AN: So my brother and I found this show a couple of weeks ago, and immediately, I went on FanFiction to check out the stories. It was pretty sad to see that there weren't many stories (not even six really), and after Tuesday's episode, I felt that I could boost the amount of stories and free my mind of some of its thoughts. I love the idea of Lena and Lincoln, and my heart was basically breaking in the last five minutes. Seriously, it was a bit of a tear jerker. Well, I hope anyone who reads this enjoys it!
Dedication: To Lizzie and Dorien! Happy Birthday guys!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters you recognize. I am simply playing with the emotions of The River's characters.
"Dad! No! NO! Dad! Daddy!" Tears streamed down her face, her arms outstretched, yearning to have her father wrap his arms around her once again. She struggled, desperate to escape the arms which held her against the firm chest of her crew mate, her captain, her friend… "NO!"
She kicked out as the sun broke over the top of the trees, the morning light blending into with the vibrant flames that were consuming the Exodus and her father along with it. "Dad!" She watched in horror and despair as the flames of the broken lantern flickered up her father's legs, his clothes and skin crumbling away like burnt paper. "Da-ad! No!" She scratched at the arms around her, ignoring the murmurings in her ear, the press of lips against her head, as the flames overcame her father, a lingering smile, one of contentedness, the last thing she saw of him…her best friend, the man who taught her how to cheat, a loyal yet stubborn man, and her daddy.
"No! Daddy!" her drawn out sobs broke as the boat sped farther and farther away from the burning Exodus and back to the safety of the Magus as she continued to scratch at the arms around her, wanting to be with her father, even now. These arms were the only thing holding her back, the only thing preventing her from being with her Daddy. What bigger purpose in life could she have than being her father's Peaches? What could possibly be more important than that? She didn't want a boring life, she wanted a life with her Daddy, even in death. He was the one constant thing in her life, the one thing that she could always depend on. Her place was back there, with her father, even if it meant wasting away into nothing. He was the whole reason she was here! Not for Emmet Cole, not for Tess, and definitely not for Lincoln! She was here for Russ, her Daddy.
Sobs tore through her body as the small boat moved across the morning waters, the ship which now acted as her father's tomb growing smaller and smaller despite her struggles to keep it in her sight, to hold onto whatever piece of her father, her hero, she could. Her struggles finally ceased but she remained rigid and focused on the flame-consumed ship.
But soon enough, the blazing ship disappeared behind the overgrown Amazon trees, orange and green blending together, and her struggles grew less and less desperate, dissolving into body-wracking sobs, as the Exodus faded away, the only hint of its existence to the Magus crew the billowing smoke above the trees and her broken heart.
The motorboat twisted and turned on the calm waters, despite the earliness of the morning. Perhaps they were mourning, she thought. Mourning just as she was. The slapping of the water accompanied with the purring of the motor and Lincoln's consoling lulled her into a shocked state, as she fell limp, allowing her head to lean on Lincoln's shoulder, soaking in his warmth and the beating of his heart against her back, tears streaming down her cheeks, dripping onto his arms which were woven around her shoulders and hips, the streaming morning light refracting off the tiny water droplets, almost like sparkles.
With mournful eyes, she gazed over the faces of her companions, searching for a hint of anything. Remose. Guilt. Despair. Grief. Yet their expressions were impassive, no emotions breaking through their masks or from behind their cameras. She wanted to yell at them. Command them to show something, anything! Her father was dead. Their acquaintance, coworker, friend simply gone…
Her eyes weld up with tears again, spilling over onto her tear stained face, and she burrowed herself into the comforting feel of Lincoln's arms, seeking anything that could resemble the safety and contentment that her father's arms had offered throughout her childhood. Her father had been her hero: saving her from bugs, nightmares, and the occasional impertinent boy, he was her hero, and now… now she was searching for a new hero…
The motor boat rounded the final turn, the Magus appearing before them in its beloved splendor. Beaten, worn, and tired the ship had been through so much, especially in the last few days, and she ached to burrow herself away into her cabin, under the safety of her blankets, which had probably seen better days. The closer they drew to their home ship, the more clearly she could see Emilio and Jahel, who stood upon the deck, obviously having kept a watchful eye for them, praying for their return… a return which should have had one more person…
Her thoughts faded away as Lincoln's fingers wove between hers, holding her hand tightly, linking them together, warmly, comfortingly, lovingly… similarly to the way her father had held her hand when they arrived at a new port on one of Emmet's journeys. Tears began to prickle at her eyes but she squeezed her eyes shut, focusing on the warmth of Lincoln's fingers through her, desperate for a new source of strength, a new rock.
