Title: A million years gone by
Characters: Connor, Jon, Rachel
Author's notes: It's not much, but it might grow into something any day now. Look! It grew!
Its Christmas time again, and I can't make myself feel anything at all. I've forced a smile on my face these last few weeks, as I've helped Jon decorate the tree and our home. He's a bright lad, and I doubt he's fooled at all. He's in his room writing a letter to Santa...probably the last one he'll write too.
Ten years old already, it seems like a blink of an eye since me and Brenda adopted him. I don't remember Rachel growing so fast...not that it matters.
Three years since I thought my life was perfect, two since Alex left with nothing but a note. Still canna believe she did that...to me...to Jon.
Jon says I should start dating again, the lad even tried to fix me up with one of his teachers...but I've learned my lesson. No more mortals. No more letting a pretty face to close. It hurts too much to love them...then watch them die...or leave.
I worry about Jon, what will happen to him if I don't come home one day? Or another immortal tries to use him against me. Every time I think I've won...that's its over...another immortal appears out of no-where. Tired of it all, of the game, of living...
If it weren't for Jon... I'd find a way to end this all. No more fighting, no more quickenings, no more watching everything I love die.
"Yea Jon?" I look up to find my son, standing in the door way to my room. Watching me stare out across the city.
"Are we going back Scotland soon?" He asks, coming in.
Now there's a strange question. "Don't you like New York, Jon?"
He looks up at me. "I like it fine, but you seem happier there, da. I don't like it when you're sad like this..."
God, I hadn't realized it was the obvious. I pull my son into a hug. "Maybe your right, Jon, a change of scenery might be good. What do you say to going after Christmas?"
"We could go before Christmas...and spend Christmas with Aunt Rachel..."He suggested.
I wonder if he'd been talking to Rachel. "Perhaps...I'd have to call her first though..."
Jon grinned like I'd already agreed. "Cool! I can't wait to tell all my friends...they never get go cool places for Christmas..."
With a chuckle, I shake my head. I guess I'd better make ticket arrangements to Scotland.
It's an odd feeling, hesitating to call your grown daughter. Just as it is still an odd feeling trying to compare her with the small girl I rescued what seems like only months ago. She aged, I didn't.
Now she's got a life of her own in Scotland, and I'm almost reluctant to disturbed it. But Jon loves his sister so, and I want Jon to have a good Christmas.
"Rachel? It's Conner." I say unnecessarily as I here her voice on the other end.
"Conner! It's good to here from you. How are you doing? How is Jonny?" She asks her voice as always full of life.
"Jon's fine, he growing fast. Actually, I was wondering if it be too much trouble for us to come for Christmas?" She's got every right to say no, but she won't. It's not how I raised her.
"Connor, you and Jon coming to visit is never any trouble. When will you be getting in?" Rachel asked.
"Probably the 23rd, I still have to get tickets. This was sort of a last minute thing..."I tell her.
"That's fine; I'll pick you up from the airport."
So that's how I found myself on an airplane headed back home. Back to Scotland. Jon had fallen asleep on my shoulder, probably dreaming of all the presents his sister will spoil him with.
I can't remember ever being as young as he is now, I can't remember what it was like not to have this nagging sadness in my mind. I can barley remember what life was like for me and Heather before Ramirez, before I knew truly what I was.
Och, she would have made a wonderful mother. I wanted childern with her, and it hurt more knowing I couldn't than to know I'd live on long after her. I should count myself lucky I wager, I have Rachel and Jon. I have my kinsmen Duncan.
I should be grateful for that. Grateful to have Duncan still alive after all these years. Grateful for my childern.
Jon what are you going to do one day when you truly realize your father won't age while you grow old...and die? Will you turn away from me?
If I could keep him like this forever. Young and carefree, I would. But it wouldn't be fair to you, so I just hold on to these moments where you're still my little boy.
Jon's asleep in the room Rachel made up for him, and I find myself looking out across the snowy hills from the window. Rachel's a good lass, somehow managing to get him to go off to bed without a fight. He usually fights with me about bedtime these days.
"I can't believe how big Jon's gotten." Rachel said as she came down the stairs. "It seems only yesterday he was still just toddling around."
Heh, leave it to my Rachel to say what I'm thinking. "He's growing up."
"That isn't all that is troubling you, is it Connor?" Rachel asks me softly, touching my arm.
I try and concentrate on the snow, try to give her a fake smile. But I never was good at lying to her. "Nay, it's not. I...I've been thinking of leaving the game."
She looks at me oddly; I can imagine what she must be thinking. "You want to take Jon and go to holy ground for awhile?"
"No Rachel, I want out. For good." I can't bring myself to look at her, to see the hurt in her eyes. "I'm tried. So damn tried of watching all that I love die and wither away. How long before someone is better than me?"
Rachel shakes her head. "Few are better than you Connor."
I have to smirk at that. "Aye, but there are those that are and the game holds no meaning for me anymore. Don't look at me like that girl, I'm not going to run off and leave Jon. I won't do that to him. I'm just so tired of being alone."
"But you aren't alone Connor. You've got Jon an' me, an' Duncan. We're your family." Stubborn girl, I wonder who she learned that from.
That's what keeps me awake at night. When will I lose the next one of my family? "I'm tired of losing my family, Rachel."
"If this is about Alex...Connor she knew who you were. She went into the relationship with her eyes open. It wasn't your fault things didn't work out." Rachel tells me.
"Maybe." Is all I'll concede.
She sighs, shaking her head affectionately at me. "I won't argue with you over it anymore tonight. Tomorrow will go get a tree with Jon. The town will have a Santa in the square in the evening if Jon wants to go."
"I suspect he will...though I think this is the last year." I smile slightly remembering the argument Jon had with a friend over Santa being real.
Rachel smiles then becomes quite for a moment. "There's also someone I want you to meet." She adds shyly.
I have to smile at how shy she still gets telling me about her boyfriends. "What's the lucky young man's name?"
"William MacDonald. He runs the library in town; I do hope you like him." She says.
"Rachel, does he make you happy?" I ask her.
She smiled and nods. "Yes he does."
"Then I already like him. He just better know he's got the best looking girl in Scotland on his arm." I tease her.
Rachel blushed and hugs me like she was a girl again. "Connor I'm glad you came to visit. Christmas will be so much better with you and Jon here."
I hug her back remembering a time when she was just a skinny little girl. "Goodnight Rachel, I'm going to stay up awhile longer."
She pulls back and looks at me questioningly. "You must be exhausted Connor!"
A shake my head. "It's been a while since I've seen her cover in snow." I say softly.
Rachel gives me a understand smile, disappearing up the stairs.
Looking back across the highland hills, I feel something I haven't felt in awhile. Contentment. I'm home. My childern are with me for Christmas, and most importantly...they're happy.
What more could a father wish for?