Title: Denouement
Author: A. Magiluna Stormwriter
Feedback address: stormwriter@shatterstorm.net
Date Written: 30 November - 1 December 2006
Date in Calendar: 2 December 2006
Word Count: 1662
Pairing: Alex/Rachel
Rating: PG13
Summary: The night before their move to San Francisco, Alex and Rachel need to clear the air after the presence of an uninvited guest.
Series: Part of the Light, Water, Muses universe
Sequel to: Specter, Changes, & Mythweaver
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".

Title Notes: I tried to figure out a title for this one, as there's so much going on in so few words that is so key to these two characters. And then I remembered the word 'denouement.' Miriam-Webster Online defines denouement as

Both of these definitions work, particularly since this is probably the last time that we'll see Alex and Rachel in San Francisco while still physically living there.

Challenge Notes: This was written for both the FemSlash Advent Calendar :: Dead of Winter 2006 and the poem fragment challenge Mosca started back in September of 2006. The poem fragment I received was as follows…

You must be hungry. In fact, you must be starving.
Here, in this room, someone once told you of the sea,

the abundance of sand. Someone once told you
of the world outside, until you cut your palms

repairing glass that could not be repaired.

Author's Notes: I'd been thinking for months on what I could do for this challenge. The poem fragment intrigued me muchly. And then things just clicked into place about a month ago for what I wanted to do. It just required time…that was taken up by NaNoWriMo. Hence, the late start. Then again, I always do write best under pressure…

Beta: Shatterpath, as usual…

Dedication: My Alex and Rachel muses, for never giving up on me keeping their story alive…

by A. Magiluna Stormwriter



"Yes, Alex," I reply softly, my hands still gently stroking and cradling her body close.

"I'm sorry," she finally whispers. "I don't know what it is about Derek that makes me this way, but I know you deserve better than this." She shifts slightly against me and turns her head to rest against the side of my neck. "I just wish I knew why I'm getting visitations from him all of a sudden. Why today of all days?"

"Sweetheart, you were in love with Derek for a long time. Your history with Derek is inextricably bound to your thoughts and memories of San Francisco. This has been your home for many, many years now. Of course you're going to have second thoughts about moving." I pause and press a kiss to her temple. "Would it make you feel any better to know I've been having a few second thoughts of my own?"

I can feel Alex's lips spread into a grin against my skin. "You know, you don't have to state the obvious, Rachel. You've had far more second thoughts about this move than I have."

"That's very true. I don't feel the level of trust for that Dace woman that you do."

"Rachel…" She sighs heavily. "We've been through this, haven't we? Dace saved my and Rose's lives. Gramma Rose came to me and told me to trust her. Julia came to me and told me to trust her. These are two people whose opinions mean a great deal to me, and it doesn't matter that they've been dead for years now. Give her a chance, okay?"

I never met Julia Walker. She died in Ireland at the same time I was being used as a birthing vessel for an abomination that took the form of my recently dead son. But I've heard the stories about this woman from Derek, Alex, and Nick primarily. Nick always had a sore spot where Julia was concerned. I'd gathered that there was more than simply close friendship between them; Alex has even confirmed as much. Then again, it was a lot like the situation between Derek and Alex. Unfortunately, I'd been far too blinded by my own issues to see what was happening to Alex in the years before Derek's death.

It wasn't until Derek chose to martyr himself to seal up the portal beneath the castle on Angel Island, our home, that any of us truly saw just how deeply Alex's feelings ran for Derek. She was utterly inconsolable for months, despondent, practically catatonic for days on end. Even that ritual that she and Kat did on the winter solstice that year was but a mere opening from the devastatingly crushing depression she'd fallen into. It took everything in me to keep from prescribing medication for her, or try to butt my way into the therapy I'd finally talked her into. But through it all, I was there for her; I made sure she knew she had a source of support that was unwavering.

"Rachel?" Once again, her voice brings me out of my thoughts, and for once I think I'm definitely glad to be rid of those memories. "Do you think we're making the wrong choice here? Should I have waited to do this move?"

"Well, it's a little late for that, sweetheart," I reply with a wry grin. "The movers are coming tomorrow to pack everything up in the truck. And the Andersons would definitely be upset to find out that they couldn't move into this place. Mrs. Anderson seemed very happy with the bedroom layout for their coming child."

"What if this doesn't work out? What will we do then?"

