The Persistence of Gravity
"Everyone knows his father was a complete screw-up who hurt and abandoned everyone who needed him, but he tries very hard to be a good kid, a good student, a good friend and son. And he swears to himself as he watches Leah sleeping now that he'll always be good to her." The untold story of Sam/Leah starting from before he became a werewolf.
A ridiculously old WIP I'm finally finishing. Because I'm really interested in Sam and Leah as characters and their relationship we don't know many details about, I wanted to write a fic trying to show their story in a very personal way that would make the heartbreak it caused Leah (and also the guilt Sam has over it) very real and understandable. But I was totally unprepared for how invested in this I actually became and how much it ran away with me and got much longer than expected, so I'm really crossing my fingers that there will be readers interested enough in these supporting characters to enjoy this fic in a bittersweet way like I enjoyed writing it.
As a nitpicky note, I know Seth's age in this is way off. At the time I started it I somehow had the idea that he's only about three years younger than Leah, and I just left it because it's a kind of integral detail in one part that would have been hard to work around fixing.
3. part 3/7
Rating 0/5 Word Count 2427 Review this Chapter
Some days after school Leah comes to meet him at the gas station when he gets off work so they can go back to his house together. Mary is always home by this time, so often she eats with them and then she and Sam spend the rest of the night doing their homework together.
One day while she's over she is so tired after not sleeping well the night before that she keeps yawning and seeming just slightly inattentive whenever they talk. After Sam leaves her working on Spanish to get a quick shower, he comes back to find her curled up on the couch napping and smiles down at the sight.
He sits on the edge of the couch by her feet, staring at her a while. In all the time they have spent together, he has never seen her sleeping before. It fills him with an unbridled and perceptibly expanding kind of softness to watch her this way. She is lying in the same place and in almost exactly the same way his mom was when he came home and found her asleep here the night of the Blacks' birthday party last spring.
The really horrible thing about the way his father was able to just leave her behind without looking back is that Sam knows she still completely believed he loved her up until that day he found her hopelessly collapsed on the floor in the kitchen. She believed there was something that would always hold them together, no matter how bad things were and no matter how much worse they got. And what is so messed up, which he thinks about sometimes, is maybe he really did love her and it just wasn't enough anymore, not enough to make him a good and strong person.
Everyone knows how his father was a complete screw-up who hurt and abandoned everyone who needed him, but he tries very hard to be a good kid, a good student, a good friend and son. And he swears to himself as he watches Leah sleeping now that he'll always be good to her. He knows the words would only sound ridiculous and unnecessary to her said out loud, so he just has to make the promise silently.
Sometimes he used to wonder if he is supposed to feel like he could be happy spending every single waking hour with her and nobody else if he really loves her. If it's okay that they have days when they're tired or distracted and they don't talk as much or kiss and touch with the usual enthusiasm. He used to wonder if this is it, what so many songs and flowery novels are written about. He wondered when and how he's supposed to be sure Leah is the one, like they say, when the world is so big and he's still young and has lived just a simple life in one little town so far.
But now these thoughts don't even occur to him anymore. If there is anything out there better than this, any undiscovered possibility beyond his imagining, he doesn't feel any desire to know or find it. He no longer wonders, and he supposes that must be true contentment, the greatest happiness anyone can ever hope to find. There must always be alternate roads, so all that really matters is being happy enough with the one he is on to never look back.
He knows now. He realizes he has already known for a while, as the conviction gradually settled into him and made itself at home deep inside of him, irremovable. He wants her and only her. He wants to make love to her. He wants to marry her. For the rest of their lives he wants to keep getting into stupid little fights with her on days that they're both in a bad mood and taking it out on each other and then getting over it twenty minutes later every time. He wants to be able to see her sleeping like this when he wakes up on any given morning. Sometimes all he can think when he's with her is I want, as if he doesn't already have all of it in his reach even if not taken already, as if it's an endless changing pursuit to be with her.
