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Title: Come With Me To Never Land
Author: Aspen Snow
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Sara/Kellerman
Summary: Never say never.
Author's Note: This is strictly a what-if.




She’s been here before. Needle on the table, bottle empty on the floor, fallen out of someone’s hand.

Not hers this time. Not hers.

“No,” she says, because she doesn’t want to die this time.

She picks up the needle, there’s blood on it. Looks around the apartment, tries to think, to react. She doesn’t know what to do.

She smells something warm in the air, homemade. Pie maybe, blueberry.

She smells blueberry pie.

She hears the door open behind her and all she can do is not move.

*

He hates the way she looks lying on the floor in a tangle of her own limbs, her hair spread messily around her.

She was graceful even when she was broken. She carried books to meetings with drug addicts and criminals, ran her fingers quietly along the edges of pages when she thought no one was looking.

She was soft and feminine even in her self deprecation. She was never this hard angled person lying so coldly on the floor.

He smoothes her hair with is fingers, skims the palm of his hand across her face to check if she is still breathing. Her eyelashes brush across his skin when he pulls his hand away.

The sensation is too intimate, scares him a little bit.

He’s not sure he has the stomach for this anymore.

*

She wakes up moving. There is a steady hum of vibration beneath her and she knows she is in a car. The cool leather beneath her cheek is unfamiliar and she doesn’t know how she got here.

Fear steals her breath. There is something important pounding in her head and self preservation keeps her from moving as her memory attempts to catch up with her.

“I know you’re awake,” and in his voice she remembers blueberry pie and she doesn’t want to move, doesn’t want to breathe, doesn’t want to do anything that will make him see her there.

“I’m no doctor but there are some things about the human body that I am well versed in, you know, breathing patterns, eye movement, body language and the like,” and the words flow through the cramped space like they’re casual, like they’re nothing.

And that’s when she panics, jerks herself into frantic movement— pulling at door handles, looking for locks and buttons or anything that will get her out of this car. Because her father is dead and they want her dead too and maybe, maybe this is her dying.

But nothing opens, nothing rolls down and she pounds her fists against the window and she knows it’s useless. She’s seen this movie before, bulletproof glass, no locks on the inside. She wonders if there is some kind of biological airborne poison being piped in and she waits for a black partition to come up between her and the front, seal her in.

When he pulls over to the side of the road she thinks maybe this is it. She thought she had been prepared for this once but she remembers waking up in a hospital and thanking god that she wouldn’t be remembered for doing something so stupid.

He grabs her hands roughly, snaps her forward, makes her look at him, “I could have killed you so many times,” he says.

She believes him.

*

She insists on sitting in the front, he knows she wants to watch his hands, make sure they don’t reach for a gun. She doesn’t trust him. He doesn’t blame her. He would have killed her, nearly did.

The way he’s driving with nowhere to go he thinks maybe he still should. They’ll find him, they’ll kill him— her too. He isn’t naïve, he hasn’t saved her and he’s not the hero. He has prolonged her life, maybe, for awhile. But that isn’t much he thinks, when she has nothing left anyway.

He watches her out of the corner of his eye. She’s got her arms wrapped tightly around herself, for protection and warmth. She’s tired but she won’t fall asleep around him. Not yet at least.

She isn’t much to look at. Not with her hair tangled and knotted, not with her smeared mascara and pale pale skin. There is nothing there to motivate a conventional man to throw away the only life he has ever known.

But he doesn’t even exist to people like her. He is an unconventional man who wears suits and ties to put a professional face on the work he does, to justify the body count he leaves behind, to make it matter.

He believed it in all so easily, proudly. He believed they were bad, he was good. He believed in black and white.

She flinches when he pulls his hand from the steering wheel to turn on the heater.

She was the first person he couldn’t kill and he doesn’t know how to walk away from that.

*

She can’t bring herself to cut her hair. He wants her to.

“They are looking for you— for us,” he tells her when he hands her a pair of too small scissors and pushes her towards the bathroom. She doesn’t ask him who they is because it’s less terrifying when it’s abstract.

