Summary: It was bitter and cold, but quiet in a way Freya could appreciate.
Authors Note: This unbeta'ed so, er, I'm sorry for my mistakes!
It was bitter and cold, but quiet in a way Freya could appreciate.
She'd only been here once before when they buried her mother, but those memories were vague, colored by a child's perspective. Nothing looked the same now; snow blanketed the ground, obscuring the path. Her mother had died in the summer, when the grass was parched, and Freya's heavy wool dress had itched and chafed her skin as June held her hand. Twenty years had past since then.
Freya's face crinkled slightly, heavy with memories.
She still felt so young.
Brendan walked before her slow and purposeful, watching her carefully over his shoulder. Freya could only hear the barest whisper of his thoughts, he was getting better but she felt the warmth of his concern stretch between them. She was glad she brought him.
He hadn't seem surprised when she asked him to come with her, the past two years together afford them some closeness even if it was a subject they tactfully avoided. There seemed to be an ever growing list of things they didn't talk about, feelings they smiled through and Freya was not always patient. She'd seen too many years go by unused but when she wanted to press the topic she would remember something like this, the way he selflessly gave himself over to her. She found she could not ask him for more.
They stopped at the crest of the hill and Freya paused beside him, catching her breath as the cold air burned her lungs. It took her a minute to find his grave, neatly filed away beside so many others. She stood before the flat expanse of earth, hesitancy etched in the line of her back. Her eyes felt heavy with old tears and she felt foolish for coming. There was nothing here for her, just dirt and stones.
She took a step back and felt Brendan's hand rest lightly on the swell of her hip. He didn't push her forward or draw her back but suddenly Freya wanted to go back to the car and let Brendan make her laugh and forget. She wanted her sister here with her, hand in her own to offer soft encouragement. June would understand she thought as Brendan flexed his hand against her waist. Freya wanted to say goodbye, take the chance she'd denied herself for so long. It was time to move forward with her life.
She knelt beside the tombstone, felt the wetness of the snow seep through her jeans. "Hey Dad," she said softly, ground cold and hard beneath her. She thought of her father, the memories she had before. She remembered his laughter, the rich and heavy sound that made her feel safe and loved when she was little. She touched the marble of the headstone and it was cold and smooth. Suddenly the silence of this place, of her father overwhelmed her.
She didn't hear Brendan leave.
He was quiet in the car and Freya could see the tension in his face as he concentrated on the road and his own silence for her. "Brendan," she said and touched his arm, fingers curling around his bicep. She felt him tense as she drew herself beside him and place her head on his shoulder. He was warm and firm beneath her and after a minute she felt him relax, open his mind to her, and she let his strength wash away the sadness that had been gathering under her skin.