by Jade Hawthorne

TITLE: Exile
AUTHOR: Jade Hawthorne (jade_hawthorne@yahoo.com) DISCLAIMER: Not mine, just borrowing.
SPOILERS: Season 9, sometime after Trust No 1 CATEGORY: MSR, UST
SUMMARY: These are the things he thinks of, alone in a battered trailer in New Mexico that bakes in the midday sun.


by Jade Hawthorne

I come to you through fire and snow
over high rolling hills and the valleys below with all that I've suffered I'm still on this road and if I hold you again will never let go.

Moments, fleeting, small and true. These are the things he thinks of, alone in a battered trailer in New Mexico that bakes in the midday sun. Their connection is severed, its thin line stretched and broken. For now, he waits in the wilderness, listening to the ticking of the clock, time measured in moments. His tattered collection of memories and hopes lay strewn around him, splashes of life and color amid the dry landscape.

The shock of her red hair and innocent beauty wrapped in an ill-fitting suit. The way she parted the shadows in his basement that first day, just by stepping inside the door.

Lines of poetry that he hasn't read since his undergraduate days come to him in flashes. He is Lord Byron in exile, far from his love. He is Shakespeare, composing sonnets to his Dark Lady. He dreams of the soft look her eyes had, and of their shadows deep. Yeats, he thinks... yes. He loves her pilgrim soul. Always has.

The darkness of a car, a nightly stakeout. She saw his fierce determination and she matched it by voicing her devotion to him. True to form, he avoided the step toward intimacy with gentle teasing about her choice of beverages.

His desolation when he reached the top of the mountain, only to find her gone. He'd thought of Sam with a sinking sense of deja vu, until he realized this pain was different, a loss of the soul.

So he clutched her cross like a lifeline.

All those times he was willing to sell his soul to bring her back, make her whole again, to heal her. And yet for so long, he couldn't even let himself kiss her.

She asked him for help once. And he can still count on one hand the number of times she reached out to him. So he gave her his essence in a plastic cup and told her to believe in miracles, even as he swallowed his own misgivings.

The sweet release when he finally held her, touched her, tasted her. And it was suddenly unfathomable that they had waited so long. For once he knew the true meaning of home, knew what he was made for. Even waking up alone could not take that memory away.

In a dim hospital room, she took his hand and placed it upon the swell of her belly, and for a moment he believed in magic. Not the kind of magic he has chased for so many years, but the more elusive sort... the silken web that binds a family together, the simple trick of happiness that he couldn't let himself trust. Ghosts, aliens, demons---those were easy to believe, but happiness? That was a leap of faith.

With each unwashed dish he piles in the sink, each newspaper clipping he tacks to the wall, each esoteric web site he accesses, he wonders if he is becoming Max Fenig, alone in a trailer with only his paranoia to keep him warm. An eccentric, crazier by the moment, waiting for escape from above.

But he's already ascended, and already returned. What is left for a man who has returned from the dead? Is there a place for him, something more than this limbo he's found? Sometimes he feels trapped between two worlds, between the soft, cool earth that sheltered him and the realm of the living where babies cry and are comforted, where a simple touch can convey more than words.

He can't quite remember what it was like to touch her, but he knows he will do whatever it takes to be with her again. He will search through shadows and lies to find the answers they need, navigate through oceans of Kraken and sirens if he must, just to find his place at her side once more.

But for the moment, he waits.


Feedback graciously received at jade_hawthorne@yahoo.com

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Jade Hawthorne