In The Distant Future

by caramelapples


Laura relaxed into Bill's chest as his arms encircled her, holding her in a warm embrace. They sat under the large tree that threw a certain amount of shade over them. She held his hands in hers and gazed wistfully at the view of the lake and sky, a perfect picture of peace and harmony. Bill slightly leaned his chin towards her head, breathing in the fresh and floral scent of her shampoo. Most of the snow had melted away and the green that was uncovered by the whiteness had been surprising. Laura was content just to be in Bill's embrace, knowing that it was best to make the most of what she could.

There was a slight throb in her left breast but merely enough to serve as a reminder, barely causing any pain. The moist breeze from the lake was cooling to her slightly flushed cheeks. She had felt quite well today, less of the nausea and headache. She could even eat a full meal for breakfast and could lift her daughter from the cot in their bedroom, no doubt for just a little while but still, she was glad that she could accomplish the task. Now, she tried to soak up how she was feeling, committing to memory how they fitted so well together. A distant cry was heard and she made a move to get up but Bill's hold was firm on her.

"It's all right. Let Kara or Lee go to her," he said, softly. His voice was filled with regret, Laura could hear it, but she was glad that she was able to spend more time with Bill. She said a prayer deep within her heart and asked the Gods to forgive her for being selfish, for not attending to her child.

"Okay," she whispered, leaning into him so that he could kiss her cheek.

"Do you remember the first time we saw each other?" he asked, slowly stroking her arm.

She laughed and tilted her head backwards, allowing Bill to kiss her again. "We couldn't stand to be near each other," she stated, turning halfway back so she could get a glimpse of him from the corner of her eye.

"I thought you were beautiful," he said, smiling against her hair. "You are beautiful now."

"You did not," she said, disbelieving. "We didn't think very much of each other. That I can tell you." Baby Laura's cries and died down and her mother felt calmer and more relieved to know that either Kara or Lee would be there.

"I did think you were beautiful," Bill said, holding her closer. "You were annoying and infuriating but very beautiful," he breathed, remembering how she provoked him on their first meeting.

"You didn't look so bad yourself," she said, smiling. "I thought you looked quite… handsome."

She laughed again and Bill felt a stab of pain in his heart. He couldn't help the sting of tears behind his eyes and breathed in the scent of her hair again. It calmed him considerably. He fell silent, not knowing what to say. Why didn't the treatment work? Why didn't Nicky's blood save Laura like Hera's had? Bill would do anything to have more time with Laura, and his other Laura. He would do anything to have his family together.

Laura and Laura, Kara… Lee… They were each as important to him as the other.


Laura turned slightly and Bill realized that he had just spoken his thoughts out loud. "Why what?" she asked, almost hesitantly.

He shook his head. "Nothing."

Even without him saying it, Laura knew what he was thinking. Or at least had some vague idea as to what he was talking about. Rather, what he was thinking. She placed her hand on his to stop him from stroking her arm. "Bill…"


"I want you to accept this," she said, her voice was firm. "Accept that I am not going to be here for long," she told him, regretting that she was causing him pain. But Bill had been in denial for quite some time and she had let him. She didn't want him to be a nervous wreck when she wasn't her anymore. Kara and Lee would always be there for him and she knew that. She also needed him to be strong for their child who was a part of her and of him.

Of them. Of their love.

"Promise me," she said. "Promise me that you will accept this for our daughter," she told him and felt him nod.

"It's not going to be easy," he told her, his voice breaking.

"I know. But you'll have to take care of yourself. You aren't exactly young, Bill. And we have a baby."

He nodded, not wanting to her to hear him cry. "I promise."

She moved out of his embrace and stood up slowly. Bill jumped to his feet and wrapped an arm around her waist, both of them walking inside for lunch. "I love you," Laura whispered, looking up at him. "And I'll always be there with you."

He tugged her closer. "I love you, too and I'll know when you're there. I'll always know, Laura."

He saw her smile and decides that it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

Laura's smile.

"Come, Kara and Lee will be waiting for us. We wouldn't want to eat cold food, would we?" Bill said, smiling at her.

"No, we wouldn't," she agreed.

"And I'm sure we have someone very eager to see her Mommy after a whole morning without her!" Bill said, exaggeratingly and grinned. Laura broke out in a carefree laughter, clutching at his arm, and burying her face in his arm. For that tiny fleeting moment, nothing was on their thoughts but how happy they were.

