I disclaim throughout.
Warning: Things get kind of dark from here on in. If you don't like what's happening, skim on quickly, but don't say I didn't warn you.
It had been three months and four days since the sunshine had gone out of his life. Shawn Brady was sitting and thinking, brooding about that day, the day it had all gone wrong. Megan was gone, and she wasn’t coming back. He didn’t know when, or if, he would see her again. It was his fault. If he hadn’t let her on the back of the motorbike, she would be in Salem with him, where she was supposed to be. He wouldn’t be stuck in this hell hole, and he might have found out what was going on with Belle and Henry. Anyway he looked at it, he had made a mess and he had not been the only one to pay. If it wasn’t against his religion, he would have considered suicide. He was so alone and his broken heart throbbed worse every second. Everyone had been lost to him through betrayal, deceit or his own sheer stupidity. He kept replaying that moment when he had seen the truck skid in the road, trying to think of how he could have done things differently, stopped what was to come. He had been on some serious pain killers that night, he had been in no fit state to drive. He shouldn’t have been on the back of that motorbike at all, but he had had to get out of there. It was too much.
‘Just like you, Shawn, isn’t it?’ he thought to himself coldly. ‘Run away as soon as the world gets too tough. Some Tough Guy you turned out to be. You couldn’t even protect the people you loved the most.’
The darkness of the room was getting to him. He closed his eyes and thought about that last day, thinking even more desperately how he could undo it all and start again.
Henry with his arm around Belle’s waist, in bed with her.
His mother and father arguing.
The way the truck had skidded across the road and slammed into that damn tree.
The searing pain across his legs as his jeans were ripped open by the road and the final agony of feeling his shoulder dislocate.
Seeing Megan’s body lying limply in the road, the rain soaking her through.
The blood that seemed to be everywhere, running through his eyes.
End of flashback
He had lost hope when he had lost Belle. Now only Paris was left to him. That was where she might come back to him, but even if she didn’t, Paris had Kitty in it. Kitty would be able to help him. When, not if, he went to Paris, she would be there. If she couldn’t help, and Belle didn’t come, he knew that the Seine would claim a drowning victim that night. What else was left for him but that? He still had time. Leaning back, he thought again, remembering so much that it hurt.
"Megan," he ignored his own pain as he stared at his Star Child, screaming at her across the road. "Megan! Speak to me! Move! Oh, God, don’t let her die. Don’t let her die."
He was praying harder than he ever had before. Even when JT was dying, he hadn’t been this desperate. When JT was dying, Belle had been by his side. Now he was alone. The lightning crashed, illuminating the road for a split second and the thunder rumbled after it. He could see the blood, covering the road. His legs wouldn’t obey him. His right shoulder was completely dislocated. With his left arm and his body, each inch gained a torturous pain to his body, Shawn crawled on his belly across the road. He had lost his helmet somewhere, but hers was still on. He didn’t want to remove it in case he hurt her more, but he need to see if she would be alright, or if he had just killed his best friend.
End of flashback
The tears welled up in Shawn’s eyes as he thought about that night. It was his fault. Always his fault. He forced them down again with a tremendous effort. They wouldn’t help now. He had to stay strong. More than that, he had to stay alive. Tears would do nothing for that. If he showed weakness, he would die from it. ‘I have to be her Tough Guy.’ He kept telling himself it, but he could barely hold it together. Images of Megan and Belle from that night kept going through his mind.
"Not now." Shawn took a deep breath and cleared his mind. In place of their faces he put Kitty’s. She was his strength now, his dream, the one he had to get to or die trying.
The door opened and a light shone in. Then that dreaded voice spoke. The words were benign, but the ideas behind them were foul and terrifying. The voice filled his nightmares, and he knew he would never really escape from it. How could he?
"Ah, Mr Brady, you’re awake."
"What do you want?" Shawn was still strong enough for defiance, and he spat the words.
"I think you know that, Mr Brady." The voice was almost sneering at him. Shawn’s stomach turned. He thought of Kitty, and was strong when the pain came. He would win this battle yet, even if it took him the rest of his life.