The Lake

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Sophie awoke to soft snoring.

Fitz has fallen asleep, his body almost completely hidden by the covers. His hair was adorably messy and Sophie couldn't help but stare. He looked so peaceful and she missed him.

The version of him that knew her.

The version of him who cared and protected her, no matter what.

Sophie pushed her longing thoughts out of her head. Careful not to wake him, she moved closer to the window. The moonlight shown softly outside, just enough for her to make out the backyard of Everglen. Anxiety crept upon her, she felt so alone.

What was she going to do?

She contemplated telling someone her secret, but she was too afraid that it would change everything and changing the past could mess up her future. If she didn't let Fitz get to know her the way he had previously, their relationship might not even be close to being the same. She could not risk it, no matter how much she wanted too.

All she could do was focus on keeping everyone alive and unharmed. She could do that, right? She needed to develop all of her previous relationships and fast. She needed her old support system back.

"Sophie?"

Fitz's teal eyes shown through the darkness, complete with bed hair and bags under his eyes. He couldn't have looked anything less than perfect, yet he felt even more perfect to Sophie.

"Why are you up?" He rubbed his eye and yawned.

"Couldn't sleep." Sophie crawled back to where she had previously fallen asleep. Fitz was now sitting up, watching her.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" She gestured to the lake.

"Yeah, I guess so."

"Isn't it weird how the beauty of something gets taken away once the beauty is yours?" Sophie pondered aloud.

"Want to go see it?"

"What?"

"The lake. Want to go see it?"

"Are you serious?"

"I am dead serious. Let's go. You're right, I have never taken the time to appreciate that lake and I'd like the chance to do it. Now is a pretty good time to start." Fitz stood up and stretched, revealing a tiny sliver of skin. "I'll be right back." He stumbled out the door.

A few moments later, he returned carrying capes and a lantern. "Sorry," He frowned as he put the cape around Sophie's neck. "This is one of my capes, I couldn't sneak into Biana's room this late to get one your size."

Sophie loved his cape so much. It engulfed her and it smelled just like him. She put on her human shoes while Fitz helped her tie the cape in place. His fingers grazed her neck and Sophie had never been so grateful that the room was dark.

"Follow me." He whispered, taking the helm of the cape and using it to guide her out the door. The moonlight made refracted beams on the floor and walls giving them enough light to make it downstairs.

Fitz stopped to light the lantern and the light flooded the halls. His hand had now moved to her arm and she was trying to do everything to pretend she had not noticed.

They walked in silence until the lake was in sight. "You'll find that most of the Lost Cities is filled with beauty such as this. Soon you'll be used to it and take it for granted, but thank you, Sophie for reminding me of the things I have." Fitz sat down on a bench located by the side of the lake and invited Sophie to join him.

"Thank you, Fitz."

"For what?"

"Everything," She took a deep breath before continuing, "For bringing me here. For bringing me to the Lost Cities. You helped me find my home. I'll be forever grateful."

"But..." His piercing teal eyes almost bore into hers. "I made you leave your home to live in a world that is the complete opposite of yours. I don't think that constitutes your thanks."

"Oh, but it does. More than you ever know." Sophie was fiddling with her hands. "At least for now." The last part was barely a whisper and she wasn't even sure he heard until he spoke up again.

"You know what I said earlier? About knowing you?" Fitz closed his eyes. "I feel like I'm going crazy. I feel like I have these memories of you, but they're just" -he let out a frustrated groan- "locked? I don't know they're unreachable."

Sophie held her breath, refusing to speak. She wanted him to remember on his own. If she were to remind him, it might be too much or it could mess up everything or even worse- he wouldn't believe her.

"Do I sound crazy?" He was now staring. Sometime during the conversation he had gotten close, unnecessarily close. His shoulder was pressed against hers and their legs weren't even a centimeter away.

"No, you don't sounds crazy," She chose her words carefully. "I- I feel the same way."

Now it was Fitz's turn to let out his breath. "It's almost as if I have... uh... feelings attached to you. But I can't access the memories to back them up. I'm not even sure what the feelings really are."

Sophie pulled out an eyelash and pretending she was very interesting in it. It was easier than dealing with the truth. She could never explain those "feelings" he had when she wasn't even sure what he had felt when they had known each other before.

Neither of them knew what to say and somehow that was comforting. They were completely fine just existing with each other, Sophie wasn't even aware of how much time had passed until Fitz suggested they'd go back inside.

As if the whole situation wasn't overwhelming enough, Fitz grabbed her hand and lead her back inside. She could have sworn her heart was beating so loud that it would have woken Alden and Della. She didn't know how she'd explain that one.

"I guess we're here." Fitz stopped outside her door. "I should go back to my room, I don't know how I would have explained why I was in your room in the first place."

"Yeah, I understand." Sophie whispered. "Goodnight."

Fitz pushed her hair behind her ear. She felt herself melt as he met her eyes and if she didn't know any better, she would have assumed he was going to kiss her.

"Goodnight, Sophie."

And with a slightly awkward shoulder squeeze, Fitz left.

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