To Remember

by Hercat

Disclaimer: I didn't make any money from this.

Note: another in the Solitudes series.

Acknowledgements: Thank you Mog for creating this AU, and all the others who contribute and make it a special place to live.

Chris sat relaxed, feet propped on the porch railing. Around him the darkness of a late autumn night swirled, leaves skittering in circles. It was funny. Two weeks ago, the night they’d lost Buck had been much colder.

Smoke from his cigar lifted and swirled as he took another pull. He knew exactly where he’d been this time last year. At a bar getting drunk. Just like every year before since the fire. Mourning the birth of his son through a haze of alcohol and bar fights. It all seemed like such a fucking waste.

Shouldn’t have taken that. Shouldn’t have taken finding the man who was closer than a brother in a hole in the ground to make him realize there was always something left to loose.

It had been a relatively easy birth, though it sure as hell hadn’t looked it from where he was standing. Sarah moaning and swearing at him, the nurses running around and Buck with that fucking camcorder, telling him to calm down.

When Adam came out, it was like the whole world stopped. Looking at that red scrunched up face, holding him for the first time, it was his very own personal miracle.

He’d made a point of it every year after that, just holding him for a while and thinking on that day. For a brief moment his heart stabbed with a pain he knew well. Not holding him any more. Never again. With the stubbornness that served him well as an agent he wrenched his mind aside. Buck! Yeah, Buck was the first to hold him after Sarah and me. My chance to tape him. The pain went back to the ache he’d lived with for years. Some wounds never heal, but a little hurt reminds you you’re still alive. Still have something left for the reaper to steal.

He recognized the step behind him. "You doing okay?" "Sure thing pard, take more than some damn hole to get the better of ol’ Buck."

"Don’t pull that shit. You scared the hell out of me." "Aw hell, it would have been okay." Chris looked in his friends’ eyes and for the first time in a long while dropped the fury he used as a mask.

Buck’s legs stopped holding him, and he might have fallen if Chris hadn’t pulled him into the deck chair beside him.

Silence drifted on the air for a few minutes. Chris took a few drags on his cigar, passing it to Buck like two kids with a joint. Buck still looked surprised. Chris licked dry lips and started.

"Do you remember the time the two of us took Adam to the circus…"



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