This was done almost completely without Rain-chan's or Bryn's knowledge. Let's call it a surprise. The betaing efforts are those of my good friend, the indestructible and neurotic Vollys! Applaud her resources- she knows nothing of Time Force aside from what I rammed down her throat.
This is an Alex centric fic. I've always been intrigued by his character, and... yeah. Have fun!
The title of the story is actually the title of a song by Tiger Army. Go listen to it. And... go listen to all of their songs, actually.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of this, except for possibly- no, not even that.
Alex stared out over the city, caught up by the lull of white noise and flickering lights, the night thickening around him. Even up there, on the balcony where he offered Jen his hand, there wasn't true solitude. Activity and life buzzed around him, unseen yet audible; it only made him feel that much emptier, adrift and bereft.
Had he been a poet, that's exactly what he would have been thinking.
But Alex wasn't a poet. He was a soldier; a Ranger- or at least, he had been. That was before Ransik had succeeded in killing him- he had been pronounced dead until the High Aq saved him with a new bit of technology he had adapted from one of his home planets. That was before he had charged into the past and demanded Wesley give up his morpher. He hadn't expected the others to turn on him. Lucas, maybe, definitely, as they didn't have the best history. Though, he had to agree with them after they got angry at him; he had been inappropriately assuming leadership, something he had no right to do. He hadn't been acting like a leader. He had been acting like a...
But Jen... Alex leaned heavily against the railing. That had hurt. The way she had reacted to him when he had shown up was a little more than underwhelming. It only made sense when he found those pictures. However, nothing could have prepared him for when she came back to the future. He had expected it when everyone sent up a violent plea for Wesley's life. He had not, however, expected Jen to look at him so mournfully and give his ring back.
His ring. His heart. Those two were a thousand years apart. What was she thinking?
He gazed at the ring in his hand, holding it up with two fingers. Glint of metal, glitter of stone, and cold, only warmed by his hand. Not hers, like it was supposed to be. All for a man who had died so long ago there wasn't a memory of his grave, crumbled ages past.
Stupid jokes about him dating his own ancestor. Which was ridiculous; even being descended from the Collins family line, a thousand years of genetic shift wouldn't matter in that respect. Like it should matter. He wasn't descended from WESLEY Collins, so why did it matter? It didn't matter.
After recovering from his near fatality, he had spoken to the High Aq about how he did it. How he lived with the fact he lived so long while everyone he knew and loved had died eons ago. Even he would eventually die. The High Aq looked at him sadly and replied, his accent strange and ancient.
"It's difficult. You find that time doesn't heal everything, it's numbing. I find myself becoming less human and more detached. Eventually I suspect people will view me as some kind of monster, because I'll start cutting myself off from everyone, focusing on the good of long term goals as opposed to the here and now. But sometimes," he added, with a ghost of a smile, "I feel better when I realize, that as long as I live, and as long as I never forget them, they'll live on." The smile faded. "But only sometimes."
Alex blew out a long breath. They all had left, back to the past, to help Wesley and Eric fight. Would Ransik be brought in? History said he was. It was almost a paradox, but they were re-writing history as he stood. Nothing was written in stone, instead in soft, malleable clay that could simply be shattered if hardened.
She would come back. But it wouldn't be the same. His Jen was gone. He also knew, though, that she wouldn't remain in the future. Already everyone had been discussing a plan pre-ordained.
You can change your destiny. It had been so simple for Wesley. And it had been. The time line had shifted in his favor. But Alex couldn't bring himself to be so optimistic, so full of hope. His future felt bleak, and he just could not seem to drag himself back up.
Written in stone. The metal and stone in his hand reflected the etched words he had uttered to Jen. Their words, their oath to one another. Their echoed whispers when they thought no one, or everyone, was watching.
Clenching his fist around the ring, Alex spoke into the night. "You and me."
But the final word of the phrase lay unspoken, never to be finished again. Drifting incomplete against the haze of night, broken. Like so many things. Like his heart.
Suddenly violent, Alex drew back and flung the ring out over the city. It vanished into the night without so much as a twinkle. Now it had a new destiny, Alex mused darkly and shut his eyes. He didn't move for a long time afterwards, simply willing himself to blend in with the white noise and flickering lights of the city, just like that damn ring had.
You and me. Forever.