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Journey, The

by Te

The Journey
by Te
April 2003

Disclaimers: Not mine, not mine.

Spoilers: None, really.

Summary: The destination, the journey.

Ratings Note: G (!!!)

Author's Note: For the ds_flashfic Hourglass challenge.

Feedback: Yes, please. teland@teland.com

*

The sun has been out for so long that Benton sleeps through it easily, waking into undiminished light that makes something stir inside him he has no words for. For a moment, he thinks of telling his grandmother about it -- she's the smartest person he knows -- but he decides not to.

"Where's your book, Benton," she'd say, and disappointment would settle in her weather-roughened face like snow over an ice plain. "Every idea in the world is there, if you're industrious enough to search."

He doesn't really feel like reading right now, though. It isn't that he doesn't like to read -- his grandmother hadn't ever had to tell him about the worlds hidden in pages -- it's just that waking into such brightness is wondrous and new in a way he suspects it won't always be.

He bundles up carefully and thoroughly and bounds out into the snow -- there's a glittering shine just at the edge of his vision, out among the endless white, that speaks of treasure and mystery.

Today he's going to find it.

*

Fraser buttons his uniform and straightens the lanyard. Takes a moment to set his belt straight, and sets the hat firmly on his head. A glance out his one window and a deeper one within himself tells him that he won't need the greatcoat, but he places it over his arm just the same, citing prudence in his mind.

The streets of Chicago glitter and shine in the aftermath of the night's sleet and freezing rain, but he knows his way won't be treacherous for long -- the sun here is a warming thing, if strangely dim against the towers and reaches of the city.

The walk to the Consulate is a long one from his apartment building, and the destination is less than a rewarding one considering the state of his career, but it seems as though every day there's something new to see. Taste. Experience.

The fruit stands that mock winter, and the news stands with their smells of ink and smoke and paper, and the occasional stands of trees scratching bare-branched and strangely... defiant at the sky. There's something terribly exciting about it all, something he thinks he was supposed to learn from grandmother's books, but all of it just says City to him. An endless, sibilant whisper of wonder and the new.

Today, Ray will pick him up from his post in front of the Consulate and they will... well, he's not entirely sure what they'll do, save that it will be both familiar and strange, and that the darkened winter city will embrace it all within itself. Criminals and crime, human frailty and otherwise.

He thinks that maybe, one day, it will embrace him, too.


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