No, Bill thought. Laura laughing was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

It was warm. It was morning already and the sun had come up. Bill turned to Laura and saw her sleeping form facing him. She was an angel. His angel. He threw a glance at the cot beside the bed, on his side of the bed. Baby Laura was still sleeping peacefully and he smiled at how both mother and daughter mirrored each other. He turned back to Laura and impulsively stroked her cheek with his thumb. Cold. No warmth.

No Laura.

His heart stopping. "Laura?" he whispered. "Stay a little longer?" he asked, as though she could hear him. "A short while?" He closed his eyes and leaned back down on the pillow, still gazing at his angel.

He took a deep breath and pushed himself back up on his elbows. "I'm sure someone wouldn't be pleased to not have her Mommy with her the whole morning…" he told her, fighting to keep his voice audible. She was still his angel, sleeping, unmoving, pure and entirely his. "Kara wouldn't be pleased to have prepared extra breakfast…" He felt a sob trying to break free and took another deep breath.

Bill touched her cheek again, ignoring the lack of warmth. "You'll always be here, right?" he asked her, his heart breaking at the same time. "For us?"

Kara beamed as she brought out a large cake with exactly six candles on it, arranged so that it wouldn't spoil the teddy bear image in the middle. Apart from the candles, the entire room was dark. Everyone sang 'Happy Birthday,' with the exception of Cottle who grunted and crossed his arms. A loud rumble of applause was heard and whistles went around the room as she set the cake right in front of the birthday girl, who squealed with delight when she saw that it was a chocolate cake.

"Laura, careful," Bill chided, afraid that his little angel would fall of the chair she was standing on.

"Okay, Daddy!" she exclaimed, grinning and never taking her eyes of the cake. Bill went up behind her and held her waist, just to make sure she wouldn't fall of the chair from excitement. Her plastic tiara sparkled in the light of the candles and she clapped her hands together. She turned to her father and whispered conspirationally. "It's chocolate!" Bill smiled as he saw how his little angel was becoming like her mother. Her red hair was illuminated by the candlelight and her large green eyes were the outlet of her emotions.

"Make a wish, Laura!" Lee called from across the table and Kara smiled encouragingly. Bill nodded and Laura beamed, closing her eyes and making her wish. Bill couldn't have had been prouder of the red head he was holding

Bill leaned against the headboard of Laura's bed, which was almost populated by teddy bears and other furry soft toys. His daughter leaned against him and held the sheet of paper.

"Brushed your teeth?"

Laura nodded, her red curl bouncing. "Yeah, I did. Kara said that I would have cav-tees if I didn't."

"Cav-tees?" Bill furrowed his brows, and then smiled when he realized what she was saying.


"It's cavities," he said, slowly so she could follow.

"Yeah, yeah," she rolled her eyes. "Can I read it now?" indicating the sheet of paper. Bill smiled at her impatience.

"This will be your Mommy's birthday present," Bill told her, stroking her hair. 'It's a letter for you."

Laura eagerly started reading aloud as Bill listened on. "My dearest Angel, I am sitting on the bed as I write this letter. It is supposed to be winter but it is not snowing yet. Your father is lying asleep beside me and I am sad to say that he is snoring rather loudly. He doesn't snore often but when he does, he is tired. The first thing I want you to know about me, my darling, is that I love you and your father more than anything else…"

Her reading did break off occasionally as she paused to try and pronounce some words and ask her father what some words meant. But Bill felt pride tugging at his heart when Laura could almost read everything so far by herself. He listened intently to what Laura had written and watched the other Laura in his life reading it aloud.

"You would think that it would be funny that when your father and I first met, we disliked each other immensely…"

And as Bill heard his child voice reading his the words so lovingly penned, there was nothing in the world he wouldn't give up for this.

"Daddy, what's 'immensely'?"

Bill carefully explained the meaning of the word and watched as his daughter eagerly continued reading, her voice like music to her father's ears.

Laura, you are here now, aren't you? Can you hear her reading? She's perfect. And she's so beautiful, just like you. She's six years old today…. And she's really smart too. It's her sixth winter now…

And as though on cue, white snowflakes started to fall from the sky. Bill smiled and felt warm all over.

You really are here…


A/N-So here's the end. I'm sad to end it but I had to. Every story has it's end. Feedback and reviews are greatly appreciated. Thanks to all of you who have reviewed in the past. :o)