That striking knife-smile of hers that is just for him and seems to exist half in his imagination, it is a crescent moon's reflection glimmering and quivering on the surface of moving water, there and real in a sense but not something that can be touched or possessed. Sometimes he grabs her with a sudden, quiet intensity in his face, silencing her laughs with his lips on hers, trying to claim it anyway. The way she always responds leaves no question that she is his, and still he just wants and wants her, so badly.
He sits on her bed reading a chapter of All the King’s Men he has a quiz on tomorrow while she moves around her room putting laundry away with her stereo playing. Every few minutes he looks up and watches her in silent amusement as she moves to the music just a little, shaking her hips back and forth and bobbing her head while she hangs up shirts in the closet, looking like she might be doing it half-unconsciously or unaware of being watched. When she catches his eyes on her, making fun of her a little with his expression, she just starts dancing more animatedly and mouthing along to the lyrics to overdo it as much as possible.
“Come here,” he says with a light laugh, holding his arm out and beckoning her with two fingers.
Giggling softly, she joins him on the bed and settles against his chest with his arm around her, curling one leg up over his. "How's the book?"
"Getting better," he answers, but then shows just how much better by immediately tossing it to the floor and then turning to grab her into a kiss.
After a while the sound of the music has somewhat faded from their awareness. They become more and more tightly entangled, both lying on their sides with limbs crossing. Hands travel under clothes, her fingers grazing across the smooth muscles of his stomach and back, his hand sliding up her waist and then cupping her breast, and all the while their breathing intensifies. It's all climbing, no drop and release, both of them wound tight near the edge they can't go over. Sam slips his hand out of her shirt, turns her onto her back, and then keeps going down, reaching slowly into her jeans. Leah's chest starts to rise and fall a little faster and she draws her legs up, knees pointing into him, her body curling and turning into his touch like a plant curves toward the sunlight. Before long her eyes delicately flutter shut as her lips part and then she drops her head back with a tight rushing gasp and Jesus it's too beautiful, he feels like he is burning all over; his clothes are suddenly much too thick and warm on his body, constraining.
He starts kissing her neck, softly at first, then grabbing on open-mouthed and biting a little as she starts to twist and writhe more under his arm. Soon she's clutching to him tightly with her fingernails digging, pulling him closer, kissing him deeply a moment before throwing her head back again in frantic breaths. As he is leaning over her, the uncontrollable sounds and words coming from her throat brush softly out of her right near his ear.
Then the music stops playing. The CD is over. In the sudden open and vulnerable silence, he immediately covers her mouth with his to stifle her voice before anyone in the rest of house hears anything. Her last moans come out low and muffled against his lips, and then she goes loose all over. He plants kisses on her cheekbone and one of her eyelids while her eyes are still closed, and then she looks up at him with a slow, small smile.
When Sam has completely lain down again, relaxing next to her as he was before, she brings her head close to his until their foreheads touch and says very softly, "Sam..."
"We've been together a long time...."
"Yeah," he says, and it sounds like an agreement; he can already guess what she is saying.
"...Yeah," she echoes. "So..."
He lets out a long sigh. "I know." He sits up a little, propping his head up on his hand, and then sounds a little frustrated when he keeps talking. "I wish it didn't have to be such a damn delicate situation, with our houses practically never empty and everything. Sometimes I think the only way it's going to happen is if we just take a blanket out into the woods on a day the ground will actually be almost dry."
Leah's mouth curves into a light-hearted smile. "Sounds good to me," she says.
He lets out a short laugh.
"Well, what did you do before?" She sounds a little unsure about asking it. "I mean...you've been with a couple other girls."
"Yeah, but that wasn't..." He shakes his head and then looks directly at her face, sighing again. "This'll be your first time, okay. Do you really want to just have a quickie in the back seat of my car because we can't get enough privacy anywhere else?"
