A/N: Ok, thank you to absolutely everyone who stayed with my during All Coming Back, it meant a lot to me, and I hope you all like this new fic just as much. I can't promise it won't be sad, but I think there'll be more drama, and less tragedy this time…I think.
And a Massive thanks goes to Courtney for her help in the naming of this fic, and the summary quoting. Without her, you'd all have waited ages! (so go read and review her new one!)
Summary: "Husbands Come and Go"...but sometimes they come back.
"I want to find The One." "And well you should, honey. How else are you going to get to The Two and The Three?"
The Manse was quiet, the maids having returned to their rooms quickly for their only break of the day. The empty hallway was filled with some of the most expensive pieces of art, the only reason for their presence being the hints of red that flowed through them all and matched the deep wall paper. Up the hallway stairs, the long corridor contained a timeline of faces; walking from one end to another, one could almost watch the growth and development of the two Walker children, almost measure the increases in size Stanley Walker had gone through, but most amazingly of all, one could view a record of the aging of a woman professed to undergo treatments daily to stop that which could be plainly seen in the portraits on the wall.
A shrill laugh broke through the silence, followed by a slightly lower, but no less child-like giggle, the sounds coming from the room at the very end of the corridor, shut behind a heavy oak door.
Jack sat in the centre of Karen's bed, legs crossed, and hands deep in a large cardboard box. Items littered the bed around him; photographs, dusty teddy bears and pieces of old jewellery surrounded him, having been removed from the box, and thoroughly examined before being discarded.
Karen sat on a small chez lounge. Jack had already pushed her out of the bed once, and she didn't wish to become further acquainted with the carpet. A martini glass was held loosely in her hand, the contents almost gone, only a few drops and a single olive remained.
She watched as Jack became more and more excited with every object he discovered, and she wondered why she'd never thought to let him do this before. She placed her glass on the dressing table as Jack held up a small box and leant forward for a closer look, attempting to pull from her mind the identity of the object and the story behind it. There was always a story with every object in the box, it was what made Jack curious to see more.
"Ah, my old powder box. I used to have to take that with me everywhere when Lois and I travelled; it used to contain a really white base that I'd have to use when Mom'd say I was allergic to the sun." Jack nodded sympathetically, and Karen stood to pour herself another drink. The memories of her childhood with her Mother were still hard to talk about, not only because she hadn't for so many years.
Jack fell silent, staring straight at the newest object removed from the box. It was a small picture, the ends slightly crumpled and with several creases across the image, but he could still clearly see a young image of Karen, her body wrapped in the arms of a man he'd never seen before. Studying the small copy of Karen's face, he could just make out a tiny smile, nothing like those he'd seen both in person, and in the rest of the pictures he'd found. The man however had a large grin that spread almost from ear to ear, his gaze fixed firmly, almost possessively, on the woman in his arms.
"Kare, when was this taken? And who's the man with you?" Jack didn't remove his gaze from the picture until it was snatched sharply from him, and he looked up into the slightly pale face of his friend.
"I don't know Honey, I can't remember this at all. It's probably just some guy I once knew, nothing to be concerned about." She paused a moment, taking a large gulp of her drink and doing her best not to look at the picture again. "Are you done here Jackie? 'Cause we have an appointment for facials in an hour, and I still have to dress, and you still have to dress me." Jack nodded happily, lifting the mementos of Karen's life into his arms and bundling them back inside the box. Once done, he bounced from the bed, and placing Karen's once again empty glass on a side table, grabbed her hand and begun pulling her to her closet.
"You know Kare, you don't have any pictures from your first marriage to…what's his name; you know Saint-something." Jack continued into the closet, not noticing Karen slip from his grasp and move quickly and silently to a small drawer in her dressing table.
"Oh, don't I Honey? Probably just got lost somewhere, that's all." Opening the drawer she placed the photograph in face down, and shut it again quickly. Pulling a key from the pocket of her robe, she locked the drawer, before turning once again to join Jack in her closet, locking the memories in drawers of their own in her mind and heart.
Now she remembered why she'd never let Jack go through that box before, and she wondered how she'd ever forgotten.
What do you think? The First chapter should be up by the end of the week. It's exam weeks now so they'll be slower coming.