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R E F L E C T I O N S

Author: Raven (comicsk@earthlink.net)
Category: 3rd person POV; A/C romance
Rating: G
Spoilers: none
Archive: not sure you wanna, but if you do - all A/C sites are welcome to it, anyone else just let me know.
Disclaimer: don't own, don't sue
Authors Note: This is my first, and probably last, attempt at fan fic. I have no muses. This thing just wouldn't let me rest until it was written. I apologize before hand for any errors. I just hope this doesn't hit you like a certain bad appitizer.

Freshly fallen rain.

I love it. The heady smells of ozone, asphalt, and water all combine to erase the stale scents of smog and disel fumes. The world feels cleansed and new...for a little while, at least.

I love how every flat surface - roads, sidewalks - becomes a mirror, reflecting the city lights back on themselves.

Ha. Listen to me. Getting all poetic about some rainfall. Sure it doesn't happen here too often but, come on... Must be the booze talking. I haven't had much, I swear. Just enough to bring out the maudlin side of me.

So here I sit, waxing poetic. Not much else to do at this time of night anyway. The booth I'm sitting in is nice enough, but really too large for just one person. Luckily the place is pretty dead tonight. I get the large window in front all to myself. Yay me.

This probably isn't the safest seat in the place but I get to look out and see the pretty twinkling lights. Almost reminds me of Christmas time. Heh...maybe it IS time for another drink...

As I sit pondering this dilemma - should I? shouldn't I? - I hear the front door swoosh and the little bell above it gives its cheerful, if not downright annoying, greeting. I look away from the window to see who else the rain has washed in tonight.

I only catch a glimpse of short, brown hair and slightly damp clothes. I get the rest of the details as she looks around the room - trying to find a seat? Her beauty is the first thing I notice. You know the kind of beauty that other women will rip apart out of sheer jealousy? This girl had it in spades. Her hair was cut in a cute style that kind of hid her face but I did manage to catch large brown eyes. They looked a bit weary as she finally settled on a seat across the room from me.

I caught her lack of coat next, her jeans and top still wet from the earlier rain. What did she do, go out for a run in it? She doesn't seem to notice it though. Just sits down heavily, as if she were very tired. She stays in a slumped position staring at nothing. Or she could be trying to count the water rings left on the table from previous drinks. Kind of a toss up.

She sighs suddenly and, propping her elbows on the table, places her head in her hands. I don't mind telling you - that sigh was one of the worst things I've ever heard. It spoke of loss and fear, pain and other bad things. Was that what this girl was doing, alone, this late at night in a place like this? Was she running from an old relationship? Some lover who had slighted her?

The waitress walks up to her. Asks if she can get her anything. The girl raises her head from her hands. Glances at the waitress and gives her a small smile that's just a bit faded around the edges. Shakes her head no. The waitress moves off to go check on the other customers. Just as she's about to put her head back down something catches her eye. As I'm turning my head to see what she's looking at, the bell above the front door sounds again.

A large shadow has just walked in. At least, that's my first impression of him. Or should I say HIM. The words tall, dark, and handsome - scratch that; gorgeous - were written for this guy. All in black with a leather coat to die for. Is it me or did the room just get warmer? It MUST just be me because this guy is cold. His fine features seemed to be chisled from marble, and are just as expressive. The only thing moving are his brown eyes. He quickly sizes up the room, disregarding everyone and everything. I wonder what he's...?

Oh, I think he found what he was looking for. As his eyes lock onto the girl at the table across the room, an amazing thing happens. The ice cracks, his eyes warm, and this LOOK comes over his face. What WAS that? Respect, admiration, love? Could this be the lover that has wronged the poor girl?

He moves across the room with a smooth grace. She looks both happy and sad to see him. What could have happened between these two? As he reaches her table the girl looks up, a teary-eyed smile lights her face briefly. The smile fades as he drops to one knee beside her chair.

He tentatively reaches out and smooths back a stray lock of hair from her face. Their eyes catch and hold. A whole conversation seems to take place, completely unspoken. He places his hand on hers (are you alright?), she nods her head slightly (yes, I'm fine). At his look of worry she reaches out and touches his cheek, gently cupping his face (really, I'm OK). He turns his head, nuzzling her hand (I worry about you). She smiles, brighter this time (I know) and he smiles back. WHOA! He definitely needs to do that more often. His whole face just lit up.

The problem seemingly solved, he moves off his knee and stands up. Offers his hand and possibly something more. It's there in his eyes. He's offering his life, his hope, his heart. I almost start to cry then. What I wouldn't give to have someone look at me that way.

I glance to the girl, she seems to understand all that this offer entails. She looks first to the hand then to his face. She pauses to carefully weigh what she finds offered in his eyes. It only takes a few heartbeats for her to make her decision. She gently places her hand in his. A bright, real smile graces her face.

He helps her to her feet. Releasing her hand, he shrugs off his coat and places it around her shoulders. Pulls her closer to him at the same time. Another unspoken message passes between them and they reach for each other. They hug - no, not a strong enough word. More like holding on. Never again to be lost or alone. She buries her face in his chest. He lays his cheek on her head. Eyes closed. Home found.

They let go but keep their hands tightly intertwined. As one they turn and head for the door. I've been so intrigued by the touching scene before me that I almost get caught staring. I quickly turn away and go back to looking out the window next to me. As I watch the reflection of the girl leaving I... Wait, where's...? I glance back toward the door out of the corner of my eye. Where did he go? Ah, there he is, still by her side holding her hand. I turn back to the window and only see the girl reaching for the door. What the HELL?! I hear the tinkling of the bell above the door again. I look back one more time, hoping to catch another glimpse of the guy I KNOW was there...but they're gone. Back into the night. Into the rain.

Maybe I HAVE had one too many. I don't know what the hell just happened. Maybe I haven't had ENOUGH to drink. Yeah, one more and then I can go back to waxing poetic about the rain. The softly falling rain.

Anything to keep from thinking about reflections - and certain lacks thereof.

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