Title: Children of a Broken World - The Lady

Author: Ashantai

E-Mail: ashantai@hotmail.com

Archive: Please ask!

Pairings: None

Rating: G

Spoilers: None really... Pollo Loco, I guess.

Summary: Set few weeks after the escape, where is Ben? Second in a series of vignettes about the post-escape X5s...


CHILDREN OF A BROKEN WORLD - THE LADY

The people walking the streets were so strange; they were wearing strange clothing, they were using strange words and phrases in their conversation, and they were laughing a whole lot more than Ben had ever seen adults laugh before. He saw a girl about his age walking with a woman whom she resembled quite a bit, and Ben was fascinated; was she a clone of the woman? He followed them, but they disappointed him by entering a large building, and he was unsure of following them inside in case it wasn't safe. Ben gazed up at the building. It was huge, with coloured glass in the windows and a strange symbol on the roof- like an X, only sideways and with one of the legs too long. He felt a hand touch his shoulder and jumped.

"Sorry," a kindly woman's voice came; Ben gazed up into the eyes of a lady in her late seventies with wonder. He had never seen anyone so old. "I didn't mean to startle you. I saw you looking at the church." She motioned to the building and Ben added this new word to his vocabulary. "Would you like to go inside?"

"I- I don't know..." Ben swallowed, looked away. "I don't know anyone in there."

"That's all right," the woman said gently. "You won't be alone. This is God's house." Ben wanted to ask, 'who's God?' but stopped himself as he somehow sensed that it wouldn't be appropriate. He started to shake his head, remove himself from the lady's kind gaze, but then a flash of light at her throat caught his eye.

She was wearing a chain, with a gold pendant of a beautiful woman with a flowing dress. Her heart was bursting out of her clothing, burning. Ben's eyes widened; how could it be? This was the Real World... The woman saw him looking at her necklace and smiled, touched it.

"Our Lady of Sorrow," she said; Ben was confused, stared up at her.

"Sorrow?" he managed.

"One of her many names," the woman said. She fixed him with an intense gaze, making him slightly uncomfortable. "You believe in her, don't you?" It seemed an eternity before he was able to answer.

"Yes," he breathed finally.

"What do you call her?" Ben looked up at her, hesitated, then slowly smiled.

"The Blue Lady," he said softly, reaching out a hand to caress the icon. The lady smiled at him, then patted his shoulder and led him into the church.