Title: These Days
Disclaimer: I do not own
Spoilers: None really, possibly a few from
Notes: The ending paragraphs are not really meant to go together, just to wrap up each story line. I really
hope you all enjoy this. A little humor, a little angst, something for everyone...
He was blissfully asleep,
caught up in a dream. To him, the only world that existed was a beautiful forest, lush and green. And then it ended. He blinked
once, twice, trying to clear his vision. A mass of wet, dripping snow sat atop his head. Laughter rang out and he turned,
spotting the intruder. Lauren was trying to stifle her giggles, but Vaughn had collapsed in the snow.
shook off the snow and trotted towards the porch, wanting to go back to his peaceful nap. He could vaguely hear Lauren chastise
Vaughn about laughing so hard at a poor defenseless dog who couldn’t fight back in a snowball fight. One thing was certain,
Vaughn would be short a few pairs of shoes later in the day.
Sydney sighed, feeling a bit melancholy. Her
eyes were focused on an object lying on her dresser. Blinking back tears she stared at the snow globe. It was a gift from
her mother, so long ago. She could still remember that Christmas as if it were yesterday. Her father dressed up as Santa while
her mother tried, unsuccessfully, to hold back her laughter.
It hadn’t helped matters much when he had burst
into “Jingle Bells.” Her mother had had to leave the room, taking Sydney with her. She had been so innocent then,
wondering why her daddy was Santa. Her mother had smiled and told her to play along so she wouldn’t hurt daddy’s
That night her mother had given her the snow globe. It was beautifully crafted, and had a tiny unicorn frolicking
in the center. She could still remember the joy she had felt upon receiving the gift. Her mother had presented it to her with
a flourish and she had been in awe of the gift.
Now, more than anything, she just wanted to be that little girl again.
To be able to go to her mother and be comforted. Her life was in shambles around her and she just wanted to be able to find
an anchor. She had her father and she was immensely grateful for that, but at this moment, the only thing she wanted was her
The airport was crowded, people swarming everywhere. Decorated with poinsettia plants, tinsel, and
garland it was a beautiful place. Families and friends greeting one another, smiling, laughing, crying. It was a wonderful
sight to behold. But not for the person observing it all. She was not afraid of being recognized, the airport was too crowded
and she had taken precautions. But for once, she had felt the need to get out in the open. To see that life still went on.
was a form of torture. A look into a life she could never have. A life she had once relished. But everything had been revealed
and she was once again wanted by the government. But if she had a chance to take it all back, she would have done the same
thing. Maybe without all the shooting, though.
Her eyes held a wistful look as she watched a mother embrace her daughter.
Both crying and laughing at the same time, elated to be together once more. She didn’t pretend to know their story,
nor did she want to know. All that mattered to her was that they were happy. It tore at her heart, but still she watched,
wishing that she could be in that woman’s shoes. To see her daughter with her own eyes, to hug her and know for certain
that she was alive and well.
She turned back, a wistful smile on her face, her features obscured by her long hair.
No one noticed the woman walking away, too content with the joy of being together once more.
were cooling on a rack as Jack walked into the kitchen. He watched as his daughter methodically cleaned up her mess, wishing
that he could do more for her. She had been through so much since she was found and he couldn’t help but want to keep
her in this house, protected from everyone and everything that could hurt her.
He set his keys on the counter and she
looked up, smiling when she caught sight of him. “You’re back early.”
“I pulled a few strings.”
He gave her a slight smile, still not quite used to the fact that they were close once more.
She laughed and turned
back to her cleaning, leaving him to hang up his coat in the back hall. Walking down the hall, he couldn’t help but
feel that Sydney was hiding something from him. He knew that she was stressed and that she was most likely depriving herself
of sleep, but usually there was more of a sparkle in her eyes.
The holidays. They were just around the corner and
he knew it would be even harder for her once they came around. Her two best friends were no longer here, her mother was in
hiding, and the man she had loved was now married. She seemed to be holding herself together, but she shouldn’t have
had to deal with any of this. More than anything, he wished he could give her back the two years she had lost.
began to fall as a man offered his hand to a woman covered in snow. Together they walked into the house, calling the dog in
as well. The three of them sat in the living room, grateful for the break in their otherwise hectic life.
a snow globe shone in the moonlight. She watched as the little particles of fake snow fell, covering the little unicorn sliding
on the ice. She closed her eyes, her thoughts full of happier times.
Her long hair whipped around her and she made
her way to a secure location. She pulled out her laptop and quickly signed on, smiling in relief as she saw what she had hoped
for. An email containing a picture. An email that shared a few encoded thoughts. It was enough for now.
He closed the
laptop, sighing as he sat at the desk. The only sound that he was aware of was the ticking of the clock in the study. He smiled
as he thought of the email he had sent. It would help her, tide her over. For now. For today he was content that his family
was safe. He would worry tomorrow.