The motorboat pulled up alongside the Magus, the purring engine sputtering into silence followed closely by the other boat. The crew stood, carefully so as to not upset the weight of the raft, climbing up the ladder one by one. Lincoln squeezed her hand once more, before pulling his arms away from her, albeit rather reluctantly. She remained seated, staring at the way they had come, her watery eyes just barely detecting the black smoke and ashes as it cleared the tops of the trees before drifting away in the wind. She stared at the smoke, watching its movement in the sky, trying to hang onto anything of her Daddy.
Eventually, the smoke grew lighter and lighter, until it was almost impossible for her to tell the difference between smoke and the clouds which hung in the sky, clouding over the river and casting grieving shadows over the forest. She watched as the last few wisps of dark smoke grew fainter and fainter in the shadow of the clouds. "Daddy," she whispered mournfully, a single tear slipping from her tired eyes.
"Lena." The blonde turned her head ever so slightly, determined to keep an eye on the disappearing smoke. Lincoln stood at the top of the ladder, a hand extended towards her. "Lena, I've got you. You need to rest, come on." Her breathing hitched painfully in her throat, as she caught the under lying meaning in his words. It was time for her to let go, at least a bit. She closed her eyes, images of her father flashing through before her eyes. On the Magus, playing cards, behind the camera, at her high school graduation, on Emmet's tapes, in her arms just hours ago, on the deck of the Exodus…
"I love you, Peaches." A slow wind fluttered past her, brushing at the hairs that had escaped from her ponytail, playing with them, as they carried her Daddy's finally words back to her, wrapping around her mind, embedding themselves. She opened her eyes and stood, turning slowly, keeping the horizon in her sight for as long as possible, until the Magus and Lincoln stood in her vision, his hand outstretched. She weakly reached for it, allowing him to basically pull her up onto the deck of the ship, as she forced herself not to look back. She was tired, too tired. She was tired of crying and already she was tired of her aching heart, she was tired of everything at the moment.
With her feet firmly planted on the deck, Lincoln now relinquished her hand, instead wrapping his arm around her shoulders and pushing AJ's camera away from her, the cameraman always looking for the shot.
"Not now." Lincoln's voice was foggy in her mind, almost distant as he led her to the stairs that would lead down to the cabins. She could hear AJ's mumbled voice, Tess and Clark already discussing their next course, Emilio and Jahel speaking in rapid Spanish.
She hated them.
She hated the fact that they had simply moved away from the fact that her father was…was dead, that he wasn't returning. He was gone, and they had moved on in minutes. She hated them for not feeling the way she did, and she wished that they could feel the heart breaking sadness that was tearing through her body.
And then, she hated herself for feeling like that. She wouldn't wish this upon anyone, this feeling of emptiness and hopelessness, like you've just lost everything good in your life, which she had essential had. She had lost everything, everything except…
"Lena," Lincoln began, pulling her from her self-loathing thoughts. She looked up with empty eyes, brown meeting blue, a warm, compassionate, and concerned blue. Lena realized they were below deck, just outside her cabin, the door which looked as though it had been thrown open in a rush, which she assumed had been when Lincoln and the others realized how many of them were gone. She looked blankly at the tidy room, the made bed and organized desk, her clothes folded neatly on the table at the end of her cot. "Lena, you need to rest," Lincoln urged. "You'll feel better afterwards."
"Really," she began, her voice empty and impassive. "Do you really think I'll ever feel better?" Her question was more of a statement, as though she was asking what made him so sure, what gave him the right to try and assure her.
Lincoln took a step towards her, leaning down to place a kiss on her forehead, her eyes fluttering shut at the feel of his soft lips on her skin. He placed his warm hands rested comfortingly on her upper arms, methodically trying to rub some life back into her. "You will get better. I promise you, because I won't stop until you are." His hot breath washed over her face, the hairs on the nape of her neck standing on edge. "So rest."
