DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Ready, willing and able to stage a coup


Jordan looked out the window. Behind the nondescript and anonymous hotel, an equally nondescript and anonymous hill rose. The grass that covered it in summer had withered, turned a sickly, dull yellow-brown with winter's advent. A few lonely trees dotted the landscape, their denuded branches thin and helpless against the tide of time. The sky was gunmetal gray above all; no sun shone through the cloud cover as a bitter wind exhaled harsh breaths from Heaven across the little patch of the world that she could see.

She let the curtain twitch shut and turned toward the man in her room. "It's like waiting for snow."

"What is?" Woody looked up from the welter of papers scattered on the hotel's lumpy, unreliable king-sized mattress.

Jordan waved her hand, encompassing the room, the outside, his collection of materials, even herself. "This." Her voice was sharp with impatience. "Trying to find answers without even knowing if they're there. Waiting. Knowing it's there, believing that it will come, but also realizing it might not."

He didn't answer her. Metaphors weren't usually her thing, so he was at a loss.

Her voice sunk. "Remembering that maybe you should wish for something else anyway." She turned back toward the window, but didn't touch the curtain.

"Jordan." His voice was soft, but carried that note of insistence. "What are you talking about?"

She didn't turn back. "Waiting for snow. When the world is cold and dead and ugly. When it's cold enough, but no moisture or there's moisture, but it's too warm. All you want is snow, even a dusting. Something to cover up the cold ugliness. Something to give it all the illusion of life. Something to make the world … pretty." She leaned her arm against the window frame and rested her head on it. "Even if it's only for a few hours. Even when you know that it won't last and part of you hopes it will melt before it too gets ugly."

Woody still had no reply for her. He got up, papers floating to the floor around him as he did. Heedless of them, he went to her and put his arms around her, drawing her to him, holding her closely. "We'll find the answers, Jordan."

She waited a long while before responding. "Maybe I don't want to know."

"Well, I want to know."

She craned her neck and looked up at him. "Maybe I did it, Woody. Maybe I killed him."

He shook his head. "You didn't kill Pollack. We will find out who did." He hugged her more tightly. "And it'll snow. Everything will be pretty. Even if it's only for a few hours."

She dropped her gaze from his and reached for his hands, grasping them in hers. "If you say so, Farm Boy." Her voice was bleak, out of reach of her words.

"I say so," he promised warmly.


Jordan woke up in the darkened hotel room. She groaned softly in the cocoon darkness. He wasn't here. She had sat on that fence, waited too long and what was left of her life had unraveled, its frayed ends bringing her to this desolation. Knowing she wouldn't get back to sleep, she got up. Each day that got a little bit more difficult. Each day she searched for the pieces to the puzzle, the clues that would help her put herself back together and let her go home. Each day she waited for snow.

She padded over to the window and twitched the curtain open.

Fat, white flakes drifted past her wide eyes. Icy powder frosted the barren hillside and it was beautiful. Even if it only lasted for a few hours.