She bites her lip a second, then reaches a hand to his neck and starts tracing one finger along his collarbone. "It honestly doesn't make much difference to me," she says. "I don't really care about my first time being dressed up with candles and rose petals and shit. It can just be us together, the way we are any day..."
He looks at her with a small smile as she hooks her arm around his neck, burying herself close against him.
"If everything works out right for you, you'll be going away next year," she says, now almost whispering. With her free arm she runs a hand down his chest, and the rest of her words come out with her lips brushing softly against his neck. "I just don't want to wait too long...I've been ready a long time, and now I don't care how it happens. I just want you...really badly..."
Sam turns over on top of her with a soft and miserable-sounding groan, clutching her tight around the waist and dropping his head against her chest. "Dammit, you can't say things like this when I'm...I have to leave in probably ten minutes."
"And now you'll be distracted thinking about it all through dinner," she says, sounding a little self-satisfied about it and reaching up to run her fingertips through his hair.
"I already think about it more than I should for my own good. You don't have to torture me."
They hear a knock on the door followed by Seth's voice. "Leah?"
He rolls back off of her and she sits up with a short sigh. "What's up?" she calls toward the door.
Seth's tone sounds reluctant. "I've got some mail for you. And Mom and Dad wanted me to check that your door's open. You know they don't want you keeping it closed when you have Sam over."
"It's just so the stupid cat won't get in here and knock over my plants!" she says. "It's not even locked."
Hearing this, Sam instantly looks up at Leah with wide eyes and then impulsively draws back away from her a little as if they are still in an indecent position. She nearly doubles over laughing at his horrified reaction, throwing her hand over her mouth to keep her giggles quiet.
"I know," Seth is saying, "but that's what they said."
"Whatever, he's about to leave anyway," she says as she gets up from the bed. Then she can't help but laugh a little more, looking back at Sam who just shakes his head while sitting up on the side of the bed, before she reaches the door and opens it.
Handing his sister a magazine and letter, Seth looks over her shoulder and says brightly, "Hey, Sam."
Sam is now putting a shoe on and holding a pen in his mouth that he was using to mark parts of his book so he won't forget to put it away with his stuff, so instead of saying anything or waving he just nods to him.
"Look, Emily finally wrote you back," Seth says to Leah, pointing to the envelope she still hasn't looked at.
"Oh, awesome," she says, turning it over to see the writing on it. Then when he turns to leave she mutters after him, "Thanks, Seth."
As soon as she turns around and faces Sam, he looks up at her and shakes his head again while putting all of his homework back in his bag. "You are going to get me shot by Harry one of these days," he says.
She laughs and says, "If my mom doesn't just do the job."
"Yeah, she is kind of the scary one," he agrees. Then, seeing her looking down at the letter again, he nods toward it. "That's your cousin from the Makah rez, right?"
She nods. "I've really been missing her," she says, going over to sit on the bed next to him and then setting the letter down behind her. "She's been going through some intense stuff this year because her father's sick so I haven't seen as much of her, but I'm hoping she'll have time to come stay here a while in May or June. She really wants to meet you."
"You've told her about me, huh?" he asks in a vaguely teasing way.
She just grins shamelessly as she answers, "Of course, all about you. She's pretty much one of my favorite people in the world, we're like sisters."
He raises his brow a little curiously. "Hm. Now it seems kind of weird I haven't met her."
In the silence following that, they just look at each other not-quite-directly. The atmosphere has turned so sterile compared to a few minutes ago, and there's something awkward about him leaving right after the cold water has been thrown.
Finally he leans in to kiss her goodbye, lightly but sustaining it a few seconds. "I'll see you tomorrow, okay?" he says, brushing some of her hair away from her face before standing up.
He stops at the door and looks back at her. "Did you want this open or closed now?" he asks, an edge of sarcasm in his voice while his face stays serious as usual. "I mean...there's the cat..."
Shaking her head with a smile creeping back onto her face, she gets up and goes to grab the door, then lightly pushes him out by closing it on him while he looks back at her with an affectionately mocking expression.