He squeezed her arms, almost grudgingly pulling away from her. Almost immediately, a feeling of isolation swept over Lena and images of the past few hours, the burning ship and her father, entered her mind. He hadn't even made it a foot away from her when Lena's hand shot out, gripping his wrist fretfully.
"Please," she whispered in the shadowy confines of the lower deck. "Please don't leave me." Lincoln pressed his lips together, looking up the rungs of the ladder to the top deck where he could hear his mother's voice before back at Lena who was gnawing on her lip nervously, her eyes filled with fear, of what he wasn't sure. Whether it was the fact that her father was dead or the idea of waking alone, Lincoln wasn't sure, but there was no way in hell that he was going to allow her to remain scared. Her final broken plea of "please" convinced him.
He grabbed her hand, squeezing it tightly, letting go of the ladder rung which he had held tightly in his other hand, nodding slowly. "Never," he said softly. "I could never." His voice trembled slightly as a tear slipped down Lena's face. He brushed it away before it could fall onto her shirt, her face rough with dried tears. He glanced once more up the ladder, before moving into Lena's room, tugging her in after him. "Come on, you should rest."
Lincoln's deep breaths tickled the nape of her neck, while at the same time soothing her. His methodic breathing and the feel of his strong arm wrapped around her waist a constant reminder to her that she was indeed not alone, that she did have someone.
She shifted slightly, carefully so as not to wake the man beside her while at the same time allowing her to look out into the Amazon world beyond her porthole. Despite the dirt which had taken up residence on the glass of the window, Lena was still able to look up at the twinkling stars which had emerged come sun down several hours ago. Lincoln had stayed with her all day, sometimes sleeping, sitting in silence, but mostly holding Lena tightly while she cried. He had fallen asleep a while ago, after he made sure that she had eaten something, but Lena had been unable to settle herself and her thoughts. There was constantly something on her mind, usually her father but sometimes a spark of Lincoln sneaked its way in.
He really was something. She didn't know many men who would willingly stay with a crying woman for an entire day. She doubted it was very high on any man's list of things to do which just made Lena even more grateful of him. She had essentially grown up with Lincoln, and she didn't think there was any possible way for him to be a better person. Helping his mom find his father, despite his obvious dislike for him, willing to sacrifice himself if it meant not leaving Jonas, staying with her all day… He was the kind of man her Daddy would've loved for her to be with, and he was probably the only man her Dad would've approved of. Her Daddy and Emmet had always had this idea, or perhaps it was a bet now, that she and Lincoln would one day end up together.
Lena suspected that one of the reasons her Dad had kept her aboard the Magus for as long as he could was so that she would only be around Lincoln and not any other boys. It was almost as though he wanted her to fall for him, which you would think for a father would be a horrible concept. Their baby girl being in a relationship with a man? What sane father would want that?
Lena sighed as she gazed up at the stars which winked back at her, remembering the nights when she and her Dad would lay out on the Magus deck, sometimes accompanied by Lincoln and his parents, sometimes alone. When they were alone, they would simply talk, and he would always find a way to worm everything out of her. Every emotion, every thought, anything and everything, he would always find out in the end. He would cheat it out of her, but he never told another soul, her problems and beliefs were always their secrets and no one else's. He kept every secret from stolen cookies to borderline cruel pranks on the other cameramen; there was nothing she couldn't tell him. There was nothing she couldn't trust him with. He taught her how to cheat, to lie, to play the accordion, to stand up for herself, to fight. He taught her where the best camera angle was no matter the circumstance, how to get away with a prank, but even more importantly he taught her to love and to follow her heart.
Lena's grew drowsy and she found herself struggling to keep her eyes opened. When she was only able to see the shimmering stars through a measly crack, she allowed herself to settle herself against Lincoln's chest, finding solace in his warmth, as her mind began to empty itself of thoughts.
With her last ounce of energy before she succumbed to sleep, Lena intertwined her fingers with Lincoln's, murmuring at the stars.
"I love you, Daddy."
AN: So, I hope you all enjoyed it! It's kind of fluffy although not very much, mostly just Lena's thoughts about her father, but I seriously aww'd/ teared up during the last five minutes, especially with Lincoln trying to comfort her. Seriously adorable. Feel free to leave any thoughts or opinions you may have! I love constructive criticism, so feel free to say anything!