A/N: This story was inspired after reading Chapter 10 of PcKtmouse's story Trifles. After reading it, I tried to look up some Silver/Sarah stories, only to find that there basically were none. So I decided to write one, just to make the plot bunnies leave me alone.
Sarah Hawkins sighed and pulled her shawl closer around her shoulders. As she looked up into the winter night sky, she noted absently the light din coming from the foyer behind her. Leaning back against the brick of the Benbow Inn, she closed her eyes and smiled sadly. She had seen Jim and Amelia off to the spaceport earlier that day, not bothering to hide her amusement at her son's impatience.
It had been almost a year since Jim had found Flint's trove and subsequently joined the Interstellar Academy. Sarah smiled thinking of her now good friend, Amelia. Without her help, she doubted Jim would have made it into his newest adventure. And although Sarah had had her doubts about how Jim would adjust to military life, he seemed to have taken to it keenly. So keenly, in fact, that he was most anxious to get back to the Academy and his studies. Sarah smiled, imagining how her son must revel in learning of (not to mention seeing) so many of the places he had read and heard about as a child. She had high hopes for him, certainly much higher than before he had gone into space for the first time.
So, what is wrong with me then? she wondered, placing a hand over her heart. Ever since Jim and Amelia had left today, Sarah had been unable to concentrate on the simplest of tasks. After seeing them off, she had returned to the inn, intent on starting dinner for her patrons. But instead, she had found herself staring into a pot of burned stew, a dull ache residing in her chest. After throwing out what should have been a lovely meal, she had started over and made sure to pay attention this time. After dinner, she had patiently listened to one of her regulars ask for something native to Kinapas before admitting in chagrin that she actually didn't know how to make it. The old farmer had smiled understandingly before giving her the recipe and suggesting that on her next trip into the spaceport, she pick up a new book of recipes.
After dinner, Sarah had picked up and cleaned the dishes, still inexplicably distracted. She had numbly swept out the foyer, balanced her books, and entered an order for more supplies before coming to stand outside. Sarah peeked through the window beside her and sighed in relief. While she had been musing, the last of her customers must have decided to go to sleep. Perhaps now that her business was done, she could go visit Delbert. With Amelia gone, he would certainly welcome any extra help with the children. Sarah smiled at the thought of their many antics. Although Delbert was getting better with children, she knew that he was often overwhelmed with the responsibilities of being a father. Yes, that's what she would do, she would go help Delbert…except, she remembered suddenly, Delbert and the children were gone on vacation to visit his mother. The dull ache in her chest suddenly increased again, and Sarah knew what was wrong. She was lonely.
Sarah sighed again and rubbed her temple. Surely not this again. In the years since Leland left, she had learned to not focus on what she was missing. It simply hurt too much. In the months following his departure, she had forced herself to bury her own emotions down. Instead, she focused on her son. Although at first Jim had been inconsolable, his grief had slowly turned into a surly, simmering anger. As the years had passed, he had begun acting out, giving her yet more to worry about. So she had pulled herself up out of the ashes of her failed marriage, choosing to focus more on the present and what she did have than on what she didn't. She became strong, unwavering, incredibly patient…but still lonely. Although she had taken comfort in Delbert's friendship, even that had failed to ward off the loneliness some nights. She shivered, remembering the many years that she had cried herself to sleep after checking that Jim was actually asleep. But she had hoped that with the new opportunities would come the end of this particular sad stage in her life. Her inn was running smoothly, business was better than ever, and she had more companionship than she had in years. She was content, successful, and secure for the first time in so long. But, as much as she took comfort in these facts, she was still lonely.