Author's Note: As promised, I have returned to this 'fic and found myself writing this chapter with surprising ease. My ideas were definitely flowing for this one. Although I will continue to write installments for this, they may not be as frequent, as my main focus for now is my Les Misérables fanfic.
Sam perched uncomfortably on the arm of the armchair in the corner of the room, watching Molly as she slept, with the knowledge that the inevitable would soon occur. Eventually, Molly would awaken from her blissful slumber. A slumber which served as her only form of escapism from reality's daily torture. Life could be harsh but death was merciless.
As soon as her eyes would open to reveal the devastating truth; that she had truly been dreaming, she would be forced to relive the pain all over again, the feeling that her life had unraveled uncontrollably and had crumbled beyond salvation. The crushing blow that she was left all alone to somehow make a desperate attempt to take the broken pieces of what remained of her life and rearrange them to make her world even slightly resemble what was there before. It could never be the same; what she once had was irreplaceable. Her whole life; her plans, her dreams, her future, had been like sand seeping through her fingers. There one minute, gone the next. Now Sam would have to stand and watch this tragic spectacle with a heavy heart, helpless.
Now, the blonde began to stir, her body shifting beneath the covers as she broke away from her dream. Her hand instinctively reached out to Sam's side of the bed and fell against the cold pillow. Her hazel eyes flickered open to the glaring sunlight as it bled through the blind and she remained motionless for several moments as her mind broke back into reality. Finally, as she regained her senses, she tilted her head in confusion and a faint whisper, barely audible, escaped her mouth.
Sam, remaining motionless by the armchair, felt a lump form in his throat at the sound of her voice; such a soft, beautiful voice. He recalled one of their more relaxed dates at an inconspicuous bar where they had discussed their jobs over a few beers. Sam had met Molly at an art exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum and had discovered that she was a gifted sculptor. Perhaps having drunk a little too much beer at the bar, Sam had teased her and had exclaimed in mock surprise that he had initially assumed she was a radio host because her voice was so pleasing on the ear, with her gentle, soothing lilt. Looking back now, he cringed slightly at his ridiculous attempt at flirting, but then reminded himself that Molly had laughed; a light, bubbly sound that was like music to his ears.
Back then she had been carefree and happy. But now, her voice was tinged with sorrow and grief. Gingerly, as if any sudden movements would be liable to break her already grief-stricken soul, Molly rose from the comforting depths of the duvet and padded through into the kitchen. Although in her heart she knew the devastating truth, her mind was strongly convinced that all was normal. Although the usual enticing waft of freshly buttered toast and scrambled eggs had not caused her to awaken, she was certain Sam would be pottering around like an actor in a silent movie, being careful not to make a noise so as not to disturb her as he prepared breakfast. He'd be dressed, to her light-hearted dismay, in his usual flamboyant lounge pants, and topless to reveal his muscular figure. She would sneak up on him and wrap her arms around his broad shoulders to plant him a kiss on the cheek. Sam would flash his cheeky grin, return the kiss and they would begin another playful squabble about those hideous pants that Molly continued to threaten to throw out and Sam would insist they were "not that bad" and resign to wearing them when she was not at home. But, of course, he would continue to rebel and gleefully wear them with much pride and show the following day. But when Molly reached the doorway, she discovered the kitchen hushed and empty. There was no evidence of Sam: no dirty dishes dumped in the sink, no milk carton accidentally left out on the counter, no breakfast awaiting her. Her mind started to grasp at straws in its panic. Perhaps he had gone into work early and had been in too much of a hurry to make breakfast? Yet, upon a futile search, there was no apologetic sticky-note, signed with Sam's signature smiley. Breathless, she allowed herself to break down and for the horrific facts to overwhelm her. Sam was gone.
Finally finding the strength to compose and lift herself from the linoleum floor ten minutes later, Molly returned to the bedroom and opened Sam's chest of drawers. There it was, the lurid garment that was the item of so many laughs and jokes, neatly folded, waiting to be donned and displayed in all its glory. The tears began to flow once more as Molly crumpled to the floor, holding the soft cotton pants to her chest. At one time she had been desperate to get rid of them, now she couldn't bear the thought.
All the while, Sam had been within touching distance yet invisible. Molly was unable to feel his presence. He stood, choked with emotion and mounting anger, his hands curled into tight fists in his frustration. It had taken a single person, a single bullet, a single second, to rob him of his life and make Molly's a torturous hell. Everything had changed in just a blink of an eye for them both and there was nothing that he could do to ease the pain. But he wasn't just angry about that. He felt like he was being punished; trapped in Molly's life as a ghost, forced to watch as anguish engulfed her. All he wanted to do was hold her close, comfort and reassure her that everything would be alright and that there was a life worth living. But he couldn't even do that. There were so many words he'd left unsaid that he now so desperately wanted to say.
Desperately trying to compose herself once more, Molly dragged herself back into bed, wrapping the duvet around her body like a protective cocoon and pulled Sam's pillow close. She closed her eyes and immersed herself in the fresh, woody fragrance.
Before long, she could envision Sam beside her, with his Cheshire cat grin, propped up with one arm, the other protectively around his acoustic guitar.
"Not everyone can say they get serenaded every day by a strikingly handsome guy with a guitar now, can they?" he smirked.
At that, he began strumming his guitar and broke into song. It brought a smile to Molly's face. Sam had a way of winning her around with his amusing sing-songs. He started making her laugh with his Elvis impersonations, before coming to an abrupt stop as a string snapped.
"Ah, bummer! I've gone and busted another string…"
Molly chuckled and drew him close.
"I can live."
They remained that way, their bodies entwined, for a long time, simply enjoying being in one another's company. Molly nestled close to his chest, feeling the comforting warmth that radiated from him. He soothingly brushed a tendril of her blonde curls back from her eyes and planted a gentle kiss on her cheek.
"I better be heading to work," he whispered.
But Molly didn't hear him as she drifted further and further into a fitful sleep.