Title: Yesterday is History, Today is a Gift

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: Jurassic Park belongs to Crichton, Spielberg & etc.

Rating: T

Summary: Ellie watches Alan, and remembers. 400 words.

Spoilers: "Jurassic Park III" (2001)

Notes: For jazzfic, who requested "Jurassic Park, Ellie, ice". (Movie canon only).

Ellie watches Alan with Charlie, talking to him about his dinosaur figurines, and she remembers.

She remembers the heat and the dust of the Badlands, the sense of wonder with each new skeleton they unearthed. She remembers the passion they fed into their work: the way it flowed into, and out of, their passion for each other.

She remembers pulling Alan into the trailer at the dig site one scorching afternoon, unable to wait a moment longer: tracking the path of a drop of sweat down his neck with her tongue, filching ice cubes from the refrigerator to trace new paths of wetness on his bare, flushed skin. She remembers the whispers in the afterglow, murmuring to each other of future museum exhibits and articles co-written, leisurely bickering on the subject of children.

But Ellie also remembers the night after Isla Nublar, when she and Alan had sprawled numbly atop the sheets in their hotel bed. In that moment, as the adrenaline wore off and they digested the life-changing events of the previous few days, their shared passions had begun to separate: she gravitating toward life-- toward love-- and he retreating into the safety of the past. Faced with mortality, she had wanted children now, not later, but he had not felt the same. And a sheet of invisible ice had slowly grown between them.

She doesn't regret her choices, now, all these years later. She has a wonderful husband, two beautiful children, and a thriving career as an author; if she sometimes misses the days when she was a serious woman of science, she has only to look at her family to banish it. And Alan...

Alan seems to have done all right for himself, too. This is only the fourth time they've met in person since she left the dig, but this is the happiest, and healthiest, she's seen him since they took Hammond up on his offer, and the passion is back in his voice when he talks about his work. Someone's clearly been taking good care of him.

She still loves him, of course. A part of her always will. But it doesn't hurt anymore, to know that he's no longer hers. The emotional scars left behind by Isla Nublar have finally healed; the ice between them has thawed.

Ellie adjusts the baby on her hip, watching her ex-fiancé play with her son, and she smiles.