Oddly enough, that very question has been plaguing my mind ever since this all started on Halloween. Alex is once again in a very vulnerable place, and the professional in me is fighting with the mother and lover in me on how to deal with this situation. I love my wife immensely; I never want to see her hurting like this. And at the same time, I don't want to sugarcoat and give her false hopes.

"We'll survive, Alex," I finally reply honestly. "You and I have this unique ability to survive anything that's thrown at us, no matter how bad it may seem at the time." I pause a moment, trying to figure out a way to broach this without alienating her in any way. "Do you remember how things were in the aftermath of the explosion? When you were so depressed and I was worried on more than one occasion that you might do something to join Derek?"

"I remember." The words are so soft, that the faint rush of breath against my neck is the only way I'm certain she's spoken.

"You would spend hours in bed, staring off into some corner of your mind that no one could access. It was heart wrenching to see you in so much pain and not be able to get past the wall you'd built up around your heart. And if you weren't in bed, you were soaking in this tub, as if you were trying to sweat out some kind of impurity that just wouldn't come out."

Alex shakes her head and pulls my arms tighter around her waist. "I don't want to do this, Rachel."

"Do what?" I ask softly, only partially in psychiatrist mode.

"Stop it, Rachel. I'm not your patient. And I don't need to do this." She struggles to get up, but I won't let her go.

"Do you remember, Alex? Here, in this room, someone once told you…of the world outside, reminded you that life was going on despite your pain. You hated me when I told you then, and you may well hate me now, but we need to deal with this, Alex. You helped me get over Patrick's death, now let me do the same for you once again. I love you, Alex, and I don't want this to hurt you anymore than it already has."

The tears come easily again, and she shifts in the water to practically lie on top of me. I ease her onto her side, lying side by side in the water, and hold her close. I don't bother to hold back the tears welling in my own eyes at both her pain and the uncertainty of what it is we're about to do. If I know nothing else, I know that we need to get this settled enough to survive the flight to Las Vegas tomorrow. Thankfully, we chose not to drive. I don't think the kids could handle that, not with this kind of tension between us.

Then again, we've always made sure to never go to bed angry. Even if that's meant staying up all night in the living room, out in the backyard, or right here in the tub. We've always tried to work out our issues outside of the bedroom. This will be no exception.

"Rachel? Do you think we can find a good therapist in Las Vegas?"

I chuckle wryly and lightly kiss the tip of her nose. "I'm sure we'll be able to find someone that will stand up to my rigorous expectations, yes. Is that something you'd like to do again?"

She goes silent for another moment, then nods. "I won't let this best me," she says in a solemn voice. "It's not fair to you or the kids."

"Or to you," I supply gently. "Alex, I'm thrilled that you want to work on this for me and the girls, but you need to do it for yourself, first and foremost."

"I know." The words come out on a sigh, though it's not nearly as heavy as her previous sigh. That's definitely a good sign. "Rachel?"

"Yes, Alex?"

"Can we get out of the tub? I'm starting to get cold, and I think my wrinkles are getting wrinkles."

I chuckle and ease myself up to let the water start to drain. With another light kiss for Alex, I get out of the tub and reach for a towel to dry off the bulk of the water. Wet, slightly cold arms wrap around my waist from behind, and I lean back against my beloved wife for a moment. Enjoying the feel of her skin against mine, I do my best to get the towel around her body as well. No sense in the two of us freezing.

"Come on, sweetheart," I reply with a grin. "Time to get your lovely self under the covers and warm you up. I'm sure I can come up with an idea or two for getting the blood pumping in your veins."

"I'm sure you can," she quips before yawning loudly. "But if you don't mind, I think I'd rather just curl up next to you and sleep. As much as I love it when you make my hormones sing, I'm simply too exhausted and emotionally wrung out to enjoy it tonight. Can I give you a rain check for when we get to Las Vegas?"

I pull her closer for a long, tender kiss. "Consider the rain check accepted. Come on, sweetheart, time for bed."

We walk into the bedroom and she slips into her favorite silk sleep shirt and shorts before crawling into bed. I can feel her eyes on me as I let the cool silk of my favorite nightgown slither down over my body. The sensation of her eyes is like a caress on my skin and I don't even try to hide the flush of arousal it causes. "My god, you're beautiful," she murmurs, a sort of reverence to her tone, and I can feel my blush deepen.

"Careful, my Alex, or you'll find yourself ravished whether you like it or not," I reply, leaning over to press another kiss to her lips. "I'll be right back. I just want to check on the girls one last time."