Ask Me To Stay
by Pirate Turner
"I don't believe we're finally getting to go home!" Miranda exclaimed, but the joy in her voice did not even begin to reach her heart. She turned swiftly around, her long, blonde whirling around her slender shoulders, and found her blue eyes gazing directly into a pair of mesmerizing chocolate eyes that instantly stole her breath and caused her knees to go weak. Her smile vanished with one glance.
"Of course you are," Sebastian gently replied. "The prophecy is fulfilled. What else could keep you here?" Although Miranda shrugged, she found herself silently begging him to ask her to stay. One word from the incredible Dwarf before her would be all that it took to make her want to remain in the Realm of Imagination forever. Sebastian gazed into her eyes, wishing for all the worlds that he could ask her to stay but knowing that he had no right. A long moment passed between them before he finally managed to find his voice again. "Are you really that eager to leave us, though?"
"No." The word slipped out before she could stop it, bringing hope to his eyes and enticing a leap from his heart. "Yes." His eyes fell and, with it, his hope. She sighed and nervously tucked a loose strand of her long, blonde hair behind one ear. "I guess it's kind of both. I'm sick of the Trolls and the close calls, but there are . . . is some on -- . . . are some things I'll miss."
"Like what?" he asked softly, his eyes gazing adoringly up into hers as he dared to step closer to the Princess who had captured his heart so completely.
"Friends," she answered, not daring to tell him the truth.
"Will you miss us?" He had to fight desperately to keep his emotions and the signs of his breaking heart from his voice.
"Of course I will!" Miranda exclaimed, tears springing unbidden to her saddened eyes. "I'll miss you -- all of you," she quickly added, "like crazy!" Her life would never be the same. She would be empty from the very instant that she turned and walked away from Sebastian until the moment she breathed her last. Every single part of her was screaming for her to stay and desperately pleading with him to ask her to, but as long as he did not want her to stay, she knew she had to go -- not for herself but for her father and sister, for her family. "Will you . . . think of me?" she managed though she wanted to scream at him why he did not ask her to stay.
"Constantly," he breathed as he inched closer to her.
His eyes, which he fought so hard to keep his sadness from, gazed adoringly up into hers, and her own eyes, though blurred by tears, gazed longingly down into his. The two inched closer, both wanting nothing more than to wrap around the other and cling tightly for the rest of their lives. They desperately searched each other's despairing eyes for some sign that Miranda was wanted to stay, but their fears blinded them to the truths in their eyes. Still, Miranda's lips slowly began to descend toward Sebastian's as they parted to whisper in a hushed breath, "As I will you."
Their lips came closer, but just before they could touch, Mister Ainsling's voice rang out urgently. "Miranda, come on! We have to go now!" Both heads jerked up, and both blushed as they found her family and their friends staring at them except for Malachi. Miranda wondered why the Dwarf, who had formed a close bond with her father, was glaring furiously at him but dared not ask. She sighed and looked back at Sebastian, struggling desperately to keep her tears from falling. His heart leapt as she threw herself into his arms, and their arms wrapped around each other in a desperate embrace that was so tight that they almost couldn't breathe.
Sebastian and Miranda would have gladly remained like that forever if Cassie's whining voice hadn't interrupted them. "Miranda!"
Miranda forced herself to pull out of Sebastian's embrace, and he forced himself to let her. They stood, for a long moment, just gazing at each other through their sad eyes whose visions were blurred with their tears and trying desperately to remember every single detail about one another and everything that had happened to them while they had been together. "I have to go," she whispered, her voice on the brink of a whimper.
"I know," he said, his own voice also etched with misery. "Good-bye, Miranda." His heart ached for him to add that he loved her, and his soul ached just as painfully for him to reach out to her, grab her, hold her tightly, and never let her go. He did neither, however, but only forced himself to remain standing as he watched her leave.
"Good-bye, Sebastian," she cried in a miserable whisper as she finally forced herself to turn away from him. It took every single last bit of the young woman's valiant will to make her feet carry her off of the ship, but as she descended into the night and reentered the place that she had once called home, her tears finally began to stream unstopping down her face. Through her tears, she managed to call to her father and sister to go ahead and just let her catch up. She was surprised but relieved that they allowed her to do so, for as the ship pulled away from the dock, she fell to her knees, sobbing openly for all she was worth even as Sebastian, too, hit his knees in the secrecy of his cabin.