Title: Boulder to Birmingham
Author: Seraphim Grace
Archive: if you want it ask.
Pairings: None, which in turn means any you damn well like
Warnings: Songfic, ficlet, pwp. It's only about 750 words.
Spoilers: None, at all, it doesn't really lend itself to spoiling things.
I know it's short, but it's set between Gluhen and Side B, but there are no spoilers, just a man on a plane. The idea for this came from a song called Boulder to Birmingham by Emmy Lou Harris.
Boulder to Birmingham
Outside the plane the world flew by with a sweet melancholy, blanketed by clouds and protected from doubts. With a sad sigh Aya Fujimiya flicked off his personal CD player, he wasn't in the mood to listen to the music that Omi had compiled for him. Sweet painful lyrics that he normally loved. He just wasn't in the mood. A mile below him the world carried on, people loved and lived, they got up in the morning and went to work and carried on with their lives oblivious to one young man sat by a window on a plane flying over the world with his heart in his mouth and his mind on other things.
Where he was going there was no life, just endless expanses of sand and light. He was going to make sense of things, to come to terms. He didn't want to, but everyone said it was for the best.
He was listless, too awake to sleep and too tired and do anything, even just listen to the music he had brought with him. A book lay half read in the pocket of the chair in front. There was a crossword he had started and never finished. There was even a box of pocky from which he had taken one stick.
America would be good for him. He knew that.
The lights were dimming about the plane, and the large projection screen lowered. He turned back to the window and the solid seeming clouds beyond. He had no interest in the inflight movie, or the inflight magazine. He just wanted to be in America, in Arizona where the sand burned under the blazing sun. He wanted to be where there were no people, where there were no stories, where he could be someone else, anyone else, someone good.
He had seen the film before. It was a remake of a film he had seen. In it the protagonist had difficulty coming to terms with the suicide of his wife and ended up going mad. He had no interest in it, though he had enjoyed it the first time around. That was before.
He tried to picture Arizona. He thought of what he knew. He thought of books he had read that told of the great dust storms of the 1930's and wondered if it would look like that. He wondered if it would look like the Mexico represented in bad westerns, all cacti, tequila and stucco. He tried to ignore the grief of the man on the screen, but rather than overblown it was raw and painful and he understood.
That was what he hated, that he understood.
Didn't they have some kind of rule about showing films on planes that were only full of happy people having moronic adventures to make the passengers laugh. A woman in the centre aisle, only a few seats above him, was crying.
He was beginning to wish that they had put on Final Destination instead. Or Flight of the Phoenix.
He was tired.
He had barely slept in days, and when he did, he dreamt of fire.
In the film the man, faced with the body of his wife where she had killed herself reacted with disbelief. It was the only part that Aya found fault with, there was no rage, no pain, no guilt. The man just continued, missing her, but not blaming her. Aya blamed them, though he knew it was more than that. He couldn't get the stain of failure off his soul. He had spoken once, years before with Shion, about how failure was not the same as betrayal. How failing to die with his parents did not mean that he had betrayed them. It didn't stop him feeling any less dirty. Below him the ocean beckoned, cold and crisp and clean. It was too simple. Failure didn't mean betrayal, Shion had told him that, it just meant that you failed.
He was tired. Arizona would be good for him. It would take him away from the familiar, give him time to heal, time to grieve. Yet he would trade it all in an instant, he would take the plane ticket and the house that they had supplied him with, he would take the money and the life that stretched before him, for one more minute with them, just one.
I would put my soul in the bosom of Abraham
I would hold my life in his saving grace
And I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham
If I thought I could see, if I could see your face
this was just an idea that popped into my head and held on for dear life, it would not let go. I've had journeys like that, where you just want it over and done with and they decide that the best film for you to watch is something like Ladder 49, or finding Neverland and you just bawl like a baby. For those that care the film Aya is watching is Solaris, which I liked.