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Dusk 'til Dawn

Chapter Text

4 : 4 6 a m

White walls. White tiles. White curtains. White bandages. White everything.

White. Almost every single thing occupying the hellish room was white. The nurses often liked to assure her that the hospital had only wanted to portray the colour as one that would add a heavenly atmosphere to the building and the people in it; surely Samantha Giddings was not as positively affected by it as they hoped it would.

She hated the colour white. Ever since the dreadful night in the mountains, she started to hate winter as much as the next person, and anything else that came close to the colours of snow, or for God's sake, even a fucking dirty white Wendigo. Sam had never hated anything so much before in her life. Specifically a colour. She was always known to be the ultimate optimist in pretty much in any given situation — she was often described a 'sweet but sassy rainbow' — and among her seven friends, Sam was by far the brightest light to have ever come across such a typically monotone "squad" in campus.

In all honesty, Sam still hadn't gotten used to the whole college thing quite yet at that time, as it was only her second year in. Despite her undying positivity, nobody ever said that that side of her wasn't capable of taking a few breaks now and then.

Before she had started to hate and fear of the strange colour, Sam hated (and feared) college the most. In fact, she despised it and everything about it — the system, that was oh, so poorly organized, the dormitories, that were like sugarcoated prison cells, and worst of all, the people, who were all just ignorant, annoying assholes and bitches in her book, except for only a handful. Though, when she was relocated to a different hospital, separated from her only remaining friend, Mike, never in her life has she ever despised a place as much as college. She had already been having one too many sleepless nights during her times there, but after she was moved, her imprisonment in insomnia couldn't get anymore worse. Only this time, insomnia wasn't the only problem.

As confidential as her social worker wished the information about the new hospital to be, Sam had absolutely no doubt that it was one for the mentally disabled. It was obvious. Almost too obvious. Why wouldn't they move her there anyway? It would only be dumb not to move her to the loony bin right after she had almost cold-bloodedly murdered an innocent hobo in the streets.

"It isn't my fault he looked anorexic. He could've been a cannibalistic monster," Sam scoffed as she thought to herself.

She did that often: find a serious situation and take something "funny" out of it. It was somewhat one of her coping methods for things like that, but it wasn't enough. It soon escalated to her constantly talking and laughing to herself like a madwoman, reassuring herself that she was completely sane, even though she knew it wasn't true at all. She felt lonely, but fortunately, there will always be a silver lining to every cloud.

Sam's silver lining was having the very recent company of a very familiar face in the very same building; one that had stuck with her like chewing gum on the sole of a person's shoe. Sam would forever be grateful that Michael Munroe was still here with her after the bloodbath. Together, they lived as neighbours in the Devil's evergrowing nest, called the 'Alberta Psychiatric Institution'.

The two were the sole survivors of that fateful night. Sure, someone she knew survived that nightmare with her, but Sam didn't live a second without wishing that she could turn back time and do it all over again. To save every single one of her friends.

Every night, she could still hear their ear-piercing screams. They haunted her. They taunted her. Wherever she went, they would always be there to screech into her ears and tear her down over and over again. Their cries for help reminded her of all the mistakes she had made — how it was her fault that the rest of her friends didn't make it, how she should've been the one remaining in the ashes, and how she was the one who caused all her friends to die. She could never undo those mistakes; those regrets that she would have to carry all the way to her grave. Even though one day, she was going to be nothing but a name carved in stone, just like everyone else, it still didn't feel enough as an apology from her to her friends.

Was this how Josh had been feeling along? Was this how he felt after Hannah and Beth...

It's your fault they died.

"N-No, it's not..."

It's all your fault.

"Stop saying that!"

Samantha dear, it's the truth. I know it hurts, but you have to accept the fact that you were the one who not only wiped out the remains of the Washingtons, but also killed her own friends from her selfishness.

"That's n-not true! I loved them. I would never hurt them. You're lying!"

They're dead, Giddings. They're all dead because of you.

"PLEASE STOP!"

I can't.

"GO AWAY!"

You can't get rid of me. I'm a part of you.

"No, y-you're not!"

Hush now, dear, you're going to wake the nurses.

"Please... please stop..."

Tell me honestly, Samantha. If you were given a chance, would you like to end all of this... right now?

"Yes..."

Do you want to know how?

"Yes."

Then do exactly as I say, okay?

"Okay..."

Go to the roof and lock the door. Don't turn back. What did I just fucking say? God, just step onto the ledge. It's going to be just fine. Trust me.

"It feels like there's someone else up here."

Focus, Samantha.

"What if someone sees me?"

It'll be over before you know it. Focus.

"Okay."

Good girl. Now, jump.

But of course, someone caught me. I wish they didn't. Why did they pull me back? Do they know me? Shit, now my knees hurt... Who was that?

"SAM!"

Michael?

"Sam, what were you doing?! You could've fallen off the edge!"

Stupid Mike. That's the whole point.

