Title: Between Darkness and Light
Author: Sweetie
Summary: After years apart, they meet again.
Rating: PG
Author's Notes: I started this a while ago and I'm just getting around to working on it. I'd like to say part two is going to be posted soon, but last time I did that, it definitely didn't get posted soon. So it'll be posted when it's posted. :)
Feedback: will be read an obsessive amount of times and greatly, greatly appreciated.

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.

Alexis had walked into Sal's Used Car Dealership thinking she'd entered a living cliché. The cars in the lot looked like they were slapped together with Elmer's Glue and shoe polish, the overly friendly dealer was stocky, short, complete with comb over and dressed in a suit straight from 1976. His shoes were shined and when he smiled, his forehead creased in the oddest of ways. She immediately got a weird feeling about the whole place. But, of course, she remained quiet. Jake was practically bursting with excitement.

She'd met Jake Warner four years ago. He was seventeen, doe-eyed and spike-haired. A few days after she'd moved to Washington, she'd ordered a pizza. He was the pizza guy. Their friendship was based on that simple fact, and that alone. A bond based on the fact that he was her primary source of nourishment that grew into the weirdest friendship she'd ever formed. The closest thing to any conventional term she could place to it was Jake was like the little brother she never had.

She'd bought a car that day, much to her dismay. Jake convinced her it would be all for the best. Cost efficient. They both knew that Alexis had enough money to buy two new cars and possibly put in a pool, but Jake wanted to help. He wanted to feel important or useful, or whatever. So Alexis humored him. What harm could possibly come of it?

A month later, Alexis was choking on a cloud of smoke as it rose from underneath the hood. The brand-new-previously-owned-but-still-in-perfect-conditon-Sal's-guarantee- car, as the crinkly fore headed dealer had so eloquently put it, had stalled. On the highway. She'd barely had enough time to pull over into the breakdown lane before it went dead. She coughed, waved her hand and tried to clear it enough so


Alexis pressed the speed dial for Jake's cell.

"Warner," he answered, his voice uncharacteristically cool and professional.

Alexis sighed in relief. "Since when do you answer the phone like that?"

"Didn'tcha hear? My new unattainable goal of the week is to become an FBI agent."

"That's great. My car stalled."

"Oh no."

"Oh yes."

"Where are you?"

Alexis rested her forehead against the passenger side window of Jake's Volkswagen while Jake drove and Kristina slept. Silence enveloped the space except for every once and a while when Jake would tap his fingers against the steering wheel, and even then it was barely noticeable. Alexis was used to it. Jake always seemed as if he had too much energy for his body to contain, and he would let little bursts out here and there with the tapping of his fingers. Or bouncing his leg up and down. He never drank soda, or coffee, or anything with caffeine. His friends and family were thankful.

As they drove she watched the trees blur past, tinted gray by night. They'd been driving for a while and Alexis could tell by the slight bend in the road that they were nearing her house. She'd never really imagined herself ever owning a house until after Kristina was born. To be fair, she'd never really imagined doing a lot of things until after Kristina was born. Seriously attempting to cook, not constantly thinking about work or something work related, and other things.

Severing ties with friends and family to move across country, perhaps.

She never trusted Carly to keep Kristina's paternity secret. It was always floating somewhere in the back of her mind, the knowledge that eventually something would break Carly and the delicately constructed façade that they had created would fall through like a house of cards. It was inevitable. Sooner or later, Carly would look into Sonny's eyes and decide that the life of a child could and should be sacrificed for her husband's happiness.

The blinker blinked suddenly, breaking Alexis from her reverie. Jake turned left and began down the street that led to the house. Alexis sat up, quietly gathering her stuff. He parked the car in front of the lawn and pulled the keys from the ignition. Wordlessly they both stepped from outside, Alexis wrapping her arms around her waist to guard from the chill in the air. She watched Jake as he gently scooped Kristina up in his arms and carried her to the front porch. Alexis smiled as she unlocked the door, holding it open as he moved past her and up the stairs to Kristina's room.

Alexis flicked on the lights and threw her keys on the kitchen table. She dropped her briefcase, headed through the short hall to the living room, and checked her machine for messages. Not at all surprised when there were none, she pulled off her heels and placed them off to the side.

