Fandom: Harper's Island
Word Count: 1010
Ship(s)/Character(s): Abby Mills/Jimmy Mance
Summary: It doesn’t matter if it’s already freezing out, she still stands outside in the downpour, letting the rain wash away the pain and the fear and the blood that has long since been cleaned from her hands.
Notes: Mentions of violence.
It doesn’t matter if it’s already freezing out, she still stands outside in the downpour, letting the rain wash away the pain and the fear and the blood that has long since been cleaned from her hands. (She doesn’t care if she comes back inside with her teeth chattering and can’t get herself warm for hours afterwards; doesn’t care if it chills her so badly that she can scarcely think clearly.)
He used to try to stop her from going outside, would put his hand on her shoulder- her arm. He’d try to tell her that the rain wouldn’t help, remind her that getting sick won’t change anything. (She’d never listen; she’d look right past him, right through him.)
He stopped asking her not to go out in the rain after the fourth time, started to just look out the window at her standing there, soaked to the core. (Hair matted, clothes heavy like her heart.) He’d just wrap a towel around her when she came back inside, ran his fingers over her wet hair, pretend that he finds this whole thing perfectly normal; pretend he understands exactly what she’s feeling.
She’s put away all of her pictures since she got home, tucked them into a box under the bed like she’s afraid to look at them now that all is said and done. (He watched her while she did it, watched her run her fingers over a picture of her and the Dunn boys when they were kids, fingers stalling on Henry’s face before thrusting it into the box like she had just been burned; watched her chin quiver at a picture of her and Nikki in her backyard when they were sixteen, Nikki’s head thrown back with laughter, hair shinning in the sun, Abby’s legs curled up close to her chest, a large smile on her face.) She likes to pretend that none of it ever happened. He’s more than willing to let her pretend for a little while.
He tries to get her to try to find her way back to normality or as close as they can get. He helps her keep the apartment clean, feeds her cat when she’s too stuck in her own head to remember; he runs his hand over her hair, kisses her temple, lets her cry herself to sleep with his arms around her when she needs to. (He keeps that little picture hook she passed to him with her mouth in his pocket, a symbol he uses to represent her heart.) He goes grocery shopping with her to help keep her on track, makes sure that the alarm is set for them both every night, makes sure he has his phone with him at all times just in case she should have a terror attack and need to hear his voice. (It happens more often than either of them would like to admit.)
He watches her standing in the rain (hair matted, clothes heavy); he watches her with her eyes closed, with her mouth parted slightly; he watches the way the droplets trickle down her face, over the curve of her nose, drip onto her lips, get stuck on her eyelashes. (She looks so beautiful and so sad with the rain clinging to her eyes like that, like the sky had cried the tears she held deep inside of her.)
He goes to her, wraps her in his arms, presses her back to his front, lets the rain soak through his own clothes. (The cold is bitter and biting; the cold is a welcome feeling that still feels like a knife to the heart, makes him think of being out on his boat with Shane; makes him think of being idiots as kids and jumping off the docks and into the awaiting cold depths even when it was freezing out, even colder beneath the water.)
“Where are you?” he asks her quietly. “Where does your brain go when you’re out here?”
“I’m here,” she tells him quietly. “I’m right here.”
She pauses, hopes he doesn’t notice. He does.
“Sometimes I’m not,” she admits. “Sometimes it’s like a battle to stay here, not to go back there; it’s a battle not to let him win. Because he keeps calling to me, keeps trying to drag me back to that island with him.” She pauses, takes a deep breath, clenches her eyes tighter. “Nothing is ever going to be the same,” she says, her voice sounding as though she had never realized that before.
“No, it isn’t,” he agrees, bows his head, presses a kiss to the top of her head, lips soft against her wet hair. (He isn’t sure if she can even feel it; isn’t sure if she would even register it if she did feel it.)
“But you have me,” he reminds her. (He knows he can’t replace all that she lost; knows that the loss will haunt her for years but he wants to remind her that she isn’t alone; wants to remind her that she’s still loved.)
“I still have you,” she agrees. She leans back into him, keeps her eyes closed, rests her hands on top of his. “You keep me here,” she tells him. “You keep him from taking me away.”
“I’d never let him take you, Abby,” he tells her, gathers her closer to him, closes his own eyes. “You’re not allowed to leave me. I don’t care what Henry wants.”
She doesn’t reply; he doesn’t need her to. She feels his heart beating against her back, feels his breath on her neck, so warm in comparison to the coolness of the rain. It’s such a simple thing (and they’re such simple words) but they keep her there, keep her grounded.
Henry claws at her brain; Henry calls out her brain; Henry’s face flashes in front of her eyes. Fear and pain and hurt grip her, pull at her fragile heart, makes her want to scream and run and cry.
Jimmy always chases him away.
He brings light to the darkness.