Disclaimer: Nope, not mine.

A/N : Just a quick thought after Human Nature and Family of Blood

He awoke with a start, small beads of sweat lined his brow, eyes wide with fear until the shadowy outlines surrounding him resumed their reassuring familiarity, heartbeat calming with each measured breath. Thoughts twisting, jumbled, incoherent explosions of strange impressions and visions slowly unraveling, leaving behind confusion and doubt gradually conforming to common rationale.

Leaping out of bed his hands reached for the leather journal lying on the nightstand, hurriedly recording as much of the nightmare before it faded completely from his consciousness. Unable to rid himself of the feeling of familiarity that cloaked his thoughts, weaving its tendons through the hidden corners in his mind while tickling the fringes as an imperceptible whisper of the known, he scribbled with haste in attempt to capture and contain the wild imaginations of his dreams. He shook his head trying to focus as a face continually resurfaced, imposing upon his thoughts, haunting his memories unbidden. Her eyes were full of curiosity, eagerness, youthful wonder and infinite trust, buried deeper he could recognize hidden emotions, tarnished innocence, and fathomless sorrow layered amongst the brown orbs masked by an enticing and infectious smile that was difficult not to return in like.

A life he couldn't have.

The phrase puzzled him. He had the life he wanted. He shaped young impressionable minds, teaching, challenging them to experience more than the common existence they were surrounded by, allowed them to stretch their imaginations and reach beyond the normal borders. He had the love he desired, craved and needed in Joan, albeit a different set of eyes, blue rather than brown, in them he saw a future, security, happiness, contentment and peace, and what struck him, reached into his soul and burned brightest of all was the realization that she reciprocated that love.

Oh but Time, the cruel mistress she is demanding mercilessly of him retribution. He is alone, stripped bare again, struggling against the inevitable forced to watch in horror as the minuscule sands slipped unheeded through his grasp, a cry of hopelessness escapes his lips. Each time a fresh wound, searing and scarring the very core of his being, forever marking him with a tell-tale reminder emblazoned on his soul. For all he'd witnessed, all he'd experienced, feelings, thoughts and emotions he would always be taunted throughout time with those same words.

A life he couldn't have.