Three Year Requiem
© Jessica Knorr, 2001
SPOILERS:"Subject 117". We know who Jordan is, right?
SUMMARY:It's been three years since Hannah died, and Cade feels just one more round of brooding is in order before he finally moves on.
DISCLAIMER: Cade and Hannah belong to Chris. Sue me and suffer.
NOTES:Some of this is my history, covered in The Second Son series and "Devil's Night", both which can be found here. Being inventive and having fun with angst at the same time! Love it, and love feedback/reviews, SO SEND IT IN(*feebly, big puppy-eyes + pout* please?)!
April was a beautiful month. It was when Spring truly began, all the plants would bud and the baby birds and animals were born. People in the north would once again be free to go outside without the agony of wading through 6 feet of snow or having to slide around on great ice sheets. Cade Foster met his wife in April.
On Good Friday, he'd stood behind her in the line to receive the body of Jesus Christ. It was fitting that he met the two women who he cared about most in the same type of building. Church was a place that brought people together to pray to and worship Him and thank Him for giving them good life. That day, Cade was there to beg forgiveness of the Holy One.
She looked over her shoulder at him as she walked back to her pew and he'd fallen instantly in love. Never mind that her father was his parole officer and that he'd known her family forever. He did not like her sister. But he loved her. Cade approached her outside in the brilliant sun and introduced himself more formally. She'd given him the cold shoulder, stating she knew who he was, but Cade went back on Easter Sunday in hopes of seeing her again. Hannah had voluntarily sat only three people away from him, and he caught her looking over a few times during the sermon. She approached him this time in the street, and asked him to forgive her rudeness before. They were married a year and a half later in the very same church.
Cade went back in time in his mind to the first day back from their honeymoon. She taught at a high school just blocks from their house, so she walked instead of taking the car with him, not before sharing coffee and dreams with her husband at breakfast. Hannah's father had helped him acquire a job, and he started that day. Fate was not without a sense of irony, as he was to be a temp at a security firm and he had once been the best thief in all of Chicago. Of course, they intentionally neglected to mention that. He soon found himself at the top of the ladder, just below executive assistant. He loved replaying that day, when he went home and let his beautiful wife know the news.
Hannah had squealed in delight and jumped into his arms, and they had probably broken a lamp or two in their joyous twirling about the living room, laughing till they cried and kissing until they bruised. Neither even noticed the egg timer going off in the kitchen.
"I can't believe it!" she'd said, gasping for breath when she finally got back to her feet. "You've been there months…and, already!"
"Believe the unbelievable, baby," he'd given her the widest smile he'd ever managed and hugged her again. The only thing that interrupted the occasion was the blaring of the smoke alarm. Hannah swore and ran to tend to the smoking food while Cade just stood there, a look of penance and longing overtaking the smile. Everything he'd ever wanted had been given to him in less than two years. Over Chinese takeout since their stir fry and chicken breast had been flambéed, they talked about what their days. Besides his promotion, Cade told her of the deal he'd closed. He made light reference to having a hallucination, something that had been happening frequently enough for them to be concerned. But Cade wouldn't give her any details, so Hannah waved it off, making note to discuss it with her mother or maybe her sister, and told him about classes.
"I love these kids, Cade. Last term, none of them wanted to do anything. I had to fail nearly half the class! But these ones…they're so dedicated to the work. They barely talk, they really want to learn this stuff. I checked out some of their records…" she trailed off, spinning her spoon in her soup. "South-siders, a couple from the west. Only about five are from desirable families. But this class, they're so intent and focused on getting these credits.
"Kind of makes me wonder what would happen if we…" Cade had coughed out his water all over his food. Hannah grimaced at the slight mess, and met his eyes. He knew that look. It was the same, hard, lingering look he gave her before sleeping when he wondered if his life were real or just some idle fairy tale. She, too, was determined and dedicated. Hannah was also stubborn sometimes, which was hereditary. He loved her with every inch of his being.
"You're serious?" he croaked out just above a whisper. She blinked and managed just a fraction of a nod. Other than that, Hannah was still, her dark brown eyes and hair great contrast to her ivory white skin. And then her ruby lips spread into smile. He chuckled and patted his napkin to his face. Then, Cade got up, took his wife's hand and brought her into his arms.
* * *
It was all down hill from there. He let it slip to at lunch the next day to their friends about the hallucination. His bank accounts got wiped. He was fired. Two men who might have told him what was going on committed suicide. Hannah died.
Just seeing her lying there, with her head twisted in such an awkward way, something fell away from inside his head. When he compared the two necklaces, his entire world shattered, and so did his heart. He forgot everything that had happened simply to realize the woman who had ushered in such a great life for him, who had turned everything around and molded him from street scum and a delinquent into one of the happiest men on earth…she was gone. Nothing left but a battered shell of the most beautiful human he'd ever met. Aliens were supposed to be things of science fiction, make believe. But they were real. And, like 95% of the extraterrestrials of myth, they were out to kill Cade and the rest of his race. As he'd stated many times in his journey, which was nearing the length of three years of death and destruction, he'd never give up until he truly had revenge.
April was beautiful to Cade in some distant lifetime when he didn't have only 3 friends. Since then, Cade despised it, simply because while everything else bloomed and was reborn, he had died. If only a little bit.