And she watches him at night when she pretends to be sleeping slouched against the passenger side door; she’s gotten good at faking— deep breaths, slow and steady. She watches how the speedometer jumps from eighty to ninety to hundred when he thinks she is sleeping, watches his hands clench around the steering wheel.

He is scared and that is enough for her to think that maybe they are on a suicide mission.

She puts the scissors on the edge of the sink, runs her fingers through her hair and tries to imagine what else she would do with restless fingers. He’s right she knows. Her hair, her face, her picture has been everywhere. She can’t look like this anymore.

She thinks about him out there on the other side of the door. Cleaning his gun, counting bullets, putting a knife under the pillow. It doesn’t scare her like it used to. She wants to learn how to use a gun, thinks about asking him sometimes. But she doesn’t. They both know she might shoot him one day.

She has a hard time reconciling who she was before and who she is now. Most days she doesn’t even think about it, but today, when he asks her to chop away who she used to be it is all she can think about. She’s afraid it won’t grow back.

She can’t bring herself to cut her hair. So she dyes it blonde instead.

*

Somewhere in Texas she laughs.

She’s got her feet on the dash and the window rolled down and the air is warm and sunny and it makes her hair brush across his arm. He remembers smiling when she came out of the bathroom with long blonde hair.

He doesn’t ask her why, doesn’t say anything at all. She needs this, this small easy thing.

Her father’s funeral, they saw it on TV last night in their motel room. He’d run across it when she was in the shower, and when she came out of the bathroom smelling like soap he had almost changed the channel.

She’d sat on the bed and didn’t move, didn’t cry. He had thought about saying something but he didn’t have the right so he had just switched it off when it was over and turned off the light when she said goodnight.

Their lives didn’t have room for much beyond what it took to survive from day to day.

And now with her laughing like she’s got more than just twenty four hours winding down, he looks at her pale purple nail polish— chipping at the edges— and can almost enjoy her laughter.

This is a moment he didn’t know he was going to have.

*

He traces her lip with his finger and the touch is so heavy it almost brings her to her knees. She wraps her hand around his wrist, warms her fingers on his fast, unsteady pulse, and tries to breathe.

She licks her lips and wonders if he tastes it too. His breath is on her cheek and the warmth of his body almost almost touching her seeps through her clothes. Nothing occurs to her except that he is just there.

Everything in him stops when she closes her eyes and his hand falls away from her face so fast that the callus on his thumb scrapes her jaw. He has calluses on his fingers for a reason, she knows. He turns away from her, all restless and tense, picks up a gun to steady his hand, and she watches him load it, strap it into his holster with an ease and precision that only comes from practice, from use.

There is violence in him, she remembers. It is hard and controlled and his body has memorized the muscles it takes to pull a trigger.

He was going to kill her once.

And suddenly all she tastes are the questions she should have been asking.

*

He wakes up one night with her on top of him, knees pressed tightly against his sides, a hand on his chest— warm and solid.

He’s slipping. There was a time when the first thing he would have noticed was the knife against his throat. Her hand is shaking and it’s making the knife move roughly against his skin. There is something wet there that feels cool in the air and he knows its blood.

He can’t see her face, it’s too dark. But he can feel her anger against his throat, her fear in her fingers clenched too tightly around the fabric of his shirt. She might kill him and he thinks they may have gotten the profile wrong on her. She wasn’t going to break.

“Did you,” and it’s a whisper that shakes, “my…father,” and she puts all the weight of her voice on that word. Father. And he knows what she’s asking.

“I didn’t kill him,” and she can’t see his eyes or his face or feel the way his heart is beating and he wonders how she is going to tell whether or not he is lying.

She doesn’t move, stops breathing maybe. Waiting or deciding he doesn’t know which. He wants to say something, wants to tell her he knows who did do it. He wants to give her a name, an answer, anything to confirm for sure that her father didn’t commit suicide. That it was murder. That she was right.

