Disclaimer: I don't own The River and never will. No copyright infringement intended.
Author's Note: I just loved the end scene so much - Lena's grief and Lincoln comforting her in the boat got to me. This is Lincoln and Lena friendship with undertones of Lena/Lincoln. Enjoy!
Lena Landry sobbed hysterically for her father as the boat sped away from the Exodus. She pleaded with the others to go back. "Please go back. He needs me. He needs me!"
"Lena, shhh. Calm down." Lincoln held her in his arms and refused to let go for fear she'd jump out and swim back to retrieve her father.
"Please, please, please, please, please." Her sobs only increased in volume and Tess worried that Lena was going to vomit from the stress she was currently in.
"Shhhhhhhh." Lincoln started rocking her back and forth as much as he could with the room they had and hoped that it would be enough.
A few minutes later, they returned to the Magus. Everyone got out of the boat to get back on the ship while Lincoln had to carry an extremely exhausted and grief stricken Lena out and then up with him.
"What are you doing?" Tess was glad that her son seemed to be taking care of his friend – Lincoln always stepped up to the plate when needed.
"I'm putting her to bed and will probably stay with her. She'll need me." Lincoln felt like he was ready to collapse holding a now sleeping Lena in his arms, but he was determined to help her. She wasn't going to grieve alone for her father. He walked slowly down the stairs and headed to Lena's room, where he placed her on the bed. Lincoln froze when she stirred, but then relaxed when she quieted down.
He sat down in a chair next to her bed and thought about Russ Landry. He had always liked the man and was sad about his death. Not for the first time, Lincoln wondered if they were going to find his father alive. Lena had had hope and it ended horribly for her. He had a feeling it would be the same for Emmet, but didn't mention that to anybody – It wasn't needed, especially when his mother had so much hope.
Lena stirred again. "Stop thinkin' and sleep," she murmured.
Lincoln laughed – She always seemed to know if something was bothering her, and that what was one of the things he lo – liked about her. "I will." He closed his eyes and tried to sleep in the uncomfortable chair – And to his surprise, he did fall asleep. He woke up only three hours later when Lena started screaming and wouldn't stop.
"Dad! I need to go back! I have to get him. Let me go, Lincoln!" She had been having nightmares about her father and clearly wasn't coherent. All she could think about was her father and wanting him to be alive again.
Lincoln struggled to get her settled back down. "You can't, Lee. I'm sorry, but your dad's gone. And hey, he was able to say goodbye to you. I know it's not that big of a deal in the scheme of things, but if we weren't on the Boiuna, you wouldn't have had that chance. And I'm so sorry this happened to you. I know how close you and your dad were."
"I was his Peaches." Lena choked back a sob.
"I know you were, Baby. You were the center of his world, his Peaches, and we all knew that." He grabbed her hand and squeezed it. Lena reluctantly smiled, and Lincoln could tell it was forced.
"Stay with me, please? I don't want to be alone." She hated feeling so needy and clingy, but Lincoln always knew how to make her feel better.
"Of course. You didn't have to ask." He kept a hold of her hand and shortly afterwards, both of them fell back asleep.
When Lincoln woke up the next morning, Lena was good. He panicked for a brief second before realizing she was probably with everyone else and after taking care of some much needed business, headed upstairs.
Tess smiled knowingly at her son when she spotted him. "Lena's outside, staring at nothing. I'm pretty worried about her – Surprised she didn't wake you when she got up."
"That's Lena for you – She probably figured I needed the sleep. I'll be back soon."
"Sure you will." Tess had a feeling that Lena and Lincoln would be off in their own little world today for hours – That's what they had always done when they were younger and that probably wouldn't change now.
Lincoln breathed a sigh of relief when he spotted Lena. "Hey you."
"Hey." She waved and then just stared out at the water, trying to ignore AJ and his camera. She wasn't in the mood to be on film today, but Lena didn't have the energy to tell the cameraman to leave.
"How are you?" Lincoln put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, not even caring about the cameras. He normally would, but his best friend needed him, and AJ and his camera were low on his priorities list.
"I miss him so much, Linc. So fucking much and now that he's gone, I don't know what to do. What do I do?" She didn't know why she was pleading with him, but Lincoln always seemed to know what to do what she needed him.
"I don't know what you should do. But you can grieve, then pull yourself together and try to move on. That's what I did when I thought my dad was dead. And there are bad days, but eventually, they hit few and far between." His heart ached in sympathy for Lena and tried not to think about his father – It was bringing up all the issues he had tried to bury when he had finally accepted that Emmet was dead and not just missing. But then again, that wasn't true – Emmet was still out there, while Lena was never going to see Russ again.
Lena leaned her head on Lincoln's shoulder and tried to ignore AJ snickering in the background at them. Lincoln, however, whipped him the finger, which led to her laughing. It got a little hysterical, but Lincoln was just glad that he made her laugh in the first place, however unintentional it may have been.
Lena would pick herself up and try to move on as best as she could as in the coming days. Lincoln would be there for her, always offering a shoulder to lean on and to just listen to her talk about her father.
They got through whatever the Boiuna decided to throw at them by helping each other and figuring things out with the others.
Nothing could ever tear Lena Landry and Lincoln Cole apart.