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Chapter 86: Late Night Thoughts

Marlena stood in the doorway of Kim's bedroom and tried not to laugh.  She had rushed upstairs when she heard sounds over the monitor that made her think Kim was having a bad night, one last gift of her chemotherapy.  On reaching the bedroom, however, it became perfectly obvious that Kim was fine.  The smile on her face as she slept proved it.

"Oh, Shane. . . ."

So did that.  Marlena stifled a giggle so the sound would not wake Kim.  Things had been dark enough for her.  Let her have a little happiness, even if it was just in a dream.

Marlena stepped back and closed the door behind her, before returning downstairs.  She did not head immediately for her room though, but walked around the darkened living room.  Through the windows, she could see the ocean, a white strip of moonlight illuminating the waves.

It was beautiful here, and Marlena was glad she could help Kim, but she wished she were in England with John.  She missed him so much; it was hard to be away from him for even a few days.

That was ironic, considering how much time they had spent apart over the years.  Her "death," his  "death," numerous abductions, amnesia, you name it.  But maybe that was why it was hard to be apart now.  They had lost so much time together.

Marlena thought about what she had overheard upstairs.  It was so obvious that Kim still loved Shane, and they had lost far more time than Marlena and John.  Twenty years of loving someone and not being able to be with them.  Marlena could barely imagine how that must feel.  Of course, Shane and Kim were their own worst enemies when it came to admitting their feelings.  They always had been.

She remembered when Kim first arrived in Salem.  Marlena was pregnant with the twins, so she was preoccupied, but she had seen that Kim was troubled.  Roman had tried to get through to her as well, but neither of them knew what Kim was keeping hidden.  It was only later that Marlena learned Kim had been abused. 

Then Marlena had been one of the first to learn that Kim had spent years as a prostitute.  Kim had admitted it and told Marlena to use that information to protect herself, but she could never have destroyed Kim's life.  Perhaps that is what forged their strong friendship even after Roman "died."

In a way, Marlena had seen the bookends of Kim's life in Salem.  She was there for the first few years.  She had seen Kim reveal her abuse and had watched her slowly fall in love with Shane.  And she had been there at the end.  When Kim's mental illness manifested, Marlena helped her friend deal with the multiple personalities.  However, Marlena had missed a lot.  While she was gone from Salem, Kim and Shane had married, broken up, remarried, and divorced.

Marlena turned from the window and walked over to the couch.  She straightened a couple of pillows, and stood in the darkness thinking.

It had been interesting, watching Kim deal with her cancer these past few weeks.  The Kim who first arrived in Salem would have tried to hide.  The Kim with MPD would have brought out a tough girl alter like Claire or Lacey and fought anyone who tried to help.  Neither of those was the Kim of today.  She was tough and strong, but she also knew when to accept help and when it was safe to open herself up.  That had been the product of a lot of growth and healing.

Sometimes, Marlena wondered why Kim's MPD manifested when it did.  Kim had gone through extremely tough times before then -- when Andrew was taken; when the entire family was held by Stefano; when Shane "died"; the list went on and on.  Arguably, Kim's alters appeared during a relatively stable period of her life, when she had settled into life in Los Angeles and became engaged to Phillip.

Marlena had some ideas about the reasons.  From the time Kim revealed her abuse to when her MPD manifested, Shane had been there.  Even if they were not together, he was her rock and, in other ways, probably her crutch.  Kim looked to Shane as a protector, and put off dealing with her abuse until he was gone.  Marlena didn't blame Shane for that.  He couldn't have known; he wasn't equipped to deal with Kim's problems.  However, Marlena believed Shane pushing Kim away when she was pregnant with Jeannie and then rejecting her for Kayla were important reasons why Kim's alters appeared.  Marlena's question was whether Shane would be any better equipped to deal with Kim if her came back into her life.

Then there were her concerns about John and what might happen to him on this hunt.  Plus, there was Andy.  Marlena feared for him.  John could tell her over and over that Andy joined the ISA on his own, but he had still grown up under his father's influence.  That influence had left the boy with what seemed like his own set of different personalities; they just didn't have their own names.

All of that was adding to her ambivalence about finding Shane and bringing him back into their lives.  Kim still loved Shane -- that was obvious -- but it was hard for Marlena to decide if Shane was right for Kim.  Or maybe Marlena was just coming up with more reasons why she wanted John to come home and not risk his life.  Her ambivalence about Shane could just be her own way of masking her fears.

She thought about those times in Salem when Kim and then Shane arrived.  Those times had brought Marlena a lot of pain, too.  She had lost Roman to Stefano shortly after Kim and Shane arrived.  In her grief, she had directed her anger at Shane; he had promised to send Roman home, unharmed, but failed. 

Then, near the end of Shane's time in Salem, Roman had disappeared -- with Shane's help.  Marlena could still remember her fury when Shane had refused to tell her where Roman was or even if he was all right.  As she looked back at that time, she knew Roman's disappearance had really been the beginning of the end of their marriage, and it was hard for her to not think of Shane's connection to those horrible times.

Yet she also knew that Shane had nearly died to help save her in Stockholm when she was kidnapped by the ISA.  That had probably hurt his career, too.  She doubted that openly defying the Chief of the ISA was a path to promotion.  And even after he left Salem, Shane had always been willing to help John and Roman, sometimes even giving them classified information.

Marlena picked up a pillow and hugged it to her chest.  She hated these feelings.  Shane was her friend, and she wanted John to find him.  It's just that when the ISA was involved, people got hurt, and too many times, she and her friends were the ones caught in the crossfire.

She prayed this time would be different, but she wondered if that was just wishful thinking.