But he doesn’t say anything because he knows she would take that as a confession of guilt and he doesn’t want to die for one of the small things he didn’t do.

She lets go of the knife, lets it fall to the floor. The muted sound of metal hitting carpet breaks the tension in the room and she collapses on top of him. She’s a better person than him, she believes without reason.

When she doesn’t cry and doesn’t move he lets his arms go around her. Let his thumb find the bare skin of her shoulder and brush across it slowly.

He is innocent of this one thing.

It’s a start.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
winterqueen
Oct. 27th, 2006 02:02 pm (UTC)
He believed it in all so easily, proudly. He believed they were bad, he was good. He believed in black and white.

Oh this is the heart of Kellerman!

She flinches when he pulls his hand from the steering wheel to turn on the heater.

Yup, quite right not to trust him Sara

She was the first person he couldn’t kill and he doesn’t know how to walk away from that.

Oh my I love this bit of the whole story the most. Gulp! Never thought I'd read something with Kellerman in that I'd like so much.
aspensnow
Oct. 28th, 2006 12:38 am (UTC)
I never thought I would ever write something with Kellerman in it in which he was not a total jackass.

So glad you liked it though!
thekayla
Oct. 27th, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. I love this. Fantastic job!

*mems*
aspensnow
Oct. 28th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC)
Oh! Thank you so so much. =)
abvj
Oct. 29th, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
Okay in Canon I am strictly a Sara/Kellerman phobe, because I can't see it happening, but I saw this, and I started it and it was so good.

Everything in him stops when she closes her eyes and his hand falls away from her face so fast that the callus on his thumb scrapes her jaw. He has calluses on his fingers for a reason, she knows. He turns away from her, all restless and tense, picks up a gun to steady his hand, and she watches him load it, strap it into his holster with an ease and precision that only comes from practice, from use.

There is violence in him, she remembers. It is hard and controlled and his body has memorized the muscles it takes to pull a trigger.


Yes. That is a long quote, but I just love it so. And Gah. To go from that to *that* was glorious. It flows so easily. You have this quiet moment and then BAM your back into reality where this guy is a killer.

The ending scene was fantastic. The dynamic between the two (especially when they're watching her father's funeral) was so great. I'm amazed at how you take this couple that I am so against almost 99% of the time and make it so wonderful. Great job.
aspensnow
Oct. 29th, 2006 02:08 am (UTC)
I am honestly not really a fan of Sara/Kellerman either. But something about the way they interacted when he was pretending to be someone else made me think about what they could or might be.

I saw a flash of potential and sort of ran with it. I was completely suprised with the way it turned out. I am so incredibly glad that you liked it, I was afraid that people would see Sara/Kellerman and go "ACK NOOOO Sara/Kellerman *covers eyes*"
abvj
Oct. 31st, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
That was my first reaction, but then I took and chance and it was great. Hope you don't mind, but I pimped this out as a fic rec on my LJ. I can take it off if you'd rather me not, but I loved it and I thought other people would too.
aspensnow
Oct. 31st, 2006 11:31 pm (UTC)
I don't mind at all! I certainly hope other people love it as much you did. =)
jenncho
Nov. 24th, 2006 08:06 am (UTC)
Most of the PB fanfic I've read has been "okay". Overly dramatic, sappy and unrealistic. But this was FANTASTIC! Very well written. I could almost picture this happening. Very well done and in character. Or, what I think WOULD be in character in this situation.

(sigh) There is such a serious lack of S/K fic. And good ones at that.
(Deleted comment)
aspensnow
Dec. 10th, 2006 01:27 am (UTC)
*flails*

I don't think compliments on my writing could get any better than that. And I certainly don't think you are being cheesy, it's extremely flattering to think that the way I write could make someone want to be a better writer.

Thank you for the lovely comment, that sort of made my day, and friend away!
ekorotya
Mar. 9th, 2008 02:52 am (UTC)
Wonderful
I'm so glad halfshell venus referred me to you. You truly are a remarkable writer. Please tell me there's more Kellerman.

~E
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )