Okay so this is the start of the little AJ returning story I mentioned at the end of "Sanctuary." It's just a snippet of a story really at just past a thousand words and the total story shouldn't have more than 5, but I've had a major case of writer's block, so when the final little part of this part one actually wanted to be written, I couldn't resist and figured I'd post it to see if there's even a point to writing more.
And yes, it's "To Come Back" from Jason's final words to Alan, just moments too late. I loved Steve Burton in that scene, I wish the writers would allow him more, more of everything that is, in the show.
I hope this appeals to you just a bit, oh and there will actually be dialogue in the chapters that follow this. :-P (and do remember from my previous description, it's very soap opera in its content and explanations)
To Come Back
To come back, to return. Volver, a movie he'd never seen.
The words themselves conveyed an image of a pen gliding across the paper in long flowing script. Memoirs of a story to be told.
How could it be a memoir though when it was stranger than fiction? But sometimes that's how it was with life...
There were haunting memories at every turn. Laughter, fights, memories so vague, just a glimpse of a feeling at something, memories of another life, one he had long since tried to convince himself hadn't existed. No matter how hard he wished it though, he knew now that his efforts had never been successful and putting it behind him had only been a dream he allowed himself for a few years.
The pain that drove at his heart, all the past memories, past actions and everything he'd missed and failed to say...It convinced him, the man that he had hoped had died never truly had.
But to the people he was walking amongst now, he had. It had been a long tragic death, he heard. Small deaths that finally cumulated into one horrific end.
He was finally good and dead in their eyes. So why did he walk amongst them now?
Since he found out, he expected some type of relief to follow. Relief that they would never find out, never find him. Yet there was still that young boy that couldn't die within him. The one that wanted them to look at him as they always looked at his brother.
He had been a monster of sorts, he had taken the life of the person he had loved the most, but how they could think he was capable of such crimes, such heartless acts…
It pained him; it nearly destroyed him, everything they thought of him…
Yet here he was. Finally. After years away, he returned and deep within him he knew the reason, he was still asking for their forgiveness, still asking their approval. Only now it was too late.
He had to see her though. He had to do something. He had to hope he could make it at least a little better for her. He had to do something, anything to try to heal some of the pain.
He was grateful as he watched Jason walk out of Harbor View Towers after trying to talk himself into going in for the past ten minutes.
He tailed him at a distance, amazed he wasn't somehow spotted, but Jason looked lost to the world around him.
He wondered if his brother was grieving. If he had learned to once more love their father when it had seemed so impossible when he left. He wondered if he would have stayed if there had been even the slightest chance Jason would have forgiven him. He would have just destroyed him all over again though.
Jason stopped as he reached the end of the docks and gave his brother just a moment to truly see him.
His hair was darker, with gel almost past his shade, the observing man realized. Jason's hair had never been darker than his. Jason lived and breathed the sun, not surprising since he was always light and goodness. It had made sense for him to be the fairer of the two even in looks.
He opened his mouth to speak, to call out his brother's name, but the words wouldn't come. All that was there was the silent gasp of pain because despite the years, it had never gotten easier. Losing him…
Losing him was his punishment, every crime, every ignorant thing he'd ever said or done…
Truth be told though, he couldn't believe that all of his actions could warrant such a horrific punishment as the loss of his brother.
Seeing him now, he realized the depth of that pain could never be filled and trying to forget had been foolish.
It was watching Jason take a shuddered breath though that finally pulled him out of his own misery.
The simple call of "Jason," pulled Jason's head down from its upward tilt towards the sky, opened his eyes and caused his body to spin.
And there they were looking at each other.
"You've grown up," was the unlikely statement to leave AJ's lips as he watched his brother look at him in shock and confusion. "I never thought of you growing old," his brother had remained frozen in time in his memories, daydreams and nightmares. That wasn't why he was here though.
Reassured by the fact that his brother hadn't reached for his gun, he descended the steps, knowing why he had come to him, knowing it was too late to change anything between them.
Jason still seemed too stunned to speak, knowing he should, but not knowing what to say. He should shoot him. He had to stop him now, but…
"I need to see her," AJ stopped a few steps away from his brother. Ignoring the urge that still remained to throw his arms around him and beg forgiveness and seek to comfort and be comforted in same act.
Jason's head turned halfway in a shake, he didn't understand what was going on. The man before him, he knew as AJ, but in the same moment he wasn't sure, he couldn't trust his eyes.
"I need to explain things I know, but let me see her first. I don't care what you do afterwards. I just…" his eyes closed in pain. They opened again and with a continuing nod, his voice creaked out, "I just need to see her," his eyes closed in pain against the tears that were threatening to brim.
She was it. All that was left really. His childhood family…Only her.
He just had to show her…Show her there really had been something good in him deep down. She had once believed it. Hadn't she?
Jason's mouth remained open for a moment before closing to give a nod, his eyes unblinking. He couldn't do it to her. He couldn't take him away again. His mind warned him it would probably be kinder to stop the pain now before it could begin again, but……And that was where his mind got stuck once more.
So there two men who had once been brothers stood. Two bodies that had spent over twenty years close by, had hugged, had punched, had slumped in defeat and pain along with the other, but had cheered in victory as well. Two sets of near identical cheekbones, the same build and now nearly the same hair color and cut. It had never been their looks that had made people doubt them as brothers.
But one rash act had finally proven them right and taken away their bond, what had truly made them brothers, leaving only the biology behind and the older man, suddenly couldn't find any words to respond with, grief for a lost father, masked by the greater loss of a brother he could no longer reach despite being an arms length away. He nodded before leaving and left in his wake was the younger man who in the span of a few days had found himself questioning everything in his life and situations he had never prepared for and had no idea how to face.
So go on or not?