A/N: This isn't really a sequel, it's a one-shot that goes along with Into the Night. It might be better to read that first before reading this, but I decided to show what actually happened to Clara after she left Jake's flat, and give a little bit of insight into her world. It was like she was just begging to have a bigger part :P So without further ado, I hand you over to Clara...
Clara's Near EscapeI don't want it was exactly about Jake. There was some sort of aura around him, that seemed to attract girls like magnets. He definitely wasn't the type of guy who would turn heads, as much as I wasn't the type of girl who would silence a bar if she stepped into it. But once you got talking to him, it was like his voice lulled you into liking him. It was smooth and soft, with a slight Welsh lilt to it, a Welsh accent dulled by living with English people for three years. No, not exactly dulled. It was like his accent had become a mix, but that Welsh lilt was always there.
He made me laugh, too. His tales about University and school, the things he and his mates got up to. How he was always the 'sheep-shagger' to English mates. How it was the first thing anyone said to him when they found out where he was from.
"You get used to those jokes if you go to University across the border. One of my mates used to baa at me all the time, then they'd turn around and say 'sorry, did I remind you of your ex?'"
"Go to University Clara. You're too clever for this dump. You'll love it – you'll have the guys all over you."
I didn't want the guys all over me, Jake. I wanted you. He was always telling me to go to University, that it was like a whole new world, that I'd love it.
If I'm honest with myself, it was Chuck I fancied first. Army-guy Chuck, who looked like he'd be able to protect you from anything. Impressive, at first glance. Clever too. But then, after the first time we'd gone out, the three of us, I saw a side of him I'd never seen before.
And for the first time, I took notice of Jake. Of the guy who seemed sweet and different. He smoked a fair bit, and most of the times we talked he had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. There's something strangely attractive about the taste of tobacco on a guy, something that lingers with you, that makes you want more.
The first time we kissed, I felt like thanking any Gods there may be for sending this guy into my life. I'd only had a few kisses before, and they had been sloppy and slobbery and left me wondering if that was it. If that was all there was to it.
Jake's kiss made me push against him, made me want more, more, more! It made me groan, made me pull his head closer.
I never told him that he was my first.
I got lucky, really. I thought he'd guess, after all, you bleed, don't you? But I hadn't. Not until after. Not until I was safe at home and I slid down my pants.
My first, and it left me hurting for days. My legs were sore, bruises appeared on my inner thighs, but I didn't care. Next time was better, and I soon got used to it. He guided me through the world of sex, and that last night...
He was all I wanted.
I sometimes wondered if he'd been seeing other girls while he was sleeping with me, but I never had the guts to ask. I didn't know how he'd take the question, and if the answer was yes, I didn't think I'd be able to take it.
When I heard about the statement, and the threat, I freaked out. I was annoyed it was before my shift, too, but luckily my supervisor allowed me to call my mum. She told me everything was OK, it was alright. Things would be fine.
Her boss was making sure she was alright.
And I believed her.
I loved watching the football with the guys, it was something different and kind of new to me. I never really paid attention to sports before, but I was starting to see the appeal. Even if it was Manchester United versus Liverpool.
Chuck used to tell me about his father, a diehard Liverpool fan, who always moaned about how bad they'd gotten.
"If you watch some of the old matches, they actually used to be quite good. Manchester United too. Now look of them. Since Sir Alex Ferguson left Man U, they've got a lot worse. And Liverpool....god knows what happened to them."
"...interrupting the match for an important announcement. Russia have given the U.S twenty-four hours to release the hostages..."
I stared at the screen, heart thumping in my chest thoughts drifting to my mother. Relations between Russia and the United States had been strained for a while, but it never affected my other. Not on the level she was working at anyway. She was British, after all. Not American. They had no problem with the British.
Earlier on, my supervisor had taken me to one side and allowed me to listen to the radio, where news was being released of Britain backing the States.
