It’s not a betrayal. It’s not. Sean knows that. So why does it feel like one? They’d made no promises to one another. They’d had some moments of…flirtation? Or was it just friendship? As he watches the scene before him unfold, he finds himself questioning every moment they’d shared.
It had started even before they landed. She said she’d dreamt about him and he’d laughed it off, enjoying the way her eyes sparkled when he did. When the storm had started and the plane began pitching so violently Sean had thought it was the end, she’d started singing. Her voice had trembled at first and then it grew stronger with each word. He’d been utterly enchanted by her and the way she had helped calm everyone, bringing them together even if only for a moment with that ridiculous pop song. Later at the resort, he felt like they had connected while they played Marco Polo in the pool. They’d laughed and he’d shared a part of himself he rarely did.
Sean remembers when she’d appeared at his door late at night. He had nearly finished packing. He was ready to leave, ready to step up and do what was necessary. He knew it would be safer, better, for everyone if he just went to the observatory alone. But then she had stood in front of him, eyes pleading with him to wait, to go as a team. She’d said she didn’t want to lose him and he’d been helpless to deny her.
After a hellish trip that involved fighting giant crabs and trekking through the belly of an volcano, they’d found the observatory. She volunteered to go in the pod with him. Standing so close she had to wrap her arms around him. The two of them had been whisked up to that black room, stumbling together in the dark before color and life exploded all around them. They stood together hand in hand watching the universe swirl around them. She had gripped his hand and told him how grateful she was for his friendship. That was all she had wanted all along, wasn’t it? It was Sean’s own fault for misreading the situation. He wanted more, so much more with her, but she didn’t want him and that was that.
Sean takes a deep, centering breath. He would get over this. No one said someone had to love you just because you love them. And, honestly, he is grateful for her friendship. She’s an amazing person and he’s lucky to count himself among her friends.
Knowing all that, it shouldn’t feel like he’s losing some precious when he sees her walk over to Jake, when she bends her head close to his and smiles shyly at the pilot. It shouldn’t feel like his heart is breaking when she takes Jake’s hand and leads him to the elevator. So why does it?