45 minutes ago, I came to the conclusion that the chapter of my book that I was hoping to complete just wasn't going to happen tonight. I had all these feelings bottled up and it just wasn't conducive to writing happy/teasing strip poker scenes.
So I drabbled. And I'm going to post it. Which means its maudlin, and unbeta'd, and completely a product of my emotions being all out of whack.
TITLE: All It Takes
LENGTH: 560 words
All you need to know is that it's set in the Legions/Echoes 'verse, a few months after the end of Echoes.
There is a single moment every day – soft as a mother’s whisper, swift as a passing fancy – that she allows herself the luxury of looking into the sky and wondering what her life would have been like if she had never been Chosen.
She imagines she would still be in Los Angeles. Tethered to a college life so different from the one she currently leads. There would be different friends, and different clothes, and every night, she would fall asleep without knowing of the evil that walks the streets wearing human faces. And in that single moment, it’s all right to wish that that was the reality and not the dream.
Because it’s gone in the blink of an eye, hushed away to the back of her mind like the sun dipping below the horizon.
All it takes is a glance at the vampire waiting for her on the porch, safe under the eaves while he waits either for her to come back or for the day to withdraw its threat so that he can come to her.
All it takes is the slightest of kisses across the brow of her sleeping son when she climbs the steps of the porch to return to her partner’s side. Nobody expected the still body of his father to be the answer to their broken nights, and she smiles at both of them, mildly jealous that her son is the one currently being held.
All it takes is the glow in her mother’s face when she comes rushing out the front door, exchanging greetings with them as she hurries for her car. She is late for another date, and while it’s not a choice anybody understands but her, the important thing is she’s happy.
There are other elements – the chatter of her friends, the satisfying kick of another slay – that remind her from minute to minute that for as much as could be wrong in her life, there is an equal amount of right.
It doesn’t matter that her son still has to fight so profoundly for what other babies take for granted. He is here, and when she wakes up the next morning, they will have survived another day, just like every other creature waking up to face their next day.
And it doesn’t matter that she will always be the only one lying out in the sun. Because she knows who is waiting for her in the shadows, and though he might have his own occasional regrets about being a vampire, he would never wish the sun taken away from her. They give, and they take, and they learn what they have to in order to look at the other and automatically smile, because more than all the rest, what each truly wants is to make their relationship work.
Her life is not how she ever expected, but she suspects that that’s something a lot of people say. It has been a whole year since that fateful night her Watcher suggested a therapeutic vacation in England. In that single moment she allows herself each day, she wonders if she would have saved herself a lot of pain had she turned the offer down, but in the end, that disappears just as assuredly as her other musings. She knows the answer.
It doesn’t matter.
She wouldn’t trade her life for anything.