The house was small. Two floors, two bedrooms, one bathroom. Big enough for her and Kristina because that was all the space they needed. It was modestly decorated with a few personal touches, plush furniture and no sharp edges. Practical but still somewhat stylish. Comfortable.

She sat down on the couch, exhaling a breath of exhaustion. She closed her eyes. She barely had time to gather her thoughts before Jake bounced down the stairs, his footsteps lighter than usual, cautious of Kristina's soundly sleeping form upstairs. He flashed a crooked smile at her. "Out like a light," He said. Alexis smiled back and closed her eyes again, turning into the couch. She heard him walk past her and down the hall.

"Fridge is empty," She called, her voice muffled.

"No it's not," the sound of his voice carried back to her with a hint of a singsong tone. "I remember distinctly," she heard him rustling through the refrigerator, "you ordering a large pizza with everything on it and a side of onion rings. Now, without the onion rings, you can usually make it about three-fourths of the way through. But with the onion rings, you get full faster and, left to choose between onion rings and pizza, you choose onion rings, leaving me with half a pizza all to myself."

He triumphantly held up the pizza box only to find that no one was there to see it. Well, Alexis was there, she just wasn't coherent. He walked over to her. Putting the pizza box down on the coffee table, he reached on the back of the couch and pulled the small blanket down to cover her. "Goodnight, Alexis." He murmured.

Golden tapestries draped from walls of deep velvet crimson. There were balconies, and seats, all accented with gold and intricate molding; a chandelier hung from the center of the dome ceiling, glittering with shards of brilliant light.

She stood in a partially darkened corner with her arms crossed over her chest. Calm, her mind clear, she stood. She didn't feel as if she was waiting for anything, and yet there was nothing to see except an empty theatre. Time seemed to become immeasurable, the seconds and minutes and hours lost somewhere between the dark corners and the dazzling light of the chandelier. She didn't move. Her breathing was even, her heart steadily beating in her chest.

She blinked, and he was there.

The lights had dimmed and he stood beside her, shaded in half darkness, his eyes focused intently on the stage. His hair was slicked back the same way it always was, the contours of his face the same familiar structure she remembered. He wore a simple suit and tie. She didn't smile, nor did he, and neither spoke. When she looked down their fingers were intertwined. She was not surprised by this, although she expected to be. She wasn't plagued with questions, wasn't overwhelmed with feeling. She felt comfortable. Secure. She was encompassed with a feeling of familiarity that she suspected only came with years of marriage.

She followed his gaze to the stage and saw a beautiful young woman standing there. Her hair was brown, a mass of flowing curls that reached down to the middle of her back, partially held up by barrettes that dazzled when the spotlight hit them right. She wore a long plum-colored dress, and her eyes were a soulful brown. She was singing a copula. Her voice was beautiful, like deep, rich chimes, and the melody she sang was haunting.

"Alexis," she heard Sonny whisper, his hand gently tugging on hers. His eyes were still fixed on the girl. "Who…who is she?"

"She's our daughter." She whispered it like he had just asked her to pass the milk.

"Our daughter?" He whispered back, his voice thick with emotion.

Her eyes remained on Kristina. "Yes."

He tugged hard on her hand, forcing her to look at him. Her eyes met his and she felt as if she had been punched hard in the stomach. His face told a thousand emotions at once, and she struggled to regain her composure, fumbling over her words in confusion.

"Sonny, I—"

"We have a daughter and you never told me?"

"I tried. Sonny, you've got to understand…"

"What I understand is that you kept the one thing most precious in the world to me: a child. How could you do this? How could you keep this from me?" He whispered harshly, his voice like ice. She felt tears slipping down her cheeks.

"Sonny, please, just—"

"Please what? Listen to you? Forgive you?"

"Let me explain." He shook his head. She grasped for his hand again, and he pulled it away. She could see the tears glistening in his eyes. "I did what I believed was best for our child, I did what—"

"Don't!" He screamed.

Kristina disappeared. The lights brightened.


He looked her square in the eye, penetrating her soul, filling her with his hate and disgust the same way she had done to him all those years ago. Then he turned and walked away.

A sob escaped her. "Sonny…" She called for him, tried to run after him but her feet wouldn't move. She collapsed in the middle of the aisle, succumbing to her emotions. "Sonny, please. Come back." She held her hands to her chest, looked around the empty theatre.