I could hear the two guys, their voices vague and quiet, sounding almost distant from me. Slowly, I turned my head, requesting that we leave. I couldn't stay here, not with so many people around. I needed to get out of here.
We left the pub and I said a quick goodbye to Chuck. I didn't know that it would be the last time I saw him. If I'd been aware of that, then maybe I would have prolonged his leaving, would have given him a hug or a kiss or something.
Jake was sweet, kind. He asked if I wanted to talk. I didn't. My mind was too jumbled, too messed up to say anything right now. "I don't want to talk." I found myself pushing against a nearby wall, my body against his. His breath was hot on my cheek as I slid my hand under his top and pushed my palm against his stomach. "I want to fuck."
It was what I needed. It would clear my mind, take it off everything that was happening.
I almost couldn't believe it when my mother told me her 'plan'. Of all places to go to, she had to pick somewhere so far away, so different to here. I guess that had been the point. To run. To run as far as possible from this oh so messed up situation.
"OK...I'll be on it." She emphasised the time, told me to get to the airport as soon as possible. Others would be fleeing, too. "Don't worry mum." Over and over again she asked if I was OK, if I'd be able to get to the airport. "Yeah of course. I'll see you soon. Bye."
"I love you Clara."
"Love you too."
Oh, Jesus. I was crying. Hastily I wiped the tears from my eyes and felt Jake's arms slid around me. He held me close, and I found myself breathing in his smell, relishing it. I was scared. Would I ever see him again?
I think I'm in love with you Jake, I wanted to tell him. I don't think I can live if you don't.
I wanted to take him with me, wanted to take him away from here and away from the danger that my mother was so worried about.
She was an intelligent woman, my mother. Someone I could never live up to. She knew a lot about Politics, and Religion, and Philosophy. She used to have dinner parties, where her and her friends would discuss Literature late into the night. This was the world I grew up in. My father had fallen in love with a woman very much his superior, in looks and intellect. She fell in love with a working class man who she knew would be able to look after her no matter what happened.
My fierce, strong father was no match for cardiac arrest, however. I had been fourteen at the time, and two years later my mother was offered a job in Russia. I was sent to live with my cousin and her family, which I loved. My aunt and uncle could never do enough for me, and I never took advantage of their generosity.
I'd only just moved out of there, and I wondered if I'd see them again.
I called a cab and crashed into my small flat, throwing what I could into one suitcase.
Another taxi and I was on my way to the flight, to a new life and Australia.
The airport was more packed than I thought it would be. Especially as it wasn't holiday season. I could see families pushing each other to race through the check in and get onto their plane. My eyes scanned the board. A lot of the flights were delayed or cancelled, though I spotted mine and let out a sigh of relief.
I had to stop off at one of the desks to pick up my tickets, and the woman handed them over to with a sad smile.
"Good luck." She whispered, and I found the same words stuck in my throat. Unable to say anything I moved away and dashed to the check in.
The line was long, and I was glad I had taken my mother's advice and arrived well in advance.
After an hour and a half of waiting, I finally reached the check in. The tall woman scanned my ticket, before biting down on her lip. Her eyes glanced towards the board. "You're early." She whispered.
"Yeah, luckily." I gestured to the large queue behind me. "I really need to catch this plane."
"Of course." The straight line that was her mouth flipped upwards, turning into a large grin. "Enjoy your trip."
I moved away and went through to the departure lounge. Like the outer part of the airport this place was full, with no where for me to sit. I stood instead, lingering near one of the gift shops. There was a screen near me, showing the news. I turned my attention to this and waited, hoping
My heart sank almost an hour later when an announcement came over the speakers.
"All flights to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa from five p.m have now been cancelled. We apologise for this inconvenience."
A woman cried out, a man clutched his children close to him, eyes wide with worry and fear. Before I could move people had started to rush to the gates, demanding to be let on those flights leaving within the next half hour. My eyes were glued to the television screen as those around me started to panic.
