up, and was half-way out of bed by the time he spoke again.
"You were having a nightmare. I couldn't just leave you." He was still hovering in the door-way. There but reluctant to entreat on her space.
She slumped back against the pillows breathing heavily, the sweat already cooling on her skin. Her dream was fading fast, but she could remember part of it still; she didn't have to be Sigmund Fried, or Tony, to figure out what it had meant.
"Can I come in?"
"It's your boat" He knew her well enough to know that his boat or not, if she wanted him to go away she would have told him so. She was probably still shaken up by the nightmare, and he was reluctant to take advantage of that, but still, he couldn't leave her like this. Plus he needed to talk to her, and this might be the only chance he was going to get.
He took the steps to the bed, and after a small hesitation sat down on the edge of it. Apparently her being mad at him made him braver. There was no chance of her wanting anything from him he couldn't give, not now; maybe not ever again. She shifted away from him, but said nothing.
He waited for her to wake up properly, for her breathing to return to normal, and for her to shake off the remnants of the dream she'd just had. "What you said the other day; about me not caring, you know that's not true. You know how much I liked Michael."
"I don't want to talk about that Tony." She told him. Now sounding, at least, more like her old self.
"I can't concentrate on anything. I feel like I need to know where we stand with each other."
She wondered if he'd been thinking about the night Paula was abducted too. If he'd remembered her saying nearly those exact words to him then. As if her dating Jonathan, and him feeling jealous, and avoiding her was anything like was was going on between them now. 'Complicated.' That was the word she'd used back then to describe their relationship. Now she found herself longing for those simpler times. "You really think that will help?"
"Okay fine. Here's what I'm thinking..." She paused and looked at him, properly, for the first time since they'd been told about her brother. Then she looked down, and run her hands through her hair. "Tony. There have been a lot of men in my life. More than I care to admit; some I may have loved, others I only thought I did, but you... I keep going back to that moment in the car-park out at temple fields, watching John Brandon's car pull up. Those minutes before I saw you, and I had no idea..."
"...Carol." He interrupted; he had a feeling he knew what was coming and he couldn't bear it; couldn't let her say out loud what he had thought on and off since they'd met. That she'd have been better off if she had never known him. "If I could change what's happened I would. I can't turn the clock back. As much as..."
"...I'm not talking about that!" She told him roughly. He saw her eyes fill with tears. She turned her face into the pillow and took several deep breaths. Apparently being allowed to see her cry was another of the privileges he had lost. When she recovered she turned back to him. "I had no idea I was about to meet the love of my life." She told him roughly with no trace of the sentiment the words warranted. She paused, and continued in a softer tone. "I know we don't use terms like that, but like it or not that's what you are. Whatever happens; whoever else there has been... or will be... you will always be that."
He wanted to say it back, told himself to, but there was so much in her tone, so much finality, he couldn't bring himself to. Instead he had to ask her. He had to know for sure that's what she was saying; for her to look at him and tell him just what this mistake had cost him. "What are you saying?"
"I'm saying that this... whatever this is... we can't do this any-more. After all that's happened in these past few days. I just can't get past it. It's there every-time I look at you, and it always will be." What she'd told him before was true; she'd always believed he could work miracles, and maybe that was her mistake. She'd put him up on a pedestal; and now she was blaming him for the fall, but she couldn't help that. That was just the way she felt. Just like in all the years she'd known him she'd never been able to put her feelings for him to one side; they'd always been there influencing everything she did, she couldn't get past the way she felt now. She blamed him.
"I can't imagine my life without you in it. I can't remember what my life was like before I met you. These past few days without having you there have been like losing a part of myself. But I did have a life before I met you. And you had a life before you met me."
"What if I don't want to go back to that?"
"I'm not giving you a choice, Tony. This is it. If we survive Vance, we go our separate ways." He wanted to tell her then, that given that outlook, he wasn't sure he wanted to survive. That was definitely too pitiful to be voiced out loud.
At the look on his face she faltered but then she remembered the image she'd seen in that bedroom. Her brother and Lucy. The murder he should have prevented. "Our whole friendship has been about ignoring the elephant in the room. Now it's a whole herd of them, and I can't do it. Not when one of them is my brother. I'd like you to leave now, please."