So, this is only the second multi-chaptered fanfic I ever wrote (I usually do original work), because I've recently played that game (yeah, I know, I'm late to the party !) and fell head over heelps for it :P So... enjoy !
(Disclaimer : of course, I own nothing about that game and characters and what not)
"This is a bad idea."
"You already said that like…" She made a show of counting on her fingers. "… twice since we got in the car ?"
He hummed, not taking his eyes off the road. Sam shifted in her seat to get a better look at his face, ignoring the seatbelt biting at the exposed skin on her neck.
"If nothing else, that can't be worse than the last time", she pointed out. "We know what awaits us."
She glanced at their equipment piled up on the back seats and noticed Mike did the same through the rearview mirror.
"Yeah," he said. "That's actually what makes all this straight-up crazy."
"The question is, are we even sane anymore ?"
It earned her a chuckle, at least, then the silence crept back in.
Outside of their car were tall, dark pine trees covered in snow, the only splash of color being the yellow markings on the road – a landscape already similar to the Canadian one. It was awfully quiet, if not for the wind and the engine roars, and they hadn't seen other travelers for hours now. They were alone, and that was only the beginning of their journey.
"I'm scared," admitted Mike after several minutes.
Sam's eyes darted back to her friend. She couldn't help but be a little surprised. Honesty wasn't really his strong point, especially when it came to his image, and he always appeared so confident, easy-going, with his little smirk that drove most girls crazy. Or "had appeared", maybe.
That night changed them all.
"I know," she replied softly. "I am too."
He glanced at her, then focused on the road again, so she kept looking at him. There were shallow scars on his cheeks, and the deeper one at the corner of his mouth, still bright pink, and the ones on his neck, currently hidden by his coat collar. And she didn't even want to think about his missing fingers. That must have hurt like hell.
Sam's phone started ringing, breaking down the silence into more manageable pieces, and she started digging in the bag between her legs for it.
"Ah, here it is !"
The contact name was displayed on the screen : Ashley. She frowned a bit, half-expecting to be told-off, but she brought the device to her ear nonetheless.
"Hey. You're not home ?"
She held back a sigh.
"No, I'm already gone, as I said I would. Why ?"
"Oh, uh... nothing important. I was just passing by, hoped I could catch you before you left."
Sam hummed, not knowing what to add.
"I..." Ash trailed off. "I just wanted to wish you good luck, nothing else. Chris too, we, we spoke yesterday. He's... you know, okay with your... plan ?"
"Oh, okay, thanks. It's appreciated, truly."
Her smile reflected in her tone. She was honestly relieved to know that at least some of their friends approved of their decision. It made the whole ordeal look a bit less crazy, right ?
"Is... is Mike with you ?"
"Yes. He's driving."
He shot her a curious glance but remained quiet.
"Could you... uh… " Ashley hesitated. "Could you tell him I'm sorry ?"
"For what ?"
"He'll know." She paused. "I met with him a few days ago, and... I have said awful things, I, I don't know what got through me, I regret it so much, I-"
She had started sniffing at the other end of the line.
"Sam, what if that's my, my last words to..."
"Wow, calm down Ash ! Nobody is gonna die !"
That triggered a slightly concerned look from Mike.
Ashley sniffled a bit more, sounding less than convinced. Sam had to admit she wasn't either, but she wasn't thinking about that right now, no thank you.
"Just tell him I'm really sorry, okay ? I gotta go now, my mom is waiting for me."
"I will. Have a good day, Ash."
"You too. And... please, please be careful."
The call ended on that. She let her arm fall back on her thighs, phone still in hand. It was slightly warming her scarred fingers.
"What did she say ?" Mike asked after a few minutes.
"She wished us good luck. And she also wants to apologize to you... She said you'll know why."
Hurt quickly flashed on his fact before he regained his composure.
"Um. I do."
Sam waited until it became obvious he wasn't going to add anything on his own.
"Would it be rude if I enquired further... ?"
He gripped the wheel a bit tighter, his knuckles whitening.
"Ash was really concerned", he explained, "especially about you. I guess she kinda assumed it was my idea and I had enrolled you against your better judgment."
"As if I couldn't be stupid on my own..."
A smile tugged at the corner of his lips, just beside the scar, then faded away.
"I told her I wasn't going to let anything happened to you," he continued, "and she asked... she asked if I was gonna protect you like I "protected" Emily and Jess – air-quotes included –, then she mentioned the twins, and-"
His voice broke off and Sam was left to stare, wide-eyed. That wasn't like Ashley at all, being this mean, sweet and shy little Ash would never said that, would never have said that… Again, they weren't the same anymore.
When Mike moved to shift gear, she motioned to put her hand on his in a supportive gesture, but as soon as their skins brushed he take his away. She bit her lip.
"Sorry," she said.
"Nothing personal, Sam, it's just that…"
It's just that your girlfriend nearly died not a month ago, that maybe she isn't even your girlfriend anymore because she can't bear to have you touched her, not after what happened last time you did, and that was inappropriate, and…
"It's just that the road is slippery and I don't have a good enough grip on the wheel with three fingers."
"Do you want me to drive ?" She asked after an awkward pause. "You have been at it for hours now."
"Nah, it's fine. Besides, we're almost there."
Sam shrugged and moved to face the road again with a sigh. Her heart was hammering in her chest, to the point where she wondered if Mike was able to hear it. She had lied to him earlier ; she wasn't scared. She was freaking terrified.
After all, it was all-natural, since they were going back.
Hope you liked it ! Please let me know if you did - or just follow the story, next chapter should be up soon !