Faint light from the still far-off sunrise found Ash and Will laying together in the short grass. Will opened his eyes and smiled at Ash, asleep with her head on his chest. In sleep, there was a softness is her face that wasn't there when she was awake, and the edges of her lips curled up in hints of a smile.
Will brushed a curl away from her nose and gently kissed her awake. "Good morning, Ash."
Ash closed her eyes again. "Good morning, Will."
Somewhere behind them, a bird sang out. Another bird answered a second later.
Will pulled Ash closer. "How did you sleep?"
Ash wrapped her fingers in the lose fabric of Will's shirt. "My first night in freedom was amazing."
Will smiled and kissed the top of her head. "Mine, too."
Ash smiled for a second, then frowned.
"What is it, Ash?" Will asked softly.
"Blaze." She choked out her father's name.
Will slid one hand under her chin and made her meet his gaze. "Babe, he's gone. There's nothing we can do about it. I truly wish there was something we could do. If I could bring him back, you know I would."
Ash looked down. "I know. But I was so ready to have a family. That's the one thing I've always wanted, a family."
"I'm your family now, Ash. And when we get to my house, they'll all be your family, too."
Ash smiled sadly. "It won't be the same, Will."
"I know it won't, but maybe it can be close."
Ash propped herself up on Will's chest. "Well I won't know what I've been missing, so maybe it will be."
Will smiled. "Exactly."
Ash leaned down and kissed him. Will deepened the kiss and pulled her down closer.
Ash slowly pulled back and cocked her head. "Hear that?"
Ash smiled. "Running water!"
Ash jumped up and started running towards the source. Will leapt up and quickly followed her. When he caught up with Ash, she was standing on a hill, looking down at a large, rushing river.
Will looked around for a safe way to get to the water. He couldn't find one, so instead he moved his hand in a circular motion. The water swirled up and formed a spiral staircase between the grassy hill and riverbed.
Will stepped down to the first step, then turned back to Ash and held out his hand. "You coming?"
Ash took his hand and cautiously stepped on the first step.
Will smiled. "It's sturdy, I promise."
Ash nodded and followed Will down the water staircase. Once they made it to the bottom, the water slowly fell back down to the riverbed and continued on its path. Will tightly held Ash's hand as they walked across the wide river. Ash slipped. Will caught her and helped her back to her feet.
"Have I ever told you how much I hate water?"
Will smiled. "We'll be out of the water soon, I promise."
Ash was about to say something when she slipped again. Will grabbed for her, but the strong current whipped her away from him. Will jerked his hands back, but the current was too strong. Ash was swept away from Will.
"Ash!" He dove in and swam after her.
"Will!" Ash reached for him before she was pulled under the water again.
His fingers brushed against hers for a brief second before she was swept away again. Ash was pulled underwater again. The current slammed her into a rock and she blacked out under the icy water.