She understood why he stopped her, though. After the night when all of Hell rose up to the mountains, Mike could never forgive himself for what he did to Jessica. Or Emily. Or anybody else, for the matter. Now if he was going to witness his only friend left leap to her death without him helping, he really couldn't forgive himself. What did he do wrong? Why did everyone he knew and loved abandon him? The police had already accused him of murdering both Jessica and Emily. He was going on trial in the morning and Sam felt horrible for him. She could only imagine what was going through his head, but what the hell was he doing up on the roof? Shouldn't he be resting in bed? Why does he have a cigarette?

"Wait, w-what are you doing up here? Shouldn't you be in bed?"

I could ask you the same, Michael.

Instead, she continued letting the rest of her weight sink into his arms. She hadn't had any real human contact for what felt like an eternity. Sam adored his warmth. Soon enough, she desired more of it, still she doesn't say a word.

"Sam, talk to me. What are you doing up here?" he asked again, this time slightly more seriously as he tossed his cigarette away, gently lifting her chin up so their eyes leveled. She could already feel his tobacco breath swarming over her face, colliding with her own, but Sam's eyes were still fixated somewhere else. "Sam?"

She let out a soft sigh, knowing that he wouldn't rest until he got a solid explanation out of her. "I just wanted to take a little breath of fresh air. Nothing more."

"Are you sure?" he asked, a slight more concern moulding onto his face. Of course, he knew without a doubt that she was lying to his face. Sam knew him better than that. Saying that he was merely concerned about his friend, who almost got herself killed right in front of his eyes, would be an utter understatement; she could see all of his worries swelling up in his eyes, waiting to spill out, and all the panic and anticipation for an answer from her stumbling around his cold, shivering lips, and the gentle, yet ferocious, sparks of grief floating in his veins as that very moment with Sam reminded him of how lonely they both were, and how easily they lost all their friends to injustice deaths. She could feel it. She could feel him. Sam knew more than anyone how much he feared isolation, and so did she. She couldn't bear seeing Mike so anxious about such a small matter like her almost committing suicide. Besides, she felt that it would only give humanity one less of a problem if she did, but she wasn't so sure if the feeling would be mutual with Mike.

"Yeah... Yeah, I'm sure. Don't worry about it," she smiled, barely peeling herself away from his enveloping embrace. Not that she wanted to. She hoped that, at the very least, he felt better than she did. Judging by the way he was still nervously fidgeting around in his bubble, she could tell it was worse but she didn't know why. She didn't know what to say to him. An "are you okay?" would probably be the last thing he needed to hear at that moment. A few, long minutes passed and the air felt calmer.

"Can I have one?" she asked hopefully, but Mike, looking just as confused as before, made her roll her eyes and chuckle. Sam gestured towards the pack of cigarettes sticking out of his pocket. It was as if he was holding himself back from slapping himself across the face for not realizing the obvious sooner, but he was dumbfounded as well.

"You smoke?"

"Used to. I'd already quit the habit way back then, though," she explained. Mike tensed up as soon as he saw her slowly make her way back to the ledge, only to be a little relieved when she swung her legs over, sitting and gazing as time passed along. Mike heaved a sigh and joined her, settling down next to her where it wasn't too close to invade her personal bubble, but not too far either to make himself seem distant. It was what he called a "fair, negotiable distance" between them.

"Well, what's making you change your mind now?" he asked, pulling out the small box as he took two cigars out; one for him and one for Sam.

"I don't know. I guess I just can't think of much other ways to cope with the fact that I had just lived through an entire night watching six of my closest friends die right by me two years ago," she said, forcing a smile as she placed the cigar in between her dry, swollen lips. She closed her eyes, taking a small but fulfilling puff. "Y'know what I mean?" Mike nodded, having a taste of tobacco for himself as well.

"Everything is just... so weird. In fact, you and me smoking up here on the rooftop of a sugarcoated nuthouse like nothing else fucking matters is weird too. Weird as hell."

"Yeah," he breathed, coughing out a dark cloud. "It is."

"What's weirder is that I wanted to kill myself," Sam chuckled mindlessly. Mike immediately noticed its complete lack of genuineness and shifted most of his focus back to her, feeling the same anxiety he had felt just a few minutes ago. "I-I mean, how strange is that? How I'm so fucking ungrateful for all the people who are just trying to help me through my fucked up head and get out of this place! Yet, I'm here being a selfish, little asshole, nearly ending her life right there and then just because she doesn't give a fuck if anyone in this shitty world would miss her! I'm fucking useless, Mike!"

It was painful for Mike to watch her talk about herself like that. He could already see tears struggling to break out while she held them at bay. The only thing Mike could think to do that second was hug her, and he did. He wrapped his arms around the sobbing girl, enveloping her. And, he never wanted to let go of her. At least, until she felt better, but he kept it that way, waiting out the storm alongside her. She didn't deserve to think that way. Let alone feel that way. It was true, Sam was almost too good for the world. She didn't deserve to go through what she did, but he needed her. He loved her. She was the only friend he had left. He wanted her to stay with him forever and never leave his side, and he was willing to do anything to make her—

"Stay."

