Title: Home
Author: A. Magiluna Stormwriter
Feedback address: stormwriter@shatterstorm.net
Date Written: 6 April 2006
Word Count: 1209
Pairing: Alex/Rachel
Rating: PG
Summary: Recovery and self-knowledge sometimes go hand in hand.
Series: Starting Over
Sequel to: Takes place between "The Longest Night" and "Give and Take"
Warnings: n/a
Spoilers: Through the end of the series.
Archive: This is a ShatterStorm Productions exclusive piece. Contact the webmistress for archive options.
Link to: http://bdkk.shatterstorm.net/
Website: ShatterStorm Productions’ Doggie Duo’s Fanfic

Disclaimer: This story is an original work of amateur fiction, and is written purely for the private entertainment of P:TL fans. This story is no way affiliated with Trilogy, MGM Worldwide Television or the Sci-Fi Channel. The characters are their property, and this story is not meant to infringe upon the copyrights of MGM, Trilogy, or anybody else who owns an interest in "Poltergeist: the Legacy".

Author's Notes: Written for the lyric2lit community. The lyrics were provided by bria_ferguson. It took me forever to come up with an idea for this round, mainly because the lyrics provided seemed so bleak and angsty, and I wasn't sure I wanted to write that. But it took some thinking...and then inspiration finally hit me, and I got this pounded out in about 5 hours. Besides, I'll do just about anything to write for Alex and Rachel… *g*

by A. Magiluna Stormwriter

"You've come such a long way," she murmured, stroking my cheek. "And in such a very short time. Are you sure--?"

"I'm sure, Rachel," I growled softly, pushing up off the couch to pace agitatedly. "You've been saying for months that I need to mourn and move on. Now that I have, you're questioning it?"

I could feel her gaze move from following me at that last comment. Without looking at her, I knew she was feeling some sort of guilt, validating my accusation. Biting back a sigh, I altered my path toward the kitchen. I busied myself with making some of Gramma Rose's secret blend of rosehip-valerian tea. Thankfully, she'd taught me the recipe all those years ago, before I'd left for San Francisco. She'd wanted to know I could make the tea when I needed it. It wasn't something that traveled well, especially not from Baton Rouge to San Francisco, even with overnight shipping. We'd tried it, back when I'd gone out for a summer orientation session before I'd started college.

"Alex?" The sound of her voice temporarily competed with the whistle of the teapot. "Honey, I'm sorry."

I shook my head, fighting back a dismissive smile. "Don't be." I measured out the tea into the tea balls, poured the steaming water over them. That first smell as the moisture soaked the tea? Heavenly. "You're not satisfied with my progress. You think I’m not through mourning Derek's death, that I'm not ready for another relationship. I get it, Rachel," I replied, drizzling honey into the mugs.

"So I'm dissatisfied," she retorted, leaning against the counter, putting herself into my peripheral vision. "I love dissatisfied. I love to feel there's always more that I need to discover, to validate. I love to feel that I know you're all right because you are, not because you want me to think you are." She willingly took the mug from my outstretched hand and stared down into its contents for a moment. "I just want you to be the Alex I've known and adored for the past four and a half years. I miss having you around, you know?"

That self-consciously charming smile of hers was more than enough for me. "I'm where I want to be, Rachel. At least in here I am," I said softly, tapping at my temple. "Yeah, it's gonna take some time yet, but Derek wouldn't want me moping around, pining away after him. He said as much the day he died. Don't you get it, Rachel? Derek would understand. No one ever truly gets over the death of a loved one. But we all have to learn to live with it, to handle what we can, and continue on with our lives. Or we'll stagnate and be better off dead. A few months ago? Yeah, I was ready to join Derek. But someone made sure to remind me that there's a lot left to live for. And I'd like to think that all that effort wasn't in vain."

She flushed slightly at that, ducking her head to let her hair cascade down to hide her embarrassment. "I was just--"

"Doing your job?" I cut in. "No, Rachel, it was more than that, and you know it." I reached over to remove the tea ball from her mug. "Taste your tea. Tell me what you think. I haven't made this blend for you yet."

She did as I asked without hesitation. The transformation from quizzical to pleasantly surprised was both expected and encouraging. "This is wonderful. Tastes like rose water and…dirty socks? With just the right amount of sweet."

I chuckled at her analogy. "I'm surprised you didn't comment on the smell of the valerian. Although by using the fresh herb, it doesn't smell as badly as the dried does. Gramma Rose taught me that trick years ago." I took a healthy swallow from my own mug, letting the warmth and nostalgia wrap around me. "You said it had the right amount of sweetness, yes?" When she nodded, I let my smile widen. "If I was still in a headlong depressive mourning for Derek, how would I have known exactly how sweet you like your tea? Particularly with a blend you've never had before?"

"I'd say luck, but I'm afraid you'd laugh at me," she replied drolly around another sip of her tea. "Are you really sure, Alex? I don't want you to feel rushed into anything…"

"That's not even remotely possible right now. I'm where I want to be at this stage of my life. Derek was always a pipe dream of sorts. For a long time, I thought you were the same, mainly because of Derek and the Legacy. But after his death, even with my nearly catatonic depression, I realized that he'd been right. Even if he hadn't said it outright, we never would have worked out. He was married to the Legacy, to righting his father's wrongs. And I was willing to do whatever it took to help him. If we'd gotten together with that same intensity, we'd have burned out or killed each other. But it was never like that with you. Rachel, you accepted me for who and what I am, practically from the start. You encouraged me in ways I didn't understand until it was nearly too late. You were always there when I needed you. I don't want to walk away from your funeral someday and have the same indecision and 'what if' scenarios running through my head. I need a life outside of the Legacy. And I want that life to be with you."

Well, that was certainly a severe case of emotional diarrhea. I narrowed my eyes as I took another sip of my tea. I'd forgotten just how loose-lipped I could get in this house. My ancestors' juju was always strong; that definitely hadn't changed since Gramma Rose had died and left it to me. But Gramma Rose had always told me to be true to my heart, no matter what. And I'd just bared quite a bit to this woman I'd come to love quite dearly.

She set her mug on the counter, unconsciously tucked her hair back behind her ear. And still she didn't meet my gaze yet. I could sense her inner conflict, but I did nothing to push her into a decision. I could only hope that things worked out in my favor. If not? I'd learn to live with the consequences.

"So I suppose it wouldn't surprise you to know that I've been dreaming about you?" she finally asked softly, her smile reaching up into her eyes. "The entire time you've been down here, incommunicado and alone, I was lonely and miserable. I was worried sick about you, but I knew I couldn't interfere with whatever it was you needed to do." She took a tentative step forward. "No, the hurt never really goes away when you lose somebody. Yes, you can learn to live with it. And yes, Alex, if you're ready to take that next step" -- she held out a hand to me, which I took without hesitating -- "then I'll be right by your side on the journey."

"Then it's time to go home."

Lyrics Used
Actual lyrics quoted in the story are in italics.

"Come On Home"
by Franz Ferdinand

Although my lover lives in a place that I can't live
I kind of find I like a life this lonely
It rips and pierces me, in places I can't see
I love the rip of nerves
The rip that wakes me
So I'm dissatisfied, I love dissatisfied
I love to feel there's always more that I need

So Come On Home
So Come On Home
So Come On Home

You're where you want to be,
I'm where I want to be
Come on
We're chasing everything we've ever wanted
I replace you easily, replace pathetically
I flirt with any flighty thing that falls my way
But how I needed you
When I needed you.
Lets not forget we are so strong, so bloody strong

So Come On Home
So Come On Home
So Come On Home