Pushing Daisies

"We all grow up with the weight of our history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies."
- Shirley Abbott


Miles was no stranger to death. He didn't fear it; never had.

He had heard many compare it to sand running out of an hour glass, or even night following day- natural, written in the loom of the Fates. He disagreed. Nothing natural about it. Innocents met their makers. Murderer's skipped away scot free. Evil often, if not usually, won.

He generally shook off the disturbing truth with a quirked eyebrow and a shrug. It was his way, and that was that.

People did bad things. Like abandoning their kid.

Miles had hated his father. Hated him for dying before Miles could find him to tell him so. He hated everything about him; everything he had imagined him to be, everything he never was and never would be. Hated his name.

Chang. The idea made him sick to his stomach- part of this man latched to him like a leech. And so he didn't hesitated when the idea came to him on night to get rid of it; to get rid of him. Superficial as he was, he had chosen a title he had hoped to mirror his 'hardcore' self. Miles Straum. Maelstrom. Childish, really, but sometimes he still thought it was sort of cool.

He'd have changed his first name too, had it even been plausible that his father had chosen it. But his mother made a point of playing Miles Davis at any chance she got. She had an unhealthy love of jazz.

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Her favourite song. When he was seven she used to sing to him, and he'd grumble and say it was stupid. She'd called it his song, and now he finds it feebly ironic. Still unspoiled. Right.

So now here he is. Gaping like a dimwit through the window of their- his - family home. He wonders vaguely whether his infant self can already sense the clamouring of coming death pressing against his temples. He hopes not, but then again he reminds himself that he doesn't care.

And Chang- he won't call him anything else, he won't – is laughing, pulling bizarre expressions as he read to the child words that it can't possibly understand, much less enjoy.

But maybe he does.

He watches, frozen, as his mother hands Chang the phone. He speaks inaudibly, and Miles steals a moment to observe Lara. She's healthy. Not yet just meat. She'll probably wake up tomorrow, and the next day, to listen to Stella By Starlight on record. He hopes she enjoys it.

He's too lost in thought to take notice of Chang at first, when he calls out to him.

"Miles? I need you."

Yeah? Well I don't need you.

In another life, another time, he would have said it. Thirty years from now, in fact, he would have said it.

But he can't, or so he likes to think. Because, being Miles Straum, he won't accept the fact that he probably doesn't want to.

"You do?"


A/N: I wrote on a whim this after watching the ending moments of Some Like it Hoth, plainly because the expression on Miles's face told so much. I'm pretty sure he's now one of my favourite characters, actually. =] Review, if you feel like it.