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.


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

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