A/N: Still here. Thank you all for stay so loyal, I really don't deserve you guys.
The island, and Amanda. The island, and….
I spend two hours of the early morning with my fingers tangled in my own hair and a vending machine at my back. The island. My eyes are wide open, staring at the white hospital linoleum, waiting for an epiphany. She knew about Yamatai, she knew that we found Yamatai. But…no one's talked to anyone about Yamatai yet. There hasn't been a press debut as far as I know…
Reyes could have said something, but the likelihood of that was slim to none; if anyone wanted that place to die in memory it would be her…Jonah? No, that didn't make sense either. I make a pretty pathetic, confused sounding noise and bang the side of my hand into the side of the machine. The island. Shouldn't have let her run off, should've forced her to stay and fucking explain herself, make her make sense. At times like these my instinct is to run to you and tell you everything; you were always better at putting two and two together.
Maybe it's not so obvious. Maybe I don't have enough information to figure any of this out yet. The journal. I've gotta get the journal, even if it never ends up in Amanda's hands.
The vending machine buzzes in a broken way and flickers, its white noise filling my brain. The journal…you always had that thing somewhere, hidden away…never really looked at it before Yamatai, but you had it with you on the Endurance. Just in case, I'm sure. Just in case he was right about all that stuff you couldn't believe.
Well, it's out there and it's real. Didn't it drive him insane? Knowing all this crazy, supernatural nonsense wasn't really nonsense? Knowing secrets? Finding out nothing really is and everything that is isn't really? Is that gonna happen to you too, when you can leave is place?
I know in my gut you'll want to go back there someday. If I'm still in your life when that happens I'll fight you on it. Go back? Who leaves Hell and wants to go back? A Croft does. A Croft hunts and discovers and uncovers and reveals until something unmovable stops them. Something like death. And even then, who knows? She'll go back. Prepared, but she'll go back. Would I be able to stay at her side then?
Weird thoughts. Stop it, Sam. Getting ahead of yourself again. I don't even know if Lara will still be Lara when she fully comes to. She was sort of awake yesterday, but just 'sort of'. She's a ragdoll of old Lara, with stuff taken out and new stuff sewed in. She killed people. I've really only thought about it romantically up to this point, which now seems so juvenile it makes me cringe. She killed them to save me. It was all for me, I thought. What a goddamn knight in shining armor. She was tortured physically and mentally, and she killed people to get out. A lot of people. Would we have to tell someone about that? The police? What would happen to her?
Would they really believe that one woman killed dozens of men in self defense? In any other situation a count like that would get you a seat on the electric chair in certain places, and about five life sentences in others. You'd be a serial killer. You'd be at the top of anyone's most-wanted list. Self Defense? Is that even a possible call? They weren't there, how could they believe any of us? They'd assume we were crazy with shock and PTSD, or on some kind of exotic drug.
But then, would they believe anything we said…? Lara's all broken now. I'm sure pieces of her are still there. I recall the absolutely vacant, empty stare she gave me in that dream. Those could be her eyes now. Should I be scared of her? Should I be afraid for myself? Should I even be here?
Should I…just…go home?
No. I curl myself into a tighter ball. That's stupid. I love Lara. Lara is my home. She's my best friend. And…I'm all she's got. Is that okay to even think? Roth is gone now. Alex is gone.
But Amanda's here.
I want to disappear. This is complicated. I don't want to keep doing this.
But Lara's here. I can't leave this all to her. She's strong, but she's all broken. Imagine if I DID just disappear. I could walk out of here and never look back. Amanda would tell Lara what I've done but I'll be so far from it I'll never see that cut look on her face, and they can have their reunion and they can be happy in my absence.
The thought of Lara smiling without me is so selfishly painful that I hold my breath to keep myself from crying.
No, I can't do that. I'm not that person. I'll do what Lara did and I'll stay with her come hell or high water. I'm scared, but I know I'll just be more scared without her. She would never, ever hurt me. Never.
I've gotta find a phone. Gotta call Jonah, see if he has Lara's stuff with him. I think he's holed up in a nearby hotel, at least until Lara is able to leave. The woman at the front desk gives me a landline with a long look when I ask her, voice quivering. He'd told me the number at some point, and somehow I manage to remember it after a long moment.
"H-Hello? Is this the Ramada? I need to talk to a Jonah Maiava, I'm pretty sure he's staying in room 114?...Okay, thank you." They connect me to his room phone. Two rings.
"Jonah, thank god you're there."
"Sammy, it's early. Is everything alright?"
"U-Uhm…It's…Lara's waking up, so that's good news…Do you have her journal? The brown one that her Dad carried?"
"You sound distressed. What's the matter?"
"Please, Jonah. Just…do you have it?"
"I…Let me check." The receiver clunks as he puts it down. My fingers are tapping vigorously on the lobby counter when he comes back to me. "Yes, I have it."
"Great! Good, I'm gonna head over there."
"What about Lara? You should stay with her."
"No…No, she'll be okay. I really gotta get out of here for a little while, Jonah. This place is making me crazy. It'll just be an hour, maybe two. Please…?"
He sighs heavily. "…Alright, okay."
"See you then." I hang up, stare at the phone blankly, and hand it back to the receptionist.
"Everything okay, miss?"
"Uh, yeah. Yeah." I stutter awkwardly and speed walk back to your room to grab the iPod; I felt like for some reason I might need it. You mumble weakly in your sleep as I pass you, coughing in a constricted way and wheezing with a throat torn from dehydration and screaming. I turn you onto your sideand pull the blankets over your shoulders.
"I'm gonna go out for a little while, sweetie. I'm gonna figure all of this out." I kiss your temple, hesitate, and leave the room.
I could disappear forever.