Chapter Text

Suddenly, she was back on the mountains.

"I'm going to get Mike with you, or without you."

Soon after she said that, the group had separated, and that was when everything really started to crumble. She was only a few second late before she arrived at the sanatorium to see Michael dead, getting savagely feasted off by the teeth of a hideous Wendigo. She swore she felt her heart stop at that very moment, but there wasn't enough time for her to sob or mourn over her friend. Still, she made a big mistake of crying out his name, instantly catching the creature's attention. Its head snapped up the stairs to where the sound was coming from, spotting Sam standing in fear by the door.

Her mind went completely blank for a while — fingers squeezing tightly onto the shovel, nails almost peeling off her skin as she reluctantly dug them into the cold metal, paralyzed in place, while tears ran down her face. She could barely think straight when the Wendigo had started charging up the stairs. What Sam could only describe as pure luck, she had already snapped out of her own world of grief before realizing the situation quickly. The only thing she could think to do was shut the door, but it was too late. There it was: the white-eyed demon, tackling her to the ground with its moulding hands, screeching in her face. Sam squeezed her eyes shut, preparing herself for the Wendigo's next move, which was probably going to be its teeth piercing through her skull. She waited and waited, letting the screams fuel her ears.

Until, she woke up in bed.

8 : 4 5 a m

A nurse was yelling in her face, aggressively shaking her awake and complaining about the weird cries and screams she was making in her sleep. According to the nurse, she was disturbing a lot of other patients. Sam didn't care; the only thing on her mind was him.

"Mike! Please, I need to see him!" was all she said to the clearly frustrated nurse. That woman thought she was a complete lunatic. Nobody ever believed a thing she said — not even when she had specifically instructed that they go down to the mines to see what she had seen for themselves — but then again, who would believe a mentally disturbed teenager who said that she saw demonic creatures living and ruling over "safely modified" mountains?

"Munroe?" the nurse arched a brow. In response, Sam violently nodded her head, tears still flooding from her eyes. "Nuh-uh, now's not chatting time, missy. It's time for you to shower and eat your breakfast."

"Mrs. Monty please, let me see him!"

The woman rolled her eyes at the sight. Sam's "puppy eyes" were all it took to get to her. She huffed. "He's in the common r—"

Sam barely thanked her before jolting out of bed and out of the ward, running on her bare feet without a care to the common room. Her heart stopped once more when she saw him, only this time he was alive and safe.

"Mike!" she cried as she basically flew across the room, throwing her arms around the clueless boy, oblivious to all the patients staring at them like they were circus performers. Though, neither of them cared.

"Sam, you're crushing me," Mike laughed.

"Oh— s-sorry, Mike," she apologized, abruptly peeling herself away from him, wiping a tear from her eye. They were both grinning from ear to ear as she gratefully scanned the face of the living life in front of her, right before pulling him into another long hug. Mike chuckled and hugged her back, without questioning it. Sam sighed contentedly, "I'm just... glad you're okay."

"What? Why wouldn't I be?" he asked with the same blaze of worry from hours ago filling his eyes once more. When he didn't get an answer, a wave of realization hit him. His eyes grew soft as he looked down at the girl, who was desperately clinging onto his figure as if something was going to snatch him away from her. He sighed and began softly stroking her hair. "Bad dream?"

"Horrible dream," she corrected him, closing her eyes and blatantly tightening her hold on him, embracing more of his warmth. He was oh, so warm compared to her stone cold skin. Warmer tears paddled down her cheeks as she spoke, "I-I wasn't fast enough, a-and the Wendigo... it k-killed you and you were g—"

Gently pressing the palm of his hand to the small of her back, he could feel her heart beating out of her skin, and all the rapid rhythms and patterns of her breathing. She was downright terrified that what happened to him in her dream could happen to him then. He knew she wasn't overreacting, because it wasn't her fault for feeling that way. She was having a panic attack. He didn't want anything more than to calm her down and comfort her.

"Samantha, look at me," he pleaded. She listened to him after a while. "Tell me, who do you see in front of you?"

Sam only blinked once, swallowing the lump in her throat, and replied. "I-I... I see you, but—"

"Exactly..." he smiled warmly at her, tucking a golden strand of hair behind her ear, receving a small, genuine smile from Sam herself. She wanted to curse him right there and then for being so... him. She would often feel like screaming, and ask herself why he had to be so perfect to her, even though she knew she would never get the answer. "I'm right here, Sam. I'm here."

She gulped and looked away, clearly still afraid.

"You know, I had a dream like that a few weeks ago too. It was fucking horrifying, to see you get— you know..." he chuckled. "But, we're lucky. No Wendigo can ever get to us again. Not here. Not now. Not ever. I can promise you that..."

She hoped he was right.

After what happened to her friends, she couldn't bear to lose anymore.

Jess. Ashley. Chris. Emily. Matt. Josh. It was too much.

I can't lose you too, she thought.

But soon enough, the pair discovered that Mike was wrong.

Very wrong.