I couldn't hear the words of the reporter, but I could see the words scrolling along the bottom.
"...have started to deny access to British and U.S Citizens..."
Even the staff were starting to panic, rushing around and trying to calm those in the departure lounge. I caught sight of a burly security guard, walking towards where the mob was starting to form, and managed to catch up with him.
He turned to me, holding the small black box attached to his shoulder close to his mouth. "Yeah?"
"I was meant to get on the seven o'clock flight to Australia and I..."
"Sorry kid." He looked it, too. "They've stopped all flights into the country. They might allow more tomorrow."
"What am I meant to do?" I asked, unable to stop myself from welling up.
He let out a sigh, putting a hand on my shoulder. "There's nothing you can do except wait. You might want to sit down kid."
I nodded, moved off to one of the newly free seats. I sat beside a woman holding a small baby, her hand clutched around the hand of a toddler. The boy was itching to get away, pulling on the woman's hand.
He stopped, turning large blue eyes towards me. "Who're you?"
"Dean!" She cried, letting out a groan. "Don't be rude! I'm sorry." She muttered to me. She looked tired and haggard, worn out from the two children.
"It's OK." I offered her a big smile before turning to the boy. "I'm Clara."
"Are you going to Florida too?" He asked, opening his mouth in a grin to reveal two missing front teeth. I glanced at the woman, now close to tears.
"Dean. For the last time." She rubbed her head. "We're not going to Disney Land."
"But daddy said..."
"Never mind what daddy said!" She snapped. "We can't go to Florida, Dean. I'm sorry."
"Would you like something to eat?" I asked, eyes falling on the nearby airport cafe.
"Yeah!" Dean's free arm punched the air. "Mum! I want a Happy Meal!"
"There isn't a McDonalds here..."
Quickly I left the struggling mother and headed towards the cafe. A few people were staring at cups of coffee, as if at a loss for what to do. I knew the feeling. The staff looked miserable, and I wondered what would become of us all. I ordered some food and took it back to the seat, handing a small bag of chips to Dean. "Here."
The woman smiled at me as her son wretched his arm out of her grip and happily took the chips. He sat down, crossing his legs, and started to dig in. I gave another bag to the woman. "Thank you." She whispered, putting the baby down in a pram beside her. "Thank you." She repeated, staring at the chips as she took a deep breath.
"If all passengers could please remain calm..." The voice over the speakers drew my attention back to the crowds at the gates.
I made a silent prayer that we'd get out of here before anything happened.
My wish was not granted.
It hadn't been long after eating that I drifted off into an uneasy sleep. I knew I wasn't the only one trying to get some rest. Most of the floor space was taken up by people stretching out and trying to sleep comfortably. Kids curled up on the laps of their parents, adults drifted off in the uncomfortable seats as I had. Others stayed awake, and at one point the security guard who had told me to wait in the departure lounge came around, giving out water.
"What's happening?" I asked, groggy as I sipped at the drink. The large room was strangely quiet, the buzz of anger earlier that day had melted into silent fear. In the background, the words of the reporters on the news kept giving updates, though this was injected with 'normal' news of Sport and Weather.
"No idea." He muttered, letting out a sigh. "Hell, I don't think anyone knows."
"Will we be OK?" I felt like I needed someone to tell me that, yes, everything would be fine.
"I'd love to tell you we will be, but..." He fell silent, and that was when it happened. A strange buzzing reached my ears, and the whole room began to shake. The water fell from my hands, the plastic cup landing on its side and spilling the liquid.
The guard lurched forward, grabbing hold of me.
A bright white light seemed to spring out of nowhere. My hands flew to cover my eyes as screaming and yelling filled my ears, as panic once more filled the room. The guy's hands still clutched my shoulders. My eyes were squeezed tight but the light penetrated my eyelids, as the sounds of children crying filled my ears.
This was it, I thought.
We were dying.