AN: I have totally done enough work on the other fics that I can post the start of this short story. Obviously I started this when Jason "died," but it's been lingering in my thoughts lately.
Imagine if you will a long white hallway. On one side utter peace. On the other side everything you've left behind. A never ending hallway that all pass through. Jason Quartermaine has trapped himself in such a place. Unable to turn away from the life that had once been his.
There had been times over the years when he had been quiet.
There had been times over the years when he had raged.
He had begged.
People told him to walk away.
Loved ones, strangers. They all tried to convince him to let it go.
He couldn't change it, so why keep watching.
Why keep watching his once orderly life being smashed to bits.
Watch his loved ones be hurt by the person they thought was him.
Watch and be scared that there was some part of him in that person because maybe sometimes he saw it too, the glimmer of himself in the stranger. More than just his skills…a rare smile, a laugh or a look.
It was almost as if he was there, as if he had fallen back into his body.
Only he hadn't.
The scene was only before him as the other's eyes were open. He saw what he saw. Only saw himself/him when his eyes caught his reflection in something.
He had Heaven on one side and Earth on the other.
He watched people enter the thin strip he resided in and cross over.
He also watched people slip back to Earth, gone as quickly as they arrived.
AJ had lasted longer.
For a few brief moments…
Jason had been too caught up in the world in front of him to notice the world beside him. The vastness that stretched forever, he didn't see the lives of those who entered next to him, the window for their eyes only. There were a few that would turn back and catch their final minutes as their body lingered longer than their soul. There were others like him whose bodies continued on without their souls attached. A few exactly like him, but many more hooked up to machines. Some watched or listened, some moved on.
Jason talked to a lot early on as he tried to figure out what had happened, as he tried to figure out a way back. Tried to figure out how those who returned slid back into the window before them.
He watched it in those close to him; it was always so fast, like a flash.
A smile or a confused look and then they were gone.
Brenda always smiled.
She had smiled at him way too often and he felt horrible for wishing every time that she would have just stayed.
He hadn't noticed AJ's arrival, he often berated himself for that, for not having those extra seconds.
"Jason," the stunned whisper echoed down the long hall.
There were many Jason had smiled for, but not this one. He felt his body about to collapse, the sensation as strong as if he had been on Earth watching him die. AJ was too young, there was too much for him to do, so much he still had to feel and learn. Jason's mouth opened, the words emerged without a conscious thought, "I love you." He had wondered often if he had said those words enough, if he had remembered to tell everyone how much he cared. It killed him for years to watch the pain, defeat, guilt and anger every time he saw his brother's face, being unable to stop it.
He hated that other man, whose eyes he saw out of, he hated him especially for AJ. He saw a lot of despicable acts, but those were to strangers. How that other man treated his brother, what he allowed to happen…He despised him.
In that moment though, AJ saw him, fully and finally. Not a glimpse that only brought more pain. No in that moment when AJ finally saw him he smiled and Jason couldn't help, but smile back. He smiled even brighter as his brother slid back into the world he left.
He never saw him in his window again. He hoped he wouldn't lay eyes on him for many years.
Time passed. Slowly, but surely as time always is.
People joined him. Some stayed for awhile. Eventually though they all realized he would only leave when he was ready and they said their goodbyes.
His father stayed the longest. His father heard every word the other man had said and had tears streaming down his face by the time he was done. It had taken all of Jason's willpower to not rage against the other man in their father's presence. His father gave a knowing smirk when he found out AJ hadn't died, convinced it was Monica's doing. They had no idea what state AJ was in, but just knowing that he wasn't with them was enough.
There had been the little towheaded boy that had started to run to him, then paused and said, 'You aren't Jason.'
'Not your Jason.'
'K.' Jake ran right out of the hallway and into what was waiting.
He had been the shortest.
It had been an odd way to spend two decades. At least for the first two years he had hope he would find a way back. Then with every operation there came the hope that they would fix whatever had shoved him out of his body. Mostly though he spent his time hoping the other man wouldn't kill anyone else and hoping that other man would die and this could finally end.
The things he had seen, no matter how justified Sonny sold them as, they never were. The type of life that other man led, the type of life where he was in a situation where someone had to die in order for the other to live… Jason hated that man. All the good he did, could never erase all the bad Jason witnessed.
Jason was smiling as water was before his eyes. Not really believing the other man would die, maybe Jason would get a glimpse, maybe he'd even get a chance to curse him out if he stayed dead long enough. As the water grew darker, Jason almost started to feel relief, something he hadn't felt in quite some time.
Then as the other man appeared before him, stunned and pressing a hand to a wound that was no longer present as their eyes connected, Jason felt a peace he hadn't known was possible.
"What…" The other man was confused as they often were. He turned though to follow the other man's gaze. The darkness of the window. "What is that?"
As the other man took a step towards the window, a hand out ready to touch, did Jason react. Closed lids, a trace of water…It wasn't over. There was still life in that body.
Jason reached the window first, "No more," was all he said to the other man as Jason slid back into the life he had left.
Thanks for reading and yes old stories will get their turn soon enough for those who keep asking.