Mourning Light

M. M. Hicks

June 2005

AU: Set after the series ended.

Chapter One

Rollie Tyler looked up from where he stood. Wordlessly he stared at the figure that stood fifteen feet away from him. It had been so long since he saw her last. So much had happened since that day; since that time in his (their) life. She had changed so much in the year they had been separated. Her hair was longer. The past year had aged her more than she deserved. It had for both of them. Their life wasn't supposed to have been like this.

He came out of his daze, as he realized she had slowly approached. He watched as she knelt down next to him, placing the flowers and gift on the cold ground. They were both silent, both lost in their own thoughts.

"I shouldn't be surprised I saw you today." She was the first to break the silence, her eyes never leaving the small headstone placed in front of her. He fingers traced the words written on the headstone. Slowly they left the letters and moved on to the numbers. It had been a year. A year since they lost what mattered most to them. Only a year since their life, love, and marriage fell apart.

There they stood, miles away from another living soul, neither looking or speaking to the other. It wasn't the time to speak. All had been said all ready and nothing said then had helped.

Time passed completely in silence. Finally, Rollie could not stand it anymore. "I'm sorry, Angie," Was all Rollie could say. It's the only thing he had been able to say to her since it happened. It was the only thing he thought he deserved to say to her.

"Rollie, don't," Angie shook he head, standing to face the grieving man. Her voice shaky from sadness and anger. "I'm tired of hearing that! I can't stand to hear another "I'm sorry." That's all I hear! From you, from Francis and Sarah, from my friends, from co-workers. I don't want to hear anything more about regrets. I can't deal with it! Especially today…… I don't want his memory tarnished by your…….our….. past regrets." Both stood staring at each other in silence. Both could clearly see the sadness, for what had been lost, in their eyes.

Without another word, Angie turned and began walking towards her car. After a minute of watching her walk away, Rollie finally found his nerve, and went after her.

"Angie, wait, please." He reached forward, grabbing her wrist. She stopped, turned, and stared at his expectantly. She waited for him to speak. "Angie, it's been so long…. Like you said we shouldn't worry about what happened then…….Not today…. Today isn't the day to be fighting and hating each other. Let's go back to the loft and talk. It's been so long."

"No." She shook her head, but stopped when she saw the pleading in his eyes.

"Please." He whispered, gently reaching to push a strand of loose hair out of her eyes.

Slowly, she nodded her head, giving in. No matter what had transpired between the two in the past, this was the day they needed each other the most. The other was the only one who knew how much pain they were both in. "Okay."

Placing his hand on the small of her back, he led her back to where they had parked their cars. Silently, they left the cemetery. In the cemetery, they left behind three of their most cherished family members. It had been almost 10 years since the first lost: Manny Ramirez, Angie's father and Rollie mentor and friend. The second had been as shocking of a loss as Manny's death: Detective Leo McCarthy, lost in the line of duty. Rollie and Angie had visited both these been numerous times in the past, but today was not a day to remember or visit them.

Today, they visited and mourned over the small grave, only a year old, that was placed next to Manny Ramirez. This tombstone was one that shouldn't have been made for years to come: Jonathan Leo Tyler, Beloved Son of Rollie and Angie Tyler, June 8th, 2000 to May 16th 2004.