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A/N: While tweaking chapter two of Epiphany, I was struck by a one shot that pleaded to be written. It was inspired by a song. Not my usual kind of music, but it was the muse nonetheless. I hope you enjoy. :)

Setting: Post FN - alternative ending.


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BY PROXY

By Sorrow

ll l lll ll l lll

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Escape and evade. We divide up into teams, pick an azimuth, and go to ground.

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Seven years had passed since the transgenics made the decision to divide up and go to ground. Seven years since she'd encountered another of her kind.

From time to time, Eyes Only found leads, and with dogged determination, she followed each and every one of them. She'd worn out three bikes from one end of the country to another, before her stubborn persistence had begun to waver. But almost as though they had the heads up she was coming, she never found a single one.

Until now.

By pure chance, at that.

She'd been reluctant to leave the last motel for a hundred miles and go out into the driving rain, but this was a lead she was finally closing in on, and she was desperate. Desperate to make contact with someone. Anyone. Desperate to overcome the hopelessness that was eating its way into her soul with each passing day. With each dead end.

Highway 93 between Wickenburg, Arizona and Interstate 40. As desolate as it gets.

With a plume of smoke escaping its blown engine, the red Camaro caught her eye before he did. And when he glanced up at the approaching bike, hand half-raised to hail for a ride, the recognition was both instant and momentous. For both of them.

Sheer relief drove out past animosities as she spun the bike around and pulled in alongside. He raised an eyebrow, flashed a grin, and in that moment it almost seemed as if nothing had changed. As if the years hadn't grown between them like a chasm.

Their gap was seven years deep. It was a long time to forgive past mistakes. A long time to make new ones.

"Took you long enough." The tone was light but his eyes wary.

"Hard to find someone who doesn't wanna be found." She tilted her face towards him, challenging him to deny, refusing to let him see how his absence had punished her.

He shrugged. "The longer I stayed away, the harder it was to return. Didn't think you'd want me back anyway."

"I didn't. At first." She'd been telling that lie for so long, she didn't know how to stop. "Guess I always figured you'd return soon enough."

Her tightly controlled mask slipped, and she slid off the bike, closed the three foot gap in a stride and threw her arms around his neck in an embrace that was only intended to be brief, but which threatened to dissolve her with its intensity.

"So. Need a lift?" Her voice trembled, ever so slightly. She clenched her teeth and stepped back, forcing the mask back into place.

He cast a long regretful look at his car. "Might as well." His manner was casual, but as he flashed that wry grin once more, she saw in his eyes a mirror of her own desperate loneliness, and something else that made her catch her breath. The loneliness, she expected. The naked hunger took her by surprise.


Wind-lashed and rain-soaked, she pushed the bike as fast as she dared, knowing the biting cold would pose a dangerous challenge, even for them. She didn't rebuke him when he slipped his hands beneath her jacket and worked frozen fingers under her tee. She offered no complaint when he pressed closer. The warmth of his chest against her back felt right. The warmth of his breath against her neck felt even better.

The hotel was run down and long abandoned. They chose a room, and their strategic reasons to share lost all pretense once the door was closed.

"Should probably get out of these wet clothes." He plucked her jacket zip in his fingers and slowly tugged it down, waiting... waiting for a protest that didn't come. "Wouldn't want you getting hypothermia."

"What an excuse." She retorted, but her tone was soft, and she didn't stop him from peeling the jacket from her, then starting on the next layer.

"Can't blame a guy for trying huh?" He smiled playfully, and when the look on her face seemed more an invitation than a rebuke, he reached out, hesitant, and lightly traced his fingers along her jawline, amazed as she closed her eyes and pressed her cheek into his palm. Awed at how fierce and wanting her eyes were when she looked up to meet his gaze.

Then he was pulling him to her, and the hands that helped to peel each other's rain-soaked clothing off turned to soft strokes and wonderment, and the wonderment turned to a desire that was fueled partly from loneliness and partly from the awareness of just how well together they fit.

Eager. Desperate. Need. Seven years was a long time to realise the mistakes you'd made. To understand the misjudgment you'd cast.

Seven years was a long time to carry a flame.


He'd half-known she'd be gone when he woke. Had a hunch when she clutched him to her throughout the night; desperate to hold on and keep her head above the water, even as she knew she was drowning. All night long, they'd kept each other afloat. Seven years of love that had kindled seven years too late.

The crumpled note fell to the floor.

I can't. I'm sorry.

It was all he had left of her.

ll l lll ll l lll ll l lll ll l lll

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It had been nine years since the transgenics made the decision to flee Terminal City. Two years since she'd encountered another of her kind.

She thought of him, often. In a way, it was impossible not to.

From time to time, Eyes Only gave her leads, insisting through gritted teeth that she needed closure. They all needed closure. But she would shake her head, insisting she was over it. Done. While all along his hazel eyes haunted her.

And then one day their paths brought them back to each other, and he was standing before her. A face within a sea of people, and she was drowning.

He pushed forward, reached her side before she could melt into the crowd. Swung her around to face him. Eager. Desperate –

She held a child. Wide hazel eyes met his own. His eyes.

He looked to her, questioning. Longing. Wonderment.

She shook her head. Apologetic. Broken. Tears spilled, her face told the truth before her mouth opened to say the words. Before the child turned and held out his cherub arms to the man who had stepped in beside them, inclining his head towards his anathema in stiff greeting. Expression wary. Triumphant. Even as he maintained a well-practiced distance from her. A gap ten years could never touch. Two years could never fill.

Of course. He shouldn't have expected any less. The words formed in his mouth, their taste bitter. But he swallowed them down. No point.

Stumbling back into the crowd, he understood now, what it had been: Her desire. Her need. The reason she'd been drowning.

Seems they'd been breeding partners, after all.

ll l lll ll l lll

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All I Want To Do Is Make Love To You
Heart
(Hailstorm cover, accoustic version - go and youtube it NOW!)

It was a rainy night when he came into sight
Standing by the road, no umbrella, no coat
So I pulled up along side and I offered him a ride
He accepted with a smile so we drove for a while
I didn't ask him his name, this lonely boy in the rain
Fate tell me it's right, is this love at first sight
Please don't make it wrong, just stay for the night

All I wanna do is make love to you
Say you will you want me too
All I wanna do is make love to you
I've got lovin' arms to hold on to

So we found this hotel, it was a place I knew well
We made magic that night. Oh, he did everything right
He brought the woman out of me, so many times, easily
And in the morning when he woke all I left him was a note
I told him I am the flower you are the seed
We walked in the garden we planted a tree
Don't try to find me, please don't you dare
Just live in my memory, you'll always be there

All I wanna do is make love to you
One night of love was all we knew

We made love
Love like strangers
All night long
We made love

Then it happened one day, we came round the same way
You can imagine his surprise when he saw his own eyes
I said please, please understand
I'm in love with another man
And what he couldn't give me
Was the one little thing that you can

One night of love was all we knew